The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.
Rob Gordon, High Fidelity
However, they are not making a mix tapes, they are making magazines, and I am not sure that cooling it off a notch is ever in the plan. But that was sort of what I felt happened with this issue.
Not that it was something they could really help. They have to release the World of Warcraft Magazine quarterly, regardless of what is going on, and what is going on (Cataclysm launch on Dec. 7) influences how I view this issue.
As before, there is still a lot of focus on the Cataclysm expansion. However, issue 3 having gone out just after BlizzCon, if you pay much attention at all to Blizzard and WoW outside of the immediate game, you might be feeling a bit of Cataclysm weariness.
Enough talk, just ship me the damn thing already. And you might feel that all the more so if you had access to the beta.
Or maybe that is just me.
The magazine is still of the glossy high quality of the first and second issues. It sticks to the 144 page format with no ads and fills them all with color and text that goes into depth about the game so many people love (or hate… or both).
In this issue they presented:
- Rumblings Before Cataclysm – A guide to what is going on, lore-wise, during the run up to Cataclysm, in all the main cities. There is a lot going on.
- The Story So Far – An interview with/profile of Chris Metzen who is one of the main creative forces behind the Blizzard games, especially the lore aspect of them. He is always the guy you want to listen to at BlizzCon.
- Putting Yourself to the Test – Being in the Cataclysm Beta. since the beta closed shortly after this came out, not so useful I suppose.
- Ride of Your Life – A guide to mounts in WoW. What is rare, how to get the achievements, and people who have up to 137 in-game mounts.
- Dressed to Impress – WoW costumes and Cosplay.
- Defending the Ruby Sanctum – More dragon lore and dragon related raiding.
- Raiding the Physical World – Players meeting up in real life… and not just at BlizzCon.
- Moving to Cataclysm Means Shifting Gear – A summary of the gear and stat changes for Cataclysm. A decent primer on the topic, but you’ve probably seen all this before.
- Epic Looters – An interview with the team that creates and balances drops. Ghostcrawler is on that team.
- Bid Business – A short guide to the auction house in WoW, with some addon recommendations.
- Auctions are Never out of Your Range – The remote auction house app.
- Crafty Crafter’s Guide to Jewelcrafting – Just as advertised.
- Action on Display – A look at DC Unlimited’s WoW action figures and how they are designed and made.
- The Fight for Gnomeregan – A look at the new gnome starter area.
- Target: Echo Isles – A look at the new troll starter area.
- Storming to Victory – A guide to the Eye of the Storm battleground.
- Doomhammer – A lore piece about Thrall’s weapon and its history.
- Location Aware – The regular tanking column.
- Four Commandments to Rule Them All – The regular DPS column.
- Love is a Battlefield – The regular healing column, which actually talks about healing in battlegrounds.
So they have quite clearly set a pattern for each issue of the magazine. You get some lore, you get an interview and profile, you get to hear from a design team, there is a guide to a trade skill, they highlight a new area and aspect that is coming out with Cataclysm. They want to hit on something for everyone.
Certainly, this is where I pick up a lot of my lore knowledge, never having been big on the WoW lore before to the point of embarrassment.
But I do wonder how things will turn once Cataclysm is out in a couple of days.
All in all, a good outing, comparable to E-ON, the highly regarded EVE Online official magazine, in fit, finish, and relevance, with something there for everybody.
But now we’re at issue three, patterns have been set for the magazine while the world outside is changing. Will they be able to carry on when there is no new Cataclysm areas to talk about, when they’ve gone through all the professions and all the battlegrounds?
Okay, that will take them a while, but I still wonder how flexible their pattern will be.