World of Warships is Raising Money to Save Real Life Submarine

World of Warships is raising money to save real life submarine, the USS Batfish. The submarine played an integral role in naval warfare during World War 2. It sank 15 Japanese ships, including 3 Japanese submarines in just 76 hours. That makes it the most successful submarine killing sub in history.

Unfortunately, in May the Muskogee War Memorial Park in Oklahoma experienced terrible, record-breaking floods. This flood nearly claimed the USS Batfish, but there is a campaign to save it. The Friends of the Muskogee War Memorial Park are looking to raise $150,000 to move the submarine to a safer location and get it restored so that people can tour it and even have overnight experiences.

Before the Flood

“To those who do not see it, the Batfish represents a weird roadside attraction dedicated to crazy sailors who wanted to honor their lost friends. To the inquisitive mind with an eye for history, a visitor can learn about the value of service, the impact that the United States Submarine Force had on the war in the pacific,” explained Brent Trout, Executive Director of the Muskogee War Memorial Park. “Simply put, our World War II submarine museums are in danger. Some of them are well funded and in the right place, but others are in jeopardy of being scrapped. Protecting the USS Batfish means saving history and protecting the sacrifice of every sailor who called a submarine home.”

This is where Wargaming and World of Warships comes in. They are running a campaign to Save the Batfish with an in-game package. Players will have the opportunity to donate $10 to restore the historic submarine and in return, they will receive a wonderful in-game token of appreciation that includes eight Dragon Flags and a combat patch similar to the patch worn by those who served on the USS Batfish. 100% of the bundle sales will go to the Muskogee War Memorial Park.

After the Flood

On November 22nd World of Warships will host a charity stream on Twitch where those watching will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of the USS Batfish.

This isn’t the first time Wargaming has done something like this either. Two years ago they raised $300,000 to restore the USS Texas.

If you don’t play World of Warships or you want to donate more than $10 you can do so on the official GoFundMe Campaign for the USS Batfish.

 

Source: Press Release

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WoW Wednesday: Enter the Blademaster

The World of Warcraft is host to a diverse set of classes and heroes. In its wide and varied lore it has its fair share of unique heroes who still tie into the class system we all know and love. The leaders of the Horde and the Alliance, Sylvanas Windrunner and Anduing Wrynn, both fall into typical classes. The former is of course the ideal archetype of a ranger or Hunter, while the High King himself has fallen more into the ways of a Paladin as Battle for Azeroth has progressed. While there are some classes, like the poor monk, who have an under-representation of lore characters, generally every major player falls into one archetype or another.

That is save for the Blademaster.

The Blademaster has been a class of the Warcraft universe since even before Azeroth opened up into an MMORPG. First debuting in Warcraft III the enigmatic masters of the blade were seen as peerless gladiators of steel. Players were first introduced to them during the Human Campaign where the demon worshipping Blackrock Clan, led by a Blademaster, threatened the residents of Strahnbrad. These elusive warriors later returned as heroes for the Horde, representing the Orcs. But what is a Blademaster?


Traditionally of the Burning Blade clan, who later devolved into a demonic Orcish cult, the Blademasters were lightly-armored melee troops. Wielding swords, polearms, or other single-bladed weaponry, they charge into the heat of battle with little hesitation and incredible speed. Using their years of experience and training they utilized stealth, guile, and incredible mastery of their weapons to slay their way through dozens of enemies single-handedly. Most are subversive combatants seeking out vulnerable aspects of the enemy’s forces, though they are just as willing to cross blades with another foe.

Blademasters carved their way through the battlefield with multiple abilities. They could become whirlwinds of living steel with their mighty speed. With a keen eye, they could cleave open gaps in the mightiest pieces of armour with a single strike. It was even believed that they possessed superhuman or magical powers as they moved quick enough to leave a phantom mirror image of themselves. Some could even disappear, fast enough to seem invisible to the naked eye.

The way of the sword doesn’t begin and end with the Horde, however. Many races, including the Orcs greatest enemies, employ Blademasters of different skills and forms.

 

The Orcish Horde: The First Blademasters

The Orcish Horde that first invaded Azeroth employed the Blademasters primarily as generals or espionage leaders. As such, their teachings have passed down further amongs their own kind and Orcs are generally believed to posses the greatest number of the elusive warriors. Later recruited by Warchief Thrall, the dedicated themselves both to preserving the New Horde, and rising above the ashes of their dark past. They are unquestionably dedicated to their personal code of honor.


From the Burning Blade most learned the secret of their namesake, Blazegrease. A thick, smelly oil, the Burning Blade doused their weapons liberally with the disgusting liquid. Due to its oily nature it could be lit by a flint prior to a fight or with even an errant spark in the heat of battle. Orcish Blademasters also wear heavy Sashimono Banners that identify them to their compatriots; its easy to see where the battle is the thickest, for the Blademaster is surely there.

