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Medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

Tigole Apologizes for Blackwing Bugs

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Tigole wrote an apology for the bugs encountered in Blackwing Lair and made a logical explanation for the instance not getting tested in Public Test Servers(PTS as Tigole refers to):

I apologize for any bugs that you or your guild has encountered. It’s important for you to understand that the reason Blackwing Lair was intentionally held from the Public Test Realm was because of the repeated requests of this very community. Was that decision the right decision? At this point it is tough to say. While we have taken many jabs lately, I can say with complete faith that we did test the zone. No amount of internal testing, or PTR testing for that matter, can ever successfully replicate a live environment.

The endgame content is a very tricky beast. On the one hand, no one wants it spoiled. Due to the competitive nature of the guilds who attempt this content, they want it live at the same time, so they can all tackle it together and know that if they killed something first, they had the same chances everyone else had. Yet at the same time, this endgame hardcore community is probably the most vocal group of gamers playing WoW. While they have no problem posting things like “we’d rather not have BWL on the PTR and endure a few bugs” I question whether or not they really mean that.

When we put a dungeon like Dire Maul out, no one minds that we put it on the PTR. Everyone knows that Dire Maul will be beat the night it goes live. And the people who go to the PTR to test are usually made up of very hardcore players. So for Dire Maul, you get a very small percentage of hardcore players who have “spoiled” the dungeon yet it benefits everyone. No one complains about competitive advantage. But Blackwing Lair is targeted *solely* for the hardcore gamers. Knowing the zone is on the PTR would make most hardcore gamers and their guilds feel compelled to log into the PTR for the 1-3 weeks that the content is there to maintain their competitive edge. At the same time, they wouldn’t be progressing on their Live Realms. The content that they would be spoiling is for them… and when that content went live, it wouldn’t feel new or exciting or challenging. For example, these boards were in an uproar when Azuregos died on the Test Realm.

The decision to not put BWL on the Public Tezt Realm was done with the best intentions. I can see now that it is not true that many guilds would rather endure a bug than to have this content spoiled.

I apologize for any bugs and hope you can at least understand the dilemna that exists when it comes to testing the endgame content in World of Warcraft.

—Tigole

VUGames President talks about Wow

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VUGames President Phil O’Neill claims that the business growth and recovery of Vivendi Universal, after the uncertainty in the past few years,  is due to the success of Blizzard and World of Warcraft.  Read more details at the following GamesIndustry.Biz Article

I think the results of that recovery are now really moving into what in ‘05 can be characterised as a growth year – and I would tell you that the real engine behind that growth is Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft.

Well, two things. One is that I would politely disagree with your assessment – I’m not sure Blizzard is the jewel in the crown. I would suggest that it’s the crown. Blizzard is the crown; we have some nice rings and bracelets and other pieces of jewellery inherent in the company, but Blizzard, without a doubt, from a commercial standpoint and a creative standpoint, is the crown of Vivendi-Universal Games and from a go-forward standpoint, will clearly be the engine that drives Vivendi-Universal Games’ success.

Blackwing Lair Video

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Chaknor —from Elite Chaos Guild—submitted a video of his adventures inside Blackwing Lair as a preview of things to face in this new dungeon.  Recommended for Fans who haven’t yet entered the dungeon.

“Elite Chaos invaded the long awaited Blackwing Lair on the patch day. What did we find? A whole slew of bugs to play around with. Despite running into seemingly impossible to overcome, encounter breaking bugs, we refused to succumb to them. After carefully analyzing the bugged boss fights, paying attention to every little detail, we were able to develop strategies to deal with the bugs. We then proceeded to defile the place, defeating Razorgore the Untamed and Vaelastrasz the Corrupt for the first time on Bleeding Hollow.” – Video submitted by Chaknor the Paladin President (Jonathan Witek)

Blizzard announced recently a hotfix

Watch the Video (Requires Windows Player 10 / WMV 60.9MB)

Blackwing Lair Hotfixed

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Tigole has announced a temporary hotfix implemented on Blackwing Lair until a more permanent solution can be created for next patch:

I thought I’d take a few minutes to clarify some issues with Blackwing Lair.

