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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft Closed Beta Ending 54

JD-1027 writes "Blizzard is ending it's closed beta test of World of Warcraft Friday at 3pm PDT. Somewhat of an abrupt announcement, welcome by most, that means the release of the game is inching closer." In all likelihood this indicates the imminent arrival of the Open Beta Test.
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World of Warcraft Closed Beta Ending

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  • Stay tuned... (Score:5, Informative)

    by HanShootsFirst ( 825810 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:49AM (#10662515)
    For another stress test. A Blizzard rep posted in their official forums that signups are on the way.
  • Which will be a slashdotting of their open beta. ;)
  • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:52AM (#10662534) Homepage Journal
    It's been what, 2 years since they announced it? I'm really looking forward to it. But I certainly haven't built up my expectations for this, having been let down too many times (can you say SWG?)

    WoW, HL2 and LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth are the big 3 I'm waiting for. But here this past week, while I heard of Guild Wars, I never really looked into it.

    After the first couple of minutes of "oh wow, pretty" wore off, I learned that it was a kind of boring game while I was playing the World Wide Event that's going on now. I'm talking...snoozer.

    But that's a game in progress, so perhaps it will get better and better over time, but it's mainly a haven for Diablo regects at the moment. They REALLY need an /ignore command in that game.
  • by Godai ( 104143 ) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:55AM (#10662573)
    All you guys who end up downloading the Open Beta client are in for a treat. I've played a troll mage (EnSabahNur) through to 57 and had a great time. Still work to be done on it, but a blast nonetheless.
    • by Moonshadow ( 84117 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#10664323)
      Seconded. I played a human paladin up to 45, a tauren shaman, an undead mage, and a night elf rogue up to 10-20 apiece, and each one was just fantastic.

      Odd as it may sound, I'm highly considering not buying it when it goes retail, because it is MUCH too addictive.

      For what it's worth, this is coming from someone that thought SWG was a steaming pile of crap.
  • by CodeWanker ( 534624 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:21AM (#10662755) Journal
    It must be a good game; my cube used to be adjacent to some guy in this Beta, and for months he spent more time talking on the phone about... uh... soul shards and necromancers and other esoteric things than he did actually earning his salary. I was preparing to kill him and leave D & D lead figurines stuffed in all his orifices (got a good deal on 25 pounds of them on eBay) when I picked up a better contract somewhere else.
  • Horray (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:42AM (#10662923)
    Dropped FFXI a couple weeks ago after about 8 months of play, and have been really looking forward to WoW.

    I really liked FFXI, but in the end the time sink required for this game was just too much for me. SE's insistance on making FFXI a true multiplayer experience was certainly inspired, but in the end was just too hard on the "casual" gamer like myself. Past level 20 it's almost impossible to level efficiently or to get anything meaningful accomplished without the help of 5 or more other players, which really requires a lot of time meeting and maintaining game relationships. Again, for those with the time to do this the game is wonderful, but those of us who can only put a few hours a week into the game, or perhaps have one or two real life friends they only want to play with, really find ourselves at a disadvantage.

    It's my hope that WoW is a little better in this respect. From what I understand the majority of experience in the game comes from doing quests of various kinds? Hopefully many of these quests can be done solo if one wants to.
    • Word has it that you can play WoW without ever once teaming up with another player.

      It's a little harder, but doable.
      • Re:Horray (Score:1, Insightful)

        Every class can solo fairly well in WoW (some better than other, of course). I actually spent a lot of time soloing during Closed Beta. I did quite enjoy group play though, as well. It is nice because if you are an anti-social person, you can still enjoy the game without groups, but if you like grouping, there's plenty to do on that end of the spectrum, too.
      • I played during the stress test and only teamed up once. (and didn't particularly enjoy it, the group leader was a jerk) Near the end I wanted to play a little above my level. If you play conservatively, I think the number of times you have to group will be limited.
      • Re:Horray (Score:5, Informative)

        by Moonshadow ( 84117 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:59PM (#10664401)
        This is mostly correct. If you like, you can solo most everything easily. The only places these break down are against elite mobs (mobs of a certain level for hit/miss purposes, but which have much more hp and hit harder. These generally take 2-3 people of equal level to take down, at a minimum.) and in instances (which are all full of elite mobs).

