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Posts with tag inspiration

WRUP: In search of inspiration

Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as: WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

When I was at BlizzCon last year, I talked with a number of people from Blizzard's HR department. We talked briefly about the application process, and it was suggested that if I ever apply for a job there, I should include, along with my resumé, an inspiration list. They want to know who or what inspires you to be a better artist -- a very fair question.

I thought about it, and it didn't take long to come up with an answer. When it comes to my writing, few people inspire me quite like Norm MacDonald.

I first became acquainted with Norm back in the mid-1990s during his stint on Saturday Night Live. He was the go-to news guy, holding the anchor chair of Weekend Update. He's done stand-up. He performed (as 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole) at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in front of President Clinton. And now, he's got a new show on Comedy Central called Sports Show with Norm MacDonald.

We're a lot alike, Norm and I. We're both unafraid to be inappropriate. We're both willing to take chances. Neither of us are meant for mass audiences. If I ever got a sitcom on ABC, it'd fare about as well as Norm's did, which is not very well at all. I'd probably even hire Laurie Metcalf too; I like her.

Norm puts on a good dumb guy front, but he's almost always the smartest man in the room. Take his appearance on Who Wants to be a Millionaire back in 2000. In one of the most entertaining segments that show had ever, he wins a heck of a lot of money for charity and lampoons the game's format all in one fell swoop. (His run towards a million starts in the clip above; if you're interested, the phenomenal conclusion is available after the fold.)

I figured the topic of inspiration was interesting enough that, in addition to the traditional WRUP question, asked my fellow WoW Insider writers the question: "Who -- or what -- inspires you?"

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Breakfast Topic: Has your time in Azeroth lent you inspiration?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I started my first year at a liberal arts college this past August, choosing a liberal arts college because I had virtually no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The first week was soul-crushingly hard, and I felt like a piece of flotsam in an ocean, lost and without direction. I was talking with my family about this, and they told me to consider the following scenario: If I could do anything at all and education wasn't an issue, what would it be?

It was then that I had an epiphany of sorts: I wanted to design games. More specifically, I wanted to design games that were as powerful as World of Warcraft, reaching across cliques, age, gender, occupation, ethnicity and geographical location and making people happy. Bringing players together to have fun and enjoy an amazing idea (despite the impressive technical implications) is most awe-inspiring to me because of its relative simplicity. I envision a game in which people anywhere across the world could play together, with more to do than just kill X, grind Y.

World of Warcraft has allowed people to do amazing things, from letting people make friends they would never have otherwise met, to simply allowing a father to connect to his terminally ill child. I want to be an integral part of something that extraordinary. Has WoW ever inspired you in any way, be it big or small?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Spiritual Guidance: Did we need the patch 3.2 nerfs?


Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI and addons blog for WoW. Patch 3.2 nerfs here we go!

Where do I start? There are several intriguing changes impacting the Priest class (specifically those of us that heal). On the one hand I'm partially disappointed by some of the changes. On the other hand I'm relieved because the changes could have been worse.

Let us get to it then, shall we?

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Raiding, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Lichborne: Patch 3.2 Death Knight changes in-depth

See how nerfed I am?
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb.

On my first read-through of the Patch 3.2 Death Knight patch notes, I had to chuckle a bit. If the theme of the Retribution overhauls was making Retribution DPS a bit more complicated, it was definitely very much about the simplification for Death Knights. Simplification is a relative term, of course, given that rune rotations are still in full effect, but there has been some streamlining of techniques and adjustment of cooldowns that will lead many of us to do some tuning up on our rotations. Let's take a deep look at the changes and see what they'll mean for us going forward into Patch 3.2.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

Molten Core now available for download

You may remember Blizzard's April Fool's joke this year, a trailer promising the release of a console version of the Molten Core. It was a concept that did so well in the polls, we expected to see it turned into some kind of official mini-game.

An enterprising fan, however, beat them to the punch. The Molten Core ATARI-style game is now available, as posted in the forums. You can download it from Box.net or from Filefront. Design inspiration is credited to Blizzard, of course, but its graphics, programming, and game play are courtesy of Derek Gallant.

With this morning's server restarts, I took the opportunity to fire up this 1 or 2 player raid instance. And, while it probably won't be peeling me away from the zombie invasion, I didn't stop laughing the entire time. Derek's creation allows you to play each of WoW's staple classes, and everything is, indeed, fairly reminiscent of Molten Core. (If you know what you're looking at.)

Good luck!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Forums

Fan Art bears resemblence to work of Michael Turner

On the left is a piece of art by the late Michael Turner, who passed away in June of this year. On the right is a submission in the Blizzard Fan Art Program, by Emiko Setsuna (or Dênakê). Tipster Ron pointed this out to us, figuring it was worth a mention. If you notice the two pictures look very similar, you're right. If you're not convinced, look very closely at the ladies' left hand, and how the fingers and thumb are placed.

I'm not ready to scream "plagiarism" here (or Laaaaaaaand!, if you're familiar with comics). The idea of "inspired art" and "homage" is very common, and there are only so many ways you can pose the humanoid body. The Blizzard Fan Art Program doesn't have a commentary feature, so it's possible Setsuna intended on crediting Michael Turner for the inspiration. If you consider the timing, especially, it's likely Setsuna was memorializing Turner, as he only passed away a few months ago.

Still, it does make me wish that the Fan Art section did have more information from the creator, so we could draw a conclusion more easily.

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

Breakfast Topic: Has Warcraft inspired you?

Warcraft has been a couple of things to me, besides a game. One, I've met a lot of really, really good friends while playing WoW. Some of them are friends I will probably still have quite a few years from now, after WoW is long gone. Two, it has been a bit of an inspiration. Not that big, worldview-changing kind of inspiration, but the kind that makes you stand up and go do things.

The things I've done vary from simple to quite a bit larger. There's the mundane inspirations, like doing a little bit of creative writing (and the writing I do here) but I've written before, so it was more an outlet rather than something completely new. It definitely has inspired quite a bit of writing though, as well as RP as part of that. I've never ever been into comics before, though, and never really had a drive to try them, but I do read the Warcraft comics now, and will probably read the Ashbringer one as well. I still can't say I read a ton of comics, I probably never will, but at least I'm open to giving good ones a whirl nowadays. Maybe you all have some recommendations for me, eh?

Then, going back to the 'meeting friends' bit, I've met a fair amount of raid and guild mates in person now, and will definitely be meeting more come BlizzCon in October. We've formed some pretty strong bonds, and I really wish I could hang out with those people more in person. Elizabeth W. has echoed this one with me, we've both traveled pretty far to meet some great people.

WoW Insider has shown off quite a bit that players have been inspired to do, from crafts to art to uh, military training. Has WoW inspired anything in you guys? Just trying something new, or maybe something a little more substantial?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

All the World's a Stage: Writing what you know

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Many people don't realize it, but every time you put your fingers to the keyboard to spell out some words, that's the same writing skill that authors and poets take years and years to practice and master. Of course there's a big difference between a simple text message and an epic fantasy novel, but any form of writing shares many of the same the fundamental skills - skills which one must then adapt to suit the particular medium you are using to communicate.

As a roleplayer, in particular, one can benefit a great deal from many of the basic principles any writer uses when putting their ideas down on paper, especially principles of good communication within a storytelling medium.

Today, we'll explore a particular aspect of the writing craft as applied in roleplaying: Writing what you know vs. writing what seems cool.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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