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Posts with tag warcraft

New costume galleries highlight Blizzard cosplay

Three new galleries have been added to the official website, this time to feature Blizzard costumes. The galleries highlight recently-featured cosplayers in addition to contest winners and honorable mentions for costume contests from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises. Although the galleries are a little small for now, more costume photos will apparently be added over time.

Each of the galleries show winners all the way back to the first BlizzCon in 2005, so they're well worth the look. It's kind of cool to see how costumes and cosplay in general have progressed over time in terms of materials, construction, and detail. Hopefully we'll see other contestants past added soon as well -- costumes are always one of the coolest parts of BlizzCon, so it's nice to see them finally recognized with galleries of their own.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

Warcraft as the anything-goes fantasy

I was playing Diablo III last night after playing WoW, because I hate it when days happen and I see the sun, when it occurred to me that the two settings are very different in a variety of ways, and one of the big ones is this - you could (and have) basically fit the entire thematic kit of the Diablo setting inside WoW, but you couldn't do the same in reverse. There's not enough room, for lack of a better word, for all of Warcraft inside Sanctuary. What do I mean by that? Well, Diablo as a setting has specific themes - the war between Heaven and Hell, Sanctuary created by dissidents from both sides, the creation of humanity by said defectors, and Diablo's plans to enlist or subvert humans to fight in said war between these polar opposites.

Warcraft has a host of demons that seek to destroy all reality that can easily stand-in for the hosts of Hell from Diablo, and the risen dead we see in places like Tristram is if anything small potatoes compared to the plague of undeath we see in the Plaguelands. But WoW contains multitudes that have little to nothing to do with them - the Old Gods are a completely different kind of menace and one that there's no place for in Diablo. Similarly, the many races of the Warcraft setting have no place in the cosmology of the Diablo setting.

Part of the reason for this is the origin of each game - while both have Dungeons and Dragons in their DNA, Diablo has always been a more straightforward dungeon crawl while Warcraft was originally an RTS with deep roots in the orc vs. human gameplay element. As an RTS, and one with two competing factions, new units helped create diversity and gameplay, and as a result having these new units be of different races gave flavor to the setting. Diablo has always been about you, alone in a vast dunegon complex or infested region, destroying waves of foes by yourself or with a small group - the variety came in terms of different kinds of foes to destroy and the ways you did so.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Heroes of the Storm previews Warcraft heroes

I don't play many games in the MOBA/DOTA genre, but despite all better judgement I'm incredibly curious about Heroes of the Storm and can't wait to try it out. Similarly, I'm pretty excited by today's preview of the Warcraft characters that will be available to play. Being a total newcomer to the style of gameplay, I expect I'll be totally destroyed when I play no matter what character I choose, but I like the variety.

I'm surprised Sylvanas isn't on there. C'mon, guys, you gotta put Sylvanas in at some point -- we've got three night elves on there. Or maybe Alleria? I don't know, it just seems weird to me without a Windrunner. But I am happy to see Falstad again.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Heroes of the Storm

Doronsmovies delves into The History of Warcraft in new documentary

It's been twenty years since Azeroth was first introduced to the hearts and minds of gamers all over the world, and Youtube user Doronsmovies has put together a massive and in-depth look into the history of the Warcraft franchise. Weighing in at just over 40 minutes, the documentary dives right in with coverage of the early RTS games, starting with Orcs & Humans in 1994. Although we know quite a bit about those early games, and about the history of WoW itself, the movie also features a look at Lord of the Clans, a point-and-click adventure game that was actually never released -- including footage of the game itself, and some of the voice acting and animated scenes from the game as well.

For those that have been playing Warcraft since the early days, the documentary might not have anything new to offer. But for those that have only just begun playing in recent years, or those that have only played World of Warcraft, there should be plenty of interesting tidbits to keep you entertained. And even if you're pretty familiar with all of Blizzard's Warcraft games over the years, it's pretty neat to see the progression from 1994 to now all encapsulated into one film. It's a lengthy watch, but hey -- twenty years is an awfully long time.

Filed under: Machinima, News items

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

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Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone

Blizzcon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone
Wondering how to keep all of the events and panels at Blizzcon 2013 straight? Or just how to get around that incredibly large convention center? There's an app for that -- the BlizzCon schedule app, first released for BlizzCon 2011, has been updated for this year's festivities. Both the iPhone and Android versions have received snazzy new updates with an all new map of the convention center as well as this year's schedule of events and panels.

