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Posts with tag ingame

Breakfast Topic: Game time

The other day, I was talking to a good WoW friend about some RL stuff. None of it was anything you all would find terribly interesting, until we came upon the topic of my health. I told him I had started a probiotic regimen recently in hopes of resolving an antibiotic treatment I had taken the year before. When I tried to recount the time that it happened, my mind momentarily drew blank before I was able to spit out "it was around Ulduar."

He knew what I meant of course, but I immediately realized the absurdity of me relaying events about my real life in game time.

When I thought about it though, I figured I couldn't be the only one ... So, do your weeks start on Tuesdays? Do you say you have to be somewhere in server time? Do in-game holidays remind you an actual holiday is coming up? Was the last time you went to the dentist when you got your first Anub'arak kill?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW.com's gift guide for 2009

It's that time of year again -- if you (like me) haven't gotten gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to start scrambling to find something nice to get under the tree this year. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding something good for the World of Warcraft fan in your life: we've got you covered there. In the gallery below, we've got a nice bunch of gift ideas for everything Warcraft, from the cheap to the expensive, from the silly to the practical, from in-game presents you can wrap with shiny paper, to out-of-game classics that you can... also wrap with shiny paper. If you need to give a gift to a WoW player this year, you'll find it below for sure.

And if you happen to be a Warcraft player, faced with the annual awkward question of "What do you want me to give you this year?", just feel free to drop this link surreptitiously as a reply, maybe even with a hint or two towards a specific item. We've included links to everything and kept it easy to understand even for someone who hasn't visited Azeroth before. That's our gift to you. Happy holidays, and good gift hunting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Guides, Galleries, Fan art

Pacifist Priest dings 80 on Friday

Reinisch is the pacifist Undead Priest who's aiming to make it to level 80 without killing anything at all (he's the same player as Noor, who we interviewed way back when and followed up with a while ago), and apparently this Friday, he's going to do it. He's inviting everybody out to a party on Friday afternoon, September 4th, at 6pm server over on The Venture Company. He's going to turn in a Dalaran fishing quest to do it, and he's got quick and easy directions posted on how to get to Dalaran as a level 1.

Though there might not be as much going on as other big server parties, it's probably worth going just to see him ding level 80 and the level 1 chaos in Dalaran that will ensue, but it's quite an achievement for sure, especially considering that this Priest was actually created before Noor -- he's named after a German priest who stood up to Hitler in the name of peace and was executed for it. It might be nice just to stop by and give the guy a grats as he dings -- pretty impressive to take a goal that most people would say was impossible, and do it in the game not once but twice on two different classes and factions.

Filed under: Undead, Engineering, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Fan art

Addiction therapists trying to help addicted in the game

Britain's Telegraph newspaper has news about addiction therapists joining the game themselves, specifically to find and seek out players who might meet the definition of addicted to World of Warcraft. They're actually looking for official Blizzard support, too. I'm not sure how much help you can actually provide by chatting with a player in the game ("Hello, it looks like you've been online for the last 16 hours, are you addicted?"), but they want to do it.

Dr. Richard Graham wants to launch a program by the end of the year that includes some in-game outreach, and even he agrees that it'll be tough sell. Then again, maybe the guy just wants to play some WoW for free:

"While a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they're probably not going to be very good at playing
World of Warcraft. We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end."

Right. "Work.".

Read more →

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

Tweetcraft lets you tweet from Warcraft

Twitter is all the rage right now -- it's the easiest, quickest way to let anyone interested know what you're up to, and because it's so popular, it's also no surprise that we've seen quite a few Twitter and World of Warcraft mashup apps. wowTwitter is a separate update service just for news about your characters, WoWHorn is a script that lets you Tweet when you hit certain achievements, and though services like PlayXpert have let you Twitter from the game before, TweetCraft appears to be the first standalone application designed to do just that. After installation, it works the same way as an addon, though it's actually not -- addons can't directly connect to the Internet, so TweetCraft instead uses an outside script to read and write tweets into settings files, which the ingame addon then reads to get and send your tweets. It gets complicated, but you don't need to know all that to install and use it -- when you run the setup app, it'll put everything in the right places for you.

