world of warcraft

Official Site: World of Warcraft
Studio: Blizzard Entertainment
Launch Date: November 23, 2014
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Subscription (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

Massively Overthinking: Tackling our hoarding problem in MMORPGs

By coincidence, two articles in my feeds this past week both centered on video game hoarding – not hoarding the actual games but hoarding stuff inside of them. Blizzard Watch posted a piece on what makes people stop hoarding things like currency in Blizzard’s games, while Gamasutra published an article about how game designers can stop turning us into hoarders in the first place.

For this week’s Overthinking, I thought it would be constructive for the staff and readers to reflect on hoarding in MMOs specifically. Do you hoard, and if so, is it primarily consumables? Currencies? Event items? Something else? Do you think it’s a problem, or only when it’s encouraged as part of a microtransaction loop that ends with your buying more storage?

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World of Warcraft will be down most of today fixing patch 7.3.5’s bugs (Aaaaaand it’s back)

So, has World of Warcraft seemed a bit more… buggy to you lately? Because there have been some notable bugs since the whole worldwide level scaling thing. There’s the unintentional raid boss health bump; there’s an unintended issue wherein enemies in Heroic dungeons have less health than the normal scaled version. It’s kind of a mess, and that’s why the game is undergoing another round of maintenance today starting at 10:00 a.m. EST. Yep, on a Friday.

It’s going to be a long maintenance, too, running until 6:00 p.m. EST, so hopefully you didn’t have the day off with plans for an extended session in the game. There’s no official word about what will be changed in maintenance, although there are obviously several possible bugs to be patched out. We’ll see what’s getting changed when we see the list of updates today, but considering that the original patch ran long on maintenance, don’t be surprised if today runs longer than expected as well.

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World of Warcraft confirms that raid boss health bump is a mistake and being fixed

It was sort of a smack in the face to go to old raids in World of Warcraft yesterday. Not in the slap-in-the-face disrespectful sense, but in the sense of just being extremely surprising. Every raid boss was suddenly sporting way too much health, and some more recent raids were suddenly impossible to beat at level 110 with decent gear. What the heck? Were we never meant to do Mists of Pandaria raids solo, even when they got patched to make it easier to solo some of them?

The answer is that it’s not you; it was an error. Due to the changes made to health calculation with the patch, raid bosses wound up with far more health than they were meant to have, and the team is looking into how to fix the issue, especially for raids in Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor. So you might have to wait a little longer for your transmog farming runs, but it’s a known issue that is getting addressed and fixed.

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World of Warcraft patch 7.3.5 is live in the wild after extended downtime

Some patches just don’t go down smoothly. World of Warcraft wound up extending its patch time for patch 7.3.5. pretty thoroughly yesterday, with the game’s servers not coming back up until around 8:00 p.m. EST. But they’re back up now, and that means that you can enjoy the patch in its entirety. (Or you can this evening, when you get back from work.) Wowhead has also compiled a full list of the patch’s undocumented changes, which are significant for players looking into enjoying everything that the patch has added into the game.

On the “good news” side of things, there have been notable buffs to the reputation gains for Army of the Light and Argussian Reach reputation, with the weekly faction quests for Argus now rewarding 1000 reputation for both and more opportunities to earn insignias and reputations from world quests. (Since Alliance players need these reputations at exalted for allied races, this is good.) On the bad news side? Older raid bosses have had their health pools increased to the point where some are no longer possible to solo, thus harming players farming these bosses for transmog purposes. That part is suspected to be an error, but regardless, it’s a good list of positive changes for the most part.

Source: Wowhead

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The Daily Grind: What MMO zone biome puts you in an adventuring mood?

Two of my favorite MMORPG zones are World of Warcraft’s Mulgore and WildStar’s Algoroc. Both managed to catch some of the spirit and flavor of the American west that I absolutely loved when I lived there, including the vast views, the towering mesas, and the feeling of isolation and expanse. Whenever I find myself in an MMO region like this, I feel inflated with the spirit of adventure.

I think we all feel that. Some zones make us feel less enthusiastic about playing in them while others make us drag our feet because we never want to leave. Western zones, wintry biomes, and coniferous forests are among my favorites in games.

What about you? What type of MMO zone or biome puts you in an adventuring mood?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 153: It’s a whole New World

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through early 2018 news, including a possible leak of Amazon’s New World, a touching player memorial in RIFT, warnings of alien attacks in Elite: Dangerous, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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World of Warcraft’s patch 7.3.5 abolishes expansion-specific flight skill requirements today

Since the ability to fly was added in the first expansion to World of Warcraft, there’s always been the question among players about when we get to fly in every new zone. For several years, the answer was simply “when you’re high-enough level to purchase the flying skill.” Want to fly in Northrend? There’s a skill for that. Pandaria? Ditto. But the advent of zone scaling means that these skills and the associated hassle have vanished. Now, when you learn how to fly, you can just… fly. No Cold-Weather Flying or the like to worry about!

