Articles tagged with world of warcraft

Posted by Duane at 14:59
Never one to lose out on a business opportunity and/or bringing in more customers, Activision-Blizzard have applied a kind of Free2Play service to the ridiculously popular World of Warcraft.

I say "kind of Free2Play" as there's a bigger limit to what you can and can't do than there normally is with these offerings, whilst WoW's competitors are free to enjoy for as long as you want with extra stuff being purchasable or with added benefits if you have a premium account, Activision-Blizzard have effectively made an extensive demo available to new players by making the game free2play until you hit level 20.

If anything, it'll certainly be interesting to see how succesful this scheme is.
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I really believe World Of Warcraft could be the launch of computer games as good films.

Okay Duncan Jones, I belive you, thousands wouldn't. Especially Ben. [Digital Spy]
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Posted by Duane at 05:47

As Humans we like to pigeon hole things. When asked to describe something we like to throw in comparisons, this makes it difficult to make something original really appealing as its hard to draw up said comparisons. Thankfully then, for their first game, Vigil Games have taken core ingredients from already succesful titles and tightly bolted them together.

So what comparisons can be drawn up? Well, if you were to find a recipe for Darksiders it would read as follows:

One heaped serving spoon of God of War
A hulking great mound of The Legend of Zelda (3D works best)


Essence of World of Warcraft

A rather mixed bag then I'm sure you'll agree, not to mention conflicting styles in the shapes of God of War and Legend of Zelda. But somehow Vigil have made it all work perfectly, kind of like Chilli and Chocolate, it sounds wrong but it tastes right.

The gameplay is clearly marked out, the combat is most definetly a stripped down God of War, even including "Finishing Moves" which are simplified to a single button press instead of a QTE which keeps the action flowing nicely whilst also giving your hands a much needed rest, whilst the Zelda ingredient gives the game a sense of adventure and exploration, with many of the dungeons feeling like they were considered for Twilight Princess. The Zelda aspect is probably the games most prominent aspect, even finding its way into the combat and boss battles via the use of unlockable items that are also ripped straight from Nintendo's hugely popular franchise. Throughout the game you'll have at your disposal a throwing blade (or boomerang) and a grapping hook amongst other things. War even gets to ride his horse, Ruin, across sandy barren landscapes and into battle against giant worms.

This in itself makes sense as War is indeed one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. However he's fallen from grace due to some conspiracy involving demons and a rogue group of Angels re-igniting the war between Heaven and Hell, which he tries to prevent but ultimately it ends up being blamed on him and Darksiders becomes a story of War trying to clear his name and exact revenge whilst also trying to return things to their natural order on a Earth that has been long stripped of human life (although there are Zombies, not quite sure how that bit works without Humans though). It's all a bit convuluted and ridiculous but it makes for an entertaining 12 hours or so thanks to the great cut-scenes and high standard of animaiton and voice acting.

As I've previously mentioned, Darksiders visual style feels heavily drawn from Blizzards World of Warcraft, but its to comic book artist Joe Madureria (who is also one the founders of Vigil Games) credit that the style holds up throughout the game and the blend of Fantasy art mixes well with the apocalyptic Earth on which the game takes place. There are some problems however, on my set-up (VGA to a PC monitor) there are huge borders making things look a little squat and the 360 has noticeable screen tear. There is a patch on the way to fix the latter issue, aswell as some slow down/frame skip when things get a little busy but its not surfaced as of yet. It doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the game as a whole unless that kind of thing really bothers you, and if it does and the option is there to you, go for the PS3 version.

Darksiders then is one of those games that borrows from a number of places, but makes it all work and is able to stand on its own ground. It's not hard to draw comparisons with EA's Dead Space in this respect, and thanks to the blend of gaming styles neither is focused on too heavily to deter anybody who may not be a fan of one of the games particular gameplay styles. Definetly a reccomended purchase and a great way to start the year.
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Posted by Ben at 05:07
I use the word 'taps' because MTV do, because y'know, they're MTV

Robert Rodat, writer of Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot has been hired for the increasingly promising World of Warcraft film.

Of his choice Raimi says:
"We want to be really faithful to the the Horde and the Alliance and the mythology that takes place in the game, and the archetypes that the game presents. I think we would try and find touchstones within the game to make it accurate and true and choose one or some of the lands that are portrayed in the game with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible.

"But we would have our writer, Robert Rodat, really craft an original story within that world that feels like a 'World of WarCraft' adventure. Only obviously it's very different 'cause it's expanded and translated into the world of a motion picture."

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Posted by Mark at 14:21
It's back!

Yes, Wednesday game returns to BitParade. Also, new Peggle.

PopCap have just released Peggle: World Of Warcraft Edition, a free, short, WoW-branded version of the title, much like the one bundled with pre-orders of The Orange Box.

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Posted by Duane at 08:18

This another new introduction for bitparade. Within this section we will look at games that are a little more "weighty" than the stuff we put up on a Wednesday but are still available for free of charge or are mods to an already existing game/engine such as all the Source mods that are out there.

