Judge compares Vivendi-Activation merger to a WoW quest - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 19:30:00 EST The judge ruling on a dispute related to the Vivendi-Activision deal has used WoW metaphors for the actions of the litigants. William B. Chandler III, the chief judge of the Delaware Court of Chancery, showed an unusually keen grasp of the dynamics of the game -- way more than either of my parents would understand. His ruling describes, among other things, crafting, questing, battlegrounds, guilds, and even our unique linguistic habits. (My mother, for example, calls them typos.) Continuing his analysis, Judge Chandler says that the world of Mergers & Acquisitions is similar to an MMORPG where "participants take on certain roles, interact in their own community, hone specialized skills, and even develop a unique, somewhat curious vernacular." The judge concluded his denial of the injunction with the words "GAME OVER."
Judge Chandler is no stranger to hipness. In previous decisions he has also made references to 50 Cent, Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., and Cerberus, the mythological dog that guarded the gates of the underworld. Perhaps he's trying to keep the jurors awake?
WoW Insider sister site Big Download is reporting that the Activision-Blizzard merger is getting closer and closer to reality. They recently won another victory in court today, as a Delaware court struck down an attempt by the Wayne County Employees' Retirement System to gain a preliminary injunction against the deal.
We're now coming up fast the July 8th Activision shareholders' meeting, where they will vote to approve the merger. Activision has already said that they expect the merger to be official on or about July 9th, according to Big Download.
This, of course, squeaks in just under the wire for the E3 expo. Activision-Blizzard has already said they don't plan to participate, but that they will hold a press conference on or near the dates of the expo. It seems likely now that they will be officially announcing the completion of their merger.
Okay, I know we're behind on the Kara gear articles, but this weekend's news from the Worldwide Invitational was too much for me to ignore. Both for all the awesome news for shamans and for what it all doesn't mean. (And yes, I had to steal Mike's image from the roundup post... I even went out and bought that statue I like it so much.) Since we know the Beta Opt-In is live and the Wrath beta can't be far away, I thought we should spend some time discussing what we just found out.
I admit that part of the reason for wanting to discuss this in detail is that I am stoked about it. Some of you readers are, in fact, very good for providing a bucket of cold water in the form of reality checking, and I expect you to do me that service now. But maybe we're all excited, which would be awesome, for shamans to once all be excited.
I know Hex is the greatness, but what it isn't is real CC for five man instances. It's a panic button, like so many other shaman abilities can be, not a long-term solution. To use hex as CC in an instance in the manner of Polymorph, you'd have to renew it every ten seconds. You're taking yourself out of DPSing entirely if you intend to use it that way, basically. Make no mistake, it's a great ability and great utility for the class, but it's more akin to Cyclone than Sap or Poly.
What, you may well be turning to me to ask, is it good for then if it's not going to be good for CCing in instances?
We don't really know for sure what these pet talent trees will look like, but there are a number of implications and speculations we can imagine at this point, which can help give some shape to this new element of the hunter experience, including some mysterious pet abilities lurking in the murky bowels of the Wrath alpha client.
Recruiting isn't what I'd call a fun past time. Ever since server transfers exploded on the scene, it's not unusual for our guild's officers to spend 30 min to an hour per day scanning the WoW Guild Recruitment forums (Alliance and Horde flavors). With summer hitting, no major content in the immediate future, and what I'd like to call the 3rd Year Burnout affecting players, recruitment is more important than ever to keep a guild's progress going.
There are a lot of options out there to find people LFG, but the WoW Guild Recruitment forums continue to be the largest source of potential class replacements. They're not perfect, though. For one, you'll spend more time trying to find the class you're looking for than actually posting replies to viable recruits. And with the speed at which new posts are made (20 minutes after you post, you're on page 5), it can be extremely daunting trying to keep up with them all.
Join me after the jump to learn how WoW Lemmings has changed all that.
Moving on - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 16:30:00 EST There comes a point where you move past content. There's no reason to go back to it other than nostalgia, or for the off chance on a slow night that the one really awesome drop that particular boss has might finally drop. It's a fact of the endgame... you work, you put in the wipes, you stock up on food, buff pots, elixirs, flasks, and other consumables, you go in over and over again and struggle and finally get the boss down... and then in a month or two it's trivial and you're sick to death of the sight of him or her. Another month and you're saying "Does anyone really need any Vashj drops anymore?" and a month after that, you're done with the instance.