But that's not all! This year's update has also added new features and social media integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so you can share your experience as you experience it. In addition, the mobile app will also have access to all the free BlizzCon video streams, so you can watch all the action, even if you're not present for it in person. And the best part? The app is completely free. The app for BlizzCon 2011 was tremendously handy to have while wandering the convention center -- if you're attending BlizzCon 2013, I highly recommend picking up the updated version for easy access to maps and schedules while you're on the go.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Can't wait for more Warcraft? Check out the Alliance and Horde StarCraft 2 mod

Have you been waiting for Warcraft 4? And waiting and waiting? Then you'll be glad to know that intrepid modder StevenLuo has brought Warcraft aesthetics to StarCraft 2 using the SC2 Editor. The finished product, WOW RTS: Alliance and Horde (or WAH for short), features 2 factions, 16 units, 18 heroes, and 3 maps -- Lost Temple (2V2), Crossroads (1V1), and Ashenvale (1V1) -- which you can play on with others or against the AI.

Can't wait to get started? Launch the StarCraft 2 Arcade and search for WAH to bring up the maps. The initial download is 245MB, but once you have all the assets, the individual maps are pretty small. So what are you waiting for? Get Warcrafting!

Filed under: StarCraft 2

Blizzard store now offering full Halloween costumes

Blizzard store now offering full Halloween costumes
Halloween is fast approaching -- are you prepared? If not, the Blizzard Store might just be your ticket if you're looking for a quick solution and simultaneously wanting to show off your gamer pride. Three new costumes by Rubies have been added to the Blizzard Store, and unlike previous mask offerings, these are full-body outfits that will dress you up from head to toe. Along with the standard green orc, Illidan and Arthas are both available -- keep in mind, however, that if you're looking for a pair of Warglaives or Frostmourne, those don't come with the outfits.

They may not be the height of cosplay perfection, but they're good enough for a Halloween party or three. The characters are pretty much instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with Warcraft, and really isn't that all anyone hopes for out of a Halloween costume? Head to the Blizzard store to check them out and perhaps pick up a costume of your own.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO

I was perusing the forums (like you do) when I came across this forum thread from poster Xewie, and I found it an interesting place to start thinking from. Xewie's points aren't entirely ones I agree with - I frankly found Mists of Pandaria one of the richest expansions in terms of lore and story and feel that anyone who dismisses it simply because there are pandaren in it is deliberately and willfully blinding themselves to an excellent ride with some astonishing highs and lows - but there's a certain truth in the points about the RTS vs. WoW itself. As others (including our own Michael Sacco) have pointed out, Garrosh Hellscream is really one of the first big lore characters we've had in World of Warcraft who was born in the MMO, evolved over its course and became a faction leader and finally an end villain.

I think part of the problem is that the RTS features these characters, so even when it kills a few (like Terenas Menethil) it offers up a few more. But the MMO features us, ultimately, so when we put down Lady Vashj or Arthas, there's no immediate replacement. To be sure, there have in fact been tons of new faces over the course of World of Warcraft - Ragnaros, C'thun, Nefarian were all first introduced in classic WoW, not the RTS. The problem is, we introduce these characters and then, well, we dispatch them. Sometimes, like Ragnaros, our first encounter with them isn't a final one, but even if we know they'll eventually be back, it's not like their luck will hold out forever. I called this the "Joker problem" once, and to a degree I think it is an issue for the MMO.

However, does it follow that we need an RTS to create stories? Since I think Mists of Pandaria did an amazing job of building up the story, and in fact I'm really much more of a Cataclysm booster than most, I don't agree with that idea. In fact, in many ways, WoW has done more to broaden and expand the Warcraft setting than the RTS ever did.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy

Former WoW developer Mark Kern wonders if WoW is too easy
Mark Kern, who left Blizzard way back in 2005 to found Red 5 Studios, is working on a new free to play, sci-fi MMO called Firefall -- and has some less than flattering things to say about the game WoW has become. His top complaint: that MMOs are now too easy. "When was the last time you died in a starter zone?" Kern muses. "Sometimes I look at WoW and think 'what have we done?' I think I know. I think we killed a genre."

The easier content, he argues, means both developers and players focus less on the content in the middle of the game and more on racing to get to the end game -- and by rushing through the game from level 1 to level 90, you miss out on a lot of the game itself. Of course Kern notes that his upcoming MMO has the mix just right -- and that by focusing on the journey instead of the destination, Firefall is a lot more fun.

While we are fans of new games -- and love the art style Firefall has going -- we're less convinced about dying in newbie zones as a gameplay necessity. Time will tell if Kern has the right of things -- Firefall's open beta is starting soon.

Filed under: News items

WRUP: Cast the Warcraft movie, again

WRUP Cast the Warcraft movie, again
This week the Warcraft movie secured itself a new director after losing Sam Raimi last year. The new director will be Duncan Jones, the director of Moon and Source Code, who had expressed an interest at directing the film while Sam Raimi was still attached to the project. Personally, I'm happy to see Jones taking on the project ... Not because I love Jones (he's fine) but because I was worried an adaption by Sam Raimi would be too lighthearted for my tastes. If I had it my way every film would be directed by Christopher Nolan.

