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Posts with tag swtor

WoW Moviewatch: Together

I'm back! Thanks to Adam and Dawn, who covered the hallowed halls of machinima while I was gone. Since it's going to take a day or so for me to get my legs back under me, we're doing something wildly different today. Together is so wildly different that it's from a different game!

For various reasons, this song is a perfect tribute to my healthy and happy wife and girl, so I'll ask you all to forgive me a day of sentimentality. It's hard to believe I just proposed a handful of years ago (seriously, thanks, tuskarr!), and now we have this lovely girl. Here's to the hope that everyone gets to experience their joy.

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: WoW Moviewatch

3 things Battlegrounds should borrow from SW:TOR's Warzones

We talked the other day about three things I learned to love about Battlegrounds by playing Star Wars: The Old Republic's Warzones. Honestly, I stopped at three on purpose. There's so much to complain about in Warzones that it could keep a retribution paladin (which I am) busy for weeks. But I didn't want to give the wrong impression; I really do enjoy SW:TOR Warzones.

Warzones offer a different game, different playstyle, and significant change of pace for a grizzled PvP veteran. While I could just go all mushy about my assault cannon, I'm more interested in the design aspects that really work well in Warzones. With that in mind, here are three things I think WoW should borrow from Warzones.

(And no, I'm not talking about Huttball here. Huttball is fun and all, but it's just a specific game. That'd be like saying "SW:TOR isn't good because of Alterac Valley." That's not particularly helpful, even if I do love scoring a goal through a sweet ball-passing chain. I'm talking about overall game dynamics.)

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Filed under: PvP

3 things Warzones taught me to love about Battlegrounds

OK, I admit it. I've been trying out PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic. You can't claim to have diverse knowledge of disparate PvP systems if you don't ever, you know, play other games. "I hear it's hard to get the huttball across the line" isn't quite the same as "You touch the huttball and 15 Sith Juggernauts appear and teabag you like the Lipton Army."

That doesn't mean I've quit my time in WoW Battlegrounds. Not to offend any saber-jockeys out there, but the PvP in WoW is better. Don't get me wrong. I'm having a great time firing rockets and dodging laser swords, but WoW's PvP has been honed as a separate game style. Its balance and play is beautiful and elegant. I didn't even realize how true that was until I spent some time in SW:TOR's analogous group PvP area, called Warzones.

Let me put my money where my mouth is. This is a (small) list of things I've learned to love about Battlegrounds from doing Warzones.

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Filed under: PvP

Massively's guide to The Old Republic for WoW players

Our sister site Massively, which deals in the immense universe of massively multiplayer games that do not take place in Azeroth, has put together an informative guide for WoW players playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. With the number of comparisons being made between The Old Republic and World of Warcraft, one would think that there would be a sizable amount of overlap in terms of necessary skills and familiarity. As it turns out, there are a lot more differences in the minutiae than predicted.

If you're a WoW player heading to a galaxy far, far away while your raid takes some time off (or you just like seeing what's out there), you'll find some great tips over at Massively.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: Being a nothlit is cheating

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.

I can't explain why, but last night on Twitter I went on an Animorphs nostalgia trip and took most of my followers down Reminiscence Lane with me. Eventually the discussion devolved into a debate over which animorph was the best. I think we need to settle this in the most relevant place possible: a World of Warcraft blog.

Personally, I'm going with Rachel. If you choose anybody but Rachel, you're wrong and should feel bad about yourself.

Who was the best Animorph?
Rachel (this is the right answer)836 (25.6%)
Jake177 (5.4%)
Cassie148 (4.5%)
Tobias693 (21.3%)
Marco133 (4.1%)
Aximili222 (6.8%)
David (this is the worst answer)1052 (32.3%)


Necromann asked:

What level in first aid do I need to do the DMF monthly? Also, is it weird to 0 linen cloth on the AH?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

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.

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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

Massively's Star Wars: The Old Republic launch guide

On Tuesday afternoons, we typically link all of you to our sister site Massively's top stories of the week from all across the MMORPG genre via MMO Roundup. This week will be different. Outside of World of Warcraft, there's only one other MMO anybody wants to hear about this week. Star Wars: The Old Republic's prerelease head start begins today, and Massively has absolutely everything you need to go into the opening days of the game well prepared.

If you'll be playing The Old Republic, head over to Massively's TOR launch guide for class information, dungeon flashpoint walk-throughs, and anything else you might want.

