Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Tinwhisker

World of Warcraft Magazine

30 posts in this topic

So, I got my copy out of the mail late Monday night when I got home and since then have been thinking about starting a thread on it. I'm not going to break down and review every article here but I do want to give my first impressions and see what other people think about the Official WoW Magazine. Ideally the discussion will continue on through subsequent issues.

First Impressions:

First off, the magazine was delivered through USPS in an opaque white plastic bag with simple black lettering denoting that it was the "Official World of Warcraft Magazine." Opening the bag there were no inserts or other things to fall out. You're immediately greeted by a magazine that is slightly larger (taller and wider) than most monthly periodicals with a wrap-around cover cover design featuring Arthas on the front. There is no text to speak of on the outside save the title art and some text about volume and issue.

A quick flip reveals the cover is of thicker material than the internal pages. All pages are of high quality gloss paper and in full color. There is a plethora of artwork inside and no shortage of text. It would seem that the text font is smaller than found in most periodicals but that may only be my perception.

As promised, there are no advertisements (at least in the traditional sense). My wife was quick to point out that the entire magazine is nothing but an advertisement for WoW itself but I'm not sure that counts. There is a large article inside about having posters made of your character which is very borderline advertisement but it's only 3 or so pages long and probably still worth the read.

I'm a bit unclear about how much of the artwork contained within is original and how much is recycled form other sources. I do recognize a fair amount as artwork from The Card Game as well as some from other sources. The TCG artwork is much larger than contained on the cards though and is pleasant to see in this larger form.

Content:

I'm not going to list every article individually but here's my thoughts on the content.

There is nothing groundbreaking or revealing in any of the articles (or at least nothing I've seen yet). It's all information that we already knew or have already guessed. As expected there are many nods to WoW's 5-year anniversary as well as what things to look forward to in Cataclysm. Topics covered are quite diverse and span from PvP in the arenas and battlegrounds to companion pets to raid healing to achievements and an interview with Mike M.

One thing that did surprise me but probably shouldn't have is that in many of the articles they have quotes from players about the topic covered. It was a nice touch I enjoyed as a side dish to the main meals.

Most articles seemed well written and edited. I will say though that the writers would do best to stay away from current hot topics. Towards the end of the magazine is an article aimed at DPS classes that spends nearly half it's time talking about rogue weapon swapping (which was 'fixed' by Blizzard a few weeks ago). Realistically, I don't think that article should have ever been written let alone allowed to printed after the fix but I really have no way to know when the magazine went to print. Big thumbs down there but that's my only major gripe.

What I liked:

To me the magazine seemed "full." While I don't think I'll be able to glean any information I didn't already know out of it, it was quite entertaining to read. I do feel like I got my money's worth if subsequent issues are similar.

What Id like to see more of:

Honestly, I'm having a hard time coming up with any topics they didn't cover at least partly. I would like to see more about Blizzards operations, specifically from the network and database maintenance side. Hearing from Execs and Devs about company vision, game design and what-not are great but Blizzard has never really revealed anything of substance about the kind of hardware and software it takes to run such a massive MMO. Now, I'm not suggesting they give away all their secrets and throw wide the doors but I hardly think that after so many years of development and 5 years of play they couldn't talk about at least some of what goes on behind the curtains.

That's a short and sweet write-up of my first thoughts, what are yours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am eagerly awaiting my copy. For Tinwhisker though, let me ask this:

Had this magazine been released in October/November as was initially promised, would that have fixed the problem of "no new information" being in it? Perhaps it's better to ask if this premier issue suffered because the EiC position for the magazine was vacated just as the issue was finalizing for print?

I'm thinking that if the WoW Magazine is produced and printed more promptly, we can expect it to be a big resource of new information that we haven't heard elsewhere. If all the magazine is going to do is replicate the commentary and reporting from all the WoW news sites, then we're paying a subscription fee for a bunch of pretty artwork on glossy paper. I'm really thinking that Blizzard has more in mind for this mag.

Thanks for the write-up! I will cheerfully get my own in once my copy arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Had this magazine been released in October/November as was initially promised, would that have fixed the problem of "no new information" being in it? Perhaps it's better to ask if this premier issue suffered because the EiC position for the magazine was vacated just as the issue was finalizing for print?

Hard to say, my guess would be no. A lot of the Cataclysm info in there is stuff we learned from BlizzCon or shortly afterward. There do seem to be some new screenshots but they don't reveal any new information.

