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Posts with tag star-wars

WoW Moviewatch: The Force Awakens

We've all seen the new Star Wars trailer and, with Blizzard's help, started wondering just what an Azerothian interpretation of the film might be like. However, Ian Beckman's taken the idea even further with a WoW machinima timed to the original trailer's sound and dialog. And the finished product manages to hold together the plot surprisingly well, from Gorehowl (with mini-Gorehowl crossguards) replacing the infamous lightsaber to Khadgar on a rocket replacing the Millennium Falcon.

My only complaint: where are the gnomes and goblins?! This high-tech crossover universe was sadly lacking all of Azeroth's engineering talent... much like actual Warcraft trailers. Oh well. While we're still waiting for the goblins and gnomes to have their day, we can enjoy this machinima.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Arthas takes on the Sith in new image from Blizzard

Not to be shown up by the Sith (i.e. the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Arthas is back in a new imaged released on Warcraft's Twitter page showing him with an upgraded version of Frostmourne (now with an even more excessive crossguard), and ready to take on anyone who wants to put up a fight for the title of ultimate villain. In the battle of Arthas vs. Sith, I think I'd put my money on Arthas.

Or is this supposed to be an audition? If so, I think he may be a little too late. Kind of like at Stratholme.

Oh, too soon?

Filed under: Odds and ends

MMO News Roundup: Last week on Massively

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Sometimes, you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
The Secret World no longer requires a subscription
Early last week, the urban fantasy MMO The Secret World has officially dropped its subscription fee. Effective immediately, you only need to purchase the game itself to play. Subscription-free players are not restricted from accessing any content or gameplay features.
Turbine brings back Asheron's Call 2
Though Asheron's Call is still running, Asheron's Call 2, which launched in 2002, closed its doors in 2005. Now, nearly 7 years later, Turbine is bringing Asheron's Call 2 back. The game is currently in beta phase, and to access the game, you need to be an Asheron's Call subscriber.
EVE Online breaks the 450k subscriber mark
Between the recent launch of the Retribution expansion and a relaunch in China, EVE Online has accumulated more than 450,000 subscribers. EVE developer CCP partnered up with TianCity to bring the sandbox back into the Chinese market. According to a CCP press release, the game's business in China has surpassed expectations.
Did SWTOR make things worse by going F2P?
Star Wars: The Old Republic has caught a lot of heat over its approach to F2P gaming. With severely restricted gameplay for free players and exorbitant prices in its cash shop, The Old Republic may have done more harm than good for its game -- a surprise misstep in a market that has seen great success with F2P games in the past.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Queue: A very Star Wars Hallow's End

The Queue A very Star Wars Hallow's End
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

We're all nerds here at WoW Insider, so when Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, we have to mention it. Our first question today touches on that, then we jump into scenarios and more!

@Medros asked:

how upsetting is the Lucas Arts purchase by Disney? My inner kid nerd is weeping.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Mists of Pandaria

MMO Roundup: Guild Wars 2 launches, City of Heroes closes, and more

MMO Roundup Guild Wars 2 launches, City of Heroes closes, and more
Sometimes, you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
City of Heroes to sunset before the end of the year
NCsoft is closing Paragon Studios due to a "realignment of company focus and publishing support," according to a blurb just posted on the City of Heroes website. Community manager Andy Belford says that the superhero MMO will shut down before the end of the year, and recurring billing will be discontinued immediately.
Up close and personal with Torchlight II
Torchlight II is marching toward its September 20th launch date and Massively was given an opportunity to take the game hands-on at PAX Prime this past weekend. Hop over to Massively to see their impressions of the latest clickfest to come your way.
A critical look at Guild Wars 2
ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 launched recently and the game hit 400,000 concurrent users before the game even officially launched -- all 400,000 of those players coming from the pre-order head start event. Just about everyone agrees that it's a good game, but it isn't without its problems. Massively's Matt Daniel takes a look at the game with a critical eye.
BioWare's Matt Bromberg discusses converting Star Wars: The Old Republic to free-to-play
If you missed some of the analyst predictions flying around after Star Wars: The Old Republic announced it was converting to a free-to-play model, they were... zealous, to say the least. But general manager Matt Bromberg doesn't seem to share those opinions. When asked in a recent interview whether the conversion will make the game more money in the long run, Bromberg replied in extremely uncertain terms: "I don't know."
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

