In this week's WoW Factor, we offer up our thoughts on the Pet Battles feature coming with the the launch of Mists of Pandaria, the latest expansion to World of Warcraft.
So, we could go on and on rather pointlessly about the recently announced Pandaria launch date. But we already did that here. So instead, in this edition of the WoW Factor, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the recently added Pet Battle System to the beta for Blizzard’s latest Azerothian expansion. In short? It’s really quite the Pokémon meets WoW addition you’d expect it to be. But that’s not really a bad thing. In an MMORPG that has come to favor the “game” part of the acronym more than the RP, I’ve actually found the pet battle system to be an interesting alternate form of progression and fun to be had in Warcraft.
Read more of Bill Murphy's The WoW Factor: Pokémon? Yes, But It’s Fun.
Last week, World of Warcraft's public test realm was updated to version 5.0.4, which brought with it account-wide achievement functionality, pet battles, AOE looting, a new world event, and more!
Account-wide Achievements, pets, and mounts
In Patch 5.0.4 and beyond, the majority of your character's Achievements, pets, and mounts will be shared with your other characters. Please read: Bringing Achievements to the Account Level, by Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street
World Event: Attack on Theramore Isle
Warchief Garrosh, obsessed with assuring the Horde’s supremacy over Kalimdor, launches an all-out attack against Jaina's island home of Theramore. Though valiant Alliance defenders rush to repel the sudden onslaught, they’ll soon find themselves unprepared for the terrible scope of Garrosh's true plans…
In the Public Test Realm, we will be testing this event at specified intervals. Keep an eye on our PTR Feedback forum for more details as they become available.
Area of effect looting comes to World of Warcraft with this patch. After killing a group of enemies in close proximity, when you loot one of their corpses, the loot window will include items from all of the nearby corpses for which you have loot rights.
Head on over to the official World of Warcraft website for the full notes.
Canadian news QMI Agency is reporting that a Canadian man by the name of Jordan Osborne was allegedly stabbed in the chest by his neighbor in the town of Peterborough, Ontario following an argument over World of Warcraft.
Osborne, who overheard an argument taking place at his neighbor's house, says he went over to investigate only to find out the argument was over World of Warcraft. Osborne says he tried to assure his neighbor, 21-year old Justin Williams, that, "...there is no need for you to be freaking out about World of Warcraft. It’s just a game."
According to Osborne, Justin responded by stating that, "It’s not just a game, it’s my life." Justin then proceeded to attack Osborne and stab him in the chest.
Osborne was treated at Peterborough Regional Hospital for his wounds and was later released.
According to police, Justin Williams is being charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
With the World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, on its way, many "old" players are wondering if it will be able to bring the magic back of WoW's glory day.s In today's WoW Factor, we take a look at that notion. See what you think and then leave your thoughts in the comments.
With games like The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2 and so many others coming out over the next few months and into next year all trying to push the boundaries of what an MMO can be, I wonder if there’s still a place for the traditional theme park that is World of Warcraft. It’s likely still massive subscription count, though not what it once was is enough to keep Blizzard’s behemoth at the forefront of MMO gaming even if the hardcore folks like us no longer spend every day talking, thinking, and dreaming about it. But for how long? Can it ever take someone like myself, someone who’s long since begun exploring new worlds with newer mechanics, and bring me back into the same sense of love and adoration I once had for a world called Azeroth?
Read more of Bill Murphy's The WoW Factor: Can Old Be New Again?
The World of Warcraft team has announced that "Tides of War", a new novel based in the WoW game world, will be released in physical and eBook formats in August. Tides of War is authored by Christie Golden and preorders are now being taken.
The renowned sorceress Jaina Proudmoore has long struggled to maintain a lasting peace between the Alliance and horde.
But now, as mounting tensions threaten to ignite a new era of conflict, her hopes for peace could be extinguished forever...
Warchief Garrosh, obsessed with assuring the Horde’s supremacy over Kalimdor, launches an all-out attack against Jaina's island home of Theramore. Though the valiant Alliance defenders rush to repel the sudden onslaught, they’ll soon find themselves unprepared for the terrible scope of Garrosh's true plans…
Read the full announcement on the World of Warcraft community site.
World of Warcraft has been the undisputed king of MMOs for many years but for the first time in its history, WoW is facing competition the likes of which it has never seen. In today's WoW Factor we take a look at that and how Mists of Pandaria might make a big difference in helping WoW keep its top spot. Read on!
