Entries in twitter (13)

Third Developer Chat On Twitter Tomorrow

Boy, these things have been a bit of a crapshoot, haven't they? The first was plagued by terrible questions and neither has provided a wellspring of significant new information for us to chew on. This one appears to be no different, reported to focus on Icecrown Citadel and "other Fall of the Lich King content" (which is code for no Cataclysm, but maybe the upcoming minor content patches).

Instead, they tend to play out like an extended-form Q & A session with the absolute dregs of the official forum providing the inqueries (and considering all answers are posted there, as opposed to Twitter, it makes you wonder why they even bother in the first place).

And yet, they've proven sufficiently popular and it does provide an easy and convenient way for those members of the development team that don't spend their every waking moment dealing with trolls to get in touch with the community. Well, at least Cory Stockton. I'm pretty sure Ghostcrawler, who's slated to make an appearance, lives and breaths off the class forums like it was a symbiotic leech.

As usual, these things tend to be announced only a day or two before they actually happen, which makes tomorrow (Friday, the 26th, at 5:00 PM PST) the date to mark on your calendar.

For further details on how you can get in on the action, as well as a link to the previous Twitter developer chat, hit the jump. 

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Strange Messages Appear On Warcraft Twitter

And I thought the possible announcement of in-game prizes was an exciting enough reason to start following Warcraft on Twitter! Not but a few minutes ago was a new, tantalizing hook posted to the game's page, and it says the following:

The mysteries of the Abyssal Maw are starting to take shape… #WoW
What we currently know of the Abyssal Maw. What we currently know of the Abyssal Maw. Just when you thought it was over, they reel you back in! But what could this really mean? For the uninitiated, the Abyssal Maw is the Plane of the Water Elementals, which we recently learned we'd be visiting in the next expansion. As yet, we only know of one portal to the alternate dimension, a swirling whirlpool in the center of the new zone, Vashj'ir. We also know that it will contain at least two leveling dungeons for 80-85 level players. So, does that mean we might be learning more about this unexplored area in the very near future? The Abyssal Maw was highlighted heavily in various panels at Blizzcon, perhaps indicating that it is one of the pieces of fresh, high-level content that's the furthest along in development. And that means it may also be the first that we get an extensive preview of. It hasn't even been a month since the expansion's reveal, and yet the time seems ripe for Blizzard to start peeling back the veil on Cataclysm little by little. Very little else can be gleaned from this brief tease, and there's no way that we can confirm at the moment if anything is true. After all, there's always the possibility that this might pertain to the comic series or the TCG,  but we'll keep our eyes glued to Twitter for any further information, which we will no doubt bring to the rest of you! Speculation is always fun, though. Readers, what do you think this strange message might mean?

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Warcraft Twitter May Give Away In-Game Items

We reported, pre-Blizzcon, that Blizzard had created several new Twitter accounts, each focused on one of the company's key franchises. Some of you started following them instantly, while others maintained their distance from the social networking site wonder what, precisely, it could offer beyond the usual community or news features. Well, so far, the latter would be right. Posts have generally concerned themselves with daily questions, opinion polls, and highlighting the more creative aspects of the Blizzard fandom (things like fan art, stories, and, most recently, papercraft). Though there is an on-going Battlecry contest -- in which fans of the Horde or Alliance update their own accounts with "For the ____!" whenever their side's banner is lifted -- there have yet to be any prizes that you can actually use within the game. wartweetBut, a recent post on the Warcraft Twitter page hints that might not be the case for long:

We are talking to our licensing department about giving out some#WoW in-game pets/mounts through Twitter. Looks promising. Stay tuned.
That's right, soon enough, you could be earning in-game content just for participating in the usual Twitter shenanigans. I can tell you from personal experience that it's not a sham, either. I recently won a Starcraft 2 Beta Key through Blizzard's Starcraft Twitter page. Generally, these contests involve little more than "re-tweeting" a phrase or offering up your own thoughts on a given subject. At 140 characters, that's not very hard at all. So what sorts of things might Blizzard actually give out? According to another tweet from yesterday, quite possible pets and mounts normally available only through loot cards:
What types of in-game prizes would you like to see us give on Twitter? Interested in #WoW TCG loot items? Spectral Tiger Mounts maybe?
This is wonderful news for those who have no interest in playing (or spending money) on the Trading Card Game. I wouldn't expect to see anything game-changing to be offered through these contests, but vanity items like Spectral Tiger Mounts, alone, are desirable and rare prizes. Do you think this sort of giveaway might get you to sign up for Twitter if you haven't already? Well, if you do, please make sure to follow Project Lore and myself, as well! We're always keen on having new friends to talk to!

