PEx Highlights

Calling all vigilantes in PEx!

Are you vigilant and always ready for action? This is your chance to be a "PEX POLICE"

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Review: Hercules

Bordering on ridiculous, Dwayne Johnson delivers and Hercules is a fun and entertaining ride.

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PHOTOS: DLSU Notches First Win

Jason Perkins drained big baskets in the clutch to help DLSU escape NU 57-55 and notch their first win in the UAAP Season 77.

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UAAP Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2

Are the Blue Eagles back on top again? Check out this week's PEx UAAP Season 77 Basketball Power Rankings.

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PHOTOS: Cagayan upsets Army

Cagayan Valley Rising Sun hands Philippine Army its first loss through 4 sets, 27-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22

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FIBA Worlds Special Feature

PEx's resident local hoops guru, Jay P. Mercado, ranks the greatest RP teams in the "open basketball" era.

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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up World of WarCraft (MMORPG) THREAD

    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/wowlogo3.gif

    Source: http://www.blizzard.com/wow

    What is World of Warcraft?
    World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). In World of Warcraft, thousands of players will have the opportunity to adventure together in an enormous, persistent game world, forming friendships, slaying monsters, and engaging in epic quests that can span days or weeks.

    When will the game be released?
    We have not yet announced a release date for World of Warcraft. MMORPGs are vast and complex; we want to make sure that we take the time necessary to develop a game that will meet the high standards that our developers and fans have come to expect from Blizzard games.

    What are the game's system requirements?
    We have not yet finalized the system requirements for World of Warcraft. As with our past games, our goal is to ensure that the game will run on a wide variety of 3D cards and at a wide range of processor speeds.

    For what platforms will the game be available?
    The game will initially be available for PCs.

    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/screens/october/ss025.jpg

    How will World of Warcraft differ from other MMORPGs?
    World of Warcraft will differ from other MMORPGs in many ways. One of our main goals is to ensure that players can enjoy World of Warcraft without having to invest huge amounts of playtime. Players will be able to complete quests and experience the world at their own pace-whether it be a few hours here and there, or week-long adventuring marathons. Additionally, our quest system will provide an enormous variety of captivating quests with story elements, dynamic events, and flexible reward systems. World of Warcraft will also feature a faster style of play, with less downtime and an emphasis on combat and tactics against multiple opponents. We also plan to incorporate several unique features, which we'll disclose throughout the course of development.

    Is Blizzard aware of some of the game play problems that have been prevalent in other MMORPGs?
    Yes. Blizzard employees are gamers first and foremost, and we have played more than our fair share of existing Massively Multiplayer games. We tend to agree with MMORPG gamers on the strengths and weaknesses of the genre to date. We will strive to advance the genre by both building on its positives and improving its negatives.

    Will World of Warcraft mix with Warcraft III? If there are new foes, do they include the Night Elves, Undead or Burning Legion?
    World of Warcraft will be set in lands both familiar and new to long-time players of the series. It is difficult to discuss the World of Warcraft story without giving away the plot for Warcraft III. We can say that Azeroth will experience significant changes and be a very different world than Warcraft fans know today. And, while there will be plenty of recognizable characters and places to explore, we think that the balance between discovering what is known and what is different is something that players will really enjoy.

    In regard to the inclusion of the Night Elves, Undead or Burning Legion, you will just have to wait and see...

    Does the game require a 3D accelerator?
    Yes, the game will require a 3D graphics card. Again, we will support a wide range of 3D cards.

    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/screens/october/ss027.jpg

    Will the game be playable over a modem?
    Yes.

    Will there be monthly fee to play the game?
    Yes; however, we are still investigating our business model and have not yet determined what the fee will be.

    Why isn't World of Warcraft free?
    World of Warcraft will require a fee to play. This fee will be used to support the costs associated with the high-quality levels of service, support, and ongoing content creation that we are planning for World of Warcraft.

    How will the game be distributed or sold?
    Gamers will be able to purchase World of Warcraft at retail outlets, online sites, or directly from Blizzard Entertainment. However, in order to play you will need to sign up for a monthly account.

