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Posts with tag dell

Addon Spotlight: Blizzard's built-in raid profiles

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Welcome to Magical Mat's Addonitorium and Fun Palace, where all of your user interface and addon dreams come true! Gaze at the mystical River of Lua. Treat your eyes to the unbridled spectacle of the Profile Forest. Enter, if you dare, the dreaded Cave of Errors ... Actually, I lied. There isn't an Addonitorium; it's just my living room. The Fun Palace is a closet with a vacuum and a Swiffer. The wet kind of Swiffer.

This week's addon really isn't an addon, but I think that the functionality that this feature provides -- and provides for everyone regardless of what you download -- has changed a great deal for the better over time. With patch 4.2, Blizzard introduced a new Raid Profiles interface option for players to tinker with. Customization on a Blizzard feature? Say it ain't so! Credit where credit is due, kind readers, for Blizzard is on the path to perfection with these additions to its new raid frames.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Last two chances to win BlizzCon tickets


A pair of contests popped up on the World of Warcraft official site in the past few days, reminding everyone of a small and closing window to try and get to BlizzCon. One contest, sponsored by Alienware, requires absolutely nothing more than signing up for the DELL newsletter through their Back to School 2009 promo page. That's it. No, seriously, that's it. Of course, it comes with the usual caveat that only allows entries from the United States, but it's a shot at winning BlizzCon tickets without so much as getting up from your comfortable chair. Read the official rules carefully, though, because it doesn't seem like the tickets come with airfare or accommodations (go figure!).

The second contest is run by Nvidia, and it sounds like a sweeter deal because unlike most contests, this one is open to the residents of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, and India (except those guys from Tamil Nadu). Sounds great, right? Well, you also need to purchase one of the following qualifying graphics cards to enter - an NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+, or NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250. Considering this contest gives an all-expense paid trip to Anaheim and the fact that you need some mighty graphics to run WoW well anyway, it's not such a bad idea. Otherwise, you can go write that letter. Both contests end on July 31, so you've all got little time to spare. See you at BlizzCon!

Filed under: Contests, BlizzCon

WoW bundled with WildTangent software on new PCs

WildTangent is a company that started up around ten years ago (they originally made game plugins for Winamp, if you remember that) that's recently gotten a reputation for "bloatware." They've made deals with PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer to bundle in their software on the harddrive when you buy it. (Most users familiar with PCs find these software bundles more of a nuisance than anything else.) But nevertheless, WildTangent claims up to 20 million users worldwide, and they continue to make deals, the most recent one being with none other than Blizzard. According to a press release on their website [PDF], World of Warcraft's trial downloader will now be included with all installs of WildTangent's ORB software, which means that whenever you buy a new computer from a dealer WildTangent has hooked up with, there'll be a program already installed on your PC that will let you download and play World of Warcraft, among the many other games WildTangent has already included.

This likely isn't targeted at you, dear audience -- odds are that you've already got the discs for WoW, and if you do buy a new PC, you'll probably still delete WildTangent's app and install WoW yourself. Instead, it's a stab at picking up new subscribers -- people who might not already know about World of Warcraft or PCs may see the icon on their new desktop, double click it, and find Azeroth for the first time. The press release even notes that WoW subscribers still in their trial month are counted as subscribers, so odds are this is a random attempt to pick up a few more subscribers from people who aren't willing to go get the game themselves.

There's one more thing to note here: Activision isn't mentioned at all.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

WoW celebrates four years in the EU


Slorkuz posts that yesterday, February 11th, marked the four-year anniversary of World of Warcraft's release in the EU, and Blizzard is throwing a few contests to celebrate. You can see all of the giveaways over on their site -- there's some nice Swagdog and Dell gear to win for coming up with a great t-shirt slogan, a piece of fan art, or answering some lore questions. Unfortunately, participation in the contests is limited to only a few countries, due to local rules, but if you're interested and able, have at it.

