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World of Warcraft

Petition to memorialize Robin Williams in World of Warcraft allegedly gets Blizzard's attention

World of Warcraft, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, All Points Bulletin, Miscellaneous

apb
Everyone is talking today about the passing of the great comedian Robin Williams, and while it certainly is sad for those of us who grew up loving his TV and movie work, we're also celebrating his legacy and learning a lot about his life. For instance, did you know that Williams was an avid video gamer who spent quite a bit of time in World of Warcraft under an anonymous name?

One fan did and thought that a great way to remember Williams would be to add him into World of Warcraft as an NPC. Thus he started a Change.org petition earlier today to do just that. With over 10,000 signatures added since then, the movement apparently caught the attention of Blizzard. "An amazing development has just happened," the petition author added in an update. "Celestalon has seen the petition and has been quoted as saying, 'We're taking care of it.'"

Robin Williams is being memorialized in other MMOs as well. One player took the above screenshot from APB, noting how a fellow gamer created and uploaded the in-game poster as a tribute to the man.

[Update: The official WoW Twitter account just tweeted, ".@robinwilliams Thank you. You gave us so much joy in our lives, and we hope you enjoyed your time in our world. We'll see you in-game."]

One Shots: There's no bear in panda

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, WildStar

wow
As much fun as it is to be corrected by know-it-alls who like to huff things like, "You can't call them panda bears; they're not bears, you know!" it's even more fun to say, "Yuh-huh they're bears! And your face also has a ursine visage, especially around the snout."

I don't even know why I brought that up. It certainly has nothing to do with our opening screenshot from reader JohnD, who writes, "While starting off with my new Pandaren Monk in World of Warcraft, I came across these delightful Pandaren children, who seemed more than happy to just chat with me and occasionally wave. After a few minutes they quickly ran off -- but not before making my adventures a little more fun!"

But they're not bears. Or are they? Yes. No. I don't know.

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The Think Tank: Predicting the launch of Warlords of Draenor

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

We teased Blizzard on Monday for announcing an announcement date for the release date for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, but the truth is, even MMO players who don't play WoW are a little curious about when the expansion will release and how it might impact other MMOs we all play. That release date is what the Massively team is talking about today; we're issuing our predictions for launch date. Join us in the comments!

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Build an inn or trading post in World of Warcraft's Spires of Arak zone

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Subscription

WoW
Are you a fan of the arakkoa, World of Warcraft's avian humanoids? Blizzard Game Designer Don Adams and Associate Quest Designer Johnny Cash are betting you are, which is why they've brought back the sqwawking Burning Crusade beasties in Warlords of Draenor, complete with a "fancy new model." In a dev blog posted today, the duo discuss the Spires of Arak zone, in which the arakkoa aren't quite as evil as they later become in the BC timeline.
Over the course of the zone, you're helping [a] shady resistance group of cursed arakkoa to make their final stand. You're learning about the curse they bear, the ancient gods of their land, and the very real threat posed by the Adherents of Rukhmar, the ruling caste of zealous arakkoa in Skyreach. Your adventure leads to two climactic events in the zone: one involving the plight of the outcasts against the flying arakkoa, and another focusing on the Shattered Hand fortress of Bladefist Hold.
Of interest is Cash's note that players can choose to "construct an Inn to help [them] house more soldiers and supplies or a Trading Post to establish trade agreements with friendly locals," thereby unlocking unique questlines and gaining access to special perks in the zone, like quicker hearthing and easier access to rested experience.

World of Warcraft will offer minipets and nostalgic gameplay for its anniversary

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Anniversaries, Subscription

WoW
As World of Warcraft gears up for its 10th anniversary in November, Blizzard has announced its plans for celebrating.

Of note, the team is creating a 40-player raid finder version of Molten Core for "max-level" characters, who can "relive the experience of hunting down Ragnaros and his minions" and snag a new mount and achievement. A new deathmatch-style battleground will also be opened in an attempt to replicate the early Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP experience.

If you don't really care about nostalgic raids and PvP, how about some free stuff? WoW will bestow a Molten Corgi minipet on everyone who logs in during the event.

