With the much-anticipated release of Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion pack to World of Warcraft, just around the corner, the just-concluded Blizzcon 2014 gaming convention came as a great opportunity for gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries to tout its Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition headset, and that is precisely what the company did. On Friday, our Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang stopped by the company’s booth at Anaheim Convention Center to check out the headset on behalf of all you Maximum PC readers.
World of Warcraft loses 800,000 subscribers in three months
Some 800,000 questing game players fled from World of Warcraft during Activision Blizzard's fiscal second quarter ended June 30, 2014. That leaves the world's most popular MMORPG with 6.8 million subscribers, enough to maintain its top spot among the competition. Those who quit the game were disproportionately concentrated in the East and similar to the seasonal decline experienced during the second quarter of 2012, Activision Blizzard said.
We show you which MMOs will save you money and are worth your time
It wasn’t that many years ago when a paid-for subscription was the only way you could get your hands on a decent MMO experience. World of Warcraft dominated the online gaming landscape, and its success lead many other companies into the same monthly premium path.
World of Warcraft's subscriber-base is on the decline. That's hardly shocking for a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was launched over 9 years ago. But this isn't just any online game, it's the world's largest subscription-based MMORPG and it lost 1.3 million players in the last three months. Who knows where they went, but more importantly, what can Activision Blizzard do to retain its remaining 8.3 million subscribers?
Throughout history, wars and plagues have wiped out entire cities and civilizations, leaving behind nothing but corpses and tears. Strangely enough, the same thing happened yesterday in World of Warcraft when hackers took advantage of an exploit that allowed them to march through various realms, destroying every character they came across, even non-player characters (NPCs).
A fabulous single-player experience in a massively multiplayer online game
STAR WARS: The Old Republic (TOR) comes with a buffet of a story for an MMO, but you only get to fill your plate once. From decisions as significant as choosing your character’s class specialization to events as trivial as responding to key dialog options, everything you do has a lasting and permanent effect on your gameplay. We like the feast: BioWare’s masterful use of instanced environments creates more captivating gameplay for the solo quester than most any other MMO.
But this is BioWare’s first foray into the massively multiplayer world, and it shows. TOR is more a role-playing game you play alongside 999,999 friends than a true MMO. BioWare either poorly integrates or completely misses the mark on many of the elements that define an MMO. On the upside, the beautiful blend of voice acting and dialogue options in each of TOR’s many quests should earn the game a celebratory parade through the Yavin 4 throne room. And while the scripted quests (occasionally punctuated by John Williams’s familiar score) are immersive, they make the rest of the game’s environments seem stale by comparison. TOR’s non-instanced “generic” areas just aren’t very player-interactive. The Nar Shadda casino, a cold and lifeless location that cries out for mini-games and interactivity, is just one example. And don’t get us started on TOR’s cantina music.
While Blizzard may taketh away with one hand, it giveth away with the other: disappointed Blizzcon fans are still smarting from news of the convention's 2012 cancellation, but hardcore WoW-heads now have reason to rejoice. Through the 30th, Blizzard is auctioning off hundreds of server blades used to house World of Warcraft in its infancy. All of the proceeds will be donated to the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Most of the time, Google’s nifty little Street View is nothing more than an interesting toy or a way to see landmarks along a road trip. Today, it became something else: a visual memory of one of the most damaging natural disasters in recent history. Google took it upon itself to take its cameras to the streets in the aftermath of Japan’s horrific earthquake and tsunami to show the world the true extent of the devastation, complete with before and after pictures to drive the point home.
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.
A Canadian gamer suspected her ISP of throttling traffic for games like World of Warcraft, so she put her complaint on paper and sent it to the government's telecom regulator. Her action paid off, with the government ordering her ISP, Rogers, to look into the matter and report back. Rogers did look into it, and admitted that it's throttling WoW in some instances, but claims it's not on purpose.