Tuesday, November 20, 2007

WoW Commercial Videos v2

Bravo to Blizzplanet. They found the William Shatner World of Warcraft Commercial I was looking for as well as a Mr. T Commercial I hadn't seen.

Here's the link: Blizzplanet...

... and here are the commercials:

William Shatner: 0:33

Mr. T: 0:33

Updated 11/27/07 with new youtube links.

WoW Commercial Videos v1

I just had the craziest dream ... there was a new World of Warcraft commercial. And, get this, William Shatner was in it. Heheh, ... how crazy is that?

Anyway, why don't we take a look at a few of the WoW commercials and commercial parodies out there. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure:

Office Space: 0:32

WoW Coke #1: 0:43

WoW Coke #2: 0:47 (because apparently the Coke in the first commercial wasn't Soulbound):

More about the iCoke Event in China

Valentine's Day Commercial: 0:52

iWoW Chicky: 0:39

It's Good enough for Spidey: 0:39

X-Play's World of Warcraft Libido Commercial: 1:20

Ironforge Bank Identity Theft: 0:52 (30 seconds then credits)


Toyota Tacoma: 0:29

Converse: 2:07

Saturday, November 17, 2007

World of Warcraft Television Appearances

I've been seeing World of Warcraft popping up as a "guest star" in several television series lately. (Perhaps it needs an "episode list" on imdb.)

WoW Insider recently posted about a reference on Judge Judy. And we all remember the "Make Love not Warcraft" episode of South Park.

Now this Fall's television season has added two more shows to the growing cache of WoW television exposure. Perhaps a long writer's strike won't just send viewers to their PCs to play WoW, but the writers as well. When they come back we may see this list grow.

How I Met Your Mother (Season 3, Episode 5):

Big Bang Theory:
#1 - (at 0:31)

#2 - 1:41

(Updated 11/20/07 to fix sound alignment.)

Older Appearances:

Stargate Atlantis:
#1 - 1:26

#2 - 0:48

Jeopardy: 0:14

Thursday, November 15, 2007

3 Years and No Veteran Rewards in WoW

Happy 3rd Anniversary World of Warcraft!

World of Warcraft was first launched on 11/23/2004. As we approach this third anniversary, I find it curious WoW hasn't implemented a Veteran's Reward Program yet.

What is a Veteran Reward?
It's a unique item or privilege that a game gives its players after paying ("actively subscribing") for x number of months (3, 7, 12, 24, 36, etc..) of game time. Not to be confused with:

... because a "Veteran Reward" is simply a thank you to players without regard to level, xp, reputation, accomplishments, etc...

All players have their own ticking clock based on when they started. Although obviously large groups of people will hit milestones (and gifts) at the same time (e.g. a group who started when the game launched in their country).

Veteran Rewards in World of Warcraft
For some reason World of Warcraft hasn't embraced this concept, even though it might add to the consideration of some players who have left WoW but are thinking of coming back. (ahem)

Although to be fair, during holiday events WoW offers one or more free and fun items with at least something for every level. I haven't seen that in many other MMOs, and to the extent that another MMO may have free items at a holiday event, I would venture that they were inspired by World of Warcraft.

Now if only World of Warcraft would be similarly inspired regarding Veterans Rewards.

Blizzard's comments so far (that I've found):
  • In November of 2006 someone on the EU forums suggested veterans rewards. There was no Blizzard response until another poster suggested a pet cat that got fatter with each year's subscription. A blizzard poster responded with: Hehe, a fat cat would be cute ;). This was telling only in that it was a complete waste of blue ink.
  • Then In September 2007 Drysc commented that:
    It's something we've talked about, to be sure, but we have no plans at the current time to implement any such [Veteran] rewards.

Examples of Veteran Reward Gifts in other MMOS:

This City of Heroes video highlights some of the first gifts available in their Veteran Rewards Program:

And if you find yourself laughing ... "Bah! World of Warcraft players wouldn't care about stupid kilts, even if they're free." - then I have just this to say to you...

... Turtle Mount...

...hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Subscriber Growth 2007

I just updated my old table of Subscriber Press Releases to reflect the changes since I posted it in 2006. But I wanted to see it graphically, so here's the result:

It has its faults but it provides a rough idea of the growth. The Press Releases are timed based on other events so the mention of the number of subscribers is likely rounded down and several months old at the time of the release.

Is it too soon to say that this product is in its maturity phase?

For more charts showing subscriber levels - check out the continuously updated charts at mmogdata.voig.com. In particular you might want to see their chart that tracks all MMOs with over 300,000 subscribers.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mouselook and World of Warcraft

Are you considering playing World of Warcraft but aren't sure if it uses mouselook? The good news is that it doesn't. There is a button you can hold to turn mouselook on and there are third party mods to improve on it (aka lock it), but the default is a nice third person perspective.

As a side note, the camera is so flexible I've been able to take every picture in this blog myself. Including pictures:

From Behind:From the Front:
Even From the Side:

My Mouselook-in-Hellgate-London Experience:
I'm one of those unfortunate people who gets sick after playing games with Mouselook. I would blame a bad habit of whipping my mouse around too fast but even when I reign that in, it's still a problem. Too bad for me, First Person Shooters (FPS) thrive on it. I might still be dabbling with the likes of Star Wars Battlefront if it weren't for that problem.

Being in the market for a new MMO, I decided to give Hellgate London a try. Many of the Diablo group founded the company so that was promising. My research showed that they wanted to mix FPS and MMO into one game and they offered both first and third person perspectives. So I placed my pre-order on Amazon and signed up for Hellgate's Beta.

Long story short - I canceled my order. Unfortunately you can't get around the mouselook (there's no option to turn it off) and the third person perspective was simply the ability to zoom out and see your character from behind.

The cynic in me mused that they thought adding "vanity cam" (a button that allowed you to see yourself from the front) was what they thought MMO players wanted. That was the only thing besides WASD that felt familiar. I also notice they don't advertise the third person perspective as a choice anymore.

Lest I speak too poorly of the game, I should say how thankful I am for the opportunity to have tried it in Beta before having to commit to the purchase. That worked out well. For those considering it now, you can buy the game and play it without a a monthly fee, then later decide whether or not to participate in the subscription-based content (read more in this Hellgate London Q&A).

Appreciating WoW More:
Also, trying one more MMO made me appreciate yet again how easy WoW is to learn from scratch (apart from say someone who is unfamiliar with a mouse). And those cartoony looking avatars that almost stopped us from switching to World of Warcraft three years ago are now my "norm." I have to really look past that when I am so smartly picking up a game to judge it by its cover (or youtube gameplay footage).

Future Game Purchases:
Lucky for me, Tobold experiences the same mouselook issues and has even found a little background to explain it in his post: Mouselook and video game motion sickness.

He also mentions this type of interface in his reviews so that should be helpful to those of us who must now be wary of it in MMO games. In his early Tabula Rasa Review, for example, he mentions the forced mouselook interface. Interestingly, since then the Tabula Rasa folks have added a patch to allow for a more traditional MMO perspective. I hope that trend develops.

Now if I could just find an MMORPG comparison table like this that also shows the mouselook-perspective (and the Economy) I'd be set.