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

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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The Daily Grind: What MMO will be the next to change up its business model dramatically?

You may not like it, but the vast majority of MMORPGs are free-to-play or buy-to-play as of 2018. EVE Online went free-to-play at the end of 2016, you’ll recall, and some of the last classic holdouts – Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot – will make the same move this year. That doesn’t leave many games to go free-to-play or alter their business models in a big way. World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV with their subscription-only models lead the way (and have been lauded accordingly).

Do you think any of the remaining sub-only MMORPGs – that are actually launched and live, that is – will yet go free-to-play? What MMO will be the next to change up its business model dramatically?

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Massively Overthinking: What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play?

A comment on Reddit about the current size and viability of Kritika Online got me thinking about MMO playerbases in general lately. We all know that there’s a stigma attached to little games; the big games with big servers and millions of players feel safer, and nowadays people just assume a small MMO has one foot in the grave. But it isn’t always true. We could also rattle off some smaller MMOs that seem to be moving along just fine, with bills paid. Sure, they’d like to be bigger, but they’re holding steady and know how to work the playerbase they do have rather than constantly alienate their current customers in search of new customers. And some MMO gamers actually prefer those sorts of titles. After all, if the game has just a few thousand people, it’s much easier to get to know a large slice of them, plus have your voice heard by the developers and actually influence the gameworld.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to reflect on the smallest MMOs they have played, and then consider how big an MMO has to be in terms of playerbase that they’d consider playing it now. What’s the smallest MMO you’re willing to play, and why?

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Blizzard’s Battle.net app gets an upgrade

The next iteration for Blizzard’s launch application is here, and no, it doesn’t include yet another name change.

The changes mostly come in the form of quality-of-life improvements to the Battle.net application, such as being able to launch Blizzard games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch straight from the task bar or dock. Unnamed bug fixes are come part and parcel of this update.

Players who use the Blizzard app for its social features will be pleased to hear that groups are now easier for admins to handle. Also, both groups and chats now benefit from improvements and an “updated experience.”

Source: Icy Veins

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 152: Allied races and superhero sprints

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dig into the allied races that are coming soon to World of Warcraft, the non-race of the City of Heroes spiritual successors, meaty early 2018 patches, 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 is patching in a way to purchase Legendaries directly in patch 7.3.5

One of the most ongoing issues in World of Warcraft’s current expansion has been the preponderance of Legendary items and the general difficulty of acquiring them at all, much less acquiring the one that you need. If your luck is bad enough, you could easily keep striving for one and never wind up with the one that you need, or potentially with any. This arguably counterbalances any and all fun from when one does drop, but it’s finally being addressed in patch 7.3.5 with a new purchasable item that will always drop a random legendary.

The Purified Titan Essence in question requires 175 Wakening Essences, so it doesn’t come cheap, and using it will produce a random Legendary item for your spec. Obviously, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be an item you want or need, but at least it’s a currency-based means of getting a Legendary item instead of praying for another day that you might get lucky with your emissary chests.

Source: Icy Veins

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Michele Morrow calls out BlizzCon gender pay inequality

Michele Morrow, one of the most recognizable faces in gaming thanks to her long career as a show host and actress and World of Warcraft player, has seemingly accused BlizzCon organizers of gender discrimination when it comes to BlizzCon hosting pay. Morrow has hosted Blizzard’s outrageously popular annual convention since 2014, last year with Geoff Keighley Alex Albrecht and Malik Forte. As she began on Twitter,

“Glad the #GoldenGlobes are calling out discrimination. I’d like to point out gender & POC pay disparity happens in gaming, too. This has happened to me. Has it happened to you?”

She followed up her statements by referring to her treatment by BlizzCon organizers specifically, suggesting that she didn’t know ahead of BlizzCon 2017 that she had been paid less than her male co-hosts.

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The Game Archaeologist: Neocron

It’s the distant future. The high-tech battle armor you wear sharply contrasts with the ruins of civilization that you traverse. You spot an enemy and raise your pulse rifle, firing off shots as you strafe to cover. Technology hasn’t solved the issue of war; it’s just raised the body count.

PlanetSide 2? Nope — this is Neocron, the quite-forgettable MMOFPS from the way-back era. I like to call it “that game with the most regrettable cover art in the history of video games,” but that isn’t quite as snappy.

Going into this article, I have to admit that I previously knew absolutely nothing about Neocron other than the fact that it was a sci-fi MMO that vaguely reminded me of Anarchy Online. Oh, also the fact that nobody I know or perhaps ever will know played it. Was it just a myth? A practical joke to make us believe in an MMO phantom? Only sifting through layers of dust and grime would produce results, so I rolled up my sleeves and started digging.

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World of Warcraft’s allied races are an account-wide unlock — and here’s how you can get them

With Battle for Azeroth a ways down the road for antsy World of Warcraft fans, a lot of attention from the community has settled on one of the expansion’s key features that could be rolling out this month. Allied races — at least the first batch of them — look to be coming to the game in Patch 7.3.5, and now we’ve learned that you won’t have to grind them over and over again.

Wowhead’s staff confirmed that once unlocked on one server, those allied races would become available to play account-wide, meaning that players won’t have to jump through the requirement hoops on each shard.

The popular WoW site also has a guide up about all of the requirements to unlock the Nightborne, Highmountain Tauren, Void Elf, and Lightforged Draenei races. This means that you can get a start on the requirements right now and be in a good position to check out the new races when they debut (probably) later this month.

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WoW Factor: The fate of the class orders post-Legion, part 2

Back before the winter break, I took a look at how the various class orders are going to handle the increased conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The short version is “in a variety of ways.” Some of them are going to care a lot and it’s going to make a big difference; some of them are just going to continue on or split up. Or, at least, they would if the developers felt like giving them a proper send-off.

They definitely deserve one, mind. The question remains whether or not they will get one.
But regarldess of that, there are still a half-dozen class orders that I didn’t cover before, and they’re just as important as the first batch. So let’s finish up the second part of this particular series looking at the other half of the class order halls, starting with one that really seems like it ought to be renting office space in Dalaran most of the time anyhow.

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Massively OP’s 2017 awards debrief and annual recap

As we did in 20142015, and 2016, today I’m going to recap our annual awards and other meta articles from the end of 2017. We gave out 19 formal awards this past year, all in addition to dozens of other recaps, roundups, listicles, predictions, bloopers, oddities, polls, provocations, and retrospectives. It was by far our biggest content dump to date, even bigger than last year!

Following our deep-dive into our awards and the attached reader polls, I’ll be recapping all of the end-year articles in one convenient place in case you missed something over the holidays – enjoy!

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