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Posts with tag wow-5th-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

What's taking the Battlecry mosaic so long?

When the World of Warcraft Anniversary mini-site was unveiled last November, one of its features was a photo-mosaic dubbed the Battlecry which would unlock little art goodies each time a certain milestone was reached. The Battlecry mosaic called for player submissions to submit their pictures with a logo of their favored faction, with a modest goal of 20,000 player-submitted pictures in order to reveal the final artwork created specially for the event.

It's come along rather smoothly, and some really cool player pictures have been submitted, with the seeming abundance of Horde-aligned pictures prompting us to ask where the Alliance pride was. But what really surprises me is how long the whole project is taking. When the site was launched, one of the first questions that actually ran through my head was how long it would take to fill up the whole mosaic. With over ten million active players, you'd think getting to 20,000 would be easy. Out of ten million, that's like a drop in a bucket. But after almost two months of the site being active, we're still only at 32% of the goal. Why?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Joystiq talks to Frank Pearce about the past and future of Warcraft

Our friend Kevin Kelly over at the Joystiq mothership got a chance to talk to Frank Pearce at Blizzard about the Warcraft anniversary, and he did us proud. Not only did Frank Pearce do some nice reminiscing about Blizzard, where they've come from, and how the massive World of Warcraft undertaking has changed them as a company (they've gone from 500 employees to about 4,000 in just the last five years), but he also touched on some issues we've really been wondering about over here at WoW.com as well.

Like, say, the reason we haven't seen a girl in the ads yet. Pearce says they're open to it, and he wants some names submitted, so we'll offer up Felicia Day as a no-brainer, and if you guys have other ideas, share away below. He also talks about server capacity, and says that at nearly every step, Blizzard has been surprised by their success. He attributes race and faction changes to thinking that realms were big enough on day one to bring everybody together who wanted to come together, but they later realized that wasn't what was happening. He mentions China and NetEase and says they wish the process there was faster. And finally, he talks, surprisingly, about the BlizzCon Vegas that wasn't, and seems to confirm that Blizzard was considering a Vegas show. Interesting. Where else did they consider holding the convention, we wonder?

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Cataclysm

New anniversary interviews in Blizzcast 12 and on the minisite

Blizzard continues to update their minisite -- the latest newness is the posting of a new Blizzcast, in two parts. In part one, Karune of the Starcraft community team interviews Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, and Samwise Didier about the history of Warcraft as a whole (it's celebrating the 15th anniversary as well this year), and part two has our friend Nethaera talking to J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan about the game itself. As is usual with the official podcast, there's not much new information here (especially if you've already read through some retrospective press), but both interviews are worth a listen (and/or a read through the transcript) if only to hear these guys all in a room together, joking around about old times.

Elsewhere on the site, they've started posting written interviews as well. The first one is with Shane Dabiri, former lead producer on the game, and there are faded-out spots for J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan as well. The other spots aren't revealed yet, but they're supposed to be interviews from the "community," so it'll be interesting to see who those turn out to be. Blizzard, anytime you want to chat with me about the history of World of Warcraft, just drop an email!

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

Fan pictures added to the Battlecry mosaic

We posted about Blizzard's Warcraft anniversary minisite a while back, and since then, they've been busy, filling it up with even more content. The community interviews and the new Blizzcast haven't yet appeared, but there are many, many pictures on the Battlecry mosaic submissions section. Pages and pages of fans showing their support for the Horde or the Alliance. It's quite a sight to see, actually -- the pictures range from the straightforward to the silly to the very involved (one couple's posed up with their t-shirts and Frostmourne and logo and everything). There's quite a few whole-guild pics too. There's 43 pages total, so it's a lot to look through, but it's definitely worth a browse.

Ancilorn reminds us, also, that this is a contest -- as more and more pictures from each faction roll in, we'll have access to some mosaic art using these actual pictures, the first piece of which was just revealed today. They've featured some of their favorite pictures over on the Facebook page as well. This is turning out to be a pretty cool idea, and as I said in the original post, I bet we'll be seeing these pictures in lots of other places in the future.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard

Jeff Kaplan on WoW development: "We debate like crazy"

Our buddy Phil Kollar of Game Informer (who was on the podcast recently) got a chance to talk to Jeff Kaplan about the World of Warcraft, and while Kaplan repeats a lot of what he's said before, the interview is worth a read for a look inside Blizzard's design process. What's probably most interesting is that it's very fluid and very dynamic -- just as much as we're arguing on this site and on the forums about how Blizzard should do things, they're also arguing and going back and forth behind the scenes.

He does talk specifically about cutscenes, saying that the Wrathgate scene was an experiment that paid off well, and we should expect some more of that kind of storytelling even as soon as in patch 3.3 (you may have seen it before if you're checking spoilers). And he does talk about raiding sizes and accessibility -- Blizzard has always wanted to do smaller raids, both for the feel of them and for the tuning, but it apparently took them a while to bring 40 down to 25 and then down to 10 correctly. Finally, he doesn't reveal anything about the new MMO, but he does say that singleplayer gaming will always have a place at Blizzard's core -- even when you're playing a multiplayer game, the singleplayer experience should still feel right. True enough, good interview.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Quests, Raiding, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Two pieces celebrating the 5th anniversary

Blizzard's onslaught of fifth anniversary press continues. As we said on the podcast last week, Turpster and I both are kind of "meh" about the whole thing at this point -- just how much can you read/hear about how the game has changed over the last five years? But just in case you're still interested, here's two good pieces from two big publications about WoW's 5th birthday. First up, Prospect magazine has a piece by Tom Chatfield about "the world's most famous computer game" -- he plays with his wife, and says that the game represents quite a few things he's enjoyed. It's diverse, all-encompassing, lets you act out (or show off) your fantasy self, and constantly rewards rather than punishes. It's this brilliant game, he says, which has allowed gaming a "bridgehead" into the mainstream. Interesting.

