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Posts with tag warhammer-online

Mark Jacobs of WAR: "I'm flattered" by Wrath's PvP

Oh, this is rich. We'll admit that WoW's achievements system is Blizzard's reaction to Warhammer Online's Tome of Knowledge system, and sure, we'll even go so far as to say that the PvE to PvP transfers are a shot off the bow of WAR, but claiming that WoW's Lake Wintergrasp is a straight rip from Warhammer? We'd think not. Still, that won't keep Mythic's CEO Mark Jacobs from claiming exactly that -- the outspoken developer says he's "flattered" by what he calls Blizzard's attempts at open world PvP.

Too bad it's straight out nonsense -- we were at the PvP panel at last year's BlizzCon, where Blizzard explained all of the experiments they'd made with world PvP, from the very sad Silithus, to the more successful Halaa and Auchindoun, and how they'd landed on the concept for Lake Wintergrasp -- the worldwide buff, the raid boss, the persistent rewards, and so on -- from all of the world PvP that had come before. That's not to say that Blizzard doesn't want to borrow the best things from Warhammer and other popular games out there, but to claim Wintergrasp is an attempt to emulate Warhammer's PvP is just plain reaching. And leveling through PvP? Considering you need a flying mount to get to Wintergrasp and you can't actually get that until three levels left in the game, it's as stretchy as it gets to claim that's Blizzard's attempt at emulating WAR. If Blizzard really did want to rip off WAR, they'd do it better than that, no?

Can't say we're that surprised, though. Jacobs and his team do have a habit of biting off more than they can chew already.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Wrath of the Lich King

Analyst: WoW to add a million players in a year

At least one person who claims to be in the know believes that WoW ain't done yet: Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, believes that by the end of 2009, World of Warcraft will have picked up at least another million players around the world, in addition to the 10.9 million he says are already in the game. The launch of Wrath of the Lich King and the surge in popularity of the game in China will bring the game up to as much as 12 million players before the end of 2009.

There's no question that WoW's population has slowed down lately -- the last time we heard an official update from Blizzard was way back in January, and while this analyst claims there are more nowadays, there's no question that things have plateaued for the moment. But maybe there are some more folks out there who haven't played yet, and maybe Wrath of the Lich King will bring them into the fold.

He also mentions Warhammer Online, as you might expect (isn't that pretty much a requirement anytime you talk about MMO populations these days?), but he's landed on the same conclusion both Blizzard, Mythic, and all of their players have already ended up at: WAR isn't really going to affect what WoW does, and vice versa. "Core WoW users," apparently, have "limited interest" in the other big MMO out there at the moment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Tigole: Blizz wants to bring BGs back, baby

Reader Thomas pointed us to this forum post by Tigole, which contains some fun news for battleground fans, even if it is a little early in the design process to really expect anything yet. Tiggy basically says that while Arenas have gained some station in the world of PvP, the focus will eventually shift back to battlegrounds -- Blizzard would like to make BG content that "could be of higher quality with a higher degree of accessibility." They're still working on that competitive BG idea, and they want the focus to go back to the solid Horde vs. Alliance idea that's at the foundation of Warcraft.

Additionally, they're planning to let us queue up for the BGs from anywhere in the world (which, no doubt, would increase participation from both factions), and Tigole also suggests that eventually they may offer XP through battlegrounds, giving players yet another way to level up (twinks may not like that suggestion, but these changes are a long way off anyway).

This last change there -- offering players a way to level up with PvP -- is seen by many forumgoers as a direct stab at Warhammer Online. That game makes a big deal out of offering battleground-style PvP, and letting players choose it as a way to completely avoid PvE and earn XP and levels. So it may be that Blizzard saw their launch, and plans to turn back in that direction to compete. Which isn't a bad thing for us anyway -- as good as WoW is, some slightly-more-serious competition will only make it better. Being as I'm a BG fan, Tigole's hints that BGs are coming back is music to my ears.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, PvP, Leveling, Battlegrounds

Mythic makes one last case for switching from WoW to Warhammer


We've been posting a bit about Warhammer Online lately (since the launch of the game was this week), but this will probably be the last we'll post about it in a while -- we're a site about WoW, not WAR, and if you want more indepth news and views on the new game, Massively's got you covered there.

