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Posts with tag demo

Arcane Brilliance: Beginner's guide to being a mage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're taking a trip through the first 20 levels of the game, which are now eternal. The important thing to remember about rolling a mage is that you've made the right choice; congratulations.

Between the newly adopted unending demo, the extended Recruit-a-Friend promotion, and the freshly bargain-priced WoW/The Burning Crusade bundle, it seems Blizzard is making a concerted effort to woo new players. And from my limited viewpoint, it seems to be working.

I have a brother, a year and some change younger than me, who doesn't live near me. This sucks, because he and I have absolutely everything in common. We grew up taking turns watching each other play Shining Force, or designing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns to force each other to play through, but then college, family, and career separated us. I'm here in Las Vegas playing copious amounts of video games and ignoring my kids, and he's at Purdue, working on his doctorate and just generally making me ashamed of the waste my life has become. Naturally, I've been trying for years to drag him down to my level. Thus far he's resisted, but when I notified him of these new opportunities to play the game on the cheap, he finally took the plunge.

And rolled a warrior.

Sigh.

Oh well. At least it wasn't a warlock, right?

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Creators of Epic Advice working on Epic Plan encounter planner

Now this is interesting. Our old friend Jesta, who made the EpicAdvice.com site not so long ago, is working on a new project at EpicPlan.com, and while it's still hidden away in pre-alpha, you can see what they're up to in this thread on EA. It's a slideshow/diagramming web app, basically -- you can take maps of the game's instances, lay out icons and symbols on them as you wish, and then animate and caption boss fights and encounters. The end result is a very clear way to show off different raid strategies, and we're told the slideshows are embeddable on other sites as well (you may even see some here eventually on WoW.com).

Unfortunately, they're only taking signups for the beta of the service right now, and while you can watch a show in action on the technology demo, you can't make your own quite yet. But it seems like a very impressive tool for raidleaders, both to share plans with the public and players seeking help, as well as your own raid members. It'll be great to be able to make a quick and easy visual display of where to stand and what to do during boss fights and instance encounters.

Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard at PAX 2009 wrapup


PAX wrapped up over the weekend in Seattle, and from what we've heard of our friends' experiences over at Joystiq, it was a wild, wild time. Blizzard was there as expected, and it sounds like the setup was pretty awesome. They had all three playable demos up from BlizzCon, including the Starcraft II singleplayer game, the Diablo III monk class, and of course the Cataclysm Worgen and Goblin race starting areas. We hear that Blizzard had their GMs in attendance as well, and reader Aveiceae (whose pictures you can see in the gallery below) reports that she saw both Drysc and Bornakk there. She also says that Blizzard gave away some of their famous hand sanitizer throughout the show -- very important, especially at a gaming convention during swine flu season.

Tisoi also has a report over on WoW LJ, including a few pictures of the setup on the convention floor, as well as a few (sneaky) screenshots of the Worgen and Goblin areas. He also got to meet Jeff "Vork" Lewis and Sandeep "Zaboo" Parikh of The Guild. Felicia Day wasn't there (she spent the weekend at Dragon*Con, where there was other WoW-related shenanigans going on), but as Sandeep reported on his Twitter, she wasn't needed, thanks to cosplayers. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Next year, PAX is headed out east -- we'll have to keep an eye out and see if Blizzard is going there as well.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Gaikai promises to stream PC games like WoW straight to your browser

David Perry is one of those game developers who doesn't do anything small -- he started out with a company called Shiny Entertainment, responsible for great old games like Earthworm Jim, MDK, Messiah, and the Enter the Matrix movie tie-in game, and nowadays he's moved on to the MMO market, where he's developed all kinds of crazy ideas (including, we're not kidding, a dance MMO). This is the kind of guy who has ideas and chases them down.

His latest idea is a system called Gaikai, a "game streaming service" that allows players to jump right into any PC games they'd like, no installation or hard drive space necessary, online. There are a number of services like this springing up lately, including the much-discussed OnLive, where instead of depending on your local hardware to render and produce the game you're playing, you just send and recieve information with a remote server. As you can see above, Gaikai is focusing on PC games, and anyone who's planning on running a PC gaming service has to include World of Warcraft. Starting at about 6:00 into the video above, he shows off a version of WoW that requires no installation or loading at all; just sign in and play.