This is fine, and it's part of the moving on process with content: if you're regularly farming M'uru you probably don't need anything off of Mother Shahraz anymore except for maybe bad luck on shoulders. Some guilds were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be completely done with Black Temple and Hyjal well in advance of Sunwell Plateau. Others are just now finishing up with Gruul and Magtheridon and preparing to move into SSC and Tempest Keep, while still others are just now done with those.
They're meant, of course, to be used on Livejournal, but they work, I'd imagine, for all kinds of icons, from Twitter and IM to even the comment profiles right here on this very site. If you've been poking around for a Warcraft-themed online identity, look no further, odds are that there's a cool piece of art you'll find in this big layout Popehippo's assembled.
Beta selection is random, no emails yet - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 15:35:00 EST Nethaera has just come out and said that the beta selection process will be random. This is important for all of us to know: there will be no precedence or order associated with the opt-in. What does this mean? It means even if you sign up tomorrow you have a chance to get in, and that all of us who rushed to sign up when it just opened get no real benefit.
Neth also lets us know that there are no beta emails going out just yet - and that they will "try" to let us know when they start sending out legitimate emails.
We want to reiterate again: be careful with the email scams. They will be flying around today like wildfire. Don't get caught up in one. Read our handy guide on how to keep yourself safe for more information.
Remember that when you opt in, you are not guaranteed a spot, and you will likely not get an email inviting you to the beta right away. Instead your name will go into a pool of players who will then be chosen for the beta. That's why they call it opting in.
This is a good time to remain vigilant about email scams and other malicious programs that might try to get your user name, password, and other account information. Never share these with anyone other than official worldofwarcraft.com websites.
If the beta invites do start going out soon, expect us at WoW Insider to let our friends and families know what's really important this holiday weekend: bringing everyone late breaking WotLK news, all while enjoying their finely cooked BBQ food. I'll take two burgers to go with jalapeno cheese and a Corona.
When I started playing World of Warcraft, I decided to start off by making a TaurenHunter. Mostly because every single game I've ever played, I am usually a healer-type character. I decided that I did not want to be the healer this time around, but I was far from ready for the tank job, so I went halfway into what I figured would be a decent solo and damage support class. I was so unprepared for what playing a Hunter would be.
One of my major obsessions, however, was to find a pet that was an uncommon sight. I did not realize at the time that Echeyakee was a Horde side quest, and was really excited at having gotten a "rare pet" when a friend offered to help me tame him.
Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
As a DPS-class, this is all we see in the Looking for Group channel, isn't it? It's just 10,000 warlocks and mages and rogues and hunters, all hoping that a tank and healer will consider us worthy of their glorified, sanctified presence. We prostrate ourselves, hoping they will let us get a little reputation and watch them get a new piece of gear, while we take home eleven pieces of Netherweave Cloth and a Large Prismatic Shard.
Well in WotLK, hunters are getting a huge present: the ability to have Pet Talent Points. Although the final names of the pet talent trees aren't chiseled in stone, the concept is that we will have a DPS Tree, a Tanking Tree, and a Utility Tree.
A basic glimpse in the WotLK-future would indicate that Marksman hunters could get a DPS-spec'd pet and do more DPS than a Beastmaster hunter currently can. That would make sense; we'd be fine with that. A Survivalist hunter could make a Utility pet. Would a Utility pet be like Robin to your Batman, dropping traps and able to Fear and put wickedly-cool debuffs on targets? Maybe, sounds like fun.
But what puts a shine on our gun is the idea of a Beastmaster hunter with a Tanking Pet. Can you imagine... a hunter's pet that could honestly tank a 5-man instance boss.
Yeah, baby. You sell that to us, Blizzard, and we're totally buying.
Arena Junkies picked up an interesting tidbit by comparing two different interviews. Rob Pardo, Blizzard's EVP of Game Design, gave an interview to Onlinewelten in which he talks about the next-gen MMO. That interview isn't exactly news on its own. We knew since Diablo III was announced at the WWI that it probably isn't the new MMO, and Pardo confirms that in the interview. "..Diablo 3 isn't an MMO," Pardo says, "So we have another development team."
But what is that new MMO being developed? Some speculate it could be an entirely new property. Well, Paul Sams, Blizzard's Chief Operating Officer, has an interview with Gamasutra that indicates no new IPs are coming soon. "Are we ever going to release a new [franchise]?" Sams says, "I would absolutely say we will at some point. I just don't know when that day will be quite yet."
