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Cryptozoic unveils new WoW TCG community site

After picking up the license for WoW TCG, Cryptozoic Entertainment has done a great job supporting the game and fostering its community. The only thing missing so far has been ... a functional website. The old Cryptozoic site just wasn't cutting it. Thankfully, today marks the release of the brand new WoWTCG.com, and it's a beauty. Visitors to the site can find hobby stores in their area, tutorials on how the play TCG and what they need to play it, galleries of TCG's fantastic artwork, and even special pages for each loot card. That's on top of the regular previews and strategy articles. Nice job, Crypto!

Filed under: WoW TCG

The Explain-o-matic will explain your macros


This is actually a really cool idea for a site -- Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic is basically a web script that reads WoW macros, and will go, line by line, through them to put exactly what they do in plain English. Sure, odds are that if you have a macro already, you probably have some idea of what it does, but if you've ever wanted to learn how to write macros, or aren't sure exactly what the macro your friend emailed to you is supposed to do for your character, you can just throw it in a text field, and then Fitzcairn's script will break it apart for you.

The site will even let you save (with a permalink) and email any macros you punch in -- though I couldn't find a way to browse them, maybe Fitzcarin is working on that. There are lots of resources online to find macros, but not so many to explain them well, so the Explain-o-matic is definitely worth a bookmark for the next time you need a little help.

[via Twisted Nether]

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Add-Ons

Upload and browse screenshots at WoW Screenshots


From the makers of WoW Achievements comes a new site that's designed to collect and catalog nothing but screenshots from the game. WoW/Screenshots (clever) is a new site that's super barebones right now -- all you can do is view a few different uploaded screenshots or jump in and upload your own. But obviously, there's a lot of potential there -- if they can assign a rating system to screenshots, then you could have a Wowbash-style Top 100, with extra cool shots to check out from around the game. The website also says they're planning to put together monthly contests as well, so right now the idea just seems to be to populate the database, with the best entries coming to the top later.

Of course, this isn't the only project designed to archive some of Azeroth's beauty -- we talked about the wallpaper project the other week (though that's more a project designed to hit every individual zone), and of course our great Around Azeroth daily feature has collected tons of great pictures from the game. But this seems like an interesting crowd-sourced way to do it, and with the WoW-Achievements folks behind the idea, it'll be fun to see what they come up with.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Screenshots

Zarhym promises BlizzCon ticket sales will be better

BlizzCon 2009 tickets will likely go on sale soon, and before then, Zarhym is here to reassure you: Blizzard is doing what they can to make sure things will not go the way they did last year. Unfortunately, he doesn't go into detail on exactly what that means. We'd have to think that they wouldn't just open up the floodgates on a site that wasn't ready again, but while most thought that the lottery that ended last year's ticket sales worked pretty well, it looks like that may not be the plan just yet. Whatever they plan to do, we hope it works out in a fair way and with a minimum of fuss for those who do try to go. Anything without the Failoc or the FailSCV is a plus in our book.

Zarhym also says that they will be giving us advance notice before the tickets actually start selling, so people will have time to make travel arrangements if necessary (and/or ask the wife or parents for the money to go if need be). And he says that a pay-per-view type of event, as they did last year, or even a live stream of some of the events online, is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Of course, even if you don't make it for whatever reason, you can be sure that WoW Insider will be there and covering everything that happens, from the awesome costumes to the possibly blogger-threatening danger. Stay tuned for more info soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, Blizzard, BlizzCon

WoW Model Viewer updated for Wrath, but still needs work

WoW Model Viewer is a crazy useful tool for machinimists or just anyone out there (like Zach) looking to enjoy the art of Warcraft outside of the game itself. The only problem with the app is that it hasn't updated since way before Wrath's release, but the code monkeys over there have finally rectified that: they've dropped release version 0.6.0.2, which we're told is compatible with the models in Wrath of the Lich King.

Mostly compatible, anyway -- we're told that lots of the new animations aren't working yet, and there are quite a few bugs still poking around. And there's more trouble -- the program's admin has reported that the site could use a new host, since the last admin had some troubles with the hosting provider. Surely there's someone out there who can help -- lots of people use the program (and of course it's spawned countless terrific machinima movies that we've all enjoyed).

Hopefully Model Viewer will find its way back on track -- the program has really jump started the world of machinima, and it would be a shame to see it fall into disrepair due to lack of support.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

SK Interview from Frostshock

Frostshock is a Hungarian site that covers World of Warcraft -- they've done us the kindness of linking to us in the past, but usually my Hungarian is so rusty that we have no idea what they're talking about. This weekend, they posted an interview with SK-Gaming, the group that nabbed the world first of Kil'jaeden, and while normally we wouldn't be able to tell a másnap from a kezdték, the newly redesigned World of Raids has a translation up.

There's a lot of the usual stuff that you hear from guild after a big down, but there's a few new things in there, too -- apparently SK and other raiding sponsors are actually paying "premiums" for world first kills. Doesn't sound like a lot, but they do say they'll be able to do a meetup this summer thanks to their run in Sunwell, so that's a fairly substantial amount for playing a game. Both M'uru and Kil'jaeden are on their top 3 encounters in the expansion, along with Magtheridon, apparently. And the Sunwell "gates" system gets a pretty good review -- SK says it kept some guilds going even when they might have been burned out on the tougher fights.

All in all, an interesting interview. They dive into drama a bit when talking about the friction between SK and Nihilum, but mostly, they just stick to what it's like raiding as a professional guild in the Sunwell. It will definitely be interesting to see how these kinds of guilds react to the 10/25 man change in the expansion -- raiding has come a long way from the 40-man runs in vanilla WoW, and these guilds may have a lot more competition for the 10man world firsts.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses

Test realm forum offline, possible pointer to WotLK beta


More news for all you hungry Wrath of the Lich King fans out there. The test realm forum has been taken offline and is showing as undergoing a change, although we don't know what that is just yet. The exact submessage is "The forum you're trying to access is not ready." This is significant for a couple reasons.

First, the test realm forum is usually left up for a while after the patch so folks have some place to go and reference everything that was learned during the beta. I know that I've used the forum for up to a month to go and get necessary information.

Secondly, this comes less than a day after the World of Warcraft beta site experienced a change. When getting public releases of software ready, it's often a process of "First, get the site going – but don't link it to the public. Second, take down the public systems and get them ready." This is quite possibly what we're seeing here.

Finally, this forum always goes down before something beta-ish is released. This could mean they're just clearing it to implement a 2.4.2 release or something, but I doubt that given they've usually only cleared it for major point release. Ie: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.

An interesting tid bit of WotLK news for you all this morning. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that within a month we'll see some major announcements concerning the next expansion.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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