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Posts with tag ratings

Breakfast Topic: What rating would you give your guild chat?

Breakfast Topic What rating would you give your guild chat
Here in the US, the Motion Picture Association of America assigns ratings to our movies. A quick summary of each:
  • G Suitable for all audiences
  • PG Parental guidance suggested
  • PG-13 Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
  • R Parent or guardian must accompany those under 17
  • NC-17 Too adult for 17 and under, so they aren't even admitted
In It came from the Blog, the rule for guildchat is that it must be PG-13. In the Sex Talk edition of Drama Mamas, the guild's forum chat seems to be closer to NC-17.

Now, I don't think that talking about sex necessarily means that the chatters are immature. Mature people can have very mature conversations. But the R to NC-17 chatter in trade chat and battlegrounds is from immature people. There is a huge difference between inappropriately sexual and maturely sexual. But I digress.

Many family guilds will keep it from G to PG, but some stronger language and more mature topics are often allowed at night. It came from the Blog can't do that because we have Australians and other international folk whose days overlap with our nights. We don't want people to be wary of letting their kids play with us because of time zone prejudice.

What rating would you give your guildchat?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Lawbringer: WoW launching in Brazil

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world 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?

In the near future, Blizzard will be launching a localized World of Warcraft, complete with language localization and specific servers, in Brazil with a Portugeuse version of its signature virtual world. This localization accompanies a potential Japanese release, with servers for both Japan and Brazil, much as there are already US, EU, Oceanic, and Chinese/Taiwanese servers. The World of Warcraft gaming community and Blizzard especially are excited to welcome these two markets into the fold with their own local servers.

We're talking all things Brazil this week on The Lawbringer -- well, not everything Brazilian. I think all of the waxing and juijitsu questions are better left for The WoW Insider Show or perhaps The Queue. No, this week is all about the video game climate in Brazil, why Brazil is a huge up-and-coming market for MMOs, how a Portuguese localized version of WoW benefits a huge number of gamers, and the potentially pitfalls of the anti-video game sentiments in the South American powerhouse market.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

WoW Ratings lets you rate anything in Azeroth

I had an idea like this one -- a site that would allow you to rate anything at all (from a new movie to the casserole your aunt makes), and then let other people share their own opinions about whatever you rated. My idea never got off the ground (standard operating procedure for the idea mill I call my mind), but reader Antoine apparently had the same idea, and built it specifically for the WoW universe. WoW Ratings is kind of a silly site with some interesting outcomes: basically it's a database of everything in the game, from bosses to zones to game features or what have you, and you can come along and rate whatever you want on a scale of 1 to 5. The ratings don't actually mean anything (though Antoine has them listed as qualities from Uncommon up to Legendary), so it's really just a broad temperature-taking of the World (of Warcraft) at large.

The most interesting screen is probably the "Best and Worst" screen (which you can reach by clicking on the toolbar at the top of the homepage -- note to Antoine: permalinks are your friend, scale back on the javascript), where, as of this writing, Hakkar the Soulflayer is sitting on top of the heap, and the Voice Chat patch and Darnassus are sitting in the bottom 10. No Fandral Staghelm yet, strangely, but I'm sure things will get shaken up after all you readers head over there (and if the site's a little shaky under the flood of our link, give it time to get back on its feet). Sure, it's a little silly, and it's not so much a "resource" as it is just a free-for-all of player opinions, but it is interesting to see kind of a meta-overview of what players do and don't like. Useless features for the loss, old school raid bosses for the win.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, NPCs

WoW Insider Show Episode 112: We got segments

Our podcast is now ready for your downloading pleasure, and I have to say -- it was a good one. Nothing flashy, no once-in-a-lifetime guests (though both Turpster and Matticus were on with me, and those guys are definitely one-of-a-kind), but it was just a good solid podcast, with some great discussion about the latest PTR build and Lord Marrowgar, the changeover, and our very first predictions about when we might see patch 3.3 on the live servers. Turpster's even got some money riding on his guess already.