As with all third-party applications, you should install and run this one at your own risk -- the FAQ has more information if you're wondering how things are stored or whether the app is secure. The app is completely open source, which means anyone who wants to can read the code, so if the author of the app was doing anything sneaky, we'd know about it. And yes, right now the app is not violating the ToS, but of course that's enforced according to Blizzard's whims, so again, use it at your own risk. If you're not interested in using this app, you can always update your status here on WoW.com using our own addon -- it's not Twitter, but it will let your friends keep track of you in Azeroth!

But TweetCraft does look to be a clever, solid way to access and post to Twitter from right inside your World of Warcraft game. If you've been looking for a one-stop solution like this, there you go. Do be sure to follow us over on Twitter, too, if you haven't yet -- you never know when we might tweet something you'll want to see.

Update: Apparently the app on default tweets all kinds of things you probably don't want to (like changing zones). There is probably a settings switch somewhere, but as always, user beware.

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

Going out on an in-game date

I thought this was a really cute idea: an in-game date, sharing some of the best locations and activities around Azeroth with someone you love (or just happen to be courting). There are lots of great ideas in that thread -- I agree that the Twin Colossals is one of the more scenic (and out of the way) vistas to visit, but there are plenty more to go to: The Grim Guzzler, a floating island in Nagrand, the Darkmoon Faire, inside the bio-domes in Netherstorm. Personally, I think the best date would be a picnic on the deck of the ship in Deadmines -- sure, you'd have to fight off ninjas every once in a while, but what is a date without a little ninja fighting, right?

If you do head out on a date, make sure you bring some roses and a bottle of wine (depending on how well you expect the date to go). If you've really thought ahead, you can bring a Romantic Picnic Basket, or you can shell out for a regular Picnic Basket, but otherwise, it's probably just best to have a snack of Delicious Chocolate Cake (it's guaranteed to make your date Very Happy).

Like I said, cute. Spending the time together with friends is what the game is all about anyway, and there's nothing wrong with taking some time to experience the world and hang out with each other. And if that's a little too boring for your tastes, maybe you can have your date tag along with you to some 2v2 Arena matches afterwards. Nothing gets the romance going like a little bloodshed.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Humor, Buffs

UNLV researcher studies WoW social interaction

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas' student newspaper, the Rebel Yell, has an article up about a student there named Michael McCreery, who's studying how people interact in online games. Unfortunately, most of the article is about the game itself (most of which we already know, obviously), and there's not much about how he actually did the study: apparently he had people play WoW using only the ingame chat, and surveyed them afterwards about it.

How exactly that tells you how to "quantify the social interactions of participants in the game so that future online games can build better environments," we have no idea, but we'll leave that to the experts. Basically, McCreery and his team are examining how people use and interact with others in the game to see how we project ourselves and our characters.

Eventually, he wants to do something "education or therapeutic" with the information, though that too is left pretty open. Virtual environments like World of Warcraft do definitely engender ties between players -- is it possible that those ties can be used in an academic or therapeutical setting? Definitely an interesting line of research.

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

Great guild traditions and where they come from


Neth wants to know your guild's traditions over on the forums. We've talked about funny guild moments and traditions before as well, too, but there seems to be a never-ending supply of them. There are as many different memories out there as there are guilds, and each one is a little different: even all of the guilds I've joined up with for any significant amount of time (there have probably been four, I think, in my WoW career? It's not that I'm a guild jumper, just that I've switched servers and factions a few times for various reasons) has had their own moods and well-known members and busy times and special things they do while raiding or leveling together.

