WoW Wednesday: A Classic Community Debate

I find myself in a very odd and unique position this year.

I’m one of a few select players that has had the pleasure of playing both Vanilla, what we now call Classic World of Warcraft, and current live World of Warcraft. We covered the distinctions between the two in may of this year, as well as why I never really wish to return to it. Recently, however, I’ve seen particular discussions surrounding major differences between the two that I thought were interesting enough to share. While we briefly discussed this particular point in ‘A Classic Take,’ this week let’s discuss about the ties of community and how they impact both Classic as we knew it and Live as we know it now.

So what is a community, at least as it pertains to the World of Warcraft? For the purposes of our discussion, we’ll define it as a group of like-minded individuals. These days that term is used interchangeably between the Community Feature, your group of RealID friends, your guild, your faction, your server, or even your particular gameplay fashion. In Classic’s day it was often used to refer to one of three things.

First you would have your collection of friends. Due to Classic’s higher string of difficulty in comparison to modern, or Live, Warcraft, you would often be forced into socializing and cooperating with other players frequently. Playing alone was simply a slower, if not often unsuccessful, method of questing and playing Warcraft. Finding a few people to connect with and make memories made the experience more entertaining overall.

Secondly, you would have your guild community. As Classic only had one major source of endgame at its launch, your guild was a major part of the experience. Often your group of friends would morph into a guild of its own. This was the vehicle for which to move through Warcraft’s higher-level challenges and, for some aspects like raiding, was necessary. That being said, Guilds were not mandatory aspects of the Classic community.

Instead that was relegated to your Server or Realm Community. This was an indelible part not just of your Warcraft experience, but the very identity of who you were as a player. More so than faction, more so than class, your Realm was your world. Word could quickly explode in your community if you were a competent tank or if you were a particularly dastardly player. Some stories, like those of Angwe or Leeroy Jenkins carry on long after their Realms have been reshuffled and forgotten. Here is where you went when, failing friends or a guild, you wanted to engage in content beyond what you could as a solo player.

Each part of this ‘community ladder’ that Classic had was an extension of its social hierarchy. As one couldn’t simply race change or server transfer you were, to an extent, inflicted with that Server Social hierarchy. As most players are often playing with good faith, very few had anything to fear from their server. Instead these self-contained communities were so closely tight knit due to gameplay progression. Classic’s high difficulty throughout forced players to cooperate or suffer, thus forging community bonds that reached throughout a realm and, in some cases, could last a lifetime.

These days, in Live Warcraft, the concept of community is different. While the concept and indeed the practices still exist throughout Azeroth things have changed. Server community, with the implementation of Cross-Realm Zones, had been significantly reduced to little more than a curse word for Frostmourne-US. While Roleplay Servers and communities self-identify still to this day, this practice is far more reduced than it has been.

In reality, the concept of community overall is indeed far more reduced in current Warcraft. That isn’t due to any failure on the part of the community, though there are certainly horror stories to share. There isn’t an organization digital or otherwise that could remain exactly the same over the course of fifteen years. People get older, change their lives, and eventually leave their communities behind.

From a gameplay perspective, there simply isn’t a reason for players to truly band together anymore on a wider scale. Content throughout Warcraft is now easily soloable. Group content can be forged quickly through in-game group finders and Pick-Up Groups. Only the absolute cutting edge of Warcaft’s challenges require a strong community base. But if you find your community not up to your standards, you can simply go elsewhere with no recompense or issue. It is now easier than ever to be a free agent in the raiding scene.

Ironically enough, there are really only two major gameplay elements that require a strong community base. Roleplaying and Rated Player vs. Player gameplay. Two communities of such vast difference in ideals that most would never expect them to be mentioned in the same sentence. However, they share much more in their common ideals than one would believe.

Roleplaying, by its nature, is a cooperative activity. In World of Warcraft roleplayers are often segregated by Classic’s social hierarchy. You may play with a handful of friends, just within a guild, or you may be a server figurehead. However, due to the nature of attaching an identity and proverbial face to your avatar, your name is far more easily identifiable. You can quickly make a good or bad name for yourself on a server, much like Classic in a sense.