    Will there be Cinematic sequences in the game?
    Yes. The Blizzard Film Department will create cinematic sequences for World of Warcraft. We do not anticipate, however, that the game will have as many as our previous games due to the nature of Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games. You can see the first cinematic for World of Warcraft on the movies page.

    Will players have the opportunity to provide feedback about the development of the game?
    Yes. Players will always be able to share their input via the Battle.net forums and beta testing. We also plan to devise additional methods for players to communicate with the developers.

    Does Blizzard plan on addressing Kill Stealing and Item Farming?
    Yes, and we will reveal more details on our plans at a later date.

    Will you be able to randomly find items, and if so, will these items be classified as in Diablo II (Rare, Unique, etc.)?
    Monsters will have treasure that characters can loot, but these will be drawn randomly from a specific item class for that monster type. We do not expect to have the same vast amount of random items as in the Diablo series, but we will have items that are rare and even some that could be truly unique by limiting them to only one per server.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Hanep yung 3D yung W.o.W.!!!

    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/screens/october/ss033.jpg

    Sa palagay ko baka year 2003-2004 pa yung release nito because WarCraft III has not yet been released.

    Pero sana by that time, I can play a MMORPG game for the first time!

  2. #2

    Post

    Hoy gagya gaya ka ng style ah.


    Maganda rin sana magkaroon ng emulator nyan dito sa Manila. Just like Ultima Online Manila para walang bayad. They use the Sphereserver so they can have there own UOManila world. Illegal nga lang.

    Siguro makakalaro lang neto yung may pera na pang gastos sa mga online gaming. Just like the other MMORPG, Ultima Online, Everquest, Asheron's Call, etc, konti lang ang mga nakakapag laro nyan dito sa pinas.

    The graphics are rich. I think it will require good hardware to play it smoothly. A plus if you have a cable or DSL connection.


    Kung walang bayad yan at meron yan sa pinas lalaruin ko yan.

  3. #3
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    Question

    Do you think malalaos ang WarCraft III (RPS) kung na-release na ng Blizzard yung World of WarCraft (MMORPG)?

  4. #4

    Cool

    Nah, they're two different genres. And more people have access to modem play or network gaming cafes than DSL.

  5. #5

    Post

    Originally posted by MEM
    Do you think malalaos ang WarCraft III (RPS) kung na-release na ng Blizzard yung World of WarCraft (MMORPG)?
    I don't think so, because not all people, especially here in the Philippines, can play WoWC.

    The question is, sisikat ba ang WC3 at kayang tabunan ang mga games na tulad ng Starcraft, Red Alert, etc? During WC2's time mas maraming nag lalaro ng C&C.

    I really don't care. I'd still choose WC games over those games.

  6. #6
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    Question

    Originally posted by Veynn


    I don't think so, because not all people, especially here in the Philippines, can play WoWC.

    The question is, sisikat ba ang WC3 at kayang tabunan ang mga games na tulad ng Starcraft, Red Alert, etc? During WC2's time mas maraming nag lalaro ng C&C.

    I really don't care. I'd still choose WC games over those games.
    What C&C games are you referring to? RedAlert? or else?

  7. #7

    Post

    Originally posted by MEM


    What C&C games are you referring to? RedAlert? or else?
    Way back WC2, I think ang katapat nun yung Command and Conquer 1 or Red Alert 1. Not sure kung sino sa dalawa.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    Source: http://gamespot.com/gamespot/stories...809173,00.html

    "World of Warcraft." Try saying it out loud, and get used to the sound of it, because you'll be hearing it often in the foreseeable future. The title alone speaks volumes. Though Blizzard Entertainment is still hard at work polishing up its highly anticipated real-time strategy game, Warcraft III, for an early 2002 release, the company officially announced this brand-new product in the Warcraft franchise at the European Computer Trade Show in London on September 2, 2001. If all you knew about World of Warcraft was its name and that it would ship some time after Warcraft III, you'd wonder these two things, in this order: What's World of Warcraft? And why would Blizzard develop another Warcraft game so soon?
    This preview will answer those questions, in that order, but will also reveal all the major details of this work in progress. Still, the project is but a year old, and its release date is undecided--and thus some of its details are as yet either undetermined or undisclosed. This preview will at least identify them as such. However, by the conclusion of this preview, you will still have more than enough evidence to conclude for yourself that World of Warcraft promises to be one of the most important massively multiplayer online role-playing games ever imagined. Simply read on and see.


