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Blizzard should disentangle Real ID from its Good IDeas

July 13th, 2010 Comments Off

With all the hubbub about Blizzard’s reversed stance on the use of real names in the forums (for now), it’s easy to forget that the Real ID system brings in a wide array of changes, most of which are staying in place. While much of the functionality is handy, the implementation of the system comes with significant drawbacks. After watching Facebook, Blizzard’s new partner, get torn apart in the media over privacy concerns, one might think that Blizzard would be a bit more careful in implementing features that involve a player’s real name. This week, we look at Blizzard’s Real ID, and the pros and cons of the various aspects of the system.

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Blizzard Backs Down From Real ID, Settles For ID

July 9th, 2010 Comments Off

Blizzard has nixed their plan to attach a user’s real name to the Real ID service. The decision came after a not entirely positive response from battle.net users. Although the abandoned feature earned a lot of attention for its role as troll deterrent, as USAtoday noted, the more significant role for real names would be [...]

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Blizzard Impatient for Augmented Reality

February 5th, 2010 Comments Off

The World of Warcraft is impinging on real life again. Not to worry, nobody’s recently dead or addicted, but you can now reach out and touch Azeroth by 3G. According to Icrontic, Blizzard is integrating Warcraft‘s auction house with the popular Armory website. Warcraft fans will already be familiar with the Armory; it’s a web-accessible [...]

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Blizzard Misunderstands the Micro in Microtransactions

November 4th, 2009 1 Comment

Blizzard is apparently trying to change the acronym MMORPG to mean Massively Monetized Online Role Playing Game. Gamasutra reports that the developer has opened a new pet store as a branch of the greater Blizzard store. The first virtual offerings available will be a Pandaren Monk and an impossibly cute miniature Kel’Thuzad. The pets are [...]

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Blizzcon 2009 Roundup

August 24th, 2009 Comments Off

This weekend, all flight paths lead to Anaheim, where Blizzard held its fourth quasi-annual convention, Blizzcon, The two-day celebration of all things Blizzard sported not only stations loaded up with upcoming titles Diablo III and Starcraft II, but also tournaments, a live raid, panel discussions, and tons of goodies to win or buy. Oh, and they officially announced World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the third expansion to Blizzard’s current money-printer, World of Warcraft. Pixelsocks.com’s own Katiegreen was on the ground, and provided this report.

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Learning To Play Warcraft After It’s Too Late

August 17th, 2009 1 Comment

I know this girl, let’s call her Sara, with a gaming problem. You see, her boyfriend is a hardcore World of Warcraft raider, which is a 20-30 hour commitment every week. There are certainly raiders out there who spend much more time with the game, but it’s still the kind of time that could really chew into your relationship. However, this isn’t another one of those Widows of Warcraft problems, because the boyfriend has lucked out: Sara wants to play the game with him, and they’ve used the recruit-a-friend program to whirlwind Sara from level 1 to level 61 in no time flat. They’ve had a grand old time tromping around Azeroth, killing X of Y and running the odd fetch quest, but now the boyfriend’s raiding responsibilities have grown, and Sara is twisting in the wind.

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Warcraft Shrinks by Half

July 10th, 2009 Comments Off

Shortly after Blizzard tried to transfer their China licensing to a new third party, the national World of Warcraft servers went silent. This fracas has been ongoing for a month now, and the blogosphere has been doing some speculative math about it. It turns out that about five million of Warcraft’s eleven million subscribers are [...]

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Blizzard Breaks Warcraft . . . Again.

January 24th, 2009 Comments Off

What is it about Warcraft that makes a patch a newsworthy story? Oh right. Whenever Blizzard screws it up, 11 million people pay the price. Apparently the patch released this past Tuesday was a doozy, too. According to WoW Insider, the biggest snafu of the latest patch happened in Wintergrasp, where whenever one side took the PvP objective, Northrend crashed. Think of the players as Indianna Jones, the PvP objective as the idol, and Northrend as the boulder, and you’ll get the idea. In addition to the non-functionality of a $30 expansion pack, a number of intended features were not implemented, and the mail system is outright losing mail again.

Now this all happened a handful of days ago, so Blizzard has been on the march, fixing what they can and disabling everything else. Just be sure you really want it when you decide to win out in Wintergrasp.

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You Die in Warcraft, You Die in Real Life

January 3rd, 2009 Comments Off

Ok, by now everyone who has so much as touched a computer has experienced the effects of anonymity on human behavior (nsfw). We need feedback from vocal tone, facial expressions, and general body language to keep us grounded, especially as we develop. When you lose the feedback, you can’t judge when you’ve overstepped yourself. Need [...]

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Warcraft Recidivism

November 10th, 2008 1 Comment

There are no recovered addicts, just people who die before they relapse. Research from Blizzard (via gamesindustry.biz) shows that about half of Warhammer expatriates and nearly 70% of those who left for Age of Conan have returned to the warm embrace of Azeroth.

Players haven’t necessarily cancelled their other accounts, but the time demands of MMORPGs don’t exactly encourage playing multiple games unless you work at Massively. So it’s probably fair to guess that those players have actually shifted from game to game.

Player recidivism coincides with the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which will hit stores this week. Coincidence? Um, no.

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