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World of Warcraft

BlizzCon photo

BlizzCon 2014 dates announced, tickets on sale soon

Panels, game demos, tournaments, and more
Apr 22
// Jordan Devore
BlizzCon will be back this year at roughly the same time, Blizzard has announced. This eighth show is set for the Anaheim Convention Center from Friday, November 7 to November 8, 2014. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but they wil...
Azeroth Choppers photo
Azeroth Choppers

Get your murloc runnin' with Azeroth Choppers

Head out on the highway
Apr 21
// Brittany Vincent
Looking for adventure in whatever comes your way? Of course you are. That means you'll definitely want to watch Azeroth Choppers, an online series via Blizzard where custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. and two warring teams ...

The joy of MMOs

Apr 11 // Chris Carter
My love affair with MMOs started in the '90s when Ultima Online was released. Regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Ultima had it all -- player-ran economies, ganking, bounties for hunting down said gankers, books that could be written by actual players and sold for gold, dungeons, world events, politics, player housing -- you name it. Many of these mechanics wouldn't even be possible in current MMOs due to technical limitations, but Ultima sprouted countless stories that couldn't be experienced anywhere else. I got into a lot of trouble in Ultima, mostly due to the acts of hanging out with my player-killing, house-swindling friend, who used to con people out of their wares and cash. The entire game was basically policed and governed by the players, which was an unreal feeling amidst the typical linear world of gaming. I actually felt bad when I killed my first and only innocent player deep into the forest and took all his loot. Here, the healthy feeling of escapism was alive and well, as you were able to live out your wildest digital dreams. Heck, if you really wanted to you could play the entire game as a merchant, providing others with tools, gaining a reputation, brokering information, and writing novels -- it was insane. This was my gateway. But it wasn't until World of Warcraft that I really started branching out into the "massive" side of things. I had just started college when WoW hit, and as a result of my new relationship (with the lovely woman who eventually became my wife) and my desire to do well in my first year at school, I refrained from playing more than casually -- mostly leveling through beta and hopping on every so often on a low-level character when I had free time. Once the Burning Crusade expansion dropped, things changed a bit. Most of my friends had quit the game due to poor grades, and my best friend (who hadn't played prior to this arrangement) made me an offer I couldn't refuse -- we would casually play WoW together, level a pair of characters, and see what we had been missing all this time. Minutes of play became hours; hours, days; days, weeks. We made our way up to level 70 so quickly that I had decided to completely ditch my first character (an Orc Shaman) and level an alternate (a Draenai Priest) to help my chances of joining a guild -- a character that eventually became my new main. I had gone completely overboard -- our rule of "no raiding" turned into "once a week," then "twice a week," but "only 10-man dungeons." That eventually turned into us joining the top guild on the server and joining the first string raid squad, that raided two to three times a week. Given the rigorous application process (that probably sounds ridiculous to all of you out there), we had to completely change our attitude. Now we had to learn our full rotations (order of spells/abilities), theorycraft (research and look up viable strategies) in our free time, and teach others how to more effectively use our class (which often involved writing guides).  It was basically a job that paid nothing -- but we had a blast doing it. There's nothing quite like joining up with 24 other people for a raid, having fireside chats about what was going on in our life, and feeling a real sense of community. Wipes (full party deaths) were rare since we were so disciplined, but every so often we hit a snag -- only to overcome it within a week's time. To many, this sounds droll and unexciting. But if you find the right group of people, the feeling is indescribable when you best something for the first time with a giant collective of friends that have the same goal as you. I hit an absolute high when we were the server-first kill for Illidan -- a huge part of the Warcraft lore in general and the toughest boss in the game at the time. It was then that I started to slowly ease off of MMOs to plan for my wedding, effectively ending my career as a "full-timer" for quite some time. I would keep playing MMOs though for years to come, usually only getting max level and stopping before I got the itch to raid. Dark Age of Camelot, Conan (yuck), Warhammer Online, EVE, Rift, The Old Republic, TERA, Secret World, Aion, Lord of the Rings Online, Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online -- you name it, I've probably played it. But one particular MMO really brought me back in recently -- Final Fantasy XIV -- the second time around, that is, when it relaunched. Something clicked with me while playing A Realm Reborn. The art style is beautiful, the music is outstanding, and the battle system is a bit more action-oriented than most MMOs -- to the point where I'm heavily reminded of Phantasy Star Online. It doesn't help that it has a healthy serving of nostalgia either! Right now I'm in the process of joining up with a few of my old MMO buddies (including one that I played Ultima with way back when) to start endgame content and really kick things off. Things will never be the same now that I'm not a college student anymore, but the call of the genre is unending -- in some ways, I'm a "lifer." While I understand that MMOs don't appeal to everyone, I've had far too many fond memories with them to give them up. I've made friends that have stood up at my wedding. I've learned multiple videogame mechanics and concepts that have served me well as a writer and as a gamer. As ridiculous as it sounds, these games also taught me some form of responsibility, showing up on time for raids and owning up to my actions. It's for these reasons and more that MMOs bring me joy.
Why I love MMOs photo
From AOEs to Zul'Farrak
Read this list and let me know if it sounds like a good time. Crunching numbers in the wee hours of the night to maximize damage output. Grinding out levels and letting auto-attack handle things for a few seconds while you pl...


