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World of Warcraft + Star Wars Galaxies Features, Guides, and more

  • On the Official World of Warcraft Online site they have updated to some new interactive Mage and Shaman talent previews.

    Wed, May 10, 2006
    LadySirse
  • Stranger movies have been made and the current trend to turn games into movies seems to be moving right along to the very popular World of Warcraft according to "The New York Times".

    Most Hollywood attempts at converging games and film have resulted in primarily low-budget movies. On Tuesday, Blizzard Entertainment hopes to reverse that trend as it plans to announce a deal with Legendary Pictures, a major Warner Brothers affiliate, to make a big-budget "Lord of the Rings"-style live-action film based on Blizzard's wildly popular Warcraft series.

    Many details are as yet unannounced, such as director, cast, and planned release date but it appears that Blizzard and Legendary want to depart from Hollywood's undistinguished record of turning games into lack luster films.

    "We try to make big, epic, immersive games at Blizzard, and we have a track record of making some of the best games in the world," Paul Sams, Blizzard's chief operating officer, said in an interview. "Similarly, our goal is to make one of the best films in the world. With Legendary, they have a creative and management team that is so attuned with us it was like we were separated at birth. We want to make a movie that will not only appeal to our existing fans, but will also bring in people that have never heard of Warcraft before."

    The Warcraft world has all the traditional temptations of power and tragic tales. The demon Sargeras himself began as a sort of angel before corrupting himself into an enemy of vitrue. Some other notable characters are the knight Arthas, the mage Illidan and the orc Gul'dan, all of whom were seduced by powers beyond their ken, some find redemption , others do not.

    It's one that I am sure will have a huge following, not only due to the success of the online game but fans of the RTS versions as well. I know my 13 yr old son, a huge fan of the RTS Warcraft series, was delighted with the news.

    News
    Tue, May 09, 2006
    LadySirse
  • Seems a new way has been found to farm WoW gold. According to Symantec, a new trojan called :Infostrealer.Wowcraft" is targeting something more precious than your credit card information....it's your WoW account!

    Tue, May 09, 2006
    LadySirse
  • BBC News has a story of the many problems that seem to be plaguing the giant World of Warcraft. Our own Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle is quoted in the article. Yep that smart guy belongs to us. If you haven't had the chance to read any of Jeff's articles, take the time now. It's good to see his insightful opinions recognized.

    Oh, I guess I should tell you about the story itself.

    Since it launched in November 2004, World of Warcraft has proved hugely popular and now boasts more than six million regular players around the globe. The game lets players control different sorts of characters, including warriors, warlocks, wizards, druids and rogues and take them adventuring in the fantasy world of Azeroth.

    However, some fear that this growth has come at a high price and the playability of the game is suffering as Blizzard, the company behind WoW, struggles to support those millions of players.

    One thing you can be sure of is that our World of Warcraft Community isn't being plagued by anything but an overabundance of great information.

    More World of Warcraft news.
    Don't have a place for your guild to call home? Check out Guild Portal. It has the best tools.

    News
    Fri, May 05, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • Blizzard gets specific with planned hardware improvements

    It seems attention from Cnet and InformationWeek has paid off, and normally tight-lipped World of Warcraft Lead Producer Shane Dabiri goes to pains to list all the hardware changes in store to improve login and in-game performance. Also in the latest "Battle Plan" posted on the WoW official forums: new options for fee-based character transfers across realms and between accounts (but only if the accounts in question are in the same household).

    We recently brought a new World of Warcraft site online in North America -- the 5th one in this region. This not only allowed us to open new realms -- each site can hold approximately 40 -- it also allowed us to migrate existing realms over to the new, top-of-the-line hardware we used to build the site. As with previous migrations, this relieved pressure on our shared-database backend infrastructure, resulting in noticeable improvements in loot, auction house, mail, and instance lag and general realm stability for the players who we're moved to the new realms as well those who remained at the original site.

    Beyond this 5th World of Warcraft site, we are preparing to bring up a 6th site before the end of May, and we have plans to build additional sites in order to handle any increase in population we experience after the release of The Burning Crusade. All of our future sites will be built using the latest hardware and will give us the capacity to support new players and perform additional migrations and character transfers as needed.

    (...)

    On top of our efforts to evenly disperse our player population through coordinated realm transfers and migrations, we've begun testing our paid character-transfer feature. Scheduled to go live this summer, this feature will allow players to move their characters, within certain restrictions, to a realm of their choosing. This means that player's will now be able to join their friends on other realms without the need to wait for a pre-set mass realm transfer. In addition, this will also contribute to a balancing of the player load from realm to realm, which again is a specific way for us to reduce realm queues and lag. We know that many player's are eager for this service to be implemented, so we'll share further details as soon as more information becomes available.

    Battleplan Vol. 3 (at the WoW official forums) is one of the most detailed posts we've seen from the Blizzard crew in the nigh year and a half the blockbuster game's been live. Lots of answers, and more than a few new questions. Hopefully we'll be able to find out more from Blizzard next week at E3.

    News
    Thu, May 04, 2006
    Ethec
  • Corporate gay bashing, or simply an appropriate response to WoW player complaints?

