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World of Warcraft

Leaderboard: Nightmare Tide vs. Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, RIFT, Leaderboard

There are a couple of big fantasy MMO expansions coming out in short order. RIFT's Nightmare Tide drops on October 8th, while World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor releases on November 13th.

Given those facts, I bet you can guess the content of today's Leaderboard, can't ya? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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World of Warcraft increases fees in China

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Subscription

wow
It's going to be a little more expensive to vacation in Azeroth from China in just a couple of weeks.

MMO Culture noted that Chinese publisher NetEase is jacking up World of Warcraft's fees for the first time ever in the region. As of October 16th, the fee will go up by about 45% to become 30¥ for 2700 minutes and 15¥ for 1350 minutes. Instead of paying a flat subscription per month, Chinese players purchase blocks of time to access World of Warcraft.

NetEase handles a bundle of properties in China including World of Warcraft and reported an increase in profits for the previous quarter. However, Blizzard pointed at Asia as the location for a "disproportionate" amount of the 800,000 subscribers lost earlier this year.

How Blizzard is improving World of Warcraft's e-sports appeal

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Subscription, E-sports

WoW Insider
World of Warcraft is no stranger to e-sports, though its cousins deeper in the Blizzard family tree have fared far better. During the Hearthstone qualifiers at last weekend's DreamHack Stockholm, Blizzard Senior Manager of eSports Kim Phan spoke to PCGamesN about the challenges faced by World of Warcraft in the e-sports subgenre.

"I can definitely say that WoW 3v3 Arena right now is kind of hard to watch, in the form that it is, and so there are things that we want to evaluate," she explained. "World of Warcraft was obviously created well before e-sports blew up to the way it is now. We knew there was a competitive element to World of Warcraft, and then it just kind of blew up from there.

Warlords of Draenor's upcoming spectator mode is intended to address the difficulty of following arena matches, but Blizzard isn't stopping there. Even raids might be worth watching, Phan says. "Ideas have been brought up like Battlegrounds. People enjoy watching live raids at BlizzCon. What makes something an e-sport really depends on what people want to see. We are taking a close look into how we can better support e-sports."

Season Two of WoW's Brawler's Guild detailed

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

Blizzard has broken down the changes coming to Brawler's Guild content in World of Warcraft. Season One achievements (i.e., pre-6.0.2 achievements) will be marked as legacy and will be replaced by new Season Two goals. Additionally, all tiers "have had their boss line-ups remixed," according to today's dev blog.

You can read the rest of the changes on WoW's official website.

WoW Archivist: Bottlenecks

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Bugs, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Humor, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Gyrocopter jam
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on September 24th and is included here by permission.

Wherever thousands of players try to complete on-rails content, bottlenecks are inevitable. For Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard is trying to be proactive about eliminating them. Back in July, CM Zorbrix posted a "targeted feedback request" about bottlenecks in the beta. Given that the introductory experience is completely on rails before the expansion unleashes players into its less structured zones, this is a real concern.

WoW hasn't had the best track record when it comes to bottlenecks. As we help Blizzard loosen the bottlenecks of the future, let's revisit those of the past.

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Perfect Ten: What Titan's death means for the industry and you

World of Warcraft, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Diablo III, Hearthstone

titan
Blizzard's fans are in mourning this weekend and its competition is no doubt rejoicing after the World of Warcraft developer finally cancelled its seven-years-in-the-making Titan MMO. Word on the street is that Titan was a little too similar to what Bungie came up with in Destiny, although all the studio itself will say is that it ultimately wasn't fun.

So Titan joins Starcraft Ghost and Warcraft Adventures in the Blizzard graveyard. It's a loss for those who were hoping to see what Blizz could do outside of World of Warcraft in the MMO space. But what does this cancellation mean for Blizzard, the industry, and us as MMO gamers? I have a few thoughts, although I'll pre-empt them by predicting that your life will most likely go on just the same it did before this momentous announcement.

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WoW's final Lords of War video is not about an Orc

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Culture, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
The fifth and final entry in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series has arrived, and if you're tired of Orclords of Orcnor, then rejoice because this one is about a Draenei: Vindicator Maraad, the narrator of the series. On the downside, Maraad's backstory is still mostly about Orcs; he's Garona Halforcen's uncle, for example. On the upside, his backstory also involves a lot of killing of Orcs. So there's that.

The full video is below.

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World of Warcraft gives you a way to undelete characters

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Dev Diaries, Subscription

wow
Those World of Warcraft GMs are probably beyond sick and tired of player petitions to undo a character deletion if a recent dev post by Blizzard is any indication. Coming with Warlords of Draenor is a new feature that will allow players to resurrect a deleted character with its gear and enchantments intact. The studio even said that it will even hold onto deleted character names "for a limited time."

