Tag Archives: blizzard

College Hearthstone Players Hold Up “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizzard” Sign On Stream

Blizzard’s acquiescence to the power of the Chinese government/market has seen the company eat a lot of shit over the last 24 hours. So it was, depending on how you look at it, either the worst or most perfect time imaginable to try and broadcast the American Collegiate Hearthstone Championship. 

During tonight’s stream of the match between Worcester Polytechnic Institute and American University, as the game came to a close the American University team held up a banner reading “FREE HONG KONG, BOYCOTT BLIZZ”, which was visible for a few seconds before the camera hurriedly switched views and was left lingering awkwardly on the WPI players.

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You can see the sign come out at 51:38 in the video below:

If I was at Blizzard, and was in any way connected with anything going on with BlizzCon—the company’s annual fan convention, which takes place in just three weeks—I would be getting a little sweaty about now. There are only so many cameras you can switch off and subreddits you can close.

Source: Kotaku.com

Blizzard’s Company Values Don’t Mean Much Today

Photo: Anthony Kwan (Getty)

Blizzard has a set of core values literally enshrined on the ground of their corporate HQ. Today, two of those—“Think Globally” and “Every Voice Matters”—were covered up by employees in the wake of Blizzard’s contentious decision to suspend a Hearthstone pro over his views on Hong Kong.

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While the values are listed on Blizzard’s website, they’re also marked at each point of the compass on this enormous statue outside the front door of the company’s HQ:

Kevin Hovdestad, who used to work at Blizzard, shared this photograph (which he didn’t take) earlier today:

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Blizzard says its eight “core values” represent “the principles and beliefs that have guided our company throughout the years. These values are reflected in employees’ decisions and actions every day.”

They include stuff like “gameplay first” and “commit to quality”, but the two in question today are:

EVERY VOICE MATTERS:

Great ideas can come from anywhere. Blizzard Entertainment is what it is today because of the voices of our players and of each member of the company. Every employee is encouraged to speak up, listen, be respectful of other opinions, and embrace criticism as just another avenue for great ideas.

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and

THINK GLOBALLY

Everywhere on the planet there are people who play Blizzard Entertainment games. While respecting the cultural diversity that makes people unique, we strive to grow and support our global gaming community. We also seek the most passionate, talented people in the world to enrich our company and help us forge the future vision of Blizzard Entertainment.

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It’s understandable that, in light of their company bowing to the whims of an authoritarian regime and suspending someone who was calling for more democratic rights in his homeland, some Blizzard employees feel like those two values aren’t worth the ground they’re stuck on.

Source: Kotaku.com

Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Player For Hong Kong Support, Pulls Prize Money

Photo: Anthony Kwan (Getty)

Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai, a pro Hearthstone player from Hong Kong, ended a stream earlier this week with a statement of support for those engaged in months-long protests against local police and government. As a result of this, Blizzard has ruled that he violated competition rules, and have handed out a heavy punishment.

In the stream, part of the broadcast of the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters, Blitzchung wore a mask (similar to those worn by protesters) and said “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!”

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Blizzard, clearly aware of the political repercussions in the Chinese market for such a statement, have determined that Blitzchung violated a competition rule, which states:

2019 HEARTHSTONE® GRANDMASTERS OFFICIAL COMPETITION RULES v1.4 p.12, Section 6.1 (o)

Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.

Blitzchung’s punishment is an immediate removal from Grandmasters, a withholding of prize money for his participation and a ban from taking part in Hearthstone esports “for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020″.

Blizzard also add that, despite them physically ducking from his comments on air and immediately cutting to a commercial, the company “will also immediately cease working with both casters” involved in airing Blitzchung’s statement.

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Blizzard end their ruling by saying “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”

It’s been a bad week for anyone wanting to “stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions” when it comes to China.

Source: Kotaku.com

BlizzCon In-Game Loot Is One Of My Favorite Annual Gaming Traditions

People get excited about Blizzard’s annual fan convention for many reasons. Some look forward to meeting up with friends. Others are eager to hear news about upcoming games and expansions. Me? I’m mainly here for the ridiculous in-game items rolled out for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, StarCraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone every BlizzCon.