That said, we'll give Mythic's lead designer Marc Jacobs one more chance to tempt you away from Azeroth, if you so want to be tempted. MTV Multiplayer asked him one last time why WoW players might want to switch over to Warhammer, and he put the case pretty succinctly: Mythic put a focus on "Realm vs. Realm" combat in the game (like faction vs. faction), and that's what you'll find there. WoW, he says, like all MMOs, has an expiration date, so if you're looking for a difference experience, he recommends you give his game a try.

There. Now, odds are that you've probably already made up your mind at this point -- either you're already trampsing around the Age of Reckoning, you're looking to give it a try after Wrath dies down, or you're a die-hard WoW player. Either way, you can't blame Mythic for trying to pull people away (and Blizzard for trying to keep them). Time to let the chips fall where they may.

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

Breakfast Topic: Are you ready for WAR?


Warhammer Online comes out today. For many players, this is an exciting time, as the game looks fantastic and there have been many favorable reviews of the game. As a huge fan of PvP, I was greatly attracted to Warhammer's RvR concept and how PvP actually shaped the game world. I was really all ready to sign up and even purchase the Collector's Edition but when EA-Mythic released the specs for the game, I was sorely disappointed. Unlike Blizzard games, which are made for Macs and PCs, WAR is only coming to Windows.

So I'll be sitting on the sidelines and watching my friends try out Warhammer. I think I'll be alright, though. Blizzard recently announced that Wrath of the Lich King will be released on November 13, and to be frank it's more than enough for me. While I would've loved to try out Warhammer Online, I think I'm pretty content with the game I'm playing now. In fact, I don't think I've ever been more excited to play the game. With less than two months to go before Wrath, I think it's a great time for the MMO genre in general. How about you guys? Are you ready for WAR?
Are you ready for WAR?
Yes! I'm going to WAR and never looking back!626 (5.9%)
I've got my subscription to both. I think I'll check it out.1131 (10.7%)
I'm not interested in going to WAR.4729 (44.6%)
I'll wait for a while to see what others say before deciding.2300 (21.7%)
I quit! I don't like MMOs!128 (1.2%)
Where's World of StarCraft?1698 (16.0%)

Extensive Warhammer Online coverage, guides and news can be found on our sister site, Massively.com including their excellent WAR for WoW players feature.

Filed under: Polls, Events, Breakfast Topics

More beta keys sent out

Several people, including many WoW Insider authors, have received Beta Opt-In keys for Wrath of the Lich King in the last 24 hours. This latest wave seems to be quite large. In previous waves I've known 1 or 2 people that have gotten in, where as this wave I know at least 16.

There is some speculation that this might be an attempt by Blizzard to thwart the release of Warhammer Online, which is set to come online next Thursday. Warhammer has received some mixed reviews, with many comparisons to World of Warcraft, including one by Michael Zenke of our sister site Massively.

Nonetheless, those that have received keys are enjoying the thrills of the beta. New levels, the Death Knight, and servers crashing a few times an hour. Good times had by all!

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

A WoW player's guide to Warhammer Online


Heard about Warhammer Online, but the thought of a whole new virtual world to get lost in frightens and confuses you? Worry not -- our good friends at Massively (like WoW Insider, but for all MMOs) have you covered. Just in time for the impending Warhammer Online release, they've posted a WoW player's guide to Warhammer Online. With their in-depth guide, you can take all that knowledge you've racked up about Azeroth and its inhabitants, and carry it right on over to Altdorf and the rest of the world of Warhammer.

Need a class translation guide, or want the lowdown on what quests and crafting are like? Perhaps the biggest difference between WoW and WAR is a bigger emphasis on PvP of all kinds, and Massively's got the story for you on that as well. If you've been interested in checking out Warhammer at all (or if a few friends have mentioned they're switching), this guide will bring you right up to speed.

