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Posts with tag BlizzCon-09

BlizzCon Roundup: Last year's fun and games

BlizzCon 2010! Anaheim! October! Players are buzzing about the new announcement, and already making travel plans -- but what can a person expect to see at BlizzCon? What kind of stuff is there to talk about? Last year's BlizzCon was all about Cataclysm -- a trailer, playable demos of the new races, lore information, and of course the usual cavalcade of costumes and dance routines. Here's a quick roundup of what you missed at last year's BlizzCon, to give you an idea of what to expect this time around:

Pre-show guides and activities:

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Still time to win the Twelve Days of Grunty contest

With so many sites and stores promoting commercialism and spending, it's always refreshing to see fansites run contests that are in the true spirit of the season -- altruism (and ad traffic, of course). In this case, WoW-Achievements.com is getting into the Winter Veil spirit with their Twelve Days of Grunty contest!

From December 13th to December 25th, the site is presenting one new WoW trivia question each day. A winner is chosen randomly from those who answer correctly, and each day a Grunty the Murloc Marine pet is awarded. No registration is necessary, and the questions are easily answerable with a quick Google search. If you didn't get to go to BlizzCon '09, or if you didn't order the livestream from DirecTV, this might be your only shot at getting Grunty in your digital stocking, save asking Santa. And I don't think Santa does the whole eBay thing.

If you know of other sites running holiday contests, please let us know so we can make sure everybody gets a chance to cash in on the season of giving!

Filed under: Contests

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild currency


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options, guild talents, and guild achievements. This week, I'm going to finish up the series by talking a bit about guild currency and suggesting some products that Blizzard should let us buy with this new system.

Here's what we know so far. Guild currency will be earned by players in your guild who earn experience. It remains to be seen if experience (and thus currency) will still be earned by players once they reach the level cap, but I assume that it will.

So far, they've only mentioned a few items that we can buy:
  • Vanity items like mounts, tabards, and standards
  • Reagents like frost lotuses for flasks
  • Recipes
  • Heirloom items that scale with level

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: From the mail bag


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.


Hello, fellow officers! This week I'm going to try something a little bit different than usual. I tend to focus on one topic that requires a detailed analysis. However, I do receive many more questions that I never feature in the column because they have a more straightforward solution (or, at least, because I believe they have a straightforward solution). So I would write a private reply to the e-mail but never showcase the question here.

I've decided to try an experiment this week and feature several of these e-mails with shorter answers. Even though they may not be the most complex situations, I think the answers will be helpful to other officers. Let me know what you think! Here's the first question.

Too Many Cooks

I was wondering if you could do an article on having too many cooks in the kitchen during raids.

My guild is brand new, 3-4 weeks old, and we run Ulduar 10 and ToC 10 as well as Naxx 25 and Naxx 10 for the new 80s. As of right now, I am my guild's GM as well as raid leader. I have plans in the future to add an official "Raid Leader" to create events and lead some raids although I plan on still leading a few because I really enjoy it.

Right now though, I have a few natural born leaders that attend my raids and it causes some problems.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Grunty the Murloc Marine arrives for DirecTV viewers



Memories of BlizzCon have started to fade over the last month, but today another reminder of the event pops up. If you watched it via DirectTV you should shortly be receiving an email letting you know that soon you too can have a Murloc Marine shadowing your character's every step. The email comes with a code and a URL to visit in order to redeem the little guy. Be careful of any phishing scams, the correct URL is http://www.blizzcon.com/pet. You must also have a Battle.net account in order to receive him.

Once you have entered you code and gone through the simple redemption process the next time you log on you will have an in-game mail from Master Handler Sylvester. This will contain your special delivery of a Heavy Murloc Egg and a thank you.

Grunty the Murloc Marine, we salute you. When it comes to murlocs, you are the best of the best of the best. Sir! With Honors.

Filed under: Odds and ends, News items, BlizzCon

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- guild achievements


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options and guild talents. This week, I'm going to look at guild achievements.

Here are the announced guild achievements so far:
  • Working as a Team: Have a grand master in every profession
  • We Are Legendary: Complete a legendary weapon
  • United Nations: Become Exalted with all Northrend factions
  • Insider Trading: Trade 100,000 craftable items among guild members

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Blood Pact: A new Lock in town


A lone shadowed figure approaches the village as it settles down for the approaching night. A hush falls with his passing and all eyes turn to follow. Who can say what has brought him here but there's no mistaking his calling; there's a Warlock in town.

