Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag asia

Heroes of the Storm heads to Southeast Asia

We already knew Heroes of the Storm was heading to China, but now Blizzard has inked a deal to bring Heroes -- and possibly other games -- to more of Southeast Asia. Expanding on Blizzard's existing agreement with Asiasoft -- which currently distributes Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, and World of Warcraft in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore -- the deal now includes Heroes of the Storm and features distribution to the Philippines as well. Marketing and operation for the game in the Philippines will be handled by Asiasoft subsidiary Level Up! Inc.

No launch date has been set for Heroes of the Storm -- currently in technical alpha -- domestically or internationally, but we assume it will arrive on the traditional Blizzard schedule of "when it's ready."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Heroes of the Storm

WoW Archivist: WoW in China, an uncensored history -- part 2

Joyland statues
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

In China, few Western games have been more embraced than World of Warcraft. But few games have endured more scrutiny from the government and more interruptions. As WoW Archivist covered two weeks ago, Chinese players have put up with censorship, endless waits for expansions, and intense bureaucratic meddling that shut the servers down for months. But their enthusiasm for the game remains.

Today, we will look at the more recent years of WoW in China, the raiding scene there, and the game's impact on popular culture, including a certain infamous theme park...

Too soon, Executus

After sorting out issues with the Ministry of Culture and GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications), WoW operator NetEase was on a roll. Though Cataclysm also faced delays, it launched in China on July 12, 2011 -- just half a year after the Western release. By the standards of prior expansions in China, this release was practically instantaneous.

In a bitter irony, however, the expansion actually arrived too soon.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

25-man raids have harder challenges and better rewards on Asian realms

Difficulty level Asian

The European raiding team Method had a chance to interview Ion Hazzikostas, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer. Most of the discussion centered around the recently released item upgrade system that came in patch 5.1. One of the more interesting tidbits is how item rewards and raids are slightly different in Asia compared to the European and North American regions.

Ion Hazzikostas

How does the upgrading system work on the Asian servers? From what I have seen their items are upgradable not 2, but 4 times. Won't this result in a problem while tuning the bosses of the next content?

Ion: The way it works in Asia, we actually use the upgrade system to create the distinction between 10 player and 25 player that we previously announced for 5.1. So in Korea, Taiwan and China, when you kill a boss in 25 player mode, it drops an item that is already 2/4. So instead of 496, it drops as 504 but can be upgraded 2 more times, so effectively they are 8 ilvls higher but you are still only upgrading any item twice. The other thing that is changed in 5.1, is actually that all 25 player bosses have 8% more health and do 8% more damage, than they do in the US or Europe. It is a bit more like the Wrath of the Lich King system, where 25man is just harder and drops higher item level loot but in theory doing 25 player with 25 player loot in Asia should be the same as doing 25 with 25 loot in Europe/US.

Items that drop in 10-man raids have 0/2 upgrades. Items that drop in 25 man raids have 2/4 upgrades. This is similar to the Wrath of the Lich King model of rewards. Blizzard has already stressed that Asian realms aren't used as "experimental realms" for possible system changes in other regions around the world. In other words, it isn't likely that we'll see these types of reward systems in place anytime soon. But it's an interesting solution to the whole 10 man vs 25 man raiding issue and logistics incentives.

The interview dove into other topics such as:

  • Brawler's Guild
  • Dominance Offensive
  • Current raiding discussion

To those of you who play on Asian realms, we'd love to hear from you regarding your raiding experiences and this reward structure. 25-man raids seems to be the dominant raiding format compared to 10-man raids in that region.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

Wrath expected in China in mid-November

Because of all the chaos (from switched providers to government approval) on China's version of World of Warcraft, they haven't actually had a chance to release the Wrath expansion over there yet. They were planning to bring it out ASAP, but that obviously never worked out. But we hear now, finally, that the wait is almost over. They are still going through content checks, and Netease (WoW's new provider over there) says it has some more work to do, but at this point they're aiming for a mid-November release.

This doesn't mean much for us in the rest of the world -- and before you commenters mention goldsellers, know that most "Chinese goldfarmers" actually play on NA/EU servers anyway, and have been doing so even with the outage overseas. It does, however, mean that China's guilds and playerbase at large will finally have access to all of the content we've enjoyed for almost a year (the expansion was released in North America and Europe last November 13th -- remember that?), including death knights, the new Naxxramas, and all of the other Northrend content. The release should be a nice bonus for Netease as well -- they've been working hard to try and get the game up to date, and releasing the current expansion should help bring in a nice group of new customers.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

Chinese WoW wraps up closed beta, to start charging soon


It looks like the long saga of World of Warcraft's transfer of operatorship in China is almost finally over -- NetEase has announced that the closed beta period is done with, and that they're just about ready to open up normal registration and bring the game back to for-pay status. They're still pending government approval there, so they're not quite online and running yet, but they have closed off registration to new players, and will only bring it back online when they're ready to start charging yet again. Of course, their pay scheme there is different from here in the US and EU -- they often charge per hour to play rather than a constant monthly subscription. But however they decide to charge, NetEase seems sure that by the end of the month, things will finally be back to normal in China's version of Azeroth.