How much is a brand name license worth? Part 2

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

My first article on the issues of brand licensing and Bobby Kotick's comments pondering the profitability problems that Star Wars: The Old Republic could potentially have due to the amount of money it costs to license the Star Wars franchise received some nice follow-up emails. Many readers sent in emails about why people hold their licenses to their chests and charge so much, when it would logically be better to get the brand name on anything and everything people touch. After all, more products with your logo on them is good, right? Well ... Not really, and not always.

Last week, I confessed to not knowing the amount of money Lucas was going to be paid for the Star Wars license for The Old Republic, but we could surmise that it would be a hefty fee. Readers pointed to an article by Eurogamer that interviews Michael Pachter, a games industry analyst many people know of. He believes that the cut LucasArts will be taking is around 35% of the revenue split after Electronic Arts makes back all of the cash that it puts into the game itself. If that's true, it's pretty astonishing, since LucasArts has so much faith in EA and BioWare to make this game have some intense staying power.

Where World of Warcraft is concerned, Blizzard lives in a different world where rather than have to choose the perfect partner to make the next StarCraft game, it has to operate as the LucasArts-like party, finding the right people to make everything associated with its brands. Where The Old Republic is another Star Wars product, Blizzard's most popular franchise is a game first and a world of products secondary.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

How much is a brand name license worth?

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

Back at the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece for The Lawbringer called The power of licensing, including a brief account of what licensing is and what effects and benefits licensing your product has on brand recognition and where you make money on your product. Licensing is essentially granting someone the right to make and sell stuff with your intellectual property on it. Usually, you're not allowed to sell "stuff," in the loosest sense of the word, with images, artwork, characters, and so on that are not yours. Ownership rights are a little weird to grasp.

Back in November, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick made some comments before the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic concerning whether the game would be profitable at all, given the amount BioWare is paying to Lucas for the rights to even make a Star Wars game. Kotick's comments rang a very special bell in my brain, prompting me to think about the licensing contract that BioWare and Lucasfilm have over the Star Wars franchise, as well as the reverse Blizzard model in which the entire franchise is owned in-house.

George Lucas was a pioneer in the realm of movie merchandising, keeping the rights to all of the Star Wars characters and creating one of the most profitable toy and promotional brands in the history of entertainment. The Star Wars franchise is so incredibly far-reaching and part of our society that my younger brother knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father years before he ever saw the movies. He was, however, very surprised at the whole Luke and Leia sibling deal. The reach, power, and control that Lucas exerts over his licensee partners is second to none.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

5 things WoW could learn from Star Wars: The Old Republic

One of the hallmarks of the MMO genre is the fluidity at which these games can change. New pieces are added on and entire game systems are revamped in ways that would utterly decimate closed games that ship on the disc and then that's the end of it. With the impending release of The Old Republic, I wanted to give a rundown of some of the features and game systems that I personally feel would be at home in World of Warcraft along with cool ways Blizzard could grow its own world. (Also, check out my previous article about other MMO concepts WoW could borrow from.)

AoE looting, redux

AoE corpse looting is the new hotness, and it's here to stay. The fact that Blizzard has not found a way to even make AoE looting an option in WoW yet goes beyond my capacity to understand. Rift made the concept part of the mainstream, and The Old Republic is solidifying the feature as a Day One expectation.