    Blizzard's Warcraft fantasy universe was first seen in the 1994 game, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, and was made famous worldwide by its sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, about a year later. Warcraft's fantasy world is instantly accessible: Determined human warriors can be found defending their country to the death against green-skinned, ferocious orc tribes. Up till now, the Warcraft games invited you to share in this struggle--to unite yourself with one of these two factions and to control its massive armies against its rivals. But whereas the Warcraft series has traditionally put you in the role of commander, merely overseeing the innumerable battles fought between these two races, World of Warcraft will be different. As the name suggests, the world itself will be the centerpiece; you will finally see this world firsthand and meet all of its personalities in earnest--not just in the heat of battle.


    The concept behind World of Warcraft will be familiar to you if you know of games such as Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, and Anarchy Online--all of which are often referred to as massively multiplayer online role-playing games. These games allow for thousands of human players to coexist in a single gameworld, exclusively available over the Internet. It's still an exciting concept, even though Ultima Online, the first major game in this genre, was released back in 1997. The concept is made all the more exciting when applied to the Warcraft setting--one of the richest settings ever made for a computer game.

    World of Warcraft will let you create a persistent character who will live, learn, and fight in the land of Azeroth. You'll have plenty of options even at the outset--namely, Blizzard has already announced three playable races (of an indeterminate total number) that will be featured in the game. These include both male and female versions of the stalwart humans; the fierce orcs; and the massive taurens, a bull-like race that will first be seen in the forthcoming Warcraft III. These characters look extremely impressive already, as does the rest of the game, if only from a visual standpoint, thanks to the game's striking visual design. Read on to learn about how appearances will be important to World of Warcraft.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Tuesday 26th February 2002
    INTERVIEW: WORLD OF WARCRAFT

    Exclusive interview with the producer of the highly-touted MMORPG orc-fest

    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/screens/october/ss030.jpg
    14:22 Orcs. Not quiet as pretty as norks, but in the light of the immense popularity of Lord of The Rings, the hideous creatures are currently enjoying just as much exposure as a pert, juicy pair on Page 3. So when Blizzard told us it was getting its orcs out in France last week, we were simply unable to suppress our scopophilic lust to go and cop a feel.
    World of Warcraft is an MMORPG that takes the long-established Warcraft universe and creates a persistent online world where players can live and grow, exploring locations already made famous in the RTS series. Plenty of companies have MMORPGs in the works, but Blizzard is angling for the casual gamer, hoping to create an experience that is inclusive rather than exclusive. At the press event we managed to catch up with Shane Dabiri, producer and project leader of the title who, after showing his impressive orcs, outlined his vision for the game:

    Do you think there are too many MMORPGs, in terms of each one actually being able to secure enough players to be involved?

    Dabiri - Right now it's such a commitment but we're trying to make a different type of game. A lot of these RPGs have been targeted at the hardcore, but we want to tap into the casual gamer by making it so you don't have to make a ten hour commitment, where you come home and say: "I'm gonna play this game and set aside ten hours of my time. Wife, kids go away and don't bother me!" We're making it so that you can jump in for an hour and come away feeling like you've accomplished something. The way we're going to do that is by making combat faster, making down-time smaller - those are the basics I think you need to have for this type of game. That's our hope, and by doing that maybe we can open up the market to people that wouldn't normally play this type of game. It can be intimidating to even get online initially for a lot of people, let alone to pay for a game online, and interact with people and be killed online. There are several different barriers, and if we can ease players into these then we'll make new customers.

    http://gamespot.com/gamespot/images/2001/pcnews/100801/wow_screen003.jpg
    Star Wars Galaxies has mass market appeal and is scheduled to come out at roughly the same time as World of Warcraft: are you worried about the competition?

    Dabiri - I think there's room for several good MMORPGs, but I don't know how many of them there will be on a level that we've seen. Each one does seem to be learning from the last making it better, so our hopes are that by the time we come out we'll be at the forefront.