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BlizzCon 2009: Important Guild Changes

Note: The below information was covered as part of our Live Blogging & Tweeting during the show.  But the information is simply too important to be glossed over.  Here are the major class changes in one convenient, to the point package. Quick Synopsis Of The Upcoming System Quick Synopsis Of The Upcoming System Guild progression was, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite WoW announcement during BlizzCon 2009.  The crowd erupted when the snippet was splashed across the screen.  The bees nest was stirred further as the developers began detailing the progression tracks, rewards, and reward schemes.  The panelists had to stop speaking numerous times during the presentation as the crowd drowned them out with hoots, hollers and hoorays.  It seems that I wasn't the only player desperately seeking a reason to grow with a guild.  Prophetic vision placing that in the The Next Expansion column, rather than Wishful Thinking methinks. Cataclysm's Guild Progression basics:

  • You're guild will earn experience by way of its most active members (top 20 guildmates contribute).  The "gate" is to limit the "grindiness", a reoccurring theme at this year's BlizzCon.  Limiting the amount of players who can contribute helps maintain a balance between massive guilds, and those with only a few dozen players.
  • Guild contribution won't change your daily activity much.  You can contribute by doing the stuff you already do, be it dailies, professions, farming reputation, raiding, PvP (rated Arenas and BGs) or bum rushing Hogger.  Different acts will be weighed differently.
  • The guild level cap currently discussed is level 20.  Guilds will receive talent points, much like the class talent points.  More on this below.
  • Looking For Guild system being implemented.  The idea is to make it easy for a Raid Leader, Officer or GM to find exactly what a guild needs, or to post a casting call.
  • Guild Achievement system is also incoming.  It'll act like today's system, but require that a certain percentage (75% discussed) of the attendees be a part of the guild.  Some current achievements will be recycled, but most challenges are to be new.
  • A new paid service, guild transfer, was mentioned as a possibility.
  • No, it's not going to happen.  There is still no guild housing plans.
Look At All Those Talents Look At All Those Talents The current rewards for guild progression are too fluid, and numerous, to discuss in bullet form.  According to the Systems panel, guilds will have numerous rewards for sticking together, and not sucking.  First off is the guild Talent system.  Effectively a clone of the current class talents, but with convenience rewards.  The guild variety will offer no gameplay changing talents (no buffs or anything like that).  Instead it will focus on making things easier for a guild.  Bottom line, you're guild will never have to spec a certain way to beat a boss.  We'll be hit with tons of time saving abilities like grabbing extra money from mobs, mass resurrection, mass summoning, reduced durability loss and reduced repair bills!  Quite awesome right?  Sadly, I didn't call that last one correctly. On top of those guild wide buffs there will be a way to reward individuals a bit more, the vendor/currency system.  Users will gain guild currency as they earn XP for the guild.  They then can buy special items, including rare reagents (hello Frost Lotus), Heirloom gear, crafting plans, vanity items, guild standards, guild respects and guild bank slots.  The items are all bound to the guild, so if you leave the Totally Rad Guild, you lose access to the totally rad loot they have accumulated.  Leaving a guild is not as painful as it sounds.  If you join another guild, you get access to their perks right away. It remains to be seen exactly how easy guild leveling will be.  Those specifics were not detailed.  Numerous other titles, old and new, have had guild progression systems of varying success.  Some developers made it incredibly difficult to obtain.  Others tied the size of a guild to its success.  Yet others made it so easy and bland that the feature was lost, a common occurrence.  Worst of all, some demanded that a guild have certain attributes before they could continue advancing in content, disrupting the idea of choice. Hopefully Blizzard's track record of incredibly polished, not always innovative, design will prove to be successful once again. At least they are giving guilds yet another topic for drama, what to spec in!  I vote saving money spec.