If you're strictly a World of Warcraft player, you may want to take a look anyway. WoW can always learn from other games, and as a player, it never hurts to stay informed.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

MMO Roundup: The Old Republic's beta pulls 2 million players

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.

Star Wars: The Old Republic beta test attracts 2 million players
It's no secret that Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs in recent memory, and the game's recently concluded public testing phase confirms the hype. The game's publisher, EA, announced that the SWTOR test phase drew in over 2 million players, and of those 2 million, 750,000 unique players jumped into the game over the Thanksgiving weekend alone.
Diablo III game designers talk Inferno difficulty and twinking
Diablo III has a lot of expectations to live up to, several of which are discussed in a recent PC Gamer interview with Wyatt Cheng and Andrew Chambers. Both designers discuss the challenge level of the new Inferno difficulty, which is aimed at max-level characters in good gear who have already completed the Hell difficulty level. They confirm that while it's meant to be brutal, it can be played and beaten solo -- although having a friend won't hurt.
Neverwinter tempts your lust for glory with its first teaser trailer
Like any good Dungeons & Dragons session, Neverwinter's maiden trailer begins in a fantasy tavern, where locals and adventurers are mingling and swapping stories. Everyone is curious about a pitched battle that happened the night before on a bridge, but only one mysterious figure is able to tell them the truth.
Richard Garriott predicts the death of consoles as a gaming medium
Considering his influence on the realm of MMOs, many gamers would argue that it's hard to dismiss Richard Garriott's thoughts on development out of hand. A recent interview with the man includes him predicting the fall of traditional console gaming in favor of portable devices, and the end of MMOs as a major market share compared to social and casual games.
Massively Speaking Episode 177
Massively Speaking returns this week with hosts Justin and Rubi discussing the week's MMO news, including Glitch's unlaunching, Lineage II's move to F2P, EVE Online's Crucible update, Justin's love for Bobby Kotick, and much more.
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

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

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.

BioWare says gamers find it hard to go back to other MMOs after playing SWTOR
As Star Wars: The Old Republic's release date looms larger on the calendar, BioWare cofounders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are starting to be seen with increasing frequency on the PR circuit. The interview also touches on lore inspirations for both The Old Republic and the classic single-player Knights of the Old Republic RPG, as well as the team's confidence in its new massively multiplayer product.
Square-Enix announces end of Final Fantasy XIV's free play and roadmap for next year
Square-Enix has put a lot of work into repairing Final Fantasy XIV's poor launch and has recently announced that its unbilled period of the game will be coming to a close. In addition to the changes already made, a full graphics engine and UI overhaul is in the works.
BioWare's Damion Schubert takes a wrecking ball to the casual vs. hardcore model
Schubert says that devs are often trying to double code MMOs for both casual and hardcore players. This is where the well-known slogan "easy to play, hard to master" originates. He held up Blizzard as a primary example of this model. Blizzard's "donut," as Schubert calls it, has a casual outer ring and a hardcore center for both types of players. By double coding, Blizzard ensures that casual players can invite their hardcore friends to experience the game and vice versa. However, this model is faltering, and Schubert pinpoints why.
THQ releases flood of new details for Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium Online
THQ has released a huge list of data on design, gameplay, classes and races, and much more in the upcoming Warhammer 40K: Dark Millenium Online. The information ranges from all-encompassing, such as talk of art style and who is involved in development, to very specific, such as a party size of five, raid size of 50, and level cap of 60.
Massively Speaking Episode 169
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week with hosts Shawn and Rubi. Topics include SOE's newest battle with hackers, Lineage II's upcoming freemium business model, Fallen Earth's chopper and freemium launch, Blizzard's dive into RMT, and more!
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

MMO Roundup: SWTOR launch date, Guild Wars 2 gameplay, and more

team fortress 2 deal with it
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.

