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Posts with tag wow-5-year-anniversary

World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary mosaic finally complete

It looks like the fans followed through, after all, and we finally get to see the Battlecry mosaic much sooner than I'd previously thought. The completed mosaic reveals a truly awesome piece of art by Wei Wang depicting all the current faction leaders. By awesome I mean truly mind-blowing, and Blizzard has high resolution versions of both the mosaic and the actual painting available for download in different versions. The full mosaic, for example, can be viewed in all its 14400 x 6150 pixel glory. Arguably the best version is the dual screen wallpaper which shows the most detail, although there are also much smaller versions for mobile phones.

The Battlecry mosaic is comprised of 20,000 player-submitted pictures called out by Blizzard as part of the World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary celebration. Each section of the multi-part mosaic unlocked various content over the past few months, which included sneak peeks at conceptual art and even a piece of the game's musical score. The final artwork is arguably the best and coolest rendition of all the faction leaders so far, including a dual-wielding Magni Bronzebeard in armor that's significantly different from what he's wearing in-game, which may or may not hint at a possible model change come Cataclysm. Congratulations to all the fans who contributed to the mosaic!

Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Cory Stockton breaks down the process of making an instance

Blizzard has done a lot of press regarding the fifth anniversary of the game (and there's probably more to come), but Curse has done one of the more interesting pieces so far. Instead of just chatting with Cory Stockton about his experiences, they had him sit down and explain just how Blizzard puts an instance together. They specifically talked about Ulduar, but the process Stockton reveals works for all of the instances Blizzard has created for the game.

A few interesting things -- they "block out" the instances first, create lower-res versions of them to play around in and create the mechanics for the fights. They also do some boss testing outside of the environments -- Razorscale, specifically, says Stockton, was actually tested down in the Stranglethorn Arena. Finally, once the encounter team works out the basics of the encounters, the art and item teams move in, and create art and loot, sometimes with the two of them collaborating (the art team will make a cool item for a boss, and then the item team, with the help of Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, will give the item stats and balance). Interesting just how collaborative the whole process is -- even the Ironbound Proto-drake mount came from the team seeing Razorscale and wanting to put him in mount form. It's nice and all hearing Blizzard remember the Fry's launch, but it's nicer getting an inside look at their process.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Blizzard celebrates the WoW anniversary

The good folks at the Orange County Register got invited to Blizzard's official WoW anniversary party that took place last Thursday on their Irvine campus, and their report is now posted. It sounds like quite the event -- lots of free food and beer, head honchos regaling employees with their tales of the early days, and Rob Pardo suggesting that just like geek culture helped define this game, this game might help define geek culture going forward.

The picture gallery included with the piece is a good browse, too -- you can see all of the Blizzard heavyweights hanging out together, and the great spread set up on the campus. The Register's also been asking Blizzard about their memories of the game -- they've got more memories from Samwise, launch day stories from Shane Dabiri, and some thoughts from Pardo and Frank Pearce (who, strangely enough, at first didn't believe that Blizzard belonged in a hardcore niche market like MMO gaming -- he didn't want to make "a game that never ended," he says). All good stuff. Congrats once again to Blizzard on five years, good to see they celebrated in style.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Galleries

The early days of the World of Warcraft

It's been five years since this game launched, and it's changed so much that you might have forgotten what life was like back then. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, those times are saved in clear HTML. Let's dig up some memories of the early game.

It's interesting to think what Blizzard was like before World of Warcraft. Today, the two are almost synonymous -- while they have two other major franchises (and one secret IP hiding in the works), it's almost impossible for anyone to think of Blizzard without thinking of WoW, and vice versa. The company has become almost solely defined by what they've done with this game. But of course, before the release, that wasn't the case.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling

Zarhym drops hints about Onyxia encounter, mount drop rate

Over here at WoW.com, we're pretty stoked about the new Onyxia fight, which was why, despite the fact that it came in a somewhat trollish thread, I was pretty happy to see Zarhym drop a few hints about the Onyxia encounter and the drop rate of the new 310% speed Brood of Onyxia mount.

He reveals that they aren't going back to the 4-instance heroic and normal setup of the Coliseum, instead just having plain old 10 man and 25 man normal modes. In addition, the mount will have an equal chance to drop from both encounters, so you have a chance at it no matter what your preferred raid size.

That said, you probably shouldn't expect to just waltz in and get your whole raid outfitted in matching black drakes. The mount drops one at a time, and the drop rate is pretty low. Think pre-nerf Baron Rivendare's Deathcharger mount low. As Zarhym puts it: "One day I will have it, though as soon as I loot it I'll probably be struck by lightning on a sunny day and attacked by a shark, all while in the presumed comfort of my living quarters."

That said, don't get too put out either way. It sounds like Zarhym hasn't ruled out the possibility of an old-fashioned "hard mode" achievement depending on how you face the fight (I'm fully expecting a "Many Whelps Left Side" style achievement myself), and we already know the new Onyxia is permanent, meaning you'll probably have until next expansion to try to farm your mounts.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Mounts, Achievements

Onyxia returns in Patch 3.2.2


You read that right. In honor of WoW's 5-year anniversary, in the upcoming Patch 3.2.2, Onyxia will make her triumphant return to the world of Azeroth!

The patch will convert Onyxia's Lair to a 10- and 25-player dungeon, along with new items whose models match the old-school gear available in the vanilla instance, like Tier 2 helms. Additional rewards include a 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself!

As a bonus, anyone who logs in during the 5-year anniversary event in November will get an Onyxia Whelpling pet.

The full announcement after the break!

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Raiding

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