Archive for wow

The Tao of the Korean World of Warcraft Site

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by Mark Pannell

Earlier this week, WoW.com broke the story that the Patch 3.3.2 patch notes had been posted on the official Korean site. Not content to just read their translation, I decided to head on over to the Korean World of Warcraft site to snoop around a bit myself.

Now, please understand that I can neither read nor speak Korean. My curiosity pertained to the aesthetics of the site rather than the content. I clicked around a bit, finding some familiar and unfamiliar imagery. Almost immediately, I discovered this little gem: a beginner’s manual in a region-specific artistic style. Don’t strain your eyes. Those images are clickable.

Continue reading

Dungeon Finder: Two Perspectives (Part 2)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2010 by Mark Pannell

As you may recall, I devoted my last post to crying like a little girl with a skinned knee about the injustices that we’ve been served via WoW’s new Dungeon Finder tool. This time around, we’re going to dig into the more positive aspects of said tool. So, without further space-filling text in the first paragraph, let’s put on a happy face!

Part 2: The Good

I could spend literally all day discussing the multitudes of little benefits that the new system provides, but I’ll instead focus on the three that affect me the most personally… cuz this is my blog. Go get your own. Unless you already have your own. Then this is just awkward. Where was I? Oh yes, my top three reasons that Dungeon Finder is not the Antichrist. They are:

  1. More for My Gold
  2. More for My Money
  3. PvP… Yes, PvP!

I will now address each bullet point in its own paragraph with its associated heading, thus giving some order to this post and enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Go! Continue reading

Dungeon Finder: Two Perspectives (Part 1)

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Mark Pannell

As with any major patch, 3.3 brought with it some conversation pieces that still resonate today. Was passing out Emblems of Triumph like candy the biggest nerf the game has seen? Was adopting a QuestHelper-like interface catering too much to the noobs? Did allowing shoulder enchants to be BoA cheapen the Sons of Hodir rep grind a bit? Arguments could be made for both sides of all of these questions.

The change that stands out the most to me is the Dungeon Finder system. I was originally going to do one post discussing the pros and cons of the new system. But as I started writing, I realized it might be best to devote one post to the good and one post to the bad. Today’s post will get the negativity out of the way so we can all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” next time around. Without further ado…

Part 1: The Bad

Alternate title: The Cow-Punching Noobtards Can Haz Herokes. Yes, that’s right. We’ve all dealt with it. Regardless of Blizzard’s attempt at restricting undergeared players from entering Heroics for which they are not geared, they’re still getting in. Sometimes they’re coming in as part of a group. Some guildies couldn’t find a fourth or fifth member to carry their newly-minted 80’s through Heroics. Congratulations. You just won that role. Other times, and I’ve seen this, they’re sporting quest greens and blues and a crafted ilvl 245 item or two. The law of averages just humped your leg. Continue reading

World of Warcraft: 2008 in Numbers

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Calendar year 2008 is almost in the books. In just shy of a month, a monumental year for WoW players comes to a close. Looking back on 2008, some interesting statistics stand out. According to Google Insights for Search, the most queries for “World of Warcraft” occurred on November 9th. That was the Sunday before Wrath was released. Six days after Patch 3.0.2 was announced, WoW hit it’s low point of the year. Less people performed searches for our beloved game on August 31st than any other day this year, only matched on October 5th. The date that amazes me is September 15th. Only 5% more people were looking for WoW on that date than on the lowest point of the year. What’s the significance of September 15th? The release date for Wrath of the Lich King was announced. And the searches took a tumble again, coinciding with the September 18th release of Warhammer Online, bottoming out on October 5th. But you can’t keep a good MMORPG down! A huge spike in searches occurred on October 12th, just two days before the release of Patch 3.0.2. As I mentioned before, November 9th was the busiest day for WoW, search engine-wise. But the searches took a plummet from that point on, dropping 24% in ten days.

So who’s doing all of these searches? The US accounts for the biggest chunk, but the runners up came as a bit of a surprise to me. Number two on the list is Georgia. We’re talking about the former Soviet Republic here, not the state. In a dead heat with Georgia were Sweden and Norway, followed closely by Denmark. Scandinavians apparently loves them some WoW. Rounding out the top ten are the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Estonia, and Hungary. Will Oceanic servers be experiencing some of the same population issues that we’ve been dealing with at some point?

As big of an entity as WoW is, there will always be others riding on their coattails. Much to the dismay of WoW purists, add-ons were the real winners of 2008. The term “quest helper” experienced a 4050% increase in searches compared to 2007. Let’s assume that 100,000 people searched for QuestHelper in 2007. I don’t have any solid stats in front of me, but 100,000 seems like a safe guess. At any rate, that would equate to over 4 billion searches this year. That, my friends, is insane! Others enjoying significant search engine lovin’ over last year were MMO Champion, WoWscape, Wowhead, and WoW Private Servers. While some may consider users of QuestHelper to be “cheaters,” what they’re doing is perfectly within the confines of Blizzard’s ToS. Users of WoWscape and the other “wow private servers” are not. WoWscape experienced a 170% increase in searches over 2007. Granted, with an ever-growing player base, any IP is going to see an increase in its pirates. WoW is no exception.

So, what do all of these numbers mean? In a year when Age of Conan and Warhammer Online joined the fight and Lord of the Rings Online and Everquest II offered expansions, WoW remains firmly in the driver’s seat. Although many speculated that Blizzard’s new, improved Refer-A-Friend program and PvE to PvP transfers were signs that WoW was in trouble, the numbers don’t support that claim. Oddly, neither of those two search strings made it into the top ten “search terms related to world of warcraft.” In fiscal 2007, Activision Blizzard enjoyed an operating profit of $303 million. That’s not revenue, that’s profit. I’m interested to see how 2008 turns out as the first full year that the merger will really benefit both parties. One way or another, the numbers for 2008 favor WoW and the players who love it. Well, every number except “total server downtime.” Better luck next year.