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Posts with tag games

WotLK cinematic picks up Elan award nomination


Throw another nomination on the list for Wrath of the Lich King -- Blizzard's cinematic team has been nominated for an Elan award for the WotLK cinematic in the category of Best Animated Short Subject. And the nom is well deserved: while the trailer broke with the tradition of showing the various races and classes of Warcraft doing battle with each other, Blizzard's choice to instead recap the story of Arthas and the Lich King while he summoned Sindragosa worked well and looked amazing.

Unfortunately, Blizzard missed out in the actual game nominations -- for best PC game, the expansion was overshadowed by Fallout 3, Crysis Warhead, Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, and Left 4 Dead. You can argue amongst yourselves whether that's justified or not. But we're sure Blizzard is happy with the animation nomination anyway -- their competition there is Turbo Dogs, so they'll probably do fine when the awards are announced on April 25th.

[via BlizzPlanet]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Contests, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Australian AG: MMOs like WoW must be classified

The good folks over at the OC (don't call it that) Register's Blizzard blog have gotten some more information about that recent flap with many MMOs being unrated and thus legally unable to be sold there. They talked to Daniel Gleeson of the Australian Attorney General's department, and he said that yes, the MMO games like World of Warcraft will have to be rated to be sold in the country. But he also reiterated what we'd heard a little while after Massively posted their story: that games were still being sold on store shelves, regardless of the actual legal tangles.

The Blizzard Blog also spoke with the IEAA, the classification board down there for games, and they were told the same thing that Massively was: while the board thought that MMOs did not require a rating, it has since become clear that they do. The difference, says the AG guy, is that the IEAA believed that "games" like WoW were actually services, not games, and thus didn't fall into the classification system.

But now it's clear to everyone that they do, so we'll expect to see the IEAA pass out a rating for World of Warcraft and the other MMOs on sale down there, and then this will all be over. It's interesting to note that ratings may be a very cultural thing -- here in America, ratings are pretty strictly issued by the ESRB, partially because the videogame industry is worried about governement intervention in the system (if the industry can't police themselves, angry parents may ask the government to step in). But in Australia, the government obviously seems largely unconcerned about the ratings. Then again, Aussies aren't completely laid back about everything having to do with MMOs.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Kaplan to speak at the Game Developers Conference

Jeffrey Kaplan (also known as Tigole) is scheduled to speak at this years Game Developers Conference, which should prove to be really, really interesting for us WoW players. The conference is aimed at sharing knowledge among game developers, and Kaplan's panel is aimed at discussing World of Warcraft's questing system, as well as how gameplay has an effect on lore and story.

As someone who regularly geeks out about the lore of Warcraft, it disappoints me that I can't be there to listen to it in person. Gameplay always has a really large effect on how the lore of a video game world is allowed to play out (especially in MMOs) but a lot of those constraints have been overcome with the advances made in Wrath of the Lich King. The things they've done to overcome those issues largely come from Tigole's team of developers.

I very much hope that transcripts of GDC's panels find their way to the web shortly after the conference. One of my favorite parts of BlizzCon and BlizzCast is the somewhat behind the scenes look into the process, and the philosophy that goes into how and why Blizzard does what they do. This pretty much sounds right up my alley, and I know a lot of you have expressed the same sentiment each time a new BlizzCast has gone live. I'll definitely be watching for any transcripts that pop up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard

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

IBM exec: Games are great for employees

Hot on the heels of last week's news that employers are staying away from hiring WoW players comes this article from the BBC, quoting an IBM executive who says that gamers are actually exactly the kind of people you want on a team: David Laux, global executive in charge of games and interactive entertainment (wait, maybe that's why he's so keen on game players) says that casual games can improve memorization and the abilty to discern details, first person shooters can help with rapid decision making, and games like World of Warcraft can boost leadership skills. He says WoW specifically helps players learn how to work well on a team, assess risks, and put the group first to achieve a common goal.

Which is true -- if you're actually the one in charge of groups. I'm of the opinion that it's very possible to play a game like WoW and get a nice boost to your leadership skills (leading a guild is often a job in itself), but I think it's also very possible that you could play WoW and not get a thing out of it -- I know quite a few people I've grouped with that I'd never want to have sitting next to me in a real office.

The bottom line, as always, is somewhere inbetween the two opinions. If you're already interested in taking charge and being a leader, WoW is a great simlulation to let you do those things. And if you're already a lazy worker and interested in helping yourself more than whatever team you're on, WoW probably won't cure you of that (there are certainly plenty of selfish people running around the game every day). In short, if your hiring policies are based on whether or not someone plays videogames, you might want to reconsider them completely.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances

WotLK breaks internal records at EB Games


One of our secret correspondents inside an EB Games store forwarded us this picture of an internal email sent out to the videogame retail company, saying that not only was the week of WotLK's launch the biggest sales week of the year, but it was the biggest week ever outside of last year's Christmas sales, and the biggest launch the chain has ever had. Additionally, at EB Games, Wrath was the highest presale ever, the highest single-format (which means PC/Mac only) week one sales (in just two days), and the highest day one sales of any game ever, multiformat or otherwise.

