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
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World of Warcraft details the timewalking mechanics of the Shattered Halls

Let’s assume you’re playing World of Warcraft‘s latest big patch, but raiding Hellfire Citadel isn’t in the cards for you for whatever reason. What else can you do? Well… you could go into Hellfire Citadel anyway. Only not this version of Hellfire Citadel; a different version of Hellfire Citadel wherein you take on a demonically corrupted version of the Horde and face off against a prominent figure that’s been altered beyond recognition.

Yes, Timewalking dungeons can be a source of endless hilarity.

Let’s set aside the obvious irony: Shattered Halls is one of the new Timewalking dungeons available this weekend, and players can read up on the mechanics and the bosses if they’ve forgotten in the years since it was relevant content. (Or if they were never around for that.) Check out the full walkthrough and get ready to take on a very different sort of Hellfire Citadel that still feels familiar after all.

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World of Warcraft: Fury of Hellfire is now live

OK kids, summer vacation is over; it’s time to get back to work in World of Warcraft! Patch 6.2: Fury of Hellfire went live today, adding a substantial update with plenty to keep adventurers occupied over the next few weeks.

The highlights of the patch include the Invasion of Tanaan Jungle zone, shipyards for Garrisons, naval missions, the Hellfire Citadel raid, the mythic difficulty level for dungeons, special “timewalking” versions of older dungeons, the new adventure guide, weekly bonus events, and the legendary ring quest line.

The patch notes and Massively OP’s survival guide are there to help you gain your footing for this plus-sized update. Good luck!

Source: Patch notes

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The Daily Grind: What’s the best way to boost MMO populations?

An anonymous Kickstarter donor pinged us with this question for this morning’s Daily Grind:

With the breadth of niche MMOs available, how will companies resort to increasing players?

I presume our donor refers to the absolute deluge of smaller indie titles that we’ve seen crop up in development over the last few years thanks to Kickstarter. While some folks praise the creativity that these niche titles promise in a field of higher-budget WoW-style themeparks, others see only a future of flopped games and communities spread far too thin to sustain themselves. “Niche” can bring dilution as much as diversity.

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One Shots: Primitive GPS

There’s no shame in being lost, especially if your MMO doesn’t include an on-screen map. Anyone remember the olden days of using graph paper to keep track of where you were, especially in dungeons? That single-handedly kept the graph paper industry in business, it did.

Reader Krieglich decided to make the most of his bewilderment by taking a screenshot of the moment. “This isn’t a map but one of the nice little gimmicks of Elder Scrolls Online. Whenever someone is looking at his map, all around him know that he/she has to look where to go. AGAIN.”

But don’t you worry, fair reader, you’re not lost! You’re right where you need to be: At the beginning of a journey through exciting and thought-provoking screenshots in One Shots!

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E3 2015: Blizzard on Heroes of the Storm’s Eternal Conflict

While Heroes of the Storm just released, Blizzard is not resting on its laurels. The Eternal Conflict is coming, first on the public test realm June 23rd, then in a hoped-for release on June 30th, but the overall push will last a few months.

This expansion has had a quick cadence, especially after Technical Director Alan Dabiri and Senior Artist Phill Gonzales admit that the game’s basically been released in all but name for awhile now. I spoke to the pair at this year’s E3 2015. Read on!

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The Daily Grind: What was the MMO highlight of E3?

The last few years around convention time, I took a moment in The Daily Grind to ponder whether E3 had become irrelevant for MMO gamers in particular. This year, I can’t even ask that question with a straight face. While the con wasn’t swarming with true MMOs, the MMO announcements circling the expo were huge. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing what to its storyline and factions? Guild Wars 2’s expansion is prepurchasable at what price? EVE: Valkyrie hasn’t been abandoned yet? (I kid, I kid.) Never mind that there’s an expansion on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, a patch for World of Warcraft next week, Blade & Soul en route and a F2P relaunch for WildStar, and oh yeah, Elder Scrolls Online console launch anyone? Almost every major MMO player showed up with something big this week.

But what was the biggest? What was the MMO highlight of E3? Bonus question: What was the highlight of E3 overall?

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Massively Overthinking: The value of MMO voice chat

This week’s Massively Overthinking question was shot over to us from Kickstarter donor Celestial, and it’s all about voice chat in MMOs.

Do you use a voice chat program while gaming, and if so, which one do you primarily use? Mumble, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, RaidCall, Razer Comms, Skype, or some game-integrated solution (WoW, DCUO, LotRO, etc.)?”

And furthermore, do you actually like voice chatting, or is it just something you do because you have to for certain gameplay situations? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of voice chat vs. other types of chat in general!

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Take a walk to the past with World of Warcraft’s Mana-Tombs

Set your alarm for June 23rd and remember to charge up your flux capacitor, because World of Warcraft is about to take you back to the past with timewalking dungeons.

As Blizzard’s discussed already, Patch 6.2’s timewalking feature will open up a new difficulty level for older dungeons that will scale down players’ power and gear to meet the instance. One of these dungeons will be Outland’s Mana-Tombs, which will take players back to the early level 70s to root out a cult infestation in this strange crypt.

This version of Mana-Tombs, as with the other timewalking dungeons, will only become available on certain weekends. In addition to gear, the dungeon will reward players with achievements and Consortium reputation.

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Why Guild Wars 2’s prepurchase deal has the internet raging

On the surface, ArenaNet killed it at E3, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!

But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.

Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.

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World of Warcraft details the end of the legendary ring questline

The launch of World of Warcraft‘s next major patch brings with it the end of the quest to earn a legendary ring for your character. So what do you have to do to sport the ultimate loop of power on your character’s ring finger? There’s a guide to the whole process available on the official site, which also walks players through the earlier steps if they have lost track of the process amidst all of the other things going on in Draenor.

In short, this is a line of tasks that will require you to dive into Hellfire Citadel, receive blessings from high-end lore figures, and take down a pretty obvious enemy if you’ve been following the story thus far. Take a gander at the full post if you want all of the details and don’t mind some spoilers for the next patch.

Patch 6.2 goes live on the totally coincidental date of June 23rd.

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Perfect Ten: MMO terms that have overstayed their welcome

My original plan for this week – during the few moments that I was capable of coherent speech rather than just babbling about the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV expansion – was to give you lovely folks a drinking game. Each time you see certain things come up in indie MMO Kickstarters, take a shot. And I might still do that one day, but I decided against it for two reasons. One is that it feels a bit like punching down, which I don’t like to do.

But the second reason, and the more important one, is that not all of the fault can be laid at the feet of indie Kickstarters. The part where you expect to build a functional MMO on a budget that won’t pay for a single programmer, yes. Pretty much everything related to Greed Monger, that’s on you. But some of these terms come up over and over because they’ve been bludgeoned into formless masses now, and so it’s not really the fault of the indie folks that you can throw these terms in front of more or less everything.

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