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World of Warcraft Facebook takes 12-day journey into Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft Facebook takes TwelveDay Journey into Mists of Pandaria
If you're on Facebook, for 12 days starting Sept. 12, you can catch exclusive content for the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion. And if you're an artist, you could even see a piece of your art win one of 12 slots as an exclusive cover image. If you're interested, submit your art to promotions@blizzard.com by Sept. 7.

Zarhym has the scoop for those of us interested in getting our art included, and also what we'll be able to find on the World of Warcraft Facebook page for those 12 days.

Zarhym - Twelve-Day Journey into the Mists of Pandaria
It won't be long until the adventure through the exotic land of Pandaria begins. To count down the moments before you arrive at this new frontier, we'll be sharing exclusive content on our World of Warcraft Facebook page every day for 12 days until Mists of Pandaria launches. Beginning September 14, visit our Facebook timeline for exclusive music, videos, behind-the-scenes interviews, Warcraft hero bios, desktop wallpapers, and more.

To give our Facebook timeline a little extra flavor during the 12-day countdown, we'll be featuring exclusive cover images from the artists among you! Just follow the formatting instructions below and submit your artwork to promotions@blizzard.com by September 7 for a chance to be featured as one of the twelve World of Warcraft cover images of the day.

Cover Image Guidelines: Artists should submit pieces in the optimal cover image resolution (851 x 315 pixels), place the World of Warcraft logo in the top right corner, and preferably sign their name in the bottom right corner. Use our current cover image as a reference for logo placement. Our standard fan art terms apply to all submissions we receive. We look forward to seeing what you create!

Prepare yourselves... the journey begins soon.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Real-life librarians hit the Ironforge stacks

Library professionals converge in Ironforge library to talk gaming
For so many World of Warcraft players, the game is all about connections. It was connections (a glowing recommendation from gaming industry insider, WoW player, and previous interviewee Liz Danforth) that led us to contact Australian librarian Ellen Forsyth for an interview (not coincidentally connecting even more dots, WoW-playing educators and innovators Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillispie, in the process). And it's connections that Forsyth draws for a living in her work as a professional librarian who both studies and advocates for gaming in the public libraries -- that's right, gaming for the people!

"Libraries, games, reading, content creation, stories and a few other things as well" -- that's how Forsyth's Twitter profile characterizes her interests, a fairly delectable concoction for the typical WoW Insider reader. We played the WoW card to tempt Forsyth into chatting with us about the regular academic symposia she moderates in Azeroth (the Ironforge library, to be exact), the growing influence of games as a public library resource, and the sweeping imaginative and technological vistas opening up as more and more readers discover the parallel worlds of gaming -- and of course, World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

If WoW is social media, what function do guilds serve?

Wil Wheaton and the rest of the Axis of Anarchy from The Guild
In my time playing WoW, I've been in a lot of guilds. I've played in guilds that were fighting for the realm-first heroic progression spot and others that were content at realm 15th. I've been a part of the Reddit guild families, which are so large that they need a chat mod to link the multiple guilds for all their members. I've also been in guilds like my current one that have a grand total of 15 people as members.

The World of Warcraft guild experience is as wide and varied as the players who play this game. I'm an unabashed guild-hopper who wants very specific things from a guild and is willing to leave if they don't happen. Other players are loyalists, who find one guild and form lasting bonds that keep them playing with the same group of friends for their entire WoW experience.

Is WoW social media?

Cynwise at Cynwise's Battlefield Manual wrote a post last month about the fact that World of Warcraft is a form of social media. There's no denying that fact: The entire MMORPG genre is based on the idea that you are playing a game with other human beings, not just facing off against the computer as in the genre's predecessors. In fact, I'd go even further and suggest that in many ways, WoW has potential to be an ideal form of social media.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

Cryptozoic's giving away mounts for the holidays

Are you a fan of awesome in-game mounts from WoW TCG? Well, you should be, because it's awesome, and Cryptozoic is giving you a chance to win three different mounts from its new Facebook contest. Between now and Jan. 2, 2012, you can go to Cryptozoic's Facebook page, become a fan, and then Like, comment, and share the loot giveaway picture for your chance to win.

Up for grabs are the coveted Spectral Tiger mount, a Wooly White Rhino mount card, and the new Wasteland Tallstrider, one of the first new tallstrider mounts to be introduced to the game. Remember, you must become a fan of the WoW TCG on Facebook in order to be entered, as well as sharing, Liking, and commenting on the promotional picture. Good luck!

