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Posts with tag Warcraft-iii

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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

Lichborne: 3 popular death knight requests that won't (or shouldn't) be fulfilled

Lichborne 3 popular death knight requests that won't or shouldn't be fulfilled TUES
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Death knight complaints and requests can change with patches, dealing with current issues or balance problems, but there are other death knight requests that come up time and time again, and will probably be asked about until the day they finally shut down the servers for good.

This week, we're going to look at three requests that probably will be around that long, just because it seems very unlikely Blizzard will ever fulfill them.

The power of the hero class

The "hero class" moniker has a long and storied history. It comes from Warcraft III, where hero units like paladins and death knights towered over the rest. By design, you only had a few of these every game, and they had more powerful skills that allowed them to dominate the battlefield when deployed.

When WoW came around, rumors of the hero classes spread throughout beta, but in the end, Blizzard went away from the model. Paladins, a hero class in WCIII, were made a regular class, for example, while other hero class mechanics, such as the Far Seer's Chain Lightning, went to regular classes.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite Blizzard cinematic or cutscene?

In a recent installment of The Queue, reader Victor commented about a thread in the Brazilian forums that debated best WoW cinematic. I think it is difficult to decide the absolute best, so I started to consider which one was my favorite.

But the first Warcraft cinematic that came to mind -- the one that moved me more than any I've seen -- is not actually from World of Warcraft. Arthas killing his father in Warcraft III blew me away. The betrayal. The graphics. The story that instantly fascinated me. I can still remember the feeling I had when I first watched it over the shoulder of someone who had the collector's edition. I wanted to run out and buy the game, but I am terrible at real-time strategy titles.

My second favorite is from Diablo III, but I won't spoil it. The cinematic that occurs between Acts I and II is wonderful. And the scene I love most from WoW is actually a cutscene: Wrathgate. So. Awesome.

What is your favorite cutscene or cinematic from Blizzard?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What classes should WoW have been designed with?

One of the interesting things about converting a real-time strategy game series into a MMO is how the units of the game are converted to playable classes -- or aren't converted, in some cases. While some heroes or units are folded into the classes like Far Seers into shaman and others make it straight into the game like paladins or death knights, others will make it in more as components or abilities sometimes not even given to the thematically suitable class. Such was the case when mages gained the signature Mirror Image from the blademaster hero class instead of warriors, who would seem to be the most appropriate match.

Reading over this post on Scrolls of Lore about the Demon Hunter got me wondering again about these elements' making it into the game. Several posters mentioned that quite a few demon hunter-themed abilities have made their way into the warlock toolkit, making a separate demon hunter class redundant and unlikely. It's a fair point, and it's mirrored in other places.

Mages in WoW make a specific archmage class unlikely. Paladins have pretty much absorbed the knight unit into themselves. Warriors are getting abilities reminiscent of the Mountain King and Tauren Chieftain heroes. At this point in the game's existence, with 11 classes come Mists of Pandaria, are we likely to see any more introduced? Is it better that the trappings of the RTS make it into the MMO at all, or do they have to come packaged with the heroes and units that made us love them?

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

Weapons of Lore: Atiesh and Andonisus, Reaper of Souls

It was the first caster legendary available to players, but the amount of time and devotion it took to get almost guaranteed that only a tiny piece of the player population actually obtained it. Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian wasn't a particularly fancy weapon by today's standards. It was simple, smooth staff topped with the carving of a raven and quietly adorned with a bit of ribbon. But to those that followed Warcraft's lore, the simple design was easily recognized as the staff of one of the most powerful casters of all time.

Atiesh was the epitome of everything a caster desired, largely because of its roots within the history of Warcraft. This wasn't just a simple staff; this was the weapon of choice for the last known Guardian of Azeroth, the wizard Medivh. Medivh was featured heavily in the original Warcraft RTS games but hasn't been seen since the end of Warcraft III. Atiesh, on the other hand, was seen by many -- and craved by many more. And the fate of this unusual staff ties in with another legendary weapon most never encountered: Andonisus, Reaper of Souls.

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Filed under: Lore

Know Your Lore: The haunting legacy of Grom Hellscream

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

I chose Garrosh because he has the strength to lead our people through these trying times. For all my supposed wisdom, there have been moments that I've barely been able to hold the Horde together. The Wrath Gate and Undercity displayed that clearly.

The Horde cries for a hero of old. An orc of true blood that will bow to no human and bear no betrayal. A warrior that will make our people proud again. Garrosh can be that hero. I did not make this decision lightly, Vol'jin.

I know our alliances will suffer for it. I know the Horde will be irreversibly changed. But I made this choice with confidence that Garrosh is exactly what the Horde needs. I'm trusting you and the other leaders to not let this divide our people. You are stronger than that.

