Posts Tagged ‘celestial steed’

Premium Services, Market Discrimination, and the Cross-Server RealID Invite

31 May 2011 | 5 Comments » | Heartbourne

Everyone and their dog has an opinion on “premium” services in WoW. There are some people that feel that because WoW charges a monthly fee, it is unethical to charge for some premium services. Currently, there are quite a few services that Blizzard offers to enhance your MMO experience:

Many MMOs have gone free-to-play, where the only revenue from the game is from optional, purchasable services like the ones Blizzard offers for WoW. However, WoW requires you to pay a non-trivial amount to play per month, as well as the price tag of the game. Here are the current numbers for the software and game time on the Blizzard store and Amazon as of the publishing of this post:

That’s just for the software licenses, a total of $110 as of the publishing of this post for US players purchasing on the Blizzard Store. For game time, players have the following options:

  • 30 days, $14.99 (about $0.50 a day)
  • 60 day prepaid card, $28.99 Amazon (about $0.48 a day)
  • 90 days, $41.97 (about $0.46 a day)
  • 180 days, $77.94 (about $0.43 a day)

So how do these premium services, especially the cross-server RealID invite, fit in?
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New Premium “Winged Lion” Flying Mount to Sell on Blizzard Store

21 March 2011 | 2 Comments » | Amatera

Put away those Sparkle Ponies and get ready for the next mount you’ll be tired of seeing two days later! Blizzard posted a picture of their next $2 million+ payday to the official WarCraft Facebook page just a short time ago. The flying feline you see below comes complete with voluminous glowing wings, light-bathed footpads, and a mane made of cresting flames behind the head.

Judging by the background, I imagine this premium mount should hit the Blizzard Store around the time that 4.1 is released (5-man Troll-themed content), though no clues as to what it may cost or whether or not it has any cool, custom animations (I’m going to guess no, based on previous experience).

And assuming that the subject is still in our hearts and minds when it arrives, I eagerly await the controversial threads asking why Blizzard isn’t donating some (or all) of the proceeds to the natural disaster victims in Japan. As well as the counter-arguments that “you don’t have to pay for it if you don’t want to!”  Both of which are already showing up in the comments on Facebook.

I don’t think they’ll ever live the Pandaren Monk debacle down.

Blizzard Customer Support Now On Twitter

1 September 2010 | 3 Comments » | Amatera

Some people might question the necessity of this maneuver, but I find that the big trend these days seems to be choice. Where you get your information, and how you get it, is completely up to you. It’s the reason why Google integrates into everything and everything integrates into Skynet Facebook (yes, even Twitter). Maybe you already have a good method for figuring out when the servers are up or down (refreshing the in-game browser ad nauseum for three hours straight doesn’t count). Maybe you’ve got a bookmark on the status page, or have it hooked up to an RSS feed.

But if you don’t? Well, now you can keep up with the times on Twitter, by following the official BlizzardCS account. Now, don’t go thinking you can spam it every time your game crashes. This is less for accepting complaints and more for disseminating mass information and updates quickly:

You can now follow all Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support news and updates on Twitter. Just head over to @BlizzardCS, (http://twitter.com/BlizzardCS) for the latest Support related news, events and more. We will be providing constant updates during Tuesday’s maintenance and service outages. Additionally, you will be able to view updates to our Queue Times for Game Master interactions, account investigations and escalated tickets alike.

Of course, we’d be remiss if any mention of Twitter went without a convenient link to our own account. Yes, our ancient Sparklepony contest is still going on because we’ve yet to hit the magic number. Scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours! All you have to do is follow @Lorehound today!

Lore Hound MMOcast: Episode 9

28 May 2010 | 1 Comment » | LHStaff

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Join iTZKooPA, Amatera, and Juggynaut for this episode of the MMOcast. Topics up for discussion include:
  • Another Turbine Special: LotRO Welcome Back Week
  • GDC Austin re-brands to GDC Online. Makes perfect sense and doesn’t sound like a disease. Looking at you Syfy.
  • APB intro trailer.
  • Acclaim purchased by Playdom. Will remain as a development house.
  • EverQuest II introduces sparkly pony+1. Take that Celestial Steed.
  • Star Trek Online latest State of the Game
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic players heading to Hoth in some capacity.
  • How important is the graphics of the game you’re playing? Could a game like Rift: Planes of Telara draw you in with graphics, then hope to hook with gameplay?

Click the player above to listen, download the podcastsubscribe via RSS, or subscribe on iTunes.

Also, get involved with our podcasts! E-mail us at podcast@lorehound.com or leave us a voicemail using the button below or simply call us at (304) 884-LORE.  Remember you can follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a Celestial Steed mount, too!