Blizzard will have four titles to show off at PAX East 2014

WoW expansion, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III PS4
Mar 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Game Developers Conference is far from over this week and here I am already talking about stuff that's going to be happening at PAX East next month! Blizzard has shared their upcoming lineup that fans will be able to get ...
WoW photo

Pre-purchase WoW: Warlords of Draenor, get your level boost now

Fifth expansion releasing this fall
Mar 10
// Jordan Devore
It's now possible to pre-purchase the Warlods of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft ahead of its release "on or before" December 20, 2014, Blizzard has announced. My expectation is that it'll be out much before then -- ...
WoW photo

Blizzard talks $60 price tag for WoW's max-level boost

Time *is* money
Feb 25
// Jordan Devore
It was recently discovered that Blizzard plans to introduce the option for World of Warcraft players to boost a single character to level 90 for $60. By no means inexpensive, but when you're looking at it from the perspective...
WoW photo

The new female Orc for WoW puts the old design to shame

Warlords of Draenor
Feb 19
// Jordan Devore
I may not play World of Warcraft but as someone who occasionally writes about it and, as a result, has to find not-terrible-looking images to accompany my words, I'm all for a good character model redesign. Blizzard has share...

World of Warcraft: Level 90 jump could cost $60

WOW, that's a lot
Feb 18
// Dale North
Showing up in the middle of a patch update for Blizzard, some World of Warcraft users are finding that a boost to level 90 is available in the game's store for $60. Not $20. Not $39.99. But $60.  Maybe this isn't su...
Wow: A lot of WoW photo
Wow: A lot of WoW

Time, well, spent: World of Warcraft crosses 100M users

There are more WoW characters than people in the USA
Jan 29
// Steven Hansen
Blizzard's World of Warcraft just crossed 100 million lifetime players. Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. We've had less than 100 million people turn out to vote for the United States presidency. Maybe political candidates ...

These ten free-to-play games made over $3B last year

Jan 20
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Super Data Research has released their digital sales review of 2013, analyzing how much revenue was made from free-to-play, mobile, console, and PC digital content. In the free-to-play category, the top ten games based on rev...
Warlords of Draenor photo
Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard toying with idea of selling level boosts in WoW

'Weve been evaluating ways to make that possible'
Jan 17
// Chris Carter
Blizzard is all set to drop its new expansion for World of Warcraft --Warlords of Draenor this year. Late in 2013, they dropped a surprise promotion for the add-on, noting that if you pre-order the game, you can choose o...

World of Warcraft designer Greg Street now at Riot Games

WoW vs. LoL
Jan 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has joined Riot Games as lead game designer. Previously Greg was lead systems designer on World of Warcraft where and his involvements with the game were huge. He led half of the design team, and ov... photo to disable add-on purchases by default

This change will apply to parental specific accounts
Jan 06
// Chris Carter
Starting this week, Blizzard is rolling out an account-wide change for everyone who has parental locks in place -- add-on purchases (read: microtransactions) will be disabled by default. This is most notably fo...

