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Posts with tag Console

Hands on with Diablo III: It's perfect for consoles

Diablo III is perfect for consoles
Diablo III launched on console yesterday, and I was lucky enough to be invited down to London by Blizzard Europe to attend an opening shindig for the game's new home. And as part of heading down there, we all got to have a very thorough play-test of the PS3 version of Diablo III. It wasn't the first time I'd had a go, as I had fifteen minutes of the console version, again on PS3 at Gamescom in Germany, so I had an idea of what to expect, but fifteen minutes isn't enough time to really form a firm opinion on a game. I left last night's event with a t-shirt and a copy of Diablo III in my hand, went home and put it straight in the PS3.

This should be praise enough, that after an evening of playing a game I wasn't hugely enamored with on the PC, I rushed home to play it even more on the PS3. But there's something about DIII on the console that just works.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Will WoW ever come to consoles?

With Blizzard taking Diablo 3 to the PlayStation, we kind of have to wonder... is World of Warcraft ever going to make a console debut? And before you say it's impossible, that World of Warcraft is too complicated to play on a console, once we would have all said that about Diablo, too. And if Diablo makes the jump successfully -- there's no release date yet, so it's hard to say when we'll be able to judge its success -- maybe WoW will follow. At any rate, seeing WoW come to a console is probably a lot more likely than ever getting that pony Ghostcrawler promised us.

So, fellow gamers, if WoW did come to consoles... would you be playing it? Would it encourage you to buy one of those next gen consoles we've heard so many rumors about? Or would you stick to your PC gaming rig?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Diablo 3

Blizzard: "How would we bring WoW to the console?"

Sadly, the ultimate answer appears to be "very reluctantly" but it's an interesting read anyway. J. Allen Brack talks to G4 about WoW, consoles, and the barriers to entry for an MMO. The usual suspects apply, of course. WoW was designed for keyboards, consoles tend to have a short lifespan compared to the development time of a MMO, and WoW currently takes up about 15gb worth of memory while consoles like an XBox 360 have at most 20gb worth of hard drive space without buying any additions. This is no surprise, of course... they've said all this before.

What I really found interesting was that this is supposedly something they think about a lot. "In the case of WoW, we talk about it all the time." I'm the curious sort, so I find myself wondering why, given all the reasons Brack himself lists. Personally, I'd love to see a single player Warcraft property of some sort for consoles, perhaps a God of War style action game or even a Dragon Age/Mass Effect hybrid RPG. And who knows, perhaps Blizzard will come up with a way to do it despite their laundry list of reasons why they won't, they've surprised me before.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Queue: The grand melee

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Mike Sacco will be your host today.

For no discernable reason, the WoW.com Twitter account is asking who would win in a three-way grand melee between the Queue writers -- Alex Ziebart, Adam Holisky, and me, the inimitable Mike Sacco. Whoever wins has to face Matthew Rossi in single combat, which, of course, means that they lose. So whoever wins, Rossi wins.

Before we all fall to the cruel burly forearms of Rossi, though, we can probably answer some reader questions. Or at least I can, given that it's my day to do it.

Edge asked...

When a cross realm group wipes and has to get back to the instance from outside, which version of the "outside" are we in? What I mean is, outside the instance, are we all together on one of the servers, or does each person go back out to their own servers "outside" area, and then come back into the same instance? Or is this a whole new area just for these 5 particular people?

When you zone out of a cross-realm instance, the "outside" is your particular realm.


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Filed under: The Queue, Cataclysm

Friday Night Gin: Your weekly Blue roundup


Good evening fine ladies and good gentlemen, I want to invite you to head over to your liquor cabinet, grab some of that fine gin and do with it what you will. I like mine without anything added, right at room temperature. Ghostcrawler prefers his with coffee. Once you're settled, come back to your computer and read up on the best of the blues and the ghostly-crab-crawler.

Welcome to a new weekly column here at WoW.com. Each week we'll take a look at what Ghostcrawler and his cohorts at Blizzard have said about the game, highlighting all the important announcements and discussions.

What Ghostcrawler says in particular is of great importance these days to WoW. A lot of the stuff he's talking about is reflective of the direction of the entire design team at WoW, and if you follow what he's saying you'll have a better understanding of where the game is headed.

So after the break we'll wrap up what Ghostcrawler and the other blues had to say this week. This week's topic include: Battleground Focus, 5 Second Rule, On Class Representation Versus Actual Power, Going to heckle at BlizzCon?, Water Dungeon, Affliction Changes, Console WoW, Truth In Developer "Promises" About Change & An Angry Community, Amount Of Leveling, Phasing Technology, and Flying In Old Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Friday Night Gin

Wrath tops the PC sales charts for November

Surprised? You probably shouldn't be -- NPD has released the top sales list for November, and our favorite game is sitting right on top. In fact, the most interesting thing about the list is what's not on it: games. Wrath is at number one, followed up by such great titles like Office 2007 and Trend Micro Anti-virus. The collector's edition of Wrath comes in at number four, and after that it's all utilities except Call of Duty: World at War at number six and Spore at number 10.

