Thursday, March 29, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Blizzard has banned tons of boters and now, it has raised players` great angry. Bans are necessary to keep the online gaming space as jerk-free as possible, but some players think that Blizzard might not be paying enough attention to who they?re banning. Recently New York Times has described the happen of this complaint.
"This is a notification regarding your World of Warcraft account," the e-mail began. "Access to this account has been permanently disabled for exploitation of the World of Warcraft economy or for being associated to accounts which have been closed for intended exploitation." Zak, a 14-year-old WoW player from Georgia, asked that his last name not be used.
According to several players, Zak isn?t the only WoW participant who recently has received a ban with what they believed to be little or no justification. Critics claim WoW publisher Blizzard Entertainment been snaring innocent players in a dragnet for banned activities like account sharing and gold farming--a system in which players either directly or indirectly acquire large amounts of in-game currency or goods through repetitious actions, often achieved by operating automatic "bots" or macros that kill monsters or discover treasure.
"I think Blizzard is being too tough on their issues with exploitation and like many others, I have fallen (victim) to their harsh system of banning people like me." --WoW player Shoot201
Indeed, a look at any of the many public WoW forums reveals no shortage of postings from players complaining that they had been banned and asking for help. Usually, the players complain, they have had no luck getting through to Blizzard despite repeated e-mails and customer service phone calls.
To Zak, the notice didn?t make any sense. He believed he hadn?t done anything to break the game?s rules against an illegal process known as "power leveling," in which players gain points and levels in online games through banned exploits, such as those that take advantage of WoW software bugs to award gold or expedited advancement to new levels, or which use disallowed third-party software for the same purpose.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
On the blasted world of Outland, within the heart of Hellfire Peninsula stands Hellfire Citadel, a nearly impenetrable bastion that served as the Horde's base of operations throughout the First and Second Wars. For years, this gargantuan fortress was thought to be abandoned - until the recent discovery that marauding bands of fel orcs have made Hellfire Citadel their home. Though the origins of this particularly savage breed present something of a mystery, what's more disconcerting is that the numbers of these fel orcs seem to be growing... Hellfire Citadel is one of the first new dungeons that players will encounter in The Burning Crusade. Watch our new gameplay trailer, which showcases the look and feel of Hellfire Citadel's three 5-man wings.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Blizzard plans to invite worldwide players to their third Worldwide Invitational which will take place in Seoul, South Korea on May 19 and 20.
Blizzard Entertainment® Announces 2007 Worldwide Invitational
IRVINE, Calif. ¨C March 7, 2007 ¨C Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans to hold its third Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea on May 19 and 20. The Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals are public events that allow the company to connect with gamers in a celebration of the Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes and competitive Blizzard Entertainment® gaming. This year¡¯s Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will be held at the Olympic Gymnastics and Fencing Stadiums in Seoul.
The event will be open to gamers of all ages and feature a number of exciting e-sports tournaments, including the regional finals for both Warcraft III Battle.net® Season 5 and the first season of World of Warcraft®?s Arena Tournament. Invitational StarCraft and Warcraft III tournaments will also pit some of Korea?s finest players against tough international challengers.
"With a wide variety of themed activities and competitions to participate in, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals are a great way for us to show our appreciation to our players," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We?re looking forward to creating another memorable show for them this year as well."
Outside of the e-sports realm, unique panel discussions will be held by Blizzard developers on various topics, and several hands-on attractions will add to the fun. Further details on the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational will be released in the weeks ahead.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment® (http://www.blizzard.com/), a division of Vivendi Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry?s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard?s track record includes ten #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company?s free Internet gaming service, Battle.net®, reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®: The Burning Crusade™ sold through approximately 3.5 million copies within one month following its mid-January launch in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.* This includes more than 1.9 million sold in regions that play on North American realms, including more than 100,000 copies in Australasia, and nearly 1.6 million in Europe. World of Warcraft's worldwide subscriber base now numbers more than 8.5 million and is continuing to grow as new and returning players join existing players in the game.
Blizzard previously announced that this first expansion set for World of Warcraft sold through nearly 2.4 million copies worldwide in its first 24 hours -- more than any other PC game in history had sold within an entire first month of availability.* With approximately 3.5 million copies sold through, The Burning Crusade has now established the new one-month record for PC-game sales.
"We're thrilled about the overwhelming response that we've received for The Burning Crusade," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "We have worked hard to build upon nearly every aspect of World of Warcraft with this expansion, and it's gratifying to see that players and reviewers are enjoying the new content."
Amazon.com® reported that it received more preorders for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade than for any other PC or console game ever, and Wal-Mart® also recorded similar record-breaking numbers for The Burning Crusade. According to Gary Severson, senior vice president and general manager at Wal-Mart, "Not only was The Burning Crusade the top-selling item in our electronics department the day it released; it had the best day-one sales of any PC-game launch in our company's history."
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is Blizzard Entertainment®'s first expansion for its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. It adds an extensive amount of new content to the game, including an increase in the level cap, complete with new spells, abilities, and talents for players to acquire as they advance their characters; huge new outdoor zones and dungeons for players to explore after they journey through the Dark Portal into the shattered world of Outland; two new playable races; flying mounts; a new character profession: jewelcrafting; and much more.
