We took a look first at the history of multiboxing, including how Xzin originally got interested in it.
We examined how exactly it is done, including not only the equipment you need to make it work, but how much multiboxers pay in account fees.
We talked with Xzin about the limits of PvE multiboxing, including class combinations and how far you can get running a raid group by yourself
And in the second half of the show, we get into some of the controversy about multiboxing, including whether it's fair for multiboxers to take their characters into PvP, and whether Blizzard will ever change or reconsider their decision that multiboxing is legal
And finally we talked about the future of multiboxing -- will any MMO game every actually embrace playing multiple accounts at a time as a gameplay mechanic?
Pretty interesting stuff -- not only did we talk objectively about a lot of what multiboxing is, but we were able to debate a little bit about whether it's fair, or whether the game is meant to be played in strange ways like this. The show is now available for a listen over on the WoW Radio website, and of course on iTunes as well.
If you have input on how the show went or anything else you'd like us to cover on the WoW Insider Show (especially any other guests you might like us to have on), leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week we'll be back to normal on the show (we're planning to finally have a nice hardcore PvP chat), so stay tuned this weekend for more about our weekly podcast.
The Darkmoon Faire is in town! - Wed, 09 Apr 2008 17:30:00 EST The Darkmoon Faire is in town, and it's on time this month! This time around you'll find it in Mulgore, just outside of Thunder Bluff. For future visits to the Darkmoon Faire, you can always check the official Events Calendar to find out when and where!
He Said , She Said is a new feature at WoW Insider, which looks at the game from masculine and feminine points of view.
This week David Bowers and Amanda Dean take a look at what it takes to play a female Tauren. We all chose our characters for different reasons, potential class and racial abilities should be primary among them. Many people play only characters of their real-life gender, while others chose their character's gender based on appearance or role-playing needs. For whatever reasons, Tauren females are a vast minority. Amanda believes that in most cases it takes a real girl to roll one of these femmes, what do you think?
Read on for our discussion.
In a world of gamers and gamer girls, let's take some time to examine what makes us the same and what makes us different. Here at WoW Insider we're discussing all kinds of in game issues through the lens of gender. Check out our inaugural post, we welcome all of your comments, and be sure to send in your ides for our discussion.
Lariana on Skywall has words of praise for "Heroic Countenance," a new NPC spell in patch 2.4 that unlocks you to the Heroic mode of MrT -- to get it cast on you, you have to complete the instance on Normal mode first by doing a quest to kill of Kael'thas once and for all. Basically, it replaces the Heroic reputation keys, which Lariana says were a much less interesting system than Heroic Countenance.
And Bornakk basically confirms that Blizzard agrees (well, all he says is that they'll talk about it on the next Blizzcast, but he adds a smiley, so odds are that Blizzard is down with the Heroic Countenance). They've been talking for a while, too, about making the reputation grind easier for alts and guilds, so maybe this type of spell is how they'll deal with that -- get it cast on one of your characters, and it will be cast on all of them.
The only question, then, is what to do with all those Heroic keys that we've picked up. The answer is probably nothing -- Blizzard doesn't really care, it seems, about updating old content, and my guess is that the instances in Outland won't be changing much from their current form. But in Wrath, it might be fun if the keys stayed, but opened up other, less consequential content. Instead of Heroic mode, what if a Revered rep key opened up the way to an additional optional boss, or an additional loot area per run? Not enough to make it necessary, but enough to reward those who went all the way with the reputation factions in the game.
In a bold move that is perhaps indicative of the direction Blizzard will be taking with the game and lore progression, Patch 2.4 saw the removal of M'uru from Silvermoon City and the displacement of Lady Liadrin from the chamber in Farstriders' Square. In a scripted event that reveals what happened to the captured Naaru, Lady Liadrin pays a visit to A'dal in Shattrath City, eventually pledging the service of the Blood Knights to the Shattered Sun Offensive. In the blink of an eye, Lady Liadrin become Exalted with the Shattered Sun Offensive (where'd she get that quest, I wonder!) and leaves Shattrath wearing one of the coolest tabards in the World of Warcraft.
What does this imply for Blood Elf Paladins? Gameplay-wise, not much. Although I would've welcomed a change in the quests for Horde, the biggest changes were that all the quests that were previously available from Lady Liadrin are now obtained from Lord Solanar Bloodwrath. Obviously moved for logistical reasons, the quests are virtually identical to the ones that Lady Liadrin dispensed. The one noticeable change is in the early quest Claiming the Light from Knight-Lord Bloodvalor. In the original quest, players were to fill a Shimmering Vessel with power from M'uru, whom the Blood Knights used to hold captive. The updated quest now requires the player to draw the lingering energies from the Blood Elf Magisters rather than M'uru, indicating that what remains are mere vestiges of the power that the Blood Knights once wielded.
