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 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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The Daily Grind: Do MMO players actually want social media integration?

World of Warcraft‘s upcoming publish, we learned this week, will boast Twitter integration. Welcome, WoW, to the year 2011 when we were already complaining about the rise of embedded social media in MMOs from Champions Online to RIFT. Hooray!

I kinda like social media. I particularly like following interesting people and gaming personalities on Twitter. I use it for work and play. And yet I still don’t think I’d want to Tweet to my followers from inside an MMO. It’d be an immersion-breaker, a distraction, and possibly even an etiquette faux pas. I can see it now: “Why didn’t you get out of the fire?” “I was trying to attach a pic of our raid for my Twitters!”

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The Soapbox: Facing an industry of change

Right now I believe that we are on a threshold of change in the MMO industry, and it feels a little uncertain and a lot scary.

While there are MMOs being made and developed as you read this, it seems as though there are less of the traditional big-budget titles with highly recognizable IPs and more indie projects that are operating outside of the normal paradigm. We have games that are funded entirely through fan support. We have spiritual successors instead of sequels. We have MMOs that are also single-player titles. We have devs over here jumping on the Minecraft wagon, devs over there trying to get a piece of the League of Legends phenomenon, and devs designing for a specific audience rather than a general one.

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WoW adds Twitter integration, racing minigame

Are you doing big things in World of Warcraft that the whole world urgently needs to know about? Maybe not. Do you want to let everyone know about it anyway? Of course! That’s why the new Twitter integration feature (with a preview video just past the break) will allow you to tweet about whatever’s going on for you in the game. The integration is account-wide and allows support to immediately tweet achievements, drops, and screenshots, but you can also just tweet out from the game whenever you feel like it.

But maybe you’re not the tweeting sort and would rather have more stuff to do in-game to theoretically tweet about. In that case, you’ll be happy to take a gander at the new racing minigame being rolled out to the Darkmoon Faire event. The race is currently on the test realm and involves special racing mounts along a course filled with hazards, speed boosts, and the like. You can trot along in style! And maybe tweet about winning afterward.

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 1

We’re back in business as the brand-new Massively OP Podcast, and hosts Bree and Justin spend the hour bringing you up to speed on their gaming, the new website, MMO news, and listener emails. Join us for our maiden voyage!

Show notes:

  • Adventures in MMOs
  • Website and Kickstarter update
  • News: SOE becomes Daybreak
  • News: World of Warcraft still over 10 million subscribers
  • News: Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion
  • Mailbag: Pets and AI
  • Mailbag: First year of subscriptions are now early access?

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