Plus we answer your emails as usual, and that's always a good time -- you can email us anything you want (including some mp3s for intros if that's your thing) at "theshow AT wow dawt com". If you like the show, don't forget to go hit us up on iTunes -- you can subscribe to the show there, or leave us a good rating or review if you like. Thanks for listening as always, and enjoy the show!

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: How-tos, Podcasts, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, News items, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Rumors, Cataclysm

2v2s will still be in Patch 3.2, with exceptions

One of the more controversial parts of the Patch 3.2 PTR was the decision to remove the 2v2 bracket from serious arena play. In the 3.2 patch notes thus far it was said that "The newest season of Arena gear can only be purchased if you meet the requirements with your 3 or 5-player team rating. Rating requirements from 2-player teams can still be used to purchase the previous season of gear."

That effectively killed off the 2v2 bracket.

However today, Blizzard has done an about face on the issue. Sort of. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. They're listening to feedback and this patch is in testing. The fact that they're willing to make such a major change based on feedback they've received is a great thing.

So as of today, your 2v2 rating will count towards your ability to purchase gear, etc... It will mean something. However the following exceptions apply:
  • The current season's weapons will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • The current season's shoulders will not be available for purchase with your 2v2 rating
  • Your 2v2 rating will not count towards the Gladiator title/rewards
The full announcement after the break.

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Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

The Art of War(craft): Arena Season 6, rise of the Casual Gladiator

I know, I know, most of you hate Arenas. I've been writing for WoW Insider -- ahem, I mean -- long enough to know that you guys probably aren't the most avid of PvP players. But the fun thing about it is that at least I'm not preaching to the choir, right? Anyway, I have to admit that I've gotten pretty tired of Arenas myself. Aside from two to three weeks worth of games in Season 5, I skipped the season altogether, unhappy with the balance then and the constantly changing rating and matchmaking system.

That wasn't even the heart of it, really. In the past seasons where I'd had the most success, I played with particular classes and specs that were viable in that season's environment. More importantly, I teamed up with players who were focused on PvP and were expectedly competent at it. The downside was that our success as a team was proportional to my loathing of the players on my team, particularly our team leader who was prone to excessive nerd rage and finger pointing. It sometimes happens that the best PvP players aren't necessarily your friends, and working together towards high ratings is sometimes a marriage of convenience. At a certain point when the stakes were extremely high, where wins would net us measly gains and losses would tank us badly enough for us to lose titles, Arenas became more stressful than fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP), Arena

German Social Affairs minister calls for higher rating on World of Warcraft

Germany is reeling from a shooting rampage committed by a 17-year-old, and as happens in many of these situations, politicians are looking for answers to why a young man would do this to his community. One of the answers they've found so far is videogames. While we don't actually know if the young man played games or not (or what he played), Germany's Minister for Social Affairs Mechthild Ross-Luttmann is calling for a few games, World of Warcraft among them, to be moved up from an age 12+ rating to an adults-only classification.

The tie between the shooter and WoW is slim. But a new study over there says that 50,000 to 60,000 minors could be classified as addicted to videogames. And the combination of the two events is causing Ross-Luttman to call for stronger ratings on "addictive" games like World of Warcraft. It's also interesting to note that in the US, the game is rated T by the ESRB, which actually calls for children 13 and up to play it, one year older than the German standard.

But of course there are two conclusions here. First, every parent needs to take responsibility for what their younger children do: if these kids are addicted, parents need to step in and make sure things get straightened out. As a former employee of a gaming retail store, I can tell you that ratings only go so far. The responsibility has to lie with the parents. And secondly, while Ross-Luttmann is apparently using the shooting to try and push this agenda against addiction, the young man involved in the shooting was experiencing deep depression, and had access to firearms that he probably shouldn't have had. Changing game ratings is fine, but it won't do anything to help when you've got much bigger problems to deal with first.

