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Posts with tag warhammer

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)

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)

Disappointment with the patch 3.1 game world

The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.

The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Lore

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

Wrath of the Lich King falls off the top sales spot (for now)


It only took four months, but a new title has knocked Wrath of the Lich King off the top of the PC sales charts, according to industry trackers NPD. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the much-awaited RTS title featuring that other fantasy universe with "war" in the title, has taken the top spot, knocking Wrath down to number two (and the original version of WoW and the Battle Chest hold their spots around six and seven).

We suppose it had to happen at some point -- with PTR interest kicking in this past week, and the game having sold so many copies already, there had to be a point where something else jumped up above Wrath. But don't count the award winning expansion out of the number one spot yet. While Dawn of War II is getting reviewed very favorably, this little bump is likely due to an audience of fans who wanted to get the sequel on day one. Once first-week sales for that game level off, it's entirely likely that we'll see WotLK back up on top. Not that Blizzard needs any more money, of course. But it is good to be the (Lich) King.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Making money

WRUP: Do I lose my job if I say Warhammer? edition

Warhammer Online

Oh dear. It seems one of our own, Mr. Alex Ziebart, is abandoning the our for a weekend in Warhammer Online.

Alex Ziebart: Do I lose my job if I say Warhammer?

Oh, don't worry, Alex. We don't fire people for playing other MMOs. Not often, anyway. But regardless of Alex's fate, for the rest of the team -- and to let us know what you're up to in-game this weekend (Warcraft or otherwise) -- keep reading!

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Filed under: Odds and ends

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

Massively and GamerDNA chart the MMO market in 2008


Our good friends over at Massively have teamed up with the GamerDNA site to come up with some stats of MMO playtime this year, and the results are very interesting. Unfortunately, those results are buried under some pretty confusing charts (and these are all approximations of what's happening from GamerDNA information, not actual subscription numbers), but we'll see if we can pull out the salient points for you.

In (very) short, WoW rules. Two games that most pundits thought might affect WoW playtime, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan, in fact, didn't affect WoW logons in the least, according to this data. And while guest contributor (and GamerDNA writer/analyst) Sanya Weathers says she may have spotted a short decline in WoW playtime right around the release of WAR, that was quickly overshot by the release of Wrath, as WoW's numbers jumped right back up.

But while Blizzard has weathered the competition this year, things might not be so hunky dory for them in the future: while games like Lord of the Rings Online and EVE Online are showing sharper increases, WoW's population seems to be leveling out. It's still growing, sure, but not at the rate that it has been (and perhaps at the slowest rate in the game's life). And you have to think, as we said on the podcast last week, that whatever other expansions Blizzard can come up with, none will be as interesting to their players as finishing off the story of Arthas Menethil and the Lich King. WoW is still the undisputed king of MMOs, but the stats say we're closer to the end of its reign than the beginning.

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

WoW Insider on Massively Speaking this week

Miss hearing Turpster and I on the same podcast? I do too -- I think our show has definitely come into its own, but at this point, there's just a scheduling conflict keeping us apart (Turpster's new show is recorded at exactly the same time as ours). Worry not, however, because whenever we can, we'll try to podcast together, and here's your first chance to hear us again: Michael Zenke and Shawn Schuster of our sister site's Massively Speaking podcast invited both of us on to sit down and talk about the Wrath release with them.

It was a lot of fun -- we talked about the Wrath launch and how it went, and then went on to hit on some of the most important new features for MMO fans in general, and how Blizzard has really done some great work with the new expansion (while also simultaneously borrowing from other developers). And we confronted the topic of whether there was enough content in Wrath at all, and whether it was a bad thing that all the PvE instances have already been cleared. And finally we talked about the future of WoW, and where we might be headed next.