That's a sad month for PC gaming, especially during a time when sales are supposed to be at their highest. Blizzard's leading the charge (and they're not leaving PC anytime soon), but they seem to be pretty much the only PC studio able to bring it home this year.

Videogame sales in general are doing just great: even in a bad economy, console companies -- both developers and retailers -- are seeing nice growth. But those saying PC gaming is dead will only have to point to November's sales for proof. Maybe in 2009 we can get a couple more titles quality enough to give World of Warcraft a run for its money.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Play WoW with a PS3 controller


We all know Blizzard hasn't exactly been a fan of consoles and that our favorite game isn't likely to arrive in console form anytime soon, but reader Spazzer showed us how he plays World of Warcraft with a PlayStation 3 controller. Spazzer attached his PS3 controller to his MacBook Pro and hooked up his laptop to the TV, which he says is "effectively the same as playing on a PS3." So it's not exactly playing on a PS3 but it also sorta kinda is.

Spazzer points Mac users in the direction of two freely downloadable programs to play WoW console-style -- an obscure driver for the PS3 controller and a game pad emulator to help with all the key bindings. When Blizzard game designer Jonathan LeCraft was interviewed last year, he stressed that "you really do need a keyboard to play WoW". It seems like someone seems to have already sidestepped that limitation using readily available tools, and Spazzer points out that resourceful Windows users will easily be able to replicate the same trick. Could this herald a new era for WoW or console gaming? Or, uh, just a bunch of free HKs?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff

Blizzard doesn't hate consoles, it's just a square peg and a round hole

We love diversity when it comes to controlling our WoW time. There's a seemingly infinite sea of AddOns and custom UI options. You can even hook up a treadmill, and simulate your character running in live action. However, except for a few custom hacks, like rigging your Wii up to control your character's direction, WoW is not playable on your console gaming device.

There's always been quite a few folks who'd like to be able to play WoW on their Xbox or Playstation. But, according to J. Allen Brack in an interview with VideoGamer.com, that's not going to happen any time soon. "World of Warcraft is designed as a PC game," Brack said. "It's designed to have a keyboard and a mouse. So the controls and the control scheme that you have are very PC centric. If you think about mapping those controls and all those different type of buttons that you have to a console without a keyboard for chatting, it's a very challenging proposition."

I think that makes a lot of sense. When you talk about keybinds, control combinations using the Shift and Alt keys, mouse buttons, Addons, customization -- it just seems like an awful lot to try and cram onto a Xbox controller. To even make it feasible, it seems like you'd have to add some kind of keyboard to the device. And even then, AddOn customization wouldn't be the same.

Tom Chilton summed it up by saying "It's just more like a square peg round hole thing for our game. "

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Sams: Microsoft could do more for PC gaming

Blizzard's COO Paul Sams spoke with Gamasutra the other day, and he called out Microsoft, of all companies, for not supporting innovation in PC gaming. He says that Microsoft's loyalties are split with their console business, and that if they put as much work into developing gaming on the PC as they did on the Xbox 360, everyone would benefit.

An interesting idea, to be sure. It's not like Blizzard necessarily needs help from Microsoft to promote and develop their games -- if anything, it's Microsoft that could probably take a lesson from Blizzard on how to release software. But it's true that console innovations like achievement points and Xbox Live social networking accounts aren't really finding a solid place in the PC gaming world, and it could be that Blizzard wants to see those types of things on the platform.

Blizzard has always had a rocky relationship with consoles anyway, and the recent announcement of a non-console Diablo 3 definitely shows they're interested in the PC (including Mac) platform only. Can't really blame them for wanting a little more love from an OS developer like Microsoft.

[via BigDownload]

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

Pardo says Warcraft IV is "one of the ideas on the table" after SC2

Our good friends at Gamedaily recently got a chance to sit down and talk with Rob Pardo, VP of Blizzard, and he dropped hints about yet another new game that they might be working on. No, not Starcraft II, or the rumored Diablo 3, or even the long-awaited (and unfortunately, probably never coming) Lost Vikings sequel. Nope -- he hinted that after the release of Starcraft II, whenever that happens, Blizzard's RTS team might be hard at work on... Warcraft IV.

Don't hold your breath, of course (this is Blizzard we're talking about) -- this would be after the current real-time strategy game is done, and Pardo says it would be "one of the the ideas on the table," so it's not exactly in the planning stages yet. But it's interesting to hear that Blizzard may still return to the Warcraft universe under the RTS banner -- we've seen such a different aspect of the world in the MMO, it would be very strange to go back to controlling these units from the top down.

Pardo also says that a console version of WoW is pretty much out of the question at this point -- if there is going to be a super-successful console MMO, it's not going to be World of Warcraft, as this game was designed for PC and has gone through so many iterations since that Blizzard isn't at all interested in trying a port. We are still waiting for that playable version of the Molten Core console game, though...

