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Posts with tag tome-of-knowledge

All the World's a Stage: How to bring Warhammer's "Tome of Knowledge" to WoW

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Some time ago, I had my first look at Warhammer Online, and wondered if that game treated roleplaying any differently from World of Warcraft. I wrote at some length about the significance of a written warning whenever someone signs up for a roleplaying realm for the first time, but I also noticed that Warhammer actually had another very special feature that could be beneficial for WoW roleplayers, namely the "Tome of Knowledge." Playing around with this a little bit made me think about how Blizzard could make something similar, which would go a long way toward enriching the experience of the game, not only for roleplayers, but for all players. Warhammer's Tome of Knowledge is not without it's flaws, of course -- I can surely imagine a better one for WoW to adopt, but at the moment WoW has nothing at all like it, which is unfortunate.

But what is the Tome of Knowledge? Basically, it's is an in-game database full of all kinds of information you might be interested in. This includes gamey things like achievements, titles, and quests, but also contains a lot of info about the story and lore of the game, such as some history for each major region, descriptions of noteworthy persons, and a bestiary of all the enemies in the game. When you visit an important location, encounter an important questgiver, or defeat a new enemy in battle, information about that entity will appear in your Tome of Knowledge. A little popup will even let you click through to it right away.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Is Blizzard stealing ideas from WAR?

Waaagh! is a blog about Warhammer Online (there are a few of them springing up lately, and our sister site Massively is doing a great job of covering news about the upcoming MMO), and Syp, who writes over there, says his blood pressure rose just a little bit when reading the news that achievements might be coming to the World of Warcraft. When news first broke about WAR, which is made by a company called Mythic (the original creators of Dark Age of Camelot, now working with EA), they got a lot of flak for making a game that looked a lot like WoW. But now that details are coming out about Warhammer, including this really interesting achievements-style feature called the Tome of Knowledge (which basically tracks what your character does around the game and gives you rewards for what you do), the allegations of imitation are going the other way. Is Blizzard ripping off Warhammer now?

In point of fact, yes. Blizzard didn't start from scratch with World of Warcraft (in fact, many of their designers were actually players of other games, including Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot) -- instead, they (as they've always done with their games) took a formula and tweaked it close to perfection. And of course, since Warhammer is (if you listen to the hype) supposed to be WoW's biggest competitor going forward, it's not surprising at all that the ideas coming out of WAR are also making waves around the Blizzard offices.

That said, give WAR a chance.

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

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