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Posts with tag warhammer-online

Mists of Pandaria: Battlegrounds preview

The Mists of Pandaria previews didn't show us nearly as much PvP content as what we saw of PvE content. We didn't see any of the new world PvP mechanics or anything related to the Arena, but we did see previews of two new Battlegrounds, the Temple of Power and the Silvershard Mine.

World of Warcraft's initial Battleground offerings were based around classic competitive game modes: capture the flag, conquest and domination modes from first-person shooters, and so forth. Mists of Pandaria's Battlegrounds are built upon the same concept, borrowing beloved concepts from other games while stepping up to embrace the competitive innovations of more recent titles. The mechanics are a bit more complicated than simply capturing a flag, but they're no less beloved by the gamers who see them in action.

Temple of Power

Much as Warsong Gulch is set on the border of Ashenvale Forest and Arathi Basin takes place in the Arathi Highlands, the Temple of Power is set in the new zone called the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The temple contains an artifact that could turn the tide of war should it fall into the hands of one faction or the other, so the Horde and the Alliance have taken to the battlefield to claim it.

The artifact sits in the center of the map. Whoever claims the artifact must hold onto it as long as possible -- a difficult task, since not only is the opposing team trying to kill you and recover the artifact for themselves, but the artifact also causes a constantly increasing amount of damage over time to its bearer. The longer you hold it, the more dangerous holding it becomes. Once the bearer of the artifact dies, it falls to the floor and another player of either faction may pick it up.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Fus Ro Dah

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.

Oh jeez. Oh gosh. It's 6:30 a.m. and I haven't written The Queue yet. This is your fault, Skyrim. This is all your fault. I hate you so much. Get out of my life, Skyrim. I never want to see you again.

Wait, baby, no! I didn't mean it! Come back, please! I need you. I need you so bad.

AGuyOnTheInternet asked:

Any idea what Blizzard's plan is to get people missing expansions to be set and ready for MoP? Like a battle chest or something?

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Filed under: The Queue

5 things Blizzard should implement from other MMOs

MMOs have been my game of choice since Ultima Online. I've played so many massively multiplayers that I've probably logged more time in virtual worlds than I care to even discuss. Suffice to say, there are a lot of games that have come and gone that I have been privy to. When World of Warcraft was announced, we were all very excited to see Blizzard take on a genre that was still, admittedly, in its conceptual infancy and add some of its famous polish to the concept.

What we got in World of Warcraft was the smoothest MMO ever. Bits and pieces of the entire genre were fine-tuned and polished to an extraordinary degree, with some of Blizzard's trademark innovations taking center stage. Instancing, for one, was huge.

Now, a new post-WoW generation of MMOs has begun, and with them comes innovation building off Blizzard's immense success. Some of these MMOs have ideas and concepts that WoW hasn't even touched (but maybe should consider). Warhammer Online, RIFT, EverQuest 2, and other games all had some cool new ideas that Blizzard might want to think about using and polishing up even better. Here's what I think Blizzard should crib.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: A little sumpin' sumpin' on the side

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

We've all been there before -- that magical moment when we let go of our loyalties to the object of our affection and simply give in to those inner desires for something new and exciting. Before we know it, we have turned away from our first love, leaving it huddled up in the corner feeling dirty and unwanted. Even if we don't personally engage in this abandonment, we are always anticipating the next story of someone else's doing it and the nitty-gritty details that come out. No, I'm not pulling headlines off the latest celebrity gossip columns again; I'm talking about your loyalties to WoW!

From old crushes like EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies to newer flames such as Star Trek Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, we all have games whose siren songs draw us into their grasp, away from our beloved WoW. With plenty of new and exciting MMOs on the horizon (we're looking at you, The Old Republic), now is the perfect time to start experimenting with a polygamous online gaming habit. While the frozen shores of Northrend have been nice, a trip into the Mines of Moria in Lord of the Rings Online may be the perfect thing to liven things up a bit and get that passion for your first love back.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

All the World's a Stage: Player housing, interactivity, and other possible features

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.

Playing Warhammer recently has made me think of more features that WoW could add in order to create a better roleplaying experience. Far and away the most important one, to my mind, was the Tome of Knowledge. WoW players really need an in-game resource they can refer to as a standard for information about the Warcraft universe, and having this at hand, roleplayers could do a lot better than they can today.

Knowledge is the most important thing, of course, but there are other features Blizzard could add to the game that would help roleplayers too. I'd like to address a few of these things, and see how much they could really do for us. Player housing is a possible feature that gets talked about a lot, but I have my doubts as to whether or not it would really help roleplayers all that much. Another issue is one that is more important to me personally, and is another feature inspired by my trial with Warhammer Online: looking at interactivity between characters.