    Why should someone play World of Warcraft as opposed to any other MMORPG?

    Dabiri - I won't use the normal statement and just say "Blizzard!" [laughs]. One of the things we're really committed to, and you guys are probably sick of hearing this, is ease of gameplay. It's very easy to get into all of our games; you don't have to spend one or two hours to work out the interface and figure out what all the hidden commands are. You know that when you buy it you can have fun right off the bat. Secondly, the level of quality we've given to all of our games is evident from our past, and we're hoping to maintain that. We have to make sure we keep that up.

    Also, with Warcraft III coming out, and our previous titles Warcraft I and II, there's a world that's already established and there's a good number of people out there who are familiar with it. People who have played Warcraft II will be able to experience places they've visited in the RTS, and they'll be able to go: "Ah, there's the tower - I remember going in there and killing so-and-so." Now you get to go inside the tower and explore.

    http://gamespot.com/gamespot/images/2001/pcnews/100801/wow_screen010.jpg
    Also, one of the big mistakes that MMORPGs make is to say they're going to have 15 races and 25 classes in the beginning but then say, oh, we're only going to have ten, or five. They commit to something initially that they can't deliver. We just want to commit to things we're actually implementing.

    Do you have any plans to bring the Warcraft franchise onto consoles?

    Dabiri
    - Yeah, we always look towards consoles, but right now we're focusing on our existing products. At some point we'll probably think about that, though.

    Johnny Minkley

  10. #10
    Drink Kool Aid
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    MEM, mukang ikaw lang ang maglalaro nito sa pilipinas ah. Mga naka cable/DSL lang ang makakalaro nito! Supot pa naman ang cable/dsl dito! May bayad pa ang laro! http://unknown553.zeroth.net/smilies/roflmao.gif















    ------------
    MEM... http://unknown553.zeroth.net/smilies/plzdie.gif

  11. #11

    Post

    HOY MEM! Liitan mo naman mga image mo! Kaya bumabagal ang PEX dahil dyan sa malalaking image mo eh!

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    A screenshot of a character creation screen

    http://www.worldofwarcraft.de/images/upload/108.jpg



    Interesting note by SteelWarlord of WorldofWar.Net about this particular screenshot: look at the (beautiful) sky. It is reddish in colour right? Now look at the snow in the foreground, it is also red. But the snow that is further away and at a different angle is more bluish. I think this is absolutely amazing... they have actually made the ground reflect the sky realistically! Very cool.
    http://www.blizzard.com/images/WoW/screens/october/ss030.jpg

  13. #13

    Post

    so anong races kaya mga magagamit? sana nandun yung gargoyles..lipad ka nalang... wahahahaha
    ok din kung pwede magamit yung burning legion

  14. #14
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    Post

    New Screenshots from GameSpot!!!

    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/pcnews/032902/wow/wow_screen002.jpg

    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/pcnews/032902/wow/wow_screen007.jpg

    __________________________
    The Matrix Has You...
    http://www.blizzard.com/images/war3/units/archer.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/blizzardentertainmentgames/matrix.txthttp://www.geocities.com/blizzardentertainmentgames/code.txt

  15. #15

  16. #16
    Crescent Screw
    Join Date
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    Underground Tun
    DOES BLIZZARD REALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE AN RPG?

    SOUNDS LIKE THIS GAME WILL BE A MMOHASGWLRPGE (MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER ONLINE HACK AND SLASH GAME WITH LITTLE ROLE PLAYING GAME ELEMENTS) TO ME!

    OKAY I WONT BE HARSH. MMOHASG.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

  17. #17
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    World of WarCraft E3 Questions posted by Rush 9:52:PST

    Many of you are interested in the progress of WoW and we are now taking questions for Blizzard at this years E3. If you want to have anything answered head to the WoW forums and add it to this thread. Also, please read through previous questions that have been posted so there are not loads of duplicates.

    ________________________________________________________

    Unofficial World of WarCraft FAQs here!!!

