World of Warcraft

  • 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
  • The French mega-conglomerate formerly known as "Vivendi Universal"...

    Vivendi is no longer "universal" - they'll just settle for 6.5 million World of Warcraft subscribers. That's right, the newly renamed "Vivendi Games" sold it's last remaining shares in Universal and will now sport two new divisions: one devoted to online games, the other to mobile gaming. VG is best known as the parent company to Blizzard Entertainment, makers of the most prosperous MMORPG to-date.

    Vivendi Universal Games is dropping the Universal from its name and becoming Vivendi Games (VG). This name change follows that of its corporate parent, Vivendi Universal, which has become simply Vivendi, following through with its plans to sell its last remaining stake in Universal (merged last year with NBC). The internal workings of both Vivendi and VG will remain the same, except for the formation of two new divisions devoted to mobile and online gaming.

    Read the Vivendi Games' announcement at TGDaily.

    News
    Tue, May 02, 2006
    Ethec
  • Increase your General knowledge.

    The skilled players at WoW - TenTonHammer wrote a guide for the beautifully scripted second boss encounter in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (a World of Warcraft level 60 instance), the battle with General Rajaxx. The guide explains all the steps to defeating the General and his guards to progress to the inner areas of the ruins.

    Being 8 big pulls means that this fight takes a while to complete. The first thing to know or plan for in this fight is to keep Lieutenant General Andorov and his guard alive. This is for two reasons:

    1. They do a large amount of damage and help this fight progress at a faster speed
    2. Andorov can sell some nice gear to you at the end of the fight.
    3. Most important of all, as long as you have a reputation of friendly or higher with Cenarion Hold he will place an amazing buff on you. The buff heals you for 200 health every 3 seconds, increases your attack power by 10%, and lowers your casting time by 10%.

    You can read the entire guide at WoW - TenTonHammer.

    Tue, May 02, 2006
    Ethec
  • The Community Spotlight is up and ready for your viewing pleasure.

    Today we spotlight the community run World of Warcraft news site WoWBreak.com. WoWBreak is a news site run by the players, where you can post the World of Warcraft news you think is important. The site also offers customizable RSS feeds, the ability to comment on news topics, and a Widget so you can track all of the news it offers right on your desktop.

    Get the latest and greatest information on World of Warcraft here!

    More World of Warcraft news.

    News
    Mon, May 01, 2006
    Awenyddion
  • The Blizzard that "snowed in" a genre.

    Join Memnok as he reviews the 15-year history of Blizzard Entertainment, the key personages behind the World of Warcraft phenomenon, and even the game lore going all the way back to 1994's RTS hit Warcraft.

    Jeff Kaplan, aka Tigole, is a lead designer in bringing the World of Warcraft to life, not only in its content, but making accessible to all the player fan bases… not an easy job by any means, one where you usually receive plenty of 1 thing, CRITICISM! Jeff is the stern and caring face to WOW, a poster on their forums, he tries to stay in touch with the gamers themselves, is the spokesman for Blizzard in newspapers, magazines and articles throughout the world.

    Check out Who's Who in World of Warcraft at WoW - TenTonHammer to learn all you need to know about Blizzard, World of Warcraft, and WoW lore.

    Mon, May 01, 2006
    Ethec
  • A visit to the Ruins will no longer end in ruin...

    The Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj are an incredibly fun, fast small group raid instance. It is very easy to complete the entire instance (once you understand the strategies) in an evening. Many of the bosses introduce very interesting fight mechanics and are in general a lot of fun, while not being overly difficult. In addition there is some very nice loot drops. These combine to make what is one of the most fun instances in the game, in my opinion. This is definitely an instance that you want to spend some time in, Blizzard got this one just right.

    In this initial release of the guide we have the following sections live:
    - Basic Information
    - Reputation Item ad Quest Information Reference Sheets
    - Boss 1 - Kurinnaxx
    - Gallery

    There is MUCH more to come over the next few weeks so check back often. By the end of May we will have a complete guide to all the Bosses and trash mobs.

    The guide can be found here: WoW - TenTonHammer's Guide to the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj

    Mon, May 01, 2006
    Ethec
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