From the look of things, the majority of articles had probably been planned out and near completion before that but Future (not Blizzard) was unwilling to go to print/delivery without a full staff able to work on the next issue. Their fear being that they would get this one out in Oct/Nov and not have the next one out for 4-5 months due to having no EiC. That might be ok from a patch cycle viewpoint (released when ready, soon, etc) but in the world of periodicals, not publishing at a quarterly interval would be a killer and a huge black eye.

Future probably thought it best to delay the initial release rather than risk missing a publishing interval later on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It'll certainly be interesting to see if this magazine stands the test of time. Print in general has issues against the Internet. The moment the issue hits the stands, some website or person is gonna post about anything of interest somewhere. It's one of the things Dan "Shoe" Hsu complained about when he was the Editor-in-Chief @ EGM. Especially when you consider that 100% of the people you expect to buy this magazine already have internet connections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that although the magazine is "official", Blizzard haven't suddenly decided to start telling players how to play: The editorial emphasis was on how players do things, not on "Blizz' exclusives".

The long (4-5 month) production cycle poses a serious challenge. It's longer than Blizzard's increasingly long patch cycle, not that Blizzard are 100% sure about anything until a week before it actually patches. I'm intrigued to see how they cope with the next issue, which will inevitably be dominated by a Cataclysm that isn't yet complete. Expansions tend to change everything...

Nathanyel: Non-English versions are delayed due to translation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm intrigued to see how they cope with the next issue, which will inevitably be dominated by a Cataclysm that isn't yet complete. Expansions tend to change everything...

With the Cataclysm alpha starting up shortly it puts the magazine in a weird spot. Assuming the alpha runs for 2-3 months, it means the beta will be out at nearly the same time as the next issue. Once into the beta, there's no more NDA binding anyone which means they're either going to have to really put a lot of info into the "spring" issue or people are likely to ignore the magazine in favor on new Cataclysm info coming out of the beta itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the beta is under an NDA as well. That there was wotlkwiki doesn't contradict that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the beta is under an NDA as well. That there was wotlkwiki doesn't contradict that.

I'm pretty sure the beta wasn't under an NDA, since the whole wotlkwiki issue came from the alpha datamining. And if I remember well once the beta launched MMO-Champ did a pretty big recap on all the info he had from the alpha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is correct, there was no NDA on the WotLK beta, only the alpha. The WotLK beta forums themselves were publicly accessible, in fact, so all information on them thus were easily accessible by anyone interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the beta is under an NDA as well. That there was wotlkwiki doesn't contradict that.

NDA's are dropped once the Beta begins.

With the Cataclysm alpha starting up shortly it puts the magazine in a weird spot. Assuming the alpha runs for 2-3 months, it means the beta will be out at nearly the same time as the next issue. Once into the beta, there's no more NDA binding anyone which means they're either going to have to really put a lot of info into the "spring" issue or people are likely to ignore the magazine in favor on new Cataclysm info coming out of the beta itself.

I'd imagine we won't see the Alpha start for another few weeks (wow.com was trolled). If the next issue comes out around the Beta I would imagine it would have quite a bit of new Cataclysm info in there and wouldn't suffer from the setbacks this first issue had which caused it to be so outdated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad, I was under the impression the whole wotlkwiki was something that was unwanted in Blizzard's eyes, though I guess now that it was mostly the datamining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I haven't got the magazine, I saw this blog posting yesterday and would be highly interested in any details regarding this. How is the whole imprint part handled, do they have a "team" named or are some of the articles in the mag signed with author names and some aren't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I haven't got the magazine, I saw this blog posting yesterday and would be highly interested in any details regarding this. How is the whole imprint part handled, do they have a "team" named or are some of the articles in the mag signed with author names and some aren't?

They do give credit for articles written directly at some of the articles, others do not have their authors directly attached by there is a list of contributors at the front. It does not say which contributor wrote what though. The writers listed with specific articles are not the same as those listed as contributors.

The listed contributors are:

Cody Bye

Alan Dexter

Teresa Dun

Todd Leveen

Casey Lynch

Jamie Madison

David Murphy

Tyler Nagata

Luis Villazon

Since the author of worldofmatticus does not publish his real name in either the blog or his domain registry, there's nothing to back up his claim that he wasn't given credit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My bad, I was under the impression the whole wotlkwiki was something that was unwanted in Blizzard's eyes, though I guess now that it was mostly the datamining.