Of course, even EA admits that Warhammer won't really be a rival to World of Warcraft, but there's no question that the game has already influenced how even Blizzard makes its games, so no matter how many players choose to cross over, there's no question the new MMO on the block is going to make a splash. The game comes out in just over a week on September 18 -- if this guide has piqued your interest, stay tuned to Massively for more on what's up with the game and its release.

Filed under: Night Elves, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Quests, Death Knight

Blizzard and the hidden population of disabled players

A Dwarf Priest has a nice long post up about the relationship between Blizzard and one of the more hidden (and yet surprisingly large) groups within their population: disabled gamers. It's no secret to anyone who's played WoW for a while that a lot of disabled gamers have found a lot of solace in a social game where you can be almost completely anonymous and play a character at whatever pace you want to play. Even if you go with the lowest of estimations, there are about 525,000 people playing the game with some kind of disability in real life. That's a much bigger number than I expected, and it's a significant number of people paying Blizzard every month.

Fortunately, Dwarf Priest found that accessibility is relatively good in Blizzard's game -- most of the work is actually done with third-party addons, but the UI and display is so customizable that even with the default interface, many people without a full range of controls or movement can figure out how to play the game. For their part, Blizzard has agreed that a customizable UI is the best way to make a game accessible -- J. Allen Brack says that's a priority in this interview with Able Gamers.

Dwarf Priest has lots more, including a quick comparison with accessibility in Warhammer Online, and even a weird wrinkle in the Glider lawsuit (the botting program's creators are apparently claiming it helps disabled players play their characters). It's a very well-written post about a subject that doesn't get covered much, and there's lots of extra reading to dig into at the bottom as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Add-Ons

EA: You don't need $1 billion to compete with WoW


You just need $100 million to beat it. No, we're kidding -- after Activizzard founder Bobby Kotick's presumptuous statement a few months ago that any game company would need at least half a billion dollars to challenge World of Warcraft, EA/Mythic's Mark Jacobs has responded in kind on the eve of their big Warhammer Online release, telling MTV Multiplayer that the number is closer to around $100 million. And that they spent less than that on their big MMO.

We'll be realistic here: we don't think anyone believes, including EA, that WoW's numbers are attainable for another MMO coming out this year -- even Blizzard believes that eventually WoW will go by the wayside, but as Jacobs says, anyone releasing a game today isn't just competing with WoW, they're competing with WoW and Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. And no matter how long your development cycle or how big your budget, you can't compete with three years of people working around the clock to make the game better for live players.

But EA does want to be successful, and Jacobs says success for him would mean upwards of half a million players. Six months from now, he says, if Warhammer is folding servers and not adding them, the writing is on the wall. There's no reason to think that will be the case, of course -- Warhammer looks like a great game led by one of the biggest publishers in the world supporting one of the best MMO developers, and it's about as close to guaranteed a success gets in the MMO space. But even Mythic would say WoW stands on its own -- while WoW is running, it's highly unlikely we'll see any MMO come anywhere near its 10 million total subscribers.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 52: Club Penguin is the WoW-killer

We were live on WoW Radio as usual last Saturday with our weekly podcast, and this past week we welcomed Krystalle Voecks of our sister site Massively into the mix, as well as Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell, and of course the Turpster. Krystalle chatted with us about what's planned for the big DragonCon event in Atlanta this weekend (WoW Insider will be there, even though I unfortunately won't be), and we also talked about:
It was a fun show -- we wandered around a bit, but don't we always? You can listen to it right now over on WoW Radio's website, and of course in iTunes as well. If you have questions or comments about something we said, send them along to theshow@wow.com and you might even hear them next time around.

And if you missed the live show this past week, we do this every Saturday afternoon at 3:30 Eastern, so tune in live on WoW Radio's website, and you'll even be able to join us in IRC chat. Enjoy the show this week, and have a good one.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider is at E3 this week

We're not expecting very much WoW news out of E3 this week (especially since Blizzard has taken a pass on the event), but nevertheless, my co-lead Dan O'Halloran and I are here in Los Angeles for the week (and we brought all of our coolest stuff), to see what we can see. And of course if we see anything related to Azeroth at all, you'll see it, too.

