Blizzard testing a real money cash shop in WOW

8 07 2013

Since 2004 World of Warcraft has been the king of the MMO hill.

Challengers have tried to emulate it’s success and have come and gone, many of them have vanished without a trace and those that are left have slipped into the murky realm of Free to Play.

For a mighty nine years now Blizzard have been gorging on the millions of monthly subscriptions that it’s cash cow has generated.

However those days seem to be coming to an end. As the postponement of Project Titan has suggested even the mighty Blizz has to tighten it’s belt on occasion.

Whilst this by itself doesnt imply that the end is nigh for WOW’s subscription model there are other signs that change is afoot in the World of Azeroth.

Sharp eyed dataminers have come across links to real-money items – for instance, a 100 percent XP boost called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom – while trawling through test server updates.

Rather than crush the rumour or just ignore Blizzard have actually come forward with an explanation on the official forums:

“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”

Does this mean that Blizzard have hit the free to play panic button? Of course not. However it does suggest that this isn’t as ridiculous a suggestion as it would have seemed 12/18 months ago.





RIft is going Free to Play

15 05 2013

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Well it is finally official. Rift is going free to play.

Trion Worlds have announced that as of June 12th 2013 anyone will be able to experience the fun of exploring Telara without having to stump up their hard earned cash.

The change in pricing model will go live at the same time as patch 2.3 – Empyreal Assault launches and will see a number of changes including a cash shop and a tiered model which will see subscribers rebranded as “Patrons”

Patrons will benefit from a number of different perks which will set them apart from their non paying brethren:

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On top of the above rewards people who purchased the original game or the Storm Legion expansion will receive access to additional character slots, starting bag slots and access to the expansion souls (Storm Legion purchasers only)

I guess it was inevitable that Trion would take this approach with Rift at some point but personally after the success of Storm Legion I didn’t think it would be quite this soon.

I am not typically a big fan of F2P as a model and I am especially wary of cash shops, probably as a result of way too many hours spent playing PWI when I was younger.

That said I like what Turbine have done with Lord Of The Rings Online and have to admit that going F2P was probably the best thing which could have happened to the game.

Likewise I am really enjoying the Beta of NeverWinter so maybe there is hope after all.





Portrait of an Internet Troll

29 08 2011





WoW is racist….

25 06 2011

This was sent through to me and I just had to share…





Have LotRO will travel…

21 06 2011

American  performance artist Jordan Long plans to ship himself across the US in a crate with only  Lord of the Rings Online as company.

Avid Lord of the Rings Online player and performance artist; Jordan Long is taking his theories about in-game communities and their benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to new levels.

Long has shipped himself from his home in Bald Knob, Arkansas to a final destination in Oregon locked in a crate with nothing but his computer and his LOTRO companions along for the ride. 

According to Long, the purpose of his most recent “art” project is to study “trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and claims that he has found that many who are confined to their homes due to such trauma tend to find their escape in the form of online games such as LotRO where they can ‘enter and exit whenever they choose, be whoever they want to be and feel like functioning members of society again.'”

Good thing he isn’t playing WOW or people would want to know the gear score of his crate….





It’s coming…

13 10 2010

There is still a goodly amount of time to go until Cataclysm hits
the World of Warcraft but already the rumblings of it’s arrival can be felt…

Patch 4.0.1 is going live today allowing players to experience the start of the changes which will be fully realised on December 7th when Cataclysm is released upon an unsuspecting Azeroth.

The update will add the new Cataclysm Launcher, which allows you to download new content while you play, reducing the time it takes to download, install and patch World of Warcraft, this is great news as it will hopefully bring an end to the agonizing wait whilst you get your hands on the latest 800 megs or so of content that Blizzard do enjoy spewing at us on a regular basis.

It is rather ironic though that an upgrade which is designed to allow you to maximise your playing time is going to result in a full 24 hours of maintenance :S

It is also adding Reforging NPCs who will allow you to modify the stats on your items so as to help with the for the forthcoming changes which are going to see a lot of stats being combined, tweaked or just plain removed.

Every class are going to get major overhauls to their talents, spells and abilities. This is always both the most enjoyable and also the most controversial of the changes that Blizz make.

As soon as everyone is back online the whole debate of who is now the most over powered class will rear it’s ugly head (not that it ever really goes away…) Skipping merrily hand in hand with the OP discussion will be the good old argument as to which class fell out of the nerf tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Surprise surprise there are changes to the currency system with all emblems of Frost and Emblems of Triumph being converted into Justice Points for all the new shinies that you are just going to have to have.

