Category Archives: World of Warcraft

Did Blizzard Out-Tolkien Turbine?

Blizzard announced their latest expansion for the hugely successful, World of Warcraft. This expansion, titled Wraith of the Lich King is set in a new continent called Northrend. At first glance, you may be asking what the hell am I talking about and why does this have anything to do with Turbines, Lord of the Rings Online?

Let’s take a look at a few items in the newly announced expansion.

1a. In Blizzards World of Warcraft, the new expansion is titled Wraith of the Lich King. The Lich King was once an Elder Shaman named Ner’zhul.
1b. In Turbines Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, one of the main characters is called the Witch-king of Angmar, also known as Lord of the Nazgûl. He happens to be the leader of the three Ringwraiths.

Take on it’s own, you may say that it is merely coincidence that they share similar words and that two of the words have very similar phonetics, even rhyming when said back to back. Try it, Ner’zhul – Nazgûl. Let’s take a look at another element, the location.

2a. In Blizzards World of Warcraft, the new lands are “Northrend is a frozen wasteland” (source:
2b. According to wikipedia, “In the chapters in The Lord of the Rings describing Frodo and Sam’s journey in Mordor, the valleys in an area called the Morgai, on the land’s “outer marges […] under the westward mountains”, are described as a “dying land [but] not yet dead“.“ (source:

Ok, again we are making a stretch. Both lands are barren wastelands, although one is frozen and the other is ravaged by a volcano. However, it’s this last bit of evidence that really makes me wonder….

3a. Take a look at the webpage Blizzard put up for Wraith of the Lich King:
3b. Now take a look at the Witch-king on the left side of Turbines, Lord of the Rings Online Website:

The thing that strikes me the most is the use of the full face crown wrapping around darkness where the face should be. Even more interesting is the stance that each character poses. In both cases, they are firmly holding the hilt of sword, pointing straight down. And the last interesting coincidence is the use of a flowing black cape, which anyone who has seen the Lord of the Rings movie knows is a major part of the Ringwraiths appearance.

Now please keep in mind, these are merely one mortals observations. I can not say either way whether there is indeed a coincidence or not. The storyline for the Frozen Throne and the opening of the Dark Portal previously set in motion the current story arc announced by Blizzard recently. The whole thing just strikes me as a bit odd.

Southpark Invades World of Warcraft

There’s trouble in the online gaming world when the actions of a renegade player threaten to destroy Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning game World of Warcraft. The future of the game lies in the hands of Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny when all new episodes in the tenth season of the widely-acclaimed series, “South Park,” premiere Wednesday, October 4 at 10:00 p.m. on COMEDY CENTRAL.
Blizzard Entertainment, Comedy Central, South Park, World of Warcraft

In this episode, the boys come into contact with a gamer who doesn’t play by the rules. Even the creative people behind World of Warcraft don’t know how to stop the renegade. They are forced to put all of their hope into the hands of the kids of South Park. The boys dedicate their lives to defeating the mad gamer and saving the game for all.

“We were excited to hear that the creators of ‘South Park’ were interested in featuring World of Warcraft in the opening of their new season, and we really enjoyed collaborating with them to make this happen,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to sharing the experience with our employees and our players as well when the season debuts this week.”

World of Warcraft is the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, with millions of players worldwide. In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary heroes as they develop friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory. The game’s upcoming expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, is due out by the end of this year. Learn more about World of Warcraft at the game’s official website:

Launched in 1997, “South Park,” now in its tenth season, remains the highest-rated series on COMEDY CENTRAL. “South Park” repeats Wednesdays at 12:30 a.m., Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., Fridays at 12:00 a.m., Saturdays at 3:00 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 p.m.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are co-creators and executive producers of the Emmy award-winning “South Park” with Anne Garefino as executive producer.

World of Warcraft: What A Game Should Be

WOW! I mean literally, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusades expansion looks incredible! Let me say it again, WOW! Before I go into the details, I would like to pose this question. Why cant every game company be as innovative, bold and dead on as Blizzard? It amazes me to see a company that can do so many good things for their players and continue to push the envelope of what a MMORPG or any Game, for that matter, should be.