So now that we have a director, let's write up our dream cast list again. For those of you who have been reading WoW Insider a long time, you'll know I already wrote mine a couple of years ago, so now it's your turn to take a stab at it.

Oh yeah, and what are you playing this weekend? Pfft, just tell us your dream cast list! It's way more fun.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) I'm currently trying to resist purchasing The Cave on Steam. We'll see if that holds out over the weekend or not. Other than that, a little raiding and a whole lot of writing.

Bonus question: Man I have no idea, but if they don't at least consider Michele Morrow (@michelemorrow) as Sylvanas I am going to be a little sad.

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The inside story of the making of Warcraft on Kotaku

The inside story of the making of Warcraft on Kotaku
Ever wondered about the beginning of Warcraft? Not World of Warcraft, the game you're playing right now -- no, I'm talking about the Warcraft franchise. It all started with a game called Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, released way back in November of 1994. Warcraft was originally developed as a real-time strategy game, nothing at all like the MMO monstrosity it has evolved to today. But the story of WoW has its roots firmly entrenched in Warcraft's history, and WoW would not exist if we never had Orcs and Humans.

Kotaku has begun posting a series of fascinating interviews with Patrick Wyatt, game developer, former Blizzard executive, and producer as well as lead programmer on the original Warcraft game. Part one talks about the sources and inspiration for Warcraft along with the early development of features that are standard with games these days, and it explores the unique formation of a team of developers that would eventually leave an indelible mark on gaming history as we know it.

Part one is good enough on its own, but the next in the series promises to shed even more light on the development of game. Head over to Kotaku and check out the full interview. It's definitely worth the read, and keep an eye out for the next installment.

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Global Writing Contest 2011 winning entries released

Winning entries of the 2011 Global Writing contest released
Remember last year's Global Writing Contest? After months of deliberation, Blizzard carefully chose and announced several winners, leaving the stories to be posted at a later date. That date is today, apparently, as the grand prize-winning story The Exit has now been posted on the official site, along with excerpts from several of the runners-up. The Global Writing Contest was a chance for players to put pen to paper and craft a story set in any of the universes Blizzard has created. The winning story, The Exit, is a StarCraft tale, while the posted finalist excerpts are all set in the Warcraft universe.

At the moment, we have yet to see any hint of a Global Writing Contest for this year. Hopefully, this won't be the last we see of the Global Writing Contest, since it was a beloved addition to Blizzard's usual round of contests and giveaways. That said, the finalists and grand prize-winning stories from last year are all well worth the read. Congratulations to all the winners! To read The Exit as well as the excerpts from the other finalists, check out the full post on the official site.

Filed under: News items, Contests, Lore

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Pet Battle Music is a blast from the past

In what will be heralded as one of the more austere, kickass features coming with Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has finally added in the music for Pet Battles, which is a mix of a little new/little old MIDI tunes that sound more at home on a Super Nintendo. But what's that I hear? Is it ... the original Warcraft and Warcraft II renditions of the faction songs? For Pet Battles? For serious?

I guess I have to go install Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition again. Great. What do you all think about the old Warcraft music's making an appearance in WoW?

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Where is WoW's story headed in the distant future?

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Because of the way we experience the setting, the story of World of Warcraft progresses in bursts. It's fair to think of each expansion as a new series, and the patches as episodic, in the same manner as British TV series such as Doctor Who or Turning Evil. Therefore, each expansion brings new settings, new dangers, and a new, overarching storyline, while each patch is an advancement of that storyline, bringing it to a conclusion with the ultimate patch of each expansion. In this way, Patch 4.3 is effectively a multi-part episode concluding the story of our confrontation with Deathwing.

I bring this up because with Mists of Pandaria, we're going to see a whole new place and explore it. In essence, it will be an expansion that introduces a great deal of new -- new lands, new peoples, new experiences. While it will still be part of Azeroth and still part of the unfolding storyline, it's also a change to switch gears and get away from the familiar. In a game like WoW, it's necessary to introduce new elements in this way to keep the setting engaging. It may be hard to relate now, but Ragnaros, Ahn'Qiraj, the Old Gods, the Silithid, all were introduced in World of Warcraft and not any of the RTS games. Look at the Warcraft III map of Kalimdor. You'll notice pretty much everything south of Feralas is blank on it.

This puts me in mind to speculate on the future of the game and where the lore is going to take us. Not just in Mists, of course, as I expect that much of the lore of the expansion is well and truly fleshed out already, and I'm as eager as anyone to see it. But we've got expansions down the road and trends to consider. None of this absolutely will happen ... but some of it might.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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