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Warcraft

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Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Grommash.

Aaahoo, Warlords of Draenor, aahooo On top of all the other busy-ness of late, WOW’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor is now off and away as of last Tuesday, meaning more off hours shoring up the garrison and leveling my almost-nine-year-old rogue (and his army of alts) to all-new, rarefied three-digit heights. (I dinged 100 last night, with three more zones and lots more content to explore.) Aaahoo…

Warlords of Draenor (Aaaahoooo).

He’s the hairy, hairy orc who runs amok on dwarves. Lately he’s been overheard in Orgrimmar. You better stay far back, he’ll rip your lungs out Jack. Huh, I wonder if he leveled tailor. Aaahoo, Warlords of Draenor, aahooo. And, yes, that song’s been in my head since, over the past weekend, Blizzard announced the fifth and most recent Warcraft expansion. I was in for Outland, Northrend, the Cataclysm, and Pandaria — I’m up for another tour.

Leeroy Rides Forth.

Warcraft has grown to be one of the most popular multiplayer online role-playing games. Taking an almost kitchen-sink approach to fantasy, it is part fantasy, part science fiction and — depending on the game you’re playing — includes elements such as dragons and orcs, zombies and werewolves, aliens and spaceships.

After years in development hell with Sam Raimi, two of my hobbies converge anew as Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones grabs the reins of the Warcraft film. Said Jones in 2010: “I’m hugely jealous of Sam Raimi. I really believe World of Warcraft could be the launch of computer games as good films…[I]t’s not worrying about how the game plays, it’s about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world.”

Z0MGP4NDAS.


About that time again…Blizzard releases the official trailer for Mists of Pandaria, dropping September 25th. Still not sold on the pandas, but I’m looking forward to a more cohesive xpac than Cataclysm, where it seemed most of the best work was put into revamping the 0-60 content and the 80-85 stuff felt more like a throw-in.

Now You’re Playing With…Pandas.


We’ve explored an alien planet. We’ve thrown down the Lich King. We’ve witnessed the End of the World. And now…we consort…with kung-fu pandas? At Blizz-Con 2011, Blizzard announces the next WoW expansion: Mists of Pandaria, and, er, yeah. Not feelin’ the pandas, guys, sorry. (But, yes, I’m sure I’ll be playing it anyway.)

Epix At Knifepoint.


‘Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour,’ Liu told the Guardian. ‘There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [470-570 pounds] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.’

Some very troubling news for MMORPG cheats to consider: The Guardian reports that prisoners at Chinese labor camps are now forced to gold-farm for hours on end. “If I couldn’t complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things.” Ugh, don’t subsidize this, people. If you can’t farm the stuff yourself, find another hobby. (Arthas pic via here.)

Those Real Life Achieves.

By one estimate, Dr. McGonigal notes, creating Wikipedia took eight years and 100 million hours of work, but that’s only half the number of hours spent in a single week by people playing World of Warcraft. ‘Whoever figures out how to effectively engage them first for real work is going to reap enormous benefits,’ Dr. McGonigal predicts.

But, then it’d be work, would it? At any rate, scientists and game designers try to figure out ways to tap into the world-changing potential of gamers. “‘Gamers are engaged, focused, and happy’…’One of the most profound transformations we can learn from games is how to turn the sense that someone has “failed” into the sense that they ‘haven’t succeeded yet.’“

This used to be my Playground.


That’s great, it starts with an earthquake…On its 6th anniversary, and a little over two years after Wrath of the Lich King, the World of Warcraft is shattering into pieces this morning to make way for Cataclysm on December 7th. [Cinematic.] In other words, the original 2004 release is being completely revamped and updated, and the Old World that I and 12 million other people have been traipsing about in for the past several years is disappearing forever.

(This posed a poignant question for long-time players last night — Where do you go when the world ends? I myself parked my undead rogue on the grave where he was “born” four years ago, atop a hill in Tirisfal Glades, so he could watch the decline from a hazy distance.)

As usual, I’ve got a lot of games on my plate at the moment — CoD: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, Civ 5, Starcraft 2, and DJ Hero 2. I’m still only halfway through Red Dead Redemption, and everything I’ve seen from the Kinect (and particularly Dance Central) suggests it’s a game-changing device in its own right. Still, for what hours I consign to gaming, I usually just keep coming back to WoW. It’s a quality production, through and through.

Distracting Shot/Feign Death FTW.

When the moose attacked them, Hans knew the first thing he had to do was ‘taunt‘ and provoke the animal so that it would leave his sister alone and she could run to safety…Once Hans was a target, he remembered another skill he had picked up at level 30 in ‘World of Warcraft’ – he feigned death.

Anyone who’s pugged more than twice in WoW knows the phenomenon of the “huntard” — the little kid who’s not-so-adept at handling his character (almost invariably hunters, and beast-master hunters at that.) Well, it’s not this kid: A 12-year-old Norwegian boy saves his sister from a moose by employing WoW tactics. (And if he managed to Tame Beast I’d be really impressed.)

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