This is correct - as mentioned above, the Alpha was under an NDA, and WOTLKWiki was put up using datamined and leaked Alpha information. It really took off when the alpha client got leaked a few weeks before the beta began, and people started doing sandbox servers and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magazine subscribers should get access to the beta of cataclysm. Most magazines run special promotions like that and this one should not be an exception.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Magazine subscribers should get access to the beta of cataclysm.

Damn you, in my post-slumber state, I read the "should" as "will" and was already excited...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Had this magazine been released in October/November as was initially promised, would that have fixed the problem of "no new information" being in it? Perhaps it's better to ask if this premier issue suffered because the EiC position for the magazine was vacated just as the issue was finalizing for print?

I'm thinking that if the WoW Magazine is produced and printed more promptly, we can expect it to be a big resource of new information that we haven't heard elsewhere. If all the magazine is going to do is replicate the commentary and reporting from all the WoW news sites, then we're paying a subscription fee for a bunch of pretty artwork on glossy paper. I'm really thinking that Blizzard has more in mind for this mag.

Short answers: Yes and yes.

I believe that, had the magazine been released when advertised, the ICC: 5-man previews and the raid info would have been much more pertinent. That being said, there was still useful information to be gleaned from the articles about the current content when I finally received my copy.

In addition, there was a multitude of general information about the game. The magazine perfectly caters to the WoW community. In fact, the previews of the goblin and worgen races were one of the highlights of the magazines, in my opinion. Sure, some of the info might have been released previously at Blizzcon, BUT the writers doing the articles did a beautiful write-up and took us along for the ride. In addition, there are previews of new professions and what not, with illustrations I hadn't seen before. I'm hoping that the next issue has peeks from Beta Cat in it. And, knowing that this magazine is the OFFICIAL WoW magazine, Blizzard will probably make that happen for us.

All in all, I believe that anyone with a WoW account will LOVE this magazine. It is totally worth the subscription cost to me (albeit a long publishing wait for the first issue >:[ ). If the additional issues follow the same format and general idea, this magazine is going to be around for a LONG time... and I will be subscribing to it each year.

EDIT: Holy %^*&, spelling! Sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is now the first week of April and I've got nothing. The WoW Magazine site as well as the Future US is unchanged and there's obviously been nothing in my mailbox. I had expected something to be mentioned by this time but there's nothing. Usually Blizzard is overjoyed to announce upcoming things like this (even if they're behind schedule) but I've not heard a single peep.

Hopefully they've not failed at meeting their deadline (again).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just received my first issue, after nearly two months of waiting. My copy also arrived in a translucent white plastic cover with a mailing label.

PRODUCTION VALUES

Nice, heavy cover and interior stock. I don't recall the folio, but there was good heft in the hand. Metallic spot color used throughout the issue. Printing appeared to be commercial quality.

DESIGN

I understand the decision to put the Lich King on the cover, but at this point, nothing could grab my attention less. The layout flowed okay--a bit hard to read in parts but fine for browsing. Disturbingly graceless fonts look bad enough without the spot color treatment. I suspect that the art director was strongly encouraged to retain the look-and-feel of the game.

EDITORIAL

There's nothing here for the EJ crowd. A primer about using LOS to your advantage in arenas? An interview with Morhaime? How to tank? An advertorial about the trading card game? This is Sports Illustrated for Kids.

There's content that's better written, more timely, community-based, audience specific, and free, online. This magazine does nothing to turn the tide of that trend. It's a custom branding and marketing vehicle.

But it does have nice posters you can tear out and stick on your locker, if you've given up on girls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

got this today:

Our gnomes, trolls, and elves are hard at work wrapping up Issue 2, which features a behind-the scenes interview with the team that creates the quests in World of Warcraft, exclusive screenshots of the world after Cataclysm, and an exhaustive guide to Icecrown Citadel. In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of the cover for you to download as a subscriber-exclusive desktop wallpaper. Just click the link below.

http://dl.futureus.com/wow/WoW2_1024x768_US.jpg

http://dl.futureus.com/wow/WoW2_1280x1024_US.jpg

http://dl.futureus.com/wow/WoW2_1600x1200_US.jpg

42326d2c-3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It never ceases to amaze me just how huge the dragon aspects are when in that form. I have to wonder if Alexstraza sitting there at the Wrathgate gives us some sort of clue as to Deathwing's size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that Deathwing on the right? Who is the one on the left?

*edit: Or are they both Neltharion at different stages?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.