In November, World of Warcraft will celebrate its 8th anniversary. It would have been eight years since we walked, awestruck, through the frozen tundra of Dun Morogh, and the bleak terrain of the Barrens. Spawning endless memes, giving birth to a new revolution in the MMO industry, defining and redefining what an MMO could be, WoW continued to climb in both popularity and subscription numbers for nearly seven years.
Shortly after the release of Cataclysm however, there was a decline. Wired magazine’s Game|Life has a very strong argument for why World of Warcraft has lost its cool, and how evidence suggests that the Goliath in the MMO world may be the cause for its own undoing. Many reasons are cited, from aging technology and a subscription model that audiences no longer connect with in a post-F2P world, to a decline in the mental maturity of the general player base.
It is worth a read, take a look.
Personally I think they need to innovate beyond better looking dungeons, world events and pet battles. The new expansion has a lot of cool features, but it seems to me these features were implemented begrudgingly, only after other MMOs beat them to the chase. For example, in WoW, pre-MoP, you would need to loot everything manually, which was a major time-sink for players of the farming persuasion. SW:TOR came out with AoE looting, and weeks later it was announced as a feature for MoP. Lame.
I think WoW needs to make a big, bold change, and soon. Or Goliath won’t need a David to fall.
Via Joystiq, Blizzard confirms that players in Iran have been denied access to Blizzard servers to play any of their games. This is allegedly part of a larger strategy to make the company, based in the US, more compliant with US laws and regulations. The US currently imposes various economic and political sanctions on Iran because of its controversial nuclear program. As such, Blizzard is refraining from engaging in any trade or economic activity with residents of the country.
Can you imagine how many WoW players just put their fists through their monitors?
This is probably smart move, but there is a part that really annoyed me. Big Blue is unable to provide “refunds, credits, transfers, or other service options to accounts”. For a company that made a hundred billion and stupid thousand dollars from its games, it seems strange to me that it was OK to take money from people when they were buying your games. Was that not engaging in economic trade with Iran and its residents? If that too was wrong, shouldn’t you return said money? Note that I am not trying to support the dickhead regime that believes the holocaust didn’t happen, just saying it isn’t really the players’ fault.
On September 25th, 2012, Pandas will invade and the world will forever remember the day the near-extinct species rose out out of the fog, and invaded the world of mortals.
In other words, Mists of Pandaria will be out.
Will I get it?
I don’t know. I am pretty occupied with life at the moment, and the very limited time I have is consumed by the likes of DayZ. Then of course, I have to consider trying The Secret World, a title that I have been rabidly excited for, but have not invested in simply because I have no time. I suppose only time will tell!
I have mentioned a few times about OpenRaid. It is a project that was started to use the RealID idea to its fullest potential. Once you are registered on the website, you can opt to share your real ID email. Like most factions in WoW, you start at neutral reputation with the website (faction). Then you can browse through the monstrous log of raids that players like yourself put up on a daily basis. The only think you cannot do with RealID people is Dragon Soul on Normal or Heroic (LFR is still game… though why would you want to).
There are literally raids for everything. People are raiding Vanilla and TBC content (I know it is solo-able but more fun with a few people). I myself will wrap up all of my Wrath of the Lich king achievements in the 25-player version later tonight by killing the Lich King on heroic mode. There are a ton of raids for Cataclysm content with groups attempting heroic modes, achievements and transmorg farming runs for tier 12 and below. The site also has a comprehensive search system so you can find your own raids. There are even PvP premade groups. I ran Battle for Gilneas and got the perfection achievement (2000-0 score) just last night. You can even form up your own raid for people to sign-up for from day one.
Once you are registered and have shared your RealID details, you can sign-up for the raid and detail your availability (maybe coming or coming), and the raidleaders can then choose which people to take with the. They can even designate assists to allow trusted people to help them manage said raid. They even provide a massive Ventrilo server for free for people who want to coordinate better via voice chat.
I can go on and on about the site’s features and usefulness, but suffice it to say, OpenRaid allows you to raid all content just below the current tier, even if your guild does not, and even if you are not part of a large organized guild. It is an invaluable tool, one that already has over 20,000+ users, and you should get on board while you can!
Via Kotaku, this is what Azeroth looks like from the top-down!
Via, MMO-Champion, I came across the following change to the new Hunter Stampede ability.
Stampede – Now has a 10 min cooldown, up from 30 sec.
So the cooldown has gone from 30 seconds, to 600 seconds, 20 times the amount! What the hell is going on in this beta? Did some poor monk get steamrolled by three hunters and their stampede of 15-odd pets, and threaten to light himself on fire in front of Blizzard Headquarters if the ability wasn’t drastically nerfed? Sheesh!