In both of these games, players can choose to loot all corpses in an area around them at once instead of having to click on each corpse individually. Not only is this a great quality-of-life change for players, since less clicking is usually a good thing, but it also helps many players with disabilities who have trouble finding that one corpse under a hundred.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

World of Warcraft "law enforcement guide" leaked
Have you ever wondered what kind of dirt law enforcement officers would be able to dig up on you if they went to World of Warcraft developer Blizzard for information? Well, wonder no more. An 18-page document has been leaked to the internet, thanks to the notorious organization known as AntiSec.
SWTOR lifts NDA and reveals Legacy system
The Old Republic's NDA has been lifted and the Legacy system has been revealed. In the Legacy system, once you've completed the first chapter of the game, you get to select a surname for your character that will be carried across all of your characters on that server. Your Legacy will unlock bonuses across your entire account.
League of Legends surpasses 11.5 million active players
League of Legends has really hit the big time. In a press release today, Riot Games announced that its popular free-to-play MOBA title has surpassed 11.5 million active players. To put that into perspective, when Blizzard last announced its World of Warcraft figures, the game weighed in at about 10.3 million active players.
MMO accidentally deleted, shut down forever
There's a good chance you've never heard of M2, a small, free-to-play MMO developed by Japanese company Sankando and operated by Hangame. If it wasn't for a major misstep last month, your ignorance might've gone on indefinitely. Due to a recent accident, the MMO was deleted and won't be coming back. Ever.
Massively Speaking Episode 175
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, is back this week on its new day as hosts Justin and Rubi discuss the week in MMO news. Topics include RIFT's Patch 1.6, Lord of the Rings Online's Update 5, League of Legends' impressive player stats, and Star Wars: The Old Republic's beta NDA lift.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

EA CEO won't share Old Republic release date because of "principal competitor"

E3 usually isn't a big news get for us here at WoW Insider, as Blizzard does its own thing with its own announcements and showing up to conventions. However, one piece of news really stuck out as interesting in relation to Blizzard. EA's CEO John Riccitiello made some interesting statements regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic's release date. The Old Republic is EA's MMO set during the fan-favorite Old Republic era of the Star Wars franchise. Riccitiello said:
Announcing a release date "would be irresponsible for two really good reasons", Riccitiello said. "One, the competitive marketplace. Putting a window out there creates a window of opportunity for our principal competitor to put out an expansion pack or an ad campaign et cetera around our launch window. Bad move at this point in time."
Now, while Riccitiello does not name Blizzard specifically, there are only a few potential "principal competitors" in the MMO market. Blizzard is definitely the biggest name at the table. What Riccitiello is saying is that announcing a release date for their MMO would give Blizzard the opportunity to move in on EA's hype, move its own release dates around, or prepare a patch or game release for the same time frame that The Old Republic would launch.

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Filed under: News items

The Joystiq Network's E3 coverage kicks off

Our network is abuzz with E3 news this week. Our friends over at Joystiq and Massively are hard at work in the convention coal mines, doing their best to bring us the best coverage they possibly can. If you're interested in gaming outside of World of Warcraft and want a rundown of the day's events, this post is for you.

We will be covering just the last 24 (or so) hours in this E3 roundup, so if you're interested in any of the information that came in over the weekend or early Monday, I highly recommend checking out the entirety of both Joystiq's coverage and Massively's coverage.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

BioWare says WoW is the touchstone for Star Wars: The Old Republic

When game developers talk about massively multiplayer games these days, World of Warcraft is the proverbial big man on campus. At the DICE summit keynote panel in Las Vegas, Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of Bioware, stated that WoW was the touchstone for standards in the MMO sphere and for upcoming Bioware MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. Essentially, Zeschuk was saying that breaking rules that World of Warcraft set as industry standards is a bad idea for any up and coming MMO.

Zeschuk said: "It [World of Warcraft] is a touchstone. It has established standards, it's established how you play an MMO. Every MMO that comes out, I play and look at it. And if they break any of the WoW rules, in my book that's pretty dumb."