Meanwhile, the former operator of the game, The9, has announced that they are extending by a month the option for former players to get refunds for their prepaid game cards. That option was originally planned to end on September 7th, but players of the game who have unused cards will have another 30 days to redeem them back for cash. All of this back-and-forth originally started back in April of this year, but it seems like, five months later, the game might finally be getting back to normal.

Filed under: Patches, Realm Status, Blizzard, Hardware

The9 may release WotLK to China on February 19th

Rumor has it that The9, the company that runs World of Warcraft in China, will be releasing the game's latest expansion there a week and a day from today, on February 19th, after holding a press conference a day earlier. We just recently got sent a question here at WoW Insider asking why the US and EU kills were often called "world firsts," and this is why: China usually gets expansion content much later than the other regions of the game do.

But recently, Blizzard mentioned that they were aiming to release the content closer together, and this appears to be a result of that: it's still not simultaneous, obviously, but a few months is better than a year or so. Apparently 17173.com has heard that China will be getting Wrath of the Lich King next week, so if that does happen, we can look for the first Chinese level 80 and the first Chinese clears of Naxx and the other endgame raids soon after that.

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

World of Warcraft hard drive by Transcend


I swear I came up with this idea yesterday -- my hard drive has been having problems with World of Warcraft, and the thought occurred to me to buy an external USB hard drive and get WoW and all of my addons loaded on it. That way, I could not only avoid the errors on my current hard drive, but I could also take my installation with me whereever I went. I wasn't sure it would work (and after a few repairs and a reinstallation, I appear to have WoW working again), so I haven't followed it up.

But a company called Transcend was way ahead of me. In Asia, they're selling a hard drive preloaded with a working Wrath installation on it. So all you need to do to play Warcraft on any computer with a USB hookup is plug in and run. You'd likely have to adjust the graphics settings depending on which computer you plugged into, but it's a great idea. Available sizes run from 160gb to 500gb, so I'd assume as well that you can use the rest of the drive as normal.

It looks official as well, but you never know -- it could be the The9, the company that runs Warcraft in Asia, has approved it, or Transcend could just be doing this on their own. Either way, this wouldn't be too hard to make yourself here in the states -- buy an HD, install WoW, and there you go.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Bobby Kotick talks about what Blizzard can do for Activision

The Wall Street Journal sat down to interview Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, and our little World of Warcraft game got a nice bit of face time (one wonders why no one's asking Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime about, say, Guitar Hero, but who are we to question the corporate structure?). Kotick says that Activision closely examined what everyone else was doing with MMOs and online gaming, and saw that the only real winner in the market was Blizzard. Rather than investing in their own franchise, then, they decided to just buy Blizzard from Vivendi (and as you know, that's what happened). Kotick says what's so difficult about running these online games is just the scale -- you've got to handle credit card fraud, keep thousands of servers up and running (and patched), and still provide a good experience for millions of players at a time.

Kotick also talks about the way that WoW is sold in Asia (there, instead of paying a monthly fee, many people in Internet cafes pay per hour in cash), and says that Blizzard's experience with setting up a viable pay model may come in handy with other Activision properties overseas, Guitar Hero being his first choice.

We're still not exactly clear on how all of this relationship works -- while both Blizzard and Activision have said in the past that it's hands off, you have to think that even though things are buddy-buddy now while the money's flowing, but what happens when the two sides start to disagree?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

WoW on Zazoox stations

Soley saw something strange at the airport in Denver: a console with PC games on it, including none other than World of Warcraft. Apparently there was a kiosk with a bunch of different games installed on it, and for a small fee, you could jump in and play any number of games, from Valve's FPSes (including Portal!) to our own big MMORPG.

The company doing this is called Zazoox -- they have a site that shows off all of their different consoles and offers them (for a price and a service charge) to vendors who can then put them up in public places. World of Warcraft isn't actually on their games list yet, so apparently it's just being tested in Denver and other places. Apparently, the price is 25 cents a minute, but as some of the commenters to Soley's post say, if you're entering your WoW password on what is basically a public computer and something goes wrong, it could cost you a lot more than that.

Of course, overseas in Asia, this kind of thing is common -- the vast majority of WoW players there play in public cafes and Internet houses, and in fact the pricing scheme of the game itself there is per hour, not per month like it is here. But for some reason, this kind of ubiquitous public gaming has never taken off in the West -- maybe Zazoox's consoles will get people playing out in public.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Hardware

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories