Posts Tagged ‘blizzard’

Blizzard’s Guild Advancement Guide Helps Guilds Master the Basics

I had meant to share this when it was a little newer, but Blizzard recently posted a Guild Advancement Guide to the new Community Site that explains the basics of guild leveling, achievements, reputation, and some general tips to help your guild do well in all of its endeavors, whether it involves raiding, instances, or just being social and trying to keep a motley crew of friends together and on speaking terms.

Of course the post really focuses on things like the Guild UI, perks and achievements, and the technical side of being in a guild or running a guild, but the tips are great for people who are confused about all of the changes to the guild system in Cataclysm and are looking for some more information about it.

Blizzard Comments on Tol Barad Balance Issues

There’s apparently been a great deal of discussion over the balance issues in Tol Barad – that they’re rough enough that there’s little incentive for anyone to try and take and to even bother to hold Tol Barad for their faction, and that overall the worst case is that no one’s actually PVP-ing in the zone and in best case factions are essentially win-trading on their servers to give everyone a chance to get the gear they want out of it.

Well, the furor has been rising on the official forums, and eventually Blizzard said that they would comment in a blog post on the issues and their plans for Tol Barad, and they made good on their promise yesterday:

Now that Cataclysm is out in the wild, more players are getting geared up and checking out Tol Barad, the new outdoor PvP zone. Today, we wanted to address some of the concerns players have expressed about the zone, including how challenging it can be to win as the attacking team, and provide some insight into our design approach. We also wanted to share some of the lessons we learned from Wintergrasp, discuss the difference between the two zones, and touch upon the recent hotfixes made to Honor Point gains and how we plan to improve Tol Barad going forward. We’re confident this zone will provide meaningful and fun PvP for some time to come, but we also recognize additional tuning is required to ensure Tol Barad is everything we intend it to be.

Cory Stockton, lead content designer for World of Warcraft, penned the blog post, and explained that while the situation isn’t where the developers really want it to be, it is closer than the community thinks it is. They do want the attacking team to have a really tough time taking Tol Barad, but they don’t want it to be neigh-on impossible as it seems to be now. Still, they think that a lot of people simply aren’t putting the right kind of effort into it, I think:

With that being said, we want winning Tol Barad to be a challenge for the attacking faction… but we don’t want it to be impossible. Taking Tol Barad should be tough — but right now it’s a little bit too tough, and it’s something we’re actively working to balance. Earlier, we attempted to temporarily address the issue by offering a far better reward to the winning attackers: Honor Points awarded for successfully attacking were increased tenfold, but that was such a great incentive that it ultimately undermined the spirit of competition. Since then, the reward for winning as an attacker has been brought back down to a more reasonable amount.

While we’ve already made minor adjustments to improve the gameplay and address select exploits, our job in Tol Barad is far from over. We ultimately want to make sure that any changes we make are all steps in the right direction, and we intend to make several updates in the next minor patch to address design and balance issues affecting attackers that we can’t address with hotfixes. For example, we plan to alter the battle slightly so that a team with two bases captured can more quickly and easily capture the third, as opposed to a team with one or zero bases. This way, if the defenders turtle up, it’ll be a little easier for the attackers to take their last base before the defense can take one of the attackers’ other bases.

He implies that the work is far from over and they do have some more ideas up their sleeve to make the zone more fun and more balanced for everyone to play. Now we’ll see if Blizzard delivers, or whether the community is just having a difficult time playing something that’s intentionally designed to be challenging.

4.7 Million Copies of Cataclysm Sold in the First Month

According to Blizzard, Cataclysm had quite the launch, selling 4.7 million copies in December alone, making it one of the best selling video games of all time. Here’s the word from the press release:

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™, the third expansion for the critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has sold through more than 4.7 million copies as of its first month of release, setting a new record for monthly PC-game sales.*

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was simultaneously released in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand on December 7, and became available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on December 9. With day-one sales topping 3.3 million copies,* World of Warcraft: Cataclysm became the fastest-selling PC game of all time, shattering the previous record, which was held by the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King®.

That’s a pretty big number. No doubt that the simultaneous global release had something to do with it, but honestly I don’t think anything else should have been expected. The game – like any Blizzard game or expansion pack – was highly anticipated, and we had been looking forward to it for ages.

The release goes on to point out:

“We created thousands of new quests, introduced new lands to explore, and extensively revamped the game world for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, making it our biggest and most ambitious expansion yet,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve been floored by the community’s response so far, and we’d like to thank them for their continued passion and support for World of Warcraft, and for helping Cataclysm reach this incredible milestone.”

Prior to the launch of Cataclysm, World of Warcraft’s subscriber population had grown to more than 12 million players globally, further strengthening the game’s position as the world’s most popular subscription-based MMORPG.

That does raise an interesting question though – only about a third of the overall population of the game is playing Cataclysm, in that case – so what’s everyone else doing? Waiting to buy the game, or what?

Then again, you could look at the flip side there and note that a third of the game’s population opted to pick up the latest expansion and features in the first month they were available, so there’s that too.

What about you? Have you purchased Cataclysm yet? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments!

Blizzard to Address Dungeon Finder Abuse

Apparently there’s been some pretty heavy abuse of the Dungeon Finder system that I wasn’t aware of – mostly because I’m still making the long slog between 80 and 85 on my main and leveling some new alts to see the new content. I caught the story over at WoW Insider, here’s what they had to say:

Anyone who’s read the official forums lately has probably seen a raft of complaints directed at players abusing the dungeon finder and vote to kick features. It’s a reminder that people will always figure out a way to twist a system to their own benefit. The most upsetting technique I’ve read about is two hybrid DPS in cahoots with a third DPS queuing as a tank/healer duo, getting an instant invite to dungeons, and then pressuring the two other members of the party to shoulder the tank or healer job. If they don’t or can’t fill these roles — kick ’em after the 15 min grace period and requeue themselves as straight DPS. Voilà — they are now at the head of the dungeon queue for the next tank or healer! Is it any wonder that players find this enraging?

Yowch – that’s…brilliant and horrific at the same time. Well, the folks at WoW Insider had some ideas on how to avoid dungeon finder abuse, mostly suggestions Blizzard could take to improve the system and make it a bit more equitable for everyone – things like “invisible” rep, or performance based rights to vote/kick.

The same day, Blizzard said they were looking at options to improve the system and remove the kind of abuse people have seen, but admittedly it’s going to be difficult – after all, designing a system to try and manage people’s behavior, especially in something as potentially inflammatory as removing someone from a pick-up group, is bound to be difficult.

Ghostcrawler Confirms: Class Changes on the Way

Now that Cataclysm has been out for a good while, the Blizzard devs have had a solid opportunity to see how their designs have managed to play out in live play. As usual, as expected, and as appropriate, the devs are seeing some unintended effects of the things they’ve done, and hearing the cries of players who have it difficult – especially healers, who have had a pretty rough time of it lately.

Some of it’s by design, and some of it is unintentional, but Ghostcrawler did say that there will be some changes in the near future to round things out a little more. He let us in on the scoop in a blog post at the new official site, where he explained that the devs are largely happy with the current state of PVE and damage numbers, acknowledge that healing is really hard but point out that it should be, acknowledge there’s a bigger emphasis on crowd control, and notes that a number of stats will likely get some changes in the near future.

In PVP, they noted that offensive dispels will get softened a bit and squishier classes will likely get some love, and noted that they’re pleased with the overall direction away from “see a healer, kill it first” to other more diverse strategies. Head over and read the blog post to see the whole list, but keep in mind it’s far from exhaustive.

Happy Holidays From Blizzard Entertainment! (and from the Azeroth Metblogs!)


(click the image above to embiggen!)

Blizzard posted some brand new festive holiday art to the Blizzard Art Gallery, and while clearly our favorite is the above montage of Blizzard properties having a happy, fun, and mischievous holiday season – complete with at least one very unlikely Christmas tree!

There’s more to see at the Gallery though – an epic Santa and Jim Raynor with a sack of gifts just for you! Head over to see more.

Regardless, have a wonderful, happy, healthy, and bright holiday season from us here at the Azeroth Metblogs to you and your families. We’ll see you in Azeroth!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Sells 3.3 Million Copies in 24 Hours

Take THAT, Call of Duty: Black Ops. Activision Blizzard is reporting that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold over 3.3 million copies in the first 24 hours from release, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time in the United States, and dethroning the previous title-holder, CODBLOPS.

Granted, all of the money is headed to the coffers at Activision, so it’ll be a very happy holiday for everyone involved – it must be nice to have the two most popular and best-selling games of all time in your wheelhouse. Maybe I should have opened with “Take THAT, Electronic Arts.”

Here’s what PC Mag had to say about it in their news story:

Activision Blizzard is having a pretty good year. Weeks after its “Call of Duty: Black Ops” game set a five-day sales record of $650 million, the company announced Monday that “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” sold more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.

Those sales numbers surpass Activision’s previous PC sales champ, “World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King,” which sold 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours.