Following the initial launch of the expansion on January 16, Blizzard held a highly successful open beta test in Korea and then commercially released The Burning Crusade for players there on February 12. The company is currently working with its partners to localize the content into Simplified and Traditional Chinese for mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau and release the expansion in those regions as soon as possible. For further information on World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade, please visit http://ww.worldofwarcraft.com/
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
It was released to much hype and long lines, but does World of Warcraft 's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, live up to the hype? Hasani Davis gives us his impressions of this new, expanded version of Azeroth.Now that we have had a month to play it, let's sit down and talk about The Burning Crusade. First off, I must come out and say it was good to have a renewed interest in World of Warcraft. I have continued to play the game. After all, I am a gamer and always have to play something. It's just that things can get stale and the game play of the old Warcraft world wasn't something to get fanatical about. As a gamer, that's what I want in my games. I want it to have that lasting impression on me which turns me into a fanatic. Don't take it out of context, and think lunatic, but just a fanatic. I want to be at work wondering about new ways to smite my foes and then get home and be happy that I am playing something worthwhile, not just be playing to feed the need for gaming.So Burning Crusade came out, just in case you all didn't know. To me, it is a chance for Blizzard to start the whole game over again and take it in a new direction. With a level cap raised to 70, new instances, and a host of new items, there is plenty of room and opportunity to re-balance the game and take it to a new level. The question is; has Blizzard delivered on the two year wait that WoW players have had on an expansion?One friend put it best; the new races are fun from levels 1-10, and then you get to hit The Barrens again. That was where the fun factor wore off.All that being said, WoW remains the top of the heap as far as MMOs. The question still remains that with their out of date graphics and run of the mill game mechanics, will WoW be able to compete with the upcoming crop of MMOs that are offering lots of changes to the genre.
First off, there is no new graphic engine, no revisions to textures to help with loading or lag. No skin upgrades for old and new models, but at least we have chipsets for the new areas. BC gives us 40 new monster models and many more changes/upgrades to old monsters in the new world.When you first zone through the Dark Portal, the gateway that takes you to Outland, you are thrust right into the battlefront against the Burning Legion. You are able to witness a battle going on against major Pit Lords and their minions with loads of spell effects and attacks going off all at once. It's a great scene, but it's still nothing new added to the game. Our first review of the noted a graphics rating of 8.5, but you also have to take into account what was out at the time. With a release is 2004 and coming after fossils like EverQuest and Asheron's Call, the crisp Saturday morning cartoon graphics Warcraft presented where very much merited. But now, at the dawn of third generation MMOs and looking at games like Guild Wars, Eve Online and the upcoming Two Worlds, the bar is raised and the score drops to reflect it.I have to give a score of a 4 on graphical advancement because other than a few new monster skins and very vanilla animations for new spells there is nothing new or better added graphically to the expansion. The score is saved however by 1 or 2 rather nice looking raid bosses.A score of five is earned for the player skins and animations. As stated before, everything is still the same quality and art with no real advancement. Other games of this generation have jumped much further forward. In short, WoW and TBC look like a rather ordinary game from the 1999-2004 era and not like a cutting edge next generation game designed by a multi-million dollar company.
Adventure? Crafting? Killing? Gathering? Well anything you want to do short of ascending to become a major deity is attainable and made into a cute fun filled package with this expansion. They have added new crafting, new gathering, funny quests with high adventure, and lots of rewarding items and abilities along your trip to level 70. Don't get me wrong, grinding still exists, but the fun factor and entertainment of the game is elevated with this expansion. Not only is there a lot of content, but the lateral and side games and quests you can do for fun will keep even the most hardcore gamer satisfied for the next year and perhaps beyond. To put it simply, this is the most fun game you can pick up on the market.
The sounds are standard with no real upgrades to voiceovers. Spells, abilities, and most importantly the musical score are pretty much the same. Also, there is still no sign of battle music. The game sounds have improved more than the graphics have, but still are pale compared to scores from both past and present games. One time I entered the brand new arena and marveled at the concept of players killing each other like gladiators. Then I was let down as the background music from the old battlegrounds began to play. Its okay, but not enough to get me psyched about game play. Unlike fixing aging graphics, a musical score and sound effects can be instantly fixed with about one or two patches.
My wallet is not mad at me, a 40 dollar expansion that gives me hundreds of hours of not only game time but fun. The large amount of quests and content will make playing another class to the end game fun. New and alternate paths can be taken to reach leveling goals. It is nice that you can level two characters from 60-70 and actually not do the same quest.
Performance / Lag
It's a double bladed sword. There is no real lag or performance problem. However, the graphics and music aren't up to a level where you should have lag. With regular maintenance patches the lag is minimal.
Role play? What role play? The game is Warcraft, you play either Horde or Alliance and you are locked in a war to destroy the other faction. The feeling is ruined with neutral towns and no real incentive to attack and start a war against the other faction. If someone wants to make the point that in the Burning Crusade the fight is against the Burning Legion and not against each other, this facade is broken once you leave the first town of Outland. Past level 61 you won't get the feeling that you are banding together to stop ANYTHING. While questing and adventure are both fun, little is done to immerse you into the feeling that is Warcraft.
This goes rather hand in hand with the role-playing. Servers are very large and unless you have someone on your friends list, you can go weeks without seeing them. With plenty of instancing and grinding for gear you are constantly shut off from other people not inside your party or guild. Every class and just about every spec can solo so there is no pressing need to form friendships or interact with others in your zone or area. There is no real alliance feature so there is no formal way to form an alliance with other guilds. The community is much segmented and I am afraid will always stay that way.
Let's face it, this really shouldn't effect the game. I have little to no contact with Blizzard Customer Service, but you can often see people using exploits with no real noticeable action taken at the moment it happens. With a customer base of eight million, the service certainly has its ups and downs.
In closing, the scores I gave are very standard but the most important score which is Fun is dominant. Warcraft is the most popular MMORPG in the industry and has made the jump into pop-culture. The total score is a seven if you are looking at it as a model of total package compared to what other games are doing. I still believe the most important score is Fun which certainly remains in World of Warcraft.
Labels: WoW Player Article