It used to be that one had to physically attend BlizzCon in order to reap the in-game rewards. The first three years the show was held, goodie bags included physical cards with codes to enter on the Blizzard website to redeem digital items. Those cards would show up on eBay in large numbers as soon as the show started each year. Sometimes the codes on them wouldn’t even be used.

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My first BlizzCon was in 2008. The card included in the swag bag handed out to attendees included a code for one of the game’s silliest mounts, the Big BlizzCon Bear. Nothing breaks immersion like a goggle-wearing polar bear ridden by a murloc holding a BlizzCon pennant. I am ridiculously proud of this stupid thing, even if all I did to receive it was type in a series of characters into a website. I missed out on BlizzCon 2005’s World of Warcraft Murloc vanity pet and 2007’s Murloc suit, but I got my bear, dammit.

In 2009, Blizzard started selling the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, a pay-per-view style package which allowed fans unable to attend the convention to watch remotely. More importantly, the Virtual Ticket came with codes to unlock whichever virtual goods BlizzCon’s physical attendees got in their bags. No longer would Blizzard game lovers feel the gut-twisting anxiety of knowing a select few people were getting a thing they couldn’t acquire without a substantial eBay investment. All they needed was $40 or $50 and a dream. Or just the cash.

Some people would say allowing everyone to pay money to receive in-game items once reserved for a select group of convention attendees makes those items less special. Those people can suck it. Who would deny their fellow fans a chance to own the Diablo III Murkgoblin pet (2015)? Or the Heroes of the Storm Nexus Charger mount (2014)? Would I survive if I didn’t get the Overwatch BlizzCon Winston skin (2017)? Yes, but I would not be happy about it.

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Anyway, this is all to say that the BlizzCon 2019 Virtual Ticket was just announced, offering the ability to watch the upcoming convention, from the opening ceremonies the morning of November 1 to the closing concert in the evening of November 2. I’ve already acquired mine, which is how my characters are already sporting the fetching Wooly Wendigo onesie and hanging out with Finduin and Gillvanas, Murloc versions of the leaders of the Alliance and Horde.

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And while I am not much of an Overwatch player, the Switch version is coming out soon, and I would look really nice playing it in the Illidan Genji or Tyrande Symmetra skins, based on two of World of Warcraft’s less crispy night elves.

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The cross-game mash-ups, the Murloc mayhem—I love it, and I look forward to BlizzCon’s bonuses every year. One day, these games will all be dead and none of these virtual items will exist, but neither will I.

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Wow. Dark.

Source: Kotaku.com

Blizzard Really Wants Overwatch Characters In Smash

With Overwatch due out on the Switch next week, it’s obviously time for fans to start incessantly calling for characters like Pharah and Mercy to make an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The loudest voice among them, though, will belong to Blizzard themselves.

In an interview with IGN, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan was asked which Overwatch character he’d like to see in Smash, and replied, “To the Smash Brothers team, whatever character you want, we love them all. They’re all our babies, you can have any single one of them. We have 31 to choose from.”

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“Tracer’s our girl, Tracer’s our mascot. She’d be my first choice,” he added. “There’s a lot of great runners up. I think a lot of people can immediately see Doomfist gameplay applying to Smash, but if it were up to me, I’d like to see Tracer.”

Or Reinhardt. Or Reaper. Or Sombra. Or Zarya. Or, look, like he says, any of them, they’d pretty much all fit.

Overwatch is out on the Switch on October 15.

Source: Kotaku.com

How Warcraft Got Its Name

I lost hours of my youth playing online StarCraft matches, nearly lost entire friendships to the scourge of World of Warcraft. In all that time, it never occurred to me why Blizzard uses that -craft suffix on those games, or what it could possibly mean. At last, I have the answer.

Other non-Blizzard games have used it, too, most notably Minecraft, but also a plethora of less memorable titles. The more I see this suffix, the less it makes sense. Still, based off the MS-DOS granddaddy of these games, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans from 1994, I had some linguistic theories.