[via GamePolitics]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

Australian AG: MMOs like WoW must be classified

The good folks over at the OC (don't call it that) Register's Blizzard blog have gotten some more information about that recent flap with many MMOs being unrated and thus legally unable to be sold there. They talked to Daniel Gleeson of the Australian Attorney General's department, and he said that yes, the MMO games like World of Warcraft will have to be rated to be sold in the country. But he also reiterated what we'd heard a little while after Massively posted their story: that games were still being sold on store shelves, regardless of the actual legal tangles.

The Blizzard Blog also spoke with the IEAA, the classification board down there for games, and they were told the same thing that Massively was: while the board thought that MMOs did not require a rating, it has since become clear that they do. The difference, says the AG guy, is that the IEAA believed that "games" like WoW were actually services, not games, and thus didn't fall into the classification system.

But now it's clear to everyone that they do, so we'll expect to see the IEAA pass out a rating for World of Warcraft and the other MMOs on sale down there, and then this will all be over. It's interesting to note that ratings may be a very cultural thing -- here in America, ratings are pretty strictly issued by the ESRB, partially because the videogame industry is worried about governement intervention in the system (if the industry can't police themselves, angry parents may ask the government to step in). But in Australia, the government obviously seems largely unconcerned about the ratings. Then again, Aussies aren't completely laid back about everything having to do with MMOs.

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

WoW still on store shelves in Australia

Our good friend Tateru Nino (who is in fact an Aussie herself) has a followup over at Massively about the report that World of Warcraft was no longer legally available in Oz earlier this week. The issue isn't in the rules -- those are the same: unclassified games like World of Warcraft are held to the same rules as banned games -- but in the lack of enforcement. Since the issue has gone public, stores are continuing to sell the game (though some have removed larger sale displays of the games), and law enforcement has made no moves to try and get the games off of store shelves.

The real problem here, of course, isn't that Australia wants to ban these games, but that they're falling through the cracks of what seems to be an extremely lax rating system. There's really no rating assigned to these games, so according to the rules, they can't be sold. But the rules make no sense in this case: no one, as far as we've heard, actually wants to ban these games in the country, and no one cares whether they're being sold on store shelves or not.

Still, Massively does expect action, eventually, even if it's an apparently much-needed rejiggering of the ratings system to include these "unrated" games. Bottom line right now is that if you want to buy or sell World of Warcraft in Australia, no one's stopping you from doing so.

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

Nielsen says WoW still tops the list

GameCyte has gone over the Nielsen ratings for 2008, and they're basically saying exactly what we've heard with other sites like GamerDNA: that WoW commanded PC playtime this year. On a list with such oldies on it as The Sims, CounterStrike, and even Blizzard's own Diablo II, World of Warcraft sits at the top of the charts with an average of 671 minutes (about 11 hours) played per week. This tells us two things: one, lots of people are playing World of Warcraft a lot. And two, PCs need some better games.

There is an interesting trend in these numbers, especially when you compare them with last year. Last year, Nielsen claimed about 17 hours a week of playtime for WoW players, so playtime this year is actually down overall (and while we don't see month to month numbers, GameCyte says it was before the Wrath release, which makes sense). Sure, you could say that with dailies and the easier instances, players just don't have to play the game as much, but really, this seems to reflect the bigger trend: that WoW is leveling out.

There are probably years left in this game -- as we said on the podcast last week, the only real way people will stop playing WoW is when Blizzard finally turns the servers off. But all the numbers we've seen definitely point to a slowing down point among the game's subscribers. Lots of people (11.5 milion) are still playing World of Warcraft a lot. But not as much as they used to.

[via WorldofWar]

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

SK Gaming's Arena Ranking system revamped

SK Gaming sends word that they've updated their Arena Ranking system -- if you want to find out who the best players or teams are on your Region, Battleground or Realm, this is the place to go. You can see the top player or team rankings separately, or even check out the most popular setups by spec and class (and surprisingly, Hunters are on top! No, I'm just kidding, of course it's Warrior/Druid. What did you expect?).