We had a great time (as you can probably hear), and you can listen to the show right on Massively. WoW Insider covers WoW, but Massively covers all MMOs, so if you're also a fan of Guild Wars or LotRO or Warhammer, check them out. And if you're a Turpster fan (who isn't, really?), you can also see him every week in his video series over there, called TurpsterVision. Thanks to Zenke and Schuster for letting us run amuck on their podcast -- we'll have to return the favor on the WoW Insider Show soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends, Humor, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft. This week's round up will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on the site from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.
The Star Wars / BioWare announcement is just hours away
We're just hours away from the highly anticipated announcement of the BioWare/LucasArts project most gamers expect to be a Knights of the Old Republic MMO. We here at Massively has been waiting for this day ... oh, for years. More recently, though, we've had some more concrete elements to talk about. Ever since the July confirmation of the project by EA's head, we've been very busy thinking, plotting, and planning.
WAR has only just begun to compete with WoW, declares Mark Jacobs
If you've been following this particular exchange you'll know the score, but let's recap: Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan just like turned around and said some stuff about Warhammer Online, about how he wasn't even in the Beta and stuff, and Mark Jacobs was like whoa, and he totally turned around and said some stuff about World of Warcraft, and now Mark Jacobs is all, like, dude, bring it, and everybody's like, ohmygawd, it is so on.
Analysts see World of Warcraft adding another million subscribers
Despite the success of Warhammer Online, analysts looking in on the MMO industry are of the opinion that Wrath of the Lich King will be another huge win for Blizzard's World of Warcraft. In fact, Eurogamer reports, Colin Sebastian at the Lazard analysis firm thinks the expansion will tack on another million subscribers to the game's already somewhat ludicrous playerbase.
Blizzard: World of Warcraft will do fine, global economic collapse be damned
Unless you've been stranded on a desert island for the past year, you know that there's a global economic crisis going on. But worry not: MMOs -- World of Warcraft in particular -- will be just fine, according to Blizzard Executive VP Rob Pardo.
Blizzard: Next MMO won't be WoW 2
Go ahead a strike the possibility of a World of Warcraft 2 off your list of possible next-gen Blizzard MMOs because it's officially not happening. In an interview with Wired, Blizzard's recently talkative Mike Morhaime flat out said that their next MMO project isn't a sequel to their first.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

WoW Insider speaks with Curse and Wowace

Saturday afternoon I had an opportunity to sit down with Kaelten, known both for his work with Wowace and now Curse.com. We spoke of many of the concerns users had about transitioning from Wowace to Curse for their addons, and the reasoning behind the merger.

Kaelten was more than happy to answer any questions I had, and we jumped right in as soon as we found somewhere to sit for lunch. His explanation for the reasoning between the merger was what we had known (and reported) from the first time we heard of it: It was, essentially, necessary for survival. Wowace was not something that could stand on its own very long. The sheer amount of bandwidth they chewed through was unbelievable, especially on patch days. We're talking 350 GB per hour. The average person has less than 350 GB in their PC, and Wowace (and now Curse) chews through it like it's nothing.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon press conference with Mike Morhaime

Mike Morhaime held a press conference earlier this afternoon, which WoW Insider was able to attend. I arrived a little late since it started before I finished up the UI panel liveblog, but I managed to catch a majority of the Q&A. Unlike the various panels, most of these questions were aimed at the philosophy and business model at Blizzard. How they've operated in the past, and how they'll operate in the future.

BlizzCon itself came up a lot throughout the conference, the big question being will this BlizzCon be a letdown? There haven't been any major announcements. Announcements, sure, but nothing on the scale of Starcraft II or Diablo III. Mike Morhaime actually seemed most excited about this particular BlizzCon, because it isn't just showcasing one game. All three of their primary franchises have something new on the way, and fans of all of those games are in attendance. Beyond that, he believes the community is extremely important, and gatherings like BlizzCon are important as well. Blizzard themselves were blown away by just how many people were trying to attend the convention this time around. The number of hopefuls completely dwarfed both last year's BlizzCon and the more recent Worldwide Invitational. Will BlizzCon continue to be an annual event? Maybe. They'll focus on this weekend first, and then they'll start talking about next year once it's through.

What I found most interesting, though? Morhaime was asked what the most unusual, off the wall concepts they had for a game that simply did not work out. He mentioned a game titled Nomad that Blizzard was developing after Starcraft was first released. A game they had never mentioned or announced until now. It was a post-apocalyptic style setting, but each day they sat down to work on it, it was with a little trepidation. Eventually they asked themselves, "If we were going to work on just one project today, would it be Nomad or would it be something else?" They went with something else. That something else was World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, BlizzCon, 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

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