Rated PvP, once more by its nature, is a cooperative activity. While this is magnified even more so in the Rated Battleground scene, players looking for any major sort of progression spend an unbelievable amount of time working with vast combinations of other players and classes. Your name can quickly get around for both poor performance and bad, certainly if you join one of several communities for casual RPvP. This is only exacerbated for those who are Gladiator level players; PvPers that have crossed the 2400 rating threshold and reaped elite rewards in either being the top 0.1% or claiming their Gladiator’s Mounts. Your name quickly gets around, and as such you get access for good playing, to all of the players in those brackets.

So, where does this leave us in the differentiation between Classic and Live? Community, frankly, no longer exists for the casual player. If you log only a handful of hours a week, you’ll never need to get to know anyone ever. In contrast community was such a vital part of Classic that its hard to think about questing or preparing for dungeons alone in the time. Elements of that still exist, to an extent, but even then those are communities and play-style you can easily opt out of.

The differences between Classic’s and Live’s communities are simple. The former’s exists purely by necessity, while the latter’s only exist when players see fit to make one. It makes the game as we know it today less social, but without that reliance on community other gameplay designs have flourished. Warcraft is more accessible to the casual player than ever without needing to pass arbitrary community bars. The experience, however, is far more detached and impersonal than it has ever been. After all, why would you want to try as hard as you can in a raid lest you face social backlash when one can simply PuG Heroic Azshara and sit in a corner?

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WoW Wednesday: A Classic Take

I am not interested in World of Warcraft Classic. Despite being the most attractive part of the current World of Warcraft development cycle, Classic simply does not remotely interest me. It is not because Rise of Azshara and the wider content of the upcoming Patch 8.2 intrigues, nor am I against the idea of legacy servers. I don’t personally believe that the current live game is inherently superior to the old, but there are aspects of Classic that simply turn me right away from it.

I was lucky enough to share a small portion of my formative years with others playing what we used to call Vanilla World of Warcraft. While I originally tried a Warlock and later a Warrior, I eventually settled on a Shaman and became my guild’s class officer. Vanilla was a relic of its era, best wholly encapsulated in historical pieces such as YouTuber Preach’s, “Legacy of Vanilla,” series of videos. The systems now, as we understand them are very archaic and were designed for such a reason.
WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Leveling in Vanilla is perhaps the most arduous it has ever been in Warcraft’s storied history, even more-so with mass server failures that were brought about during the launch of The Burning Crusade. Combat itself was intrinsically slow throughout the game’s progression due to highly tuned enemies. If you were overzealous, or went into even the most basic situation under-prepared, you could quickly find yourself on a VERY length corpse run back to your body with significant repercussions to your equipment.

This was compounded by a rather frustrating quest system. Aside from questing being an often confusing and directionless without a physical map before you, there were simply not enough quests per zone to get your character into the next required level bracket. Taking, for example, the Arathi Highlands, there were quests in that area intended to take you from your late level 20s up until nearly level 40. However, there were only a handful of quests spread around the zone taking you to your early 30s. This means that unless you followed a breadcrumb quest designed to take you to Stranglethorn Vale (which was a completely different bracket) and even then, there were simply not enough quests to allow you to level. This meant you’d often find yourself killing hordes of creatures and enemies to grind out levels.

The reason for this is quite simple and obvious; World of Warcraft at the time was one of the largest and most populated environments of its time. In comparison to other MMOs of the time it was the most forgiving and detailed in its systems and world, despite its slogging leveling pace and issues. Even with portions of its continents such as Silithus left unfinished, Blizzard wanted players to explore. As such Questing became the method of conveyance for this; go explore where we send you and come back when its time. Even considering that there were simply not enough quests in the world to level to maximum level, meaning that eventually you would have to resort to grinding.

WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Some classes had an easier time of this than others. Not every of the original classes was made to succeed well on its own, nor was every specialization viable for end-game content. To some this was an excellent example of the impact of meaningful teamwork. Certainly, a Shadow Priest was not viable on its own without significant gear but with a friendly group they could topple any challenge. This also highlights a glaring issue where some classes, such as the Warrior, truly only had one viable raiding specialization that they only took two talent points in. DPS warriors were laughed out of any raiding guild hoping to go top tier, simply because other classes did what they do better.

