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The Lawbringer: What WoW can learn from other microtransaction models, part 2

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, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Two weeks ago, The Lawbringer took a look at the EVE Online currency model, what happens when value is dictated by the players, and the successes and failures that Blizzard can learn from when moving forward the revenue model for WoW or any other secret MMOs in the pipe. This week, part 2 discusses the batch currency model, where players purchase one set of currency and earn another. While WoW is not likely to move to this type of currency in the near future, Diablo 3 has already embraced it with the real-money transaction auction house, which eschews a purchased currency for, well, currency.

The prime example in recent gaming history of the successful batch currency model is Riot Game's wonderful League of Legends. I've been a Defense of the Ancients fan since the early days of the mod, and the fact that such a simple concept has evolved to a genre in and of itself is remarkable. Combined with the fact that there are 15 million accounts, millions playing all over the world, and a ridiculously successful microtransaction model for customization and convenience items, League of Legends has got the world captivated. But why is World of Warcraft not something that could benefit from selling its own currency, or, rather, why would Blizzard never let it happen? Let's find out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Read Warcraft: Legends for free until March 17th

March 17th marks the release of Volume 3 of the Warcraft: Legends manga series, and Tokyopop is offering a pretty slick deal to build some hype around it. As of March 6th, Tokyopop has started putting the entire series thus far online to read for free, one chapter per day This will last through the 17th when the last chapter of Volume 2 is posted. They will not be putting new chapters up on the weekend, so despite the fact that we were a bit slow to notice this campaign of theirs (sorry!), you haven't missed anything yet. The first chapter is still the only chapter currently available, and another will be going up sometime tomorrow.

If you're not familiar with this series, Warcraft: Legends is a series that brings multiple stories from many different authors and artists. It's not one solid story arc like The Sunwell Trilogy (for example), but a number of different stories about the denizens of Azeroth. Each chapter in a volume is a different story, though some of the stories span multiple volumes. Some of them are epic tales that tie into the more famous Azerothian figures (Lich King/Scourge, Richard Knaak's characters), and some of them are just about random Azerothian adventurers getting their adventurin' on. If you don't like one of the stories, odds are that you'll like one of the others.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

[UPDATED] Tokyopop Warcraft Manga out today

Not to be confused with the World of Warcraft comics from DC Comics and Wildstorm Studios, Warcraft: Legends from Tokyopop hits the stands today. The four part graphic novel series is a compilation of stories featuring the talents of Richard Knaak and Jae Hwan-Kim -- the creative team behind the Sunwell Trilogy manga -- as well as other tales from Mike Wellman, Dan Jolley, Carlos Olivares, Troy Lewter, and Brian Yang. [UPDATE: Although Tokyopop's site says that the item is available now, clicking on the 'Buy Now' option leads to an Amazon page that says the title will be released on August 12.]

Each graphic novel will contain several stories told in parts across different volumes. Knaak and Kim bring an interesting twist to the saga of Trag Highmountain, a character introduced in Warcraft: Shadows of Ice, who returns as an Undead. Other tales include How to Win Friends and Influence People, about an odd Gnome engineer named Lazlo Grindwidget; and An Honest Trade, about Nori Blackfinger, a master weaponsmith who might have sold his wares to the wrong sort. A preview of the comic can be viewed at Tokyopop's site.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Comics

New WarCraft: Legends front cover

Richard Knaak, author of several great Warcraft books include the War of the Ancients and the Day of the Dragon, will be writing the script for the upcoming new Warcraft Manga "Legends." We've previously covered this when some sketch cover art was released at the New York Comic Con 2008, but we haven't seen the final front cover until now.

The first manga story line he wrote about Warcraft revolved around the events leading up to patch 2.4 in the Sunwell Plateau. I picked up all three of the books in a archived version over Christmas, and it was quite a good read. I'm definitely looking forward to picking this one up, and according to a Blizzplanet page, the release date is scheduled for August 1st, 2008.

The artwork pictured to the right (click for a higher resolution image) looks pretty cool, and appears to be an Orc Rogue. Since the book is called Legends, we can assume it's about some legendary figures in Warcraft. I would take a wild guess that the Orc pictured is Thrall, but I could be wrong, and feel free to disagree with me.

[Via WorldOfWar.net]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore

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