Posts Tagged ‘World of Warcraft’

The World before time: original WoW, revisited

Last year, I tried to indulge my nostalgia for Dun Morogh, the wintry original Dwarf & Gnome starting zone in World of Warcraft, by returning to it as it is now. It did not go entirely well – in the 11 years since WoW’s launch, much has changed. Where once this was a slow-starting MMO, defined by long wandering, hard work and a certain degree of solitude, these days its early questing is an explosion of instantaneous rewards and high-speed levelling. I thought that this first World of Warcraft was lost forever. But there is a way back.
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The power of gaming communities

For three years, many of my evenings and weekends have been spent online with the Rock, Paper, Shotgun community – posting announcements, managing servers, and hosting events. By doing this I’ve met hundreds of people and have developed some great friendships. I’ve enhanced the experience of playing games for myself and others, and in the process I’ve gained skills to progress my career in ‘real life’.

My experience is not unique. I’m here to convince you of the power of getting involved in gaming communities – and that game developers should take more responsibility for fostering and highlighting what their community is doing.

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I Dream Of Dun Morogh

It seems absurd to have nostalgia for the 2000s. Surely it was just a heartbeat ago? Yet that is where I find myself. So much has changed in the last decade and a half – politically and personally (child, mortgage, increasing awareness of own mortality) of course, but also in games. These are times of pre-order DLC, culture wars, UHD, annual sequels and developers saying contentious things on Twitter. So much noise, so much division, so much complication, so many games, even. I know I am not alone in finding it exhausting – a friend recently picked up an original Xbox, a CRT TV and a ceiling-high stack of games for pennies, and is absolutely delighted by his return to what feels like a simpler era. It’s not “the games were better then” – if anything, most were worse – but that the entirety of games and gaming seemed so much calmer.

Me? I dream of Dun Morogh, the snowy Dwarf and Gnome starting zone from World of Warcraft. Read the rest of this entry »

Heading back to World Of Warcraft with Nostalrius

Last week saw the return of World of Warcraft‘s most controversial server, Nostalrius. It’s a private server which aims to recreate the experience of ‘vanilla’ World of Warcraft – that is, WoW as it was at or shortly after launch, before being supplemented and re-shaped by a hundred updates and multiple expansions. Logging on, I’m told “Position in queue, 3801. Estimated time: 47 minutes”, before being ushered into a world of lag and people complaining about random disconnects. So, uh… yeah! Congratulations to the team for perfectly recreating the vanilla WoW experience!

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Nostalrius Sharing WoW Legacy Bootleg Server Code

That’s BlizzCon 2016 come and gone, with announcements including a new Overwatch character, another Hearthstone expansion, Diablo throwbacks, and other odds and ends… with no mention of reviving old versions of World of Warcraft [official site].

Blizzard made clear that they would have nothing to announce, that they were still discussing it internally, but some folks have grown impatient. The folks behind Nostalrius, an unofficial vintage WoW server which Blizzard shut down earlier this year, are sharing their source code and documentation with other unofficial servers to help improve them and keep the ‘legacy’ community going. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Size Matters

Even by Blizzard’s standards, The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is taking the piss. In case you missed it, which I know you didn’t, but work with me here, it’s the newest Hearthstone expansion. The trailer is wonderful. The setting is a corrupt crime-town full of gangsters, hoodlums and mugs, all fighting for cash and control in a tongue-in-cheek mix of Lord of the Rings and Bugsy Malone. I’d love to play a full adventure/RPG/heck even shooter set in that world, not just play with a new set of cards using it as a theme. In just a minute of charismatic art and a fun song, Blizzard fleshed out Gadgetzan with more love and more detail than some games manage in their entire runs.

But, uh, here’s the thing. This is what Gadgetzan actually looks like.

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Blizzcon Roundup: World Of Warcraft, StarCraft II And Heroes Of The Storm

There’s a lot going on at Blizzcon 2016 – new Diablo classes, Hearthstone cards and long-rumoured Overwatch characters for a start. If Blizzard keeps making games, how large could Blizzcon become in the future? Could it grow too large for Anaheim, California, perhaps? At this rate it’s only a matter of time before it engulfs the whole of the US West Coast. But for now: more announcements.

Between all of the show’s marquee announcements, and all its eAthletes competing for big cash money prizes, there’s also been the usual bevvy of updates unveiled for StarCraft II, World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm. Time for a roundup!

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