Lore Hound MMOcast: Episode 8

23 May 2010 | 1 Comment » | LHStaff

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  • Celestial Steed contest almost complete.
  • Short Story (manga) contest now live.
  • Started our StarCraft 2 coverage. It’s here to stay.
  • BlizzCon tickets on sale soon.
  • LEGO Universe available for pre-order!
  • Marvel Super Heroe Squad Online announced.
  • Runes of Magic Chapter III: The Elder Kingdoms live.
  • Aion v1.9 patch dated for June 2, v2.0 patch notes, server merger (oh noes!@) – Source
  • Perfect World Entertainment invests in Runic Games.
  • SW:TOR reveals non-human race, advanced classes.
  • DDO third most popular MMO according to survey.
  • Guild Wars 2 Dynamic Event System is intriguing.
  • Discussion: How important is it to your experience to feel that your changing the game’s world (See Dynamic Event System)?

Click the player above to listen, download the podcastsubscribe via RSS, or subscribe on iTunes.

Also, get involved with our podcasts! E-mail us at podcast@lorehound.com or leave us a voicemail using the button below or simply call us at (304) 884-LORE.  Remember you can follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a Celestial Steed mount, too!

EverQuest II Jumps on the Sparkle Pony Bandwagon

20 May 2010 | 5 Comments » | pixiestixy

It was only a matter of time. Members of the WoW audience were not the only ones who took notice last month when Blizzard made the move to sell its first mount for IRL dollars. Of course not. At 25 bucks a pop, those sparkle ponies sold like hotcakes (and I, too, am guilty of this indulgence.) And in result, Blizzard surely made millions off of one single in-game item that looks pretty. How could the world not take notice of such a large amount of real-life cash being spent on a virtual item?

Some of us worried that this would set a precedent for things to come. And it looks like that is starting to unfold. Today, Sony Online Entertainment announced that it would sell its first ever marketplace mounts, called the Prowlers — available in “Ethereal” purple, “Sinister” green and “Ulteran” blue. And unlike the Celestial Steed that looks pretty but pretty much offers no advantage otherwise, these guys come with built-in buffs:

“Each mount comes in your choice of one of the following versions: Fierce and Arcane. The Fierce version increases Slashing, Aggression, Ranged, Piercing and Crushing of caster by 5, while the Arcane version increases Focus, Ordination, Disruption, Subjugation and Ministration of caster by 5. Both versions of the mount have a 65% run speed.

The Prowlers are guaranteed to be available for at least one month and adventurers can now purchase these new mounts for 2500SC (Pixie’s note – this equates to $25 each, the same as the Celestial Steed) from the Marketplace.  These are the first Station Cash items of their kind and are immediately available in-game, upon purchase.

So even though we all pretty much saw this coming, it still bothers me. One of the huge caveats that supporters of the Celestial Steed — including myself — have been saying all along is that they support it because it does not provide any in-game advantage over other mounts. Not the case with The Prowlers. Does this raise the bar for what we’ll see in the future? Slippery slope, folks. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I love my shiny pony. But what will be the price that we ultimately pay for this service? Would those of you who supported the Celestial Steed like myself still agree with the idea  if we start seeing more items that provide an in-game advantage?

Follow Lore Hound on Twitter, Win a Celestial Steed

27 April 2010 | 10 Comments » | LHStaff

The title of this post says it all: Follow @LoreHound on Twitter, and you will automatically be entered to win a loot code for a shiny new Celestial Steed.

We’ve already announced this nifty new contest in a few different places on the site, but this post now makes it official. We’re aiming to hit 2,000 followers. Once we do, we will randomly choose one of our followers to receive the lucky prize.

So, please. Save a pony from being put down. And help me get all this sparkly, stardust out of my hair. Follow us on Twitter. And spread the word to your friends. She-Ra will thank you.

**Update** Yes, the contest is still on! Keep sending Twitter followers our way so we can get up to our goal and give away a beautiful Celestial Steed. In the meantime, also enjoy this video of pixie pimping the contest:

Lore Hound WoWcast: Episode 3

16 April 2010 | 3 Comments » | LHStaff

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Check out this week’s episode of our WoWcast! This week we’re chatting about the rest of the Cataclysm Class Previews, more Heroic Lich King kills, and of course the new Celestial Steed available from the Blizzard Store.

Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, or subscribe via RSS.

Also, we want to get you listeners involved! E-mail us at podcast@lorehound.com or leave us a voicemail using the button below or simply call us at (304) 884-LORE. We look forward to hearing from you guys.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a Celestial Steed mount!