A Strange Game
– So it happened again. The player client software for the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, leaked into the public arena long before it was intended to become public. Again, because this also happened with the previous 2 expansions. A third leak is beginning to look careless. WoW.com's (unofficial) explanation of this "failure of secrecy" ironically fails to explain most of reasons beh...
Adventures in Online Advertising
– Introduces internet advertising with discussion of the earning potential, cashflow and ethics. The article then provides a series of case studies on specific topics, such as iteratively improving revenue, altering placement, cloaking, use of text or image adverts, and seasonal variations over Christmas.
– We finally have some reliable figures for the commercial value of "minipet" micro-transactions in the game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, the sales of just 1 item: In November and December 2009, at least $2.2 million worth of Pandaren Monk pets were sold. 220,000 at $10 each. We know this because "50% of the purchasing price" was donated to charity, and "more than $1.1 million" was donated (via...
Another BlizzCon Costume
– Surreal costume entertainment from WoW tournament test realms.
BarCamp: Living on Virtual Fish
– BarCamp Scotland presentation.
De-Analysing Blizzard's Add-On Policy
– Blizzard Entertainment's new add-on policy has been discussed by everyone from Lum to Slashdot. The number of developers directly affected by the change is small, since only a few add-ons are popular enough to be considered commercial ventures. The policy is more significant because it changes a lot of established conventions, and goes to the heart of how Blizzard embraces (or increasingly, shuns) ...
De-Analysing Blizzard's Starcraft 2 Marketplace
– Earlier in 2009, Blizzard announced a non-commercial World of Warcraft add-on policy, which caused much discussion. Today at BlizzCon, Rob Pardo (illustrated) introduced the Starcraft 2 Marketplace: A future (after the game's launch) system that would allow independent development teams to create custom "premium maps" for the game, and make money from them. That's precisely what World of Warcraft ...
Do You Fish in Real Life?
– Analyses the transfer of fishing activity between the physical and virtual worlds.
El's Extreme Anglin' - 2007 Retrospective - Part I
– This article contains some observations from running El's Extreme Anglin' during 2007.
El's Extreme Anglin' - 2007 Retrospective - Part II
– Analyses trends in usage during 2007 for El's Extreme Anglin'.
Exploration is Dead. Long Live Exploration!
– Explores the concept of exploration, and tries to explain how one of the most complex virtual worlds ever created (World of Warcraft) has become popular among players that are not natural explorers.
Favorite Fishing Places
– Analyses the favourite fishing locations of World of Warcraft anglers. Both where and why.
– The Frostmourne Cavern event, in Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
Learn2Play, the new Real Money Trading?
– Learn2Play is the market for teaching players to play online games via commercial game guides and books. The article explores the history and trends in this market, using World of Warcraft as an example.
Map of World of Warcraft Online Communities
– Michael Zenke's MMO Blogipelago map [via Tobold], based on the famous xkcd map of online communities, inspired me to create a map for World of Warcraft (WoW) online communities: Map of World of Warcraft Online Communities. The article below explains the logic behind the map. Mapping Communities The map shows internet-based communities whose primary interest is the game World of Warcraft. What's a c...
Nation of Adoration
– World of Warcraft's seasonal holiday events temporarily reduce player interest in fishing. It's always been the case, but the decline in fishing seems to be becoming more extreme over time: The graph's y-axis is the percentage decline in page views at El's Extreme Anglin' from the 7 days before each event, to the first 7 days of the event. Pageviews are a good proxy for overall angler interest. El ...
Peeking Into Blizzard's Development Process
– Blizzard Entertainment have a reputation for being "tight lipped", and not announcing details about the games they develop. And since Blizzard have a lot more freedom than the developers that are closely regulated by their publishers, they should be able to talk openly. But having listened to many of their senior developers talk during the recent Paris "WorldWide Invitational", I suspect actually,...
Platform Azeroth: Why Information is Broken
– This article explores why the best information in World of Warcraft (WoW) is not available from within the game. It considers how to better bring information into the game environment. Analyse this: Above is a World of Warcraft screenshot, showing an in-game browser. This is not a feature of the game. The "Knowledge Base" is technically a support database written exclusively by the game's developer...
Pro-Auctioneering, the New eSport
– Explains how the art of making money in World of warcraft could become an electronic sport.
Systems of Curse and ZAM
– The World of Warcraft ecosystem saw the final "big fansite" acquisition this week, with MMO-Champion bought by Curse Inc. Big meaning something that attracts millions of users each month. Curse have been using some of their $11 million of venture capital to buy up a variety of gaming fansites, including many popular WoW sites. But MMO-Champion is significant for 3 other reasons: Corporate deal, not...
Where We Fish
– Analyses where players fish in the game World of Warcraft. It reveals the role of daily quests in shaping our fishing habits, demonstrates just how popular city-fishing is, and starts to reveal why we fish.