Congrats to Blizzard and the EU for four full years in Azeroth! North America had our anniversary late last year, and WoW Insider put together a look back at what it was like for us. We all (including the EU) got the anniversary pet as well, so apparently, other than these contests, Blizzard is just giving this date a nod rather than a big in-game celebration. But there's always the ten year anniversary -- we'll see you in 2014!

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

WoW Moviewatch: Forestkeeper McBride and contest deadline reminder

In Marshal McBride's simple world, he's a quest giver from Northshire Valley that loves nothing more than helping noobs. However, his world is turned upside down when he is given orders to vacate his job and take up as the forestkeeper of Elwynn Forest. What follows is the bizarre tale, machinimated by Hamfist Productions, of adjusting to his new position, with strangely voice acted characters and even weirder dialogue. It's not too shabby, though!

In other news, the Dell machinima contest comes to a close on September 23rd. The top two prizes are a Horde or Alliance Dell XPS 1730 laptop and an Alienware desktop. For complete rules, check out the contest website. Also, I'll be at the Austin Game Developer Conference this week, so if you see me out and about, say hi!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, Humor, WoW Moviewatch

College Gaming League 3v3 Arena Tournament


Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft 3v3 Arenas are part of the new College Gaming League, the first official amateur league partner of the Championship Gaming Series. The Dell-spearheaded venture works with Intel and Microsoft to offer educational discounts and PC bundles for students, faculty and staff at numerous partner schools all over the United States. Students and faculty at Dell University partner schools can register and receive benefits like special offers on games and systems, access to public game servers, and compete in tournaments.

Among the tournaments -- which include Xbox 360 and PC games -- is the World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena competition. Registration began last August 21 and closes on September 11, while the official matches span from September 15 to October 5. Loot up for grabs are three Alienware m15x notebooks as Grand Prizes, three Microsoft Zune players as First Prizes, and three $50 Dell gift cards for the runners-up. It's an underwhelming selection past the Grand Prizes, to be sure, but registration is free and members can participate in other tournaments with a host of other prizes to be won. Initiatives like these certainly give students something to while away their time... after they've submitted those term papers, of course.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arena

Dell announces machinima contest to win a XPS M1730 WoW Edition laptop


Earlier today, I posted a huge roundup of links to get you started on your first machinima, or just polish your current work. The reason behind that post was to announce the incredible contest that Dell is having! They're offering up not one, but two systems as prizes, but I'm getting ahead of myself. WoW Insider is lucky enough to have two of their staffers, Dan O'Halloran and myself, as judges for this event.

How to enter:
  • Download the Dell XPS asset package from their site.
  • Create a World of Warcraft machinima under 3 minutes long that features their system.
  • Upload the video to YouTube and put it in this post on their forum.
  • The submission deadline is September 23rd, 2008 by 11:59pm EST.
The prizes:
  • Grand Prize: Dell XPS M1730 World of Warcraft Edition laptop
  • Second Prize: Alienware desktop, Dell monitor, and Logitech gaming mouse, keyboard, and surround sound system
  • Third Prize: Complete first series of World of Warcraft action figures, plus a Logitech gaming mouse and keyboard
Read on for the fine print and some things you should know before entering ...

Read more →

Filed under: Machinima, Contests

WoW Machinima: The basics


(Dell is holding a machinima contest, which we'll discuss shortly. They asked me to write a tutorial to help new machinimators get their start.)

Every day, I feature a video by some brave soul that dived in head first into the world of machinima. For those that aren't familiar with the term, it stands for machine and cinema. The literal definition is movies made in a 3D gaming platform. Using this basic guide, as well as the other tutorials and resources available to you, you'll be creating your first project in no time!

Here is what you'll need if you want to make a machinima for free:
[Thanks for originally suggesting this, Bryan!]

Read on for optional and advanced tools, plus additional resources ...

