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Posts with tag blizzcon-wow

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm's guild revamp -- leveling and talents

Last week I talked about the massive guild overhaul unveiled at BlizzCon, and the impact these changes would have on guilds, for better or worse. This week I'd like to delve into the leveling system and guild talents. (I'll cover achievements and guild currency in a separate column later.)

Currently we know that guilds will level up as players participate in the following:
  • Boss kills
  • Rated battlegrounds and arenas
  • Leveling professions
  • Increasing faction reputations
Blizzard has stated that only the top 20 experience producers per day will count toward leveling. This is a smart idea. Without this limitation, I could easily see guilds recruiting every player possible just to level up quickly, and then discarding the players they don't really want once they hit level 20. Guild size should help in a small way, but it shouldn't be the determining factor of leveling progress.

One other factor I'd like see contribute to guild leveling is player achievements. Many of them, particularly for Heroic dungeons and raiding, are very difficult to get without a solid guild. Aside from a few vanity items along the way, there's no great reward for racking up a ton of achievement points. Yet, well-designed achievements (i.e., not the exploring or holiday achievements) demonstrate mastery of various aspects of the game. Shouldn't your guild be rewarded for having such players? Besides, it never hurts to give players more incentive to go out and /love some squirrels.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Video of the Hogger live raid at BlizzCon


Michael Gray mentioned it in his writeup of the Premonition live raid at BlizzCon 2009, but this is a moment so epic it's worth mentioning again, and now that there's video online, you can see it: in the final fight, none other than Hogger appeared to take on one of the best guilds in the game. And this was no mere Hogger, nor even the slightly-more-powerful Memory of Hogger seen in the Trial of Champions. No no -- this thing was a foul raid boss from the bowls of Deepholm, a one-shotting maniac that couldn't be controlled even by the best tank. As you can see in the video above, he charges like an angry Rhino -- he was originally pulled by a Hunter who was then one-shot so fast the aggro table cleared and Hogger reset instantly. And after the raid changed their collective pants, they took him on again, and it was all over but the Gnoll snickering.

He was immune to taunt, and he appeared to just pick a target at random, pinging around the raid like Batman beating up bad guys in his recent videogame. He only had about 600 hit points (some say 666, which would make sense), but he was immune to damage, or at least all forms of damage that Premonition tried to throw at him. In the end, even though they'd beaten Thaddius, Anub'Rekhan, and Patchwerk all at once, this level 80 Heroic version of Hogger was the one who wiped them. I saw Ozzy do War Pigs, but this Hogger fight was probably the most epic thing I saw in Anaheim last weekend.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Wow.com interviews Richard Knaak

On the second day of BlizzCon 2009, I got the chance to sit down with Richard Knaak, best selling author of countless novels, including many in the Warcraft universe, such as the War of the Ancients Trilogy, Day of the Dragon, and Night of Dragon. His upcoming projects include the Stormrage novel, as well as the Dragons of Outland manga trilogy. We talked about all this and more, and you can read our conversation below.

So of course, the big thing on everyone's mind is the new Stormrage book. How's it coming along? Is it near completion?


It's near completion, we're in the editing process, getting the OKs from Blizzard. You can find an excerpt in the latest volume of the Legends Manga, along with a story I wrote, sort of a Prologue that ties in with the book.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect lore-wise?

You know Blizzard likes to keep these secret, so I am going to be very limited in what I can talk about. It is Malfurion. It is about the Nightmare. And it is very current. That's the three biggest things I can say about it right off the bat. You'll see characters you know from the game and obviously from other books, and places you know from the game, and it's very current, very relevant. Of course, that's about all I can say. You know Blizzard, they love their secrets!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions part two


A week has passed since BlizzCon 2009 and we're still digging up more news, getting clarification from the blues, and analyzing all of the panels. Last week, Insider Trader discussed some of the major professions-related features coming up in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • Profession racial abilities and how they will be changing.
  • The new direction for Alchemy.
  • A totally revamped Fishing system!
  • Archaeology details and speculation about the leveling process.
  • The evolution of Inscription.
Then, continue on to part three of this discussion to learn more about:
  • Reforging and (not) repairing our own gear.
  • Woodworking.
  • Profession specializations and the new direction for differentiation.