First, in regards to the Vaelanstrasz the Corrupted encounter, the way that it currently works is that once you begin the encounter (click through his gossip, watch the scene play out and aggro him) you have 1 hour to make as many attempts on him as you like, but if you fail, he plays his script, despawns and you cannot progress. This has always been the design behind this encounter and is very much intended. We will, however, be making a change in the near future to the encounter that will allow you to get a 1 hour attempt on him per day. Currently, you get a 1 hour attempt per instance reset. I’ll offer an explanation although I’m not sure it will make much sense. When the encounter went live and an issue with the door arose, we found a way to hotfix it. A hotfix is a change that we can make immediately to live realms without patching customers or bringing the servers down. However, the hotfix we were able to apply made it so that Vaelanstrasz would only be available once per instance reset. Without understanding how these events are scripted, it’s difficult to see how the two are related but they are. We already have it changed internally so that players will get 1 hour per day (rather than reset) but this change cannot go live without patching our players and restarting the servers. Hopefully, this patch will go out soon. In the meantime, it will be considered “working as intended” that the dragon is available for 1 hour per reset.

Regarding the lag that some are experiencing in Blackwing Lair, our Live Operations team is aware of these issues and analyzing them. Hopefully, we can make some fixes soon to help alleviate the lag.

Jason Hayes interview on video

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Jason Hayes—Blizzard Music Composer and creator of Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft Music—was interviewed by Gametrailers.com, and you can watch him on a video talking about his music played by the Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl last week.  The Video Games Live event was produced by Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall from Mystical Stone Entertainment, LLC.  In the interview video you can listen to Elijah Wood, from Lord of the Rings; Stan Lee(Marvel Comics); Gary Coleman; Marty O’Donnel(Halo); Laura Karpman(Everquest II) and many others.  If you ever wanted to see Jason Hayes watch the video interview …

Warcraft III Bonus Map - Duststorm

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These barren wastes hold nothing for the living, harboring only the bones of those who have fallen to the sun bleached land. The dusty earth thus serves as a savage battleground where armies can unleash their full might unhindered.

Download Duststorm a new Bonus map for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

Blizzplanet Store: Warcraft RPG Books

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Blizzplanet opens a store with discounts on PDF electronic Warcraft RPG Books. You can download the books into your computer and pay either with credit card or Paypal. The Warcraft RPG Books available in PDF are:

  • WarCraft: Lands of Conflict
  • World of Warcraft the Roleplaying Game
  • Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game
  • Warcraft: Manual of Monsters
  • Warcraft: Shadows & Light
  • WarCraft: Alliance & Horde
  • WarCraft: Magic & Mayhem

Patch 1.60 Released!

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Today, Tuesday during the Server Maintenance, Blizzard will release patch 1.60 and we will be able to play Blackwing Lair.  Warriors and Warlocks will have to reset their talent points.  Read the patch notes here

BlizzCon? Gaming Festival Web Site

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Blizzard today unveiled the BlizzCon? Web site, presenting many new details about the upcoming gaming convention. Set to take place on October 28 and 29 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, BlizzCon is open to gamers of all ages.

Tickets will go on sale at a special BlizzCon ticketing Web site at 8:00 am PDT on July 21, 2005. 4,400 tickets will be made available at $120 per ticket, with a limit of four (4) tickets per customer. Highlights of BlizzCon include:

  • Q&A panels with the World of Warcraft and StarCraft: Ghost developers
  • Playing World of Warcraft Battlegrounds live with friends
  • 1st public hands-on gameplay of Blizzard’s StarCraft: Ghost, Blizzard’s highly anticipated tactical-action console title
  • BlizzCon Invitational Tournament, featuring top Warcraft III and StarCraft professional gamers from around the world
  • Contests for die-hard gamers to compete in for great loot
  • Custom BlizzCon merchandise in the BlizzCon store
  • A special closing-night concert featuring a to-be-announced band

Please see the BlizzCon Web site for further details on the event, including hotel and travel information, an extensive FAQ, and more.