Let's just cut to the chase here: It was revealed in the press event information that Garrosh Hellscream, current Warchief of the Horde, will have his reign abruptly ended in Mists of Pandaria. The son of the great Grom Hellscream will no longer be Warchief, and it's not only the Alliance that will be participating in his dethroning -- it's the Horde as well. Though it may seem like a rash course of action, in all honesty, this has been coming for a very, very long time.

After all, he is the son of Hellscream.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Rumble Between the Junglers: How the DotA fight began

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Defense of the Ancients is a genre all unique to itself. Sure, the concepts are not brand new and the bulk of the original game was created using the Warcraft III World Editor, but the lasting appeal and standing reverence of the DotA genre continues today and shows no sign of slowing down. Part tower defense, part real-time strategy unit movement, this game type has experienced astounding growth all over the world over the last decade. As the genre grows, Defense of the Ancients-style games, or MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arenas), or ARTS (action real-time strategy), or... wait... what are we calling this genre?

My initial reaction to the entire naming fiasco was wonderfully summed up by Joystiq's own JC Fletcher: "Which giant company has the rights to the fan-created, community-promoted word 'Dota?'" He's right to be cynical -- justice will be meted out over a word that was born in the Blizzard maps community because of the actions of two super-huge gaming companies. That's not all there is to the story, however.

Therein lies the crux of the hot topic of the day -- Blizzard has finally thrown in its opposition of Valve's attempt to trademark the name Dota for its upcoming release of DOTA 2, a literal successor to the original DotA throne. The problem is that there are a whole bunch more facts, people, and anecdotes in this story than most people know.

I wrote a short post on the Dota trademark issue a few days ago that served as the basic of basics, what the news was about. Here's the short version: Valve is attempting to trademark a name that many gamers (and companies) consider to be a general term for the genre rather than the proper name for the game that spawned the genre. Hell, it could be both.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Know Your Lore: The Third War, part 2


The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

A few months back, I started on an overview of the Third War. As you can see from reading it, the following week, I did not in fact talk about the Third War at all. If you're familiar with my Thrall piece for KYL, you understand this is something that happens to me from time to time. I fully intended to go into more details about the war, but I got sidetracked by something shiny or a colorful ball of twine or what have you.

But with Wrath of the Lich King a month from its exit from center stage, it's time to look back again at the war that made it all possible.

After the Culling of Stratholme, Arthas Menethil had taken his first steps into obsession. The Culling itself is often treated as an indefensible act that proves Arthas was already evil, but I personally see it as the first tipping point, when a young and idealistic man who wanted to do right by his people was presented with an untenable choice and let his own impulsive nature decide. Waiting outside the city for the residents to turn into undead and destroying them as they attempted to escape was, after all, neither a more merciful nor a more prudent option. In the end, Arthas made the choice he did, and in so doing alienated both Uther, his direct superior as a paladin (and one who has his father's ear, to boot) and Jaina, his on-again, off-again romance. This left him free to pursue Mal'Ganis to Northrend.

His actions would change the face of Azeroth and her nations forever.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

BlizzCon 2010: Closing ceremonies

As BlizzCon 2010 comes to an end, Paul Sams (chief operating officer of Blizzard) started out the ceremonies. A series of intentionally bad gamer jokes followed as he got the crowd ready. He then took it to a serious note and thanked attendees both attending in person and at home.

Blizzard used this opportunity to bring out the tournament winners. Warcraft 3 winner Remind (night elf) from South Korea and StarCraft 2 winner NEXGenius (protoss), also from South Korea, were presented with $25,000 for being grand prize winners. They will also be getting an eSports ring customized to their game that's the size of Superbowl rings. The WoW Arena tournament was still going on at this point (*aAa* vs compLexity.Red), so there was no winner to announce for it yet.

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Blizzard bans 320,000 WarCraft III and Diablo II players

Blizzard appears to be cleaning house in preparation for its StarCraft II release as well as its Battle.net revamp. In a recent announcement on the service's forums, Blizzard rep Bashiok revealed that over 300,000 accounts were punished for violations of the terms of service for Warcraft III and Diablo II for using hacks and illegal third-party tools (which are essentially hacks).

For those of you who have had past experience with Battle.net, these numbers probably don't surprise you. The network has had a long reputation of being fairly easy on people using hacks as Blizzard tends to save up over a long period of time in order to do a massive batch of bans at once. This means that those who are using hacks have a long period of time to abuse the system before anything is done about it. The hacks for some games were rampant enough that other players began using hacks that detect other hacks. Regardless of the reason behind using a hack, it is still against the terms of service and means if you get caught, you're out.

