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

WoW and Destiny topped media mentions in 2014

This will probably not come as a shock to you, but a lot of press was talking about World of Warcraft and Destiny last year.

ICO Media tallied up all of the article mentions of video games in 2014 and sorted them out according to categories. Destiny was near the top of the overall heap at 36,915 mentions. In the straight-up MMO category, World of Warcraft topped at 21,449 mentions, followed by Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, WildStar and Guild Wars 2.

MOBA mentions were included as well, and League of Legends led the pack with 21,222 mentions. To illustrate just how much LoL dominates that part of the industry, the next game mentioned — Dota 2 — only had 11,069 mentions.

[Source: Gamasutra]

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Working As Intended: ‘Multiplex monotony’ and the death of the mid-budget MMORPG

Back in December, film editor and author Jason Bailey wrote a piece on Flavorwire called How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA. He spins a tale of the booming movie industry of the ’80s and ’90s, when mid-budget films were commercially feasible and commonplace. By the turn of the century, however, the movie industry had bisected itself; studios stopped committing resources to mid-budget films, “betting big on would-be blockbusters” instead and generating a hard-scrabble indie scene in their wake. As Bailey’s title suggests, that dramatic shift uprooted a generation of brilliant filmmakers and cheapened the art of films and filmmaking for everyone.

It’s no stretch to say we’re witnessing the same phenomenon in the world of MMORPGs.

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WoW’s Iron Docks have been delayed to patch 6.2

Are you looking forward to the Iron Docks quests in World of Warcraft‘s patch 6.1? Even though they haven’t been mentioned in any patch notes or by developers or shown any signs of materializing? Because despite what was expected by players, they’re not in there. Community manager Bashiok confirmed that the Iron Docks, which were expected to be a new quest hub centering around Blackrock Foundry, have been moved to patch 6.2. He also took the time to stress that this is simply a quest chain, not a hub or any “substantial content.”

Player reaction has been intensely negative, with patch 6.1 and the current expansion already meeting with significant critique on the lack of meaningful content at the level cap. The changes coming to Apexis Crystals may serve to ameliorate some of the frustration, but it’s still easy to feel a bit slighted by the absence of new content in this patch. But on the bright side, you will be able to post to Twitter with your updated Blood Elf models whilst you explore the same content that has been in place since the expansion launch.

[Source: Twitter, Forums, Gearing up with Apexis Crystals, via: Blizzard Watch]

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs for duoing

A Massively Overpowered reader by the name of DaBruuzer posed a great question to the team, one I thought we’d have a better time answering as a group since many of us play with spouses, significant others, or dear friends in duos.

“I would love to see some coverage about MMOs that are couple-friendly. My wife and I have been playing MMOs as a couple for many years now, always trying out new games that make duoing fun. Since the sunset of City of Heroes/Villains, we just haven’t found a new home. I have seen lots of stuff about soloing and grouping, hence my ‘couples’ angle. I don’t necessarily mean about a game’s marriage features — more like MMOs that complement a two-person group set-up.”

For this first installment of the reincarnation of our old Think Tank, I asked the MOP crew about the very best MMOs for duoing.

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Jukebox Heroes: World of Warcraft’s tavern tunes

One of my favorite aspects of World of Warcraft’s soundtrack is its devotion to giving the in-game taverns catchy and cozy tunes. I always loved swinging into an inn between adventures just to soak up the ambience and take in the score that was more relaxing than any tankard of virtual ale.

You can imagine how glad I was to see Blizzard devoting a full soundtrack release to WoW’s tavern tunes in 2007. Along with the hard-to-find Mosaic album, Taverns of Azeroth is the only non-expansion (or core game) soundtrack the studio has released. I really appreciated how Composer David Arkenstone layered in atmospheric sounds and used them to transition between the tracks.

So let’s listen to selections from that album and see if we can’t dredge up memories of our favorite watering holes!

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World of Warcraft’s patch 6.1 goes live on February 24th

There are lots of reasons why you might be looking forward to patch 6.1 in World of Warcraft. If you play a Blood Elf, you want your upgraded character models. If you like racing around, you want the new racing feature put into the game. If you have a joke Twitter account for your main character, you want that Twitter integration. Good news for all of those groups: You don’t have to wait much longer, as the new patch goes live on February 24th.

Blizzard has released a new video to herald to launch, offering a quick rundown of the patch features, which also include improvements to garrisons and another step in the legendary ring quest chain. The heirloom interface is also en route; it will allow players to more effectively pass heirlooms between characters for leveling. That’s on top of the usual quality of life improvements. Check out the video just past the break for a quick overview, and get ready for the patch going live when next Tuesday rolls around.