“We had to bring Azeroth to the brink of destruction in ‘Cataclysm’, but the result was our best expansion yet,” Mike Morhaime, chief executive and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement. “We want to thank all of our new, existing, and returning players throughout the world for their incredible enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to hearing what they think about all the new content.”

Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop, said the ‘Cataclysm’ release was bigger than “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty,” another monster summer release from Blizzard.

In October, Blizzard Entertainment announced that its World of Warcraft subscriber base had grown to 12 million users, up from 11 million in October 2008.

I’m happy to say one of those sales was mine, and I’ve been loving the game. Then again, I love lots of games. Did you pick up Cataclysm on launch day or did you wait a bit? Let us know if you have it or are planning to find it under the tree this holiday season in the comments!

New Blizzard Gear from ThinkGeek!

The fine folks at ThinkGeek have a wide variety of new Blizzard-related gear, especially a number of World of Warcraft items that are must-haves for people just getting into Cataclysm. For example, the Cataclysm Mugs are brand new, deliciously usable (unlike the other Tankards available elsewhere) and perfect for use at home or when you’re at work and unable to get your WoW fix.

Also in the lineup? Special Horde T-Shirts and Alliance T-Shirts, and a beautiful T-Shirt with Deathwing on the front that’ll make people ask you “what is that angry dragon doing on your chest?

To which the answer is “he’s about to break your world, that’s what he’s doing.”

The fun doesn’t end with Warcraft, either: there’s a ton of great StarCraft themed shirts too, like the old-school Protoss logo below for this awesome-looking Protoss shirt (shown below.) Personally, I’m more of a fan of this Terran Vintage Logo shirt, but there’s more – including a Diablo III shirt.

Head over to ThinkGeek and get shopping – Jinx isn’t the only company with badass Warcraft and Blizzard-related gear!

Oh – don’t forget this beautiful “Hello My Name Is: Leerooooooy Jenkins” shirt too!

Blizzard Unveils World of Warcraft Game Guide

One of the features recently added to the new community site is Blizzard’s brand new World of Warcraft Game Guide, which is designed to give people who may not be familiar with the now 6-year-old MMORPG an idea of what the game is, what MMORPGs are, and what all the fuss is about.

The guide walks you through what World of Warcraft is, how you play the game and how to interact with people in the game, and offers a great resource for people who either just don’t get why people love this game, or – heaven forbid – just don’t know what the game is about or why you should play. The new guide also branches off to race and class specific pages so you can learn more about the races in Azeroth and the classes you can choose to play in the game.

In the end, it’s a perfect resource if you’re trying to entice new players, or if you’re faced off against someone who doesn’t seem to understand and you want something they can read so you don’t have to explain to them.

Is This a Leaked Blizzard Product Slate and Schedule?

You can click the image above to get a larger view.

So this image comes to us courtesy of a post at MMO Champion who report is was posted at a Chinese game site called MMOGameSite.com, and they offer the same warning that we’ll offer here, blockquoted so you can’t ignore it:

This document, even if it is real, is already outdated. It is very likely that it is not real at all. Even if it is real, Blizzard will never acknowledge it as such, and you should not – not now, not ever – go posting on the official forums claiming there’s a “timeline” according to this image and that you’re “wondering where XXXX title is.” Got it?

Now then, the slide itself, if it is real, likely comes from some internal presentation of product strategy, but I even have a difficult time believing that – most companies have a standard template for presentation slides, and this really isn’t it. Then again, it could be a template-stripped export, so who knows – anything is possible, and a lot of people are concluding that it is the real thing.

The timeline however, especially as it pertains to World of Warcraft isn’t anything special – the expansion schedule looks solid and makes sense. Based on this, we would be looking at a new WoW expansion every year and a half, give or take, and that jives with previous release schedules. I’m a little put off as to why Blizzard would have the timeline of the World of Warcraft Movie on their internal documentation for anything but planning – as far as I know, it’s Blizzard’s IP, but they’re not controlling the filming or production schedule.

I also have to say – I’m really interested in the “WOW/Mobile” inclusion there. Mobile? There’s no way to tell what they mean, but Blizzard has been pushing in the direction of mobile devices, but how far they’re planning to go we’ll have to wait and see.

“Titan,” which everyone is assuming is Blizzard’s so-called “Next Generation MMO,” is undoubtedly going to be pushed from that date, but the biggest thing I’m interested in is that Diablo 3 release date: I would be a very very happy boy if we saw Diablo 3 at the end of next year. Although I’ll be interested to see if Blizzard really does take the tack of releasing “expansions” to Diablo 3, the same way they’re stretching out StarCraft 2 content – which is also reflected on the slide.

What do you think? True or false? Real or fake? Or does it not matter at all?

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