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

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)

The purpose of Achievements, and how it's changed over time

Moonglade has a good post up about the pros and cons of achievements. Nowadays, achievements are everywhere, but when they were introduced to the game a while ago, they were seen as a great way for Blizzard to integrate an idea that had really taken off on Xbox Live (and that an impending competing MMO, Warhammer Online, was implementing for themselves). They were mostly seen as a benefit for the solo player -- even if you hit level 80 and nabbed some awesome gear, there'd be some optional fun for you to have in the future.

Since then, achievements have changed quite a bit -- I'd argue that they're actually more used in groups than in solo play, as raids check players for achievements when inviting them, and guilds use achievements to rate where their proficiency lies. There are certainly still lots of things for solo players to do (every holiday, achievements come to the forefront again), but titles and mounts have become the main goals there, not just optional points. As Moonglade says, instancing and checking up on what players have done seem to have become the main point of achievements. What was just a bragging competition on Xbox Live has transitioned to a real yardstick in terms of what a player focuses on in game and what they've done so far.

Is that bad? I don't think so -- Blizzard has done with achievements what they've done brilliantly with all of the other features of their games: borrow them, polish them, and then make them better. If you look through that old thread, most of the talk was about achievements pushing people to keep playing the game, and that happened, but I think one thing Blizzard has done is use achievements as a way to see what people have done so far as well: what instances have you run, what quests have you completed, what titles do you have already? There's lots more value to achievements than what any of us originally envisioned.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling, Achievements

All the World's a Stage: How WoW and Warhammer treat RP servers differently


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

Mythic Entertainment released a beta version of Warhammer Online for the Mac this week, along with a free 10-day trial, so I decided to give it a try. I noticed, quite happily, that there was an option to choose a roleplaying server, and as soon as I selected it, I was surprised to see an introduction pop up, about what sorts of names characters were expected to have there, as well as a bit about what roleplaying is, too.

Why doesn't Blizzard have a proper introduction to RP servers special rules in WoW, you ask? Maybe they felt that most players would know what "RP server" was supposed to mean and respect it better, or perhaps they felt explaining RP a bit on their website would be enough. As time went on, however, RP servers have filled up with people who have no interest in roleplaying and Blizzard seems unsure what, if anything, they should do about it. Perhaps Warhammer's RP introduction built into the game is just the solution that WoW needs too.

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

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Games Day '09 coverage
This last Saturday was Games Workshop's Games Day celebration, and Massively.com was on site to get you the latest Warhammer Online coverage straight from Mythic Entertainment. Want to know more about Ultima Online's Stygian Abyss expansion? Curious about Land of the Dead? Interested as to the future direction of Warhammer Online? Do your favorite devs play on order or destruction? Find all of these answers and more in our full coverage of the event starting tomorrow, including our hands-on impressions of the new mega-dungeon, Land of the Dead!
An overview of Warhammer Online's Land of the Dead
You've heard us talk about it, you've heard us discuss it, and it's now time for us to tell you exactly what it's all about. Land of the Dead is not your father's MMO dungeon -- it's a dungeon that is something more than just a dungeon. It's an entire zone filled with activities and sub-dungeons, all culminating in an epic instanced dungeon that features a face off with the first leader of the Tomb Kings himself, King Amenemhetum.
Massively Speaking Podcast Episode 52: Answering your Champions Online questions
Massively Speaking Episode 52 returns this week with Shawn and Contributing Editor Kyle Horner to answer your questions about Champions Online's recent NDA lift for press. Kyle gathered questions from a recent The Daily Grind post and answers a handful on the podcast.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Champions Online Press NDA lifts: See our impressions
This last weekend, press had the opportunity to spend my time within the Champions Online beta. After playing more than I would safely recommend, I bring you my personal takeaway in an effort to get out as much crunchy information goodness on the upcoming MMO as possible.
Five free to play MMOs that are ahead of the class
Times are tough, the wallet is tight, and you still need a game to play. But what free games can you wrap your hands around that just don't suck, right? That seems to be the trouble with free to play games -- many selections all with very low quality. But the market is not as bad as you might think. There are certainly some gems out there in the free to play market, just waiting for you to wrap your hands around them and play. Finding them however, hasn't always been easy, until now.
Massively's post-launch interview with Free Realms
Free Realms has launched, the floodgates have been opened and the servers have multiplied like little fluffy bunnies. Despite a slight delay, the launch's feedback has been predominantly positive. Not only is this rare for an MMO launch these days, considering the factors, but it's also a testament to the team involved.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively


Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all MMOs, including WoW! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.