Diablo: Greatest Game of All Time

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Diablo was chosen by Gamespot as the Greatest Game of All Time with a review of how Diablo has influenced other games:

Gamespot: The game birthed the action-RPG genre as we know it, spawning dozens of copycats on the PC in the years following its release. Consoles even began to get into the act with Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, which was very heavily influenced by Diablo. To this day, Diablo is used as a point of comparison for any game that involves simple point-and-click combat, character development, hordes of monsters, massive levels, and collectible loot and equipment.

Argent Dawn New Recipes

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Although we are still working on the subdomains, we wanted to show you a preview of Argent Dawn Recipes to be available in Patch 1.60.  If you haven’t been able to copy your character upon the Public Test Servers, then you can view the recipes for Honored and Revered Players at the following Page.  Make sure to click the links of the recipes to browse through the images.

Upcoming Patch 1.60 Changes

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Tigole revealed that Maraudon Orange zone will be hotfixed soon or will be fixed for Patch 1.60.  The Larva spewer should be interactive allowing players to destroy the spewer to stop the spawning of Larvas.  This is not the case, and the bug is affecting gameplay to all players:

Tigole:
I checked this out today. The Larva Spewer should be interactable so that players can turn off the spawned Larva. This is not currently working on the live servers. We identified and fixed the bug today internally. Hopefully we can hotfix this in the next few days or fix it for patch 1.6.0 which is just around the corner.

Apologies for inconvenience.

Another change to be included in Patch 1.60 is the availability of Blood of Innocents at the beginning area of Scholomance.  This is going to be a great change for those who need Kirtonos:

Tigole:
There is a change coming in Patch 1.6.0 (live on the test server right now).  There will be a mob in the first room in Scholomance who drops the Blood and allows you to summon Kirtonos.  Kirtonos will be the first named NPC you encounter now.

AhQuiraj on Patch 1.90

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Tigole was kind to set a time-frame for both Ahquiraj and Zulgurub.

Tigole:
Zul’Gurub will be in content Patch 1.7.0.

Ahn’Qiraj is a *massive* zone with both interior and exterior elements. It will be instanced.

The zone will most likely go live in Patch 1.9.0 although things are always subject to change.

We’ll provide more information on this zone as it gets closer to release

Server Upgrade

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Our apologies for the downtime through last couple of days.  Our server was upgraded to keep optimal conditions.  Note that whenever PHP, MySQL or Apache release new updates, the server is upgraded.  Thanks for your patience.

Engineers’ Explosive Extravaganza!

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Another Real-life holiday has been included within World of Warcraft, celebrating the Independence Day on July 4th.  Although the Goblins are far from celebrating any independence day, the Goblins are out to go Kaboom-palooza!

Deep within the cavernous halls of Undermine, goblins labor and toil over their strange and fanciful engineering creations. When they are not constructing powerful devices of destruction, they find making fireworks a diverting pasttime. They work tirelessly over strange chemical concoctions used to produce precisely the right color and, of course, spectacular explosion. It is an artform that comes naturally to those who find great pleasure in making things explode in a variety of ways. Competition is fierce among the engineers as they strive for perfection within their pyrotechnics.

Since holding an exhibition indoors—particularly within range of a goblin engineer’s workshop—is completely out of the question, it was decided by the Tinker’s Union that a day would be chosen wherein the pyrotechnists would go out into the world and share their creations with the world (for a modest fee, of course). For one glorious day, the sky would be alight with the fantastic creations of engineers throughout Azeroth.

Whether Alliance or Horde, these pyrotechnists are more than happy to help you set the sky on fire during the Engineers’ Explosive Extravaganza! (Just remember, point all incendiaries away from the face.)

Black Lotus will be BOE on patch 1.70

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According to Eyonix, Black Lotus will be finally made Bind on Equipped in Patch 1.70—the next future patch after Blackwing Lair is released, which means Black Lotus will be now available on Auction House for profit.  It will allow Alchemists to make more Flasks.  If only the Scholomance Lab requirement was removed, sighs!