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Filed under: How-tos, Machinima, Guides

Where exactly are those Dell/BlizzCon/WWI keys again?

This one's been flying under our radar for a while, but I'm not sure why -- I happen to be one of the affected. Still, while everyone was spending the past few days worrying about tickets for this year's BlizzCon, a whole other set of folks were worrying about last year's BlizzCon. Specifically, the beta keys they received there. Originally, they were all told by Belfaire that there was going to be a wave of invites after August 1st that included people who'd recieved beta keys from Dell, or for attending BlizzCon '07 or this year's WWI. But now we're almost two weeks past that date, and we (I was one of the folks who entered a key from BlizzCon '07) haven't seen any beta keys at all yet.

Last Thursday, about a week ago, Belfaire acknowledged there was a problem on the forums, and asked people to enter their names if they'd input their beta keys and hadn't recieved a beta email (here's the BlizzCon thread, and here's the Dell thread). But there's been no answer since then, and I certainly haven't recieved a key at all. In fact, we've heard from people who got invited to the beta through the random opt-ins, which means these keys we paid for haven't done thing number one for us.

To tell the truth, I'm not that concerned about it -- I really enjoy seeing new content on the live realms rather than on the beta or test server, and there's certainly enough Wrath beta news coming through here on WoW Insider about the beta to keep me satisfied. But the beta is only going on for so long, and every day that passes without invites sent to Blizzard's biggest fans (the ones who've spent money on the Dell deal and attended Blizzard's invites) is more of the beta key wasted. I doubt we'll be able to use them again, so it's a shame Blizzard hasn't let us use them yet.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Dell's XPS line not cancelled after all

You might remember yesterday that we reported on the Wall Street Journal's report on the canceling of the Dell XPS line, which includes the World of Warcraft laptop. It seems that the Wall Street Journal got it wrong, according to Dell spokeswoman Anne B. Camden, speaking via Dell's official blog.

She took issue with almost every aspect of the Wall Street Journal's report, saying that both Alienware and the XPS line are hardly in trouble, and are known for excellence and have gained many awards and accolades, and that Dell was dedicated to both. In fact, she specifically praised the XPS M1730, which is the base for the World of Warcraft laptop.

In short, the WoW laptop will probably still be available for your buying pleasure, if you are inclined to drop between 2500 and 3000 dollars on a souped up gaming laptop and a couple of extra toys.

[Thanks to all the tipsters who sent this in!]

Filed under: News items, Hardware

Dell to end its World of Warcraft computer line

Fresh from the Wall Street Journal comes some news from Dell: They're phasing out much of their XPS gaming line, including their Warcraft laptops. You might remember the Dell XPS M1730 from our giveaway contest, hand-ons analysis and reviews back when it first hit the market. According to the article, the phaseout begins next month, so if you've been thinking about getting one of these bad boys, you'd better act fast.

The website still doesn't mention anything about the phase out, but it seems likely it'll be pulled soon. the $2999 price tag still seems a bit steep to me, but it's probably better than than the initial $4500 price tag, and better than the price that would probably be asked for any versions that might appear on various auction sites once Dell officially discontinues it.

We don't know for sure if the Laptop sold well, since Dell doesn't release sales information, but according to the article, the main object of this phase-out is to bolster the flagging Alienware line, which has lost much of it's luster since being purchased by Dell. Whatever the reason, the laptop is going bye-bye, so if you want it, go and get it. But you better hurry, because it may not last.

[Thanks for the tip, Surely!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Hardware

Dell drops the price on the Warcraft laptop


Just in case the original $5k was too much for you on that Dell Warcraft laptop deal, Dell has apparently dropped the price to a still pretty high $4k, or $3999. That's still more than our questionable pricing out of the laptop and all of the goodies that come with it, but then again, it is a sweet gaming-spec, Warcraft branded laptop -- can you really put a price on a paradise like that?