Beware a trojan targeting World of Warcraft accounts

Jan 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Blizzard has identified malware that's been targeting World of Warcraft users recently which was able to steal account info and the authenticator password. The trojan is a fake version the Curse Client, the add-on management ...
The DTOID Show is shot in front of a live car audience
Hey hey! This video was supposed to go up yesterday afternoon, but a series of unfortunate events resulted in it going up very late last night, and then internet witchcraft prevented me from putting up a post. So, if you don...

World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

Police detain World of Warcraft player during livestream

Terrible prank
Dec 05
// Joshua Derocher
Someone decided to play an awful prank on Swifty, a World of Warcraft broadcaster with a half-million subscribers on YouTube. Some asshat watching his livestream decided it would be hilarious to call the cops and claim that ...
MMO deals photo
MMO deals

Get Guild Wars 2 for $30 or World of Warcraft for $5

MMO sales for the holidays!
Nov 27
// Joshua Derocher
If you have been looking to get into World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2, here is your chance to get them for cheap. just launched its black friday sales, with World of Warcraft for $4.99 and Mists of Pandaria for $9...
Wow news photo
Wow news

We could see procedurally generated content in WoW

This game ain't dead yet
Nov 15
// Chris Carter
It appears as if the World of Warcraft team may be mixing things up beyond an expansion in the future. Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Blizzard's lead content designer Cory Stockton noted that since people "burn thr...
BlizzCon photo

BlizzCon's 2013 Cosplay is in as fine a form as ever

A year later, a year better
Nov 12
// Abel Girmay
With the end of another major convention, comes the obligatory cosplay showcase video. In true fan form, the costumes continue to amaze. Cosplay stars Jessica Nigiri, Monika Lee, and Vanessa Vancleef also make an appearance....
WoW expansion photo
Character models and animations are finally getting a visual update
Confirmed at BlizzCon 2013, the fifth expansion for World of Warcraft is called Warlords of Draenor as a recent trademark listing indicated. If you're hoping to jump right back into the action, here's the good news: you'll b...

Blizzcon photo

Watch the Blizzcon opening ceremony for free at 11AM PST

Blizzard games!
Nov 08
// Joshua Derocher
Blizzcon 2013 starts today, and you'll be able to watch the opening ceremony on Blizzard's live stream for free. The ceremony starts at 11:00AM Pacific Standard Time, and you'll be able to watch it on the Blizzcon site. The r...
WoW dropping numbers photo
WoW dropping numbers

WoW down to 7.6 million subs, Blizzard is still hopeful

A small elephant is still pretty big
Nov 07
// Joshua Derocher
Activision Blizzard had its earnings call the other day, and one of the not-so-great details that came out of it is that World of Warcraft is down to 7.6 million players. Just back in the spring they lost 1.3 million players,...
Next WoW expansion photo
Next WoW expansion

'Warlords of Draenor' might be the next WoW expansion

New Zealand trademark might be a clue
Nov 05
// Joshua Derocher
Over on the MMO Champion forums, the Administrator Boubouille made a post showing that Blizzard have trademarked "Warlords of Draenor" in New Zealand, and it seems possible that this could be the name of the next expansion fo...
Warcraft RTS photo
Warcraft RTS

Modder creates World of Warcraft RTS with StarCraft II

Yeah, really
Oct 30
// Joshua Derocher
Steven Luo didn't have access to World of Warcraft when it came out nearly nine years ago, so he decided to make his own game using Warcraft III's editor tools. This year he ported the mod idea fully into StarCraft...