Certainly, we could admonish several of Classic’s earlier systems for its endgame. In current popular standards they are certainly lacking, from a near mechanic-less recycled raid encounter system requiring at most 25 people of a 40 man raid team to down an encounter, to a PvP rewards system that was a constant uphill grind week after week. Neither of these were remotely optimal for, ‘casual players,’ which Warcraft was essentially catering to with its forgiving systems in comparison to games of the time like Everquest. However, these tied into the main draw for World of Warcraft and developed this fundamental principle of its design wholly: Community.

I do earnestly recommend your perusal of a book called The WoW Diary by John Staats, one of the game’s original designers. Its clear reading through the development processes outlined by Mr. Staats that Blizzard didn’t quite have an idea what they were developing when it came to building their World of Warcraft. But as the game began to take shape outside of its failure of a launch and its community built they continued to reinforce systems that drove a community oriented focus. Server Transfers were non-existent back in Classic Warcraft and as such your server identity and personal reputation were a big deal.

WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Those known as good tanks were quickly famous on their servers. Rogues like Angwe, terrors of the enemy faction, were feared by players of all calibers for their underhanded techniques. Unreliable people and dastardly ninja-looters were publicly shamed and reviled. As such systems like the Honor Grading and Raid Attunement systems built upon those concepts of mutual togetherness. True you could ascend to a point alone but working with others it became possible to press further than ever before. As Warcraft left its infancy and was later honed and refined into more modern systems players know today, the idea of community was put at its forefront.

That, in my opinion, is the greatest draw of Classic WoW, and why I will not go back outside of a professional capacity. The archaic systems the game has left behind make the entire experience incredibly sluggish in a world where some players only have a small amount of time to progress. While every system, from talents to combat, is more impactful due to this reduced pace and higher difficulty, there’s less game involved in this version of Warcraft than there is now. What will ultimately make or break the Classic experience will be its community, and that relies on the hub of players it must draw from. While Warcraft has its own host of problems set in Battle for Azeroth, Classic was never a finished game to start with. Unlike repeatable dreary daily quests, or fundamentally broken artifact systems, what will put Classic in the greatest danger will be if its community-oriented systems that will bring the gold to the surface of its players or be exploited by the muck beneath the water.

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Fallout 76 Fans are Upset at a Bag

…and with pretty good reason, all things considered. An item included with the Fallout 76 Collector’s Edition has drawn the ire of those who purchased the bundle over the construction of a bag, which appeared to be made of a higher quality material than what was actually received.

fallout 76 collector's edition

Pictured above is one buyer’s snapshot of the bag in question, which was described in the promotional material as being a canvas bag but ended up being made of “cheap nylon.” The bag was part of several items in the CE, which came to a total of $199 in cost.

Making matters worse, Bethesda announced on Twitter that it has begun issuing compensation in the form of 500 Atoms, the game’s store currency. That’s approximately $5, which is reportedly enough to get you an in-game door and have 200 Atoms left burning in your pocket. The store does sell a character skin that’s toting an actual canvas bag, but that costs 700 Atoms.

Why the bait-and-switch? According to Fallout’s Twitter, it’s a matter of material supply. “Unfortunately, due to unavailability of materials, we had to switch to a nylon carrying case in the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition,” reads a tweeted response.

This response is from one player’s account of their experience with customer support, which explained that the canvas bag was a “prototype” and that “we aren’t planning to do anything about it.” Bethesda apologized to the customer in question, stating that the support member is a contract employee and not directly employed by Bethesda. “The support response was incorrect and not in accordance with our conduct policy,” agreed the company.

Our Thoughts

Who knew that one company would screw up so royally with a bag. A bag! That most rudimentary of suitcase pieces! We would expect more out of a AAA studio, both in terms of construction, communication and response to the matter.

Sources: VG247, Eurogamer

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Artifact and Valve Clarify Chat Moderation Statements

Judging solely on earlier word about Artifact chat, it’d perhaps be easy to assume the game would be a smoldering landscape of text-based toxicity. After some clarification from both the devs of the CCG and Valve, that doesn’t appear to quite be the case.

artifact chat

According to statements from programmer Jeep Barnett, the chat system being used in-game isn’t being made by Artifact itself but from the Steam devs.