Filed under: WoW TCG

Drama Mamas: Taking guild drama to Facebook

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Drama is as drama does.
Dear Drama Mamas,

This is something I thought you'd be interested in. WoW being a social community and Facebook being the king of social connectivity right now, I'd like to share recent activities in my guild involving Facebook.

To start from the beginning, about a year ago I quit my first guild with a large group to go form a raiding guild. The guild we left was a very large rp guild on an rp server. I was reluctant to leave the guild, as I had a lot of friends there, including the GM and it was my first guild ever. Needless to say, the way the group presented our leaving did not sit well with the gm of the guild we left. Toons were kicked, we were black listed, harassed, snubbed, etc.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Drama Mamas

If you're not following WoW Insider on our social media outlets, Deathwing will do bad things to your raid

WoW Insider has a lot of ways to keep you abreast of the latest World of Warcraft news. Of course we have our main page here and our RSS feeds, but we're also on all the different social media platforms.







Please stop in and join us at both! You'll often find writers taking questions for The Queue (because **distracted by puppies** only goes so far), soliciting feedback -- even giving away some stuff now and then.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Join WoW Insider on your social media of choice

WoW Insider has a lot of ways to keep you abreast of the latest World of Warcraft news. Of course we have our main page here and our RSS feeds, but we're also on all the different social media platforms.







Please stop in and join us at both! You'll often find writers taking questions for The Queue (because for some reason, talking about Friday on a Tuesday leads to lots of comments about Black), soliciting feedback -- even giving away some stuff now and then.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

The Lawbringer: Hacking and valuing virtual currency


Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

I can't stop talking about virtual currency! As virtual worlds and economies penetrate every aspect of our lives, we are faced with the new and daunting challenge of identifying the seedy criminal element present in every human venture. There will always be someone breaking the rules, skimming off the top, or finding a way to steal their way up the ladder. Generally, as a society, we accept this as part of the process and make our rules accordingly to punish and dissuade against future criminals and all that jazz.

This week, we read about a very interesting virtual theft over Zynga poker chips, in which a 29-year-old British IT businessman named Ashley Mitchell pleaded (or pled, depending on your colloquial acceptance) guilty to stealing $12 million worth of the virtual currency. You know what Zynga is -- it is responsible for FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Texas HoldEm Poker, and about 8,000 other social networking entities. The company is ubiquitous. It also sells an ungodly amount of virtual currency online and offline for its games. Zynga poker chips, however, cannot be bought offline.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Cataclysm Dungeon Screenshot Contest announced

Blizzard is all about the contests these days, and that's pretty awesome. The newest contest is the Cataclysm Dungeon Screenshot Contest, where players can enter screenshots of their most amazing or favorite dungeon moments and win Cataclysm prize packages worth over $450, with prizes from Steelseries and Jinx!

For this contest, you're going to need to post your dungeon screenshots to the Steelseries or JINX! Facebook pages. The contest ends on Feb. 4, so get cracking.

Players often immortalize their most amazing in-game moments with a screenshot. Now you can share your favorite Cataclysm dungeon moment with the world and win epic loot from SteelSeries and J!NX in the process! Enter the Cataclysm Dungeon Screenshot contest for a chance to win one of four fantastic Cataclysm prize packs valued at over $450. Just post a screenshot of your most amazing dungeon crawl moment on the SteelSeries or J!NX Facebook pages to enter. Four winners will be selected, but you'll have to act soon, as the contest only runs from January 31 through February 4. Good luck!



World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Breakfast Topic: Casualties of casual gaming

The other day over dinner, my wife and I were talking about a new game on Facebook and how easy it would be for us to game the system. My brother-in-law stopped us mid-conversation and asked, "What the hell happened to you two? You used to be hardcore raiders! Now you're talking about min-maxing a Facebook game!"

My wife and I looked sheepishly at each other and hung our heads in shame. This is what it had come to. While we're committed to playing together come Cataclysm, we had now been reduced to the most casual of casual gamers -- playing browser-based games with no real, complex story or engaging gameplay. At least, nothing as complex or engaging as the World of Warcraft. But the reality is that casual gaming is a bigger phenomenon than we can imagine. Zynga's Farmville has over 61.6 million active users -- that's almost six times WoW's 11.5 million subscriber base. Never mind that World of Warcraft is subscription-based and that not all of Farmville's players are paying customers. Forget about revenue for a moment. That's 61.6 million gamers playing one game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Customizing and opting out of Real ID

This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.

To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.

Setting up parental controls:
  1. Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
  2. Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
  3. Log in as normal.
  4. Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
  5. Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
  6. Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
  7. You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
  8. Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.
That is how to opt out. How to optimize opting in is after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: Real ID or Real bad IDea?

