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Posts with tag blizzard-insider

Blizzard looking to expand microtransactions?

Purchasable transmog helm
An article over at Gamespot has recently brought to attention the fact that Blizzard is seeking both a manager and a director for a new unit within the company: "Microtransaction Strategy". For those of you paying attention to ongoing trends in the video game industry, this in particular might pique your interest. As we all well know, 2013 was a landmark year in terms of new titles for Blizzard with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and their announced MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. Both of these games are going to be free-to-play, which means that they'll be relying on microtransactions to generate cash flow.

With World of Warcraft being one of the few remaining MMOs that still charges a monthly subscription fee, I think it's fair to say that Blizzard hasn't been at the forefront of microtransaction-driven financing, despite the existence (and success) of WoW's purchasable pets, mounts, and transmog gear. However, the establishment of both the Microtransaction Strategy team and job openings therein point to some development along that front. It will be interesting to see what other types of microtransaction offers become available in Blizzard games in the future.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard Insider previews Mogu'shan Vaults raid

Blizzard Insider previews Mogu'shan Vaults raid
The most recent Blizzard Insider interviews Scott Mercer and Ion Hazzikostas, lead encounter designers, to discuss the Mogu'shan Vaults raid coming with the release of Mists of Pandaria. Quite a few details about the upcoming raid are to be had, including the following:
  • It will launch with the raid finder, 10-man and 25-man normal, and 10-man and 25-man heroic modes, for a total of five different modes for the raid.
  • "Observant players may even notice a certain 'titanic' influence in lair's defenses."
  • Since the mogu (and most other Mists of Pandaria races and settings) are entirely new with this expansion, the design team had to design their "kits," the kinds of monsters and art you'd expect to see in dungeons featuring them. The mogu kit includes the terracotta warriors, the quilien statues, and certain Titan-based themes.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard Insider #39 goes behind the scenes with the art of the Firelands

Patch 4.2 brought back one of the most iconic WoW villains in the game's history -- Ragnaros, the Firelord. Blizzard Insider interviewed two critical members of the dev team, Lead Level Designer Jonathan Dumont and Lead Environment Artist Gary Platner, to discuss the process and philosophy behind the Firelands' design. Dumont and Platner go into detail about the origins of the Firelands, the design decisions that made the cut and some that didn't, and how the environment animates with the new particle and water effects.

Firelands is one of the most cohesive and engaging locales Blizzard's team has brought to life, in my opinion. Much like Deepholm and Vashj'ir, the Firelands exists to bring the realm of fire to life, when the daunting Sulfuron Keep only existed in our imaginations prior. An interesting piece of info was that Ragnaros' model was rebuilt from scratch, completely overhauling his skeleton, animations, and feel. The new Ragnaros is one of those things, to me, that the Cataclysm did right -- create a new thing with the heart and soul of the original. Ragnaros looks like he belongs.

Check out the full interview after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

Daelo and Ghostcrawler discuss the Lich King

The latest edition of Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's very sporadic email newsletter (and no relation to our old name, WoW Insider) has been released. Issue 32 features a note that the Starcraft II: WIngs of Liberty site has been revamped, blurbs about the mobile Authenticator and the Armory app, and some calls to buy their merchandise.

More interesting for WoW fans, though, is an interview with Scott Mercer (Daelo), WoW's lead encounter designer, and Greg Street (Ghostcrawler), a crab who needs no introduction. They discussed the arc of Arthas and the Lich King from Warcraft II through World of Warcraft (congratulations again to Blood Legion on their 10-man world-first).

Please note that here there be spoilers for some details about the Arthas fight, so stay away if you want it all to be a surprise.

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Filed under: Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Blizzard Insider Issue 30 released today


Issue 30 of Blizzard's newsletter, the Blizzard Insider, is hitting inboxes this afternoon. These newsletters don't come often, but when they do, there's always some good stuff the comes along with it. On the World of Warcraft front, beyond the screenshots and fan art, we have a few new pages to check out:
For our general Blizzard fans among our readership (which is a pretty large number of you/us), we have a couple of Diablo III and Starcraft II items from the community:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

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