Blizzard Entertainment, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II…are you interested yet? With their consistent string of blockbuster titles and enduring hits, Blizzard is one of the biggest names in computer gaming. As one of the first social gaming platforms, Battle.net was ahead of its time, and helped turn Blizzard into the monster it is now. But with all of the time and money you put into your Battle.net account there’s nothing worse than finding out your account got hacked or your roommate sold that item you spent the last three weeks acquiring. Enter the Battle.net Authenticator for Windows Phone 7.
[04.09.2010 Update] Hey all. Just wanted to chime in real quick and note that Blizzard has caved in and reversed its "First Name Last Name" forum policy as of 9:47 a.m. (PST) today. That's Murphy's Law: 1. Blizzard: 0...
Ugh. I was all set to write this totally awesome column about how World of Warcraft's latest Real ID measures are The Lich King's gift to proper forum management, and it's just one more reflection of much of what I talk about in this weekly column--the idea that the walls are slowly lowering between our various online identities as we transition our lives into a tell-all kind of digital tale.
Of course, resident Maximum PC gaming pundit Nathan Grayson beat me to the punch. With respect to Mr. Grayson, however, I don't think that he's really covered enough ground in regards to Blizzard's announcement that any World of Warcraft players seeking to post on the company's forums will now be identified by their first and last names--the "Real ID" I speak of.
What I find most curious is that this situation blows open the various degrees of user permissibility in an open world of data. What does that mean? Simply put, there are varying levels of sharing that people are comfortable with in the digital age, and it's funny that so many are complaining about an unsheltered digital lifestyle that we're headed toward anyhow.
Videogame movies, right? They’re all the same, every one of them. Each flecks of corn on the same festering pile of dung. Or are they? Between Spiderman director Sam Raimi, Dark Knight producer Legendary Pictures, and “Saving Private Ryan” screenwriter Robert Rodat, the Warcraft movie’s assembled a dream team that most major motion pictures only, well, dream of. Actually, you might want to pinch yourself too, because Blizzard’s resident lore master Chris Metzen – the man behind the worlds of Diablo, Starcraft, and of course, Warcraft – is heavily involved in the project as well. When asked about the movie’s progress, Metzen told VG247:
“I wouldn’t say ‘considerable’ at all just yet. We’ve been through a number of story meetings, and we’re still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team and jamming on themes that we want to chase. We’re kinda getting a lot of values together – what kind of story we want to tell, what do we want people to feel, what is the best way to look at this big franchise.”
“My intention with the feature is that it is as close as possible to what people have experienced and what they know of our canon, but we’ll have to see the way it plays out. And I don’t mean that facetiously – we’re still trying to figure it out.”
Unsurprisingly, Metzen acknowledged that the Warcraft movie won’t adhere to its source material 100 percent. However, he likened it to Spiderman’s organic web shooters in the movies, versus his mechanical ones in the comics. Slight, mostly inconsequential changes, in other words. Don’t think, however, that Metzen has forgotten about the fans who rallied around Warcraft in the first place. Turns out, they’re priority number one.
“I have… from the day we decided it would be a good idea to have a movie in any shape… I worry about [disappointing the fans] constantly,” he admitted. “Hell, I worry about it on the games side. It’s all so complicated and fast moving – I have nightmares about screwing it up or just missing the mark. Even a movie that’s 85% good; that’s not 100% good, and our fans are very particular. But the point where we are today, with Sam and his crew – we’re still feeling it out and I think everyone shares that."
Are we in the midst of a videogame movie that might just be – dare we say it – worth looking forward to? Well, let’s see: first, the Dark Knight’s producer signed on, then Spiderman director Sam Raimi swung onto the set, and now, “Saving Private Ryan”/"The Patriot" screenwriter Robert Rodat’s attempting to prove to us that “WarCraft” won’t turn out to be a superhero movie, among other things.
"I've never made a video game movie, but my approach would be to work with the best character writer I can find, which in this case is Robert Rodat, and tell a great character story within the fantastic environment of the world of WarCraft, while staying true to their mythology,” said director Sam Raimi.
Wait. You mean, in order to craft a quality videogame movie, you need to hire talented people? Doh! We knew everyone else was doing something wrong.
The apparent state of <insert WoW class that’s constantly nerfed and obviously in need of buffing here> may have led you to believe that Blizzard’s exceedingly affluent staff doesn’t want to hear from you. Well, given the nature of the mega-publisher’s current contest, it’s pretty obvious that you were wrong. See, Blizzard only wants to hear from one of you.
The contest, which is open to aspiring word jockeys all around the world – from London to the Bay – invites Blizzard’s biggest fans to prove their mettle not with sticks or stones, but with words, the most powerful force in the entire universe. In order to qualify, your piece must be 3,000-10,000 words long and – as expected – set in one of Blizzard’s three fictional worlds.
Should your modern classic catch the eyes of Blizzard’s finest Lorecrafters (note: not a real job title), you’ll be flown out to Blizzard’s offices in Irvine, California where – and this is just a pet theory of ours – you’ll be surreptitiously assassinated by the same people who judged you worthy of setting foot on Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft’s holy birthing grounds.
Why? Simple. According to the contest rules, upon arriving at Blizzard’s pad, you’ll be given a replica Frostmourne sword (to defend yourself, obviously – you know, honor and all that) and a sumptuous meal (presumably a last meal, but also a possible attempt to weigh you down during the inevitable conflict). But wait – you’re probably wondering why Blizzard would go through all of this trouble to help you, a simple fan, meet the real Diablo? Well, after little to no research, we’ve surmised that – like a paranoid dictator – Blizzard’s current writing staff is afraid of competition, and would like to hold onto the swankest gig on earth for as long as possible.
So yeah, don’t enter the contest. We’ll, uh, just go ahead and take the fall for you. Without other entrants, we’re sure to “win” – if you could even call it that – and then we’ll put a pointy, meticulously sculpted end to all of this nonsense once and for all. Wish us luck.