Critical Hit all-star game cover band led by WoW composer

Oct 23 // Dale North
Above, you'll find their very first music video featuring Angry Birds main theme. And below, you'll find the full track for your listening pleasure. I think you'll agree that it's a very nice first outing for the group.  [embed]264053:51029:0[/embed] Their debut album, Critical Hit: Volume One, will ship on October 31. It features 12 arrangements from popular games such as World of Warcraft, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Halo, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, and Metal Gear Solid,to name a few. This album is available for pre-order now on their official website, where you'll also find information on upcoming performance dates.. The full track listing for Critical Hit: Volume One is as follows: 01. Tetris: "Main Theme" 02. Angry Birds: "Main Theme" 03. World of Warcraft: "Legends of Azeroth" 04. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: "Zelda's Lullaby" 05. Halo 2: "Main Theme" 06. Pokémon: "Main Theme" 07. Super Mario World: "Bowser's Castle" 08. Final Fantasy X: "To Zanarkand" 09. Kingdom Hearts: "Hikari"10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: "Battle for New York" 11. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "Streets of Whiterun" 12. Metal Gear Solid 2: "Main Theme" 
Critical Hit band debuts photo
Exclusive: Critical Hit's debut song, from Angry Birds
World of Warcraft composer Jason Hayes and VGMarket founder Michael Gluck (remember Piano Squall?) head up new band Critical Hit. This all-star band performs and records their own arrangements of videogame music themes. All-...

Blizzard wins lawsuit photo
Blizzard wins lawsuit

Blizzard wins $7M in bot suit settlement

Seems the lawyers didn't bot-ch it...
Oct 22
// Steven Hansen
Blizzard Entertainment has been awarded $7 million in the settlement of a December 2011 lawsuit against Ceiling Fan Software, GamesIndustry International reports. Ceiling Fan is responsible for a number of World of Warcraft b...

Legendary Pictures' Warcraft movie coming December 2015

Oct 01
// Dale North
It seems like previous predictions were right on the money. Well, at least the year was right. The latest tweet from the Warcraft Twitter account confirms a release date for the Warcraft film: We’re pleased to announce...
World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

Blizzard isn't opposed to an eventual free-to-play WoW

Well, I'd sure hope so
Aug 23
// Jordan Devore
Although World of Warcraft's subscriber base is on the decline, the monolithic MMORPG isn't going anywhere. And if it eventually gets to that point, there's always the free-to-play option. "For Blizzard it makes sense [to go ...

