Posted on Monday, March 5 @ 19:52:34 Eastern by Mike_Reilly
In Blizzard's Blob-like pattern of assimilating community-forged ideas into World of Warcraft's blubbery essence, they went and osmosed CT Profiles. And again in typical Blizzard form, man did they make it badass. I'm talking about The Armory, which is the MMO equivalent of what the U.S. government has on us, except Blizzard doesn't know what we have in our banks (we guess).
At its core, The Armory is an automatically updated log of everything you're dressed in, doing, and generally think about while in Azeroth. Day to day, it's simply a tool for WoW nerds to compare clothing without ever having to see each other. That's a good thing. Functionally, The Armory is clutch for guild recruitment, arena team scanning, and just some whacked-out sense of pseudo-identity. Unfortunately, after your first search for yourself in The Armory, the fact that your name isn't as original as you thought smacks you wet on the forehead.
Anyway, since Blizzard has such an incredible track record for great services, you know what you see in this Beta stage is just the beginning of what's to come. For instance, The Armory has yet to integrate any type of Web 2.0-esque viral embed functionality, nor does it let you personalize the page your toon is on to help [ahem] "promote" your toon further. Ok, those are both lame ideas, but that's also why it's still in Beta, so give it anywhere from two short months to two long years -- they'll get it together.
And The Armory is probably just the beginning. In this day and age of Revver and mod-sales (see: Valve buys CounterStrike), Blizzard has yet to head in the revenue sharing direction of YouTube. This sort of thing, as Microsoft believes with their XNA Game Studio Express, is Game 2.0 or "Gamanostra" (no, I'm not talking about this noobery]. Also, Net democratic functionality with shared-revenue business modeling is obviously a natural fit for online games like PC MMOs, but I'm not checking my Paypal for shake anytime soon. Read that Sallie Mae? I'm broke son! I'm broke!
Web 2.0 wonderings aside, you have to wonder why didn't Blizzard simply put the talent viewer, guild and arena stats straight into WoW? Is it because it's cheaper and safer (i.e., smarter) to put this on the web first, gauge its value, then see if it's worth putting in the game proper? Or will this remain Net exclusive and full of viral embed URL's? Either way, we'll play and see what happens as events unfold with The Armory -- still one of the coolest ideas I've seen in an MMO.
Thanks again CT Profiles!
Now that we're on the Web 2.0 tip, if any of you guys (gals preferred) are on the Dark Iron server, be social and pass a tell to Auspice. Now rejecting beggars yet accepting donations. Oh and while you're at it, send me something Myspacian (now that WoW and MySpace are becoming so hard to tell apart). Or even better yet, link up your own Armory page in the comments.
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