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

Choose my Adventure: Insert funny title about being level 25 here


WoW.com readers, it's up to you to decide the fate of Turpen the Gnome Warlock with Choose My Adventure. Help test the site's new features by participating in this event, casting your vote toward the many aspects of Turpen and following his exploits on Alex Ziebart's WoW.com profile!

Well, you guys wanted me to run Deadmines. As you can see, I ran Deadmines. Many thanks go to Urse (Healer), Child (Tank), and Sneafoo (Noob Rogue of Doom) for 4-manning the thing with me. Urse was pretty overleveled for the place so healing was hilariously easy, but Sneafoo made up for it by starting the run at level 12 and aggroing Gruul from the pirate ship.

I went further than that, too. I didn't stop at Deadmines, I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Shadowfang Keep as well. I was kicking around the idea as soon as someone suggested Deadmines, but I didn't think I would manage to land a group for either of them. When I went out to the Barrens to get my Succubus (Angva) at level 20, that sealed the deal for me. I picked up the quest The Orb of Soran'ruk, and despite the fact that its quest rewards sucked, it gave me more reason to try and get the groups together. I put out a call to all of the various resources I knew, LFG and community chat channels (your server probably has a few good ones) and all of that, and managed to score a few groups.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

Upper Deck Day coming February 7-8, 2009


Our good friends at Upper Deck have announced a day of tournaments, demos, and giveaways at a hobby store near you. Upper Deck Day is being held February 7-8, 2009, and the event will feature a WoW TCG beginner's tournament, as well as on-site demos of the new WoW minis game. If you've never played either of these games, this is the perfect chance to check them out -- mark your calendars now, and bring a friend to check out the other ways to play World of Warcraft.

They haven't yet released the list of locations for the event, but Upper Deck tends to use the same places most every time, so if they've held a previous event at a store near you, odds are that they'll be there again. Actually collecting both of these games can get pricey (and let's face it, is really only fun if you've got a friend or two to play with often), but that's what makes these events so perfect -- you can get a taste of what the games are like without having to break the piggy bank to pick up all the little doodads.

And as always, if you go, be sure to snap some pictures and send them to us. We're always interested in what players of the offline World of Warcraft games are up to as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW TCG

WoW minis demos taking place around the country this weekend


We were lucky enough to try out the WoW Minis game at BlizzCon, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I've never been much into collecting (I used to play CCGs back when I was a kid, and when, at one point, I spent half my allowance on one pack of cards that didn't have any new ones, I pretty much decided it was over), but the game itself is pretty fun, kind of a mix between an arena match and a turn-based battle. I'd need someone to play with, I think, but if I could convince a friend to sit down and be nerdy with me, I could see getting into it.

If you haven't gotten a chance to see the game in action yet, you're in luck. Upper Deck tells us that they've passed out free starter kits to more than 1,500 hobby stores around the country (they didn't provide a list, but if the previous TCG events went down at a store near you, odds are the minis kits will be there as well), so if you have some free time this weekend, stop in and ask if you can see the game and how it works.

The game itself launches on November 11th, so if you enjoy playing the game at the store this weekend, you'll be able to pick up a starter set and booster packs then.

Filed under: Items, Events, Fan stuff, WoW TCG

What we're expecting from BlizzCon

As we announced earlier, BlizzCon tickets are on sale. Sort of. Kind of. If you can fight past the store servers. I know I've been getting nothing but the fail murloc pretty much all day. Still, I and the rest of WoW Insider's crack live team will be there come hell or high water, and we'll bring you the news you need to know. In the meantime, we're stuck here refreshing the Blizzard Store. To pass the time, we did a bit of speculation about what we might see in Anaheim on October 10th and 11th. Here's what we decided:

What we're sure to see

The Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic: Though we still have no solid announcement, Blizzard's already stated that they want to get Wrath out before 2008 is up. Considering that, they must have the opening cinematic pretty close to done. I would be surprised if we don't see it open the opening ceremony, to be completely honest. I'm expecting Arthas and/or a "rebel" Human Death Knight to feature prominently, as well as our first cinematic Gnome shot.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

Upper Deck releases WoW Minis "demo"

The WoW Minis game is picking up steam towards a release later this year, and after a first play chance at the ComicCon last week, Upper Deck has posted a downloadable demo of the game on their website. In this case, a "downloadable demo" actually means a printable PDF, complete with little figurines to cut out and assemble into a game board. Not exactly the most quality experience, but a DIY demo is a pretty interesting way to test and see how you like the game mechanics.