Okay, so Blizzard's still working on a MMO, but there's no new IP on the horizon. So, what's the next-gen MMO going to be? World of Warcraft 2? World of Starcraft? And if Diablo 3 isn't considered an MMO, then is there a possibility of a World of Diablo? For me, this just means that my hopes of Tauren Marines aren't yet dead.
One thing that your average WoW player probably doesn't think about much is the sheer processing power that's needed to play the game. I don't mean your gaming rig personally. WoW's actually pretty forgiving on that front. I mean the server hardware over on Blizzard's end, the stuff that makes us miss some gaming every other Tuesday or so. Do we really stop to think about how powerful it is?
It turns out that it's powerful enough to dominate a list of China's top 100 supercomputers. The Register reports that 5 of the top 10 supercomputers in China are owned by The9, WoW's China distributor. Not only that, it also owns at least 12 of the top 100 overall, and perhaps more. That means that more than 10% of China's best supercomputing power is directed toward MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft.
MMO Champion (and a few of our tipsters -- thanks!) is reporting that the European WoW site has opened up registration for the Wrath of the Lich King beta. I wasn't able to sign in with my trial account (created for the Dingstravaganza a while back), but there's no question that the page is up (inside EU players' Account Management menu) and accepting signups. Of course, this still doesn't mean that anyone is playing the beta, only that signups are taking place. We're also being told that it's an open sign-up, so it could be a long time before these signups are actually allowed to play, especially if one of the beta keys from BlizzCon or WWI are used to run a closed beta first.
As for why this isn't happening on the main North American site yet, remember that one of the EU CMs was the one to break the news -- perhaps because WWI was local, they're starting things up early there (or maybe it's just a timezone thing, and the EU site has had more time today to get the signups going). No matter what, the wait is almost over -- there's no question now that we're closer to the Wrath of the Lich King beta than ever.
Update: Eyonix confirms the registration on US side is coming soon.
With the premiere of Azerothian Super Villians - Episode 6 set for tomorrow, we wanted to start you off with some epic weekend viewing. By epic, we mean Veil of Corruption, a 115-minute machinima that neglects the hero-based storylines you're used to. Instead, they focus on what they refer to as politics and connivery.
VoC is about the struggle for control in Azeroth. In an attempt to receive the answer he has been praying for, the Alliance Grand Marshal, Paladin Valerius, goes on a soul-searching mission that leads him to the tomb of Uther Lightbringer. When peace seems to be within reach, he begins to wonder if it will last ...
With voice acting in German and subtitles in English, this movie took a year and a half to make from about 60 pages of script! Believe it or not, this is actually only the initial part of a planned trilogy. If you enjoyed the first hour, check out the ending, which was too long to go in the stream above.
Still, despite Blizzard's hints that we'd get a chance to experience the Scourge Invasion again, it's been over a year and a half since the citadels ceased to hang over our capital cities with no sign of a return -- I've even saved a space in my bank for my spare Necrotic Runes, just in case!
Shadowmoon Valley is a dreary, depressing place, and Illidan's front yard is no exception. While waiting outside the Black Temple for raid time, our unnamed submitter ran into Doomwalker (upper left) and an unfortunately incinerated man (lower right). See, this is why your raid leader yelled at you to spread out and avoid the chain lightning.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing email@example.com with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no sunsets.
Show the world where your loyalties lie with this horde-riffic signage. The bold red backdrop is guaranteed to garner attention while the blood spatter technique would make even Thrall proud. Here is what you will need:
Wooden Frame (I used a Make Me Frameous frame from Michaels)
Wooden Letters (I used Provo Craft Carved Letters from Michaels)
Still, we have a couple days left to make the best of it. Of course, the question is -- what exactly do we do with it? Myself, I'm torn. My enchanter still needs the Deathfrost enchant, so I may want to get a group together and go slay Ahune a few more times. Then again, I still haven't gotten some of the Midsummer loot on a couple of my 70s, so maybe I want to make a push to get the last few blossoms for those.
But I'm also thinking that it would be nice to get my shaman to level 30 before Patch 2.4.3, and thus I'm tempted to just go out and slog through the last few levels with her, bolstered by the all the various Fire Festival buffs and the Ribbon Dance buff.
I'll have to think about it some more, but in the meantime, do you have a plan for these last few days of the Midsummer Fire Festival?
I believe that those who have placed their orders are still slated to receive them, though I have received no word on my order.I ordered mine Tuesday morning, and the order status is currently sitting as processed.If they follow the shipping schedule in the email, the devices should be sent out at some point tomorrow.I'll give a full review once my token arrives at my doorstep.