World of Warcraft's Nagrand will be familiar to Burning Crusade players

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews

wow
The one question that I always had about World of Warcraft's Nagrand zone wasn't how those giant rocks floated about in the sky but how some of them could produce endless waterfalls stemming from an unknown source. Did a wizard do that? It was probably a wizard.

While this question may never be answered, we'll have a second opportunity to explore the great mysteries of Nagrand with Warlords of Draenor. Blizzard pushed out a new preview today of the ancient version of Nagrand and talked a little about what players will be discovering.

"We very much wanted to respect what people really enjoyed about their experience in Nagrand in The Burning Crusade and capture that, while still providing a twist to what you'll experience there," the studio said. Nagrand is supposed to feel the "most familiar" of all of Draenor's zones, although it will boast a new exciting elemental storyline and tons of easter eggs to the dedicated fan.

Global Chat: A blast from the past

World of Warcraft, Asheron's Call, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

As many of you know, Massively doesn't really believe in reviews of MMOs, as they are ever-changing and shifting targets. Instead, we've provided impressions and continuing coverage of these games during their lifespans (and even after), which is something that many bloggers also favor.

In this edition of Global Chat, we have several hands-on impressions of MMOs both new and old from the blogosphere. What is it like to head back to Asheron's Call after a long time away? Is Guild Wars 2's and Lord of the Rings Online's new content hitting the mark? And what will we miss most of all now that Vanguard has departed? It's all there and more, right after the break!

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World of Warcraft drops another 800k subscribers; Diablo III has sold 20M units

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

WoW
Today's Activision Blizzard earnings call revealed that World of Warcraft has suffered another significant hit to its subscriptions: The game has lost 800,000 subs over the last quarter, bringing the playerbase down to 6.8 million subscribers.

The game announced a loss of 100k last November, a gain of 200k in February, and another loss of 200k in May. WoW has lost over 3 million players in the gap between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor.

Blizzard claims that most of the losses were "disproportionately concentrated in the East."

There is some good news for the company: ARPG Diablo III has sold over 20 million copies since its launch in spring 2012.

World of Warcraft announces the release date of the release date of Warlords of Draenor

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

Prepare to complete the preparation for completion.
Good news, World of Warcraft fans! Warlords of Draenor doesn't have a release date yet, but we now have a release date for its release date. Yes, Blizzard is hosting a big event on August 14th to unveil the game's opening cinematic, which will also reveal the date when Warlords of Draenor is releasing. The whole event will be streaming for free online, or if you're in Los Angeles, you can head down to the Ace Theater and view it in person.

In the event that you make the trek out to the theater, you'll be duly rewarded with a beta key for Warlords of Draenor and you'll get to enjoy sitting in the same room with the minds behind the expansion. Doors open on location at 8:30 a.m. PDT, with streaming starting at 12:30 p.m. EDT (9:30 a.m. PDT). Then you can enjoy the release... of the release.

WoW Archivist: One night of payback in 2006

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, Roleplaying, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, WoW Archivist

Theramore
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 August 1st and is included here by permission.

An interesting aspect of the ongoing Ashran faction hub debate is the fear people express that their hubs will be raided by enemy players, since the new hubs are adjacent to a PvP zone. Blizzard pointed out that the hubs will be better defended by NPCs than the Shrines are now, and the Shrines currently see few serious attacks on live realms, despite their close proximity.

On most realms today, little large-scale world PvP occurs, and even fewer faction raids. Faction raids were once a huge part of the game, even on PvE realms. You couldn't kill opposing players on PvE realms if they didn't want to be killed, but you could deny them their questgivers, flightmasters, and other crucial NPCs. And we did that, on both sides, throughout classic WoW.

Easy targets like the Crossroads, Astranaar, Grom'gol, and Refuge Pointe were raided almost daily. If your faction was heavily outnumbered, like mine was on Khadgar-US back then, it could be infuriating. We had our small victories at times, as I covered in my first Archivist column. But many days, all we could do was stand by and watch as the Alliance occupied our towns for hours at a time and took away our ability to level effectively.