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BlizzCon 2009: How Did MMO-Champion Do, You Ask?

Incoming! Incoming! The short answer is that Boubouille scored.  The data mining machine, who used some other resources for his recent discoveries, received almost a perfect score during yesterday's opening ceremony.  Nearly every World of Warcraft detail that had been disclosed by MMO-Champion.com came true.  Nearly ever one. There's absolutely no way I can take away from the sleuthing that went on to find out Cataclysm's particulars.  Sure, I didn't believe them all at first, but Blizzard confirmed that the company is simply crazy.  Crazy enough to reinvent what MMO gamers, not just World of Warcraft players, will expect in future expansions. Here's what MMO-Champion had spot on:

  • Worgen & Goblins - WoW.com independently "confirmed" this before the event ever happened, but it was Boubouille and his mask discovery that sparked the rumors.  The new races' racials definitely sound OP as announced.  However it was later confirmed that all the other races will have their racials revamped.
  • Level cap raised to 85 - Seems an arbitrary choice, but Blizzard wants players to focus a bit more on the content leading up to level 85.  Not just the idea of getting there.  Of course that won't stop many people from being level capped week 1.
  • Azeroth revamp - The lands as we know them will indeed change drastically.  Barrens is split in two (double the Barrens Chat?!), Grim Batol is now Twilight Highlands and various other lands, coastlines and jungles will radically change.
  • Flying everywhere - Yes folks, we will be able to fly everywhere in Cataclysm.  This even includes Wintergrasp.
  • Class combinations - Data mining discovered the new possibilities and they've all come true, even Night Elf Mages.  Solving the 2:1 Horde to Alliance druid question is the Worgen's ability to offer a self-standing holy trinity.
  • Unfinished original content done - Uldum and Mount Hyjal will both be arriving as part of Cataclysm.  Blizzard stated that Hyjal was never completed because it was impossible to do what they wanted previously.
There's really only one thing I can say Boubouille missed the mark on, and that's the main protagonist of the third expansion.  Deathwing is, without a shadow of a doubt, the bad guy in Cataclysm.  He's the force that lays waste to the lands as we know them.  Not an erupting Maelstrom as so many speculated.  QueenAzshara and her Naga buddies are definitely around, they have a new island to themselves just south of the Maelstrom, but they'll be a distraction compared to The Earth Warderer. "That is their (Goblin) mount" "That is their (Goblin) mount" We've also got some additional details that no one guessed.
  • New Secondary Profession - Archaeology (a word that will be often misspelled) will be added to WoW.  It'll be the first secondary profession that plays like a gathering profession.  No, fishing doesn't count.  After collecting from nodes of ruins and such, players will be able to discover rewards.  The mechanic to discovery hasn't been disclosed, but the possibility of a mini-game (Bejewled?!) was mentioned.  We will be able to track ruin nodes, and other gathering nodes at the same time.
  • Mastery system - A new mode of progression.  The Mastery system is going to work alongside Talents to offer additional character customization, and it won't be class restricted.  This means a Priest can pick up the same Mastery skills (or whatever they are to be called) as a Rogue.  We are going to find out more details during the WoW Game Systems panel at 10:30 PST.  I'll be covering it via Twitter, and I expect it to be live blogged here as well.
  • Heroic Deadmines & Shadowfang Keep - We heard dungeon revamps were coming, and now it's official.  These particular dungeons will use the same art and models.  To spice things up these assets will be mixed with new encounters and fights.  We'll hear more at today's Raids & Dungeons panel, which I'll be covering as well.
  • Ragnaros - He's indeed back, "bigger and more pissed."  How much bigger can the developers possibly make the Lord of the Fire Elementals?
  • So much more - Changes to fishing, Blackrock Spire is back, new PvP zone, rated BGs and the Alliance loses Southshore!
Consider me excited.  What do you think?  Good, bad, lore buster?  Anything that truly shocked you? For the StarCraft II players out there; I'll be sitting down for a StarCraft II interview later today. @iTZKooPA with your questions.  I'll select the best ones and work them into my own queries.