“I don’t want to commit to features that other people at the company are then going to have to do,” said Barnett. “I don’t want to come back to the office and have a bunch of people yell at me like ‘why are you promising to have these things that we’re not planning on doing or are planning on doing?’”

When pressed about the matter, Valve confirmed that the option to entirely shut chat off will be included in the full game – a feature that was then confirmed by Barnett: “If you don’t want to hear what other people are saying, you can turn them off,” he said.

Further details on other chat moderation tools being implemented by Valve are expected to be confirmed at some point later.

Our Thoughts

Hopefully the ability to have digital loudmouths scream mindlessly into the void will alleviate some of the reservations people have about Artifact. As much fun as multiplayer games can be, often hell can be other people as well. It’s an interesting catch-22.

Source: IGN

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Cryptic Releases a Statement Regarding the Neverwinter Ban Wave

Most of the Neverwinter fanbase is still on fire regarding the Barovia Hunt ban wave that hit the game this past weekend against users of a known exploit. Now, Cryptic Studios has issued a statement elaborating on what it says are additional measures taken to warn players.

barovia hunt ban wave

According to the statement, the September 12th posting on the website was not the only warning granted to Neverwinter players:

“Players were notified about the exploit and abuse consequences via an official statement from our Community Manager on the Forums, which was also replicated on Reddit.”

The problem with Cryptic’s action, as detailed by one of our commenters, is that the exploit in question was three months old and was ignored by the devs. It was only after the exploit got out of hand that they decided to fix it as well as take action against those who used it according to the player’s claim.

Regardless, Cryptic appears to be using its terms of service as an explanation for its action and directs those who wish to dispute any ban on their account to contact the customer service team.

Our Thoughts

So the dispute here, then, appears to be the fact that the alert against use of the exploit was not early enough. Still, if Cryptic knew about an exploit for that long, then so did the players, which speaks a bit more to that “willful ignorance” thing we mentioned in the original report. Unless, as before, players genuinely assumed that the exploit was the way Barovia Hunts were meant to be played. Still, we’d rather that Cryptic handled this a bit more delicately with more carefully targeted bans.

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Neverwinter Unleashes a Ban Wave for Barovia Hunt Exploits

The hammer has come down on a number of Neverwinter players. A Barovia Hunt exploit that was well known by both players and devs has finally been shut down and consequences meted out to those who took advantage.

barovia hunt exploit

The exploit in question was listed as a known issue by the devs in a post on September 12th, which warned players that using the exploit was a breach of the game’s Terms of Service and subject to “possible actions.” As of this past weekend, the exploit has since been closed and an undisclosed number of players are being banned from the MMO.

The game’s community appears to be in a furor over the ban wave, arguing that the exploit in question was open for so long and was so widespread that it became practically a feature of gameplay. On the other end of the argument, as stated in one related Reddit thread, taking advantage of the exploit is akin to robbing from a neighbor because they left their door unlocked.

Our Thoughts

While the ban wave may indeed seem rather heavy-handed, we have to admit that people seeing consequences as a result of ignoring the warning should not surprise a lot of people. In many cases, this sounds like a rash of willful ignorance, barring those who don’t follow updates made to the game’s website extremely closely.


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ESO Community Manager’s Twitter Account Hacked

Those who follow The Elder Scrolls Online likely also follow a number of ESO community manager Twitter accounts. One such account, owned by Gina Bruno, was apparently hacked by an extremely bored individual, who then began to post extremely spurious tweets on her behalf.

eso community manager twitter

Bruno’s Twitter account erupted last night in a series of racially charged tweets and at least one extremely NSFW image. Among the tweets – and one that caught the attention of the game’s playerbase – was one claiming that Bruno was leaving Bethesda as a result of being sexually assaulted.

Bruno immediately responded to a thread highlighting the accusation in the game’s forums, confirming that her account had been compromised. “Hi everyone, thank you for the concern. I just want to say this is not true,” wrote Bruno. “I’m working with Twitter to regain ownership, but in the meantime, anything being posted in the past hour or so is not me.”

