What if there were several World of Warcrafts?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 May 2015, 3:17 am
A decade later, with many people having long grown bored with World of Warcraft, and many MMORPGs having been released since, it is hard to remember the impact WoW had when it was released. By being far more polished and far more accessible than its competitors at the time, World of Warcraft singlehandedly changed the landscape of MMORPGs forever. A few months before WoW a financial analyst calculated that the overall market size for MMORPGs in Europe was 280,000. Then WoW came and sold 380,000 copies on the first weekend. Everquest II came out a month before WoW and people at the time considered that as a scoop that might "win" the war for SOE, but once World of Warcraft was released it just left EQ2 in the dust. As much as some people would like to deny it today, at the time World of Warcraft was far above its competitors in quality as well as accessibility, and we still feel the impact of that revolution today.

But what if World of Warcraft had been released onto a market where the already existing competitors were not so much different in quality? Sounds like a stupid hypothetical question, but I feel that something like that is happening now: Blizzard is soon to release Heroes of the Storm on June 2. It is a nice, accessible, polished game like pretty much all Blizzard games are. But it isn't much better or much more accessible than the competition. Yes, there is a training mode against the AI to test out new heroes, and some rules changes are designed to limit asshattery between teammates during a game. But it competes with a League of Legends with 27 million daily players, not an Everquest with 400,000 subscribers.

I am pretty sure that Heroes of the Storm will get millions of players, and that some people for different reasons will prefer the Blizzard version over the Riot version. But I don't see Heroes of the Storm being a "LoL killer". It will be somewhere in the list of the top 5 MOBA games, but not necessarily number 1. Blizzard is really late to this market (which is somewhat ironical, seeing how they could be said to be involved in starting the genre), and the existing games are already highly polished and accessible for a multi-million player mass market. The WoW/Hearthstone effect of "I'm taking a niche genre and make it accessible for the mass market" just isn't going to happen here. And thus I doubt that Blizzard will have such a huge impact on the future of this genre than it had on MMORPGs.
Tobold's Blog

Wow. Sounds so creepy and so fascinating at the same time! https://t.co/Buc3zYAMbD

Newest ep… we talk about making our in-game characters! https://t.co/JhQEwgB8WN

Why I Support the Honey Badgers and #GamerGate
Posted by Wolfshead Online [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 May 2015, 4:43 am
Liberty has always been one of the defining attributes of western civilization. The freedom to believe or disbelieve is essential to who we are. In the marketplace of ideas, good ideas prosper and bad ideas fail. This is as it should be as all ideas should be allowed to be subject to rigorous debate and intense scrutiny. Another hallmark of our culture is that one can believe what one wishes to believe or not to believe without coercion or force. The study of arts and sciences is all about the search for the truth. Without freedom of inquiry and the

GamerGate Bomb Threat
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 May 2015, 2:21 am
Hey, whoever phoned in a bomb threat to the GamerGate meetup in Washington, DC: you’re an asshole.  Seriously.  Stop it.

We’re discussing what inspires us when we make a character in game. I’m going with “pure survival ability.”

On Gamer Hangout, I mean. If someone else wants to chime in on the topic, lemme know! Recording in 10.

Free Comic Book day was pretty picked over, but we nabbed some pretty good ones! http://t.co/ZdDjBCq1xp

I must have this. @pecanstreetfest http://t.co/RH0xRE60q2

Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 5/2/2015
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 10:12 pm

Champion Changes


  • Rampage [Q] - Damage penalty against monsters removed
  • Rampage [Q] - Mana cost increased to 32/35/38/41/44 (up from 20/23/26/29/32)


  • Desperate Power [R] - Passive: Now also increases supercharged effect to 4/5/6 (rank level) seconds.


  • Rapid Fire [Q] - Cooldown reduction now also gained by attacking towers

I love the weekend with @lealaturkey in Austin. Probably going to the 6th street art festival! @pecanstreetfest

May Vault Boy of the Month: Chemist!
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 12:30 pm
Be “The Danger” of the Wasteland with May’s Vault Boy of the Month shirt, Chemist! Not only does it show off your Medicine skills, but it also lets everyone around know that the Wasteland is your territory. Chemist is available on store.bethsoft.com in men’s and women’s sizes for one week only. Did we mention it […]

In case you are curious about MUDs, check it: Achaea the MUD with Tecton the producer! https://t.co/bUwtHdJaq2

Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 10:00 am
Our group weekly topic this week is Roleplaying!  I haven't really done much of it honestly, but I wish I had gotten into roleplaying more.  I haven't ever been worried about the stigma associated with it, I just haven't had a good opportunity to dig in.

