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

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth adds 2 more character slots per server, 58 new mounts

Blizzard is doing nothing to stem your rampant altoholic nature these days, but instead the studio is downright encouraging it. With all of the new allied races currently in World of Warcraft and coming with Battle for Azeroth this summer, the pressure is on to roll up a few new alts. But what if you’ve already maxed out your server’s 16 character slots?

The good news is that the studio is increasing the capacity with the expansion to give you two additional slots: “In Battle For Azeroth, the per-realm character limit will be going up from 16 to 18 to make room for the two new Allied Races (Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs).”

And those new characters are going to need a fun way to get from Point A to Point B, naturally! They’ll certainly have a wide selection from which to choose, as Battle for Azeroth is adding around 60 new mounts to chase. Get a preview of all of these in the video after the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: Warhammer Online

When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.

Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.

Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.

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World of Warcraft’s 5M gold dinosaur mount is 5M gold worth of awesome

Forget hulking wooly mammoths, swooping dragons, and motorcycle sidecars: The most desirable World of Warcraft mount yet is coming in Battle for Azeroth — and it has a mighty hefty price tag attached.

The Reins of the Mighty Caravan Brutosaur may only be a ground mount, but it’s still going to be the chase item for many players. First of all, it’s a huge dinosaur, and that’s makes the inner five-year-old in all of us happy. But second, the brutosaur mount contains both an auctioneer and a merchant. That’s right: You’ll be able to summon your own auctioneer anywhere in the world.

Such functionality won’t come cheap, however. The mount will cost both Alliance and Horde players 5,000,000 gold to obtain. That cost can be defrayed a bit by maxing out your reputation with certain factions, taking it from 5M to 4M if you play the patience game.

Source: Wowhead. Thanks Sally!

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s flight requirements listed, Kul Tiran Druid acquatic forms discovered

Enjoy your friendly skies now, flyboys and flygirls, because World of Warcraft is prepared to ground you once again in its next expansion. And while everyone knew that we’d have to hoof it for a while like savages, at least now we know some of what we’ll have to do to regain flight privileges.

The list to gain flight access in Battle for Azeroth looks daunting, but it’s also very similar to the path that players had to undergo in Legion. Basically, you’ll need to go through all of the main storylines, fully explore all of the zones, and max out your reputation with several new factions. It’s important to note that this list is just part one of the requirements and not the whole deal. Again, much like with Legion.

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Perfect Ten: How MMOs can become more accessible

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was remarkably reluctant to enter into the field of MMORPGs despite being a perfect candidate (a gaming geek who loved fantasy and sci-fi RPGs). All of the reasons that I had at the time for stalling really could have been boiled down to a single word: accessibility.

MMOs back then looked — and probably were — very inaccessible. They had a payment barrier. They required a lot of setup and hardware. Their interfaces were cluttered and their gameplay interactions were obtuse. Frankly, I got the impression that a lot of them were a mess that was only understandable to those who had put in hundreds of hours to decipher the format.

When MMOs started to become more accessible, particularly with City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars, I eagerly jumped in. Those three titles in particular made giant leaps forward in opening up these games to the first-time player. But that doesn’t mean that MMORPGs have arrived at universal accessibility just yet. Here are ten areas that studios could be improving in order to make their titles more appealing and understandable to outsiders.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth updates its beta with new models for dead people

Ladies, gentlemen, and those who fit neither category, Rhonin the mage is dead in World of Warcraft. And there was much rejoicing. But just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he doesn’t get a new model; heck, Uther’s been dead even longer, and he gets a new model in the most recent build of Battle for Azeroth. Dead people change their clothes repeatedly for years after they die, everyone knows that. Considering they always show up semi-translucent, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to put on some clashing colors, but apparently you coordinate your tones beyond the grave.

The latest build also involves more ability tweaks, including several reshuffles for Death Knight talents and adjustments to Demon Hunters. Players can also test out the second part of the war campaign, the storyline involving camps and footholds in the Horde-specific zones of the game by the Alliance. Horde players will just have to watch this part, apparently. (It is still in testing, after all.)

Source: Wowhead (1, 2, 3)

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Perfect Ten: You got your MMORPG in my tabletop RPG

Tabletop games and MMORPGs seem like they would go well together, but remarkably they often don’t. That’s true for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we have a lot more games adapting different source material separately. You can certainly run a Star Wars: The Old Republic-themed game with a Star Wars tabletop system, but neither one is based on the other. (Technically there was a supplement published for it, but that was covering the first two single-player games, which themselves were based on that tabletop system.)

But there have still been incursions from MMOs into the tabletop space, and MMOs which pluck that fertile ground for the seeds of inspiration. So let’s spend today looking at these games, when you can log off of your favorite MMO, gather around a table with your friends, and keep playing your favorite MMO. More or less.