Oh and Paladins are getting a new resource bar





WOW Questionnaire

6 07 2010

I saw this questionnaire on MMO Gamer Chick and  I would complete it myself and see what anyone else has to say on it

1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?
Raider / Altoholic but I am getting to like the PvP these days

2. Favorite raid or dungeon?
Got to be The Black Temple, I must of played through that place like 100 times when TBC came out

3. Number one choice for a new playable race?
Arakkoa / Ogres

4. Class you suck the most at?
Rogues, my first ever main was a rogue and I just couldnt enjoy it at all

5. Original UI or modded UI?
Modded, but not that much, when I’m levelling it tends to just be Recount and Omen with PallyPower stashed away for groups

6. Profession you’ve never leveled past 200?
Leatherworking, I have an annoying habit of leaving professions until I hit level cap and then blizing them and I never seem to bother with Leatherworking

7. Favorite flying mount?
Has to be the Proto Drake, even though I don’t have one 😦

8. Nozdormu — friend or foe, you figure?
Neither, when you control time who needs concepts like friends or enemies?

9. Useless item you have in your bank that you’ll never get rid of?
My midsummer fire festival tabard, pointless but I kinda like the look

10. Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
Same as most people epic flying skill and coldweather flying in one fell swoop – 6k straight down the hole

11. Favorite starting area?
Eversong Wood, don’t know why but I just like it, maybe because I know it so well (8 blood elves started so far)

12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?
I’m fairly sure they are all kind of inane!

13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off — winner is?
Mograine all the way, if only for the fact that first time I ever heard the name I was sort of blitzed and heard it as Dave Mustaine and since then it has made me chuckle

14. Game music or your own playlist?
Neither, I don’t listen to music whilst I game, the sole exception to that in recent years has been LOTRO

15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?
Have to add the extra action bars straight away

16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?
27, from level 3 to level 30 whilst sat in an internet cafe waiting to find out if I could get a flight home for xmas

17. Thing you’d most like to experience or see in-game?
A horde win in Strand of the Ancients,the horde sucks balls at SOA in our battle group!  I guess a more serious suggestion would be an all paladin raiding guild, just to lol at all the palyl haters

18. Worst PuG moment?
A mage entering as Tank for HoR because in their words they didnt have to queue so long

19. Best dungeon/raid moment?
First time my old guild and I completed Mount Hyjal, we managed it second time round without even knowing how we survived it and it just felt epic, I kinda feel like some of that epicness is missing these days

20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?
Any in Zul Farrak, it’s not the quests more the instance. As it’s sort of the first proper instance there are always a lot of people that haven’t a clue and you can get really bogged down in there for quite a while. On my newest toon it was enough to make me think about dual boxing.

21. First thing you do when you hit 80?
hit the AH to see if there are any instant “wins” to be had in terms of bargain crafted epics

22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?
Curadane my Blood Elf Paladin (also my current main) If only because I have this whole little back story already worked out in my head

23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?
Both.

24. Thottbot or WoWhead?
Has to be WoWhead, the level of trolling and general asshattery on Thottbot has gotten real old these days, especially as my time is limited

25. Acronym you’ve seen in chat but don’t understand?
On coming back to the game 3 months ago after a 2 year hiatus I hadn’t a clue what GS or gearscore was or what I might do with one if I found it

26. Plot point you’d like to see resolved someday?
The whole Blood Elf/Sunwell Saga

27. Biggest thing you’re looking forward to in Cataclysm?
Flying in Azeroth

28. Guild event you’d like to see?
Around the World of Warcraft in 80 days, a scavenger hunt with a clue released each day, first to finish on the 80th day wins a prize. We organized something very similar in my old LOTRO kin and it was great not to mention that we had over 400g in cash and prizes

29. Level range you hate being in?
I loathe the Barrens, if only because the chat there is inane babbling

Favorite map to quest in?
Hmmm I love Stranglethorn and Un’ Goro Crater





Northrend and beyond

28 06 2010

I wrote a quick update a while ago mentioning that I had just hit level 70 with my (not so) new Ret Paladin in WOW. Well time has moved on since then and so have Curadane and I.

I have now said good bye to outland and have ventured off bravely into the freezing wastes of Northrend.

7 levels later and I feel like I have seen enough of the continent to put my two pennies in.

Overall I am really impressed; there is a sense of scale to the continent that makes it seem as if a mere ten levels of questing and grinding just isn’t enough to see it all. I know some people like to rag on sandbox games and MMO’s because there is just too much scope for going off and doing basically not very much in order to explore huge sections of map but I like it.

If I am going to go to the bother of controlling a virtual person in a made up world I at least want that world to seem like a place worth visiting, both in terms of places to go and things to do.

There is no point putting a serious investment of time (and wow is a serious timesink) into a game if you can trot across the whole map in five minutes and keep revisiting the sae half dozen or so locations to speak to the same couple of dozen protagonists.

Another thing which pleased me about WOTLK in general and Northrend in particular is the graphics, now granted as a long time LOTRO player they aren’t really anything to write home about however I do think they are a big step up from Vanilla WOW or The Burning Crusade. One of the main reasons that I prefer the graphics in WOTLK is that they are less cartoony than many of the graphics in TBC. I know the reasoning behind it and agree that it suited that particular expansion but personally they just weren’t my cup of tea.

