Six years of hard work. Hundreds of thousands of man hours. Twelve million subscribers who have spent billions of hours hacking, slashing, grinding, looting, and every other vaguely dirty term you can think of. So, how do you follow that? “Blow it all up,” says Blizzard. “And use a dragon.” The end result? A total reinvention of World of Warcraft that’ll have you hooked from the first second and keep you there for—oh—a couple hundred more hours. At least.
You wouldn't think we'd need to post a PSA warning people against eating their World of Warcraft Authenticator, but it just so happens that's exactly what one gamer did.
"I was sitting in my chair and biting into my authenticator while thinking about several RP related story arcs that I have planned," a WoW player wrote on the game's official forums. "I swivel around in my chair and presume to fall off it and shoot the authenticator into my mouth and down my throat.
"I have drank some of that stuff that makes you vomit, but I'm apparently resistant to a whole bottle of it. I am curious on what I should do."
Whether or not he was whoring for attention, we don't know, but he did get some solid advice. "Get off the Internet and call medical services," one poster replied. "I would recommend chewing gum over authenticators. If you're feeling like something more like food, apples work well also," another poster commented.
There are now more World of Warcraft subscribers than there are people living in Ireland, New Zealand, and Jamaica combined. More specifically, the most successful MMORPG of all time now claims over 12 million users, a milestone that Blizzard says was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of Wow's second expansion.
"The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December."
WoW had been holding steady at 11.5 million subscribers for over a year, leading some to assume the franchise had peaked. Apparently not, and once the game's third expansion arrives in early December, we're willing to bet that number will surge even higher.
Normally, designing a headset for one specific game would limit you to a relatively small segment of the gaming community. But we’re talking World of Warcraft here—a game whose massive popularity makes a game-specific headset seem viable.
Enter the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset from Creative Labs. The headset uses a small USB dongle that broadcasts in the 2.4GHz range. We found the reception to be fairly good, allowing us to walk into a different room during use without static.
Wrath of the Lich King may barely be ripe for the picking, but Blizzard's already hard at work on its next attempt at supplanting real life. Blizzard COO Paul Sams recent spoke with VG247 about the second generation of its MMO monarchy, and long-time WoW players will be both happy and relieved to hear that this game certainly isn't WoW 2.0.
“We want to create a great game,” Sams said. “Something that’s cool, and new, and different, and kind of next generation in terms of look and feel and gameplay. That’s a challenging endeavour.”
But as a dab of disappointment for WoW players' flagon of infinite joy, the new Blizzard MMO is still deep in the grimy pits of development, with no release date in sight.
“We’re definitely at the beginning, in the first half of development,” Sams continued.
“When we’re building a new game from the ground up, what happens is that it’s slow going for the first bit, while the team goes round and round and round figuring out how it’s going to look and feel, what the player experience is and what the differentiators are, and then the speed at which we then bring in the content and polish and actually get to the finish line…"
"I think the second half of the process is always substantially faster than the first half of product development,” he added.
Find out why it'll be quite some time before Blizzard gives fans an eyeful of its new MMO after the break.
Well, that was quick. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Blizzard COO Paul Sams claimed that Warhammer Online was no 18-hour raid boss. The battle's over, and the spoils of waaaagh clutter Blizzard's side of the field.
"The good news is that we've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving - they've already returned," Sams said over the deafening roars of BlizzCon.
But, regardless of whether the game's a direct competitor or merely Led Zep to Blizzard's Beatles, Sams handed out Warhammer Online's participation ribbon with an air of humility -- hedging his bets on the MMO's future success.
"I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out. It seems to be a good game, certainly a great company, Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented," he explained.
"But I think without EA they would have struggled as well, because EA fortunately for them has a lot of money and so they were able to put forward a lot of marketing dollars and were able to support the huge infrastructure that they require for these kinds of games. It's a tough road and as I said, if we had not had the benefits of the trust of our customers because of the years of delivering for them, I think that we could have been in trouble a few times. There have been big challenges and mistakes that we've made and we've been fortunate enough to get by them."
So MPC readers, who's pocketing your subscription money at the end of each month? WoW or WAR?
Today's batch of awesome open-source (or freeware) applications centers on a single word: wow. No, they don't help you level up in that MMO. We're going to show you a batch of free programs whose features are cool enough to make your jaw hit the floor, a small puddle of drool to escape from your lips and into your keyboard, and your twitter to light up with all messages you'll be sending your friends about these must-have applications.
We're serious. Prepare to be amazed. But if you haven't checked out the twentyotherthemedapplications we've hit up in our last four open-source updates, now's the time to fill in the backstory! Once you're ready for greatness, hit the link below. And get your bib on standby.
Blizzard has won a summary judgment against the World of Warcraft bot maker MDY (the folks that brought you WowGlider, now MMOGlider) based on copyright grounds. The judge also decided that liability for contributory copyright infringement and tortious interference is off the table and won’t go to the jury at trial. This is a victory for Blizzard and a setback for MDY, which brought the action.
Botting has been common in MMO games from almost the beginning and developers have tried varying amounts of pressure to stop the practice. It causes headaches to developers trying to manage an ‘economy’ within their games and discourages players who want to play within the game's frame work and rules. Players have used it as a method to get ahead in MMOs and even turned it into real money by selling virtual items and characters made in this fashion for real money.
This is starting to sound bad for MDY. Who do you think is in the right? MDY, or Blizzard? The final ruling could have an effect felt across many MMOs.
Come September 30th, neglected significant others will have another item to add to their geek gift list for that special WoW-obsessed someone in their life: A talking plus Murloc. The doll will be sold through Play.com for £25, or roughly 31.5 Euros (almost $50) after shipping for U.S. gamers, and you can already put in your pre-order. Exactly what the amphibious, fish-like humanoid bipedal will spurt out isn't yet known, nor will it ever be known as he gurgles out phrases in Nerglish.
If you really want to go for the double-whammy this holiday shopping season, compliment the gift wrapped Murloc by stuffing a Blizzard Authenticator Dongle into his stocking. Hey, it's better than the alternative.
Credit goes to gaming enthusiast Bamatick for "inventing" the plush Murloc, who has released his design to the public free of charge.The legality of selling plush Murlocs remains very much in question, a point which Bamatick acknowledges and warns against doing:
"I would love to spend 16 hours hand-sewing each plush murloc for the 100,000 or so of you who expressed a desire to have such, the cost would be prohibitive. Especially considering that I can't sell them, even at no profit. So, I have decided to go the GNU/Linux route and offer my pattern up for open 'source.'[...]I wanted to use this project as a positive for the gaming community."
With over a trillion-quantillion subscribers, World of Warcraft players are finding themselves increasingly popular targets for hackers, and nothing stings worse than logging in to Azeroth only to find your character standing in nothing but his scivvies and all his belongs wiped out. All that time spent acquiring digital doodads and neglecting your family, friends, pets, hygiene, job, and other real-life obligations down the drain.
Such scenarios are becoming far too common, and Blizzards offering WoW residents another way to beat back the bad guys, and it won't cost you any mana. Instead, for $6.50 (that's USD, a form of paper and coin currency used in non-virtual landscapes) you can protect your account with Blizzard's Authenticator dongle. Once linked to your account, the dongle generates a one-time six-digit passcode at the press of button to supplement your regular account password. And because the dongle stays separate from your PC, it's impervious to keyloggers and other similar malware.