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Posts with tag game

Dough, a deer: engineering a Little Fawn

Given my history as one, you'd imagine that I have a fondness for ungulates. You'd be right! And by introducing a baby deer pet as an achievement reward for collecting 75 pets, Blizzard has effectively doomed me to a life of waaaant. I mean, I like achievements well enough -- I'm not as crazy about them as some of my guildies are, mind you-- but I seriously hate farming, and a lot of pets require rep grinding or luck of the RNG. No thanks. I'll admire from afar.

I'm not the only person who wants a deer anyway, though (who wouldn't!), and that desire's resulted in some creative tinkering by those under the recently-lowered achievement cap and still fawning over the, ah, fawn. Some have even been kind enough to share their tricks of the trade for grabbing Baby Deerest.

Foreverdarkness over on the venerable wow_ladies LiveJournal community relayed her admittedly creative way of grabbing that final pet -- dropping her beloved Skinning and picking up Engineering to farm herself up a Bombling. The pet's only available to engineers, as it's BoP, but you can still summon it even if you're no longer an engineer, so she set to work grinding through the skill points necessary. There was another problem, though--you can only get the pet as a random reward when you renew your membership as a Goblin Engineer. So, she repeatedly renewed her license at 2 gold a pop, which, given the history of RNG, could have resulted in a lot of dough for a little doe. She was lucky, though, and (achievement in hand) was soon able to bring her diminutive deer along for a trip to scenic Naxxramas.

I was hoping she'd keep her engineering skill, as skinning is hardly a skill that our Little Fawn would approve of, but alas! The appeal of Master of Anatomy is too high. Can't win 'em all!

Filed under: Engineering, Humor, Achievements

WoW minis wins Game Product of the Year

Diamond Comics, a big distributor of comics and collectables, has given out its Diamond Awards for 2008, and Upper Deck's WoW minis game is a winner. The game won Game Product of the Year -- Upper Deck says that "not only did it capture the hearts of World of Warcraft fans across the globe, it also redefined the entire miniatures category."

We'll have to take their word for it (as we haven't played that many minis games before), but the game was a lot of fun when we played a round of it at BlizzCon last year -- it's kind of a mix between turn-based strategy (in that you take turns moving your characters and attacking or defending) and Arena play (in that lots of the character abilities are borrowed straight from the ingame classes). We can speak to the quality of the game as well -- the little miniatures look great, and the game boards and cards were very colorful and well-done.

So grats to Upper Deck for picking up the Diamond Award for their new minis game (the company also nabbed a few other awards for their Marvel Masterpieces cards and their sports card lines). If you'd like to check the game out, you can pick up starter packs at most hobby and game stores, and Upper Deck periodically offers events around the country. Some of which we often post about here on WoW Insider, so stay tuned.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, PvP, Contests, WoW TCG

The Guild posts episode 8 of season 2


Yes, the new episode of The Guild is now live for your watching enjoyment, and the gang deals with the servers going down the only way they know how: by driving each other crazy. Strangely, rather than running for the hills while they don't have to be in the game together, they decide to party up in real life as well, and that should be a sight to see next week. Plus, Codex gets her own game shut down by an unexpected player.

Good times as always. The latest episode should also be up in HD soon on Xbox Live and in the Zune marketplace as well. Just the thing to keep you entertained during today's extended maintenance.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor

WoW Crossword: January 20th, 2009


It's a new week, and that means a new crossword. If you don't remember from last Tuesday, this little project is an experiment of ours. Some time ago, Amanda Dean started this Crossword activity which was posted on Sunday mornings. It's been awhile since we've done them, so we're going to give them a whirl on Tuesdays instead, with Tuesday being the WoW player's lazy Sunday. Considering today is patch day, you probably have plenty of time to do this thing.

Last week I asked for feedback on the crossword, and you all supplied a lot of helpful advice that we attempted to put into play. We'll see how it turned out. The details on that are below the cut, along with the clues for this week's puzzle.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Lore, WoW Crossword

WoW Crossword: January 13th, 2009


Some of you may remember that some months ago, we tried out these WoW Crosswords on Sunday mornings to go along with Sunday Morning Funnies, to give your lazy-day a slight newspaper feel. Open up the blog, read your comics, fill out the crossword, and then read the stories. Really, though, what WoW player does that on a Sunday? If you're at home, you're probably killing boars or whatever and not trying to fill in some blanks. Tuesday is more likely the WoW player's Sunday, isn't it? Kind of a slow day, you catch up on the news, you don't have to worry about tending to the crops, so you find other entertainment, right? So let's try this crossword thing again, but with feeling.

Here's how this works: Below the cut will be your hints/questions. There is only one correct answer for each blank. Some answers are two words, and if that's the case, leave the space out of your answer. Pretend the space between them does not exist. Most of those ones are obvious, and usually marked.

All of the questions are related to WoW, WoW Insider, or the greater community around the MMO, such as machinima, fan content, or simply related nerdity. For example, one day you may run into a question in which the answer is Kevin Werbach. He plays WoW and has been mentioned on our site, so he is fair game. You will not, however, get a question like "What is Batman's true identity" because as far as I know, that has nothing to do with what we do, unless Bruce Wayne is the next Lich King. If that becomes the case, we're just screwed then, aren't we?

