You can tell a lot about a person by watching what they install on a fresh operating system. It’s the IT Rorschach test. For me it goes Chrome, Steam, drivers, a twitter client, then whatever I need as I go along*. I suspect Blizzard has just added an extra step in that process for a lot of PC owners: they’ve just opened up the beta to a new launcher for all their recent games. Battle.net is now on the desktop.
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Posts Tagged ‘World of Warcraft’
By Craig Pearson on August 15th, 2013.
By Nathan Grayson on July 10th, 2013.
So it was discovered by dogged data miners, so shall it be. After dabbling in microtransaction-based cosmetic items but largely buttering its bread with sweet, sweet subscription money, World of Warcraft is finally rolling out an in-game cash shop. Do you have excess moneydollars lining your pockets/sofa/cat? Are these “tough economic times” secretly treating you better than everyone else? Do you (for now) play exclusively on WoW’s Asian test servers? Then you’re in luck. Well, if you like XP boosts, pets, and mounts, anyway.
By Nathan Grayson on July 8th, 2013.
I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that MMOs are dying, but big traditional ones are certainly in a rough spot. Approximately seven-hundred quadrillion of them have responded by fishing a finger into free-to-play’s jangling pockets, but one titan’s managed to stick with subscriptions. I’m talking, of course, about World of Warcraft, ruler of the MMO realm since time immemorial (2004 was how many years ago? No seriously, I forgot). But things change, and even the most negligent of subscribers’ credit cards eventually expire. WoW can’t hold out forever, so Blizzard’s dabbling in the darkest gold-producing alchemy of them all: in-game microtransactions.
By Nathan Grayson on May 9th, 2013.
That’s subscribers. Not subway sandwiches. Don’t get me wrong: I’d definitely put out a press release and hold an investor call if I misplaced a veritable volcano fortress of sandwiches. In it, I would drastically downgrade my quarterly expectations and ask if I could borrow a few hundred-thousand loaves of bread from anyone. But anyway. Activision gathered its friends and countrymen for another sermon on the moneymount today, and of course, World of Warcraft was a big focus. And while the previous reported total of 9.6 million subscribers was still quite impressive in its own way, it wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up. Since the end of last year, the most massive player in the massively multiplayer arena has bled another 1.3 million people, their shiny crimson change pooling into the gutters below. The kicker? In a decidedly un-Activision move, the publishing behemoth’s actually starting to feel a bit worried.
By Nathan Grayson on January 31st, 2013.
Once upon time, Legendary Pictures’ long-stalled Warcraft movie had a director. Then it didn’t. In the wake of Spider-Man and Evil Dead maestro Sam Raimi’s mighty battle-leap into Oz, Blizzard’s own heaving epic seemed destined to stall. Surprisingly, however, it’s once again back on track. With David Bowie’s son at the helm, naturally. But Duncan Jones is an excellent creator in his own right, having previously been responsible for the likes of Moon and Source Code, both of which did super interesting sci-fi things with unique settings and characters. Granted, he’s not the first person I’d think of for a preposterously mega-budgeted fantasy swordsplosion, but who knows? I’d have never tagged Chris Nolan for Batman, either.
By Nathan Grayson on January 18th, 2013.
That’s StarCraft II, mind you. Otherwise, I think that’d be a dequel, and I’m not sure anyone actually wants one of those. But yes, WarCraft: A New Dawn is picking up the severed orc hand of maximum strategy Blizzard dropped after WoW exploded. As of now, it’s very much a work-in-progress, but the end goal is to craftily craft StarCraft into “a breathtaking, lore-abiding storyline spanning several emotionally-gripping campaigns containing new units, new heroes, and new features as well as a fully fledged melee mode.” Lofty goals, huh? Maybe even too lofty. The team’s released their first video, though, so you can judge for yourself.
By Nathan Grayson on November 13th, 2012.