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Newest World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth build includes broadcast text for Teldrassil and Mag’har recruitment

We’ve long known that Teldrassil will burn in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. We’ve also known for at least a decently long while that the Mag’har will join the Horde. But the latest beta build contains mined-out text hinting at what takes place during both. The former is largely what you would expect for various interactions, but the latter includes some surprising developments such as a pretty significant time skip and other… unexpected twists. (We’ll leave the details out in case you’d rather not be spoiled.)

If you’re uninterested in the lore side of things, perhaps you’ll be interested in the various class and ability changes dug out from the latest build. Or maybe you’re just looking forward to War Mode, which gives you access to all of your PvP talents and a 15% experience boost in exchange for putting a metaphorical target over your head. You decide which of the above matters most to you, of course; perhaps the answer is “all of it.”

Source: Wowhead (1, 2, 3, 4)

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World of Warcraft DDOSer sentenced to a year in prison, Blizzard chats about Battle for Azeroth’s latest round of faction wars

Blizzard is not messing around with DDOS attacks. The BBC has a piece out on a World of Warcraft player from Romania, Calin Mateias, who was apparently extradited to California, charged with conducting a denial of service attack on WoW’s servers back in 2010. He pleaded guilty to “causing damage to a protected computer,” will sit for a year in prison, and was fined around $30,000 to boot. The saddest part is that he was DDOSing servers to get back at guildies over raid loot and participation.

In other WoW news, production director John Hight spoke to PCGamesN about the march toward Battle for Azeroth; he not only teases the story arc but philosophizes about the on-again, off-again war between the factions.

“We thought it would be appropriate and very interesting to say that the biggest threat now in Azeroth is each other. Can we, without that uniting threat of the Burning Legion, come together – or are we going to battle each other? And as you can see in Battle for Azeroth, we’re going to fight it out.”

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The Daily Grind: What small details in MMOs have you noticed?

Because I’m always playing the World of Warcraft auction house, I spend a lot of time hanging out in the Stormwind branch as a result. Other than cursing the Horde jerks that think it’s funny to run in and slaughter the auctioneers, I’ve observed that once an hour, one of the auctioneer’s sons comes in to bring his mother some food.

It’s just a small script that exists solely to be one of thousands of small details that make up this particular game world, and while it’s just “flavor,” I find it an essential part to making places like Azeroth feel alive and fleshed-out.

I love little details like that, such as tiny scripted events, little art details, or environmental storytelling in MMORPGs. What small details in your games have you noticed and appreciated?

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Warcraft movie props are being auctioned off on May 14

If you have a few hundred dollars to burn and are eager to get World of Warcraft-esque movie props in your home, you’re in luck. Several of the props from the Warcraft movie are going to be auctioned off starting on May 14th. This includes props like the news board clearly modeled after the similar boards found in WoW cities and an entire set of horse armor. Useful if you already have a horse with near-boundless patience, less useful if you have a cat whose patience is already sorely tested.

Of course, since this is an auction you can’t just outright buy these things, and the mentioned ballparks of “a few hundred dollars” are purely based on previous similar auctions. Still, we’re fairly sure that you would turn some heads by buying a giant Alliance shield and hanging it in your place of business, so perhaps that’s exactly the way to look at this.

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Choose My Adventure: In which Ultima Online makes its displeasure known

So… this is an interesting situation for me. I’ve had a number of games that I’ve played for Choose My Adventure that I haven’t particularly liked; some of them because they’ve been fine games that just don’t agree with my sensibilities, some of them games that are actually just flat-out not very good. (You know where the archive link is.) But Ultima Online at this point is the one game that seems to genuinely not want me to play it.

I’m not talking about system impenetrability or anything like that; I’m talking about the game itself falling into all sorts of paroxysms of not working for no readily apparent reason. More to the point, falling into paroxysms of not working in ways that do not even appear to have technical solutions, or ones that I can suss out. It’s like the code is rebelling against letting me log in or something.

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Activision-Blizzard talks battle royale and saving Destiny 2 as stock slowly recovers after Dow Jones snafu

Yesterday we teased ActiBlizz for putting out another boring quarterly financial report about its ever-growing piles of money, but even with World of Warcraft doing well, the announcement turned out to be interesting – and not entirely in good ways.

For starters, as Bloomberg and GIbiz report, Dow Jones apparently published old data as new ahead of the financial call yesterday, causing Activision-Blizzard stock – as well as Electronic Arts and Take Two stock – to tumble, with ActiBlizz falling 6.3%. Within a few hours, corrections and proper numbers had been published, and the stocks all rose again, with ActiBlizz closing 2.3% down.

“We regret our error as well as inadvertently breaking the embargo,” Dow Jones admitted. “We have issued a correction and are reviewing our processes.”

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