        I really enjoy both solo and duo play, and WoW does both wonderfully.

        One thing of note; groups are pretty fluid in WoW. You might advertise that you're looking for a group for a particular mission in the zone channel. Three other people join up, you go do the mission for 20 minutes, you're done, and everyone goes about their way. It's very nice to be able to find groups easily if you want them, and even nicer to not require a group most of the time.
    • Just to point something out about FFXI, there IS a job/class that is specifically geared towards soloing. The Beastmaster/BST class. The only problem is that its an advanced job and you need to be a minimum of level 30 to unlock it. After that, you could level up to 75 (the max in the game) solo.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Never actually tried to do that, have you?

        You can't make it past level 55 without completeing a quest requiring 18 people. Not to mention that none of the storyline missions (past the first "rank") can be done solo. Most of the quests can't be done solo either.

        Unless you have a large community of friends, and don't mind this little dude [penny-arcade.com], you really can't play this game.
      • Yeah, I know, I was close to being able to do that (28), but just lost steam. I probably wouldn't have wanted to be a BST anyway, was looking more towards Paladin.

        In the end, what really ticked me off the most was that at higher levels, there just wasn't really any middle ground. You either had to have your static/linkshell to get you your Rank3+ quests and 1000+ exp an hour, or you were stuck killing crabs for 50xp a shot. I mean, I can understand if it takes a good solid group of 6 to go finish some of
    • Re:Horray (Score:5, Informative)

      by syle ( 638903 ) <syle.waygate@org> on Friday October 29, 2004 @02:25PM (#10665634) Homepage
      I was a level 44 rogue in WoW beta as of this morning (level cap is 60) with about 6 days of /played. Most of the quests are soloable, but not all. They show up colored by difficulty, and usually tough ones are much easier if you just wait a couple levels to do them. What may take me a team of 3 at 35 is usually soloable by 38. Blizzard has said explicitly that they want it to be possible for all classes to solo to 60, and from what I've seen they're living up to that. If I just grind xp and don't quest, the 40-45 levels take maybe 3-4 hours a piece (rogues tend to level solo faster than most classes, but not a lot faster). Really though, you usually won't be just grinding because the quests will overlap things you want to kill anyway, and the xp and item rewards are very good.
      • This is good news from my perspective. A few questions, if you don't mind, about the types of quests that are typical:

        - Are we just talking about your garden variety FedEx/Ghostbusters type stuff for the most part?

        - How long timewise does a typical quest take? Can most be accomplished within an hour, or can you expect to go all night completing one quest?
        • Re:Horray (Score:5, Informative)

          by syle ( 638903 ) <syle.waygate@org> on Friday October 29, 2004 @05:37PM (#10667801) Homepage
          There are your garden variety of quests, especially in outdoor zones. For example, "Kill 10 Stranglethorn Raptors" is the first in a series, then on completion you get "Kill 10 Lashtail Raptors," (higher level) followed by "Kill 10 Jungle Stalkers" (higher still). After the Jungle Stalkers, you get one to kill a named high level raptor, with a nice raptor-skin tunic as a reward.

          What separates it from something like EQ is that the rewards are always very good xp and often items (sometimes your choice of items). They're things you would be killing anyway, only if 10 kills gets you 2500 xp, the quest reward will plop another 3000 on top of it.

          Another thing that sets it apart is that the writing is excellent. They can manage to make basic "talk to these 5 people" quest lines develop into an epic scope.

          There are plenty of others, quests that lead to unique boss encounters, saving lost people, etc. Basically, the quests in each zone tell the storyline behind the place. Last night I was solving a murder mystery, the night before I was stealthing into a tower and pickpocketing vital information from a boss that would kill me in one hit. Before that, I was defending a small town in the woods from a huge ogre that walks through and kills people nightly.