Even moreso, here's another article from The Guardian that tags on to the whole "video games equal art" argument, using Blizzard's MMO as exhibit A. Writer Sam Leith compares the game to a cathedral, not only for the fact that the art and look of Azeroth will match up against any stained glass, but also because, like an old European cathedral, the game has so many functions and purposes. It's a social space, full of ritual and traditions. It's full of stories and emotion. And it's the creation of many over a long period of time. You might not think you'd ever have heard an MMO compared to the cathedral at Chartres, but the comparison is apt. When you think about it that way, it's no surprise that Blizzard is expecting many more years out of this game.

Thanks to everyone who sent these in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

WoW Insider Show Episode 118: Taking sides

We had a great time as always on last weekend's podcast -- Kelly "Cadistra" Aarons and C. Christian Moore (a.k.a. Colby, a.k.a. C-money) joined us on the podcast to talk about comics and PvP, respectively, and we hit on the most popular posts of the past week as well, including wrapping up Pilgrim's Bounty, our favorite memories of the game for the fifth anniversary, and how GDKP works -- both in terms of mechanics and as a loot system.

Additionally, we talked again about the Dungeon Finder system and how it will affect the game, as well as why Blizzard probably won't provide any more character slots per realm, even in Cataclysm. And we hear some more great fan-made intros -- if you'd like to send us one (or anything else, really), the address as always is theshow@wow.com. Thanks for listening and enjoy!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, PvP, Humor, Raiding, Arena, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

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

Free 7 days of game time for select unsubscribed players

Blizzard is offering, via email, select inactive accounts the chance to return to the game with free seven days worth of game time. These emails are what appears to be a special unannounced promotion for those that have left Azeroth, coinciding with the five year anniversary of WoW.

We can confirm these emails are legitimate, the links and headers all point back to blizzard.com servers. And indeed a blue over in the Customer Service forums has more or less confirmed that it's legit.

These kinds of promotions are not all that uncommon in the MMO world. Several companies that have MMOs of varying degrees of success have offered them in the past -- they're a nice way to get some old players back and make them feel like part of the community again.

We want to be sure we're clear: it appears these emails are not going to all unsubscribed accounts. If you have an unsubscribed account, don't count on getting one; right now it looks like it's just random chance whether or not you'll get some free game time.

Thanks to AishaLove for the help!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

WoW 5th Anniversary Giveaway: 3 Tiny mount loot codes

It's day three of our World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary giveaway extravaganza and we're celebrating it by giving away 3 codes to Scourgewar TCG deck loot card, Tiny. This summons a mini mount that doesn't increase your run speed, but, well, it looks damn funny. Draenei on a pony? Tauren on a raptor? 50 charges of fun in every code!

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment in this post by Thursday, November 26th, 12pm ET (noon). That's it. Limit one entry per person and make sure you're registered with a valid email address. We'll be choosing three winners randomly from the entrants and contact them via email after the close of the contest. Note that we won't be emailing the code to the winners until mid-December when it is made available to us by the fine people at Upper Deck.

Pics of the mounts in action after the jump!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks so much for participating!

Read more →

Filed under: Contests, WoW TCG

Blizzard unveils anniversary minisite

Monday wasn't only the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft, it also kicked off the 15th anniversary of the Warcraft property at large (which makes sense -- you might remember that the original WoW intro started off with "Ten Years of Warcraft"). And so Blizzard has created a brand new minisite to commemorate the occasion -- they've got a full video interview with many of the staff members (no women, though, Blizzard -- what's the deal there?), and there are other Blizzard and community interviews coming as well. They've also got a feature called the "Battlecry Mosaic," in which they're inviting fans to take pictures of themselves showing Horde or Alliance pride with printable logos, which will then be assembled into a mosaic of up to 20,000 pictures. That should be a sight to see -- it'll eventually all be posted online, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something like it at the next BlizzCon also. Neth also says that whoever reaches set limits on pictures will get a faction exclusive piece of art revealed. Sounds fun.

I thought for a moment that this was what the Warcraft twitter account was referring to the other day, but they specifically said whatever they were talking about would be revealed on 11/25, and obviously that's still in the future. So we'll have to see what else appears this week. Still, the minisite is an excellent homepage for Blizzard's look back at their first and biggest franchise. Especially if you're a Warcraft fan, it's a must-see.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Interviews

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

WoW 5th Anniversary Giveaway: 5 Razer Naga gaming mice

WoW.com continues to celebrate all that is wonderful and majestic about World of Warcraft's 5 year anniversary by giving away more stuff! This time it's the ultrasleek Naga gaming mouse from Razer. This bad boy has 17 programmable buttons, it's own AddOn program and a hotness that can't be denied. We've written a full hands-on review of this product last month. And now we're giving away 5 of these little beauties. Here's how can enter for a chance to win.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 18 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, November 25th, at 12p ET (noon), and please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact you should you be one of the winners. You may enter only once and five winners will be selected randomly. Each winner will receive 1 Razer Naga MMOG Laser Gaming Mouse with a retail value of US$80. Click here to read the official contest rules.

If you don't qualify for this contest, be sure to enter today's Loot card giveaway and look for more WoW.com giveaways tomorrow!

EDIT: Contest closed. Thanks so much for participating!

Filed under: Contests, Hardware

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