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Posts with tag sandbox

Ride your own Darkmoon Carousel (sandbox) mounts

Ride your own Darkmoon Carousel sandbox mounts
The wonderful Perculia of Wowhead fame tweeted today that she'd added a new vendor's items to the site, and it caught WoW Insider's collective eye, with our love for quirky items and the like.

Sandbox mounts that look like the Darkmoon Carousel? We had to check it out. It took a short while to locate the vendor, Gelvas Grimegate, very near to the carousel itself. But once we did, he had a huge array of sandbox mounts to sell, for only one Darkmoon Prize token for ten charges.

What's the catch? With a deal as good as that, there's always a catch. And this is no exception. Sandbox mounts don't move, they are stuck to the ground by their springy stands, and simply undulate gently back and forth. What's more, that one Darkmoon Prize Token only buys you ten charges, but you can carry as many sets of those ten-charge items as you see fit. So you can only summon this incredibly entertaining wooden murloc ten times per purchase, and the same applies for the rest, of which there are many!
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Guest Post: The death of in-game interaction


This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

WoW's evolution has changed the course of both MMO game design and the landscape of the MMO player base in dramatic ways. By exploring the road most traveled, WoW has led the way from the roots of tabletop pen-and-paper RPGs and early MMO tabletop simulations into MMOs as virtual RPG themeparks.

Despite WoW's fantastic success on many fronts, in its evolution toward catering to the most common, casual style of play, it's removed much of the human interaction that made early MMO experiences special. Today's WoW is slick, seamless and streamlined. There is nothing one player can achieve that another player cannot also relatively easily achieve. Yet while players in today's WoW maintain that this thinly clad, egalitarian experience is "best," in reality, what we see is a continuous striving for distinction free from the confines of the game design itself. The ever-present GearScore sniff test has streamlined the need for player interaction to the point that interaction is barely needed at all.

In fact, it might be this very streamlining that has caused this MMO behemoth to slide away from the real magic of the early MMOs, to become a sanitized gaming experience that only barely acknowledges its need for virtual face-to-face gameplay. I miss the real interaction with my fellow players that speaks to the oldest traditions of what spawned MMOs: tabletop RPGs. I want player interactions to drive the game experience, from raiding to crafting to questing. The biggest villains and heroes of an MMO should be players, not pre-scripted heroes and playerless cut scenes. The next big MMO, I hope, can make this happen.

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Filed under: Guest Posts

The Guild in Second Life on The Copper Robot


Our friends at The Guild made an ingame appearance the other day, but not in our game -- they showed up as avatars in Second Life as part of a talk show called the Copper Robot. Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Jeff Lewis (Vork) all stopped by to talk to journalist Mitch Wagner (whom I met on the TUAW Talkcast last night), and you can watch video of the proceedings over on their blog, or just listen in to the audio if you'd like. And there's news about season 3 in the interview -- it should be happening, though Felicia says they haven't gotten "an official pickup" yet, and she hasn't started writing yet. The season 2 DVD is also coming soon.

What's perhaps most interesting about this interview is that the Guildies all used custom-made avatars to appear in the game. Second Life, if you've never played it, is more of a sandbox MMO than the strict rules and design of World of Warcraft, and players have mostly complete freedom to make themselves look like whatever they want. And so a few fans from a site called World2Worlds actually made some avatars for the Guild folks, and they based them off of the (also fan-made) art of the characters. We've never seen footage of "the game," as the characters in The Guild call it, so this is the first time we've seen these avatars represented in any game. Very interesting. The show has a Flickr group, so if you want to check out more shots of what they looked like in-game (including some nutty Vork antics), check that out as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends

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