BioWare announces launch date for Star Wars: The Old Republic
At the 2011 Eurogamer Expo keynote address, BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic will officially launch on Dec. 20, 2011, for North America and Dec. 22, 2011, for Europe. Head over to Massively to find out how much you'll be paying.
Guild Wars 2 Necromancer, Thief gameplay videos captured at Eurogamer Expo
If you're a Guild Wars 2 fan who couldn't make the trip to London for this weekend's Eurogamer Expo, Cynical Brit's TotalBiscuit has the next best thing. A series of gameplay videos shot live at the event, and all told, the three clips clock in at just under an hour of footage. The videos feature both Norn Thief PVP and high-level Sylvari Necromancer shenanigans.
Informal RMT study looks at microtransaction effects across multiple titles
Wondering whether microtransactions in western games are as harmless as publishers would have you believe? BitGamer was as well, and as such, the website has conducted an informal study of RMT and its effects across seven different titles. Ultimately the piece reaches the familiar conclusion that RMT is here to stay and that it's OK as long as the implementation avoids the dreaded pay-to-win stigma.
League of Legends: Dominion launches
The big day has arrived for League of Legends fans, as League of Legends: Dominion officially launched yesterday following a short beta period. Developers promised a 2011 release for the new game mode, but it's doubtful anyone expected release before the end of September. Dominion turns standard MOBA gameplay on its head by introducing capture points, super-powerful creeps and buff-giving relics.
Massively Speaking Episode 166
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week as Shawn and Rubi discuss the week's MMO news. Topics include Dan Stahl's exit from Star Trek Online, Asura week wrapup, World of Darkness info, an exclusive interview with John Smedley about DCUO's move to free-to-play, and much more!
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

MMO Roundup: SWTOR watching WoW, the Smuggler, 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.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is keeping a close eye on World of Warcraft
It probably comes as no real surprise to learn that Electronic Arts is studying WoW when it comes to SWTOR's upcoming launch -- but not in the way you might think. The company isn't concerned as much with the mechanical side of the equation, but with the question of what happens post-launch and how to increase player retention.
Bigpoint says game publishers should sell in-game advantages
In case you were wondering where browser MMO specialist Bigpoint stands on the issue of selling in-game advantages, a new interview with the company's chief games officer leaves little to the imagination. "[...] if they want to pay, don't just offer hats -- offer them something that will help them."
Diablo 3 faces competition as it enters closed beta
Blizzard confirmed that the public beta for Diablo 3 is due to begin very soon. The friends and family portion of the closed beta official began this week, and Blizzard has surprisingly opted not to put an NDA on those involved. Videos of gameplay have begun to surface on YouTube, expanding on last week's brief leaked footage with some real, first-hand game experience.
SWTOR shows us how to level like a Smuggler
Star Wars: The Old Republic showed off the armor progression of the game's Smuggler class in last week's Friday community update. The two-and-a-half-minute video displays not only the class's awesome armor, but also some never-before-seen gameplay elements of the class.
Massively Speaking Episode 164: Dragon*Con 2011
Massively Speaking Episode 164 returns this week as Shawn is joined by Jef Reahard and MJ Guthrie to discuss their experiences at Dragon*Con 2011 last weekend. Have a comment for the podcasters? Shoot an email to shawn@massively.com. They may just read your email on the air!
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

MMO Roundup: Gamescom, SWTOR breaks EA records, 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.

EA proclaims SWTOR preorder breaks records
Star Wars: The Old Republic has set the new bar for EA's preorder sales, according to the notes for EA's Q1 Fiscal Earnings Release. The previous bar was set by Battlefield 3, but according to President Frank Gibeau during an investor's conference call, SWTOR far exceed BF3's preorder sales. In fact, according to Gibeau, the sales exceeded the company's expected sales curve, therefore breaking records no one at the game developing company could have expected.
NCsoft's Carbine Studios to reveal new MMO at Gamescom
NCsoft announced that Jeremy Gaffney, executive producer of NCsoft's Carbine Studios, has confirmed that the studio's latest project is to be revealed next month at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Gaffney has many game titles to his name, having worked on Asheron's Call, City of Heroes/Villains, and a number of other online titles.
Top 10 MMO mascots
Weekly top 10 list The Perfect Ten tackles MMO mascots this week, lining up the best the genre has to offer. Who is World of Warcraft's mascot? Is whoever it is on the list?
HoN goes free to play and Diablo 3 meets eBay
Not So Massively is your weekly guide to the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre and other significant non-MMO multiplayer games. This week, Heroes of Newerth has gone free-to-play, Blizzard announced Diablo 3's real-money auctions, and League of Legends hit 15 million registered accounts.
Massively Speaking episode 158
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, returns this week with Shawn and Rubi being joined by Justin Olivetti for some laughs, innuendo, and the occasional bit of MMO news. Topics include RuneScape's new Clan Citadels, APB's second open beta, and of course, SWTOR's record-breaking preorder.
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

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