For those Orcs that remained on Draenor, and became the Fel Horde, many of its leaders would too become Blademasters. Unlike the noble offshoots of their kin, these Fel Orcs lost themselves entirely to their bloodlust. Whereas the speed of a true Blademaster is honed over years of training, these darker reflections are fueled by demonic powers. These Blademasters rose to prominence in Magtheridon’s army, even becoming personal bodyguards of the Lord of Outland.

 

Lightforged: The Army of the Light’s Generals

Why yes, the Orc’s greatest enemies too have Blademasters, though just one official member that we know of. Blademaster Telaamon was introduced during Legion’s last expansion as a General in the Army of the Light. Leading Captain Fareeya’s ground forces, he and the other generals had nearly secured most of Mac’Aree single handedly before the Burning Legion discovered their presence. Later he would lead the siege upon Nazmir, capturing Rokhan and using his mirror images to keep the Horde at bay.

Blademasters of the Army of the Light.

Blademasters of the Army of the Light.

Unlike Orcish Blademasters, Telaamon relies more on his light-based roots for his magical effects. Where the endless years of war has sharpened his martial prowess instead of formal training, his magic could do things traditional Blademasters simply could not. In capturing the Shadow Hunter Rokhan, he managed to bind him with chains made of Light. His Mirror Images did not require him to be physically present in order to persist and were strong enough to require two people to defeat. However once these images were defeated Telaamon was weakened significantly.

 

Blademasters of Azeroth

The wider enemies of Azeroth too have their own masters of steel. The most well known is one of the more chief members of the Blackfang Tribe. These Saberon were the fiercest of Draenor’s feline savages and carved a deep territory in the jungles of Tanaan. With their naturally sharp and durable claws, incredible agility and natural command of the jungle most had no need to take up a blade. When coupled with their sheer ferocity, a Saberon could carve an Orc apart in mere moments. Krell the Serene, however, was a powerful Blademaster of the tribe. Armed with only one single-edged blade, he rose above his peers to claim leadership amongs them. Notably he seemed to ascribe to the Orc’s traditional ideas of honor and would only fight outsiders when publicly challenged.


The Mantid Hordes also contained their own Blademasters. Trained by Wind Lord Mel’jarak, these were the elite soldiers he had fought beside during the long campaign against the Pandaren. Using their natural ability to fly, the Mantid were incredibly agile warriors to tackle. Tapping into their native hive mind they were also extremely organized, coupling tactics together soundlessly in the heat of battle. Coupled together these blows could entrap singular opponents in assuredly lethal strikes.

 

Arcblades: Sentinels of Suramar

Why yes, even the contemporarily magical Nightborne possess Blademasters! Often called Arcblades, these Sumarians are often employed through the Duskwatch to combat enemies. Whereas the other races use their natural strength or speed to define their skills, the Nightborne instead hone their connection to the Nightwell and their magic. Typical Arcblades empower their strikes and the keenness of their weapon with arcane based spells. Using their body as a conduit, they could increase their speed to dizzying levels in an instant, deliver bone breaking strikes with a single swing, and even tear open rifts in the fabric of space.


The greatest of the Arcblades was known as Aluriel, an Elisande Loyalist who became a part of the Nighthold’s elite guard. Her hunger for power eventually drew her to Suramar University where she spent her days honing not just her swordplay but her magical skill set. Eventually artificing her own weaponry and armor in the Nightwell, she became the first true Spellblade. Whereas other Blademasters used a mix of martial and magical prowess Aluriel heavily utilized the latter. She could take on a legion single-handedly, animating elemental soldiers while simultaneously attacking others.

It is believed most, if not all, Shalassian Blademasters were aligned with Elisande’s regime. While other Duskwatch rebels, such as Sigryn, utilized glaives or double-bladed swords, none have demonstrated the level of skill that Aluriel or other Arcblades have managed in the past. As such, the secrets of the art may be lost to Sumarians for all time.

With such a wide variety of distinct masters of swords throughout the World of Warcraft, we come to the real question. Why hasn’t the class been yet implemented in game? The easy answer is it already has been, but the complex answer is more spread out than that.

In discussing Orcish Blademasters, the Arms Warrior has often been seen as their player representation. In Warlords of Draenor one of the original Blademasters, Lantressor of the Blade, was designated as such. They even have several vital moves in the class’ toolkit such as Whirlwind, an ability unused by any other class in game. Retribution Paladins could also be seen to fill the niche of Lightforged Blademasters, employing spells that cripple the Undead in similar ways. Monks also have the ability Storm, Earth and Fire, which mimics the Mirror Images attack.

A Survival Hunter, using one of the Pennant PvP Toys.

In terms of the class’ stealthier aspects, Rogues have that niche nailed down. Survival Hunters also fit the bill incredibly well possessing not only a stealth ability in Camouflage, but a ‘Critical Strike’ like ability in Mongoose Bite.