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My One Year Anniversary

iTZKooPA Be Blogging Just over a month ago ProjectLore turned one, and it seems that another of Alex's zanny ideas - read getting paid to perform his hobby - has paid off.  I first heard of Project Lore way back when Alex announced his intentions with the site.  I flat out loved the idea of "embracing WoW culture and the interactions between players".  So much that I covered the announcement for a completely different site, the now semi-defunct GetBuffed.com (no, it's not a porn or weightlifting site).  I applied upon seeing the open call for writers while the site was still in its infancy.  Here I am 365 days and 246 posts later, without any intention of stopping. I'll admit that I was apprehensive, anxious and even nervous during my early days here at Project Lore.  Those are three emotions I rarely ever feel.  My regression to an earlier mindset was due to the very community that I love being a part of.  I know the types out there on the Internet, and thus part of the WoW crowd.  WoW's own rampant success has creating a gigantic, teeming audience.  I've been writing about video games for nearly a decade now (over if you include my volunteer stuff), but ProjectLore brought me my largest audience by far.  Unfortunately not all of them are nice.  The haters, know it alls and sarcastic bastards intimidated me at first, but I grew a thick skin and can now take the criticism, constructive or not, in stride. Ok fine, so my early days weren't the pinnacle of journalism, or the highlight of blogging, but I like to feel that I have grown, substantially.  Grammar ("makes ends meat" anyone?), spelling and other stupid mistakes have been trimmed thanks to a higher attention to detail, and additional proofreading on each post.  But the meat and potatoes of writing is in the ideas, and they've come into their own thanks to the readers and guildmates.  Not only have your comments and forum threads sparked many lightbulbs, but you reignited my passion for World of Warcraft.  Although I returned during TBC, it wasn't until a few months in to this gig that I really returned.  That was because of the readers insatiable hunger for WoW content, be it digital or wordy. Speaking of ideas, here's a quick list of the reoccurring ones I've played a part in:

Although I am not a part of the detailed Proverb column yet, I hope Heartbourne (did I get it right?) will let me take the lore-filled column for a spin. I want to take this opportunity to say thanks for reading, keeping me on my toes, and sharing your opinions, objections and stories in a respectful manner.  That goes for everyone - except all you firsters, you can go to the back of the line.  Last is the new first. It's been fun watching the site mature, the readership grow and having additional writers to bounce ideas off of. Thanks for keeping my interest in the game at an all time high.  To another year of WoW, Project Lore and blogging!  Cheers. Oh, time for a little shameless self promotion.  I am on Twitter after much pestering from seemingly everyone.  Be gentle, I am still figuring out all this @, # and other odd uses of shift+numbers. /me packs for BlizzCon.

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Blizzard Franchises, Twitterpated

Can the awesomeness of Blizzard games be distilled into a scant 140 characters? The company's Licensing Project Manager, Kat Hunter, seems to think so. According to her own account, all three of Blizzard's core franchises are being given the Twitter treatment. wartweetSo whether you're a fan of Warcraft, Starcraft, or Diablo, there's something for everyone. Or just add all three (hint: clicking the previous links take you straight to the games' respective Twitter pages)!  These accounts appear to be alternate news feeds for all of the latest Blizzard buzz. I'm willing to bet that they get quite the work out during Blizzcon. And did someone say licensing? Considering Mrs. Hunter's involvement (and the pedigree of corporate Twitter accounts in general), I think we can expect to see plenty of posts about events, new merchandise, and promotional opportunities in addition to general news items. So go ahead and add 'em. And while you're at it, why not follow Project Lore, as well? We provide a link to every new article as it's posted and it's a great way to keep up with our schedule of live streaming feeds. So what do you think of this readers? Do you even use Twitter? Is this something useful and interesting to you? I don't think you can fault Blizzard for giving their fans options and the convenience factor can't be beat. Where else can you keep up on the latest WoW news and pretend like you're best buds with Ashton Kutcher at the same time? Wait... does Ashton Kutcher play Warcraft?