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Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Recent Nvidia drivers causing catastrophic failures

If you're using an Nvidia graphics card you should check your drivers, as there is a chance the newest drivers could cause your card to overheat during World of Warcraft, the Starcraft II Beta, or even Warcraft III. Blizzplanet reports the issue complete with links to two threads on the Nvidia forums discussing the issue, including one that states that Nvidia will be updating the driver in the near future.

Please check your drivers to make sure you're not using the versions that cause this problem and roll back if you can.

Datth - Low FPS with Nvidia 196.75 drivers
We're getting reports where users are getting intermittent low FPS after installing these drivers. It seems that it is related to the fan control included in these drivers not working correctly and is causing the video card to overheat on 3D applications. This will affect Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2 Beta. Please uninstall the drivers and revert back to the older ones.

Windows XP: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_196.21_whql.html
Windows XP 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp64_196.21_whql.html
Windows Vista/7 32-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7_winvista_32bit_196.21_whql.html
Windows Vista/7 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win7_winvista_64bit_196.21_whql.html

More information can be found on threads such as these:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=161525
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=161503


Filed under: News items

Man forced to choose between his wife and his orc

The Scottish Sun reports that a Scottish man made the news for having to choose between his wife and his orc. 42-year old Robert Cushnie was the proud owner of a life-sized World of Warcraft Thrall statue, one of several that Vivendi commissioned from Studio Oxmox to promote Warcraft III (along with a Night Elf female statue). The telecommunications manager scored the 185cm. tall statue when a toy store in nearby Falkirk closed down six years ago.

Much to the dismay of geeks everywhere, Cushnie's wife Dee wasn't comfortable sharing her home with a green-skinned orc and threatened to move back to her Canadian homeland if her husband didn't ditch the Horde Warchief. His wife reportedly said that there was "no room for (the orc) in our life," and Cushnie prudently chose Dee, whom he married in February 2009, over the huge statue. "I just don't like it," Dee said, "I'm only 5ft 3in, so it towers over me, which is quite creepy."

The statue was adopted by a couple in Aberdeen, Michael Thomson, 61, and his wife, Patricia, 55, who report that their 16-year old granddaughter is thrilled with the acquisition. "We wanted him because he's so unusual," said Patricia. Robert and Dee will move to Canada later this month sans the orc. "I'll miss him," Cushnie said, "but I'm glad he's gone to a good home." As this little episode proves, not even the most badass orc can mess with marital bliss!

Filed under: Humor

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

Pandaren in the World of Warcraft

In among all of the "omg fake pets for real money" drama from this week's announcement, we may have missed something big: the Pandaren are now live in the World of Warcraft. The Pandaren are my favorite Azerothian race, even though they're essentially a joke -- Samwise Didier just loves pandas, and he made art for an April Fool's joke that Chris Metzen loved so much they decided to include the bears as real characters in Warcraft III. Since then, they've become fan favorites (not least of all, especially for me, because alcohol and ale are a big part of their culture), but we've only seen hints of them in World of Warcraft. There was a rumor going around a while back that they would never appear in the game because China didn't allow depictions of violence against the bears, but that was just a rumor. Still, the Pandaren have existed in WoW only as a Blizzard in-joke. We assume they're out there somewhere, but until now, no one has ever seen one.

Of course we say "until now" because there are now little Pandaren monk noncombat pets running around, bowing, and doing magical kung-fu. Does this mean that the future Emerald Dream expansion will have us all playing as Brewmasters? While yes that would be awesome, not so fast again: Diablo and the Zergling from Starcraft are both in the game as noncombat pets, and they don't mean anything at all (although they were both included in the game before the announcements of Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 -- maybe Blizzard is working on a Pandaren-based puzzle game? Conspiracy theorists, assemble!). And just because we all have Grunty doesn't mean murlocs are suddenly going to take to spaceships with battle rifles in the official lore. But it's cool to see Pandaren actually in the game, even in pet form, and who knows, maybe we will one day find the legendary realm of Pandaria in our own version of Azeroth.

Filed under: Alliance, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Take a wander down memory lane with the History of Warcraft

Just in time for the inevitable announcement of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, IGN have decided to turn in the opposite direction and take a peek at this history of this momumental franchise. They've posted an epic five-page retrospective feature on the entire Warcraft franchise as part of the run up to BlizzCon.

It looks at everything from the original game, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, to the failed Thrall-centric loregasm that was Warcraft Adventures right on through to Warcraft II and III. Of course, they also look in detail at World of Warcraft and its two expansions, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.

If you only discovered the Warcraft franchise with WoW, as I did, it's a fascinating glimpse into one of gaming's biggest franchises. World of Warcraft is not just a game or a single mythology, it's the culmination of a decade of gaming history. So if you've got an hour to kill before the fun and games today, you might want to check this out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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