On to the details. A few interesting things have been pointed out in this recent GameSpy article on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusades. Lets start with the big ticket items. All new raids will be capped at 25 players. I think that is a great move. The current Ranking Ladder system for PVP is going to be scrapped. This is a big deal. Its the equivalent of EA dropping the ranking system from Battlefield 2 because they realize how flawed a system that requires power gamers to prey on casual gamers really is. In its place, there are going to be true tournament style PVP arenas called the Gladiatorial Arena System. Think CAL for MMORPGs. Players will form teams to compete in three different brackets: 2v2, 3v3 or 5v5. Even cooler, this system will allow inter-faction fighting. Now the Horde will be able to PVP against the Horde and the Alliance will be able to PVP against the Alliance.

Another cool PVP feature is the addition of a neutral city in the expansion that can be captured by a faction. The faction that controls the city will reap the benefits of its Quest Givers and NPC shops. In a move that really brings World of Warcraft closer to its RTS brothers, there will bombing run griffins doing Area of Effect damage and siege towers that can be destroyed. The flight paths will be fixed, but it sounds really cool.

The GameSpy Article is 3 pages and definitely worth the read even if you are not a WOW player. The ideas in this article are the pinnacle of what outside the box thinking can do for a game. Other game companies could learn a lot from Blizzard if they are paying attention.

There is no death; there is simply a failure to show up

Raph Koster, a game designer who was a large part of the success of Ultima Online, and who currently works for Sony Online Entertainment, has recently posted a piece in his blog titled “What are the Lessons of MMORPGs today?”. This is at times extremely funny and also kind of sad, and makes you think about why you game. In that same vein, he also has a presentation that he gave to an Austin Game Conference in 2003 about gaming, fun, and the human brain. It is an excellent and quick read and can be found here: “A Theory of Fun” Presentation

Gekozen enters Raid Alliance with NRC and Lawless

As the members of Gekozen have noticed, many folks are reaching level 60 and wondering what to do after the level grind is over. Many members want to see the end game content. With this in mind I have contacted the leaders of Northrend Cartel and Lawless guilds, and they have agreed to bring us into their raiding alliance. But I need your feedback? Visit the Gekozen forums and tell me what you think.

Sony DRM + WoW = Hax!

Atomm reported on the Sony/BMG “rootkit” DRM software problems a few days ago. What he didnt tell you was that enterprising World of Warcraft hackers have figured out that you can use the loopholes created by the DRM software to hide your hacks from “The Warden” – Blizzards anti-cheat program which is controversial in its own right. You can read the small article on the matter here.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the link

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusades Official

Its official, the new World of Warcraft expansion is titled Burning Crusades. The official website is up and confirms a lot of the rumors we originally posted.

From the official website:

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is the exciting new expansion to Blizzards award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It expands the game by tremendous bounds, adding new races, lands, Battlegrounds, professions and items, and more. Here is just a partial list of what you can expect from the World of Warcraft expansion:
An increase in the level cap to 70
Two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves
New starting zones in QuelThalas and beyond
The entire new continent of Outland, reachable through the
Dark Portal
Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth,
Outland, and elsewhere
New flying mounts in Outland
Many new and dangerous monsters, including epic world
Hundreds of new quests
Hundreds of new items
A new profession: Jewelcrafting
Socketed items
And much, much more…

World of Warcraft Expansion Info Leaked?

I have no idea if it is true, so what better way to help fuel rumors than to help spread them. This info is being reported on multiple websites. What do you think? Is it real?

* The name is Burning Crusade.
* Takes place in the Outlands.
* Level cap raised to Level 70.
* 2 new races, Blood Elf (Horde) and TBA (Alliance).
* No new classes.
* New profession, Jewelcrafting, which will allow for slotting and modding items ala Diablo 2.
* New BE starter area and zones north of the Eastern Plaguelands, Silvermoon (their Capital City), Ghostland, and ZulAman.
* Epic FLYING FREAKING MOUNT useable only in Outlands.
* Small upgrades to the graphics engine (BE will have 20% more polygons than original races for example).
* Weather effects added.
* Exploring how to add in cross server Battlegrounds.

Here are supposedly wow screenshots from the new playable Blood Elves race. Interesting…..

Where Has all The Gold Gone?

My friends are always bragging that they bought gold online. “Hey man I bought 1000 gold yesterday for $60.” It got me to thinking. Who has time to make 1000 gold in WoW, and then sell it. Oh how naive I was. It is a $500 million dollar industry. The folks over at Electronic Gaming monthly recently got the scoop on these corporations who run sweatshops to do nothing but farm gold. Check out the article here .