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin, Archaeology

BlizzCon 2009: First impressions of Cataclysm races


For those interested in the subject, I've no doubt you've managed to pour through all of our Cataclysm-related coverage during BlizzCon. But lists of racial abilities and descriptions of starting zones only go so far in telling you what the Goblins and Worgen are really like. So now that BlizzCon's come to a close and the WoW.com team has had a chance to mull over time spent with the latest expansion we're going to give you what you really want to know about Cataclysm's new races: our honest impressions. Personally, I think Alex and Daniel's thoughts on the Worgen starting zone sums everything up:

Alex: TOP HATS
Daniel: FREAKING AWESOME TOP HATS

But for completeness' sake, the rest of the team's thoughts are below.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon in the rearview

BlizzCon 2009 is behind us, and over on the forums, Irhabi has reached the conclusion that he won't be going next year. He says that with everything streaming out onto DirecTV and the Internet, and with no beta access included, and (what he thought was) a less than stellar performance by Ozzy Osbourne, he might as well stayed at home. I don't particularly share his opinion -- there are lots of great reasons to go to BlizzCon, from getting to try out the latest builds of Blizzard's upcoming games, to meeting vendors and other fans on the floor, to getting the chance to ask your own questions of the devs (and maybe even meet some of them at the various parties around Anaheim). If you're just bummed that BlizzCon was lame because you didn't get a beta key this year, maybe you should have wandered the show floor a little bit.

On the other side of it, the folks who bought the DirecTV stream at home are a little more split on the subject -- we twittered to get some responses, and they run the gamut from "yes, it was worth it with the pet," to "no, they should have covered WoW more" (not only did the feed cut off halfway through the contest on Friday night -- we later heard from DirecTV employees that they could only broadcast a certain number of hours over the weekend, and that's where they made the cut -- but they also skipped a few big WoW panels for Starcraft coverage on the main stage instead). And don't even get us started on Jo Garcia, lovely and well-meaning though she may be (though Jay Mohr doesn't deserve the crap he's getting -- he did a respectable job this year). Fortunately, there were lots of other outlets to get your WoW news from, and odds are that Grunty will soothe your pains from the $40 you might feel you've wasted.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Tokyopop creates stories about the little guys

While wandering about the floor at BlizzCon, I stopped over at the TokyoPop Manga booth and spoke a bit with editor Troy Lewter, who we've talked to before.. Currently, the big series they write for the world of Azeroth is the Warcraft Legends series, which is on its 4th volume with a 5th due out next month.

Talking with Troy and other members of the Tokyopop team at the booth, what I was most struck with was the passion for the work and the universes of Blizzard's games that they display, and, perhaps more importantly, to the art and stories they tell.

Troy laid out three important concepts that they follow in creating the mangas: Telling a solid story, focusing on a few characters, and cross-pollinating with other forms of media.

In telling a solid story, the aim is to create the story such that you don't need to rely on the Warcraft world and characters, per se. In short, even if the story wasn't about Thrall or Varian or the Scarlet Crusade or anything else, you could still connect with the characters themselves.

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Filed under: Lore, RP, Interviews, Comics

BlizzCon 2009: Laguna Art Museum VIP dinner (Attn: Lore nerds)

When I found out that my friend Joe Gilbert AKA Kyliaar from the U.S. realm Destromath was attending the Laguna Art Museum VIP dinner on the eve of BlizzCon, I said "Get pictures and ask questions!" Happily, he did both.

For those of you who don't know, Blizzard held a benefit dinner for the Laguna Art Museum, which is also currently hosting a WoW art exhibit. Attendees got to choose a Blizzard personality to speak with at their table, bid on Blizzard art and hang out with the biggest Blizzard names. Following is an excerpt from my chat with Joe about the event (I've tried to edit out most of the fangirl swooning), as well as a gallery of his photographs.

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Bingo fail


So close... and yet so far. As you can see, our BlizzCon bingo didn't quite win this year -- even if you count Chris Metzen's regular glasses as non-sunglasses, and even if you just plain assume that the "coffee" in Ghostcrawler's cup on Saturday morning was actually gin (I saw him drinking whiskey, but not gin, unfortunately -- not sure why I didn't just buy the guy a drink), our BlizzCon card didn't score again ths year. There was no actor announced for the WoW movie (though if Tricia Helfer does get a part, we might call that one even), Diablo III trilogy plans weren't announced, and we didn't hear anything at all about another iPhone app or the new MMO. Sad trumpet indeed.

But there's always next year. Thanks for playing. If you did actually get a bingo this year, let us know exactly how (I don't remember any devs ever saying "soon, TM," but I was away from the panels a lot this year). Maybe next year we won't make the bingo card quite so heroic, but then again, who doesn't love a good challenge? We won't nerf something we're just doing for fun.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: 15 Minutes on the Street


There are all kinds of people at BlizzCon, and the vast majority of them aren't developers or exhibitors -- they're players and Blizzard fans just like you who come out to see what Blizzard's got to show them. We spent a large amount of time this weekend talking to devs and exhibitors and gathering information, but we definitely also wanted to speak with players as well -- see what they thought of the show and how their experience went.