Well, that didn’t take long. Hackers sneaked past Blizzard’s hyper-sophisticated security system – presumably by cinematically lowering themselves from a cyber-ceiling to avoid all the e-lasers – and people weren’t too terribly happy about that. Unsurprisingly, a couple of them decided to sue. Unsurprisingly-er, Blizzard’s replied not by groveling and begging for heartfelt forgiveness, but instead by whipping out its fightin’ words pistols and shooting down the whole thing.
By John Walker on November 8th, 2012.
It may not seem like an immediately fascinating news story to say that an MMOs subscriber numbers have stayed the same, as mentioned in Nathan’s post earlier, but I think there’s an interesting point to be made when noting that World Of Warcraft is back over 10m. While the game has previously peaked at over 12m paying subscribers, a lot of fuss and soothsaying took place over the past year, declaring the MMO’s demise as inevitable. Subs numbers dropped to 9.1m, and much of the media declared, or at least speculated, that this was it. Rather than noticing that it was just a long time since there’d been a new expansion, so as you’d expect some players would have felt they’d seen all the current content so looked elsewhere for their gaming crack. In fact, the media has been gleefully predicting the doom of WoW for years. So why isn’t anyone reporting the real story here? Why isn’t anyone spotting that this is a phenomenon?
By Nathan Grayson on November 8th, 2012.
Today, Blizzard got on a phone and opened its collective mouth, and as so often tends to happen when these factors combine, words came out. Instead of glorious operatic ovations or beat poetry, however, the words somewhat surprisingly took the form of videogame announcements. And the games in question? Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Madness, right? What a world we live in! What a world. Ride the break down into the frightful depths of uncertainty for the full blow-by-blow.
By Nathan Grayson on October 16th, 2012.
Whether you’re a sucker for their furry brand of kung-fury or not, World of Warcraft‘s pandas are officially here to stay. Fortunately, Pandaria’s mysterious de-misting actually revealed one of the better WoW expansions in recent memory, so life goes on – and quite merrily at that. But while fresh competitors like Guild Wars 2 continue to be the talk of the town, MoP didn’t quite take the world (Warcraft-flavored or otherwise) by storm. Slow and steady though the process might be, MMOs are evolving. Sure, WoW’s world is bigger than ever, but its every strained lurch is followed by a deafening creak. So what’s next? How does Blizzard plan to keep WoW relevant? Does it involve free-to-play? A return to the Horde vs Alliance glory days? More species of playable bear? During GDC Online, I sat down with production director J. Allen Brack to find out.
By Nathan Grayson on October 9th, 2012.
This is basically staggering. Have you ever considered building a ship in a bottle? Well, this is sort of like that – except someone essentially decided to build a bottle around a full-sized war galleon. In short, this is all of World of Warcraft‘s Azeroth (read: no Outland, Northrend, or Pandaria… yet) recreated to 1:1 scale in another slightly popular game that prominently features “craft” in its title. Apparently, that herculean construction effort necessitated 68 billion blocks. And yet, one person managed it all by their lonesome. But how?
By Alec Meer on October 8th, 2012.
No-one’s immune to hacking, and the bigger they are the harder they fall (but more quickly they recover, given the megabucks, etc). Over the weekend, someone manage to slip a knife into World of Warcraft’s ribs, finding an exploit that allowed the usually near-invincible NPCs inhabiting the capital cities of Stormwind and Ogrimmar to become as weak as asthmatic kitten (though this was done by by the exploiting players accessing kill commands, not the NPCs actually being weakened). Slaughter inevitably followed.
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By Nathan Grayson on October 6th, 2012.
As a child, one of my first Real Person (read: PC) games was Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Back in those days, the Horde and Alliance, well, they didn’t like each other so much. There was, I suppose you could say, a whole lot less crafting and a rather sizable helping of war. But times have changed, and so has the world of Warcraft. For one, it grew a world. That’s fairly significant. But with rather unpleasant-sounding crusades and apocalypse dragons came a certain level of necessary chumminess between the warring factions. According to Blizzard, however, Mists of Pandaria’s first major update is about to (finally) change all of that.