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Posts with tag DICE

WoW minis are out


As predicted, the WoW Minis game from Upper Deck has launched -- starter packs and booster sets are now available at a collectible store near you. I got to play the game with one of its designers at BlizzCon, and I actually found it a lot of fun -- it's very much like a turn-based Arena match, though there are fewer abilities to choose from, and if your characters are killed, they actually come back, as the victory is points-based, not just a deathmatch. But it's very similar to Arena matches in that you spend points on abilities, terrain can help or hurt, and each class has its own counters and tactics.

I found it to be a lot of fun, and probably would get involved in it if I had a friend I could also sucker into it, but no dice so far. Plus, it's two hobbies in one -- not only do you get a fun strategy game (that's surprisingly versatile -- you can play with more than two players if you like, and your victory points requirements are based on your characters, not the opposing sides', so you can play with whatever characters you like), but you also get to collect some cool minature reproductions of some of Warcraft's most famous faces. Good deal. Have you checked the game out yet, or is it something you're interested in?

Gallery: WoW Minis

Slitherblade TidehunterRuby GemsparkleRoriaPhadalus the EnlightenedTa'zoVarimathas

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, WoW TCG

Ask WoW Insider: /roll abuse?


Welcome to today's edition of Ask WoW Insider, in which we publish your questions for dissection by the peanut gallery -- now with extra snark and commentary by one of our writers. This week Urdunai writes in:

Hey WoW Insider,

This week I have a question about rolling, as in /roll, and the proper use of it. I was recently on a run of Zul'Farrak with my Shaman, a guildmate Fury Warrior, a Healadin, and a Tankadin. The 2 *adins were dating or some such, I'm not sure but it's important to the story. The run had been going really well, and everyone was being very polite on loot drops. Whenever a Blue item would drop everyone would pass and we would discuss it. This is generally not a practice I approve of (The Need and Greed buttons are there for a reason, blizzard was nice enough to provide them) but that was the group's consensus so I kept my mouth shut and did it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ask WoW Insider

All the World's a Stage: Magical table, magical screen

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

As with many other people, my first experience of roleplaying was with a "tabletop" roleplaying game in high school. The older kids introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade, and although I wasn't enthralled by the whole "bloodsucking" thing, I quickly realized that the basic activity was lots of fun, and I ended up starting my own roleplaying group with Earthdawn, a more traditional (yet surprisingly original) fantasy setting. Those games were my some of my happiest memories from high school.

In college I couldn't find many people who were interested in playing with me, and when I came to live and work in China after graduating in 2000, I thought that my roleplaying days were over for sure. You may imagine my surprise when in late 2007, I came across another foreigner here in Nanjing, discussing Dungeons and Dragons with his Chinese wife in one of my favorite restaurants. It turns out he needed another player for the group he has going here, and although his wife wasn't interested, I happened to appear, ready and eager to join up.

Originally I had thought that WoW would be the only way I could continue roleplaying while living in the far East, but starting to get back into my old hobby has given me a chance to see more clearly what the differences are between tabletop roleplaying and roleplaying in a game like WoW. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and different people have their preferences. Both have a special value which is mainly derived from connecting creatively with other people.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Details on the WoW Minis game

WoW Insider has obtained a copy of the "sell sheet" sent to distributors about the upcoming WoW minis game, and it contains information about pricing, pack size, and even some hints at a release date.

Basically, the minis will become available in three different ways: there will be the core booster sets, which will contain three minis of the same Horde or Alliance faction, plus three character cards and six ability cards, and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $14.99 per booster. Additionally, each booster will have a chance to include an ingame Loot Card, supposedly from the Trading Card Game (there is no word if there will be loot cards specifically for the minis game), and a 1/8 chance to have an "epic" character.

More info on the starter sets, including the full text of the "sell sheet," after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, WoW TCG

Blizzard wins the Oscars of online games

As Oscar time gets closer, some of us gamers may start wishing for awards of our own. Mass Effect was at least as good as There Will Be Blood, right?

Luckily, on February 7th, we gamers got our own red carpet show, as The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences hosted the 11th annual Interactive Achievement Awards in conjunction with the DICE Summit at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blizzard, of course, managed to snag a few rewards of their own. Not only did the Burning Crusade pick up Massively Multi-player Game of the Year, but Blizzard President Mike Morhaime was inducted into the Academy's Hall of Fame.

Gamespot had video coverage of the event, which you can check out here, or if you'd rather just cut to the meaty stuff, the Academy's website has a PDF with a list of the winners here. You can also check out some wider commentary on all the awards from our friends at Joystiq here.

We'll expect trophies for Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II next year!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade

More Blizzard news from the D.I.C.E. summit

Blizzard Entertainment logoWired's games blog brings us more news from D.I.C.E., with word of a "never before seen" presentation about Blizzard's canceled games over the years. Some of the games were later released by other companies, but others... Well, if you can remember anything about them, you may be a true Blizzard fan, and we'd have to kneel in homage to you.

But really, some of the games sounded pretty awesome by the title alone. Around Blizzard these days, Nomad refers to a new human unit from the upcoming Starcraft II, but it seems at the presentation in question, it was on the list of canceled games accompanied by a picture of two giant Zeppelins. And we, of course, are all about the Zeppelins, so the game would have obviously been cool, if it had Zeppelins.

Starcraft:Ghost, amazingly enough, didn't make the list of games, which brings up the question of whether there's still plans to resurrect it - or if Blizzard, like Wired's blogger suggests, just wants to forget about it altogether.

Finally, no list of canceled Blizzard games would be complete without a reference to Warcraft Adventures. I was always disappointed that this one got canceled, being a big fan of the old adventure games, and it looks like I even have allies at Blizzard on this point. But the WoW team seems to like to fit the game's story in wherever they can, so it wasn't all in vain, right?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Mike Morhaime speaks at D.I.C.E. 08

Blizzard Entertainment logoThe D.I.C.E. Summit's official site describes the event, currently taking place in Las Vegas, as a meeting of "the video game industry's most influential leaders," so of course you know Blizzard's there. Gamesindustry.biz's coverage of Mike Morhaime's presentation today doesn't reveal anything too earth-shattering about the company or the World of Warcraft. It's about the same thing we've heard from him in the past, but hey, if the presentation isn't broke, don't fix it, right?

It's still good to hear that Blizzard's on the right track, of course, and it's actually amazing that even with Mike Morhaime about to get his eighth boss, Blizzard's stayed pretty consistent on quality and dependability, as almost anyone who's had to switch bosses can tell you. But it looks like that, even with the Activision merger, we can expect the same tradition of long development cycles leading to quality games, which is, if familiar news, also comforting news.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Superstitions in WoW

The Daedelus project recently posted an article dealing with MMORPGs and the superstitions we build as we play the games. Seeing as how we as people love to finding meaning in seemingly random events, World of Warcraft has its fair share of superstitious players. I might even go so far as to say we all are superstitious about some things within the game. Despite the prevalence of superstitions in game, we always seem to see others' quirks as crazier than our own. Now we're not talking about religion or spirituality here, we are talking about how players create meaning where there is none. Here are just a few examples that Daedelus brought up:


The spawn dance

There are many players out there that subscribe to the particular belief *cough* Maelis *cough* that a special dance will help mobs spawn faster. I have never myself attempted to use a spawn dance, but I have found that I tend to run in a clockwise direction when I am farming because somehow the mobs seem to spawn faster. Or perhaps it's just because I can't turn left.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves

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