Pretty incredible. EB Games isn't a small company by any means, and while we knew Wrath was big, it looks like Blizzard's second WoW expansion smashed pretty much every sequel it could in the chain, even toppling some of the console gaming records. Anyone that claimed World of Warcraft had peaked with Burning Crusade should be looking pretty foolish at this point.

We'll have to see where Blizzard goes from here -- there's no doubt that one reason Wrath was so popular out of the gate was that it returned to the "core" of Warcraft III: the story of Arthas and the Scourge. Can Blizzard replicate that with another expansion, no matter what the setting?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Bejeweled 1.02 is out

The most important addon of all has been updated to version 1.02 for compatibility with patch 3.0.2: PopCap's Bejeweled has a new version ready for download on their site that will work just great with the new patch. And there's a new feature, too: PopCap says so many people asked for a little minimap relief that they've added an option to either turn the minimap icon off completely, or move it around the minimap wherever you like.

Unfortunately, the endgame got nerfed so much that odds are you won't die in raids until Wrath, so that part of the addon probably won't get used much. But my flight paths have felt empty without the gems to match since Tuesday -- the new version of Bejeweled is the most welcome addition to my addon folder.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Leveling, Achievements

BlizzCon 2008: The Retro Arcade


Diablo III, Rock 'n' Roll Racing, and The Lost Vikings 2. What do all of these things have in common? They're all made by Blizzard, and they're all playable on the floor of BlizzCon 2008. The last two, however, are hidden in the Retro Arcade area, where Blizzard has set up all of the old games from their past for visitors to experience and play. It's not a complete display (no Starcraft 64, and Justice League Task Force would have been fun to play), but there are a lot of great titles in there anyway. It's too bad I've got to play Starcraft II for a hands-on later today -- I'd kind of rather go play the original again. But that's not a bad problem to have.

Check out our gallery of the retro arcade, and revisit some old Blizzard favorites.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Humor, Screenshots, Galleries, BlizzCon

WoW Crossword 9/7/08


Do you like puzzles, of course you do! Answers to this week's puzzle will appear next Sunday.

Special thanks to Michael Gray for his guest crossword last week. We'll get his solution up as soon as possible.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, WoW Crossword

EA: You don't need $1 billion to compete with WoW


You just need $100 million to beat it. No, we're kidding -- after Activizzard founder Bobby Kotick's presumptuous statement a few months ago that any game company would need at least half a billion dollars to challenge World of Warcraft, EA/Mythic's Mark Jacobs has responded in kind on the eve of their big Warhammer Online release, telling MTV Multiplayer that the number is closer to around $100 million. And that they spent less than that on their big MMO.

We'll be realistic here: we don't think anyone believes, including EA, that WoW's numbers are attainable for another MMO coming out this year -- even Blizzard believes that eventually WoW will go by the wayside, but as Jacobs says, anyone releasing a game today isn't just competing with WoW, they're competing with WoW and Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. And no matter how long your development cycle or how big your budget, you can't compete with three years of people working around the clock to make the game better for live players.

But EA does want to be successful, and Jacobs says success for him would mean upwards of half a million players. Six months from now, he says, if Warhammer is folding servers and not adding them, the writing is on the wall. There's no reason to think that will be the case, of course -- Warhammer looks like a great game led by one of the biggest publishers in the world supporting one of the best MMO developers, and it's about as close to guaranteed a success gets in the MMO space. But even Mythic would say WoW stands on its own -- while WoW is running, it's highly unlikely we'll see any MMO come anywhere near its 10 million total subscribers.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Crossword 8/17/08


Do you like puzzles, of course you do! You can find the clues for this crossword after the break. Answers to this week's puzzle will appear next Sunday.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, WoW Crossword

Guildwatch doesn't have time to play games, either


And yet we play World of Warcraft all the time. You wouldn't think this tiny little tell, above, would cause a guild to rupture apart, but in fact it did exactly that -- Runforyalife sent this tell to someone, they posted it on the forums, and the next thing you know, the GM had kicked Run right out. For his part, Run regrets what he said (we think the GM is a little testy, and whoever posted the tell is at fault, too), but there's a point to be made here: even the little tells you send in game can cause big trouble.

All this drama and more after the break. We've got good news too, though: there are guild downings aplenty, as well as a few recruiting notices (though it seems recruiting has slowed down with the Wrath beta in full force. If you've got a tip, send it to wowguildwatch@gmail.com as always. Click the link below to read on.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

WoW Crossword 7/20/08


Do you like puzzles, of course you do! You can find the clues for this crossword after the break. Answers to this week's puzzle will appear next Sunday.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, WoW Crossword

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