Another week, another roundup of things I’ve found interesting in the World of Warcraft! Including this awesome remix of WoW’s best music.

  • Blizzard did another developer chat, and it seemed to me to be much better than the first for one reason: Ghostcrawler. That guy is not only smart (I know, he and I have chatted about Warcraft over beers), but he’s really excellent at being insightful about the game without dropping megatons about the developers’ plans. He knows the game inside and out, and when players come up to him with an issue (in the dev chat or at BlizzCon), he knows how to break it down in a way that’s meaningful to them and talk about the mechanics behind it without making Blizzard look bad. If there’s a problem with Ghostcrawler, I’d say that he’s too interested in an ongoing balance — he’s not interested in finding a good place where everyone’s even, he’s more interested in keeping things up in the air and interesting. But that’s better for the game, anyway.
  • There were also a bunch of resilience changes, but honestly, I don’t care. PvPers will probably cheer, and then they’ll cry again when the damage done by players gets buffed back in line, and so on. This is what I was saying about Ghostcrawler: it’s a constant juggling act, rather than trying to actually reach an equilibrium. But the juggling act is what keeps subscriptions happening and what keeps players interested, so he’ll keep at it as long as he can.
  • This is a great question: will we have another Olympic event? I expect so. Looking forward to that.
  • On February 5th, there’ll be a pet show over on the Horde side of Wyrmrest Accord. Some ingame events are boring, but I imagine this one will be pretty fascinating — hopefully there’ll be some pretty rare pets in attendance.
  • My good friend Brigwyn did a great interview with Arxkanite, who wrote the much-maligned but widely used Gearscore addon. Definitely give it a listen.
  • Blessing of Kings has one of the first really good arguments I’ve seen against crowd control. Basically, he says that if you really want cc that’s worth something, you’ll have to created a limited number of dependencies between mobs per pull. Which means that we’d just go back to a bunch of cookie-cutter pulls. I still disagree with him — I love crowd control, and how it brings another level of strategy into a 5-man group, and I think the devs could come up with a solid and interesting set of dependencies like BoK talks about — but it’s an interesting point.
  • Matticus, who wrote for WoW: The Magazine, so check that out, wants to know why people cared about the drama in Guildwatch. I can think of a few reasons: despite what most people suspected, the whole point of the drama section in GW was actually to act as a warning sign. As in, “here goes your guild but for the grace of Ghostcrawler.” Here’s how bad things get, so you can know not to go here with your guild. Second, it’s just funny — it’s predictable, and it’s amusing to see that no matter what someone is pissed about, the core issue is usually that they think they’re better or deserve more than someone else. Plus, it’s fun to make fun of people who mess up (and the correct response to something like Guildwatch drama is to laugh at yourself — some people did that, most didn’t). Matt says he might start a drama blog, but trust me, I’m way ahead of him. I didn’t think Guildwatch was coming back at all (and I think “The Classifieds” is an interesting idea — Lisa always does a great job), but yes, I am planning on starting up some type of blog that examines MMO drama. If someone else out there wants to try it, feel free, but I’ll tell you two other things: 1) Matt’s right, it’s a lot of work, and 2) this may sound egotistical, but I think another thing that people liked about GW was my voice behind it. Maybe I’ll prove myself wrong.
  • Finally, Blizzard added both a model viewer and character RSS feeds to the Armory last week. Re: the model viewer, I tweeted that I didn’t really get it — we can already see our characters by logging into the game, and while the “pose” thing is cute, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose that I can see. The RSS feeds are more interesting — Larisa was one of a few bloggers that wondered about the privacy of the whole thing. Does it matter if someone knows what you did in World of Warcraft last night? Your boss could follow your feed and see when you’re dinging while you should be working, or an ex under restraining order might be able to tell when you’re home. I don’t know how Blizzard could make it optional or not (seems to me that if you could see the information behind one feed, you could eventually figure out how to reach them all), but making it optional certainly seems like the best way to do it. I haven’t seen a lot about this, but it’s a pretty big issue. I doubt this is the last we’ll hear about it.

That’s it! Pretty full column this week, I’ll have to see if there’s a better way to format it all next time. Enjoy!

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 at 1:41 am. Filed under general.
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