Archive for July, 2009

WoWPals: Meet and Connect with Local Warcraft Players

wowpals_logo
Most people would agree that World of Warcraft in and of itself already meets a number of the qualifications required to be a social network – being a massively multiplayer game lends itself to meeting new people and connecting with them, forming groups, and making new friends. Even so, I can agree that even in-game it can be difficult to really form lasting relationships with people that persist when you log out. For that you can find WoW communities in existing networks like Livejournal and Facebook, or join a gamer’s social network like Raptr and meet other WoW players. (If anyone’s using Raptr, you can find me here!)

Alternatively, you can join WoWPals, a new social network designed exclusively for World of Warcraft players, and to give players a place where they can meet other people on their realm in-game and in their neighborhoods outside of Azeroth. The service also aims to make it easier to form guilds with people in your area that you can get together with in real life, whether it’s to have fun in the real world or boot up your gaming rigs next to each other and do some raiding. Believe me, a 5 or 10-man dungeon is definitely more fun when everyone is in the same room.

Right now the service is in beta and is working its way through activation issues that make it difficult to link up your WoWPals account with your main character. Even so, the service is accepting signups and connecting people. If you’re looking for another, possibly easier way to meet people in-game, WoWPals may be able to help.

Buy a New NVidia Graphics Card, Win a Trip to BlizzCon!

blizzcon_exterior

If you’ve been hankering for that new graphics card but just haven’t pulled the trigger yet, NVidia is about to give you a good reason to: a free, all-expenses-paid trip to BlizzCon 2009!

Blizzard and NVidia have gotten together to offer a trip to BlizzCon to one lucky person who buys a GeForce 9600 GT, 9800 GT, 9800 GTX+, or GTS 250 chipset-based card between now and August 1st, 2009, according to Gearlog. If you were thinking about heading to BlizzCon anyway, if you don’t already have your tickets it’s already too late – tickets sold out weeks ago, within minutes of becoming available on Blizzard’s site.

Your only hope? Pick up a video card upgrade, enter the contest, of course! Okay, there are other options, but we won’t discuss those.

TweetCraft: Twitter Without Tabbing Out

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfUDUAtG7Rs[/youtube]

You got Twitter in my Warcraft!
You got Warcraft in my Twitter!
TWO GREAT TASTES!

Seriously though, as if we needed a way to blend any more addictive things together, now we have TweetCraft, an add-on for World of Warcraft that allows you to keep on top of your Twitter feed while you’re in-game. This way you don’t have to tab-out to update your feed, and you don’t have to take a time-out from raiding to check up on how your friends are doing. This way while everyone is taking a bio break or arguing over loot, you can open up TweetCraft and tell your followers exactly how funny the whole debacle really is.

At the same time, I see how this could be usef legitimately; the folks at WoW.com are known to raid and give away loot card codes and such while they’re raiding – this could make it even easier to interact with people over Twitter while in-game.

That being said, I think that’s about where the legitimacy stops – just like the Peggle add-on, this is pretty much another great way to keep people in-game longer and give people a way to get their fix for one service while getting their fix for another. Now you don’t have to wait until you’re on a gryphon or a wind rider to tab out and read what everyone’s said while you were questing!

Hunter Pet Specs on the Armory!

armory_pet_spec

More hunter-specific news, but I think it’s a big change to the Armory: now when you view a hunter’s talents and glyphs you’ll also see the specs of their pets. The hunter’s active pet is shown right next to the character’s talents, and you can pull down a drop-down menu to see any of their stabled pets as well. You can see mine in the image above (click to embiggen), or you can head over and see my humble main on the armory here.

It’s a pretty neat addition to the armory, and it definitely saves hunters from having to log in to the game to talk to other people about their pets. It also allows you to play a bit more with your pets’ talent builds by exporting them and then importing them into talent calculators, and I’m absolutely sure that sites like TalentChic and GlyphChic will eventually pick up on this change and start scrubbing the Armory for pet specs as well – it’ll be even easier in the future to make sure you can compare your pet’s spec with your friends and other players. Thanks to Aspect of the Hare for breaking the news!

3.2 Brings a New Spirit Beast!

skoll

Along with the wealth of changes coming in patch 3.2, one of them stood out for me, since my main is a hunter and spirit beasts are near and dear to my heart. I first learned about Skoll, the new wolf spirit beast, from Mania’s Arcania, who posted a fantastic video of someone who actually tamed him and is running around on the PTR with him.

He’s a gorgeous blue worg, with lightning crackling around his body, and he gets all of the skills that other spirit beasts get, including spirit strike and prowl. I’m hoping that when he goes live he’ll still be a Wolf, meaning he’ll get ferocious howl and other wolf-specific traits (not to mention their DPS) in addition to spirit strike – that might be enough to make me switch back to beast mastery now and again.

Faction Changes Coming to World of Warcraft!

WoW Faction Patches

WoW Faction Patches

This week brought some pretty significant changes to World of Warcraft: Blizzard has announced that Alliance players looking to switch to Horde and Horde players looking to join their Alliance friends will be able to soon…for a fee, of course. Currently players can choose to change their character’s gender or race – Blizzard says that soon you’ll be able to go from Horde to Alliance as well.

There are a lot of questions left around this announcement – word came out that it’ll eventually be possible, but it hasn’t been confirmed exactly how the changes will take place, how it will cost, or what will happen to faction-sepcific mounts, reputation, and gear.

Additionally, the biggest debate going around right now is whether race limitations will essentially go away and we’ll see humans walking around Orgrimmar and Blood Elves wandering Darnassus. Over at WoW.com, there’s a whole post about this: it would seem that it’s easiest for Blizzard to allow players to keep their races and their faction specific rewards and simply change their allegiances and rep, but I think it’s far more likely that Blizzard will choose certain races that are the compliment to each other, and players of once race will have to choose the complimentary race. (Draenei to Blood Elf, Human to Orc, Night Elf to Troll, for example) That way, Blizzard will have a direct method to map reputation, titles, achievements, mounts, and items.

At the same time, Blizzard could allow you to choose the race you’d rather play, as long as you can retain your class, and let the rest be damned. They could even just kill all of your old faction rep and force you to rep grind with your new faction. Anything’s possible, and we won’t know until more details emerge. Stay tuned!

What do you think will happen when Blizzard makes faction changes live? How much do you think it will cost? Let us know in the comments.

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