While it would be great if Neth was asking this to get some input on guild housing or the upcoming guild battlegrounds features, she's probably just asking to hear it -- it's definitely fun to look inside the other groups in the game and see what they do the same and different. For all of the drama that tends to attract our attention, the truth is that Blizzard's ad hoc ingame guild system has created some pretty strong ties between us. I like reading through that thread and seeing just what people have come up with just as much as Neth probably does.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

WoW zones in real life


Aurdon over at I Sheep Things spotted this great collection of comparisons between real-life environs and the in-game places that they inspired. Not all of the comparisons are pitch-perfect, obviously (there are no Nagrand-esque floating islands in the real world, and the Crystalsong Forest picture shows trees covered in ice rather than the mystical wood that grows in-game), but lots of the pictures are really dead-on, and they show you really well how Blizzard uses a kind of hyper-realized version of Earth to create what seems like a very real Azeroth.

We've posted before how the architecture of WoW mirrors real-world places and culture, but even the natural world of Azeroth uses lots of Earth's real-life elements. And it would be cool to know where these pictures actually come from -- some of them are recognizable (obviously, Stranglethorn Vale is based on parts of the Amazon, and The Barrens represents Africa's savannahs), but even Icecrown and Zangarmarsh are represented (in slightly less mythical form) on Earth. It would be interesting to know exactly where.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

PETA event: Seals got clubbed, pigs got eaten


On the podcast last Saturday, our friend NinthBatter (maker of the WI Song's machinima) gave us an on-scene report from the PETA event that took place earlier in the day. As you might expect, it was chaos -- while PETA's plan was to roll Alliance and attack a few Horde bad guys, lots of folks rolled Horde instead, and started up a guild called the "Seal Cub Clubbing Club." Many, many seals died, as you can see in the few pictures below.

And perhaps most hilariously, people brought plenty of Great Feasts to lay out for the crowd, which means that right in all of the (supposedly) animal-saving action, there was plenty of roast pig to eat. Not exactly the best day for PETA, but what did they expect? They did, however, get quite a few media mentions, so it was probably mission accomplished over there anyway.

Did you go to the event? If you've got more pictures of what happened, or even some video of what went down, let us know and we'll add them to the gallery below.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Cooking, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor

Massive at MI6: Blizzard is an "around game" ad success

Not only did Blizzard clean up at the MI6 awards (and yes, that's not to be confused with the British Intelligence Agency that some dude named Bond works for), but their partners at Massive also gave a presentation there. Who's Massive, you ask? You may not know their name, but you've already seen their work: they're the company, related to Microsoft, that Blizzard has hired to run their ingame and in-software ads.

During the presentation, the rep from Massive, JJ Richards, talked about the three types of advertising that they're running: in-game, around game, and for game. In-game is what you usually see in EA's big sports titles: big billboards that sport real-life brands, or even in-game items like cell phones and clothing that advertise real objects. World of Warcraft obviously isn't much of a candidate for that type of advertising, but Massive does cite them as a huge success for the second type, "around game": they take full credit for the ads over on the forums, as well as the ads we'll eventually see in the Starcraft and Diablo Battle.net interfaces. Strange that they didn't mention the gold ad slipup (/sarcasm). He also suggests putting ads in the WoW launcher, but at least agrees that those will have to be extremely game-related if they're going to get away with it.

And the third type of advertising Massive does is "for game," where they use the various Microsoft properties like Xbox Live and Hotmail to do targeted advertising at gamers -- using Netflix queues on Xbox to shape Hotmail ads, and so on. If that all sounds sneaky, so be it (don't forget that this presentation was made to a bunch of marketers, not necessarily actual gamers). But it sounds like Blizzard has made a nice big deal with Massive (despite the fact that we're still paying a tidy subscription fee every month), so whether we like it or not, we're going to be seeing exactly what they're planning in our games in the future.

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

Carbonite going free, continuing development

The guys behind Carbonite have finally responded to Blizzard's new addon policy, and probably not in the way you might have guessed: they're continuing development, and they're making the addon free. Carbonite was rumored to be the addon that started all of this trouble: they had a partial version up for free download, and were charging for the full version of the addon, which apparently Blizzard didn't appreciate. But rather than shutting down the addon completely, they've decided to go free for everyone, and they're continuing development -- version 3.00 is supposed to be out next week.