Eyonix While I’m not sure of the original reasoning behind the Black Lotus herb being made bind-on-pickup, I do know that this is going to be changed for patch 1.7, which is the patch scheduled to release sometime after the next content patch. If your desire is to sell them for profit, feel free to hang onto them until that time.

Source: Official Forums

Gamasutra: Is Wow Mainstream?

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Gamasutra has an article where many representatives of different Game Developing and Computing Science Companies are talking about World of Warcraft, its success and whether World of Warcraft is Mainstream or not.  Find out for yourself, and read what the experts have to say about this popular MMORPG for casual and hardcore gamers.  Here is an excerpt from

WoW is absolutely reaching the mainstream market. I’m in a guild in WoW where there are many players who are playing their first MMO, and beyond that, playing their first video game ever! For example, my girlfriend plays and she would’ve never thought to buy a video game until trying out WoW. She works at a medical device company, and her female co-workers talk about playing WoW. But then again, WoW is the best MMO out there for hardcore and casual gamers alike. World of Warcraft is a great license also, but to most casual gamers, Star Wars or the Matrix are more notable names. It’s not about the license, it’s about making a great game.
-Tony Dormanesh, Midway

iCoke / World of Warcraft Commercial in China

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Jason Hayes, Blizzard Music Composer, created a Music Composition for a Coca-Cola TV Commercial in China featuring World of Warcraft.  Blizzard created a 3D rendering of an orc to fight three beautiful Chinese girls disguised as Night Elves.  The Commercial shows a Chinese man discussing Music Album advertising strategies with three young women.  He says, “Girls, Sexy is what sells!” while holding a photo of a blonde girl wearing sunglasses and a short fur clothing that reveals her body from her lower chest down to her waist.  The three chinese women are watching a World of Warcraft Cinematic on a laptop computer, and the man resumes saying: “You get my drift?”.  To this the three women answer: “No”, while drinking an iCoke.

The chinese man rises angered asking: “What do you mean, no?”.  The man turns into an angered Orc, while the three women mark in a challenging tone: “No, means no!”.  The women turn into three exotic Night Elves.  A mage, a Sentinel Archer(Hunter) and a Warrior.

The three women battle the orc who breaks the warrior’s sword, while the other girls cast great special effects against the Orc which is slammed against a wall by a Multi-shot.  Finally the girls make the coupe de grace killing the orc.  They open a chest treasure revealing a full loot of iCoke and ice. They pick the iCoke and drink it with pleasure before the World of Warcraft colorful horizon and the sunset.  Back to reality, the women finish drinking, and the chinese man ends up naked in underwear.  In short, Sexy is not what sells, it is the product what sells. Coca-Cola and World of Warcraft are very successful simply because the product is so great it sells itself.  The commercial was synchronized with the official launch of the World of Warcraft China Center.  Blizzard has expanded to the Chinese market to deliver World of Warcraft.

  • Watch the Wow/iCoke Commercial (Quicktime Player required—PC | Mac)
  • The Coca-Cola/World of Warcraft Website
  • Wow China Launch photos
  • Our Gallery has screenshots from the movie.

Glynnis Talken nominated for Medieval Book

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Glynnis Talken, voice actress of Starcraft Kerrigan, thanks all the fans that visited her at the San Diego Scottish Festival and informs she won’t have book signings on July due to an Awards event.  She will be at the National Convention of Romance Writers of America in Reno, Nevada where she was nominated in three categories by the Hearts Through History contest for her medieval romance books.  Beside a voice actress, Glynnis is a medieval romance book writer.  She was nominated to the following categories:

  • Best Medieval book
  • Best Western book
  • A Hero for All Time book

Glynnis is preparing to write a new book trilogy featuring three Medieval hero ladies.  We will update more of her new project as soon as we get more details.  Her book writer name is Glynnis Campbell.  If you wish to take a look at her book titles, visit her website at http://www.glynnis.net/books.  Read the newsletter below . . .