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Looking Forward with Project Lore

projectloreepisode0I'd like to take a moment on the one year anniversary of Project Lore to address the fans in order to let you all know what's up with the us and what you can expect in the future from Project Lore. We're going through some changes here, which you may have already noticed. Over the next few months, you'll see the site and video content evolve, and in the end we will be an even better resource for you to find your favorite WoW content. We've heard your concerns about Project Lore and understand that you love the show for the same reasons we love it - embracing WoW culture and the interactions between players that make the game what it is.  Over the summer you can tell we've taken a little break from the bigger scale videos but rest assured that we want to give you a Project Lore Ulduar run just as soon as we can. In the mean time, be sure to check out the live streams of Ulduar runs that will be happening during the week and will start being featured here on Project Lore. They're going to be improving and becoming more interactive as time moves on, so watch our Twitter feed and check the site to see when they'll be happening. On one final note, we want to thank you all for your support over the last year. Without the fans, there would be no Project Lore, and we would never have made it for one year. Here's to the second year being even better!

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Integrating WoW into Your Social Graph

Sometimes I make new friends who play WoW, and the chances of them playing on my primary server (Proudmoore) are very low. I'm still interested in discussing WoW with them (because I'm that much of a nerd) and keeping up with what they are up to in game - whether they are leveling a character for the first time or just downing Sarth 3D for the first time. One way I do this is through the Hearthstone app on Facebook. Hearthstone is my favorite WoW-related Facebook app. First, you register your characters with the application. Then, through various means, the application "refreshes" your characters from the official WoW armory and adds level gains, major reputation gains, and new achievements into your friend's news feed and your profile mini-feed. It also has a slick interface on your profile page if you choose to add it there as a "box". Its a great way for me to brag to my friends about my epic achievements or mock my friends for taking too long to progress through content. Then again, I haven't exactly been on the cutting edge of raiding recently on any of my live characters, so things still come up like my PUG-ed Sarth 1D on my characters and I'm on the receiving end of the jokes. The application used to automatically refresh your characters with no user action required, but scaling quickly became a problem as the WoW armory servers locked out the application. If you want to refresh, you have to manually tell the application to check for updates. If you allow offline updates, your friends can refresh your characters for you if you haven't done so in awhile and they are interested in what you are up to in the World of Warcraft. If you are interested in using Hearthstone, check it out on Facebook. Our friends at WoWinsider interviewed Chris Nolan, author of Hearthstone, back in February. In the future, you may see an interview with him here on Project Lore! Comment with any questions you'd like us to ask him. One of the cool things about Heartstone that I discovered is that it publishes an RSS feed of your activity. Using the magic of Twitterfeed, I added it to my Twitter! The server for the RSS feed is a little sketchy so I recommend running it through Feedburner, but its still fun. Follow me at @heartbourne if you want to see what I'm up to in WoW and more.

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Project Lore Karazhan Week 2 Wrap Up

Continuing their romp through Karazhan, Project Lore and friends downed a bunch of bosses: Big Bad Wolf, Nightbane, Curator, and Illhoof all went down. Here are quick links to each episode from this past week: Episode 10.1: Karazhan Episode 10.2: Karazhan Episode 10.3: Karazhan Episode 10.4: Karazhan Episode 10.5: Week 2 Wrap-Up In addition to the amazing week in Kara, we were interviewed by Nihilum. Everyone is still looking forward to Wrath, getting worried, or hoping their computers will even run it. Oh and also, Death Knight footage? Yes please! Remember, we're be at BlizzCon today and tomorrow, so follow our Twitter to keep up with the latest haps. If you want to keep up with whatever Alexis is up to, follow her on twitter at twitter.com/alexisknapp or you can email her at alexis@projectlore.com! Join us next week as the team of ten make their way through the next bosses in Kara, starting with the Shade of Aran. As usual, keep up with us by using the Episodes RSS feed, the Blog RSS feed, or Twitter, and join our Facebook Group, Facebook Page, and MySpace! You can head to our subscribe page to find us on some of your other favorite sites, too. Lastly, get over to the Lore Store to grab yourself a Project Lore T-Shirt and stay tuned for next week's schedule on Sunday. Hope to see some of you at BlizzCon!

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