Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. He can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Although it is still by far the most popular MMORPG on the market with 11.1 million subscribers, World of Warcraft has seen its second quarter of declining subscriptions. The quarter ending June 30 shows a whopping 300,000 subscriber drop.

Blizzard President Mike Morhaime explains in a call to investors that as the game has been out so long and players are so experienced and skilled at it, they can plow through new expansions such as Cataclysm with ease, so more and more content is needed to keep them playing.

“I think with Cataclysm [players] were able to consume the content faster than with previous expansions, but that’s why we’re working on developing more content,” Morhaime said, which will include “major new raid and dungeon content.”

“We believe that this new in-game content will keep the game fresh for current players, and provide compelling reasons for lapsed players to come back,” he added.

With World of Warcraft in its seventh year of release, it’s a wonder that many people haven’t gotten completely tired of it and it is a testament to Blizzard’s game developing abilities.

I haven’t played since 2008 during the final days of The Burning Crusade expansion, but I must admit I have been tempted to try it again. But with much of my gaming time spent in Telara, I doubt I will be able to commit so much time back in Azeroth.

League of Legends getting new gametype

League of Legends, the massively popular – 15 million registered players! – competitive multiplayer game from Riot Games, is getting a brand new 5-on-5 multiplayer map, Crystal Scar, sometime soon.

Typically LoL revolves around a tug of war between teams of 5 as they kill enemy NPC minions who constantly stream at each other’s bases. This results in a tug of war effect that can ultimately last quite a long time.

However the new game type: Dominion, is a capture the objective mode. So for those who find the initial tug of war to be boring, or have had their fill, Dominion promises to breathe new life into LoL.

It is going to be a totally different experience from any we have seen in LoL before. You start out at level three and with pockets full of gold, 1,000 gold to be exact. So in the very beginning you have yourself up to 3 different skills and you are well on your way to buying some great power ups.

In the center of the map are “Greater Relics,” items that are sure to give the edge to any champion facing off 1v1. Combine with your higher starting gold and experience, as well as the increased drop rate of gold in Dominion, it looks to be a classic deathmatch RTS experience counter to the original LoL style which is much more slow paced and placed much more focus on your building strategy and having an early game minion farming strategy.

The ultimate objective to Dominion is of course to capture and hold the nodes, which can be sped up quite a bit by having multiple champions capturing a node at once. Victory comes with enough time spent holding the nodes.

Due to the dramatic differences in game types, Dominion has seen some fine-tuning among champions and items. One thing is for sure though: LoL is still free to play and Dominion will be fun for new and old players alike. Dominion will be playable at the upcoming Gamescom and Penny Arcade Expo and should be available to all thereafter!

Watch the LoL trailer here.

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