          And there are a lot. You can only have 20 quests at a time, and it's extremely easy to fill that up if you just accept them all. You often have to pick and choose ones that look interesting.
        • I didn't answer your question about time. Please don't mistake killing a named monster for camping a named monster. In general, you can finish most quests in half an hour to an hour. There are plenty of longer ones, but usually you'll find yourself doing 2-3 at the same time then travelling back to town to get your rewards all at once. The only quests that needs more time usually are in instances (think dungeons but sometimes outdoors), where taking your group all the way to a boss encounter may be a co
        • Re:Horray (Score:1, Informative)

          by AyanamiChan ( 695112 )
          There are many, many, many garden variety quests in WoW. Often you'll have a particular area full of, say, Kobold miners. Wandering around the nearby town and farms you'll find a quest to kill 10 Kobold Miners, a quest to collect gold dust that drops from them, a quest to collect candles that drop from them, a quest to explore the mine, and a quest to kill a named mob that spawns in the back of the zone.... and you can complete all four at once, and turn them all in for rewards and about 5% of a level worth
          • Have they changed the balancing on quest spawns since the stress test ? Back then the unique spawns were heavily camped everywhere outside on the instances. Far from the newbie areas things were ok, but the early levels (which you may not remmeber) were very crowded. Any improvements ?
      • Re:Horray (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Doing quests != grinding? I thought all the quests were the same anyhow. This game is all about grinding for the end game (which is PVP).

        Quests are all one of a finite set of types (gather X of this, go see this person for me, kill X of these to name a few). Most of which are easily solo-able.

        The folly quest in sepulcher area was fun, as was the wailing caverns and the aragul instance, but once you've done them a few times the game begins to lose its luster.

        I suspect this game will go to the diablo
        • You sound a little more jaded than me about the whole thing. There are plenty of run of the mill quests, but I've also found enough fun boss encounters and interesting backstories to make up for it.

          The key difference between this "Kill Stalvan" and other MMORPGs' is that in this one, I've learned enough story along the way that I already hate him and want him dead. I have fun doing the quests and I never did in EQ or CoH. Maybe that will fade with time, but in 44+30 levels so far it hasn't.
    • Re:Horray (Score:4, Informative)

      by NaugaHunter ( 639364 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @06:41PM (#10668366)
      Their were essentially four quest types:
      - Slaughter - Kill x of Mob y
      - Farming - You need x of object z which drop off of Mob y
      - Travel - Go to area m and talk to NPC n.
      - Named - Kill a specifically named mob, sometimes retrieving a drop

      Any of these could be marked "Elite", though usually the Slaughter and Named only. What makes a quest Elite is the mob will hit as if level L, and will have armor as if level L, but will have a LOT more hit points to out-last soloers. Therefore, if it's something you want to see you can do it alone or at least in a small group at a higher level, you just won't get the experience for killing the mob itself. Note that Farming quests sometimes worked against Groups - you could kill faster in a group, but you'd have to kill more to collect enough for everyone.

      Quests are by no means required; you're free to level on your own if you want. But they have two benefits: experience and usually a monetary or item reward.

      (Level 43 Undead Rogue, and a handful of lower level characters, for reference.)
    • I've been in beta since about May of this year, so i'll try to help ya with your question.

      I'm mainly a solo player, in Everquest I played a druid, and could solo all I wanted. When I first got into WoW beta, I tried a druid, and by about level 8 I decided that it wasn't really like a druid in EQ, so, I made a Gnome Warlock instead. I kinda sucked a bit up until lvl 14 when I realized i could get my Voidwalker pet (tank pet) at lvl 10. As soon as I did the quest for that pet (a quest that you can do solo
  • by Xian97 ( 714198 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:53AM (#10663566)
    If nothing else, participating in the open beta will give me a chance to try it out before buying WoW. One of my strongest complaints about MMORPGs is the lack of a playable demo or trial. While you usually get the first month free, you still have to shell out $50 for the game itself without knowing if you are going to enjoy the experience. You have to make your buying decision based on reviews and in-game movies instead of a playable demo. This alone has kept me from trying several games since I didn't want to buy it to find out I didn't like the gameplay.