And inside the PDF, you can find a coupon that you can redeem at Gen Con this coming weekend for a chance to play in a preview event, and walk away with some real product from the game. If you can't be at Gen Con, don't worry, Upper Deck is planning some WoW Minis events for BlizzCon later this year as well.

And if you don't have the cash or the time to be flying all over the country and visiting huge groups of nerds enjoying their favorite pasttimes in packs, no big deal either -- the WoW Minis game itself is set for release sometime this Fall. So pretty soon you'll be able to play it yourself in your own nerdy way.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, WoW TCG

Hands-on with the WWI '08 Death Knight demo

One of the most anticipated features of the Worldwide Invitational for us here at WoW Insider was the promise of playable WoTLK demos, so you know our team was all over that as soon as they hit the convention floor. We got a chance to sit down at a Death Knight demo station for a while, and we're bringing you all the information we got from the experience on how WoW's new class is shaping up. Follow the links of a look at the gameplay, skills, and talents of the Death Knight:
If you missed the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, WoW Insider has you covered. Check out our complete roundup for articles covering every angle of all the new WoTLK news from the WWI, and check back with us for more features and analysis later today!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Rumor: WoW going free-to-play in China


Curse Gaming posted a rumor the other day from a Chinese newspaper named RedlineChina that The9 (the company that runs World of Warcraft in China) is considering switching the game to a "free-to-play" model. As Curse notes, the rumor is just that-- a rumor-- especially considering that The9 is raking in the cash over there. So take this with a nice big cubic block of salt-- odds are that both you and Chinese players will be paying that monthly subscription for years to come.

Still, it's an interesting idea. There are a few free-to-play MMOs here in the US, but there are many, many more over in Asian countries like China and Korea. And there's no question that as popular as World of Warcraft is now, it would be even more popular as a free-to-play model. Odds are that The9 would have to come up with some other form of revenue if they did switch it to free-to-play, although as it is, you can play for free on a demo here in the US-- maybe RedlineChina really meant to report that The9 is going to start releasing free demo copies, up to level 20 with a week of free play, or some plan like that, while still charging for the full game.

At any rate, this is more likely a miscommunication than a rumor with any substance at all. Especially with subscriptions rising and the next expansion on the way, Blizzard is nowhere near even lowering the price on a WoW subscription.

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

BlizzCon schedule leaked


Blizzard has, inexplicably, been keeping the schedule for BlizzCon under wraps. We at WoW Insider have been frantically planning coverage here, and yet we haven't heard a peep from Blizzard about what to expect during the show. But now WorldofWar has posted what seems to be a leaked schedule for the event (no word on how they obtained it), and we'll finally have some idea of how the days are laid out. Here's what to expect if you're headed to BlizzCon:
  • World of Warcraft and Starcraft II open gaming
  • WoW, Warcraft III, and Starcraft tournaments
  • An opening ceremony (where they'll announce a new game or expansion?)
  • Panels on WoW classes, dungeons and raids, professions and items, and PvP
  • A Starcraft II gameplay demo
  • More panels on Warcraft Art, Blizzard Sound/Music, Careers in Gaming, Cinematics, Starcraft II Lore and Art, WoW UI mods, the TCG, and the Expanded Universe (likely the Warcraft novels)
And the convention will wrap up with a big concert from L70ETC and Video Games Live hosted by Jay Mohr.

Sounds like a full few days! Of course there will also be an exhibit hall open the whole time, but we haven't heard much of what will be in there (don't forget that Xfire will be there, as well as Upper Deck and all the TCG folks, and of course the WoW Insider party will be before the convention starts on Thursday night). Stay tuned for more details as we get them. Under a week left!

Filed under: Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: Burning Crusade at E3

Thanks to this stealthy cameraman, you can get an almost-realistic, slightly-lifelike, not-so-reasonable, low-rez facsimile of previewing the Burning Crusade expansion at E3. It's like being there, only with poor eyesight & without all the geeks! Enjoy...

Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

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