Why WoW quests suck, and are awesome - Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:00:00 EST Any poster that leads off talking about how Feralas is her favorite zone is a friend of mine. Cuppycake (great name there as well) has an excellent post up about questing in WoW (warning: some NSFW language). On the one hand, WoW quests are repetitive -- most of them are either "kill 10 rats" or "be my FedEx guy" -- and they don't tend to tie in to or have lasting effects on the broader story of the game (the current Shattered Sun story excepted).
But on the other hand, it's very fun (Cuppycake uses a different word than "very"). It's a bit hard to put my finger on it, but WoW quests (most of them, anyway) have that little extra something that makes for a very satisfying gaming experience. It's like getting a star in Super Mario Galaxy. A small fragment of lasting achievement is enough to make it feel worth doing to me -- as the post says, an objective is what I need. Give me something to work for and I'll do it, as long as it feels like I'm making progress, and it isn't too slow (I'm not the best at rep grinds).
Not sure what it is that drives us WoW fans to adorn our cars with inside jokes and lingo from the game, but it does seem to provide a fun hint of Azeroth while driving around. If you've got something cool on your car not seen here, send it along to us, and we'll add it into the gallery below.
More migrations for Europe - Wed, 09 Apr 2008 14:00:00 EST It seems like there have been free character migrations for Europe constantly for the past few months. Well, this week is no different. Thundgot announced the following free moves, available from today, April 9th, to next Wednesday, April 15th, all for PvP realms (I think):
Those of you who want to switch, get your move on soon, because transfers may close early if they get the population balance they want (although I can only remember this happening once). Out of curiosity, European readers: what countries are you in?
Reigniting the flame and rediscovering the joy of Warcraft - Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:00:00 EST I think my favorite part about a new patch is that it always seems to inject new life into WoW. Don't get me wrong, I love WoW all the time. I think it's a great game. But there's something about a new patch that always seems to invigorate me. There's new stuff to do, maybe a new twist or two to one of the classes I play, or at least to one of the classes I play against. What's even more interesting to me is that it sometimes makes even the old stuff feel brand new.
(Warning: Given that this is a movie made by Olibith, there's likely something in it that will offend you.)
On the eve of the debut for the much anticipated third movie in the Never Stay Tuned series, I thought I'd prep you with the first two films. NST is about a gnome that can't sleep, so he turns on the TV and channel surfs. We covered the first of the series in July, but I wanted to show off the second part here to refresh your memory.
This is old news really: we all know that there are 10 million of us playing Blizzard's MMORPG juggernaut. In MMOGChart's latest report however, there appears to be a little growth spurt in the early part of this year.
This is surprising when we consider the fact that WoW is three years old. In the video and computer game business, three years is considered "old", even for a game that is constantly updated. Other games would usually see a tapering off in terms of population growth at this stage. Not only is market-dominating WoW bucking the trend, it has actually enjoying a surge in its population!
Is this growth spike the result of anticipation for Wrath of the Lich King? Probably so, according to MMOGChart: "There appears to be a slight acceleration of growth a month or two before the release of an expansion, which then continues for approximately 3-6 months afterwards." With the unprecedented size of WoW's playerbase, we can probably expect the hype to be built up a lot sooner than "a month or two".
The report has gone on to break down WoW's existing 10 million subscribers by territory:
One of the great shames of the Burning Crusade is that new levelers tend to miss out or skip the Plaguelands. They may be more steeped in lore than any other zone in the game, and with the upcoming release (one hopes) of Wrath of the Lich King, they're certainly the most relevant.
Arhianrod from <Solace> on Ysera sends us this skeletal picture from the Ruins of Andorhal, one of the most painful sites in the game to quest in vanilla WoW. Arhianrod suggests that the adult poisoned the child and then killed herself with a knife to spare them both from the encroaching plague or undead attacks.
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. And please, no more sunsets. Sunshine go away today!
Now that the cap has been raised to twenty-five, and a slew of dailies has been added as of patch 2.4, many players are finding themselves spending a few hours on daily quests each day. Personally, there are a few that I enjoy doing most days, including the bombing runs, and some that I'd rather avoid if I didn't need the gold to fuel my rather Outlandish habits.
I'm not sure if I could pinpoint a single culprit though. The longer quests bother me up front, because I get bored spending half an hour each day mowing through the same exercise. As such, the Shadowmoon Valley quests might be my least favorite, because aside from the competition, they take forever.