Enjoy these Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft music samples

Aug 20 // Jayson Napolitano
[embed]259767:49948:0[/embed] Eric Dodds (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Lead DesignerPast Works: A 16-year veteran at Blizzard Entertainment, he's touched nearly everything On the team's approach to the game's soundtrack "We wanted to make sure the music in Hearthstone perfectly complemented what we were trying to do with the game. I think everyone working on the direction for the music was on the same page in that we needed music that was familiar, and at the same time had its own unique feel and signature. Ultimately, we wanted the music to convey three important things -- Warcraft, whimsy, and warmth -- to reflect the lighthearted nature of the game, and to make players feel as though they were sitting in their favorite tavern from Warcraft. I would love to say that I brought something special to the mix, but I think that right from the start everyone was on the same page about what the game needed." On bringing in composer Peter McConnell to score the music "Working with Peter has been fantastic! When we first started working with him, we gave him the assignment to create music that combined Warcraft themes with something whimsical and mysterious.. He delivered a sample track that captured that, and we were very excited to move forward in that direction. Then the magic happened, and when we started working on the final music, Peter took it in an entirely different direction from the initial tracks. In the end, we felt that this new style -- which is what you hear in the game now -- really nailed the combination of themes we were looking for. We think Peter really knocked it out of the park. The team has listened to a lot of different variations of what could have been our music, and we are really happy with what Peter came up with." On why fans should care about this soundtrack and about a soundtrack release "For us, the focus has been on making great, fast-paced, energetic music that complements a game intended to be played in shorter bursts. Releasing that music in the form of a soundtrack is really just a cool bonus for the community. In the end, if you’ve been playing the game for a while, and you’ve been enjoying the music the whole time, then I would chalk that up as a win. I think Peter has delivered music that’s well-suited to that." Jason Hayes (Blizzard Entertainment)Role: Trailer music, in-game singersPast Works: StarCraft franchise, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft On "Hearthstone Revealed" [embed]259767:49949:0[/embed]"The moment I saw the trailer, with the inclusion of all these classic heroes, I knew the team was going for something that would evoke a sense of myth, magic, and limitless adventure -- the promise of a Warcraft experience. At least, that's the way the beginning had to feel. But at the end of the trailer we wanted to pull the rug out from under the viewer, and reveal that all the buildup is just about having fun playing a collectible card game. We wanted it to have a decidedly more lighthearted tone than some of our other epic gaming experiences. "It was a challenge trying to figure out the logistics of how the surprise twist with this music would take place. We knew that the shot in the tavern would be the pivotal moment, when the dwarf says, 'But of course, you could forget all that and just have FUN!' The question was how to express musically that this was a stark departure from the expected. We decided that the logical choice was to switch to a type of 'tavern music,' but we also didn't want to lose momentum as we headed to the final scene. So I kept the tempo going at the same speed, and left in part of the orchestra in the form of some rhythmic strings and brass to carry the viewer through this moment with energy. To achieve a huge contrast, I added in the sound of an accordion, a hard drum, and the very piercing signature sound of a penny whistle. When you hear a jaunty melody played on that instrument, it immediately connotes a fun traditional Scottish feeling and sounds right at home in a tavern. "I had a lot of fun mixing in a couple of Warcraft thematic elements into the music, albeit in a somewhat hidden way that might not be obvious. First of all, I used the climactic motif from the piece 'A Call To Arms' during the tavern scene. And on the last shot when the cards fly in the box, the lead french horn melody from that same theme plays right before the logo appears. Even if it's not consciously detected by everyone, I think that touches like this add a nice continuity that puts this trailer in the Warcraft universe."In addition to the trailer, I worked on numerous musical stingers for Hearthstone along with Glenn Stafford. These are short pieces of music that last about five seconds each, and happen when you play 'Legendary' cards in the game. Peter McConnell did a great job setting a nice bouncy mood for the music in the game, as if you are hanging out in a tavern with some friends enjoying a casual card battle. But because we still wanted a sense of importance when you cast big spells or summon powerful minions, these special card stingers infuse the gameplay with moments that feel satisfying and add a little extra epic punch." Peter McConnellRole: ComposerPast Works: Sly Cooper series, Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, Grim Fandango On "Bad Reputation" [embed]259767:49950:0[/embed] "When I first started to work on Hearthstone, there were lots of discussions with the team about music style and direction. We eventually honed in on the idea of a small ensemble, capturing the feel of a bar band that might actually be playing in the tavern where the game is taking place. At the same time, we didn't want to be too literal about this, because the music also needed an ambient quality to support the mood of the gameplay without overpowering it. "With all this in mind I had to answer the question: What sort of sound and instrumentation is really going to get across what it feels like to play Hearthstone? Beyond the fact that I knew there would be some pub-friendly instruments like guitar and fiddle, I thought a lot about the attitude I wanted to project -- tough guys and bar-room brawls with a round of cards in the tavern twist. This led me to come up with the unlikely pairing of celtic and early instruments, and blues rock. Like what if ZZ Top or Golden Earring had been transported back in time to the Middle Ages? What would they play? The music would have a swagger, and an attitude, and a certain groove -- a bluesy-ness without being overtly the blues. "So I started riffing around with a triplet guitar groove, and 'Bad Reputation' was what I came up with. The piece has a Celtic flavor, especially in the instrumentation with the guitar, fiddle, and harp, but the Celtic triplet rhythm is transformed into more of a steady blues groove. The wind instruments, especially contrabassoon, give an ancient flavor, and the piece also has a lot of space, so that you have time to feel the mood without being overloaded by melody as you play the game. When bits of original Warcraft themes do appear, they are meant to work like little cheers, as if they are from the player's faction, or taunts from the faction the player is facing. 'Bad Reputation' really set the precedent for the whole score, including the game's title music. "This score has been a wonderful opportunity for me to play instruments I love -- guitar and violin -- and in a spirit of fun, to pay homage to music that I greatly admire. To me, it feels like a jam in my living room that ties into a larger world we all love."
Hearthstone music photo
Exclusive tunes along with commentary from the sound team
It's been a while since we've talked about the Warcraft card game spin-off, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment is currently taking beta sign-ups, so I thought it would be a good time to find out what's go...

Sweet UDON books photo
Sweet UDON books

SDCC-exclusive UDON books up for pre-order August 1

MM25 will be MINE, I say! MINE!
Jul 31
// Tony Ponce
San Diego Comic-Con came and went, and despite my best efforts to use the Dtoid team to my own ends, I was unable to score the coveted hardcover edition of MM25. Thanks a lot, DALE! But no worries! UDON promised that all its ...

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