World of Warcraft Cataclysm Launch Parties Are Go!

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A friend of mine was telling me, over lunch, that Blizzard is hosting Cataclysm launch parties. Apparently the party/event closest to him will have developers on hand to sign retail copies. Sounds pretty sweet to me!

Check out this link for a list of stores and events surrounding the December 7th Cataclysm launch.

Monster

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In the beginning:

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a literal monster. I remember the day it first appeared to me, looking all innocent in its shrink wrapped box. Little did I know that what dwelled inside was a digital narcotic that would end up stealing 3 months of my life. Wait. I should clarify that. I let World of Warcraft become my drug of choice; I let WoW rule my life.

Wasted summer:

So there I was, home from college for the summer. My brain fried from finals and from having to drive from East Texas to Southern California. All I can say is that it was a long trip! All I wanted to do was sit back and relax for the summer. My parents, however, had other plans in mind for me. Everyday I was asked when I was going to start looking for a job. A job? I had just slaved myself to death over school and now they wanted me to get a job? I just couldn’t understand that–I do now that I have student loan payments–. So I set up my computer on the kitchen table, and I proceeded to play WoW day and night. That summer was long, filled with nagging, and looking back, a complete waste of my time. I had let a computer game become my escape from reality. World of Warcraft had become my monster.

Fight and flight:

Today (10/22/10) marks the beginning of BlizzCon 2010. The hype train is chugging away at full steam, and Cataclysm is rapidly incoming (December 7th). At this junction, I find myself a tad conflicted. The excitement of friends clamoring for Cataclysm makes me want to go back and check out the game. However, I know that much has changed in my life.

Since that wasted summer, I have gotten married, had a little boy, and overall (hopefully!) have grown up. I no longer feel that I have the time to seriously dedicate to World of Warcraft. Sure, I could log in and dabble around some, but I would be no closer to friends who are not at the same place in life as me. I think, at this particular junction, that WoW is just not for me anymore. I need a game where I do not feel guilt if I don’t play (due to paying $15 a month). I also need a game where I can quickly exit/ press a pause button and it won’t impact anyone (in-game). So I guess that this is goodbye WoW. Don’t bother coming around anymore. I don’t like hanging out with monsters.

Impending Doom

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Nearly 7 years after the launch of World of Warcraft, Blizzard is still reporting player growth like McDonald’s used to report how many customers had been served.

World of Warcraft(R) Subscriber Base Reaches 12 Million Worldwide

IRVINE, Calif., Oct 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft(R), its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 12 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of World of Warcraft’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King(R), and also as global anticipation continues to mount for the December 7 release of the game’s third expansion, Cataclysm(TM).

“The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December.”

Since debuting in North America, Australia, and New Zealand on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular subscription-based MMORPG around the world. It was the bestselling PC game of 2005 and 2006 worldwide, and finished behind only World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade(R), the first expansion pack for the game, in 2007. For 2008, the World of Warcraft series represented three of the top five bestselling PC games, with Wrath of the Lich King finishing the year at #1, and in 2009, World of Warcraft titles claimed three of the top six spots.*

At this point in the games life, I am not surprised that the gaming community is still talking about the WoW monster. World of Warcraft is a power house in that it takes systems found in other games and refines them to something close to perfection. The amount of times I have resubscribed to WoW, after swearing it off, is also a testament to how great this game is (or maybe that is an admission as to how addictive it is).

Up until the announcement of Cataclysm’s release (12/7/10), I really didn’t think that I would ever venture into the lands of Azeroth again. However, the release announcement suddenly had me interested. Here is the thing, all my friends will end up diving back into the game. Especially those of mine who are going to BlizzCon. So do I enter back into a game that is almost seven years old? Like the infamous Death Eaters in Harry Potter, I can feel my soul being sucked back into the void. See ya there!

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Coming July 27th

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Don’t know how I missed this yesterday…

The time for galactic warfare is almost at hand. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will warp into stores throughout the world starting on July 27, and the epic conflict between the protoss, terrans, and zerg will take up right where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War. See the press release for further details, and prepare yourself for battle.

Celestial Dreams

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Dreams do come true, in World of Warcraft, thanks to the recent addition of the Celestial Steed flying mount.  Celestial Steed? A new flying mount? Your probably asking what I did to obtain such a elusive piece of the heavens. Well, I can tell you that I did not:

  • Complete an epic quest
  • Slay a 1000 Murlocs
  • Or, visit the Galactic Temple high above Darkshore (surely you’ve been there!)

No, dear readers,  I simply paid $25 for this amazing downloadable addition — I love you Blizzard! –. I honestly think that the starry night sky shines brighter; that the very heavens gleam in approval of my new epic flying mount. Eat your heart out haters!

My horse from the Twisting Nether, Josie.

Still there? Good. I have a confession to make, I really didn’t spend $25 on a virtual horse. Why? Well…

  • $25 is almost as much as paying for a 2 month subscription.
  • You could buy 2 1/2 Pandaren Monks for the price of one girly-looking horse named Sparkle Fairy.

While I understand the want/need for downloadable content (money!), I just cannot bring myself to spend $25 for a virtual horse. For those of you who have, shame on you! You are supporting a practice that developers do not need to get used to. So quit it! NOW! You don’t need Sparkle Fairy. At all. So move along. NOW!