Normally we provide source links, but in this case we’ll be leaving at least Bruno’s current Twitter link out of the list. If you must click through, be warned that there are extremely upsetting things to be found that are NSFW. Or not safe for play. Or life. Or anyone with higher brain functions.

Our Thoughts

We appreciate Ms. Bruno’s response to this matter and hope that her Twitter is cleared in short order. Some people just don’t have anything better to do with their lives, we guess.

Source: official forums

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ARK: Survival Evolved Launches its Third Modding Contest

We’ve said it before, but it definitely bears repeating: game modders are pretty awesome. It’s that same mindset that fuels the third ARK: Survival Evolved mod contest that’s offering intrepid and creative users of the ARK Mod Kit a slice of a cash prize.

ark: survival evolved mod contest

A total of $28,000 in cash is up for grabs in this contest, with the 1st place winner netting themselves a cool $15,000. What’s more, the contest will be running on a regular basis every other month with the exceptions of November and December.

Those looking to submit their creations have a five week entry phase, which is then followed by a two week voting phase. Two separate scores assessing a variety of technical aspects and public vote results will combine to determine who gets the top prize.

All of the information, including scoring, rules and how to enter, can be found here, while the work of previous modders can be seen in the video package below.

Our Thoughts

Honestly, simply just giving players the tools to mod the game is generally motivation enough, but adding a cash prize on top of that could really bring all sorts of interesting things. If that video embed above is any indication, at least. We wish those who enter these contests the best of luck!

Source: press release

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Global Community Project Celebrates FFXIV 5th Anniversary

ffxiv anniversary

One of the most precious things about Final Fantasy XIV is the sheer amount of players willing to go above and beyond to create communities, content, and foster one of the kindest communities I’ve experienced in an MMO. In today’s article, I talk with Varicray about his global initiative project to mark the five year FFXIV anniversary which intends to not only bring the wider community closer but to also raise money for the ‘1000 Dreams Fund’. Hundreds of content creators have already joined the community, offering their time, support and creative energies to the project.

Each year Final Fantasy XIV marks its anniversary with an event called ‘The Rising’. This year we aid Dural Tharal from the Mythril Eye in his quest to discover more about the Calamity from those who experienced it. The quest sets to highlight the history of this devastating moment in Eorzean history along with highlighting the heroic actions of countless adventurers.

Once again, Naoki Yoshida reprises his role as the ‘Wandering Minstrel’ in order to convey his and his team’s heartfelt message to us, the players, who have found ourselves a home within his world. We also gain access to instanced content called ‘The Calamity Retold’ where players take to the streets of Ul’Dah to battle against various challenging monsters with other adventurers in a recreation of the events preceding the Calamity. Players are rewarded tokens for each monster they kill, which they can spend on event items. The Rising also rewards a minion and orchestrion roll.

To me, this is one of the more special events as it feels like a direct connection between each and every player to the games’ producer and director. I just want to blub at the monitor ‘thank you Yoshi P!!’ Everyone on the development team at Square Enix has given us such an amazing world to build very special memories within.

Which leads me onto what this article is truly about: community.

Hydaelyn International

What is it? Hydaelyn International is a community project which will be organizing various events, streams, and creative projects to celebrate the FFXIV 5th year Anniversary and beyond.
When is it? September 14-16, starting at 7 PM EDT, or midnight in the UK.
Founder: Varicray
Community: Discord link

ffxiv anniversary

Image credit: Yomi

This year FFXIV celebrates their 5th year anniversary and I’ve been lucky enough to be included in this global community project, founded by Varicray.

Vari very kindly agreed to answer my questions listed below and provide all the information you could need about the project which will be going live this coming weekend.

What is Hydaelyn International?

Hydaelyn International is a community collaboration project which will run events and streams. There will be fundraising in aid of the 1000 Dreams Fund which is an organization that helps young women in tech to get financed to achieve their goals, be it education, content creation or otherwise. We think that’s an admirable and important goal as gamers ourselves that enjoy and use a lot of tech on a daily basis.

