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Posts with tag plans

Speculating on a new resource system for Hunters

As we said on the podcast this weekend, one of the most interesting things to come out of the Hunter Q&A last week was that vague about "long-term plans" to "[remove] the need for hunters to rely on a different resource system then mana." That one kind of came out of nowhere, and the answer was even more vague: basically, they promised to talk about it at BlizzCon. Of course, that's what our attracted our attention: is Blizzard planning on getting Hunters off of their mana system completely?

That would be quite a change -- since the beginning of the game, Hunters have relied on mana as their "resource" -- Warriors have Rage and Rogues have Energy, but Hunters somehow got looped in with the other DPSers as mana users. That doesn't make much sense -- not only does it depend on Intelligence (a stat which Hunters don't really have a reason to go after anyway), but it's lead to the problem of keeping Hunters powered up. Hunters are almost continually out of mana, and Blizzard has made some wacky mechanic tweaks (with both AotV and Replenishment) to try and keep them up and running.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, BlizzCon

Using WoW for learning in schools

We've heard about WoW in schools before, but usually it's at schools of higher learning, where they're studying social networks or how society evolves. But a group in North Carolina is planning to put WoW in schools in a different way: by using situations in World of Warcraft to develop literacy, mathematics, and other competencies. WoWinSchools has math lessons and other tests based around WoW terms and knowledge: one example question asks "Which types of heals produce a greater number of recovered hit points during an encounter?" Another wants to know "Which buff (a spell that enhances a character's abilities) is more effective for your character, Blessing of Kings or Blessing of Might?" The idea is to use situations that the kids are familiar with in World of Warcraft (raiding, for example), and apply higher level thinking to those situations.

There are even creative writing suggestions dedicated to the game, from writing an RP story about a character in Azeroth, to writing a song parody (that one should be taught by Professor Turpster) or designing a quest chain. And lest you think they're just joking around, there's a whole slew of research behind the idea, too, and it definitely makes sense: kids who play World of Warcraft are much more likely to be interested in problems about DPS and Healing rather than Susie and Bobby's apples that we added and subtracted back when we were kids in school.

It seems like the only place this is implemented is in one afterschool program -- while there are lots of good ideas here, it's not necessarily being used in many classrooms yet (and my guess is that not every student in schools would vibe with a World of Warcraft-based curriculum, either). But it is a plan in development, and anything that better helps teachers understand what their students are interested in is probably worthwhile.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Talents, Buffs

Blizzard makes deal with Massive for Battle.net ads

The AP is reporting that Microsoft's game advertising division (called Massive, Inc., not to be confused with Massively), has signed a deal with Blizzard to offer advertising on their upcoming Battle.net revamp, presumably to premiere with Starcraft II. This is apparently out-of-game advertising, i.e. the ads you'll see upon login to the service, not necessarily on in-game billboards or other nonsense like that. Battle.net is Blizzard's online service -- they've used it since way back in the Diablo days, and they've always had ads for their own products in it. But now they've contracted with this company Massive, Inc. to put other ads in there, and since they've been planning for a revamp for a while, you can probably expect to see the ads in right away when the new service launches.

How will this affect us as WoW players? It might not -- Blizzard may leave WoW on its own launcher, rather than having you go through a Battle.net launcher to sign in. On the other hand, WoW is clearly Blizzard's biggest online game, and we already know that Blizzard plans to include some WoW features (achievements, accounts) in the Battle.net revamp, so it could be that they're going to unify everything under one launcher (WoW, Starcraft II, Diablo III), in which case you'd see these ads when you sign in as well.

Which makes us wonder why exactly we'd be paying $15 a month to see more ads on login, but don't panic yet -- we'll cross that bridge when we actually know it exists (for now, Blizzard hasn't announced any official plans to change the way WoW works with Battle.net, other than the fact that one account will work across all games). We'll keep an eye out for any other new Battle.net news -- there's definitely something big in the works.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Breakfast topic: Vacation to Northrend

Hooray! After months of speculation, we finally have a release date for Wrath of the Lich King. The World (of Warcraft) will soon be chock full of Death Knights and Inscriptionists. There are so many things to look forward to. I can't decide which character to level first. I'll have some time.

As promised, I put in my Paid Time Off request for a few days after the release. I'm very surprised at Thursday release date, but I'm not complaining. I'm taking the twelfth through the sixteenth of November off work. I beat the release-request rush at work, so my time is approved. See you in Northrend.

Are you rearranging your schedule for the coming of Wrath?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

What's your first task in Beta?

European Beta keys started rolling out beginning at 6AM. I don't know about you but I will be anxiously checking my mail box when I wake up in the morning (that is if I make it to bed at all). My guess is that we will see North American beta keys at about 6 Pacific time (9 Eastern). For you folks staying up all night with us, that's in about 4 hours.

The crew here at WoW Insider is biting their nails in anticipation of bringing the latest breaking news on the expansion. We've discussed why we should be in the beta, now we'll see who wins the lottery. My understanding is that the Beta will be a ramp up, so do not lose hope if you don't get your email right away. There will likely be much time for testing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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