Of course we talked with more players than we could ever fit here -- we ended up having over 1200 people stop by our meetup on Thursday night (and I did my best to shake hands with as many of them as I could), and all weekend long, players came up to us and said hi, telling us their classes and spec and what they liked and didn't like about the show and our site. Here's four small interviews that we had with players at the show, done by Robin Torres and I. It's just one tiny look at a few people walking around the 'Con, but it should give you a little insight into what the mood was like last weekend.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Interviews, BlizzCon, 15 Minutes of Fame, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: The Guild's Michele Boyd and Jeff Lewis Worgen hands-on

Sitting in a convention booth all weekend at BlizzCon can actually be a pretty boring prospect. Sure, it's probably a lot of fun meeting people, and sure, unlike a certain team of bloggers, you're probably not run off your feet trying to gather up tons of pictures and information and experiences to write about. But think about it: you're in a booth, signing pictures and DVDs, stuck in the same 20 square feet all weekend long, with all of the promise of BlizzCon around you but just out of reach.

Such, we imagined, was the plight of the cast of The Guild last weekend at BlizzCon, so when we heard that Michele Boyd (who plays "stupid tall hot girl" Riley in the show) and Jeff Lewis (who plays the singular Vork) both had 80s in the current game, we decided that instead of doing a normal boring interview with them, we'd give them a break: we'd take them over to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm playable demo and let them have a go at the brand new Worgen starting area. It was the least we could do, given that they hadn't had any time to play yet.

And in return, they gave us their impressions of the new starting area, had some fun finding kids in a cornfield, and talked about how and why they play the game. Read on for more.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Expansions, Humor, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen

Encrypted Text: Patch 3.2.2 updates and BlizzCon news

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we talk about the Rogue news from Blizzcon and the latest PTR build.

Due to a bit of luck on BlizzCon ticket day, I was able to score a pair of tickets for one of this year's most desired events. I had a great time at the WoW.com reader meetup, and getting the opportunity to play as both a Goblin and Worgen Rogue really highlighted the weekend for me. I'm also excited at how Diablo III and Starcraft II are coming along; I am eagerly awaiting their releases.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. I had serious business to attend to, I had to use this opportunity to spend time with the WoW developers and ask some of the more important questions facing Rogues today. During the 2nd Class Discussion Panel, I got the opportunity to ask Ghostcrawler one question in front of the crowd. What'd I ask? About Vanish, of course! As expected, there's no timeline for a possible fix, but they don't want us to have to wait until Cataclysm for our most unique defense cooldown to provide more reliable protection.

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Filed under: Rogue, Classes, Interviews, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Costumes, pt II



Elizabeth gave you heads up during the BlizzCon 2009 weekend that your intrepid WoW.com staff was keeping an eye on the amazing costumes on your behalf. We were even able to give you a huge gallery of the costume contest taking place, with great pictures as the cosplayers strutted their stuff on stage. Then, we were able to bring you the 2009 costume contest video to make sure you had a good idea of how the costumes looked in live action.

We've now updated our costume gallery with tons of extra pictures, with many of them focused on making sure you get to see the amazing detailing these cosplayers put into their outfits. From gloves to weapons, the cosplayers really raised the bar on how to do a "real life" interpretation of in-game gear. Check out the gallery and see it all for yourself.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: A Day In the Life


We've featured X-Cross more than once on Moviewatch, and he's often proven to be a fan favorite. With that in mind, we offer him our most heartfelt congratulations on winning the BlizzCon 2009 machinima contest. His entry is titled A Day in the Life.

The movie was inspired by this comic by Keydar. Basically, a kobold goes through his daily routine. He wakes up, gets ready for work, and kisses the wife goodbye. He goes into the Elwynn Forest, and with a primal yawp, delcares that "You no take candle!" I won't spoil what happens from there. I found the scene of the kobold lighting the candle on his head adorable.

This movie was absolutely amazing. X-Cross brought the visual to life in a beautiful, compelling way. The voice acting was perfect. I truly believe this movie will stand the test of time, and will be something new WoW players will be laughing at years from now. Congratulations, X-Cross!

You can see more of X-Cross movies on Moviewatch by clicking here.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: The treasure-fishing quest


Just in case there weren't enough to do at BlizzCon this year, our goody bags included a quest:
Marcia Chase seeks your help. She has left instructions with a local merchant -- Brady Mercantile. She needs heroes to collect a set of 5 mysterious treasure-fishing lures. Brady Mercantile can be found in the Merchant's Quarter.
Brady Games provided a "Lure Bag" and a map of the locations of the lures, which were other vendors located in all of the halls. Obtaining the lures involved standing in line with your map and bag at the various vendor booths and then being handed a slimy lure. The sliminess did lend an authenticity to the procedure, while being mildly unpleasant.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Quests, BlizzCon

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