This isn’t the first time, however, that ulterior classes have been built of out similar systems or fantasies. The Demon Hunter, Legion’s Hero Class, while represented in the old tabletop RPG games, was represented in-game primarily by Rogue or Warrior characters. Warlords players will also remember the Warlock ability Metamorphosis which turned its user into an Illidain Stormrage style demon, which could effectively tank. Even Death Knights in Naxxramas, including the Four Horseman, used Paladin, Mage, Priest and Warrior abilities.

As we near the mid-way point for Battle for Azeroth its certainly time to think to the future. While perhaps the niche of a melee assassin has been taken and spread across other classes, the Blademasters are still an integral part of not just the Horde, but of other cultures across Azeroth. There are many classes across Azeroth that need an introduction somehow. Be they Wardens, Shadow Hunters, Runic Totemics or Blademasters, each has an interesting lore. Frankly, each is one I’d love to see available to classes in the near future.

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Designing an MMORPG: In the Beginning…

Designing an MMORPG is no easy task, but in 2018 that’s exactly what I want to do with your help. Each week we’ll be taking an in-depth look at a specific feature or aspect of game design, laying all the options out on the table, weighing the pros and cons, before finally putting it all to a vote. At the end of the year, we’ll see exactly what kind of MMORPG we make. Will it resemble any other popular MMORPGs currently on the market? Or maybe one that has shut down? Is there something coming out that matches our idea? So many questions need to be asked, but let’s start with the most important; genre.

Which genre your MMORPG is in can have a huge impact on everything else that will be in your game. After all, you won’t be flying spaceships in a Wuxia game, so it’s important that we get this out of the way first.

 

Fantasy

Wikipedia defines Fantasy as a genre of fiction set in a fictional universe that often, but not always, has no ties to the real world. It also goes on to say that most fantasy uses magic, or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Wiki also lists 18 different subgenres for fantasy, easily making it one of the most complex genres. It’s also one of the most popular for MMORPGs. Games that fit in the genre include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Blade & Soul and well, the list could go on forever. It is by far the most popular genre for MMORPGs, which can be both a blessing and a curse.

Pros:
A lot of variety and options available
Popular

Cons:
Oversaturation

 

Science Fiction

Science Fiction. Wikipedia defines it as a genre of fiction dealing with futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. In terms of MMORPGs, we’re looking at things like EVE Online or Wildstar along with Star Wars and Star Trek games. They can take place on a spaceship or you can have your feet firmly planted on a futuristic Earth or some distant planet. Science Fiction also includes all of the punks; cyberpunk, steampunk, biopunk, and dieselpunk. Where fantasy focuses on magic, science fiction focuses on technology. Wiki breaks sci-fi down into 7 sub-genres, though some we’ve not yet seen much in MMORPGs.

Pros:
Less Popular Genre
The only limit is your imagination

Cons:
Only appeals to a certain audience
Lacks magic, something people really enjoy

 

Modern World

Wikipedia defines the modern w- I’m just kidding. If you don’t know what the modern world is, take a look outside! You’re living in it! It is today, right now. While you certainly could have an MMORPG without any fantasy or science fiction added in, like The Sims Online, there are so many other stories to tell! It could be an alternate reality like Grand Theft Auto or something fantastical like Secret World Legends. Or maybe you’ve got superhumans wearing spandex flying through your city, or science has managed to bring back the dinosaurs. While many of these quite rightly belong in either science fiction or fantasy, we think the fact that they take place today makes them stand out in a unique way.

Pros:
Not found in many MMORPGs
Many options available

Cons:
Not great for escapism
Difficult to make it stand out

 

Historical

ever jane

Historical games are those rooted in the past with little deviation from what was available at the time. If you’re looking for examples of these in MMORPGs you should be looking towards the likes of A Tale in the Desert, Wild West Online, or Ever, Jane. They stay within the constraints set by reality and find ways to make it fun. If you’ve ever thought you should have been born in a different time or place, these are the games for you. There are thousands of years of history that could be covered dating back to when man first evolved all the way up to the 1980s. You won’t find any magic or aliens in these games as they stick to the rules.

Pros:
There’s a lot of Human history that is well known
The rules and restrictions for time periods are clearly defined

Cons:
Rules and restrictions may be too limiting to many
No fantastical elements

 

Now, this is where you come in. It’s time to pick one of the genres we went through above. Whichever one gets the most votes by Friday evening will be the winner and we will have officially taken the first steps to designing an MMORPG.

 

How does it work?

There’s a straw poll below, just select which genre you’d like to work in. A second poll, with the exact same options, will also be on the MMOGames Twitter account so you have two opportunities to leave a vote. Late on Friday, I’ll add up the results from the two polls. Next week the winner will be announced with an all-new poll that takes a look at the subgenre options we have available.

After we’ve got an idea of what subgenre we’re in, we’ll start having a lot more fun looking at everything from factions to crafting. Be sure to come back every Tuesday when we’ll take another step forward in our adventure.

If you have any ideas you’d like to see featured in the future leave them in the comments below and we’ll discuss them at some point this year.

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