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Posts with tag in-game

What does brand advertising mean for the MMO? Part 1

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, and esoteroic topics that slip through the cracks.

Brand advertising has already been done in the MMO sphere. Anarchy Online's Free Play program has been showing users in-game advertisements for real-world products on in-game billboards since World of Warcraft launched in 2004. MMOs have survived since. Case closed.

Oh, you wanted more discussion. I see. It's been done before! Finally, we have some real precedent to talk about. Oh FunCom, you've finally managed to not disappoint me. Advertising models were one of the first types of campaigns to be applied to free-to-play versions of massively multiplayers that didn't hit perfection under a subscription model. In 2004, there were a tremendous number of MMOs to play, and people usually just stayed loyal to one. The fight for your subscription dollars was on.

Anarchy Online's Free Play program debuted in December 2004, just after the launch of the unknown but best-selling indie hit World of Warcraft, giving players a chance to play the game and its first expansion pack free of charge. Players subscribed to the Free Play game client would see advertisments in cities, towns, and other highly populated places in game for real-life goods, services, and companies. Advertising dollars paid for the game, as well as subscribers' choosing to pay and see fictional ads instead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Pre-Cataclysm event image gallery

As we mentioned earlier, the next pre-Cataclysm event is currently being tested on the PTR. We've now gone through the Horde version of the event ourselves (it's still a little buggy) and nabbed some screenshots to share with you. We'll do a full writeup later today, so stick around and we'll fill you in on all the details soon.

Be warned: The gallery includes spoilers for events coming up in the next patch, so if you'd like to be surprised, move along. Might I suggest to the priest section?

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Tom Chilton talks about the in-game pet store

The guys over at The Instance podcast got a chance to talk to Blizzard's Tom Chilton about the recent decision to sell in-game noncombat pets for real money, and the interview is now up in the latest episode on their site. He talks first about the pets' development, and it sounds like they designed the pets thinking they'd be sold on a real-money store eventually. He says the price point was "arrived at by trying to figure out what it would have to be to make sense for us to spend time working on it." And he mentions the TCG and their loot prizes -- he says those were meant to be a bonus, and they ended up being a roundabout way for players to buy pets anyway, so Blizzard decided to go with this more direct plan.

He doesn't say much about the future, but he does say that Blizzard is planning on doing some "pet and plushie" deals, where you'll be able to buy a plushie from the Blizzard store, and get an in-game pet with it. For the game specifically, he mentions the guild transfer service that's coming (we heard about that back at BlizzCon -- you'll be able to server transfer an entire guild rather than do it account-by-account), but otherwise he tells players that the pet store is just a "side project" -- right now, it's not taking away from development at all, and if it does grow, Chilton says Blizzard would hire more people rather than using current developers. We'll have to see what happens in the future.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Interviews

Grunty, the Murloc Marine appears on the PTR

We've had WoW and Diablo 3-themed BlizzCon/Worldwide Invitational in-game pets already, so you might say "hell, it's about time" when we tell you that Grunty, a murloc in Space Marine power armor, is on its way.

MMO-Champion's Boubouille, head of the Romulan Data Miners Guild, discovered the pet's model while performing routine excavation on the newly-updated 3.1.2 patch files.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that all signs point to this being part of the BlizzCon goody bag as opposed to TCG loot, meaning there's even less of a chance for you to get it. Hope you're prepared to beat the queue to get one. Heck, I'm even considering trying to go after seeing this -- I can't wait to see the idle animations he gets. According to the screenshots, it looks like he even blasts the air with his flamethrower. For once, the fish will do the frying.

*puts on sunglasses, plays "Won't Get Fooled Again"*

Filed under: BlizzCon

Noblegarden removed from in-game calendar

Thanks to the astute eyes of reader Jadissa, we can report that Noblegarden is no longer present on the in-game calendar. This is likely a clear indicator that the in-game world event is getting pushed back. Based on what we know already (that it will be part of other achievements), it should not be assumed that the event was removed.

We've spoke about the upcoming changes to Noblegarden before: it might get delayed, and it will be part of the overall world event achievement What a Long, Strange Trip.

There has been no indication from Blizzard when exactly it will start up, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go live towards the end of the month. We'll have to wait and see when this start date is, and we'll be sure to announce it here on WoW Insider as soon as we know.

This is not an April Fools joke.

Filed under: Events, News items, Achievements

Tunes for toons while raiding

We've talked about listening to music while playing the game before. While the "actual" game music is pretty good (I've gone back and forth between having it on and off during the time I've played, and at this point I'm in an "on" phase, so I can hear all the new Northrend music). But Lazaragh on Jubei'thos wants to know about a specific situation: what do you listen to while raiding?

Personally, while I'll often have a podcast or a movie on while playing solo or sometimes running five mans (if I'm feeling particularly awake), I tend to have to focus while raiding, so I usually turn the background noise off and listen to Vent or just the audio queues ingame. Any more than that an I get distracted. But there are all kinds of answers in the thread, from trance to pop to metal (Dragonforce FTW!), and pretty much across every genre that you can think of. What might be most interesting about all of this is that the music apparently has no effect on gameplay, though it'd be interesting to see the raiding performance of people who listen to music while playing against people who don't.

Maybe an enterprising raiding group can do an experiment and figure that out. I'd guess it's just personal taste, but it does seem to me that even if you say your attention isn't divided, the music has to be a little distraction. Maybe it's just me. What kind of music do you raid with?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day in game?


Today is St. Patrick's Day, and I'm sure my Irish Catholic grandmother will be proud of me when I show her this Easter holiday that I've managed to write something up on this Irish celebration. In fact, pictured above is my Irish leaning main character Osullivan overlooking the green river in Chicago. My friends in Defenders of The Pass over on the Eldre'Thalas server have teased me for years with green beer, and today, I'm going to have one and salute them all. /cheers!

While there isn't any official World of Warcraft holiday for St. Patty's Day, festivities are bound to be popping up everywhere. Perhaps some merry drinking, maybe a few kisses to a stone, or maybe everyone rolls a red headed female dwarven warrior and dances around a bit.

Besides my real life green beer that I'll be enjoying (most likely a Budweiser Select with green dye), I'll have to saunter over to a tavern and pick up some sort of Potent Ale. I think I'll drink it right before I go off to pull Archimonde, no doubt causing everyone to yell in bewilderment over vent.

What are you doing in game for this St. Patrick's Day? And if you can, share with me and tip back the ol' glass at 9:00 EST tonight!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

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