Face-capturing tech to be "in-game soon" for Age of Conan
Lopping off heads in Age of Conan might soon be taken very personally, as ShackNews has reported that some fancy face-importing technology is being prepared for use in-game -- you're bound to be just a tad more put out when you see your actual face rolling away on a decapitated noggin. The technology itself comes from a company called Big Stage Entertainment, and you can already get a feel for how it works at their website by registering an account and creating your own 3D "@ctor".
SOE storms the internet with Free Realms beta promotions
This weekend saw one of the largest beta key giveaways in MMO history with tens of thousands of special codes being handed out at once by several different outlets. Aside from the normal MMO news and fan sites, the Free Realms Twitter account has been giving away a thousand keys at a time.
A rocky start for Warhammer's 1.21 patch
Patch day in an MMO is always hit or miss, but according to a number of sources, Mythic's 1.21 patch for Warhammer Online broke many core components of the game that still haven't been fixed several days later. A public acknowledgment appeared on the WAR Herald this past weekend, but some players are still furious.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Wowhead goes to War(hammer)


Wowhead is displaying a very large full page Warhammer ad right now. You can check out the picture above or head over to their site.

We've received numerous tips about this, and I'm sure the folks over there would be touched to know that you all care so much. It's likely that the ad came down through their parent company zam.com – so don't read too much into it.

But it is rather funny seeing a large Warhammer ad on a WoW site. These ads have also been known to exist on WoWWiki. They too likely have their ads chosen by their parent company Wikia, just like AOL does for WoW Insider.

So enjoy the Warhammer ads on Wowhead for the time being. You can learn more about Warhammer over at our sister site Massively.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items

Developer resolution for 2009: Beat Warcraft

Our friends at GameDaily have a nice set of resolutions for game developers next year, and it's definitely worth a read if you're interested in seeing where they think the game industry might improve in 2009. But number three is the most interesting one for us: they suggest that game developers (and MMO devs in specific, we'd imagine) should make this the year that something else beats World of Warcraft.

It seems much more unlikely than last year: last year, we were looking down the barrel of Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, and wondering if either one of those might cause a road bump in WoW's traffic. Age of Conan was called the steak to our game's McDonald's, but in the end, WoW players didn't do much more than give it a cursory glance. And while Warhammer seemed like a good contender to the throne, it hasn't come close to taking a bite out of Azeroth. This year, it doesn't even seem like there will be any MMO contenders. GameDaily cites Bioware's Star Wars MMO, but that's not coming out in 2009, and while The Agency and DC Universe Online might be getting close to finished, it's unlikely we'll see them on the shelves this year either.

This might be a year of recuperation, for both Blizzard and their competitors. Lord of the Rings Online is doing well, so their big task is just to keep the content moving, and unlike last year, Blizzard has no real impetus this year to really push their playerbase to stick with the game. As with everything, we'll have to see what happens, but I'd expect a much more subdued year this go-around for the MMO market. When the MMOs in progress now come to fruition in 2010, then things will likely get more interesting.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money

Former Blizzard devs at Red 5 Studios plan their own MMO

Gamasutra has an excellent interview up with a company called Red 5 Studios. Their CEO, Mark Kern, served as a former team lead on World of Warcraft (though it's been a while -- since a little less than a year after the game's launch), so WoW fans (and Blizzard themselves) are curious about what the studio is up to. Unfortunately, they're staying vague at this point -- while they are definitely working on some kind of fantasy MMO, they're not exactly forthcoming about what it'll be.

They do say what they're not -- "we're not trying to be a sequel to WoW," Kern says. And they don't consider themselves in the same areas as Warhammer Online and Tabula Rasa, two games that showed promise earlier this year but never broke out as their developers expected. Instead, they want to do something different with the MMO idea, but as for specifics, don't hold your breath. They don't have a business model planned out quite yet, and even the game's announcement is "months" off.

So for now, we'll have to wait. It should be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of the studio -- many people have said that WoW can only be topped by Blizzard themselves, and while having a history at Blizzard doesn't necessarily prepare you for making brilliant games every time (see Hellgate: London, created by former Diablo devs), it would be interesting to see if Kern (who has made his mark on WoW) can help Red 5 get another success together.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money, Interviews

15 Minutes of Fame: Tobold blogs from the hip


15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

The internet is abloom with emoticons – fragrant flowers peppering the soil around posts filled with fertile viewpoints, hoping to soften and breathe context into black and white text. Posters struggle to assume an innocuous mantle. Not Tobold. MMORPG blogger Tobold has built a reputation as a straight-shooter. He unabashedly gulps down macro and micro topics alike, spitting out analyses minus the ubiquitous apologies and humble posturing that characterize so many blogs. Opinion as opinion, fact as fact – and an audience of readers who appreciate the opportunity to volley between fact and opinion, hardcore and softcore topics.

The man behind the blog is really a pretty humorous and easy-going guy, and our e-mail interview with Tobold actually did start out with an emoticon. Find out what made Tobold smilie, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, 15 Minutes of Fame

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