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Posts with tag global

The indomitable LFG chat channel

The first thing I thought when I saw the new LFG interface coming in patch 3.3 was what I said on last week's podcast: that's cool, but where's the LFG channel? If you remember way back during patch 2.0.1, when Blizzard originally released the LFG system, there was quite a clamor raised when they took away the LFG channel then, so much so that they eventually had to resurrect it. And so, when I saw in the latest patch notes that the LFG was set to return as a citywide channel, it didn't come as a surprise at all -- even in the new era of cross-realm LFG, there's still a place for just talking about which groups you can join.

But citywide still isn't enough for a lot of players -- some are saying that they want the channel to be worldwide. Ghostcrawler himself shows up in that thread and says a worldwide LFG channel would be nuts. And he's right: way back in the day when it was worldwide, it was "mass chaos," like a Barrens from everywhere. So why are people so tied to it? Blizzard seems to be missing a major way people used the LFG channel.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

WoW as a channel for news from Iran?

Normally, this wouldn't rate too high for us -- lots of people have ideas about how to use World of Warcraft, and many of them never actually come about. But then again, this is in the Wall Street Journal of all places, so we'll give it a look. If you're on Twitter, you've probably heard about what's going on in Iran right now -- there was an election, the "official" results given were judged as rigged by many involved, and the government seems to be cracking down on both news media and citizen journalism, as well as protesting citizens, to very sad results. How does World of Warcraft fit in to all of this? Andrew Lavallee of the WSJ's Digits blog points to this report by Craig Labovitz, which talks about how Internet traffic has been filtered out of the country around the election. At the very end of his analysis, Labovitz points out that channels for videogames, including both Xbox Live and World of Warcraft, have shown very little government manipulation. That suggests that if the government in Iran does continue to shut down certain channels, citizens there might be forced to spread the news through any virtual route they can, including possibly Azeroth.

This is obviously all just analysis and speculation so far -- while there clearly (from those charts) has been interference in the media, no one (as far as we know) has yet had to resort to chatting in World of Warcraft to get their message out, and though what's happening in Iran is made up of some very serious (and seriously unfortunate) situations, the fervor online about using brand new channels like Twitter to share real-time news is often overstated. Personally, I believe that even if Twitter didn't exist, this information would find another way to get out. Still, the interesting thing to take away here is that even our "silly" video games today are actually media on a global level.

Thanks, Cedars!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items

Korean team H O N takes the trophy at ESL's Global Arena Tournament


The Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters Global tournament has ended, and Korean team H O N have come out on top. And according to World of Ming, they completely impressed every player at the tournament -- while they were one of four teams taking the Rogue/Mage/Priest combination to the upper brackets, they apparently played that comp in a way that just rolled on through any competitors (including having their mage, Orangemarmalade, apparently keeping a match alive even after his teammates dropped). Everyone's expecting the RMP domination by the time the next Arena season rolls around, but for now, RMP is where it's at in professional arenas.

Unfortunately for us Americans, the US teams didn't put on much of a showing -- they dropped out quick, and WoM reports that their behavior after the losses was less than classy. They apparently blamed a teammate for dropping out, and it doesn't help that, unlike the Korean teams who have played the same classes and characters for a long time, the Americans apparently came up with their teams and tactics only recently. Looks like they'll have to do a little reforming and rebuilding before this year's BlizzCon.

Congrats to all the teams who walked away with victories in the ESL's Arena tournament. Even from Ming's commentary, it sounds like it was an exciting few days for Arena players.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena

Midnight launch event: Global edition

While we're still waiting on sales figures from Monday's launch of the expansion, at first glance, looking at the pictures posted here and elsewhere from around the world, it was pretty darn successful.

That's right, it looks like Blizzard pulled it off-- almost simultaneously, within the same 24 hours, they were able to both get a game on shelves, get it home with players, and let them sign online. Lag problems aside, that's a huge task, and I'm not sure they could have pulled it off any better.

As a final note on the launch, Rushter over at WorldofWar has done a little YouTube crawling, and pulled up a list of video from events all over the world. I thought things were crazy here in the US, but look how insane they got in Germany.



Look at that line! When I first heard the 5 million copies in the first ten days figure, I was skeptical. But with lines like this all over the planet, it might just be true.

Previously: Midnight launch events

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Economy, Expansions, The Burning Crusade

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