    Sara Andrews, the lesbian who caused quite a furor when she began recruiting openly for a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgendered) guild, furthered her grandstanding campaign when CGW / 1UP published a feature describing her herculean struggle with big bad Blizzard.

    Blizzard stood firm. Another account admin named "Gorido" responded, "GLBT is a known abbreviation for Gay Bi Lesbian Transsexual... please review the harassment policy."

    Andrews shot back, "I refuse to recruit any other way, because there are WAY too many people on WOW that use REAL antigay terms, and I do not want those people in my guild." The simmering e-mails continued, until Blizzard at last invoked its terms of use, stipulating that players may not "transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard Entertainment, is deemed to be offensive," the operative phrase being "sole and absolute discretion," essentially claiming for Blizzard the right of final semantic arbitration.

    I'm a fairly live and let live kind of guy, but sexual references (straight or gay, and whether they be about the act or a lifestyle) really have no place in World of Warcraft or any online game.

    It happens, yes, and as long as Blizzard is treating all instances of offensive conduct with equal approbation, if Blizzard's treating all these reported "anti-gay" expressions with like diligence, I don't see any problem with their handling of the situation. Just because you're "here and queer" doesn't mean you get a golden ticket excusing you from felt harassment on the part of other players. In a US workplace, you have a legitimate claim of harassment against a coworker if you can prove you asked them to stop their offensive conduct (no matter what it is: it could be staring or throwing pickles at you) and they don't comply.

    In any case, I have to laugh at the subtitle: "Sanitizing Expression in Brave New Worlds". The Huxley reference supports their thesis, but unless something's dirty, it doesn't need sanitized, right?

    Just my 2 copper, as always. What's your take on the "Sounds of Silence" feature at 1Up.com? Let us know in our forums!

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Ethec
  • All your passwords are belong to HaXX0rs.
    A virus that is spread by email, pop-up advertisement and other common methods is stealing World of Warcraft passwords.

    " A new password-stealing Trojan targeting players of the popular online game "World of Warcraft" hopes to make money off secondary sales of gamer goods, a security company warned Tuesday.
    MicroWorld, an Indian-based anti-virus and security software maker with offices in the U.S., Germany, and Malaysia, said that the PWS.Win32.WOW.x Trojan horse was spreading fast, and attacking World of Warcraft players.
    If the attacker managed to hijack a password, he could transfer in-game goods -- personal items, including weapons -- that the player had accumulated to his own account, then later sell them for real-world cash on "gray market" Web sites. Unlike some rival multiplayer online games, Warcraft's publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, bans the practice of trading virtual items for real cash."

    You can read the entire World of Warcraft Trojan article at Information Week.

    News
    Wed, May 03, 2006
    Boomjack
  • I'm still laughing at this Comic honorable mention.

    The first wave of comic submissions has been reviewed by the jury, and the results for May are in! Starting today, we will publish one honorable mention each Monday, followed by the lucky winner of a Blizzard Edition iPod nano at the end of this month. Check out today's honorable mention from Keydar.

    Seriously, go look at it. You'll laugh too.

    In the meantime, head over to our World of Warcraft Community and scope out our great guides.

    News
    Tue, May 02, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • WoW co-creator makes Time's Top 100 transformational figures

    Each year, Time Magazine publishes an issue highlighting 100 of the world's most influential figures. Rob Pardo, VP at Blizzard Entertainment, netted honors in the "Artists & Entertainers" section.

    Pardo, who is vice president of game design for Vivendi-owned Blizzard Entertainment, is cited in the magazine's accompanying article for helping to create World Of WarCraft, which now has over 6 million subscribers, and is "one of the most immersive and successful video games ever created... it could be the future of electronic entertainment", according to Time's Lev Grossman.

    I dole out my share of criticism toward Blizzard's seeming aloofness towards player complaints, but no one can argue with World of Warcraft's success. Kudos to Rob Pardo and the entire Blizzard team for breaking yet another barrier towards the mainstream culture.

    Check out the full "Rob Pardo Makes Time's Top 100" article at Gamasutra.

    Tue, May 02, 2006
    Ethec
  • It's one thing to string along dissatisfied players with promises...

    But now the mainstream Internet media (starting with Cnet last week) is becoming increasingly critical of World of Warcraft's authentication and performance problems. Blizzard told TechWeb that new initiatives will alleviate the login bottleneck many players experience, but some gamers claim that WoW's problems run deeper.

    Although the company promised it would announce an upgrade date this week, some players claimed that updating the log-in servers wouldn't solve the problem.

    "Certain servers are experiencing multiple failures nearly every day. These servers experience partial or total crashes, in addition to massive disconnects affecting a large fraction of the players online. This results in a constant stream of people trying to login again, because the server rarely stays up for more than 15 or 30 minutes during peak time," wrote a player identified only as "Pozzo" in a reply to the Blizzard post.

    Longtime players know something of the song-and-dance that's characterized Blizzard's response to WoW's snarled performance since the game's launch. Nevertheless, the game grows by leaps and bounds while decent MMOs wither in its wake. At some point, will the bubble burst? Or does denial of service only fuel gamers' longing to play? Ah, what a tangled web they've woven for us.

    Check out the "Blizzard's Promises" article at InformationWeek.

    Tue, May 02, 2006
    Ethec
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