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Blizzard announces official YouTube channel


To go along with their recently created Twitter accounts, Blizzard has now started up an official YouTube channel as well. Right now, the channel just contains animations and cinematics that we've mostly seen before (not that we mind watching that Burning Crusade cinematic for the umpteenth time), but we presume that in the future, we might see newly released videos, including possibly interviews with Blizzard staff, and maybe even some (gasp!) gameplay videos as well.

Whoever's in charge of social media over at Blizzard has really been working it lately -- we can't wait to see their Last.fm account (Most Played: the artists formerly known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain) or their OkCupid account (Adam Holisky & Alex Ziebart would be at least 87% friends with Ghostcrawler, no question). Definitely fun to see Blizzard, historically a very closed-door company, opening up a little bit to the various outlets where they can correspond with fans.

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

All the World's a Stage: The guild hall


All the World's a Stage brings you the latest ideas and suggestions about roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

One of the greatest problems people have with roleplaying in WoW is that the game has a tendency to spread people out all over Azeroth working towards disparate goals, and that makes it hard to sustain a roleplaying environment. Roleplayers can gather together in a meeting place of some sort in order to roleplay, but doing this every time isn't feasible -- inevitably, we want to go questing, get loot, and actually play the game too, all in different places.

So the majority of roleplayers join roleplaying guilds of one sort or another, and use the regular guild chat channel as their default in-character roleplaying channel which people can participate in no matter what they're doing in the rest of the world. Most guilds tend to imagine that their hearthstones (or some imaginary gnomish device) can act as walkie-talkies of sorts and allow everyone to communicate over great distances, no matter where they are.

Today, however, I will share with you some of the ways this solution falls short, and take a look at a better way to make roleplaying work in a guild, no matter what level you are or what you want to do with your game time. This idea can seem strange at first, but in the end it can provide many roleplaying opportunities -- allowing you to alternately build your RP stories, build up your character's levels, gold, or gear, or do all of these at the same time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Tips on completing Higher Learning

Higher Learning is one of the most peaceful achievements in the game (all you have to do are read a few books that spawn around Dalaran), but it's no less desirable for that -- the achievement grants a miniature Arcane Elemental pet that looks awesome. Teniblue over on WoW Ladies has a few good tips if you're trying to get all edumacated in Dalaran -- she's got links to two addons (including the perfectly-named Dalaran University) to use to help you track spawn times, and she's got a link to Breanni's great guide over on WarcraftPets.com (which our own Allison R. touched on briefly in a recent OverAchiever post).

What's fun about this achievement is that reading the books won't delete them, so it can be very social -- people have created #bookclub channels on many servers to keep track of when and where books are appearing in the city. That makes it a lot more fun than the, say, cooking daily quest that sends you after mushrooms in the sewers. It actually makes this social game, well, social.

So next time you see a book sitting around the city, be sure to give a shout to the chat channel -- here's one in-game situation where everybody can benefit from a little extra chatting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Quests, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Castcounting macro counts your spellcasts

Xalit is entertaining himself before the expansion by crafting some macros, and he's come up with a pretty clever one that will count the number of times you cast a certain spell. He's got a few different versions (including one that pushes the total out to "say" occasionally), but here's probably the most helpful:

/cast Water Shield
/run i="Water Shield" if ws==nil then ws=0 end t=GetSpellCooldown(i) if t==b then else c=0 end b=GetSpellCooldown(i) if b==t and c==0 then ws=ws+1 c=1 end


Which will both cast Water Shield for you (obviously, you'll have to change the name if you want to count casts of a different spell), and then use:

/run SendChatMessage(ws,"SAY")

To kick the count out to the Say chat channel. Naysayers among you may say "well that's pointless," and they're kind of right -- it doesn't really matter how many times you cast something, and the macro doesn't do anything else for you besides update a variable to keep track of that number.

But it is interesting to see just how many times, say, you pressed the Fireball button during the raid last night, and maybe there is some use for this information somewhere (maybe checking the frequency of use or viability of certain spells or trinkets?). Might be a good macro to have when you want to know more about what you're casting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Instances, Buffs

All the World's a Stage: Finding the right realm


One of the most common difficulties many roleplayers face is that of finding other people to roleplay with. To help overcome this challenge, All the World's a Stage presents a guide to finding roleplayers in three parts: "finding the right realm" for roleplaying, "joining the right circle" of roleplaying friends, and "wearing the right mask" to attract other roleplayers to you.

Due to reasons we have discussed earlier, RP servers can vary widely from a very few who maintain their immersive roleplaying atmosphere, to the majority which often seem little different from a normal PvE or PvP server. Although Blizzard takes their RP server guidelines "seriously," they cannot enforce these rules wholesale, and rely on the players themselves to do much of their own policing and reporting where necessary. RP servers thus vary a great deal in terms of how many people there actually make roleplaying a priority, how many will report someone breaking the RP rules, and how many will strive to maintain that precious gem of mass cooperation: the roleplaying atmosphere.

It may not be obvious to a new player, but there are tools roleplayers can use to find the realm that suits them best. There may be no standardized way to group up for RP, but the fact holds true: "seek, and ye shall find."

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Guilds, Guides, RP, Forums, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: WTF is IC - OOC? WTB RP! OK THX, CU L8R

All the World's a Stage is brought to you by David Bowers every Sunday evening, investigating the mysterious art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

While many online gamers are famous for using "leetspeak," there's a certain portion of the community that places a great deal of importance on complete sentences and good spelling. Roleplayers, as a whole, are friendly and communicative, but nonetheless have special ways of interacting that other gamers may not understand.

As a new roleplayer, I remember having to figure a lot of these things out, although I was blessed to befriend many people who kindly explained things to me as well. The first and most important concept I had to get a grasp of was the idea of "in-character" versus "out-of-character" communication (usually abbreviated to IC and OOC), and in what situations the use of either sort would be appropriate.

It's fair to say that on an RP server where roleplaying is still the rule rather than the exception, anything in the /say or /yell channels should be "in character." That's to say, it should be phrased with good spelling and proper punctuation, and should only refer to happenings within the WoW universe. In situations where one must say something out-of-character in these channels, it is polite to at least couch your OOC words in double parentheses to clarify your meaning.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Enough with the yelling

I had a great time at the Stormwind Stampede yesterday (and pictures and videos from the event should be up soon). But here's a little tip we all picked up from running almost 500 Tauren around the world: to shut down all the yelling, you can just right click on the title of your open chat window, and then go into the "Channels" menu to shut down /yells just like any other chat channel. You can also turn off Guild chat this way as well, just in case your guildies start threatening to spoil Harry Potter, but you don't actually want to /gquit to get away from them. Unfortunately, turning off yell won't get rid of the big red text bubbles when people are near, but all you have to do then is just turn around.

Of course, /ignore still works, and my little level one Tauren now has a bigger /ignore list than any of my other toons, thanks to some rowdy spammers yesterday. And /leave General will get you out of Barrens chat (just as /join General will get you back in when you finally arrive in Ashenvale). And I don't have that much of a problem with this stuff (only when I group up with 500 cows), but if you're really tired of chat spam, Devnull might be an addon worth looking at.

It's not real complicated-- those of you who are experts at chatting (or have just been given a headache before by all the yelling) probably already knew it. But it was definitely a helpful little tip yesterday to sort through all the spam in the channels.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, WoW Insider Business

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