World of Warcraft is finally getting a very serious group of contenders in 2012. Eight years after its mighty reign, the game is about to face its toughest challenge yet from Guild Wars 2. If the hype is anything to be believed, Guild Wars 2 really does present the largest threat to WoW in the MMO space. In many ways it challenges Blizzard’s MMO model with some old and new ideas combined, these parts that have not really been major game mechanics in Warcraft. The one thing Blizzard does extremely well though is adapt new ideas into their games. They take what is best and make it smooth and polished and just downright better.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's The WoW Factor: Pandaria Rising.
Diablo 3 launched this past week and there's no question that there will be some sort of impact on World of Warcraft. In today's WoW Factor, we take a look at potential changes WoW players might see as a result of D3's arrival. Check it out!
The largest impact will come in the next few months as players move from WoW to Diablo before the expansion. It is only a guess that population numbers will go down for a while as people enter Diablo over the summer. This in some ways gives WoW a break. The big win for Blizzard here is allowing for chat across games. This technology allows for WoW Guilds and Diablo players alike to chat and plan their schedules accordingly. I think Blizzard made the right call with cross game chat through Battle.net as it keeps their community together regardless of what game they are playing.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's The WoW Factor: The Diablo Effect.
One of the more interesting facets in World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria is Challenge Mode. In our latest WoW Factor, we take a look at Challenge Mode and what it means for players. Check it out and then leave your thoughts in the comments.
Instances by their own right are fun. They are a quick way to pass the time in an MMO and usually don’t take too long. Challenge Mode now comes in to give players an even faster reason to finish instances. I cannot really say how I feel about this idea in WoW. I don’t think it is bad for the game, and if anything it is one of the pieces of Pandaria that I truly like the most. The faster your team can complete a dungeon the quicker you are to getting a medal. Gold, Silver, and Bronze make up the winnings. In some ways I definitely like the challenge that this presents to players. There are several catches though.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's The WoW Factor: WoW’s Challenge.
There are a lot of highly anticipated games coming down the pike this year and Blizzard Entertainment has had to start looking at World of Warcraft to find new, innovative ways to keep the aging game relevant in a changing MMO landscape. In today's WoW Factor, we take a look at how Blizzard plans to do just that. Read on!
At BlizzCon when Chris Metzen began his talk, he started hinting at the phrase “putting the War back in Warcraft,” then suddenly changed his tune to Pandaria and the new expansion. I remember actually taking notes and writing down, PvP expansion for WoW! Sadly the topic has gone quiet since then. However, when Bill Murphy went to Blizzard for the press event to see Mists again, he got a taste of more ideas the team had been talking about in regards to Horde vs. Alliance PvP. Still, whispers and rumors are all anyone has heard for now.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's WoW Factor: Putting the War back in Warcraft.
Possibly the most exciting aspect of World Warcraft's next expansion is currently overshadowed by Pandaren Monks. War is coming back to Azeroth, and in this week's WoW Factor, we wonder how it will affect the game and whether it will be enough to draw in those who gave up on WoW long ago.
World of Warcraft may be getting old. But that doesn’t stop it from carrying the most relevance and weight in the industry, even well into its 7th year dominating the scene. It carries not only the most subscriptions, but is easily the highest selling western MMORPG of all time, and remains the most widely known game outside of our small sect of the videogame culture and fandom. So why then, as if I didn’t just state the answer, do we continue to knock it and act as though everything it has accomplished is terrible for the industry and the genre? I just can’t seem to wrap my head around this notion.
Read the rest of Bill Murphy's WoW Factor: The War Back in Warcraft.
The World of Warcraft Monopoly game has moved a step closer to being released with the announcement of the six player pieces revealed on the official WoW page. Murky, Mechagnome, Magni Bronzebeard's hammer, the flying boot, the hearthstone, and a corehound pup (via ShackNews.com) will all make their appearances in the game set to be released later this year.
Blizzard Entertainment and Megablox have revealed the 2012 summer releases that include dragons, vehicles and more. The World of Warcraft blog is packed with images and information about the summer releases.
Buildable Deathwing and Stormwind. Will your Alliance heroes keep the world-breaker at bay or will he get his final, fiery laugh? Includes exclusive Varian Wrynn and two additional faction figures with interchangeable gear.
Check it all out on the World of Warcraft blog.
In our latest WoW Factor, we take a look at the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion to World of Warcraft and its art direction. Does it stand up to the rest of the game graphically? Well, you be the judge after you read The WoW Factor.
Looking at the screenshot below I'd say it was some new game altogether if I didn't know any better. Well, it is technically a new game if we're counting the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion as such, however, my point was that it simply doesn't ooze "WoW" like most WoW screenshots tend to.
Read more of Joe Sanicky's The WoW Factor: Uncanny Valley or Paradise?