I've only tried DnD a few times for probably less than 8 hours total.  My brother did some DMing for my family and we all seemed to like it.  The problem has always been scheduling.  It's hard to find time for a group of people to sit down and game on a regular basis.  It's only gotten more difficult afte having kids.

I'm hoping to try out more DnD and attempt some other role playing systems once my kids get a little bit older.  I think they'll have fun with it, and it gives me a great excuse to get into the hobby.

The main thing on my roleplaying radar at the moment is Thornwatch.  I'm really excited for the Thornwatch roleplaying game from the Penny Arcade guys!  I love their work, the world they've created for the game, and the things they're doing to streamline playing and DMing.  I think I'm going to try to DM Thornwatch for some people once the game is eventually released!

I'm actually going to PAX for the first time later this year and one of the main things I want to check out while there is Thornwatch!  I'll definitely report back when I do.

As always, it's time for the Friday link-up!  If you're reading in a RSS feed click through to see the majesty.  Drop in any link from the past week that you thought was exceptionally good!

An InLinkz Link-up

Marvel at this Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 9:33 am
Nice work by the creative folks at ZeniMax Online Studios for pulling together this screenshot within ESO: Tamriel Unlimited!

Too Long; Didn't Play: Car Mechanic Simulator 2014
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 6:02 am

Sponsored By: Aristophan

Labor bill: 99 minutes, but we don't bill you for estimates.


Customer reports no knowledge of how cars work at all. Repair with a copy of Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 and an undefined number of hours.

Oh, and while you're at it, tell him you replaced the zwieback lubricator and that it costs four grand, plus labor.

It was a lot harder to play than we thought it'd be ... .

The automobile has always been something of a mystery to me. I'm not a stupid man – I'm an electrical engineer for crying out loud. Ask me to design a stripline band-pass filter for 10% around 12.5 gigahertz, and I'll draft it, fab it, and slap it on a network analyzer to prove to you that I just did what you asked.

Cars, though? I might as well be a frog trying to comprehend, well, an internal combustion engine.

That's for mechanical engineers.

read more

On the Topic of an Utter Lack of Self Awareness
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 1:58 am
Over the weekend, the Boston Globe did an article which paints rather convincingly the image that GamerGate Firestarter Eron Gjoni is, in fact, the ex-boyfriend from hell. You know, as if ‘directing an international hate mob onto his exes’ girlfriend with malice and glee’ wasn’t enough. Over the past several months, Gjoni has been working […]

Now accepting donations in WoW gold
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 May 2015, 1:08 am
A reader came up with another interesting idea based on WoW tokens: Instead of using the buy Tobold a coffee button to donate money to me, he offered to donate WoW gold. Enough gold to buy 2 WoW tokens in fact. So although his gold was on a different server, as long as it was in the same region (Europe) that worked just fine: I made a level 1 character, he gave me the gold, and I bought 2 WoW tokens (plus a battle pet with the change) on the auction house. Thank you!
Tobold's Blog

Change It Up With Chroma Packs

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)


Express your style and personality in League of Legends with chroma packs that reimagine original color schemes, allowing you to make your favorite champions and skins your own. Where skins offer alternate fantasies from a champion’s base thematic, chroma packs serve up new ways to personalize a specific champion or skin.

In better news, I’m about to watch Avengers with @lealaturkey !!! That makes me happy. 😸

Well, experiment over. On my way to the movies, this Windows Lumia 1520 just would not work. Cortana barely works. Back to ‘Droid.

Playing Achaea (MUD) live with Tecton! 5:00 pm EST!: http://t.co/8KzrfiPagD

Going live with Achaea MUD right now! http://t.co/ym42G2cPKr

TwitchWorks Time Travels in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 April 2015, 3:14 pm
Team TwitchWorks is preparing for some good ol’fashioned Wolfenstein fun as we get ready for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s release next week. Have your pipes ready for what’s sure to be some mayhem and close calls happening tomorrow — Friday, May 1st at 4pm ET on Twitch.TV/Bethesda.

Ashe Gameplay Update FAQ

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

Add a freeze effect as well as a clear AoE slow indicator to her ultimate. This would make her more consistent (Lore-wise) with the other Freljord Queens ultimates (both of them trap the target(s) in ice) [...]

Hi Avious,


Adding some better effects to Ashe's outdated stuff would indeed be cool, but unfortunately, it's not going to be possible for this update. Ashe actually wasn't really a planned project at all, but when a small amount of Champion Update bandwidth presented itself, we hopped on the opportunity to provide a short and sweet touch-up on Ashe. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the amount of bandwidth was indeed very small, so we won't be able to do a full suite of new effects.

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