    __________________________
    The World of WarCraft Has You...

    Gloria, Honorifice, Pralium Facio
    Animus, Gradior Quo, Prodo
    In Excelsis, Precedo, Bellator, Decerte, Adversa, Incurro, Invadoria
    Desideratus Fatum, Desideratus Bellum

  18. #18
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    May 20, 2002
    Fourth race revealed for World of Warcraft
    At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Blizzard Entertainment will unveil design enhancements for World of Warcraft.

    BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT® TO SHOWCASE WORLD OF WARCRAFT™ AT E3

    LOS ANGELES, California - May 20, 2002 - At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Blizzard Entertainment® will unveil design enhancements for World of Warcraft™, its massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the rich fiction of the Warcraft® universe. For the first time ever, show attendees will have the chance to adventure through this epic world and experience the game's deep, immersive gameplay. World of Warcraft will be on display throughout E3, May 22-24, at booth #1200 in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center

    "In setting out to create a massively multiplayer universe, we wanted to give people the opportunity to help redefine a place they remember fondly," stated Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "With World of Warcraft, we are creating an incredibly dynamic online gaming experience complete with endless possibilities to surprise and engross both hardcore Warcraft veterans and novice gamers alike."

    The hands-on E3 presentation will show off the world of Azeroth in great detail and feature notable advancements to the dynamic Warcraft universe including two new uncharted regions - the Deadmines and the Monastery. These diverse new environments will give gamers the ability to quest through mystifying lands filled with countless adventures. Feats of legendary heroism will ensue as the journey continues and players find themselves engaged in action-packed combat.

    Additionally, three of the game's many character classes -Warriors, Mages, and Shamans - will be seen for the first time at the show. These new classes will give players the opportunity to customize their experience and use their imagination to create the ultimate, mighty character. World of Warcraft's fourth race, the Dwarves, will also be revealed at the show. These proud warriors serve as excellent craftsmen and are considered by many to be the hardiest of all the races. They are an ancient race, strong, stocky, and well suited for plumbing the depths of the world in search of hordes of treasure.

    World of Warcraft takes place four years following the aftermath of Warcraft® III: Reign of Chaos™, where a great tension has settled over the ravaged world of Azeroth. As the various races begin to rebuild their shattered kingdoms, new threats, both ancient and terrifying, have arisen to plague the world once again. Players must explore the lands of Azeroth, forge fellowships with other players, and build their strength in order to prevail.

    Customizable character classes, innovative races, and thousands of weapons allow for a truly distinct gameplay experience that will enthrall fans of any genre. A simple and intuitive user interface will allow players of various skill levels to easily join the adventure. The game also features support for advanced graphics hardware, giving the player superlative graphical enhancements, as well as a sophisticated massively multiplayer network architecture capable of supporting thousands of players in a world simultaneously.

    Since its debut in 1994, the number-one selling Warcraft series has won industry acclaim and shattered sales records worldwide with nearly 5 million copies sold*. In 1996, Blizzard followed the well-received Warcraft: Orcs and Humansä with the critically acclaimed Warcraft II: Tides of Darknessä, which won multiple Game of the Year awards and is still considered by many critics to be one of the best games ever made. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos will continue the legendary saga in 2002.

    Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft® series, StarCraft® and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment ® (www.blizzard.com), (a division of Vivendi Universal Interactive, Inc.) is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes four consecutive number-one selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service Battle.net ® reigns as the largest in the world with millions of active users.

  19. #19
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    GameSpot's E3 2002: World of Warcraft impressions

    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb001.jpg http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb002.jpg http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb003.jpg

    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb004.jpg http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb005.jpg http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb006.jpg

    http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb007.jpg http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2002/e32002/pc/worldofwarcraft/wow_thumb008.jpg

    _____________________________________________________

    IGN E3 COVERAGE - E3 2002: World of WarCraft

    _____________________________________________________

    WorldofWar.Net's World of WarCraft E3 COVERAGE

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands01_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands02_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands03_Cln.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands04_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands05_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands06_Cln.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Badlands07_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/canyon.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/DunMorogh03_Cln.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/DunMorogh05_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/DunMorogh06_Cln.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Ironforge_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/MonasteryMeditationGlass.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Ogremage.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Stranglethorn01_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Swamp%20of%20Sorrows%2001_Cln.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/shots/thumbs/Swamp%20of%20Sorrows%2004_Cln.jpg


    World of WarCraft Booth Shots

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/thumbs/01.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/thumbs/02.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/thumbs/03.jpg

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/thumbs/04.jpg http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/thumbs/05.jpg

  20. #20
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    WorldofWar.Net's World of WarCraft E3 Report

    E3 2002 was the first time World of Warcraft had been shown en-mass Stateside. The game was unveiled last year surrounded by much hype at ECTS in London where we were on hand to see Bill Roper's presentation. (see previous article). Eight months on and we're here to see what's new.