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Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Crossword

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon on Ustream


Our podcast is back as usual this afternoon, and it looks to be a great show. We'll have the results of Turpster's authenticator contest (there's still time to put the code word -- it's "bananas" -- in over on Facebook, if you haven't entered yet), and as usual, we'll do what we always do, which is answer reader email and chat about the most popular posts of the last week. This week, that'll include what's going on with professions lately, and how Blizzard might make them better, whether Ulduar will be harder or not, how some folks see WoW as offensive, and the new time limit on Arena matches (and whether it will make a difference or not).

And of course we'll talk about what we've been up to in the game lately, and if you stick around afterwards, we'll be live on the aftershow, when you can talk directly to us from the comments without those pesky recorders taking down our every word. It all kicks off at 3:30pm Eastern (8:30pm GMT) over on our Ustream page.

And as usual, I've also embedded the feed live in the second half of this post, so you can just click through to join in on the show and the conversation today. Whether you're raiding or soloing this afternoon, feel free to jump in the chat and give us a listen!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Breakfast Topic: Should the girlfriend play WoW?

I have a confession to make.

My girlfriend doesn't play WoW. However she probably knows more about it than most people. She's been there when I hoot and holler over vent when I've defeated hard bosses like Kale'thas. And she's listened to me whine and complain about how I think everyone on the internet hates me (I'm kidding of course, it's only Retribution Paladins and Death Knights who hate me, or maybe it was Protection Warriors and Elemental Shamans, I can never remember).

Occasionally she can be found browsing the site to see what I've been working on. Like the time that I was in LA at BlizzCon and Mike Schramm sent me forth to risk my life in a fire. That went over well.

But despite my immersion in the game and the community surrounding it she has yet to pick up a sword and fight the Horde.

I'm trying to figure out if that's something that should change.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Blizzard releases EU Wrath launch video


Blizzard has released some launch night video from the Wrath of the Lich King release over on their EU site, and it looks like things were pretty crazy across the pond. There were costumes aplenty, and there were crowds in London, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Plus, the video even has a nice appearance by the man/demon himself, as you can see above.

Unfortunately, the US site hasn't posted any such video yet, so while you can definitely read here on this site about all of the crowds and chaos that went down on this side of the world, there's no video to compare. My guess is that while the EU folks were definitely excited, over there it was more contained to the big events and the big cities, while over here in the US even small towns had lines outside the gaming stores.

But it was definitely a night to remember for WoW fans, no matter where you were.

[via WorldofWar]

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

Former Blizzard devs at Red 5 Studios plan their own MMO

Gamasutra has an excellent interview up with a company called Red 5 Studios. Their CEO, Mark Kern, served as a former team lead on World of Warcraft (though it's been a while -- since a little less than a year after the game's launch), so WoW fans (and Blizzard themselves) are curious about what the studio is up to. Unfortunately, they're staying vague at this point -- while they are definitely working on some kind of fantasy MMO, they're not exactly forthcoming about what it'll be.

They do say what they're not -- "we're not trying to be a sequel to WoW," Kern says. And they don't consider themselves in the same areas as Warhammer Online and Tabula Rasa, two games that showed promise earlier this year but never broke out as their developers expected. Instead, they want to do something different with the MMO idea, but as for specifics, don't hold your breath. They don't have a business model planned out quite yet, and even the game's announcement is "months" off.

So for now, we'll have to wait. It should be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of the studio -- many people have said that WoW can only be topped by Blizzard themselves, and while having a history at Blizzard doesn't necessarily prepare you for making brilliant games every time (see Hellgate: London, created by former Diablo devs), it would be interesting to see if Kern (who has made his mark on WoW) can help Red 5 get another success together.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money, Interviews

Ghostcrawler and Vaneras on the classes that GMs play

What classes do Blizzard employees play?

This is an often asked question by people on the forums. Sometimes it comes with a finger pointing at such and such a developer or community manager, accusing them of favoritism for a given class because it's the one they play the most.

Over the past few days we've seen two blue responses over this issue. Vaneras over on the European forums makes note to say that the GMs play the game just as "everybody else does." They encompass all classes and all play styles.

This is interesting in that it shows that Blizzard folks are involved in both casual and hard core raiding, and casual and hard core PvPing. I find this particularly interesting, since after a long day of work at WoW Insider sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and trudge through some raid content. But then again, sometimes I do.

Ghostcrawler also weighed in on the issue a few days earlier, making several interesting points.

Read more →

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

BlizzCon 2008: Bingo results


Bad news. We didn't hear about a WoW expansion, or anything solid about the next-gen MMO at the convention in Anaheim, so this year's BlizzCon bingo failed. There might be hope, if you're willing to fudge things -- in the Art panel, they did obliquely mention the next expansion, and quickly corrected themselves, so if you take that as an official announcement (and you saw someone playing the TCG or Board Game throughout the weekend, you could win with the free space). Or, if you saw Jim Lee while he was there (we didn't), and consider all the talking about Dance Studios to have actually seen the studios themselves (we don't) then maybe you hit five across that way.