And yes, it still does come with all the old stuff, including Alliance or Horde branding, all the Warcraft software, and a bunch of other goodies including those beta keys that we still have no idea are for. Where Dell found $1000 to cut out of that deal we can't figure either, unless... you don't think they were just topping more than a cool grand of straight profit on this deal, were they? Sneaky moneymaking bastards!

Update: Apparently we now know where they got $1000 out of the deal -- it doesn't come with all the extras any more. According to reader DevilStick, who chatted with a Dell sales rep, all it comes with is the mousepad and possibly a laptop bag. So the novels, the beta keys, and all of the books and other goodies were limited time only.

Update II: Dell themselves have contacted us with the news that the sales rep DevilStick chatted with was wrong: even at the lower price, it still does come with all the goodies. So if $5k was too much, but $4k is worth it to you to have "the ultimate Warcraft laptop," order away.

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

Blizzard and dealing with the expanded WoW universe

Zv of Destromath has an interesting argument on the forums -- he says that Blizzard has overextended themselves, and that by producing everything from trading cards to credit cards to WoW minis, the board game, and the upcoming movie (and he even forgot the FigurePrints and Dell deals), they've lost sight of what they should be working on: the game itself. While Zv does admit on the second page what Bornakk points out on the first (that it's not the same people or even the same company working on all of this stuff, and that the devs are still working on designing the game, not writing a script for the movie), there is still the same old argument here when anything goes mainstream and starts selling a brand: has the original material been neglected?

It's up to you, of course, whether you think that's the case or not, but there's no question at all that Blizzard is a completely different company because of World of Warcraft. Before this game, they were a popular-but-still-boutique games studio famous for just a few quality titles in even fewer franchises. But now, they're part of not one but two multinational corporations (one of which shares their name), and they oversee a global empire not just of rights and license releases, but of millions of players and financial interests all over the place. As Zv says, why are they making more deals for expensive swords when they still claim they don't have the manpower to let us use flying mounts in Azeroth?

The problem here is that you can't really second guess Blizzard -- despite the fact that you may agree or disagree with the decisions they've made, there's no question that they've got a successful game on their hands and that they've done nothing but make money with it. But though the Warcraft licensing universe seems to be growing at an exponential rate, we hope (and we'll find out, we guess, with the release of patch 2.4 and the expansion), that the core game is still as strong as ever.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, WoW TCG

Day 3 of the Dell XPS WoW Edition giveaway


Told Greatfather Winter what you want for Christmas? Check.

Transformed your mount into a flying Reindeer? Check.

Entered today to win a Dell XPS M1730 WoW Edition laptop? Head on over to the giveaway post where you can enter once a day with your preference of Horde or Alliance edition. Then check it off your list.

You can also read up on our hands on review of the new system as well as join the debate: is it really worth the price? Then come back each day from Monday to Friday before noon for another chance to enter. Because winning one of these bad boys is gonna be the best Christmas gift of all.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Analysis: Is the WoW laptop worth it?


So as you've probably already heard, Dell is releasing an ultraswank gaming laptop computer, bedecked in WoW paraphernalia like no computer ever has been before. If you're a WoW fan, this is the clearly the ultimate bling in laptops to own-- the kind of computer that Mr. T plays his Night Elf mohawk on. But it retails at a whopping $4500, which makes it too rich for my blood, and probably too rich for yours.

Still, it does come with a lot of stuff-- not just a sweet 17" laptop, but also lots of Blizzard swag, and even that FigurePrints coupon. But the burning question is: when you add it all up, is the WoW laptop really worth it? I could probably think of better ways to spend $4500, and I'm sure you could, too. But if we really did want all of this stuff, and had the money to buy it with, would the Dell deal really be a bargain?

That's what I'm planning to find out. After the jump, we'll break down what you get with the set, what it costs, and whether or not this Dell deal really is the WoW fan's biggest dream, or whether or not you could save some cash just by buying it all separately.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Economy, Features, Guides

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