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Warcraft movie update: Metzen says "still getting it together"

It's been months since we've heard a peep on the Hollywood news lines about the Warcraft film or director Sam Raimi. When Spider-man 4 was canceled in January, there was speculation that Raimi might be headed to the Warcraft film next. A month later, we reported a rumor that Raimi's next project might not be Warcraft, but a film adaptation of The Shadow. Seeing as Sony let the rights to the film lapse in March, it doesn't sound like The Shadow is in any state of serious development; but it does raise the question of what exactly is Raimi up to right now?

While we still have no exact answer to that, Chris Metzen gave us a small update on the film in an interview over at vg247 published yesterday. When asked if a considerable amount of time was being spent on the movie, Metzen replied, "I wouldn't say "considerable" at all just yet. We've been through a number of story meetings, and we're still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team and jamming on themes that we want to chase."

Sadly, the interview didn't reveal many specifics, but Metzen responded favorably when asked if he was concerned about dissappointing Warcraft fans: "Nobody wants to screw it up: we all want to hit it hard and have it be something that is as resonant and canonical as it can be. But given what Warcraft is, with all these moving parts, we're going to have to take some liberties here and there. I'm under no illusions about that fact ... "

It's hard to draw any new or concrete conclusions from the interview, but it's good to see that the movie is still being talked about. WoW.com will keep you updated as we learn more.

Filed under: Interviews, Warcraft Movie

What we know about the Warcraft movie


Last week, we reported that the Warcraft movie may be on its way. Previously there had been speculation that the film's development would be pushed back, since director Sam Raimi was tied up by problems with Spider-Man 4. Raimi then unexpectedly walked away from Spider-Man 4, citing creative reasons, and it suddenly looked hopeful that he might soon be turning his attention to the Warcraft film.

So now, in preparation for more news on the film, we will be bringing you up to date on what we currently know about the Warcraft movie.

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Filed under: News items, Features, BlizzCon, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

All the World's a Stage: So you want to raise up the shadows of doom


Today, All the World's a Stage concludes a series on "how to be evil," bringing the bad guy back into your fantasy roleplaying, complete with ideas, methods, warnings, and practical examples. Be sure to check out steps 1-3, steps 4-6, and steps 7 and 8 on the path to evil!

Your friends keep telling you, "you can't play Arthas, man! Nobody's going to believe that your little human death knight is actually the Lich King in disguise. Get real!" But your idea just won't go away. You admit that creating a human death knight named "Ahrrthyss" might not be the best way to go about it, but you're in this guild which is devoted to fighting the Scourge, and you want Arthas to be a part of your story, not just an NPC who shows up in some quests and at the end of a raid.

We've already discussed a number of ways to be a villain in WoW – so you look at them to see if you can get one of them to work for you: The most obvious is to just start a new character and designate it to be one of your guild's antagonists, but the problem here is that making Arthas as an actual player character is way too Mary Sue. Such a tactic usually only works for very subtle villains (more like flawed heroes really), or for short-term possession, and your guild has done 3 "possessed by the Lich King's power" type stories already. You need something new! Another choice is to create a disposable villain, perhaps, some agent of the Lich King, which could be interesting, but still doesn't put you in touch with Arthas himself.

But there is another way, which many people have not thought of: to put the villain entirely in the shadows of the background, let him never actually be seen, but let his effects be felt based on what happens to the heroes. Arthas can indeed play a huge role in your story, without ever having to appear in person. It has been done to great effect before, even in novels. Sauron, anyone?

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Filed under: How-tos, Lore, Bosses, RP, Alts, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Two Ring to rule them all

Two Ring to rule them all,
Two Ring to find them,


Two Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.


Forget The 1 Ring folks, Massively lead and WoW Insider blogger Krystalle Voecks came across The 2 Ring today via a Live Journal entry. For many years World of Warcraft players all around Azeroth have been on the look out for this seemingly missing piece of loot, and in patch 2.4 they will be rewarded via the daily fishing quest.

The ring features +22 to the primary five stats, making it (wait... let me make sure my math is right here...) 22 times better than The 1 Ring.

I'm not sure of it's use initially. It's a well rounded stats ring, so perhaps a druid or other hybrid class might be interested in it if they find themselves changing roles often enough. However for a single role / gear set, there are a plethora of better choices easily obtainable.

Of course, with that said, it makes a helluva nice ring to start off at 70 with.

Filed under: Fishing, Patches, Odds and ends, News items, RP

Is WoW popular because it is fantasy?


Richard Bartle at Terra Nova asks an interesting question regarding MMORPGs in general, wondering why so many of them tend toward the fantasy genre. Did Lord of the Rings have such a phenomenal impact on our cultural imagination that it made every story (or gaming environment) even loosely based on it more likely to succeed, or is there something deeper here?

The question sparks an interesting discussion which I encourage you to read. It certainly makes me think about WoW in a new light. Suppose we imagine that Blizzard had made a different decision about which franchise to develop into their first MMO: would World of Starcraft have been as popular as World of Warcraft is today if its gameplay was more or less just as good, or is the science fiction environment inherently less appealing to the masses than fantasy?

To me, it makes sense that Blizzard chose the Warcraft franchise over Starcraft (or even Diablo for that matter), not just because it is fantasy, and certainly not just because it draws on elements of Tolkien's literature, but because it draws on a wider range of mythic elements, contains more layers of conflict, and generally provides a greater diversity of opportunities for a new gamer to find something he or she likes in it. What's your opinion?

Filed under: Lore

All the World's a Stage: Raiding and RP don't mix, or do they? -- A question of continuity.

All the World's a Stage is brought to you by David Bowers every Sunday evening, investigating the mysterious art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

The Warcraft storyline is part of a great tradition of fantasy literature, and, as with any form of storytelling, the entire span of WoW lore involves a series of events and changes. Arthas wasn't always the Lich King, Illidan used to be able to wear shoes, and your character was once a little child, with no spells or epic weapons at all. All these things fit together in a single story universe, in which the progressive changes taking place in the story made the world what it is today.

But what is it today? Is Illidan now dead or alive? Is VanCleef dead or alive, for that matter? As a gaming environment, any boss you kill today has to be there for me to kill tomorrow. The WoW game world needs to remain basically unchangeable -- but over time this can stifle a roleplayer's sense of immersion in its narrative. To illustrate the impact this sort of immutability has on storytelling, let us take a page from a certain fantasy story you might have read, and see how it might work as a WoW raid instance.
Welcome to Mines of Moria! This raid instance will reset in 6 days, 10 hours and 41 minutes.

[Raidleader] [Gandalf]: Beware! There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world. Follow my glowing staff!
[Raidleader] [Gandalf]: ... and um... get ready to pull that first group of orcs. Kill order is skull, x, circle... Gimli, can you offtank that cave troll?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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