    It was an early start, 7AM to make it down for the first appointment of the show but we were slavering at the thought of seeing WOW in action once again. Once we'd made it past the security bag search it was a mad rush up stairs, elbowing like tourists through the crowds to Vivendi's corner. As you can see from our photos familiar imagery decked Blizzard's domain (suitably large portion it was too), large Warcraft standards flanked the clearways through the monitor stacks. They must be a new addition as we've never seen those at a show before.

    It was pretty quiet at this time as we were one of the first on the stand. We located Beau Yarborough, PR man, who gave us a couple of press packs and handed us over to our WoW demo host, programmer Mark Kern.

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/08.jpg

    As many of you already knew from the press release Blizzard were showing a new race, the Dwarves and both a female and male dwarf character were shown on the character selection screen. The female dwarf wasn't the prettiest at the ball but she looked as if she could handle herself.

    And so it Begins

    The demo kicked off with a level one Human warrior being selected. The human starting area is suitable for that of a new character with little skill or equipment and populated sufficiently to allow the new character to learn some skill. Other races will have a similar set up. The warrior has certain skills he can use in combat, all characters do of course, but in order to not have warriors mindlessly bashing their opponents uga-uga style, they have combat skills to use, indeed they will have to use these if they wish to advance. One skill he has is Defend which shares (at this time) the same icon has the Human footman's in Warcraft III but it increases the Warriors' overall armour class.

    Character Class

    All character classes have a set of core abilities and use a hybrid leveling and skill system. As you attain new levels the cap rises on the abilities you can use so the more you use these abilities the better they become, up to the cap for your level. The reasoning is that Blizzard didn't want players to be able to mess up their characters by choosing wrong abilities and skills. This way ensures that you are a competent mage or warrior because you have the core skills necessary to be such. There is also a set of secondary skills where players can focus on different areas such as alchemy, lock picking or first aid so there is further customisation. Even though you have chosen your secondary skills you are not locked in them. It's a fact that players do make bad choices when developing characters and this will allow you to change your mind to a certain degree, taking what you have learnt from one skill and applying it to another. The change won't be instantaneous but if you feel you've made a bad choice there is an option to reshape your character. More details on this weren't available.

    Control

    Game controlling has not changed since September. You will be able to use the arrow keys or the standard A, W and D keys but those are configurable. There is full mouse look capabilities also, controlling the camera view with the mouse and also the mouse wheel which can zoom you into third person or further still into first person perspective if you prefer. Objects will turn transparent if you move into something or something of importance is in front of your character and you are in third person view (ala Lara Croft). For example if your character is just in front of a wall, theoretically you're inside the wall as your view is just behind them, but in WoW it will turn transparent. Similarly if an NPC comes into view directly in front of your character, your character will turn transparent so that you can see him or her. Your mouse icon will also change to reflect that you can interact with that NPC. It's all very slick.

    Interface

    The onscreen interface has been made as intuitive as possible while remaining discrete. Blizzard want to keep the screen as uncluttered as possible. However the small health and energy indicators and character name top left and server time and mini map on the right are enough to keep you informed of what's what on the fly. Because WoW is not level based a new player could find it intimidating to find themselves in the middle of this huge world with no restrictions on where they can go and of course which way to head out. The Mini map gives them some bearings, grounds them, allows them to see small outposts or cities and NPCs and gives a sense of structure round about them. Of course seasoned players who don't give a stuff about charging around the place like a big thing will find it of use too.

