Lessons Learned from World of Warcraft


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There is much to learn about virtual worlds from the entertainment sector and yet those investigating government applications tend to distance themselves from this important heritage. In many cases, virtual world experts tend to only look at other serious games to avoid being labeled as someone wasting time or money. This sets the wrong standard and will destine “serious” uses of virtual worlds to repeat the mistakes already solved by the entertainment industry.

This presentation demonstrated World of Warcraft – a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. At over 12 million paying subscribers, it is currently the world’s most-subscribed MMOROG generating approximately 1.8 billion dollars in revenue every month. The presentation focused on best practices, game design, reward schedules, and the implications for training, education, and other serious uses of virtual worlds.

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  • http://www.ehow.com/video_4411610_what-world-warcraft.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSCxPU2Wwf0 Help? World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001. The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. Mention the Expansion and history from release to present.
  • A lot of the work we do in the area of virtual worlds is really derivative from MMOs. When it first premiered in 2003 it made heavy use of gaming magazines and website to attract users. Linden Lab freely identified itself with games and game technology. A large part of what attracts both developers and users is the idea of tapping the power of games and game technology. We want to remind our community what the state of the art in games and game technology is today. If we lose touch with our roots, we risk losing the power of the medium. Quality, depth and stickiness. If you’ve got a captive audience, these things may not matter, but that really seems to miss the point of using game technology.
  • The economics Games are bigger than Hollywood since 2008 http://themovieblog.com/2004/12/video-game-industry-bigger-than-hollywood
  • The impact Talk about crowd sourcing? Farm out intelligence analysis?
  • http://www.slideshare.net/lgillispie/learning-with-the-lich-king-2-0 http://edurealms.com/ COTS software applied to non-orginal purposes
  • We are developing the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), which is middleware to facilitate integration of full-body control with games and VR applications. FAAST currently supports the PrimeSensor and the Microsoft Kinect using the OpenNI framework. In this video, we show how FAAST can be used to control off-the-shelf video games such as World of Warcraft. Since these games would not normally support motion sensing devices, FAAST emulates keyboard input triggered by body posture and specific gestures. These controls can be dynamically configured for different applications and games. FAAST is free software that uses the OpenNI framework (www.openni.org). We are currently preparing the toolkit for an open-source release. You can download FAAST at: http://people.ict.usc.edu/~suma/faast/ http://projects.ict.usc.edu/mxr/faast/
  • Does what we are using today even compare? Some of these engines are free some cost millions of dollars
  • Visit Stormwind Dailyquest (Fishing? One of the new ones in 4.1?) Visit auction house Fly around to get a sense of size Show some killing, mount hyjal
  • Depth of Character experience, reputation, achievements, feats of strength, etc. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/shadow-council/hackshaven/advanced
  • Typically lack user generated content Partially made up for by 3 rd party add-ons and mods http://auctioneeraddon.com/ Npcscan Dr. Damage Gatherer
  • Non-linear play with choices Choice of factions and roles Could help with the "single solution" training exercises
  • Quest chains Quests usually reward the player with some combination of experience points, items, and in-game money. Quests also allow characters to gain access to new skills and abilities, and explore new areas. It is also through quests that much of the game's story is told, both through the quest's text and through scripted NPC actions. Quests are linked by a common theme, with each consecutive quest triggered by the completion of the previous, forming a quest chain. Quests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, speaking to various NPCs, visiting specific locations, interacting with objects in the world, or delivering an item from one place to another. Nearly 10,000 quests available in WoW today How could this be applied to our content and mission?
  • Teamwork Talk about guilds Military-like precision demonstrated by 15 year olds (show small portion of the video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRfVDgTLMGA
  • Crafting Best items require multiple people and cooperation Relate to education and training
  • … some of the same game characteristics that make a good game also help make good employees. Teamwork, self motivating, a rewarding work environment. We need to take the lessons we learn during play and apply them to our working environments. Much of RL can be viewed the same way
  • Call to action Join our guild Examples of other serious guilds http://wowinschool.pbworks.com/w/page/5268731/FrontPage http://government.guildportal.com
  • Help us design a MMO
  • Lessons Learned from World of Warcraft

    1. 1. Lessons Learned from World of Warcraft Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds May 11 th , 2011 Daniel Laughlin Eric Hackathorn
    2. 2. What is World of Warcraft?
    3. 3. Why should we care? <ul><li>Virtual worlds are derived from MMOs </li></ul><ul><li>Our goal is to remind the community what the state of the art in game technology is today </li></ul><ul><li>Quality, depth, and stickiness </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why should we care? At around 12 million paying subscribers, it is currently the world’s most-subscribed MMOROG generating approximately 1.8 billion dollars in revenue every month.
    5. 5. <ul><li>Wowwiki is the second most popular wiki on the web after wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>The amount of information generated by fans on sites like wowwiki easily rival the intelligence gathered in Intellipedia </li></ul>Why should we care?
    6. 7. Why should we care?
    7. 8. The Technology
    8. 9. Hands on Demonstration <ul><li>Visit Stormwind </li></ul><ul><li>A daily quest </li></ul><ul><li>Size and scope </li></ul>
    9. 10. Hands on Demonstration Not all skills are available to all characters, this adds realism to role playing.
    10. 11. But what about user generated content? 3 rd Party Add-Ons
    11. 12. Lessons Learned There is a lot more than killing monsters going on here. Non-linear play with choices!
    12. 13. Lessons Learned Nearly 10,000 quests are available in WoW today. Most players will only see a fraction.
    13. 14. Lessons Learned The precision demonstrated by teenagers rivals the best military units
    14. 15. Lessons Learned The best crafted items require multiple people and cooperation.
    15. 16. Conclusions <ul><li>Passionate problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>A rewarding challenge </li></ul><ul><li>The necessity of teamwork </li></ul>
    16. 17. http://government.guildportal.com/
    17. 18. Conclusions Help us design an MMO!
    18. 19. Questions?