    I am looking forward to this one since I have found most Blizzard games to have great gameplay. I didn't care as much for their older games, Blackthorne and the Lost Vikings, but the Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft series rank among my favorites.
  • Excellent, Blizzard. I can see that you're almost done with this whole "World of Warcraft" thing. Well, as done as you can be with an MMORPG. I'm happy for you guys, really.

    So... Starcraft 2? Please?

    • the people that would do starcraft 2 are not the people working on WoW. They've got 2 main teams at Blizzard Irvine. one the RTS, the other the MMORPG. presumably the RTS people are working on something. probably'll be a year or so before they announce anything.

      no idea what Blizz North is doing, since they lost a huge number of employees a couple years back...
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, there are at least three main teams--the third is in charge of issuing DMCA threats against open source projects.
        • Actually, there are at least three main teams--the third is in charge of issuing DMCA threats against open source projects

          Yes, but lawyers have never been very good programmers, so it's not slowing development down significantly.
  • Nobody is going to be interested in taking bug reports this weekend at blizzard because they are all playing guildwars.
  • Anyone thing the abrubtness has anything to do with EQ2's ship date being Nov 8. WoW's closed beta started 3-4 months ahead of EQ at least, and I think the general assumption at the time among some of the forums I read was the WoW would ship first. Now EQ2 is shipping first and is primed to gab a decent chunk of a market that might not be willing to split its money over two subscription based games.
    • Funny you'd mention that. A lot of the beta testers think that's part of the reason Blizzard's moving forward as fast as they are. They also think its a stupid idea, because they've played EQ2 and all agree that its pretty to look at, and sucks in most other regards.
  • The first stress test was awesome. I can't wait to see how this one works out.

  • I've been testing for a year and I'm glad it's ending too.

    But probably not for the reasons you think, I'm glad because I'm really bored! I'm down to maybe 10 hours of play a week because there just isn't really that much to do.

    Most beta testers are assuming there will be a character wipe, which is a great thing! I can shelve my level 60 and start fresh, and play the game when it's most fun, the leveling curve from 0 to 60.

    But sadly I'm not confident that, after I get my level 60 on release, there will be
    • You don't need to have blind faith.

      I take it you are new to MMORPG's or have never been one to worry about their dynamics.

      The end game isn't in yet. It is always, as it should be, the last part to get implemented. It makes perfect sense as that is the last part of the game people will get to. So they focus their efforts on making the climb to 60. If you didn't notice, a they've been adding several new areas for level 40+ over the last months. Soon, they'll start adding the end game encounters.

      It co
  • Can someone please comment on the time required to actually advance in the game?

    I'm a senior in college and about to enter the work world where I will not have much time to play. I enjoy MMORPGs, but they were too big of a time sink for me to get anywhere so I didn't enjoy them.

    Oddly enough, I enjoyed UO because of the trade skill system, so perhaps people can comment on that as well.

    Is it just put X items in bag and combine? Or do you have to go to the cave, mine the ore, smelt it, and forge it etc?

    • Re:Time required? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by urbancontra ( 826608 )
      I know I wasted a ton of time playing this game, and I'm a senior in college as well. I don't think you have to devote too much time a week to it to have fun, but it certainly is MORE fun when you get into higher levels. You don't get talent points until level 10, and talents are really where you can start customizing your character. Then again, I can make it to level 15 in one sitting (but I have experience, of course). The best part about leveling in WoW is that it doesn't feel like work. Most of you
    • When you first get started it can get pretty boring, best to get into a party to do the quest, and you'll level up quicker to boot.
  • FilePlanet has sent out invitations to stress-test signups.

    I'm in, suckers.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer