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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Pokemon-inspired MMORPG Temtem just funded on Kickstarter with over half a million bucks

Temtem has just fully funded on Kickstarter to the tune of just about $573,919, with 11,715 backers (the counts will keep fluctuating for a few minutes here). It basically crushed its original $70,000 goal. Stretch goals racked up along the way include the Nuzlocke game mode, the Arcade Bar minigames, a Mythical Temtem, mounts, Nintendo switch support, the replay system, guilds, and in-game tournaments. In fact, backers blazed through the game’s entire plan of stretch goals.

As we’ve previously covered, the game is “not hiding the fact that [it’s] heavily inspired by [Pokemon]” but aims to change some bits that are “maybe too close to Pokemon.” The game is very much billed as an MMO – specifically, as a “massively multiplayer creature-collection adventure.”

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World of Warcraft shows off its War Mode benefits

It seems only fair that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will give players a bit more reason to go to war. So it seems like the right time to roll out the newly robust war mode, which is all about turning on a PvP experience at all times. You place yourself in more danger, but you also have PvP talents available at all times, and you get new gameplay options like chests and bounties to contend with.

If you’ve been gone from the game for a bit, though, you might be more interested in a video going through the history of every single WoW expansion up to the present in a short span of time. Dedicated fans and players will probably find all of this information to be old hat, but anyone who took a break will probably benefit from the walk through time. (Not Timewalking, that’s different.) You can view it just past the break. Read more

Global Chat: A starting point for WoW Classic

The recent announcement of WoW Classic’s starting point — Patch 1.12 — started to make the prospect of this legacy server a lot more real to players, including many MMORPG bloggers.

“Fans of Captain Placeholder are no doubt disappointed, but it seems like a reasonable place to call Vanilla to me,” said The Ancient Gaming Noob.

“I do wonder whether Blizzard will ever take this idea to the logical next step, as other studios have already (both EverQuests and now RIFT), and make it into a progression server so that players can relive the highs of each new content release, patches, and expansions in turn,” mused GamingSF.

Inventory Full concurs: “A server that simply locks at a specific snapshot of the game risks stagnation. There is a market for an unchanging experience as can be seen by the number of ‘maintenance mode’ MMOs that still hold some kind of population but it’s easy to see why a company as large and successful as Blizzard might not consider that audience sufficiently large or profitable to encourage.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Raph Koster on MUDs and Privateer Online

The release of Raph Koster’s monster book of game essays, Postmortems, was of high interest to Bree and me for different reasons. For her, it was because Koster was a creative driving force behind two of her favorite games, Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. For me, it’d because Koster shares my passion for MMO history and has some unique stories touching on topics that no one has heard before.

So I combed through his collection of essays to see what I could find out on two topics of interest to me: MUDs and the elusive Privateer Online. Chances are that many of you reading have never touched a text-based multi-user dungeon, and none of us save Koster and his coworkers, ever got to even peek at Privateer Online.

Here’s a few quotes that popped out at me, and if you’re interested and have $35 to drop on a Kindle version, you can read Koster’s full collection of essays in Postmortems.

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Ion Hazzikostas on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s design philosophy

If you felt like World of Warcraft: Legion hit the random chance button too hard (likely as one of the many players who waited for a random legendary for a spec that never dropped), you will likely be happy to see that recent interviews with Ion Hazzikostas feature the game director admitting that the expansion was too random at the start. The two-part interview is helpfully summarized on Wowhead, and Hazzikostas hopes that the new Azerite armor will alleviate that randomness by dropping in consistent spots. Assuming that it drops there, anyhow.

Hazzikostas also revealed that the Burning of Teldrassil will be available over roughly a week or two, while the Battle for Lordaeron will likely be a bonus for those who purchased Battle for Azeroth a week before release (which certainly does hint at the order in which these events occur).There’s also a bit more detail on splitting up profession leveling between expansions and offering separate skill levels. You can check out the summary, or you can pick through each individual interview.

Source: Forbes (1, 2) via Wowhead

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Vague Patch Notes: On balance and differentiation in MMOs

Do you like fighting games? I don’t. Let’s talk about fighting games. But bear with me because you’ll get where this is going.

While I might not personally care much about fighting games, I still wind up spending a lot of time reading about them because that’s just the sort of thing I read for fun. And balancing a fighting game is honestly pretty difficult, thus it’s something that gets talked about a lot. It’s difficult enough that there are, in fact, two different ways to do it.

This does have a lot of bearing on MMOs, though, where balance doesn’t get talked about nearly as much and tends to get talked about in rather dim tones when it is discussed. But in order to understand that you need to understand the difference in balance methods, why World of Warcraft players miss Mark of the Wild, and why balance matters in the first place.

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World of Warcraft gets its epic ducks in a row for Battle for Azeroth

With the Midsummer Fire Festival roaring through July 5th and artifact weapons on their way out of the game, World of Warcraft is heating up this summer. Additionally, the nearly 16GB Battle for Azeroth pre-patch is now available to download in the launcher background.