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Was the derivation similar to spycraft or stagecraft, thereby implying the skills and abilities necessary for the act of war? That would certainly be a flashier way of saying “strategic thinking,” which is really what any real-time strategy games boils down to. A less likely theory was that the titular -craft referenced a vehicle, like spacecraft or hovercraft, only in this case one constructed for doing large-scale murders of orcs and/or humans. Although later entries would add various ships and even a napalm-chucking ballista, the only mechanical “craft” in the original was a simple catapult.

One last theory: given that the game involves both doing war and crafting stuff out of resources to do that war, the thought did occur to me that “warcraft” was a simple nod to the two most common actions the game encouraged, in order of importance.

A reply from Blizzard’s public relations team wasn’t forthcoming, so instead I reached out to Patrick Wyatt, former Vice President of R&D and credited producer on the very first Warcraft title (emphasis ours):

The short answer is that Allen Adham, one of the two founders of Blizzard along with Mike Morhaime, had wanted to do a whole series of games about various eras of warfare, both historical and fictional, that would all have the name “Warcraft”, with a subheading (e.g. “Warcraft: Vietnam”). Allen was an extremely bright strategic thinker and was thinking about how to take advantage of the critically important — at that time, circa early ‘90s — dynamics of retail shelf space. Having many related titles on the shelf near each other creates cross-selling opportunities and demonstrates that the brand encompasses many games, and is consequently well-supported. As an aside, Allen should also get credit for ensuring we had really, really heavy game boxes. If you compared a Blizzard game with it’s [sic] competitors (we compared ourselves especially to Interplay, who published our games), other PC boxes were light as a feather, and the contents (typically a floppy disk and a couple of sheets of paper) would rattle around loosely. Blizzard boxes were packed with a heavy manual, a Blizzard notepad, discs, reg-cards, offers, and cardboard packing to prevent rattling, and consequently felt solid & heavy. Yeah, we did a lot to optimize for retail!

So our game, “Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans” was the first of that series; there were no other -craft games prior to that. Inasmuch as the name predated the game’s initial development, it was chosen for its “coolness” rather than being based on any game design elements.

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It seems I’d overthought the entire premise, but Pat still had the decency to humor me. Although, as a brief aside, there was at least one -craft game prior to 1994: SpellCraft: Aspects of Valor, a strategy-ish game which was released on DOS in 1992 (and very nearly ported to the SNES shortly after.) Although the game itself is not especially memorable, its creator—Joe Ybarra—was one of the very first employees of Electronic Arts, and a contributor to better-known titles like M.U.L.E. It features not just the -craft suffix, but the intercapitalization later used on StarCraft as well, although footage of the game suggests there’s little in common between it and the dueling armies usually associated with the RTS genre. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach Ybarra for comment.

Just to be certain, I also reached out to Adham— one of Blizzard’s founders. Sure enough, he backed Wyatt’s story entirely (emphasis ours, again):

So the story on how we came up with the name “WarCraft” is really pretty simple. We were all playing Westwood’s Dune 2, quite possibly the first RTS ever made, and we were loving it and decided we want to make something similar, but with a high fantasy theme. Sam Didier, aka Samwise, suggested we call it “WarCraft” and mentioned that he had always wanted to use that name to make a game. We all thought it sounded super cool, and that was that. Pat is correct that we hoped to use the WarCraft moniker to name a whole series of games, across many different genres – fantasy, sci fi, modern military, historic military, etc. Of course the only two we ever actually developed were WarCraft and StarCraft.

So that’s the story of the origin of the name WarCraft. Not too exciting, just simple and true.

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After working up several hypotheses on a question that possibly no one else was remotely interested in, I guess I deserve an answer as simple as “because it sounds cool.” It was a bit deflating, even if it technically closed the book on my inquiry. Knowing this genre-defining series nearly went in a vastly different direction, most of all I’m grateful no one had to play Warcraft: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

Source: Kotaku.com

World of Warcraft Classic Reunites Players Who Haven’t Seen Each Other In A Decade

World of Warcraft has its stalwarts, players who’ve been around since the good ol’ days of Onyxia and Ragnaros. It also has its transients. Maybe they were diehard players for a couple years in high school. Maybe they were living that sweet bachelor life. For whatever reason, they left. Now, thanks to the recent release of WoW Classic, many of them are back and reuniting with old friends.

The promise of WoW Classic, which came out on August 26, was not merely a return to gameplay systems and settings from the expansion-free “vanilla” iteration of WoW; it was an attempt to recreate the feeling of the community at the time. Modern World of Warcraft streamlines dungeon-running, raiding, and PVP, but back in 2006, the time period that WoW Classic recreates, players had much more direct interaction. More organic conversations spurred by a need to group up, more chance meetings between strangers destined to become lifelong friends, more getting backstabbed in the jungles of Stranglethorn Valve by rogues who didn’t have anything better to do at the time. Let’s not rewrite history here: Compared to earlier MMOs, WoW has always been a rigidly designed theme park first and a living, breathing world second. But in the vanilla days, many players argue, it felt a little more alive.

This feeling has brought back lapsed players in droves, and many WoW players have been surprised to find that old bonds between pals—the chains rusted thanks to 10 or 15 years of neglect—still hold up.

Chris Price, a player who started a Discord for more than 300 old WoW friends, was worried about possible drama flare ups at first, but has been relieved to find that, so far, everybody’s getting along.

“At first I thought there would be some awkwardness and friction because, let’s be honest, not everyone was on good terms back then,” Price told Kotaku in an email. “Some people rubbed other people the wrong way, old drama, etc. But I’m surprised to see that most people put all of that behind them and have met each other with open arms.”

One thing that might help: Everybody’s grown up now, where many of them were teenagers back in the day. “We often joke about a lot of the drama back then, laughing at how ridiculous things were now that we’re all older and have a bit of perspective,” said Price.

Of course, there are also drawbacks to the maturity that accompanies the unceasing march of time—namely, people now have less time for the game that once consumed most of their waking hours.

“The group I played with back then were full of hardcore raiders,” Price said. “A lot of us were doing server-first raid content with our respective guilds and hitting Grand Marshal/High Warlord and PVPing for 20+ hours a day to do so. Now we’re older and we don’t have that much time. Most people haven’t even hit [level] 60 yet, barring a few outliers (myself included). Even those that have hit it are reluctant to hit up the raiding circuit again because we’ve ‘been there, done that’ and are more in-tune with the social aspect that the game offers.”

Perhaps, though, it’s for the best, said Price. “We often joke about doing the Marshal/Warlord [PVP rank] grind again and usually just laugh off how much time we’d probably have to sink into the game to be able to achieve it, and how little time we all have now that most of us have full-time jobs, families, and kids.”

Another player, who goes by the handle Kroguardious, mourns the old days in which he and his friends used to get together in real life and host late-night LAN parties, but says that WoW Classic has allowed them to split the difference between their raucous, sleep-deprived high school marathons and their more complicated adult lives.

“Now we’re all moved out of our parents’ places and in our own apartments, and all but one of us are cemented in our career fields,” he said in a Twitter DM. “We all moved apart, and our computers have all gotten much bigger, so dragging everything to one spot for a LAN party like we used to is not going to happen. Having an online way to reconnect has been perfect, and its something we all had ties to, as our interests have grown apart slightly over the years and we haven’t all been able to get into and enjoy the same game since we left WoW.”

WoW Classic has allowed some players to rekindle even closer connections. Dusty Braddish, who was 14 when he first started playing World of Warcraft in the vanilla days, has reconnected with someone who he says was like a father to him. At the time, Braddish’s parents had just gotten divorced, and he was going through “a not-so-ideal living situation in the real world.” His mom was suffering from depression, he didn’t get along with his stepdad, and his father, who he loved dearly, was suddenly no longer consistently in his life, he says. His guild master, who was older, gave him a shoulder to lean on.

“My GM had had some life experiences that my father hadn’t that I think prove useful when being a mentor/meaningful figure for a young man,” Braddish told Kotaku in an email. “He had experiences with many groups of people and always treated everyone as equals without hesitation, and showed that you can be serious/professional while still being silly… My GM was the shining example of how to lead in the creation of a warm and welcoming environment.”

Braddish said his guild master mentored and encouraged him, letting him lead raids and organize guild activities “despite knowing I was quite young.” He’d also make sure Braddish got a chance to talk during officer meetings where more brash personalities were dominating. “Considering I went on to become a leader in college/grad school and now in my professional work, I have to think that played a fairly large part in my development and where I am now,” said Braddish.