This first instalment introduces you to Runes of Magic, a free to play MMORPG that also offers additional items for cash. However, unlike titles that offer a similar structure, Runes of Magic is heavy on the features for those who stick to playing for free. There's a plethora of quests, locations and items for you to conquer, discover and collect aswell as the ability to expand your basic class and take on a second if you so choose. You can craft items, decorate your own living space and even create a character for PvP servers. So there's always something to do.

It's also very easy on the eye, sharing a colour pallette with Blizzard's World of Warcraft, if not quite its art style, whilst its current Beta community is thriving, the last email bitparade recieved declared some 450,000 had already signed up to play, not bad numbers for a little known MMORPG that just short of a month before its released.

The game features an incredibly intuitive levelling system. As expected you gain experience from killling stuff and completing quests, everytime you level up you are able to spend points on different abilities, whilst your normal stats level up depending on the class of character you've chosen. However, you can tweak your character a little by focusing on using specific weapons as everytime you kill an enemy with a particular weapon, you will gain experience in using that type of weapon becoming more proficient with it the more its used. Meaning Knights aren't just limited to the use of swords for example.

It's incredibly suprising that the developers of Runes of Magic haven't considered giving this a full on commercial release as the entire package is weighty enough to feature on store shelves alongside the likes of Guild Wars etc. However, considering how packed the current MMORPG market is with games trying to knock World of Warcraft of the topspot, it shows a sense of intelligence that it is being made freely available to all with no monthly costs as in my experience its probably the best game within its community and genre, well worth looking into.
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Posted by Ben at 16:22
Another week another set of charts, and another new entry at the top.

Just a quick word before i start, last week I made mention of Little Big Planet being in 4th, well to put that in context, 2nd and 3rd place went to multiformat games, on the single format chart LBP came 2nd.

And with that out of the way here's the top 10 (11-40 in the comments section)

1. Call of Duty: World at War (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS)
2. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (PC)
3. Football Manager 2009 (PC, PSP)
4. Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)
5. FIFA 09 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS)
6. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii)
7. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
8. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3)
10. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PS2)

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Posted by Gareth Williams at 13:01

he mmorpg is a harsh mistress. The more time you put in, the more they seem to demand, but if you have the time and more importantly, the self-discipline to play sensibly, they can also provide incredible adventures shared between friends you may never even meet. World of Warcraft is one such game, and as much as it fixes certain problems suffered by its peers, it still sits firmly in the ‘should carry a health warning’ category the genre seems to be becoming infamous for.

It begins humbly enough. You choose your race, sex and class, tweak your appearance a little and are dropped straight into the world of Azeroth, or at least the training area befitting your preliminary choices. The opening missions are as by the book as they come; an NPC asks you to kill ten chickens and five baby boars. It can seem incredibly underwelming, but is essential for you to get to grips with the incredibly user-friendly controls and class related skills at your fingertips. Fortunately, new skills and strength come quickly enough and soon you will be sent into the real world. And what a world it is!

Azeroth is stunningly realised. The game uses a glossy filter that makes it feel almost dreamlike and mystical and this complements a world populated by Orcs, Elves, Dwarves and Humans perfectly. Trees glow as though bursting with life, lakes shimmer and reflect the moonlight. Distant mountains offer the promise of future successful hunts. Even a walk through Ashenvale or Stranglethorn can feel magical and worthwhile.

Thankfully, progress in WoW is well paced without being a walk in the park. You have to work for your level ups, but it rarely feels tedious. The game even rewards you for time spent offline with significant experience multipliers that last accordingly. Only a few missions demand teamwork early in the game, so you are never forced into obnoxious groups. Your progress can be as social as you see fit, though a good group is something to look forward to as, not only are they more fun, but the rewards for tougher quests reflect this in the experience and items they provide.

It is only once your character hits level twenty or thereabouts that the sheer scale of the world becomes apparent, and this further compels the player to progress as the instinct to explore rears. Jobs and trade skills have by now been learned to be either ignored or diligently exploited for financial profit. Huge dungeons have become available, and friends have been made with plans to conquer them for loot and glory. Plans and meets are arranged via guilds and friends lists to tackle ghost ships and ancient excavation sites that have been overrun with velociraptors.

The diversity of environments and the quests they contain is also a hugely positive move by Blizzard. There really is a different feel to the game in each area, despite the underlying (and suitably epic) plot being adhered to throughout. Fighting the Scarlet Crusade in the Plaguelands is worlds apart from battling Pirates in Stranglethorn, or The Dark Iron Dwarves in Gnomeregan, yet it all remains cohesive.

The game is by no means perfect however, as once the high levels are hit the logistics required for recruiting well balanced groups for Dungeons are daunting to say the least. Finding forty or so people to raid a huge dragon can take more time than the battle itself and it can be hugely frustrating once you finally set out at 11pm knowing the dungeon could take hours, yet real life keeps reminding you of the early alarm call that is approaching all too quickly. There are also a few troubles with the servers due to the overwhelming popularity of the game, and these too can frustrate when the server goes down on the Saturday night you had planned all week to devote to completing your Shadowcraft Armour set. It’s easy to see why the game has garnered such success however, as despite the flaws and considerable amount of time the game demands, it is very rarely anything less than a magical experience, and besides, there’s always next Saturday right?...

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