What will happen is that most, if not all of our streamers will plan server or region-specific events, inviting everyone to play with them or together with other streamers. The idea is to flood Twitch and lift the game up in the game directory and celebrate its 5 year anniversary as a combined community to show our appreciation. Everyone else who’s not a streamer may contribute in whatever way they can and play with a lot of us as well live on various streams.


  • The event will focus on celebrating the FFXIV 5th anniversary, HI will together as a community celebrate with events, streams, articles, art & other things. It starts at 7 PM EDT / 12 AM BST on September 14 or September 15 at 7 AM AWST for the people in Australia. We will run an optional to join charity with this.


  • Each datacenter has leaders planning events with fellow streamers, friends and viewers. Everyone involved with streams will be listed under the FFXIVHI Twitch community. Some of our partners will also run events, streams, podcasts and do things on their own, or with others.


  • The event goes on for 48H to give everyone plenty of time to take part, stream or undertake another project within the allotted time frame. It’s very relaxed & it had to be this way due to short notice, up to 16 hours time difference with participants & just the sheer size of HI itself.
  • Once the event is done, HI will move on to expand its features while also planning for the next event, this time with a lot more prep-time. The ultimate goal & also my original idea & intent is to turn this into a social gathering hub for all sorts of creative people to come together.


More about the Founder

Before we skip on ahead to more details about HI, let’s find out a little more about the leader of this project, Vari, and his experiences in relation to Final Fantasy XIV.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Vari, a 29-year-old Swedish full-time FFXIV focused streamer with a passion for community relationships and building long-lasting connections between people. I work part-time in IT privately and I usually play video games on a daily basis.

In FFXIV I main a Lalafell Bard (Vari Cray) on Odin on the Chaos datacenter but I also play a lot of other jobs quite frequently. I lead our FC’s static and I’m one of it’s officers as well. At heart and skill, I’ve always been a more raid focused player in any MMORPG.

Varicray by MyutoEve.

I come from a long history of playing MMORPG’s. I found FFXIV during Patch 3.3 and quickly got involved with the game’s existing community which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed the game and its open job system and most of the content it had to offer. I found friends, like-minded people and a place to fit in more than I used to in other previous game communities. I actually never even met people I played with in real life until FFXIV and that was also big for me. My experience with the game and the community around it has been mostly positive, for me, in overall.

What inspired you to create this event?

The developers (Square Enix) just recently did a 14-hour long celebration stream and have many other things going on worldwide. So I sat there one evening thinking “This is something we as players could do as well, let’s see how many content creators I can get in on this”. From that point on everything just expanded and escalated extremely quickly. We included everyone who has a creative spark within themselves to freely contribute FFXIV content.

How did you begin to organize such a large-scale event?

I started with asking fellow co-streamers that I’ve done work or projects with before, in the end, I think I’ve contacted or been contacted by probably 150-200 people during this process and more come in as word spreads.

I started out alone but have since got a bit more extra help from other project members, it’s been a crazy ride these last four days of planning, to say the least.

Event Example

Although events will vary in game content, here’s one of the events put together by Tarno from Mateus:

ffxiv anniversary

Poster by Yomi.


Date: Friday September 14th at 8:00PM EST
Server: Mateus
Location: Plot: Mist Ward 13, Plot 5

Genisys is a popular Nightclub FC that throws server wide, Mixed-RP events for the Mateus community; rewarding such as Mogstation prizes. To celebrate the 5-year anniversary with the Hydaelyn International project, our nightclub theme is Hydaelyn Adventurer. Come as your best you. We will not be judging glams this time around as we understand that there will be alts joining Mateus for this event. Instead we’ll be rewarding over $50 worth of Mogstation prizes through our door raffle. Partygoers will have a shot to win the new Mogstation mount Red Hare an account wide item!

Our events are Mixed-RP. You will find RPers and non-RPers in attendance. For RP purposes we have a custom-made drink and dinner menu for the club we will also be providing a RL music playlist.

Taking Part

How many communities and countries are currently involved?