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World of Warcraft dev spills the secrets of Patch 6.1

We can’t blame World of Warcraft fans for being in an excitement tizzy (that’s a thing, right?) over the upcoming Patch 6.1, as it looks to add a slew of improvements to the game. While we can’t shorten the wait for you, we can point you to the following informative video interview with Blizzard Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas.

Hazzikostas fields questions on 6.1 for 25 minutes, including the Blood Elf visual upgrade, the heirloom UI, summonable raid bosses, Twitter integration, customizable music for strongholds, and efforts being made to encourage players to visit friends’ strongholds. He also hinted that the team is already hard at work on stories and other features for Patch 6.2.

If you’ve got a half-hour, give the interview a watch after the break!

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This WoW boss fight is causing motion sickness

When you jump into a World of Warcraft raid, you’re hoping to get some keen new armor, maybe a weapon or two, that sort of thing. You are not hoping to get a fresh case of unexpected motion sickness. Surprise! That might be exactly what you’re getting when you jump into the Hans’gar and Franzok fight in Blackrock Foundry, which already has a lengthy thread on the official forums in which people have complained of getting motion sickness during the fight.

The fight involves a large number of moving conveyer belts and moving elements, and even players with no history of motion sickness are reporting feelings of disorientation, nausea, and the like. Player solutions include aiming your camera at the wall rather than the floor, taking over-the-counter medications, and playing in a more brightly lit room to help alleviate the problem. No word yet from Blizzard on the matter, but it seems reasonable to bet that nausea and severe disorientation are not intended parts of the loot table.

In other WoW vision news — yes, really — Blizzard revealed the new colorblind-friendly UI options due in patch 6.1.

[Source: Thread, Official Site, dev blog; via: Blizzard Watch]

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MOBAs dominate Raptr’s January rankings as WoW playtime falls

According to a Raptr press release posted today, MOBA League of Legends dominated the service’s January rankings with just under 20% of total playtime share. World of Warcraft held onto second place with not quite 11% of total playtime share, but it “lost 5.28% of play time in January compared to December.”

DOTA 2, SMITE, and Hearthstone scored well; Diablo III, in particular, saw its playtime rise 77.27% percent month-over-month, likely a result of the 2.12 patch.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO character for PvP?

I’ve been spending my gaming time lately PvPing in Guild Wars 2 in an attempt to reinkindle my old obsession with World of Warcraft battleground-style gameplay. It’s working: I really love the GW2 maps, and it thrills me that it’s one more fun facet of a game I already enjoy more than most titles still alive today.

(Of course, there’s no more disgruntled a group in GW2 than PvPers, and I’m sure I’ll get to that same point in a few months. But for now, while everything is still new to me, I’m actually *gasp* having a good time.)

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The Daily Grind: Do you find some MMOs more relaxing to play solo?

You know, folks, I am all about getting my dungeon ride on in Final Fantasy XIV. I’m a roleplayer, to boot. I like being social in my games. And yet when I find myself playing World of Warcraft, I find myself actively preferring a bit of solitude far more often than I’d expect. This isn’t meant as a commentary on that game’s player culture or anything of the sort; I just like to have more stretches of not doing dungeons, just quietly doing my own thing and playing out the events in my character’s head.

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World of Warcraft’s graphics to improve in Patch 6.1

While many of you World of Warcraft players will be squeeing over your new Twitter integration and making the world a much more dangerous place to exist by driving recklessly when Patch 6.1 arrives, some will also take a moment to appreciate new and returning video options that will make this 10-year-old title sparkle.

A new dev diary posted yesterday talks about some of these additional graphics options, including the return of a couple of types of anti-aliasing. Even better, the team is adding something called “per-pixel deferred point lights” that will allow illumination sources such as campfires and torches to throw off more realistic lighting.

These and more graphic options are currently available on the test realm.

[Source: Engineer’s Workshop]

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO pet classes

Most folks have certain class traits that appeal to them. Some love being that long-range archer sniper, while others get juiced on the feeling of being an invincible tank. There are those who prefer healing, those who love hybrid set-ups, those who like to conjure fire… and then there are those who love pets.

On our first Massively OP Podcast we fielded a question about MMO pet AI, which set me off on a long speech about just how much I love pets in games. Man, do I love ’em. I love how they make me feel as though I have constant companionship, I love how I feel “overpowered” when I’m fielding one, and I love how combat feels when I’m attacking a foe with one or more allies at my side.

Chances are, if your game has a pet class, that’ll be the one I’m playing. Here are my top 10 favorite pet classes in MMOs that I played for a serious length of time.

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