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Posts with tag bioware

5 things WoW could learn from Star Wars: The Old Republic

One of the hallmarks of the MMO genre is the fluidity at which these games can change. New pieces are added on and entire game systems are revamped in ways that would utterly decimate closed games that ship on the disc and then that's the end of it. With the impending release of The Old Republic, I wanted to give a rundown of some of the features and game systems that I personally feel would be at home in World of Warcraft along with cool ways Blizzard could grow its own world. (Also, check out my previous article about other MMO concepts WoW could borrow from.)

AoE looting, redux

AoE corpse looting is the new hotness, and it's here to stay. The fact that Blizzard has not found a way to even make AoE looting an option in WoW yet goes beyond my capacity to understand. Rift made the concept part of the mainstream, and The Old Republic is solidifying the feature as a Day One expectation.

In both of these games, players can choose to loot all corpses in an area around them at once instead of having to click on each corpse individually. Not only is this a great quality-of-life change for players, since less clicking is usually a good thing, but it also helps many players with disabilities who have trouble finding that one corpse under a hundred.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

BioWare says WoW is the touchstone for Star Wars: The Old Republic

When game developers talk about massively multiplayer games these days, World of Warcraft is the proverbial big man on campus. At the DICE summit keynote panel in Las Vegas, Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of Bioware, stated that WoW was the touchstone for standards in the MMO sphere and for upcoming Bioware MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. Essentially, Zeschuk was saying that breaking rules that World of Warcraft set as industry standards is a bad idea for any up and coming MMO.

Zeschuk said: "It [World of Warcraft] is a touchstone. It has established standards, it's established how you play an MMO. Every MMO that comes out, I play and look at it. And if they break any of the WoW rules, in my book that's pretty dumb."

What's interesting is how Zeschuk, sitting with Mike Morhaime at the keynote panel, gave WoW the reverence it deserves as the leading industry standard in MMO gaming. Instead of couching his remarks about the specific game he was in the process of making, he discussed how players expect a set of established standards that WoW has provided. Be it a sense of completion of polish, a game mechanic, core concepts, or even art direction and fluidity of art theme, World of Warcraft set the bar very high for other game developers and even Blizzard itself.

We know WoW is big, but I think we sometimes forget how important it is as well. Greg Zeschuk and the rest of the video game industry know this and acknowledge that breaking some clear-cut rules is a big mistake.

Filed under: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Lessons from Single Player RPGs

I'm sure by now it's pretty much no secret whatsoever that half the team, myself included, spent a good part of the waning days of Patch 3.2 enamored with Dragon Age Origins. Maybe it's the innocent charm of the leading man, Alistair, the deep and involved game world, or the fact that Marilyn Manson totally warned us that this was gonna be big, but I'm in deep. Patch 3.3 is finally dragging me back to WoW with its pure awesomeness, but Dragon Age is still pretty fresh in my mind, and there's more DLC to come.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Lore, RP

Ten things WoW players should know from E3


Blizzard, as you probably already know, was not at E3 this year (officially, anyway -- they did have at least a few folks wandering the exhibit halls). But that doesn't mean there wasn't anything for you WoW fans: both Elizabeth Harper and I were there from WoW.com working with our sister sites Joystiq and Massively, and as WoW fans, we saw plenty of awesome games and demos that you should know about.

So even if you haven't been paying attention to E3 information on other sites, here's a quick wrapup of ten different things you should know from last week's big convention if you're a WoW player. There were no big expansion announcements or hints at future Blizzard releases -- they're saving all of that for BlizzCon this year. But there were a few games to watch, a few booths to marvel at, and a few trends to notice that you'll want to be aware of even if you're spending most or all of your gaming time in Azeroth. Hit the break for the first four.

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

Blizzard vs. Relic Entertainment in The Escapist's March Mayhem

The good folks over at the Escapist are giving March Madness a little game developer spin -- they've pitted 64 different videogame developers up against each other in an NCAA Basketball-style showdown, with readers voting for which dev moves on to the next match. And our favorite developer, Activision-Blizzard, is still in the running after a few rounds: they've beaten Wideload Games and Crytek, and are currently facing Relic Entertainment (makers of the Dawn of War RTS series, as well as the classic Homeworld). Unfortunately, Escapist had to list them as "Activision-Blizzard," though what we're really voting for here is Blizzard, since companies who make Activision's other hits (like Infinity Ward, who make the best Call of Duty games, as well as Neversoft, who've overseen most of the Guitar Hero games lately) have their own places in the showdown.

Blizzard's got a tough road ahead, though -- if they win, they're likely facing fan favorite Harmonix (heck, I love Harmonix), and then will probably show down against either Bioware or Rockstar, both extremely popular developers. The other side of the bracket will likely have heavyweights like Nintendo and Valve coming out of it, too, so it'll be a tough road if Blizzard wants to make it to the top.

To vote, you just have to head over to The Escapist's forums -- the next round starts tomorrow morning, and every few days they're moving the developers on to the next matchup. The final round will be decided on April 8th, and while of course winning means nothing at all, this is a nice chance to show off your developer pride. Say what you want about the recent class changes, but Blizzard has given you Starcraft, Diablo, and World of Warcraft -- how can you not vote for them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor

LucasArts: Star Wars MMO will be bigger than WoW

You may have missed this story last week (we wouldn't blame you if you were busy fighting off the living dead), but there was a big announcement in the world of MMO games. BioWare, makers of Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate, and last year's terrific Mass Effect, announced in conjunction with EA and LucasArts that they were going to make their first MMO, set in the same universe as their critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game. Massively's got tons of news about it if you're interested (and even though we won't see it for years and years, I definitely am).

But LucasArts didn't stop there -- years before the game is even scheduled to come out, they're ready to say the game will be bigger than WoW. Now, we get it -- WoW's the 800 lb. gorilla of MMOs, and thus they make the biggest target you'll find. But please, can we see some actual gameplay before the hype machine gets rolling?

If they don't actually release the game until WoW's servers are turned off, then sure, they'll be bigger than WoW, and hey, maybe if BioWare is able to make their game casual and accessible enough (we're looking at you, Mass Effect inventory system), they'll be able to come close to WoW's current peak of almost 11 million players. But LucasArts, let's get the game working before we start bragging about how big it's going to be.

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

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