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Posts with tag anniversary

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

Guildwatch: "Enjoy the Soviet Union"

Oh my -- we've heard about undercutting prices on the AH before (and everyone knows that when you get undercut on the AH, you just buy the lower sales and bring them back up to your prices), but I don't think I've ever seen someone get quite so angry about it. Blueroot was just chugging along, selling Runecloth at what his Auctioneer claimed it should be, and all of a sudden Crunkya showed up, angry that he'd been undercut so much and had to invest so much money in someone that was clearly an Obama voter. Wait, what? Yeah, we're not sure how he got there either, but you can see the result above.

Lots more drama, as well as downed and recruiting news, in this week's Guildwatch, which starts up right after the break below. If you have a tip for us, from your guild or just a guild you've been following on your realm, please do take a second and email us about it at We get a lot of tips and it takes a lot of time to sift through them, but as long as you make it look like what you see below (keep it short and sweet, include all necessary guild info), you'll see it here.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

Pandaren Monk pet has moves

MMO Champion has datamined up some video of the new Pandaren Monk vanity pet that's been floating around, and as you can see above, it's pretty darned awesome. Just like the Grunty the Murloc pet, this one comes with some fun animations, and they look terrific. Blizzard has been pretty coy about getting the Pandaren into the game, and they're teasing big here, too -- this little bear's got moves that would make the Diablo III Monk hang his head in shame.

However, the question remains: how do we get it? At this point, it's just speculation and rumor -- some say it might be a special anniversary pet for people who've been subscribed all five years of the game's life, some suggest it might be part of the Cataclysm collector's edition (past CEs have had a pet in each one, including a Diablo figure in the first box), and still others suggest that the Monk will be a new pet in the upcoming Brewfest holiday. How do we get it, really? We won't know for sure until we hear it from Blizz.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs, Achievements, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: The Return of Onyxia

It's not just Cataclysm that we're hearing about at BlizzCon: in addition to Icecrown Citadel, we're also seeing news about the upcoming revamp to Onyxia's Lair. As we previously reported, Onyxia will be retooled as a 10/25 man raid with an updated loot table consisting of classic Tier 1 and 2 skins with stats in line with Wrath of the Lich King levels. A fitting return since her dad's totally going to come beat us all up in Cataclysm.

We have a gallery below, but be warned: Onyxia's not going to be the same fight as she was at level 60. New spells and abilities are promised to help keep the fight fresh and interesting for new players. All in all, a fitting return for the Brood Mother just before her flight takes center stage in the next expansion. However, with a sweet mount available (and a cute pet for just logging on during the event) as well as all that gear, I'm sure we're all eagerly awaiting our turn to handle many whelps.

BlizzCon 2009 is here! has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Bosses, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 100: Trip down memory lane

We recorded our 100th podcast last Saturday, and it was a doozy. There was so much awesomeness, in fact, that our recording equipment just couldn't handle all of it. But worry not -- below you'll find a kind of a clip show, including all of our looks at the history of the funniest moments in the show (including one moment that we've never before had on the recorded feed), as well as some discussion by our guests John "BigBearButt" Patricelli and Brigwyn (along with Turpster and I) about the Druid and Hunter Q&As last week. We don't have the video coming into iTunes, but just in case you want to see my ugly mug talking, you can watch the archived video over on the Ustream page. Turpster also had video running during the show, but that's what caused most of our lag, and Ustream doesn't record that anyway.

The show also includes not one but two different songs we've recorded over the past few years, as well as a short look at what things were like on our very first episode (the very first time Turpster and I were ever on the air together). It's been quite an amazing two years, and thanks again, our listeners, for all your support so far.

Enjoy the show -- we'll be back as usual next weekend, to kick off our next 100 shows (and of course BlizzCon is right around the corner: we'll be streaming live from the meetup, and we're planning on doing a special podcast with our staff there every single night after the show, too).

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Celebrating a guild anniversary in style

Pink Pigtail Inn has what is probably the most involved guild anniversary I've ever seen. We've seen quite a few anniversaries and events come through Guildwatch, but this one takes the cake: a huge competitive scavenger hunt, complete with out-of-game clues, banned class abilities (so teams could be balanced out), and even self-made quests involving the guild's lore. It's probably rare to find a group of officers that can be this committed to something normally considered "an RP event," but obviously it worked out, because the whole guild really enjoyed it.

The context Larisa puts this in, however, is even more interesting. According to the Daedalus Project (a series of surveys of MMO players -- we've mentioned their work before), the majority of players can't celebrate a guild's anniversary anyway, as they haven't been in their guilds for even a year yet. I've never considered it, but it's true: while we are very attached to our guildies when we do find a good guild, we aren't really attached to them for very long, relatively speaking. There are stories of guilds going on for decades, but even those guilds have players coming and going -- if your guild has the same group of people playing together for a few years, you're probably in a smaller group than you think. PPI's example is a great one for any guilds who have been around long enough to celebrate it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Virtual selves, Guilds, Quests

WoW Moviewatch: Serenity Now and the funeral

Caution: There is some offensive language in this video.

This weekend was the third anniversary of WoW Insider, and when I was putting together the big list of our top ten stories ever, I noticed there was one missing. Even though it happened in April of 2006 (we started posting in December of 2005), we never really covered the Serenity Now funeral attack. But it is one of the biggest stories in World of Warcraft, whether you think it's atrocious or hilarious or whatever, so during today's Moviewatch, we'll give it its due.

A woman who played WoW passed away in real life, and her guildies decided to hold an ingame funeral for her -- in the contested zone of Wintergrasp Winterspring (of course -- too much Wrath lately, sorry) On a PvP server. And though now, four years into the game, we know exactly what would happen, back then, it came as a surprise -- as you've probably seen in the video (set to some amazing music), the guild Serenity Now crashed the funeral and pretty much decimated everyone who showed up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, PvP, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Insider's top ten stories of all-time

Today, December 6, is the third anniversary of our little site. We actually started posting a few weeks beforehand, to get up and running, but the official launch was over on our parent Joystiq on December 6th, 2005. Since then, we've posted over 12,000 posts, commenters have commented over half a million times, and people have visited the site over two hundred million times (millions more if you count all the RSS readers out there). Oh, and we've covered nine classes, 27 builds, nine major content patches (and hundreds if not thousands of class and content changes), and absorbed the angry yells, QQ tears, cheerful applause and apathetic mehs of all of you hundred of thousands of readers. What a ride it's been.

And so, to look back at our little piece of history today, we figured we'd check back over the records (all the records we have), and come up with a top ten list of our most popular stories of all time. Keep in mind that this is a list of our most popular stories -- while it does include our most popular posts of all time, we had to make a few tweaks and filters to make it all make sense (our most popular page of all time, other than the front page, surprise, is actually page 2). But this will offer you a good look at just what WoW Insider is all about -- from our great looks at some of the biggest stories in Warcraft, to an interesting view of just what you, our readers are really interested in.

Thanks for the memories -- the site has only gotten bigger almost every single month during the past three years, and that's because readers like you come and visit to see what we're posting. Click the first link below to see story number 10, and follow the links all the way up to number one.

Number 10: Blizzard takes a stand on erotic RP...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Features, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Four years of World of Warcraft

Yes, as you know from the little Blizzard Bear in your mailbox, yesterday was the fourth anniversary of our favorite game, World of Warcraft. It's been a huge four years -- we've seen Blizzard develop and change massively multiplayer games as we know them, and gaming as a whole in some ways. We've grown our own characters up all the way from level one to 30 and 60 and 70 and beyond, and we've gone through two expansions, eight endgames, countless patches and class changes, endless guild achievements and breakups and many, many "dings" and "grats."

We at WoW Insider would like to congratulate Blizzard on four years of World of Warcraft -- it's been an amazing ride so far, and it's not over yet. After the break, some of our writers have posted their own thoughts and memories on the game's anniversary, and please add your own in the comments below.

It could seem silly to celebrate the anniversary of a videogame, especially one that, if you've been playing since day one, you've spent over $800 and countless hours on. But then again, look at what this game has given back: groups and guilds full of friends (and some spouses), weeknights full of gear upgrades and XP gains, Saturday afternoons spent slaying dragons and Sunday evenings spent picking herbs in the Swamp of Sorrows or admiring the sunsets in Hinterlands. We've played this game for four years, and for most of us, it's been worth every quest. Here's to many, many more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

Happy second anniversary, WoW Europe!

Shane Dabiri is a bit wordy about it -- talking about the arena system opening up on the 16th, the future opening of the Black Temple where players will encounter Illidan, and the growth of the European community -- I think his basic message can be summed up as follows:

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday WoW Europeeee... Happy birthday to you!

And I think that's a sentiment we can all agree with. Congrats, Europe, for making it through two WoW-filled years. Try not to have too much fun celebrating your big day.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

2nd anniversary contest announced!

Like everyone else, I saw the announcement on the game's loading screen. But I wasn't overly impressed with the rewards, nor did I see anything about how to enter. Lucky for us, all you have to do to learn these things is read a dense text-only page of legalspeak. And lucky for you, I've done that and condensed the information into handy bulletpoints. (However, to get the full details, you may still want to check the official rules.)

To enter, you must fill the following requirements. Accounts fitting the criteria will be automatically entered.
  • Have a World of Warcraft account in good standing as of October 29th, 2006. (I.e. not permanately banned.)
  • Be a resident of the United States (excluding Florida, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, and other U.S territories and possessions). The exclusions aren't because Blizzard hates Floridians -- but because of regulations regarding contests in those areas.
  • Be 18 years old or older. Sorry, kids.
The prizes are actually better than first glance would tell you -- each week's prizes are an improvement over the last.
  • During the first week, two winners will be chosen every business day to receive a $100 JINX gift certificate
  • During the second week, two winners will be chosen every business day to receive a Razor Copperhead Precision mouse, a Razor Mantis Control Speed Mat, and a Barracuda HP-1 Headset.
  • During the third week, one winner will be chosen every business day to receive an 80GB video iPod.
  • During the forth week, one winner will be chosen every business day to receive a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 7950 graphics card and a $100 JINX gift certificate.
  • During the fifth week, for players who have had an active account since November 29, 2005, one winner will be chosen every business day to receive an XPS Gaming Laptop, a $100 JINX gift certificate, and a 2-year World of Warcraft subscription.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

A year of WoW in Europe

World of Warcraft has been available in Europe for a year now, and to celebrate, lead produce Shane Dabiri has written a letter to the community. According to this, some of Blizzard's 2006 goals include fee-based character transfers, more content for casual level 60s and even more world events. It's difficult for Blizzard to work with such a diverse community, so "personal" attention like this is very welcome.

As part of the celebration, the anniversary contests are now open to enter, so get those chat-up lines ready.

February 11th, 2006 was a turning point for me; I started playing WoW on release date and I haven't looked back since. As a European player there are a few things that are very high on my wishlist. My main problem is not being able to play with American friends; despite hints from Blizzard that such a thing would be possible, they have since said that nothing is planned along these lines yet. I can understand why Blizzard segregate their customers, but for those of us who game internationally it can still be annoying.

Character transfers will take care of another wishlist item, although it's going to take a lot of organisation amongst my various WoW-playing friends and acquaintances to consolidate our servers. Finally, I would really like some European-themed events, and--admittedly, this is a minor point--localisation of in-game text to British English ("honour" kills would be excellent). Despite this, we've had a great year together; thanks, Blizzard!

Filed under: Blizzard

European first anniversary approaches

On the 11th of February 2005, Europe changed forever. Thousands of gamers--make that over one million to date--rushed out to buy World of Warcraft, and many of us haven't looked back since.

WoW Europe's first birthday is approaching, and as part of the celebration Blizzard are offering two competitions: a fan art contest themed around "One Year of Loving WoW" and a WoW pick-up lines competition. I don't envy Blizzard the job of sifting through thousands of identical entries along the line of "Hey baby, wanna see my epics?", but who knows? Maybe those tired old /flirt voice emotes will change at last.

Filed under: News items

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