Patch 5.4 is Coming!

With patch 5.4 around the corner there is a lot to look forward to in World of Warcraft. The final raid tier will hit live servers in good shape, bringing raiders a unique PvE opportunity to invade the Horde capital and defeat its tyrannical leader, Garrosh Hellscream.

Experience Points: The Rise of Silent Grouping

Each week, Chris "Syeric" Coke gives his unfiltered thoughts on the MMO industry. Taking on the news and hottest topics, Chris brings his extensive experience as a player and blogger to bear in Experience Points. This week he examines the troubling trends of silence and vitriol in today's groups.

In 2009 the MMO industry changed forever. World of Warcraft was midway through its second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and players were still stuck scouring their servers for fellow dungeon runners. Queue times could ratchet upwards to two hours if you were playing DPS. Groups, while still rushed, were also cohesive and usually willing to communicate through problems; everyone knew a lengthy wait was in store if the group fell apart. Then Blizzard dropped a bombshell: the cross-realm dungeon finder, a tool which would allow entire server clusters to play together, automatically, and on-demand. It worked well and for a time seemed like a godsend. The system had the unintended side-effect, however, of making communication – even just socializing – a thing to be avoided. The dungeon finder enabled a culture of rush-to-reward where climbing the learning curve makes you the weak link. System after system has reinforced this and the genre, once based on players enjoying each other, is now more silent and toxic than it has ever been.

Experience Points: WoW - a Cash Shop Too Far

Each week, Chris "Syeric" Coke gives his unfiltered thoughts on the MMO industry. Taking on the news and hottest topics, Chris brings his extensive experience as a player and blogger to bear in Experience Points. This week he examines the expansion of WoW's pet store and how many lessons Blizzard seems to have missed.

World of Warcraft hasn’t been doing well, at least not by WoW standards. In May, it was reported that the game had dropped to 8.3 million subscribers, continuing what’s becoming a quarterly trend of disappointing earnings calls and bolstering the sense that its community is bleeding out. While the game still has more “subscribers” than most other AAA MMOs combined, that reassuring fact is undermined by Eastern players not paying a subscription fee at all and instead paying by the hour. Considering that North Americans are thought to make up the minority of the player base, the increasing decline of WoW in China doesn’t spell good things for the game. Parent company Vivendi is trying to sell off Blizzard entirely. In that light, is it any surprise that a cash shop is being expanded in World of Warcraft? That’s our topic this week, and I’m here to look at just how many cardinal sins it's committing.

World of Warships Fires Off New Cinematic


For those awaiting glimpses of Wargaming's upcoming action combat adventure on the high seas, World of Warships, the new cinematic will certainly wet the whistle.

Though not a full gameplay video, the very polished cinematic is a hint at the "immersive theater experience" awaiting attendees at E3 next week--hopefully this doesn't mean I'm getting thrown into a pool.

Age of Wushu: First Impressions


There is something about Age of Wushu that refuses to be cowed, even by its own idiosyncrasies. The MMO by Snail Games is such a departure from the hand-holding “everyone’s best friend” approach that most games in the genre adhere to, I find it in turns both confusing and thoroughly endearing.

It is very easy to completely misunderstand what Age of Wushu is for a variety of reasons. At first glance, it may appear to be a very simple, straightforward MMO.

World of Warcraft: Questing is Fun?

Hello. My name’s Qelric and I have a confession to make: I spent the night questing and I liked it.

If you knew me personally, you’d think me mad, but it felt so good! It’s been a while since I’ve had the time or the inclination to spend a few hours doing anything other than raiding in World of Warcraft, but last night I unlocked the Klaxxi and really enjoyed committing Mantid genocide in the Dread Wastes.

Tanks! You're Welcome.

Being a tank in the World of Warcraft, Blizzard's recent news that patch 5.3 will add an option where players can "choose to receive loot for a specialization that's different from their current class role" when running LFR or while questing, is some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

When I first started playing WoW – back at the start of The Burning Crusade – I had endless amounts of time to devote to my characters, from raiding to farming rep and running dungeons with my guild. Nowadays I have a full-time job, a fiancé and a YouTube channel to maintain. With what little time I have left, I manage to raid two nights per week with my guild, grind a few dailies here and there and run LFR (if I'm lucky!).

Changes to the loot system will make a lot of players happy

GDC: Wargaming


On one of the rare occasions when I actually got to saunter along the show floor at GDC last week, I met up with Chris Cook, Senior Public Relations Manager at Wargaming to talk about the company and its ever evolving stable of titles.

The key word for this year at Wargaming is certainly “expansion.”

As well as growing the size of the company almost exponentially in recent years, including the recent acquisition of Gas Powered Games, Wargaming is focused on expanding its identity across a variety of platforms.

As Chris Cook stated, “We want to give [players] our games no matter what they’re playing on, no matter where they are. Our big focus this year is on mobile; it’s on World of Warplanes for PC and Day 1 on console. It’s going to be a very interesting year for us, a lot of new directions.”

Clashbase: Win with your Clash of Clans builds


In Supercell's Clash of Clans, you can prove your talent for domination on the move.

Build up your territory, train your troops and unleash war on a grand scale against thousands of other players through the iPhone or iPad apps.

Clash of Clans is a challenging prospect; to aid you in your quest for supremacy, ZAM's newest website, Clashbase gives you the vital edge.

Age of Wushu Closed Beta Giveaway


Age of Wushu from Snail Games has been causing a stir with a mixture of martial arts combat, authentic Chinese wuxia history and sandbox gameplay hitherto unseen in an MMO.

Even the inimitable Jet Li is on board, which will come as no surprise to fans of martial arts as he is a fervent supporter of the wuxia tradition.

The current beta, CB2 is ongoing, which usually means that players get an extensive, but limited, play time per session to try out the unique MMO.