Otherwise, you're out of luck -- unfortunately, no one predicted that they'd cut Starcraft II up into three different games, and L80ETC didn't say anything about DLC for Guitar Hero. The good news, however, is that instead of giving out a prize to someone who presented us with a winning card at BlizzCon (no one did), we'll eventually over it to all of you readers. Stay tuned, and better luck with BlizzCon Bingo next time around.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, WoW TCG

WoW Minis in stores on November 11th


Upper Deck has announced an official release date for the WoW Miniatures game, and surprise, it's in early November, too (it's going to be a busy couple of months for WoW fans). You'll be able to buy a four-figure starter set or a three-figure booster pack in stores on November 11th -- we're not sure about the prices yet, but if the MSRP we saw a while back hasn't changed, they'll end up at around $20-25 for starter packs, and $10-15 for boosters. Each starter will also contain a sampler of the WoW TCG cards, and while we haven't heard anything about ingame loot items for the minis game, those samplers may have some Loot cards in them if you're lucky.

Upper Deck also was kind enough to provide us with a preview of a few figures from the set, including some concept and reference art for some of the characters and figures. You can see it all in the gallery below -- there's a nice sampling of characters from the MMO game, a few from the TCG, and even some new character types from Northrend in there. Looks like fun.

Gallery: WoW Minis

Slitherblade TidehunterRuby GemsparkleRoriaPhadalus the EnlightenedTa'zoVarimathas

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW TCG

Blizzard's black ops title, and why it's a long way off


Our good friends at BigDownload have just posted a nice in-depth feature about all the "black ops" PC games being worked on -- that is, games that are being developed in secret by developers who haven't yet officially announced them. There are quite a few would-be WoW competitors on the list (BioWare's MMO is on there, which I like to think I officially uncovered, and unnamed MMOs from John Romero's Slipgate Ironworks, 38 Studios, and Bethesda's parent Zenimax Media are on there as well). But of course the biggest title on the list is also the most mysterious: we know that Blizzard is working on a "next-gen MMO," but we don't know thing one about it.

As with all of this "black ops" stuff, there's not too much to get excited about yet -- the reason these companies haven't officially announced any of these games is not only because their release is likely years off, but companies will very often develop games that they don't end up releasing at all (case in point, as Blizzard fans well know). So the reason we don't know anything about Blizzard's next MMO is because Blizzard likely doesn't know anything about it yet either -- will it be a successor to World of Warcraft, a much-awaited Starcraft MMO, or a completely new IP from the company that has conquered the MMO genre? Odds are that right now they're working on engine and code mechanics, and the final form that the project will take is just a gleam in a Blizzard employee's eye.

Still, it's fun to dream, isn't it? With the coming release of Wrath (and Diablo III and Starcraft II coming into focus), we've got plenty of Blizzard games to look forward to as it is.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

WoW Insider Interview: PopCap's T. Carl Kwoh and Moongaze, maker of the Bejeweled addon

PopCap's Bejeweled addon for World of Warcraft is coming out today (we did an in-depth preview of it earlier this week, in case you missed it), and to celebrate, we sat down with the addon's creators to see how it came about, and why this addon release (officially endorsed by another well-known gaming company) is so important.

Michael Fromwiller is a student at San Jose University, but in the WoW community he's better known as Moongaze, creator of the popular Lunarsphere addon. He also created another addon called Besharded a while back, which was an unofficial clone of PopCap's Bejeweled, a game he'd played a lot on his cell phone. PopCap heard about the addon, and when word got around to T. Carl Kwoh, a senior producer at the company, they decided, rather than shutting down the unofficial version, to try and hire Moongaze to make it official.

Our interview with both of them, which starts after the break, covers how the game came together, how Moongaze took influences from both PopCap and WoW to fit one game inside another, and why inserting another game into World of Warcraft doesn't exactly mean there are holes in Blizzard's game.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Add-Ons, Interviews

WoW Insider's preview of PopCap Games' Bejeweled addon


As anyone who's ever stayed up late for a raiding or grinding session will tell you, World of Warcraft is already an addictive game. About the only thing you could do to make it more addictive is have a game company like PopCap Games (they make some of the most popular casual games around, from Bejeweled to Bookworm to Peggle) stick one of their time-wasters in an addon. And so when PopCap came to WoW Insider earlier this week to tell us that they're planning to do just that, our minds understandably exploded.

They sent us a beta version, and for the past few days, we've wasted as much time in Azeroth as in real-life. That's not exactly true -- I've been leveling up my fishing and cooking lately, and the addon has been really helpful with all of the downtime and flight time (even if I do miss catching a cast every once in a while because I'm on a big streak). After the break, read more about just how the free Bejeweled addon (to be released later this week from PopCap) will devastate all of your formerly empty downtime in Azeroth, and check out our gallery to see the beta version of Bejeweled being played on the live realms.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Screenshots, Galleries, Achievements

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