The quests and dungeons all seem well thought through and there are some interesting new tweaks that help to keep things fresh, even if some of them are a little gimmicky (I’m thinking of the harpoon guns in Utgarde Pinnacle) but there is definitely something fun about driving round in a siege engine as part of Wintergrasp PvP or  flying a war dragon around as part of the Occulus instance.

So the not so good things….

I’m not sure on Death Knights, I wrote at some length before about my issues with DKs and I’m sorry ot say that having now spent a few more weeks grouping with them my initial opinions haven’t changed.

I think that a big part of the DK problem is that even by the time you are playing through Halls of Stone, The Nexus etc etc they just don’t seem to have really learnt their class….at all.

There is a long list of issues that I have regularly come across and it seems I am not alone a lot of other players are also complaining about these and others:

Tanking in all DPS gear – Just because it is plate it doesn’t mean you should tank with it!!

Hoping that DPS alone will generate enough threat for you to be able to hold a room full of mobs – fail in anyone’s language

Not using Frost presence when tanking….seriously wtf?

Oh yeah and my favourite the shitty fairy at the top of the Death Knoob tree, the cherry on top of the liquishit cake you so freely share around…..

After a wipe on halls of lightning, Utgarde Pinnacle etc “Soz guys my 1st time tanking roflol”….Well thanks a lot, thanks for fucking up the one instance run a night that I might get on an instance I actually need to do, thanks for the half the group (usually including a pissed off healer) dropping as soon as this utterance leaves your lips and lets not forget the 10g minimum that you have just cost me in having to go repair my sorry plate wearing ass.

Ok calm, down deep breaths, DK rant over.

I also dislike the 1k gold it costs for cold weather flying, just seems like a money sink but hey thats life. Personally I never rock less than 4/5k gold at any given time so dont mind paying it, but there are a lot of players who will spend whole weeks farming just to hit that 1k or alternately will decide to contact their friendly neighbourhood Chinese gold farmer in order to puke up some of their hard earned cash.





DING 70!

10 06 2010

Well I am surprisingly tardy in reporting this but I hit 70 on Tuesday evening.

Obviously it’s not the big deal it used to be but it still gives me a sense of achievement, there are now only 10 measly levels between me and the Lich King.

Because I actually really like the Burning Crusade content I have decided against jumping ship to Northrend straight away, I really want to work my way through some of the greatraids that there are in TBC, in particular Sunwell Plateau and Mount Hyjal.

I only ever got to complete Sunwell once before I took my gaming hiatus and would really like to give it another whirl.

Being a few years further on as a gamer and having been a bit more patient and focused on making some gold I am really enjoying the benefits of having good gear.

Ret Pallys are really gear dependant and I see some of my compatriots really struggling in comparisson to other classes for two simple reasons; either their gear sucks balls or they aren’t bothering with  can’t afford the little things that make all the difference like decent gems and enchants.

Sure I might have taken a week  or so longer in order to get here but good god the time spent farming has sure payed off!

So if you happen to be hanging around Boulderfist (not likely) and want to run some TBC raids then hit me up 🙂





Lord of the rings online…for FREE?!?!?!

8 06 2010

Well it turns out that the rumours  that have been rumbling away for a while now were true, Lord of the rings online (LOTRO) is going free to play (F2P).

Turbine dropped this not so unexpected bombshell on Friday and it would seem on the face of things that this is going to work out pretty much the same way that things did with Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO).

So why has this happened, well the population in LOTRO has never really hit the heights that it might of and on my recent visits to Middle Earth I have even found that it has dropped off a bit.

If DDO is anything to go by and it probably is, we can expect to see a big spike in the number of “subscribers” when F2P goes live and then for things to settle down a bit but still be a lot higher than current population levels in LOTRO.

Whilst I can see the big plus sides to going F2P I do remain a little bit skeptical of how it is going to work out in the long run. I worry that with the game suddenly being free there will be a vast influx of new players and the chat channels etc will suddenly be full of the sort of idiocy that you see so regularly in WOW etc, the reasonably mature standard of players in LOTRO has always been one of the big attractions for me (other than the hobbits of course) and I know it is a big factor for a lot of other players as well.

The biggest worry for me is that the standard of content that is released for the game is going to suffer as a result. Already we have seen Siege of Mirkwood released even though it wasn’t a patch on the original game or Mines of Moria and I can envisage a time down the line when we will look back fondly on SoM and long for the good old days.

Whilst I can see that from a numbers point of view F2P makes sense I jsut can’t see how it makes sense in the life of the game, this isn’t some tired old MMO that has been kicking around for far too long and needs to be put out to stud, Turbine have only taken us into a very small part of Middle Earth so far and there is plenty of scope not only for future expansions but even to give the game a bit of a mid-life overhaul.

One things for sure at least I won’t have to worry about having too many subscriptions now!








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