With more than seven weeks since the last Blood Pact column there was bound to be a few things that weren't covered. Not too much though, right? It's not like anything major happened in those weeks. Did it?

I'm kidding of course; the last couple of months have seen huge changes and awesome announcements. There's simply no way I can cover them all, and do justice to any of them, in one article. That said these things can't be left on the shelf to moulder. So I'm going to do a quick run-down of what's been going on in Blood Pact's absence and then we can start plunging into their dark and squishy innards going forward.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Fan-created documentary about BlizzCon: An event for fans

Reader Encifer sent us a link to this excellent fan-directed documentary short about BlizzCon. Just a few days ago, I kind of panned the LA Times for treating BlizzCon as such an alien thing, but this video kind of takes a different look at the same event -- instead of coming at it from an outsider perspective and treating it as if it's something 20,000 crazy people do over a weekend, it's much more about how exciting it is to be a part of an event this big. I don't know, maybe the difference is just something I see, but this fan documentary, I think, does a really great job of showing just why BlizzCon is so great, while the LA Times piece, in my view, kind of dismissed its subjects even as it was portraying them.

At any rate, Chris Nguyen did a terrific job on this -- he says that he created the short film to prepare for a few doc film classes he's going to be taking, as well as challenge his doc-making skills, and it seems like he did just that. He interviewed two of his former guildies, as well as the winner of this year's costume contest, as you can see in the video. And he says the whole thing was shot over the two days at BlizzCon and then took about eight more days to edit. Definitely a fun little film to watch, and if you've never been to BlizzCon before, it'll give you a nice look at just what it's like to show up in a hall with thousands of people who play the same games that you do every day.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

The Los Angeles Times visits BlizzCon


The LA Times has a story up that's about a month late -- it tells the story of a guild meeting up at BlizzCon last month (they were actually at the Lost Bar, a place we at WoW.com know well from past meetups) and doing everything players do at BlizzCon: meet each other face to face, talk Warcraft, and enjoy everything Blizzard has set up on the convention floor. Truth be told, the experience sounds pretty tame to us -- BlizzCon is BlizzCon, it's a ton of fun, but it's not that alien of an experience to go with your ingame friends to a gaming convention.

Then again, maybe we're just biased. Maybe having guildies as friends is really a fascinating thing to someone who's never done it before, and maybe the spectacle of BlizzCon really is so interesting that you can just report it in the paper. They do chat with Morgan Webb (why?) and they get one line from Blizzard COO Paul Sams, but otherwise, it's just basically the story of the Dread Pirates and their trip to BlizzCon (complete with veiled accusations of misogyny and a dictatorial guildleader -- thanks, LA Times!). To folks who don't play World of Warcraft, it might be interesting, but for most players, especially those who've been to BlizzCon already, it's mostly business as usual.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, BlizzCon

Joystiq interviews J. Allen Brack



Intrepid reporter and all-around cool guy Kevin Kelly over at Joystiq scored an interview with J. Allen Brack during the festivities at BlizzCon 2009. Just in case you're not aware, J. Allen Brack is the lead producer for our beloved World of Warcraft, having joined the team back in 2005. Kevin's a pretty smart cookie, and managed to get some great insight into the game from Brack. The interview's worth a full read, but there's a lot of insight that's worth spending some time talking about.

It's not any surprise that Brack told Kevin that there's no end in sight for WoW, and that he expects the game to survive at least another 10 years. But Brack immediately followed up by saying that Blizzard has changed the way they view the franchise novels recently. Back in the day, it seems, they just let authors go wild. "Go off and create a kind of story in the world," Brack told Kevin. Now, however, it seems like the creative team is spending more time trying to make sure the novels reflect what they plan in the game, as well as vice versa.

Brack confirmed that Blizzard still keeps an eye on what other games are doing, and will bring that into the World of Warcraft by giving it their own take. That comment reminded me of the discussion about upcoming Fishing changes in Cataclysm, and how the new fishing system was inspired by Animal Crossing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, BlizzCon

WoW, Casually: A casual BlizzCon and what the future holds for us


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Usually, geeky conventions (sci fi, comic book, gaming, whatever) are considered for hardcore fans only and I guess that's pretty accurate. But while the fans at BlizzCon were certainly hardcore, their playstyles ranged everywhere from casual to leet. You don't have to raid every night to be silly about WoW and excited about the future of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, WoW, Casually, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- leveling and talents

Last week I talked about the massive guild overhaul unveiled at BlizzCon, and the impact these changes would have on guilds, for better or worse. This week I'd like to delve into the leveling system and guild talents. (I'll cover achievements and guild currency in a separate column later.)