Activision Blizzard is planning a press conference on Tuesday evening, and we'll be there for sure, so keep an eye out for that. And we'll be paying attention to WoW competitors as well (Warhammer Online is set to make a big splash at E3, though the recent news that Mythic is cutting the game back a bit may overshadow any other announcements) -- our sister site Massively will have coverage of any and all MMOs at the show this year. And on Thursday, I'm getting a hands-on demo with the Novint Falcon, so we'll see if it controls WoW as well as they say it does. And if you're one of those who wants to see the big picture, Joystiq's E3 page has all the E3 news you need and then some.

It won't be all work there -- we'll also be at the big Joystiq meetup on Thursday, so if you're in LA and want to come by and say hi, please do (I'll try to wear my BlizzCon t-shirt so you can find me). For us WoW fans, the big events of the year are the Worldwide Invitational and BlizzCon, of course, but WoW Insider's got you covered at E3, too.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard

Forum post of the day: The future is not what it used to be

With the Wrath Beta Opt-in available, we're one step closer to the expansion. We're all anxiously awaiting the time when the expansion is ready. I'm still having fun with the existing World of Warcraft, but I'm a bit antsy. There is a lot of frustration over existing conditions, especially when it comes to PvP.

Chloroform of EU-Magtheridon isn't interested in waiting. He listed his grievances in the EU-PVP Forum, "Balance issues, queue times, destroying premades, AFK problems, uneven teams, world pvp screwed by 9000yd aggro range ultra guards." Like many others, Jasse of EU-Bronzebeard blames the arena for the death of PvP.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: Which game would you play?


Every time a new game comes out, we have a decision to make. Do we try the new game while still playing World of Warcraft most of the time? Do we take a break from WoW to give the new game all of our attention? Or do we continue to play our favorite MMO? My guild had an attendance problem when GTA IV was released and I know a few people have given Age of Conan a good try. With Warhammer Online probably coming out in the fall, we will have to make another choice then.

Now, I think that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion will probably come out in the Winter, hopefully this year. I think that Starcraft 2 will be released approximately a year after that and my guess is that Diablo III won't come out for another 2 to 3 years, unfortunately. But what if Blizzard were to do the unthinkable and release WotLK at the same time as the sequels to Starcraft and Diablo?

For me, I think Diablo III would take up most of my time for a month or two. Happily (or not), I won't have to make that choice. What would you do?

[Thanks to Dave for the idea]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions

Does Blizzard need to put out more content faster?

It seems a complaint I've heard a lot about Blizzard lately is that 2 years between expansions is just far too long. We'll languish too much without new content, and people will leave for Age of Conan and Warhammer Online and other games, they say.

Myself, I think the length between expansions is acceptable, provided that Blizzard is working on improving and adding new content. To some extent, they are doing this. 2.4 was a tour de force that granted us a whole new area to grind and quest in, and if Blizzard can be out patches like 2.4 on a regular basis, I can forgive them for a few delays in the expansions.

That said, I do feel like they could stand to pick up the pace.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Bosses, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

[1. Local]: This week in WoW Insider comments

[1.Local] serves up a smattering of reader comments from the past week, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

We start off this week's look at reader comments with a handful of theories, notions and opinions on a variety of topics: why Warhammer won't rival WoW, what could be behind the upcoming universal spellpower change, and the root of the whole Horde vs. Alliance struggle.

Readers had high praise for the most recent installment of our informative Tank Talk column, before adding their two copper to the last installment of Thrall's story in Know Your Lore. And finally, readers had a lot to say about cross-faction camaraderie among fishers, more kudos for a tote bag that'll leave you in Stitches, and some off-color ideas about the influence of team colors on PvP success.

Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.

Read more →

Filed under: Fishing, Analysis / Opinion, Features, [1.Local]

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