Over the past weekend, we had the opportunity to check out the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria expansion now that the non-NDA-bound closed beta has begun. We've got a lot to share about MoP so keep reading!
Mists of Pandariais a really ambitious expansion for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. The disenfranchised will blow it off as another lame attempt at the company to get back missing Azerothians, but really… they’re missing the point. Mists is probably the first time since Blizzard first brought us into WoW that they’re trying to really bring something for everyone back into the game. One of the reasons World of Warcraft was such a success in 2004 was because it was the first MMORPG that was for both the hardcore and the casual gamer. It worked on each level. As time ground on the expansions came and were mostly about progression – whether by level or gear – and less and less about a world to explore and enjoy. Along the way to its massive success as the decade defining MMO, WoW lost its sense of wonder. Mists of Pandaria is a return to form for World of Warcraft.
Read more of Bill Murphy's World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - The Pandaren Starter Area.
In a new interview at GameSpy, Blizzard's World of Warcraft team sat down to chat about the game and what may lay in store for it in the future. In one particularly significant quote, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak said, "I can't say any more about that, but I'll tell you that we're not going to significantly change up WoW at any point in the future."
The thought is that people have an expectation of what will happen when they enter World of Warcraft and the team wants players to meet that expectation. They want them to know the basics before they ever enter so they can concentrate on the environment, the story and not the mechanics.
Kosak continued, "When you get a quest to kill ten things, that lets you be your class, and you know exactly what to do, which means that you can concentrate on the story, concentrate on the atmosphere, concentrate on chatting with your friends. You can really be in the world."
Read the full interview at Gamasutra.
There is no question that Blizzard's World of Warcraft has had a profound effect on all MMOs since its launch. We call it the WoW Effect and have some thoughts to share about it. Read more of The Devil's Advocate and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Some notes before we continue though: today's Devil's Advocate will look at what aspects of WoW have become culturally significant as a result of its existence and subsequent popularity. Some of these aspects may not actually have originated from WoW, but are still relevant to the discussion by virtue of WoW being the strange beast that it is.
Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: The WoW Effect.
While at Blizzard HQ in Irvine, California we talked to Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about all the new features coming to Mists of Pandaria and what players can expect in this new expansion. Click through to hear the whole interview, and read a summary.
Listen to all of Bill Murphy's Interview with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street.
Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft development team are ready to unleash the hounds of information for the recently announced Mists of Pandaria expansion. In our final article in today's suite, we present what we believe are five truly great things about Pandaria. Keep reading and then add your thoughts in the comments.
I was a skeptic. I really was. At BlizzCon, while excited about all the new stuff coming to Azeroth, I too wondered if Blizzard was jumping the shark with Mists of Pandaria. But then this past week, I was privy to more info on their latest expansion than I ever expected. I also got to play around with the Monk and some level 85s for a good long while. In today’s List, I’ll recount the five best things I learned and discovered about Mists of Pandaria during my trip to Blizzard HQ.
Read more of Bill Murphy's The List: Five Great Things About Pandaria.
Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft development team are ready to unleash the hounds of information for the recently announced Mists of Pandaria expansion. In a full suite of articles about Pandaria, we present new information about dungeons, the pet battle system and scenarios. Read on!
There was almost too much info coming at us during the press tour of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. I almost feel like I’ve slowly been digesting it these past few days, and am just spewing it out at you in hopes that you can digest it all too. Gross? Too much? Well, now you know how I feel. It’s clear that Blizzard is trying damned hard to make sure Mists of Pandaria makes its mark as one of the best expansions to date for WoW. In this final preview today, we’ll tell you all about some of the new dungeons, scenarios, the Pet Battle system, and Challenge Mode for all your hardcore PVE-ers out there.
Read more of Bill Murphy's World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria: New Dungeons, Scenarios, & Pet Battles.
Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft development team are ready to unleash the hounds of information for the recently announced Mists of Pandaria expansion. In a full suite of articles about Pandaria, we give you a closer look at some of the new features that will be included. Check it out before leaving your comments.
During my time at Blizzard’s HQ in Irvine, California I was treated to quite a metric ton of info when it comes to World of Wacraft’s next expansion: Mists of Pandaria. In the first part of our preview today we gave you a look into the mind of Blizzard and why they think Pandaria is the right place to bring back the war between the Horde and Alliance. In this second part, we’ll dive into the new Battlegrounds, the new dungeons, the Pet Battle system, the Monk, the new Talents, scenarios and Challenge Mode dungeons. In short, we’ll briefly cover all we learned about these new systems coming to Azeroth hopefully later in 2012.
Read more of Bill Murphy's World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria: New Battlegrounds, the Monk & Talents.