In the second part of a Forbes interview, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas has a few suggestions for what players should be doing to get ready for the expansion. His suggestions include grabbing your class mounts, running Chromie’s time hopper events, securing artifact appearances, running the Mage Tower, capping your crafting skills, and getting your Keystone Master achievement for mythic+ dungeons.

And to keep your anticipation stoked for Battle for Azeroth, check out MadSeasonShow’s excellently produced history of World of Warcraft video that takes players through the history of the game from 1999 to today.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMO debuts by year, 1997-2006

By now, many of you probably know that I’m the curator of the MMO Timeline on my personal blog. On this page, I’ve attempted to catalog the launches, expansions, business model shifts, reboots, platform transitions, and sunsets of MMOs by year. It certainly helps me to get a high-level overview of certain eras of online gaming history as well as to trace the development of certain titles.

For fun, because that’s a lot of what Perfect Ten is about, I wanted to start with the year that MMORPGs really took off and select one title per year over the next two decades that I felt had the best debut and was the most exciting title to launch that year. Some years it’s going to be really easy to pick, while others… man, I am setting myself up for some hate mail, aren’t I?

Let’s turn our time machine back to 1997 and get this show on the road!

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World of Warcraft begins to retire artifact weapons in preparation for Battle for Azeroth

Players who have logged into World of Warcraft since yesterday have discovered that doomsday has finally arrived for their artifact weapons. Yes, these weapons that they have spent so much time leveling up in Legion are on their way out for Battle for Azeroth, and the questline has kicked off to retire these powerful artifacts.

There’s “Heed the Speaker’s Call” quest right now that begins this process, fully powering any artifact weapons that haven’t reached their full potential as part of an effort to counter this giant sword that’s hurting the planet. In so doing, players’ artifact weapons will start to become unstable. The good news is that players won’t have to give up their artifact’s traits just yet — that happens with Patch 8.0. It should also be noted that players will get to keep their artifact weapon appearances to transmog now and in the future.

Time is running out to finish a couple of Argus achievements as well as the Mage’s Tower, as these will be disabled with the expansion pre-patch goes live.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 176: Guild Wars 2, The Crew 2, and Elder Scrolls too

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin agree that two is the best number in the world, especially when it comes to video games! It’s a hodge-podge of topics, including Guild Wars 2’s latest episode, The Crew 2’s launch, Trion Worlds’ Gazillion acquisition, 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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SuperData’s May 2018 revenue report shows Fortnite slowing down, Pokemon Go picking up for summer

May 2018 was good to Fortnite, again, SuperData’s latest global revenue report shows, but its growth rate may be coming to a middle. “Fortnite hits a new high but growth is slowing down,” the research firm says in today’s report. “We estimate that Fortnite made $318 million across all platforms in May, up 7% from April. The majority of growth came from console, with mobile and PC both coming in flat compared to April.”

On the PC side, Dota 2 came out of nowhere to return to the list at #6, bumping World of Warcraft down a tick and Hearthstone off completely. League of Legends continues to rule the roost.

On the console side, Fortnite is still at the top; both Overwatch and Destiny 2 have returned to the top 10 as games like Far Cry 5 and Battlefield have fallen off.

And on mobile, Pokemon Go has resurged, as it always does in summer in the northern hemisphere, as it’s gathered up more players than ever. Fun side note: Remember Netease’s Knives Out, one of its two PUBG clones on mobile? It’s in 5th place globally on mobile, just behind POGO, so PUBG’s lawsuit isn’t so bonkers after all.

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World of Warcraft ‘not looking to compete’ with Discord but might be breaking your favorite addon

World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas sat down with Forbes this week for a two-part interview about some of the big changes with this summer’s Battle for Azeroth expansion, such cross-realm mythic raiding and its new community tools.

Hazzikostas said that despite the common belief, Blizzard isn’t trying to compete against Discord with these tools: “I think they complement each other […] It’s more about lowering barriers and adding convenience. The one thing Discord can’t do is let you right click invite someone to your party from it. That sort of thing.”

Not all is happy in WoW land, however. There are some rumblings that useful WoW mods won’t be operational with the upcoming patch. “Just read that UI changes heavily impaired the automatic group finder add-ons,” said player Doug Hill on Twitter. “I am terribly confused. Most players used it. Clearly this is a sign of how players WANT to play moving forward. Are there plans to do something to replace this for non-elite quests?”

Source: Twitter, Forbes

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World of Warcraft spins down WoW Mobile Armory app for expansion

It’s time to clear out another one of the World of Warcraft apps that have been dwelling on your phone.

Following the retirement of the mobile auction house app this past spring, Blizzard has now announced that it is going to be taking the mobile armory offline next month. This is all being done in preparation for Battle for Azeroth, as the official World of Warcraft companion app will be modified to consolidate and incorporate many of the features from both apps.

“As a part of our commitment to providing WoW players with a living, connected experience on multiple fronts, we are transitioning away from the current World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app and will be converting the Legion Companion App into a new WoW Companion App in the future,” the studio said. “As part of that, we’ll be incorporating many of your favorite World of Warcraft Armory app features along with features for Battle for Azeroth into a new shared app for a more streamlined experience. Stay tuned for more information.”

Source: Icy Veins

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