What's interesting is how Zeschuk, sitting with Mike Morhaime at the keynote panel, gave WoW the reverence it deserves as the leading industry standard in MMO gaming. Instead of couching his remarks about the specific game he was in the process of making, he discussed how players expect a set of established standards that WoW has provided. Be it a sense of completion of polish, a game mechanic, core concepts, or even art direction and fluidity of art theme, World of Warcraft set the bar very high for other game developers and even Blizzard itself.

We know WoW is big, but I think we sometimes forget how important it is as well. Greg Zeschuk and the rest of the video game industry know this and acknowledge that breaking some clear-cut rules is a big mistake.

Filed under: Blizzard

Phat Loot Phriday: Very Light Sabre

"Throgg, you better sit down," Lolegolas said quietly. The blood elf was draped in voluminous velour robes tied with a thick silk belt. "I have something for you."

The orc looked up at his well-coiffed friend and took a seat on a bench. "What is that?"

"Your father's sabre," the blood elf solemnly. "Your father wanted you to have it, but your mother wouldn't allow it. Something about poking your eye out and following old Lolegolas off to The Burning Crusade."

The orc took the sword in his hand. It was light. It was very light. It was definitely a Very Light Sabre.

"It's a very light sabre," Lolegolas confirmed. "It is much like the weapon of an argent knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a fireball; an elegant weapon for a more civilized expansion. For over a thousand runs, the argent knights have been seeking the baron's mount."

"I'm still killing the murloc," Throgg said.

Name Very Light Sabre
Attributes
  • 7 - 11 Damage, Speed: 3.30
  • 2.7 damage per second
  • 1 Strength
How to get it It's a quest item in Cataclysm. It helps to be a gnomish warrior.
How to get rid of it It sells for 22 copper and a kiss from your sister.




Phat Loot Phriday brings you the scoop on some of the most ... interesting ... loot in the World of Warcraft, often viewed through the eyes of the stalwart Throgg and indelible Lolegolas. Suggest items you think we should feature by emailing gray@wow.com.

Filed under: Phat Loot Phriday

Giving up on conquering WoW

Backhand of Justice has an interesting post up about something we've considered for a long time: who will overtake World of Warcraft. Way back before this year started, game developers were challenged to come up with an MMO that could take on WoW's influence and popularity, and while there have certainly been some interesting MMOs announced and released (Star Wars: The Old Republic, which isn't out yet, and Aion, which is, are probably most in the forefront at the moment), it just hasn't happened. WoW is still the juggernaut it's been for almost the full five years, and with Cataclysm coming in 2010, that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

So now, two months from the end of 2009, let's just say it: it's not possible. World of Warcraft is an aberration, an extremely well-made game that happened to be in just the right time and place (the casual game explosion, the adoption of MMOs and subscription model gaming, the "mainstreaming" of fantasy/sci-fi geekiness) to become an uber megahit. In short, game developers simply can't recreate WoW, at least not on purpose. As BoJ says, that doesn't mean they can't try -- there are certainly lots of original and interesting games and MMOs out there, and it's completely possible to be an MMO that isn't WoW-sized and be successful. But as for the actual question of beating WoW and its worldwide audience, game developers have pretty much moved on.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

WoW Moviewatch: Tradition of the Sith


This movie -- or one like it -- was inevitable. I am, in fact, shocked that it hadn't come about before now. This was a hole in the world of WoW machinima, one which Bullshitmaster has stepped forward to fill. He has created this short, wonderful piece revealing a simple thing. It is the Tradition of the Sith.

If you're looking for deep story or meaningful prose, this ain't the movie for you. If, however, you're interested in seeing a pair of Undead Sith undergo the ancient rite of passage, this is totally the way to go. To sum up, in every Sith's lifetime, the student must slay the master. That's how you become the master, you see. You kill the old master. That makes you the top dog.

Most of the music and soundtrack come from somewhere else, but it's all brought together very well for the "Tradition of the Sith." I'm especially impressed with how well BSM blended the lightsabers into the scenery. I didn't feel like it was some weird mash-up. The visual portions all actually worked very well together.

Check it out, and enjoy a little bit of Star Wars in your Azeroth.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

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