Which daily quests are giving you a daily headache, and why?
Here on GW, we mostly focus on guild drama, obviously -- every week, we hear about GMs /gquitting with as little style as possible, ninjas cleaning out the guild bank, and friction between guild members. But guilds are really only a part of the ingame drama -- people can find silly things to fight about all over Azeroth. Think the fishing tournament is tame enough to avoid an argument? Think again.
That story, and more, are in this week's GW, which you can read by clicking the link below. And don't forget to submit your own tips to us, whether they be drama, downed, or recrutiing news. Wowguildwatch@gmail.com is the address, and any tips you send to it will be much appreciated.
This puts the first gate opening time at just about 2 weeks (the patch went live on March 25th, as you recall). If the next two gates come down just as fast, we may see a world first Kil'jaedan kill somewhere around early May. Then again, I imagine Blizzard wants to drag stuff out just a tiny bit so that they don't need to put out a patch 2.5 with new content between now and the release of Wrath of the Lich King.
Five MMOs better than World of Warcraft No fooling. Blizzard'sWorld of Warcraft is a great game, a hugely influential game, maybe even the best game ever written by anyone, ever. Throughout history. But now that we've GOT WoW, well, what's next? Age of Conan? Warhammer? Spellborn? Maybe.
THQ thinks WoW has probably peaked Apparently THQ executive Jack Sorenson is pretty sure that World of Warcraft has hit its peak. He goes on to admit that there will likely still be millions of people playing WoW in a couple of years, but says that its subscriber count will have diminished.
Jerks, brats, and griefers can be curbed with good design According to Bill Fulton, some of the most over-looked aspects of online game development today are design mechanisms to discourage players from acting like jerks. Rather than merely acquiescing to the reality that in any large game communities, there are just going to be a given number of dickwads, Fulton suggests ...
Is WoW a hotbed of political activity? Earlier this week, USA Today published a lifestyle article that made the claim that the population of World of Warcraft has gotten swept up in the political fervor of the day. According to one frequent WoW-player quoted prominently in the article ...
Upcoming MMO movies (and why they'll suck) Dorothy Parker once said "The only 'ism' Hollywood believes in is plagiarism." While not technically plagiarism, the practice of mining popular properties of other media is a time-honored mainstay in Hollywood. Why invent a new franchise when you can adapt one that already exists?
Why Mount Hyjal and Black Temple attunements still matter - Tue, 08 Apr 2008 20:20:00 EST The dust has settled on most of the servers, and the Fury of the Sunwell has been a success across the board. One of the lingering issues however is attunement. It has been noted before that Onyxia is now the hardest attunement in the game. This has occurred with the removal of the Karazhan, Black Temple, and Mount Hyjal attunements. However this creates a false impression that these instances are no longer worthy of attunements, and thus these quests are no longer worthy of the care and time that's necessary to push forward into them.
You want to get your Vashj and Kael vials, you want to complete your Mount Hyjal attunement, and you want to complete your Black Temple attunement. If you're in a guild that isn't running those instances anymore and is focusing squarely on the Tier 6 content, then you still want to go back and get the attunements.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - both the renowned and the relatively anonymous. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.
Every three hours in the heart of the Stranglethorn jungle, Short John Mithril bellows out the call to arms: "Arrr, Me Hearties! I be havin' some extra Treasure that I be givin' away at the Gurubashi Arena! All ye need do to collect it is open the chest I leave on the arena floor!" His summons sets off a true PvP free-for-all - players of both factions, including your own - in a race to recover and open the pirate's chest dropped at the center of the arena. Players like Venwe scrabble against friend and foe for bragging rights and a shot at the chest's booty -- except unlike Venwe, most players haven't succeeded more than 700 times.
Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you. People sure can be pushy when it comes to drops. Hands off, ladies. That Netherweave is mine!
Today I share with you one of my deepest secrets. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't lay awake at night, seething about the unfairness of raiding drops. Oh, sure, there's always that elusive piece that has a 0.0002% drop rate that every healer wants. Those are pie in the sky dreams of healing uberness. No, that's not what I mean.
I'm talking about the regular gear that's supposed to be dropping at semi-predictable intervals every week. Most bosses have a fairly limited loot table, and in the raiding world, most of that centers around the tier token system. You are supposed to have a 1 in 3 chance of seeing your token on any given kill. But what if that goes horribly wrong? And worse, what if it starts hurting progression?
Join me after the jump for a tale of woe and angst, plus what Blizzard has been doing to unintentionally fix the situation (sorta).