Right now we have six official community partners and there will likely be many more on the way. The reception has been incredibly exciting, strong and at this time everything is incredibly busy. Right now we have Aetherflow Media, a fan magazine who will do a podcast during the event and cover what transpired during it with some articles. We have The Wandering Unity, a FFXIV creator hub, who will help promote the event and just back us up with planning. Another fan magazine called Fat Cat Chronicles will be taking part, they have been helping out by listing participants, promoting the community and just doing a lot of grunt work. They will also make some content post the event to showcase.

ffxiv anniversary

We also have two screenshot communities with us, FFXIVSnaps and GPOSERS. FFXIVSnaps will provide us with image coverage of the event and take character portraits of attendees. GPOSERS will provide their own streamer coverage and do a few articles as well after the event. Lastly we have Maelstrom Media, a stream podcast who will help us with promotion, streaming and more. We have other participants pending community and project requests from others that needs to be communicated and agreed upon.

How can other players contribute to the project?

Anyone who has a drive or passion for anything creative can take part and contribute however much they like into the project, it’s all fully optional.

It doesn’t matter how small or big it is, we leave that up to you!

If you are not a content creator can you still take part?

Yes, we don’t define the ‘content creator’ to strictly live streaming or video editing. We have artists, writers, cosplayers, musicians, community leaders, screenshot editors, designers and all sorts of creative people on board.

Creations by the HI community. Credits to Eli, Yomi, Mochibuni, Ameme and Aria.

If you don’t possess any creative skills, you can still contribute just by supporting us as well and join us during the various events. We’re all inclusive, that’s our goal.

Do you have a list of events/times per-server and what types of events will be taking place?

We don’t have a list right now but have several leaders for each region planning loads of in-game events and our partners are planning their own things. Each individual streamer will be dealing with their viewers or other streamers as well.

How can players support the event during the week?

Watch your favorite streamer during the event, give us feedback and play some Final Fantasy XIV with us. You mean as much to us as we do to you!

Logo by Yomi.

What do you hope will be achieved?

We are hoping to achieve nothing less than a tremendously big, active, fun, heartfelt and inclusive event to celebrate the game and its community.

Will you be looking to leave a lasting legacy?

Yes, once the event is over the community will keep existing and become a hub for all content creators to plan future events and also advise/teach our skills to others.

Do you have a dedicated website where updated information can be easily found?

We have a Discord server that will become public in the next few days, but also started an official Twitter account and a Twitch community for everyone to check out. No website plans as of right now, but the future isn’t fully decided yet!

Social Media Links


Huge thank you to Vari for finding time to provide so much information for us during this Incredibly busy time. I wish everyone the happiest of 5th year anniversary celebrations and lots of success to all those participating in the HI project!

ffxiv anniversary


Thank you for reading! Please accept my sincerest apologies for being unable to produce articles lately, hopefully I’ll be back very soon with a continuation of the Photography to Screenshot principles series, ReShade and GPose guides. I will also be trying to take part in the HI anniversary celebration by streaming a creative take on FFXIV by purging my current filter package and starting ReShade from scratch and offering up the filters in return.

If you would like me to write on a particular topic later down the line in relation to today’s article or screenography just let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.

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Standing Stone Games Reacts to New Lord of the Rings MMO News

Most people’s reaction when they heard about the upcoming new Lord of the Rings MMO appeared to be concern for the future of Lord of the Rings Online. Well, we’ve got the first official Standing Stone Games response and it appears to be one of “meh”.

standing stone games response

In a response to a player-started forum thread both announcing and discussing the news, one of LotRO’s community managers offered a simple enough reaction to the upcoming new MMO. “The news will not have any impact on our development plans or licensing,” it reads. “We always welcome competition, and wish them the best of luck!”

The licensing issue, of course, refers to the license of the IP to Standing Stone Games, which many believed was due to run out on the developer or otherwise was an indication that Middle-earth Enterprises were somehow displeased at the studio’s handling of the property.

That said, it’s important to note that the Lord of the Rings license has been handed out to a number of different games. Additionally, the timeline of this particular MMO puts it before the events of LotRO, which means it lines up chronologically behind the currently running game.

Our Thoughts

If nothing else, this welcome of competition could mean that Lord of the Rings Online decides to put its foot on the gas and crank out more content. Since we just don’t know anything more about this new MMO, it’s far too early to claim doom one way or the other.

Source: official forums

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