Posts Tagged ‘Warcraft’


Sony says yes to console MMO’s: Microtransactions and all

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

SOE exec John Smedley gives a thumbs up to future Sony MMO developments to be available on PlayStation consoles.

The giant elephant in the room, other wise know as Blizzard, which has been dominating the MMORPG scene since World of Warcraft’s launch 4 years ago, could begin to feel some heat from the Sony side of life.  Sony is looking to successfully position full blown MMO’s on the PlayStation console.  Smedley and company are looking to see which profile of gamer would be willing to pay for subscriptions, or better yet, micro-transactions for Sony’s upcoming free-to-play games including Sony’s much anticipated upcoming Free Realms.

“We’re actually one of two companies in the world that’s ever done a console MMO. We had EverQuest Online Adventures for the PS2 – still operating. It and Final Fantasy XI are the only actual MMOs,” says Smedley.

“We introduced a trading card game to our EverQuest and EQ2 players and they got the idea of microtransactions very quickly,” explained Smedley. “We put it in there in a way that wasn’t harmful to gameplay and it actually gave them a benefit, so that’s how we’re going to convert existing players. Getting a console player to pay for a subscription, I think that’s an interesting question.”

Smedley also predicts that the underlying technology that is now in place to allow for simultaneous console and PC launches of new games will introduce an entirely new group of gamers to console play.

“We have advantages that others simply don’t being in the Sony family. For us, the opportunity that we see on the PS3, and potentially the PSP, is something that we can’t pass up on…. I would say that we would be one of the early adopters on [bringing MMOs to consoles], and we plan on becoming one of the dominant players in the MMO space on consoles. We see that marketing coming; we think it’s there now, so we want to get a good market share there.”

Maybe Smedely is correct.  Personally, I’m more of a PC player, but have often been intrigued by the merging of PC play with console convenience.  I’ve played a few of my favorite PC games with an Xbox 360 control mod, and have to say, the living room comfort sure does beat endless hours at the desk.  If Sony is successfully able to port an MMO to a console (targeting and casting controls aside), AND get console players used to the idea of microtransactions, this could have the potential to unlock a number of possibilities not only for Sony, but for the industry as a whole.

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THQ to bring ‘Dragonica’ to North American market

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

It looks like THQ is wasting no time in getting the new Shanghai office into the game.  They’ve recently announced a joint venture in cooperation with ICE Entertainment to bring Dragonica to the North American market in 2009.

Dragonica will be a cartoony, sticky sweet, side scrolling game that is free-to-play and supported by pay-for-content micro-transactions.  The game was developed by Korean design house Barunson Interactive Co.  Dragonica has spent sever years in the development shop, and is finally ready for it’s coming out party.  With 3D rendering, new cartoon characters and scenery modeling, Dragonica promised to raise the bar on traditional side scrolling games.  The game mixes elements of action and arcade, and creates various skills to enhance play.  ICE realized the potential of Dragonica, and has the exclusive rights to operate Dragonica in China.

ICE’s CEO Sun Tai is the former CTO of Chinese major player, The9, a leading operator of Chinese online games including World of Warcraft.  This joint venture will combine ICE’s online operating expertise and THQ’s product development and retail experience to create a new platform for the North American market.

“We are extremely excited to be working with ICE Entertainment to bring this free-to-play, micro-transaction-based online game to the robust yet largely untapped market for online casual gaming in North America,” said Doug Clemmer, president of THQ’s casual gaming subsidiary. “We are even more pleased to be building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship, which we hope will lead to additional opportunities to deliver online gaming content globally.”

“We are looking forward to combining THQ’s extensive marketing and retail expertise with our advanced technology and proven online game operating know-how to deliver a great new casual gaming experience for North American consumers,” said Sun Tao, chief executive officer, ICE Entertainment. “We also look forward to working with THQ more closely to develop new games and explore future publishing opportunities in both markets.”

Current estimates of the North American casual game market peg it at approximately $2.2 billion by 2013 (DFC Intelligence).  In 2007, China’s online games market clocked in at a whopping $1.7 billion, and reached 42 million gamers.  According to Niko Partners, this market is expected to balloon to $4.2 billion by 2010.

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Is your Death Knight prepared?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

While we all wait with baited breath for the new World of Warcraft expansion pack: The Wrath of the Lich King to drop upon us like a beam of light sent from the heavens above, what are you doing to prepare?

Details about the new expansion pack are being released in minor chunks here and there, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say that we’re all excited about the new Epic class: Death Knight.

From what I’ve read thus far, there’s a lot of peeps out there that are already making plans as to which class and race they’re going to set their Death Knight up as and how the heck they’re planning on (smartly) playing this new character.

Rizelle of Gurubashi is already on the ball and getting ready for the arrival.  In a thread titled ‘I’m already playing my Death Knight’ over at the wow forums, she posts a few interesting tidbits to keep in mind:

  1. Farmed enough materials to powerlevel Engineering/First Aid/Cooking to 350, and farmed a few stacks of each precious ore (silver, gold, truesilver) to smelt for Mining levels (even though i’ll probably have to do some back mining anyway).
  2. Farmed up quite a bit of rep items to turn in upon hitting Outland. So far i’m up to 300x Unidentified Plant Parts, 150 Arakkoa Feathers, 80 Firewing Signets.

Smart thinking.  I think a lot of us hit 70, max skills and professions, and then just want to start building up our purple gear sets.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, me too.  So for a different bit of play strategy, why not take some queues from Rizelle, and start your farming today?

Is YOUR Death Knight prepared?  If not…get started today…as there’ll be nothing more satisfying than having one of the first level 80 Death Knights on the block.  As a side note…be prepared for the barrage of ‘Can you Tank our group’ whispers you’ll be receiving.

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Drop a Fire Nova Totem – nuke a Spambot

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

“Hello welcome to our website:, our prices are the absolute cheapest” - Blah blah blah, shut up, stop spamming me, and get the (&%# out of the way of the mailbox.

Yeah, we all know them, we all (or at least 99.44%) of us hate them. The gold spammer. That annoying player that create character names with one fell swoop of the keyboard ‘fghjkbvcqwert’ – lvl 1 spammer that has nothing to do than set a canned message, and piss the rest of us off.
Well it seems like some pissed off Warcraft players have found a way to deal with wqyuire; by means of a napalm death to via Fire Nova Totem. Of course this method is not acceptable to Blizz (aka ‘The Man’), and removed the thread from it’s forums, but yay for Google. Thanks to their caching feature, it can be viewed here.

Basically, it breaks down like so: A shammy can drop a Fire Nova totem near a level 1 bot, and log off just before the totem detonates. By logging off, this makes the totem unaligned, and can therefore damage either faction.

Even a level 70 totem doesn’t do that much damage to the average player, but it WILL however scorch a level one gold spammer that’s just standing around the bank and/or auction house. And since this is a bot just programmed to stand there and make announcements, no one is monitoring it, therefore, no one there to resurrect it.

If you need more gold in game, go farming, or talk to one of our friendly players just like you that have items or gold to sell. Let’s leave the spam on the frypan, and players in game.


New info about the upcoming Lich King expansion!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Some exciting new news surfaced over the weekend about the upcoming Lich King expansion set for Warcraft.

Most notably, it seems as though Blizzard is learning and evolving. In the original game, players were required to organize 40 person raids to receive high-level end game content. Needless to say, this became a rather challenging proposition and areas like Naxxramas went largely untouched.

With the Burning Crusade, large raid groups were cut down to a 25 person max, but again, this is still difficult to manage at times. Blizzard is taking cues from the games most popular raid, Karazhan. Kara seems to hit the sweet spot with most players by providing excellent loot, a decent yet not impossible level of organization (10 players), and can be cleared in around 2 hours (depending on players skill level of course).

Blizz is taking this knowledge and applying it to the new Lich King.

  • All dungeons will have a 10 and 25 person version available
  • Versions of the raids are NOT dependent upon each other
  • 25 person raids will have improved (on tier higher) loot
  • NO KEYS! No more running around to get key fragments and attunements
  • 10 person and 25 person dungeons are on separate timers. Meaning: if you’ve already run the dungeon with a group of 10, and find 15 more people to run it with your group, you’re golden
  • 5 person raids are designed to take no longer than 1 hour to complete
  • A new token system will be introduced, similar to the Badge of Justice system

We also got hit with a few tidbits about the new hero character class: Death Knights

  • Every race is able to start a Death Knight
  • Death Knights start at level 55 and there’s no longer a prerequisite to get one. In other words, if you’ve got a level 55 character, you can make 1 Death Knight per account per realm.
  • Mounted Combat! You’ll now have the ability to fight while mounted. Don’t forget about the ability to take a buddy with you (some Wrath mounts have the ability to bring a passenger along), AND use them in the old world.

All in all, it looks like a juicy in expansion, with some well thought out (and heard) requests from players around the world.