There are a few exceptions to the undelete feature. Toons under level 10 won't be recoverable at all, and those between levels 10 and 49 will be lost forever after a set amount of time. Also, players can use this function only once every month, so undelete wisely!

World of Warcraft offers up another Garrison preview

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Subscription

So I figured all of you guys could sleep on the ground, because I didn't feel like building a barracks.  That's fair, right?
It's been quite some time since the first official preview of Garrisons for Warlords of Draenor, so you could be forgiven for thinking that a second part wasn't coming. But it has finally surfaced on the official site, talking about the various sized plots in your World of Warcraft Garrison and the buildings that you can construct. As you upgrade your Garrison, you get more and more spaces for buildings in three different sizes: small, medium, and large, each of which provide different benefits.

Small buildings (and a few special buildings that are not upgraded and can be quested for) allow you to set up profession workspaces in your Garrison. Medium buildings offer a variety of resource additions, ranging from the ability to trap animals for leather to picking up special dungeon quests, and large buildings offer unique tricks like transporting between distant points or training special mounts or even riding your own siege engine. Take a look at the full preview for more details of how the buildings break down and where players can acquire the better blueprints.

Blizzard officially cancels Titan

World of Warcraft, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous, Sunsets

blizzard
If you were holding onto hopes that Titan would be the next great thing from Blizzard, it's time to douse yourself with a cold bucket of reality. Polygon is reporting that Blizzard has officially canceled the Titan project, saying that it ultimately wasn't fun.

"We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs, so we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine," CEO Mike Morhaime commented. "And it didn't come together. We didn't find the fun. We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."

Senior Vice President Chris Metzen said that the decision was necessary as the studio goes forward: "We were losing perspective and getting lost in the weeds a little. We had to allow ourselves to take that step back and reassess why the hell we were doing that thing in the first place."

The studio didn't put out details on what Titan was going to be, except that it had "some cool hooks." Blizzard also said that it isn't going to be working on another MMO at this time, but won't rule out the possibility of a follow-up to World of Warcraft in the future. If you want to tease yourself with "what if," you can read Massively's summation of the Titan project.

World of Warcraft drops spoiler-filled cinematics

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Subscription

Actually none here, but you get the idea.
Some World of Warcraft players want to know the whole story of an expansion before they've even started playing. Some others would prefer to know nothing about the game until it's time to play, experiencing everything completely fresh. If you belong to the latter group, you won't want to click on the latest update from Blizzard Entertainment because it's full of spoilers. It is, in fact, the spoiler-filled cinematics from all through Warlords of Draenor, conveniently collected in a single place.

Why? Essentially, the development team would rather give players a clear picture of the story than force them to rely upon datamined reveals and guesses. If you'd like to be spoiled on the storyline before you can even play it, you can click on over and watch through all of the in-game cinematics in quick succession, painting a broad if not detailed picture of the game as a whole. If you'd rather not be spoiled... well, avoid that link. And the comments. And the forums. Basically, just shut off your discussion venues for a couple of months.

World of Warcraft's next Lord of War is Kilrogg Deadeye

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Were you tired of the parade of Orcs in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series? We're sorry to disappoint you once again. Today's Warlords of OrcnorDraenor lore video features Kilrogg Deadeye, the one-eyed chieftan of the Bleeding Hollow clan. This guy is so brutal that he tore out his own eye and ran headlong into his foretold doom. OK, maybe he's worthy of a video after all. Enjoy it below!

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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World of Warcraft addresses upgrading to the Warlords of Draenor CE

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Subscription

It's like two expansion keys for the price of... two!  Actually, that's exactly what it is.  It's just buying it again.
Were you one of the people who pre-purchased Warlords of Draenor as soon as the digital option was open? Do you have a mighty need to pick up the physical collector's edition but no clear process for upgrading from the digital copy? The good news is that Blizzard Entertainment has World of Warcraft fans covered with a new post detailing how you can upgrade to a physical collector's edition. Just buy another copy, contact Blizzard's customer support, and then give a friend the code from the digital upgrade that you no longer need!

Yes, that's what it says. Just buy another one. Which is a system that works out pretty well for your friend, at least. If you were hoping for a simpler way to use the level 90 character boost and still get the physical doodads, however, you are apparently out of luck. The Collector's Edition is priced at $89.99 and includes both digital items and physical bonuses.

World of Warcraft bumps up graphical settings

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Dev Diaries, Subscription

wow
While they're not big bullet point features for Warlords of Draenor, technical improvements will benefit those who want to keep their game looking the best. In a new dev diary posted today, Blizzard gave a detailed explanation about how it's putting new anti-aliasing tech into World of Warcraft for the expansion.

"In short, we're taking strides to improve the performance of World of Warcraft, while also ensuring there's plenty of potential to further increase graphical fidelity and enhance our support of high-end CPUs and graphics hardware," the studio posted.

Blizzard said that the changes represent the team "thinking long-term" for the game.

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