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Mike Schramm From WoW.com Discusses World of Warcraft – Part 2 of 2

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Tim

Here is the rest of my interview with Mike Schramm of WoW.com. Be sure to check out Part 1!

How long have you been working at WoW.com?

I personally have been working with the site almost three years now, first as a blogger, then as a lead, and now as an editor. But the site has been around even longer than that — just a few months after the game was released almost five years ago, Weblogs Inc saw how big it was and devoted this whole blog to just the one game and its community. And since then, we’ve really really grown, to the point where, even though we’re covering just one game, we’re rivaling big blogs like Joystiq and Engadget for hits every month. I can take credit for some of that, but far from all of it: we have a really dedicated, huge team (and you can see all of their names on the front of the site) that works very hard every day to make sure we always have something cool for readers to see. And of course we’ve grown along with the community — there is probably more independent writing and commentary out there about WoW than any other game, and we’ve really tried to be a spotlight for some of the best work out there.

WoW.com Site Preview Thumb As a player, I’m sure you have lots of ideas for things to change or improve. If you could have your way what changes, additions or features would you like to see in an expansion?

Personally, I like the game as it is, and I think Blizzard has done a pretty amazing job with it. Most of the things I’d like to see changed, many of which I write about on WoW.com, are probably things that would have to go into another game. It’d be great to see different ways for players and NPCs to interact, more types of classes, and a little more interaction between players and the world they live in (it would be cool to see characters actually age or have some more things happen to characters even while they’re logged out of the game). But most of those ideas are pretty pie-in-the-sky things, and wouldn’t be practical to implement in this game that’s already four years old. We’re only starting to really see the potential in MMO games, though, so I’d say ideas like that would be more likely or possible in the future, with Blizzard or another company.

Will you be attending BlizzCon? If so, is there anything you’re hoping to see/hear there?

We will be at BlizzCon for sure — we’ve been there the past two years, and I think our coverage has been exemplary. Last year was the first year Blizzard offered a live TV feed of the proceedings, and I heard people were still watching our liveblogs — even though they were only text, we provided more insight and commentary on exactly what was happening. So yes, we’ll be there — we’ll have a meetup on Thursday evening as usual, and then all weekend long, we’ll be running around getting and posting news. Even if you can’t make it out to Anaheim, if you’re reading our site that weekend, you’ll feel like you’re there.

As for what we’re hoping to see, we’ve heard rumors of various things, and I think a new expansion isn’t too far off the mark — it’s about time Blizzard at least introduces us to the next big release. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see more about Starcraft II and Diablo III as well, two games that I’m also very interested in. Other than that, we’ll just have to wait and see. No matter what happens, I’m sure it’ll be very exciting.

Can we expect to see more video interviews like the one you did at E3 with Michele Boyd? (See Part 1 to view the video.)

Yes, I like doing video a lot, and in the past we haven’t done nearly as much with it as we should. Especially at conventions and when you’re doing interviews, video is much easier and faster to post than transcribing audio, and it helps give readers a sense of what it’s like to be there. So yes, I would say we’ll definitely be bringing the video cameras to BlizzCon, so keep an eye out for more video features and interviews from the convention floor there.

WoW.com reported that Cataclysm may be the name of the next WoW expansion. Has any new information developed about Cataclysm or the next expansion?

We haven’t heard anything yet about what Cataclysm is — it could be a new World of Warcraft expansion, some other new product related to WoW, or it could be a completely new project by Blizzard. All we know is that Blizzard registered the name as a trademark recently, and while there isn’t any mention on the paperwork of the game, the actual meaning of the word seems to point directly to it being a new WoW expansion, possibly involving the Maelstrom (the big swirly thing in the middle of the WoW map that we haven’t yet visited in game).

Mike, thanks for your time! Be sure to read WoW.com to keep up with the latest World of Warcraft news!

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Mike Schramm From WoW.com Discusses World of Warcraft – Part 1 of 2

Posted on 04 August 2009 by Tim

WoW.com, formerly known as WoW Insider, is one of the top sites for World of Warcraft fans. The site features news, class guides, tips for raiding, and even some free leveling guides. Since becoming WoW.com, the site added a community feature to it. Now you can create a profile to show off your characters, write blog posts, and post pictures. You can see my profile here.

Mike Schramm from WoW.com Mike Schramm is currently Senior Editor on WoW.com but can also be found writing articles for TUAW, Joystiq and Massively.

Mike was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule for me.

For World of Warcraft players, or those considering joining, what does WoW.com offer?

We’re basically the one-stop shop for everything in the game, including guides, commentary, news, and views both about the game and the community. We’re one of the biggest sites out there specifically about World of Warcraft, and one thing that sets us apart from everyone else is that we do it all: whether you’re just a casual player who wants to know what’s up with the latest patch, you want some more insightful commentary about the latest class changes, or you’re not even a player and just want to hear about the latest craziness coming out of the community, we’ve got it. At this point, we’re running new posts almost every hour, so there’s tons and tons of content and fun things to read at all times of the day.

Watch Mike interview Michele Boyd from The Guild. Video below!

What 3-5 posts would you recommend as must-read for a new player?

That’s a tough one. For new players of World of Warcraft, we have a great series called WoW Rookie that takes a good look at some of the more basic mechanics and things to learn in the game. The column was obviously designed for rookies, but it’s so well done and complete that even veterans might find some tips in there that they haven’t heard yet. Other than that, new players should probably just look around the site — the game and its community is so big that there’s probably something that will attract their attention and give them a place to start. The class columns are excellent, and the leveling guides can be helpful for new players as well.

Why do you think World of Warcraft has been far more successful than other MMOs?

One thing it does very right is give every single player tons of things to do. Blizzard was one of the first companies to realize that you also had to get a singleplayer experience right with an MMO, and they made sure that every single class in the game can level all the way up to 80 (the current highest level) by themselves if they choose to play that way. Of course, most people don’t, so whether you want to raid, play against other players, or jump into the economy, there’s lots of stuff to do there as well. There’s a lot of reasons World of Warcraft is so big (Blizzard’s legendary polish, their reputation as a developer, and the fact that it’s such a popular game already — friends get friends to play — all went into it, among many other things), but I think the main reason it’s stayed so popular is that it has something really intriguing for almost any kind of player.

How has the reaction to patch 3.2 been?

So far so good, though at this point, it’s a little later than we expected. But this was a patch we didn’t know a lot about until more recently — the last patch, Ulduar, was expected when Wrath of the Lich King came out, and the next patch, Icecrown Citadel, will supposedly wrap up the Arthas story, which is very anticipated. But 3.2 was kind of a mystery, and so while players are very excited about the Crusaders’ Coliseum, I think they (and Blizzard, to a certain extent) still aren’t quite sure what to expect. It could take off and be huge, influencing the way they do raids in the future, or it could kind of flounder and have everybody hoping for Icecrown a few weeks after 3.2 comes out.

Part 2 of my interview with Mike Schramm.

Here Mike interviews Michele Boyd, from The Guild:

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