It's worth noting that they still have a number of donate buttons on their download page, which Blizzard is supposedly fine with -- all Blizzard wanted was the donate buttons out of the game itself. And of course, if you find this addon (or any other) helpful, you should definitely support the people who make it.

Reaction on the addon's forums is grateful as expected -- lots of people figured that this addon would be shutting down for good, so many are glad to see it will be continuing development. And one developer does say that Carbonite will be removing any obfuscation from their code, as per the new policy, so it's possible that other addon developers will be able to more easily hook into their code and use their techniques. Of course, whether the addon will still be financially worth it for the devs remains to be seen but for now, they're going along with the new policy and widening their audience at the same time.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Making money, Hardware

What to do when a player dies

This AP story is making its way around the community -- Jerald Spangleberg's daughter was faced with a growing problem when he passed a way: figuring out how to notify the guy's in-game friends. As online relationships grow more and more prevalent, relatives of those who pass away are often having trouble notifying some of the deceased closest friends. Even Blizzard can't help in this situation, apparently -- they have no policy or rules to deal with players who have died, and no way for relatives to log in to the game without the password to let guilds know what has happened.

You might suggest that these relationships aren't that big a deal, but when you think that guildies are encountered almost nightly, while real-life friends connect only when schedules allow (maybe once or twice a week), you can see why it might be important to let the ingame associates know what has happened. Unfortunately, all of the solutions so far are pretty morbid -- there are sites that will send email for you, or some players have left lists of contacts to reach when they move on.

The importance of online relationships is likely to increase in the future if the past few years are any indication. And given that the average player is getting older even as they're making more and stronger friends online, it might not be long until we've got a much better solution to deal with this problem.

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

Noblegarden extended to a week on the PTR

Elizabeth's wishes have been answered -- in-game Easter holiday Noblegarden has been extended to a full week according to the calendar on the PTR. That's six more days to run around getting eggs, not to mention doing all of the new Noblegarden achievements being included in the holiday. In the past, Noblegarden hasn't meant that much to players -- the rewards were never that great, and the fact that it was on only one day (a day usually reserved by most celebrating for family dinners away from the game) made it much less active than it could have been. But Blizzard has revamped the holiday, apparently, so be on the lookout for some eggs and bunnies starting on Sunday, April 12th.

One quick note for those of you worried about your Violet Proto-drakes: apparently still none of the Nobelgarden quests are included in the meta achievement. So there won't be any Bags of Candy or monthly Brews to get -- just enjoy the festivities.

And we'll give a shout-out to Kisirani here as well -- since she took over World Events on the Blizzard team, we've seen some great changes. Despite the issues with the Zombie launch event for Wrath, it was still a ton of fun, and we're pretty sure that she and her team also been behind the popular Brewfest and Hallow's End holidays as well. Excellent work -- we can't wait to see what the new Noblegarden is like.

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

eHarmony advertises in Warsong Gulch


Quinionn on Magtheridon sent us this picture -- apparently dating website eHarmony has gotten in on the in-game advertising just in time for Valentine's Day. He had just joined a Warsong Gulch when this guy showed up spamming an ad.

There's a number of strange things going on here -- as far as we know, this isn't an official Blizzard move, but most of the people spamming ads in the game are shady gold-selling websites, not real corporations with bigger profiles. And the weirdest thing might be this: Eharmony on Arthas isn't a one-time character created to spam in Trade -- he's level 80 with 450 Jewelcrafting and Mining. There's actually a lot of characters with the same name around, with different levels and classes, even in different guilds (though this one is probably the funniest).

Very weird. At the very least, the spammer's aiming to lose his character, and at worst, if this is an organized action, Blizzard might actually have a case against eHarmony for spamming inside the game. Have you seen any other ads like this around the game?

Update: Mystery seems to be solved: it was just some guy messing around. Strange way to mess around, though. He's in our comments, and says he's getting a free name change after the GMs said what he was doing was not so cool.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Alts, Battlegrounds

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