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Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

Michael Zenke

Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Behind the Curtain: Why we play World of Warcraft
There's never a bad time to take a look behind you and examine your past. This is as true for MMOs as it is for anything else in life. With Wrath of the Lich King now up and running, we at Massively were wondering about some of the reason people have stuck with the game thus far.
Massively Speaking Podcast Episode 32
Massively Speaking Episode 32 works through a heaping helping of Wrath-related discussion, as more World of Warcraft conversation is had in the span of 50 minutes than really should be possible.
Numbers support players returning to World of Warcraft
Following the flood of numbers, our friends over at GamerDNA have just come out with their own Wrath reports, based on their member data from anywhere between a few days to a few months before Wrath's launch. As expected, there was an increase in the number of returning players, out to experience all that Wrath has to offer.
Massively checks in on The Agency with Lead Designer Hal Milton
Join us as we talk over the current state of The Agency's development with the animated and always-interesting lead designer Hal Milton. Hal shares with us a bit of insight into what they're currently working on, give us a few fun facts to chew on, and makes us actually look forward to next year's summer con season. We didn't think anything could do that. Spy social engineering at work!

Shall we play a game?
When you think of a rapidly developing Asian nation, fast becoming a global superpower and now harnessing the potential of supercomputing, what's the first purpose for this supercomputer that comes to mind? We're betting you wouldn't have guessed "World of Warcraft"... but it's true.
Tabula Rasa to shut down in February 2009
It's been a fairly good run for Tabula Rasa, but the inevitable has now been announced. As of February 28, 2009, Tabula Rasa will be shutting down its servers for good. We've feared an Auto-Assault-like fate for the game for a while now, but confirmation of this event truly saddens everyone in the MMO community.
Obama's FCC transition team includes WoW player
Among the people President-elect Barack Obama has appointed to his FCC agency review transition team are Net Neutrality advocates Kevin Werbach, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. Werbach, as it turns out, is a World of Warcraft player.
Behind the Curtain: This too shall pass
Eventually, World of Warcraft will no longer be economically for ActivVendiBlizzVision, or whoever owns the game at the time, to keep running. Perhaps they'll have outdone themselves, and most of the WoW players will be playing whatever double-extra-next-new-gen title is doing the rounds in the year 4000.
Natural selection applied to MMOs
There tend to be some fundamental differences between players of World of Warcraft and EVE Online, due in part to the contrast in rules and game mechanics, and the types of personalities each title attracts. This was mentioned in a recent Shut Up. We're Talking. podcast and provided some fuel for further discussion by Syncaine, from the Hardcore Casual blog.
EVE Evolved: Where's the grind?
Some people, such as World of Warcraft's Jeff Kaplan, suggest that grind and progression are essentially the same thing. Jeff asserts that we call progression a "grind" when it's not a fun experience and that grinding can be properly tuned. Whether you love it or hate it, repetitive elements exist in all MMOs and are necessary to maintaining long-term playability.
Player Consequences: Slow and Steady
Everyone seems to be talking about Wrath of the Lich King at the moment. It's busting sales records at the stores and seems to have attracted attention away from the other MMOs released this year. However, I'm sure most of Blizzard's competitors aren't that worried.
Hoth goes live in Star Wars Galaxies!
The SOE Austin team may not be working on an expansion for Star Wars Galaxies, but today it sure feels like the players have gotten one. The enormous content drop, Chapter 11 in the SWG saga, hit the live servers early today like the main blaster on an AT-AT walker.

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