Starcraft & Broodwar Patch 1.13

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StarCraft has been updated with the newly released patch 1.13. This revision addresses a few well-known bugs that were used to perform in-game exploits, corrects display issues with the Korean Font and makes adjustments to the Player’s in-game minimap. To see a copy of the patch notes, please click here.

We hope this patch makes battling within the StarCraft universe a little more fun, so feel free to join Battle.net once again to reengage in the epic struggle between the Terran, Protoss and Zerg!  Load your game and connect to Battle.net to auto-download the patch.

XFire: Among Top100 Private Companies

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According to Gamers.com, XFire was recognized as one of the top 100 Private Companies of the year for their innovation and potential.  Blizzplanet has chosen XFire for future downloads of all Blizzard Games related files and media, modding tools, mods/campaigns, and fan-made movies.  Download XFire 1.41 here.  XFire allows you to:

  • See when your friends are online & what game they’re playing
  • See where they’re playing and join them with one click
  • See what games the friends of your friends are playing

Gamers.com:  Recently, Xfire revealed that they have been chosen by AlwaysOn to be one of the Top 100 Private Companies. Five criteria were apparently considered by AlwaysOn’s editorial team: innovation, market potential, customer adoption, media buzz and investor value creation. The AO 100 list was whittled down from over 1,000 companies selected by venture capitalists, industry analysts and investment bankers.

Gamepro analyzes Wow

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Gamepro has an article titled MMO Journal: Are MMORPGs only for Hardcore Gamers? discussing Instanced 5-on-5 PvP battlegrounds, Quests/Dungeons, Solo instancing and comparisons with Star Wars Galaxies and Guild Wars.

Weather System In The Works

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Eyonix revealed that Weather System is in development, but there is no official release date to implement the feature in any near patch schedule.  When more details are available, it will be announced by Blizzard:

Eyonix: Weather is still being worked on, and you’ll be happy to know that the progress of effects looks phenomenal. Once I have additional details to provide, or am able to show off a preview of such, I will do my best to share with the entire community.

Warcraft III: Gateway Solo Tournament Results!

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The Season Two solo gateway tournaments were played this past weekend and winners have been determined for the completed matches. Congratulations to the three gateway winners who have already claimed victory:

  • Northrend: internationale (aka: SK.HoT)
  • Kalimdor: PhoeNix_ReMinD (aka: WE.Remind)
  • Lordaeron: Fuji[SpeeD] (aka: 4K.Fury)

See the full report, brackets, and download replays from the Season Two webpage here.

Blizzard vs. BNETD Status: MP3 Audio Available

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Blizzard vs BNETD case is still in development in the courts for presumable violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  The Electronic Frontier Foundation is following up on the case and has posted an article wrapping up what has happened so far in the courts. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has made available an MP3 of the audio of Oral Arguments before the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals that took place on June 20.  You can download the audio here.

World of Warcraft the Roleplaying Game

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White-Wolf and Swords & Sorcerers announce the release of World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game now on sale for $39.99 based on a d20 system.  You can download a PDF Preview of this book Here.  This preview requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Enter a World of Adventure!

In a world ravaged by conflict, age-old enemies struggle to rebuild society amid a tenuous peace sparked by flares of violence as threats new and old clash in an endless conflict. Heroes battle undead and demons, explore strange and dangerous lands, uncover powerful magic, develop fascinating technological creations, and return glory to great cities and civilizations. They stand at the cusp of a new age – an age they shall forge by their allegiances and their exploits!

Calling All Heroes!

World of Warcraft the Roleplaying Game translates the hugely popular computer game setting into a pen-and-paper roleplaying game. Published under the Open Game License, it features complete rules for play that are 100% compatible with revised 3rd Edition rules and the d20 System. Everything you need is now in one book – from character generation to 10 races and 12 core classes, from extensive technological creation rules to a wide variety of spells, from combat rules to details on generating settlements and cities! Also compatible with existing Warcraft RPG game material. Full Color Hardcover.

Warcraft RPG books are published under license with Blizzard Entertainment and utilize the Open Game License.