Currently we know that guilds will level up as players participate in the following:
  • Boss kills
  • Rated battlegrounds and arenas
  • Leveling professions
  • Increasing faction reputations
Blizzard has stated that only the top 20 experience producers per day will count toward leveling. This is a smart idea. Without this limitation, I could easily see guilds recruiting every player possible just to level up quickly, and then discarding the players they don't really want once they hit level 20. Guild size should help in a small way, but it shouldn't be the determining factor of leveling progress.

One other factor I'd like see contribute to guild leveling is player achievements. Many of them, particularly for Heroic dungeons and raiding, are very difficult to get without a solid guild. Aside from a few vanity items along the way, there's no great reward for racking up a ton of achievement points. Yet, well-designed achievements (i.e., not the exploring or holiday achievements) demonstrate mastery of various aspects of the game. Shouldn't your guild be rewarded for having such players? Besides, it never hurts to give players more incentive to go out and /love some squirrels.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Video of the Hogger live raid at BlizzCon


Michael Gray mentioned it in his writeup of the Premonition live raid at BlizzCon 2009, but this is a moment so epic it's worth mentioning again, and now that there's video online, you can see it: in the final fight, none other than Hogger appeared to take on one of the best guilds in the game. And this was no mere Hogger, nor even the slightly-more-powerful Memory of Hogger seen in the Trial of Champions. No no -- this thing was a foul raid boss from the bowls of Deepholm, a one-shotting maniac that couldn't be controlled even by the best tank. As you can see in the video above, he charges like an angry Rhino -- he was originally pulled by a Hunter who was then one-shot so fast the aggro table cleared and Hogger reset instantly. And after the raid changed their collective pants, they took him on again, and it was all over but the Gnoll snickering.

He was immune to taunt, and he appeared to just pick a target at random, pinging around the raid like Batman beating up bad guys in his recent videogame. He only had about 600 hit points (some say 666, which would make sense), but he was immune to damage, or at least all forms of damage that Premonition tried to throw at him. In the end, even though they'd beaten Thaddius, Anub'Rekhan, and Patchwerk all at once, this level 80 Heroic version of Hogger was the one who wiped them. I saw Ozzy do War Pigs, but this Hogger fight was probably the most epic thing I saw in Anaheim last weekend.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Wow.com interviews Richard Knaak

On the second day of BlizzCon 2009, I got the chance to sit down with Richard Knaak, best selling author of countless novels, including many in the Warcraft universe, such as the War of the Ancients Trilogy, Day of the Dragon, and Night of Dragon. His upcoming projects include the Stormrage novel, as well as the Dragons of Outland manga trilogy. We talked about all this and more, and you can read our conversation below.

So of course, the big thing on everyone's mind is the new Stormrage book. How's it coming along? Is it near completion?


It's near completion, we're in the editing process, getting the OKs from Blizzard. You can find an excerpt in the latest volume of the Legends Manga, along with a story I wrote, sort of a Prologue that ties in with the book.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect lore-wise?

You know Blizzard likes to keep these secret, so I am going to be very limited in what I can talk about. It is Malfurion. It is about the Nightmare. And it is very current. That's the three biggest things I can say about it right off the bat. You'll see characters you know from the game and obviously from other books, and places you know from the game, and it's very current, very relevant. Of course, that's about all I can say. You know Blizzard, they love their secrets!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions part two


A week has passed since BlizzCon 2009 and we're still digging up more news, getting clarification from the blues, and analyzing all of the panels. Last week, Insider Trader discussed some of the major professions-related features coming up in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • Profession racial abilities and how they will be changing.
  • The new direction for Alchemy.
  • A totally revamped Fishing system!
  • Archaeology details and speculation about the leveling process.
  • The evolution of Inscription.
Then, continue on to part three of this discussion to learn more about:
  • Reforging and (not) repairing our own gear.
  • Woodworking.
  • Profession specializations and the new direction for differentiation.

Read more →

Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin, Archaeology

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