On our first anniversary in 2006, my guild set out for some payback. Today I'd like to share that tale of classic world PvP from the era when faction raids were serious business.

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World of Warcraft adds the Alliance motorcycle after all

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

Has no one realized this thing looks like a broken snowmobile yet?
In a twist that will stun everyone who is easily stunned, it turns out that the Alliance chopper is indeed being added to World of Warcraft with the arrival of Warlords of Draenor. Those of you who watched Azeroth Choppers from start to finish might have been surprised at the whole idea of only one bike design seeing implementation, but odds are you (and pretty much everyone else) saw this coming.

Worth noting, however, is that the chopper will cost money and will be available only to Alliance players. By contrast, the Horde chopper will be given away for free to players who log in before September 30th. Since it will not be possible for the opposite faction to ride a given chopper, this does mean that the Alliance version will end up being something of a gold sink for Alliance-only players. But, hey, you're getting it in the game; isn't that the important part?

The Daily Grind: Does world PvP have to be spontaneous to be fun?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind

I love big battleground PvP. I admit it. I may have cut my teeth in the FFA ganker land of classic Ultima Online, but I didn't enjoy it nearly so much as I enjoy two (or three!) huge swarms of people crashing into each other Pelennor Fields style. That's why World of Warcraft's attempt to recreate world PvP in upcoming expansion zone Ashran intrigues me. Yet Massively commenters have criticized Blizzard, suggesting that it's impossible to bottle up the fun of old Southshore and pour it back out into Ashran because Southshore's magic was in its spontaneity.

At least that was the fun if you weren't on a server where your faction just got rolled repeatedly. Or if you weren't a newbie trying to quest in Southshore while the level 60s farmed each other for points. It didn't feel all that spontaneous on my server, come to think of it, since both sides would line up outside the village automatically every day; the vast majority of spontaneous PvP I see on my PvP server is just ganking lowbies or soloers, not the epic GvG sort you tell stories about later. And I'm pretty sure I'd trade the cheap thrill of spontaneity for a fair fight with some real objectives, the bigger the better.

How about you? Must world PvP be spontaneous to be fun?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion is making faces at you

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

WoW
When Blizzard launches World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion later this year, players will be getting more than just the long-awaited character body model upgrades; they're also getting new facial geometry. Art Director Chris Robinson wrote today on the game's official blog,
Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.
Robinson also said that Blizzard is "committed" to launching all of the new models together rather than roll them out independently post-launch, but a later tweet indicated that Blood Elf models will not make it in for launch.

Get the full story of Warcraft in 40 minutes

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Lore, Subscription

wow
The story of Warcraft is large, if I'm in the mood to be understating the real truth. If you feel overwhelmed by the decades of lore that Blizzard's built up around the game and have only scratched the surface of who did what and why this is here, then we have a way to help you get a handle on it all.

In just a little over 40 minutes, an annotated video covers the highlights of the entire Warcraft timeline and universe. Even without going into great depth, it's an excellent crash course for the aspiring loremaster. It's too bad you don't get an achievement once you've mastered it! You can give it a watch after the break.

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SDCC reveals new details about the Warcraft movie

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Miscellaneous

You are officially allowed to request a refund if the name Leeroy Jenkins is uttered during the film's runtime.
Are you excited for a movie about World of Warcraft? Because the Warcraft movie won't be about that, exactly; it's focused on the backstory of World of Warcraft, specifically how the First War got started before the first Warcraft game. At SDCC, some new details were revealed about the title, which is currently set for release in theaters in March of 2016.

The story will focus on both sides of the conflict, with Durotan being the central character of the orcish side and Anduin Lothar taking up the protagonist mantle on the human side. A teaser trailer was also shown with a blend of both CGI and live effects, although the trailer has not yet been released to the general public. Director Duncan Jones stressed that he wants the film to be accessible to everyone and not just existing fans of the fanchise; it'll be a couple more years until fans can see how well that goal was accomplished.

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