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DID YOU READ

“World of Warcraft” Co-Designer: MMOs are Kind of Like TV Shows

“World of Warcraft” Co-Designer: MMOs are Kind of Like TV Shows (photo)

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Rob Pardo constantly gets name-checked as one of the sharpest and most insightful game execs around. Under his stewardship, “World of Warcraft” became a genuine cultural phenomenon. It’s currently the world’s biggest massively multiplayer online game, with about 12 million active users, and its latest installment debuted yesterday. The much-anticipated Cataclysm expansion pack radically changes the fictional world of Azeroth, where the game takes place. Deathwing the Destroyer–a giant demonic dragon from the series’ past–comes back and lays waste to much of the familiar geography. “Cataclysm” also brings an influx of new playable races and makes the leveling up process much more streamlined for new players.

Radical changes like this run the risk of alienating longtime players but, in an interview with Edge Magazine, Pardo compares the creative cycling of an MMO to that of a television series:

WOW has changed a great deal since its launch. Do you think it can be continually added to and tweaked in order to maintain that level of influence, or does it take a whole new reboot like Cataclysm to do that?

I certainly think you always have the opportunity to keep an MMOG going for a very long time, and I always compare it to how most games are like making a feature film, whereas an MMOG is more like running a TV series. Some series last a few seasons and some go on for 26 seasons. Now can WOW become more like that? I hope so. We do have the ability to continually add to the game and evolve it, but the trickier challenge is that eventually people are going to want to move onto new types of entertainment. And simply from a graphical point of view, as time goes onWOW will come to look increasingly dated. I think it’s very resistant to that due to the style we chose, but five to ten years from now there’s going to be some amazing looking games.

I think that Pardo’s essentially arguing that change is necessary to evolve great game experiences, which is great to hear in a medium where conservatism so often seems to be the order of the day. There’s loads of other great stuff in the article so head on over to Edge and read the whole thing.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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