These changes only apply to areas that had specific trained skills needed to unlock flight; you still need to clear the Pathfinder achievements for Draenor and the Broken Isles. (Those achievements are account-wide, however, so only one character needs to clear them.) Still, it should make it much easier to just level and fly about without needing to stop and buy a new expansion-specific flight skill, especially when the expansions aren’t gated by levels in the same manner they used to be.

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The Daily Grind: How much worse could MMO business models get?

During the roundtable podcast a few weeks ago, when we had the whole Massively OP staff on to chat, we tackled a question from Teviko on the future of MMO business models. We’ve come a long way from free-to-play, microtransactions, and double-dipping sparkleponies, after all, to lockboxes. Indeed, he asked us to speculate on where we’ll be in 2023, looking back so fondly on 2018’s business models the way we look back on the relative quaintness of $25 flying mounts, and saying, “Instead of X, I’d rather buy a lockbox and take my chances!”

On the podcast, several of us agreed that big data will be our big problem: that business models will evolve further and further into monetized psych experiments as predictive algorithms dictate content, drops, and prices. And yes, lockboxes will seem quaint by comparison.

But maybe you have different ideas. How much worse could MMO business models get? Which games will be winning worst business model of 2023? What exactly will the bad MMO business models of tomorrow look like?

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World of Warcraft patch 7.3.5 arrives tomorrow with worldwide level scaling

Got some alts you want to level up in World of Warcraft? The experience is about to become much broader when patch 7.3.5 arrives tomorrow with level scaling across the game. Level 60 characters can go to Outland or Northrend as you wish, get rewards that scale with their level, and you can actually expect to finish up zones without outleveling them halfway through the story arc! It’ll be great for allied races when they arrive and any older alts you’ve left partway through the crawl to the Broken Isles.

Meanwhile, your high-level characters have a new questline to explore the aftermath of the Antorus raid (or the full raid to clear if you’re relying on LFR), and there’s a new battleground added into the mix. You can also collect legendary tokens, get four extra slots for your backpack with an authenticator, and take part in the upcoming Ulduar timewalking option. And that’s all tomorrow! So you’ll have some stuff to do, in other words.

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World of Warcraft e-sports: The return of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational and Arena World Championship

World of Warcraft and e-sports: two great tastes that taste great together, right? That’s Blizzard’s position, anyway. On Friday it laid out its plans for 2018. “The biggest event in WoW esports will be supported by a full calendar of tournaments around the world, ensuring only the most battle-tested and proven teams have a shot at the 2018 WoW Arena World Championship,” the studio says. “At the championship tournament itself, teams will be fighting for their share of a $280,000 prize pool and WoW Arena glory.”

Along the way in March, we’ll see eight teams split across North America and Europe fight for $100,000 and a spot in said championship, along with an increased prize pool and team roster spread for the Arena Cups throughout the year.

And if you’re more into watching competitive dungeon clearing, keep an eye out for the return of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which will this year include more teams, though this year, broadcasts will be broken down regionally and the “format will be double elimination, giving teams a chance to regroup after a loss and bounce right back.”

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO offers the best sky views?

I know it’s a simple and basic thing, but I absolutely adore a great skybox in my MMORPGs. There’s something about looking up at a majestic and vibrant sky in-game that puts me right in the middle of the world and immerses me in the environment.

Fallen Earth will always be remembered fondly by me for its gorgeous sunsets, and World of Warcraft definitely brought it with some of its painterly clouds and patterns in the latest expansion. Lord of the Rings Online and Final Fantasy XIV both have crystal clear nights full of twinkling stars that make one feel small and awed.

Which MMO offers the best sky views and which zone makes for the best gazing? Bonus points if you include pictures!

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World of Warcraft offers Hunters new pet options for Patch 7.2.5

World of Warcraft Hunters who adhere to the ancient code of the Pokémon — gotta catch ’em all — will find themselves five pets short when Patch 7.2.5 arrives. That’s due to a handful of new tamable critters that have been discovered on the public test realm.

Pretty much, these are color variations on pet models that already exist, but still, a new coat of paint gets certain types of players excited. The pets in question are the Ancient Duskcloak, Albino Umbralfin, Elusive Chitinbuk, Crystal Spine Matriarch, and Silithid Sentinel.

The community has tracked down these five beasts, confirmed their existence, and outlined methods to capture them (or at least one in particular, the Duskcloak, which will prove to be tricky to catch).

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WoW Factor: Guessing at Battle for Azeroth’s release date using math

The “when will Battle for Azeroth” speculation train is rolling once again because it looks like patch 7.3.5 is just around the corner. We haven’t actually been told when that’s landing yet, of course, but the World of Warcraft community continues to push forward with the sort of boundless optimism that it’s so well known for. “This time is going to be different!”

Here’s a spoiler for the future: It’s not. This time is going to be exactly the same, just like how previous times have been exactly the same, just like each time we’ve talked about this have been exactly the same. Betting on anything before October is optimistic, betting before September is wildly unrealistic. Similarly, betting on 2019 is pessimistic, and later than January is wildly unrealistic just as surely.

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