Now Braddish is playing the game again, and he’s been overjoyed to discover that he and his old guildmates—including his guildmaster—have been able to pick up right where they left off. It’s been an interesting experience for him, given that he now perceives himself as a completely different person.

“I should say nothing has changed in our dynamic within WoW,” Braddish said. “Personally, I am a completely different person these days. I’ve finished high school, gone to college, gone to grad school, and been working in the ‘real world’ for years now. My GM seems to be largely the same, but I would say that’s because he was much older in the vanilla days. Whereas I began playing at 14, he was in his late 20s and already been through his most formative years.”

They’re now making new memories in old haunts, marinating in memories and reforging old bonds. “Oddly enough, many of the new ‘good old times’ are the same as the old ‘good old times’ just because we’re playing the same game as we were back then,” said Braddish. “Running Deadmines and Scarlet Monastery again, getting Dartol’s Rod of Transformation—which turns your character into a furbolg, a sort of ridiculous looking bear—and spamming our warcry while fighting and at the end of battles. It’s just a combination of small moments such as those.”

There is, however, a potential storm cloud hovering over the glow players are currently basking in: This could all be temporary. Many WoW Classic players are now adults with families and other responsibilities, and even if that wasn’t the case, WoW Classic itself is finite. Eventually, everyone will hit level 60 again, or raid until they have all the best possible gear. Some haven’t even stuck around long enough to reach the top of that proverbial mountain.

A player who goes by the handle “WestEschaton” told Kotaku that his old friends only messed around in WoW Classic for a couple weeks. Then they bounced. For all of vanilla WoW’s strengths, its grind often nosedived straight into tedium territory. The same is true of WoW Classic.

“In a couple of cases, the fond nostalgia of leveling in vanilla was replaced by the frustration of killing five dozen goretusks to get eight livers,” WestEschaton said in a Twitter DM. “I think that mostly [my friends] wanted to come back for a couple of weeks and just see how it went.”

WestEschaton said he thinks that even though WoW Classic is like stepping into a time machine, the environment, community, and culture surrounding it is still very much a product of 2019—not 2004. WoW Classic’s plains and wastelands are well-charted territory at this point, with countless guides available via Google and YouTube, and many WoW Classic players pre-formed their own guilds and groups on platforms like Discord (which was not around back in 2004) instead of allowing them to emerge organically in the game. These things do not intrinsically make connections between players any better or worse than they were in WoW’s vanilla days, but they do change the nature of interactions in the world itself.

“Community for me back then was a lot of not knowing anything about what was going on and there not being a lot of help available other than what other players knew,” WestEschaton said. “That’s entirely different now… Video gaming is in a very different place now than it was in 2005, and if you play games at all, it’s very likely that you’ve changed with it. In essence, it’s pretty unlikely that you can take a large group of 2019 gamers, put them down in a 2005 game, and have them be happy. Museums are nice places to visit.”

Then there’s the question of what comes next. At some point, WoW Classic will have to advance beyond the halcyon vanilla days, or else even relatively casual players will eventually run out of things to do. If Blizzard opts to slowly dole out the same old expansions, there’s a good chance that lapsed players will just lapse again, given that many of them burnt out on Burning Crusade and the content that followed.

Kroguardious is concerned for WoW Classic’s future. “My fear is that they will just continue re-releasing each [expansion pack] and eventually we’ll no longer have our common place,” he said.

What he’d prefer, then, is for Blizzard to use WoW Classic as the jumping-off point for a divergent timeline. “I’d love to see a new timeline that follows the Classic style of gameplay,” he said. “No new level cap, or maybe only going up by one with a new expansion. Maybe we chase Kel’Thuzad’s phylactery to Northrend right away and defeat the Lich King before he’s built up such a powerful armory, and an entire new story takes place. That’d be a dream come true.”

For now, though, many players are just trying to savor their present moment of reliving the past.

“For some people, it might be temporary,” said Price. “Some people I know hit their 30s-40s, when the game really starts to hit its grind, and trickled off to play other things, and I totally understand that. I think others may get tired of it and stop playing altogether, but the community has made a lasting impression on most. The amount of expression seen in chat when an old friend or known community member hops in never gets old… I’m happy that it was able to help these people reconnect and hope that those connections continue for a long, long time.”

Source: Kotaku.com

World of Warcraft’s Greatest Tragedies Look So Much Cuter In A Pop-Up Book

Last year, in the lead-up to World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion, Horde leader Sylvanas Windrunner went a bit more evil than usual. She set the world tree ablaze, destroying the night elf capital of Teldrassil and murdering countless innocents in the process. It was one of the most horrific events in the online role-playing game’s history. It’s also a delightful papercraft creation in the upcoming <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin="194568366X" data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1838287009[a|194568366X[au|5724686334600252479[b|kotaku[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'kotaku – World of Warcraft's Greatest Tragedies Look So Much Cuter In A Pop-Up Book‘, ‘194568366X’);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘kotaku – World of Warcraft's Greatest Tragedies Look So Much Cuter In A Pop-Up Book‘, ‘194568366X’);” data-amazontag=”kotakuamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft-Pop-Up-Book/dp/194568366X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=world+of+warcraft+pop-up+book&qid=1568994581&sr=8-1&tag=kotakuamzn-20&ascsubtag=8f9cc87c5444531780a87d2cc290baf0d6d97fa9″>World of Warcraft Pop-Up Book. You can almost smell the roasting night elves.

History, be it real-world history or fantasy MMO history, is full of terror and death and tragedy, but learning about history doesn’t have to be. The pop-up book, one of papercraft’s finest creations, can add depth, whimsy, and fun to even the most heartrending events.

The next major event in the Horde and Alliance war following the burning of Teldrassil was the Battle for Lordaeron. In the heat of the confrontation, Sylvanas ordered the ruins of the ancient Alliance capital that served as the capstone to the undead Undercity to be bombarded with blight, rendering it completely inhospitable for even the living dead. The World of Warcraft Pop-Up book lets children of all ages experience the ruins from a safe distance, preserving history and health at the same time.

As a special bonus, the book includes a fold-out depicting what Stormwind looks like when you’re drunk.

Hopefully next they make the World of Warcraft Classic Pop-Up Book, which is the same thing only with scissors so you can cut out the new bits.

Source: Kotaku.com

World Of Warcraft Classic Is Currently Facing DDoS Attacks And Is Down For Many Players [Update]

World Of Warcraft Classic is currently down for some players. The issues have been happening since around 11 AM EST in the United States. Blizzard has confirmed that the game is currently facing DDoS attacks and is working to fix the issues and get the game back up and running.

Some WOW fans believe they have found the group behind the attacks. Earlier today a Twitter account named UkDrillas claimed credit for the DDoS attack, giving a 30-minute warning before many players began running into connection errors.

It has not been confirmed by Blizzard if this user or group is actually responsible. As of 5:34 EST pm the account was promising more attacks and outages.

On the Blizzard forums, players are upset over the outages and sharing errors they are running into. No word from Blizzard about when servers will be back in working order.

Update (10:25 AM): Overnight Blizzard was able to get the servers stabilized and has confirmed the outage has ended.

Source: Kotaku.com

World Of Warcraft Classic Is Currently Facing DDoS Attacks And Is Down For Many Players [Update]

World Of Warcraft Classic is currently down for some players. The issues have been happening since around 11 AM EST in the United States. Blizzard has confirmed that the game is currently facing DDoS attacks and is working to fix the issues and get the game back up and running.

Some WOW fans believe they have found the group behind the attacks. Earlier today a Twitter account named UkDrillas claimed credit for the DDoS attack, giving a 30-minute warning before many players began running into connection errors.

It has not been confirmed by Blizzard if this user or group is actually responsible. As of 5:34 EST pm the account was promising more attacks and outages.

On the Blizzard forums, players are upset over the outages and sharing errors they are running into. No word from Blizzard about when servers will be back in working order.

Update (10:25 AM): Overnight Blizzard was able to get the servers stabilized and has confirmed the outage has ended.

Source: Kotaku.com