[via WorldofWar]

Update: Whoops, the interview is a bit old (Pardo said this last year). Still, news to me that Blizzard might bring RTS back into the Warcraft universe, but considering that Starcraft II doesn't even have a rumored release date yet, we're going to be waiting a long, long time.

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

Mike Morhaime on the Activision Blizzard merger

Incgamers.com got to sit down with Blizzard President and CEO Mike Morhaime to chat about the big news this weekend that Blizzard is merging with Activision. He basically echoes Blizzard's FAQ on the issue, and says that nothing at all will change-- "if I do my job properly," he says, "then players won't notice any difference."

The deal came about with Vivendi's full consent and interest-- Activision is apparently aiming to be the number one game publisher, and bringing Blizzard both under their wing and up into their name will help them do that. Morhaime calls it a "merger of equals," and says that while there's a chance Blizzard might look into Activision's experience if they choose to make a game up their alley (i.e., a console game, but don't get excited, Morhaime's speaking hypothetically), generally, the two companies will just keep doing what they're doing.

Morhaime also laughs when Incgamers asks how this will affect development of Diablo III, but laugh is all he does-- nice try! Otherwise, Morhaime holds that the merger will have no affect on Blizzard's games or development-- other than the name change, he says, it's business as usual.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Breakfast Topic: WoWing console style

Mike's post yesterday about playing WoW with an XBox controller got me thinking. Now, I honestly prefer playing certain kinds of games on the PC, MMOs topping that list. But if Blizzard up and decided tomorrow to change their minds about a console (which they aren't) version of World of Warcraft, I wonder what it would be like. Exactly how much would the game change once it was ported? And which console would WoW be most at home on?

We've seen how it might be done on the XBox. Part of me says the PS3 would be an excellent choice, with the massive graphics rendering capabilities, there would never be any lag in Shattrath, evar. But what about the Wii? Would swinging your sword be more enjoyable than hitting the button on the keyboard? And how exactly would one cast a spell, wave around the Wiimote like Cinderella's fairy godmother?

What do you think? Exactly how well would WoW work on a console?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How to increase your camera distance


It seems to me like we've covered this before, but I can't find it, so it must have been a while. The standard camera distance in World of Warcraft isn't bad, especially if your computer is right at the system requirements-- you can usually see most of what's happening and yet it's close enough to keep you focused on your character.

But if you've got a really nice PC and, like me, want to see a little farther than normal (or as in the picture above, a lot farther than normal), there are a few easy ways to increase your camera distance, as Dr. Laxative found over on LJ.

ImprovedCamera is probably the easiest-- it's an addon that will give you a slider to increase camera distance up to the max allowed range. You can also see, in the description on that site, that there are ways to edit your WoW files and increase the max range even farther. By editing the "SET cameraDistanceD" number in your config.wtf file, you can change one of the preset lengths for the camera, and then cycle through them with Home and End. You don't even really need an addon to tweak your settings-- type "/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",30)" (or whatever distance you want) into the chat console, and then you should be able to scroll out to the max distance that you just set.

If your computer's not that great, doing this stuff will definitely introduce slowdown and pop-in to your graphics, so run these commands with care. But if you've got the gear for it, you can see Azeroth at a whole new distance.

Filed under: Tricks, How-tos, Odds and ends, Add-Ons

The console interactivity I wish WoW could have

As a teenager, I loved console games. I grew up with Nintendo game images, tactics and ideas rolling through my mind. For various reasons, however, I've never really had a chance to pick up any console system since then, and I have often wondered how many changes have taken place in those sorts of games over the years.

So recently one of my friends treated me to a few evenings where he just showed me a few of his console games, so that I could get a sense of what they're like these days. The experience made me wish that it were possible for World of Warcraft to incorporate a few of the features I saw in those games.

The biggest one was a sense of interacting more with the in-game environment that your character lives in. Especially in this game God of War, I loved how the main character was able to do special moves in special situations, such as jump on top of a monster and rip its head off, or pin it to the ground, or even climb inside its giant mouth. He can also sometimes climb walls or use special items to solve interesting environmental puzzles. Many other games have this sort of experience where there seems to be less of a barrier between your character and the other entities in the game's world.

WoW just doesn't have that interactive feeling. Whenever you swing your sword, you swing it in pretty much the same way, even if your target is so huge that you're actually just swinging at the empty space between its massive legs. Whenever you run along up hills or mountains, you do just fine until you come to that magical angle at which your character cannot climb, cannot crawl -- only runs in place against an invisible barrier, even though visually it seems like he should be able to just use his hands.

I have no idea how Blizzard would manage it, but I really wish my WoW character could climb up walls (or at least ladders!), flip enemies around, or climb up on top of giants' shoulders and stab them in the head. Even if all these things are an impossibility, I still hope there's something significant they could do to help foster a more cohesive and interactive feel between our characters and everything else in Azeroth.

Do you ever wish for some console game features in WoW? Or are they totally apples vs. oranges for you?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

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