Very nice tool, and it's just been updated recently, so it's faster and more accurate than ever. Talents are new to the system as well, but they're integrated very well, so its easy to quickly pull up whatever group of players or teams you want to look at, and then pull all kinds of statistics out of there, including ratings, setups, and builds for everybody. And as someone who's done some web programming in the past, I'll say that whoever coded it knows their stuff -- those URLs are awesome.

Plus, we hear that some of the Chinese team names are pretty funny, but considering we're not actually fluent in the language, we'd never know it. Anyone want to translate the better ones?

Filed under: Fan stuff, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

Only Arena skirmishes from level 71-79, ratings back in at 80

Just in case you wanted to know what the deal was with Arena ratings as we all headed to level 80, let Bornakk clarify for you -- while level 70 rated fights will still count, levels 71-79 are back to skirmishes, and rated fights can only happen again at level 80. And while Bornakk doesn't mention season timing at all (does Blizzard ever, beforehand?), our guess would be that they'll hold off on announcing any new PvP items until a good number of people have had a chance to level up to 80 and get situated in the brackets -- of course, depending on how fast people level up, that could be pretty quick.

But he does say that there will be no more new level 70 rewards, so what's out there right now is what you get. What we still don't know is whether Arena points from level 70 will carry over into the level 80 bracket, or whether there will be a complete reset of all the ratings and totals for the new bracket. There are good arguments for both sides (some players want a fresh start, while others don't want their winnings so far to count for nothing), but so far we haven't heard anything official yet.

So there are still a few things for Blizzard to decide with the higher level Arena system, but they've got time -- it's unlikely that they'll make people rush to 80 just to get involved in the Arena. It seems that when these next ten levels of content come out, Blizzard will switch some focus back to PvE and battleground PvP rather than the Arena game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Blood Sport: Yup, still broken

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.

The World (of Warcraft) seems to be full of arena lovers and arena haters. I suppose somewhere out there you might find some folks that are completely indifferent to the arena. The recent changes to the Personal Rating system seems to have brought out a furor in both camps. Suince the dawn of the Burning Crusade Blizzard has made many attempts to balance the arenas, now I find that the arenas are still broken, just broken differently.

In a sarcastically titled thread "New PR system is cool" Camelvendor of Korgath explained his situation. He played on his 2200 rated team with his old partner, who obviously had a lower rating for 33 games. Boasting a record of 29 wins and 4 losses for the day, the end result was a rating change of 56 points lost. Since the team rating was considerably higher than one of the personal ratings on the team, they found themselves playing in the 1500 bracket.

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Filed under: Tricks, Blizzard, Forums, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Drysc reveals new arena season 4 rating requirements and rules

Drysc has just posted what may soon be known as the death knell of "welfare epics," announcing new arena season 4 rating requirements for the brutal gladiator gear that extend not only to the shoulders and weapon, but to many other pieces of gear as well, even to honor-purchased gear. We've seen some of the gear leaked recently, and some of the ratings requirements leaked a bit earlier than that, but now we have the official whole picture.

Check out the word of Drysc after the jump.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Battlegrounds, Arena

Personal ratings required for S3 gear in Season 4

Arena enthusiasts might be elated to hear that the personal ratings required to purchase weapons and shoulder pieces will remain for the current Season 3 items even as Season 4 will introduce new items into the game. According to Tharfor on the European PvP forums, in response to a question as to whether the ratings will be removed from items as soon as the new season starts, the ratings requirement will still exist (to purchase but not to use) the item but will likely be lowered. It's highly likely that Season 4 weapons and shoulder pieces will retain the 1850 and 2000 personal rating requirements. Exactly how much of a ratings reduction Season 3 will see remains to be seen.

This means that players saving up Arena points in the hopes of obtaining a Season 3 weapon or shoulder piece will still need to have competitive personal ratings in order to purchase the items. This is bad news for those hoping to obtain easy welfare epics, but good news for some players who might feel that their item values would diminish greatly if the rating requirements were removed completely. At any rate, it looks like Season 3 will last for a while, so there's still time to jack those ratings up. Good luck, everyone!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Arena

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