When Blizzard first announced the Real ID concept at last year's BlizzCon, it seemed like a promising idea. The ability to keep in touch with real-life friends across realms and even across different Blizzard games seemed like something World of Warcraft needed, what with some real friends being separated by faction or realm. With new games on the horizon, it also seemed cool to be able to call someone playing Starcraft 2 and pull them into Azeroth if you lacked one more member for that heroic dungeon.

Sure enough, when Patch 3.3.5 was implemented, I had a lot of fun hooking up with my real friends on other servers, and it was truly awesome to be able to chat with them even if we weren't on the same faction or even realm. Of course, after a while, it became clear that there was just no way to turn it off -- I always knew what my real friends were up to, from running dungeons to putting up auctions on an alt or griefing lowbies on a character previously unknown to me. This also meant it was impossible for me to jump onto a low-level alt on some low-population server for some mucking around without their knowing. Not that my friends were ever going to intrude or anything, but there just wasn't any real personal time with my Real ID status always being broadcast.

Yesterday, it got even stranger. Blizzard suddenly announced that the new forums would display everyone's real first and last names if they chose to post on them. For some reason, Mark Zuckerberg's idea of opt-in privacy is becoming the norm. The Facebook founder has said that when people share more, the world becomes more open and connected. It's a maverick notion, and people always have the option to keep mum on things, after all. In many ways, it works for social media. And there's the rub.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security

[1. Local]: Hey


Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Hey.

Reader comments have been cracking us up all week. From completely inane threads to humorous ways of explaining things, compiling this week's sampling has given me the giggles. There were some serious, insightful comments as well, of course. In fact, we'll start off with one from Drama Mamas. We answered a letter about some loot nastiness. A priest accidentally rolled need and won a weapon that a rogue wanted. Drama ensued. Scooter offered some added insight:
My friends and I call this situation the "Ticking Loot-Bomb Scenario". Basically the rogue was all set to go off on someone and the priest happened to cut the wrong wire. Everyone goes off like this at least once in their lives. It takes a level of maturity to recognize this in yourself and take action to calm down. Unfortunately this is something that even most adults never obtain.

It's also important to recognize when people do take that important deep breath and either calm down or remove themselves from the situation. The rogue should have just left the group. True, this inconveniences any friends/guild mates also on the run but 10 minutes of waiting for a replacement is still an improvement over 10 minutes of yelling.
There's a ticking funny bomb waiting to go off on the next page.

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Filed under: [1.Local]

Battle.net will integrate with Facebook

Blizzard has just announced that you will be able to pull your Facebook friends into your Battle.net friends list. They will be testing this functionality soon in the StarCraft II beta. Since we know that the Battle.net functionality will come to WoW before Cataclysm, that means we'll be able to import our Facebook friends into our WoW friends list at that time. This is just another example of the worlds of Facebook and MMOs colliding.


Vaneras -- Battle.net Facebook Integration
The action taking place on the battlefield is just one part of the StarCraft II experience -- we're also working to make sure that you can easily connect, communicate, and play with your friends. To help accomplish that, the new version of Battle.net will offer integration with Facebook. This new functionality will start off by allowing you to quickly import Facebook friends into your Battle.net friends list, and additional features will be added over time.

Of course, the integration will be voluntary. This announcement does not mean that all those friends you have in Facebook just to increase your mafia will automatically know you are playing WoW. You will choose if you want to integrate and which friends to import.

The full PR announcement after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

J!NX and Steelseries giving away loot on Facebook

Steelseries and J!NX have teamed up to give away some loot over the next three weeks -- hardware from Steelseries and some outer wear from J!NX, as well as other pretty cool stuff. The contest is open to Facebook users, who will be eligible to win one of six loot packs to be given away. Two loot packs will be given away each week, and each pack consists of the following: The first week simply asks Facebook users to 'like' or become fans on both the Steelseries and J!NX Facebook pages, with two winners to be determined randomly on May 5, 2010. The second week will require Facebook users to flex their social networking muscles a little bit as contestants are asked to post a screenshot of their favorite person, place, or activity in Azeroth on the J!NX Facebook page and garner as many "likes" for their entry until May 12. The screenshot with the most "likes" will win one loot pack, while a panel of judges from J!NX and Steelseries will determine who wins the second pack.

The third week is a similar exercise in social network popularity, but contestants are asked to submit a video of an in-game dance party on the Steelseries fan page. As with the week before it, the video that ends up with the most "likes" at the end of the period, May 19, will win one loot pack. J!NX and Steelseries will select the winner of the second loot bag. If you're not averse to the whole social network experience, this promotion seems like a relatively painless way to try and score some cool swag.

Filed under: Contests

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