    Action slots at the bottom left for your capabilities (skills/combat moves) and a backpack can expand on the bottom right. Players can move things from their backpacks to their 'Action Slots' on the left to use during combat. Things can stack in your backpack, such as cheese and you can bring over a slice of cheese, removing it from the stack to consume and regain some hit points mid battle. Health and Energy recoup over time but food (Hit Points) and drink, as in ale, (Energy) will replenish the reservoirs that much quicker.

    Equipment

    Equipment is handled through a paper doll interface. There are the primary and secondary slots. Primary are for your most useful things and secondary for things you might not be accessing so often but still wish to keep on hand. As your character progresses and utilises better equipment your characters model will change to reflect this. Our warrior stayed in the basic vest and pants with a sword. There will be character and race specific items, proficiencies will determine which armour and weapons they can utilise. More than that wasn't being discussed.

    Interiors

    http://test.worldofwar.net/articles/e32002/photos/07.jpg

    On show for the first time were the buildings and interiors. Mark took us into Northshire Abbey. We were zoomed down into third person mode and saw the contact sensitive cursor in action as our warrior came between our view and an NPC, he duly turned transparent and our cursor changed to show what would happen if we were to right click on the character. In this case talk to him, as opposed to battering him. We right clicked and the vender interface opened. What he had on offer was displayed with an image, price and the name of the item, so you will not need to hover over everything individually to see what's what. If the item has more stats, other than it's name, hovering will drop down a display of all those.

    We went further into the Abbey and up into the Bell tower. The corridors and stairways were well served by light mapping as well as dynamic lighting so the wall lanterns were casting light not just picking up values from a light map. Back down the Bell Tower by taking a short cut jumping about three stories, suffering no damage. Fall damage isn't in at this time, it may be in the future of course but it hasn't been decided.

    Combat

    We mentioned the contact sensitive cursor above and as well as benign indicators as with talking to an NPC it will also change to reflect attack possibilities. If your character is out of range of a target it shows you can attack but has a red circle and line through it. Left clicking on the target will bring up their level and stats so you can decided whether to attack or not. You can still mouse over other creatures while this other creature is selected. So you can fight one creature while casting a spell on another.

    Wow also has auto move to attack. So as we right clicked on a target our warrior proceeded to march up to the target and attack. You can vary your attack as necessary by using a combat ability from the Action Slots bottom left of the screen. In this case Mark used Slice and Dice which increased the amount of damage he inflicted. Some creatures you come across won't be rich pickings. Instead of displaying the target's level it could show a skull which indicates the foe is a significantly higher level than yourself and it probably wouldn't be deemed the 'Strategic move of the Century' to offer him outside at this point.

    We asked whether a creatures resistances would be displayed in this way but our resistances work hasn't been discussed yet let alone implemented.

    We left Elwin Forest to take in our level 15 Mage. On in, into Westfall, previously a lush farmland but no more, not since falling into decay. Now it serves as home to bands of opportunistic Thieves. Grrrr. A clear path in front of us would actually have led our Mage back into Elwynn Forest if we were to follow it. Mages a little stronger than you usually get in these sorts of games. This should please those who don't have a lot of time to locate a party to play with or just choose to play by themselves. Often Mages are quite hard going to start with and being a little tougher means they'll have a broader appeal. He displayed his Fire Shield and Frozen Armor defensive skills and also a Fire bolt on a couple of critters. There was also talk of a rooting skill but unfortunately we didn't see that in action.

    On Transport

    Other than getting about the world on foot Blizzard are interested in vehicles in general, they are part of the Warcraft universe after all. There will certainly be some form of ''fixed transport" (waypoints?) but as for user-controlled (mounts, zeppelins) that is not being revealed.

    PvP & Battle.Net

    We asked, for fans of dueling, what was in the pipeline for Player Versus Player combat and were told there will not be a PvP switch. Specifics are a way off at this time but it will be something far more "organic" than that. Many things further information wasn't available because of the very competitive nature of the MMORPG market. Understandable. Such as changes or developments to Battle.net. All they could say is that it will be based on a new technology, same goes for specifics on after sales development. There will be teams working on maintaining the world, adding new quests and items, dealing with naughty tinkers messing with things they shouldn't be but anything more specific they will probably remain tight-lipped on, even much further down the production road.

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