Account-Wide Death Knight Creation Updated

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blue Posts, World of Warcraft News

Nethaera has informed us of an update to the recent Account-wide Death Knight Creation issue alert posted at the official forums. Some players are able to still create Death Knights, but other players can’t. Blizzard is trying to isolate what is causing this seemingly random bug.  As of later tonight, the problem will be resolved after the restarts. We have below a FAQ to Account-wide Death Knight Creation provided by Blizzard.

Blizzard Quote:
Update – 1/21 11:30 AM PST

We are continuing to work on allowing death knight creation on all eligible realms per the creation rules for death knights and will provide further updates as soon as they are available.

Update – 1/20 5:20pm PST

We will be bringing all realms down at 5am PDT (Oceanic realms will be brought down at 12pm PDT) on January 21 to address an issue with Death Knight creation. The restarts should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update- 1/20 3:30 PM PST

Please be aware that select players are currently able to create death knights on realms other than the one they currently have a level 55+ character on while others are still unable to do so at this time. We are currently working to address this issue and anticipate this to be corrected as of tonight

ModDB: Diablo II Mod Median XL Nominated for Best Mod of the Year

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Diablo 2 News

The ModDB site is encouraging fans to vote for the best Mod of the Year. On the Blizzard games end, Diablo II has a nomination with the Median XL mod.

The main attraction of Median XL is the brand new skill trees, 30 skills per class, providing a whole new experience. The mod also offers a new base item setup with 7 quality tiers, 471 uniques, 235 runewords, a new affix pool and gem/jewel stats, honorific items and many new and powerful crafting recipes.

All this would be for nothing without the monster AI modifications and new abilities, elite and heroic monsters with even more powerful skills, and for advanced players there are 27 new uberquests based on Diablo lore and the challenges, which reward you for killing bosses at a low level or two of them at once.

Starcraft 2 Beta Date Set in Stone?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News

Our sister network site, StarcraftWire.net, reports (german-to-english translation) that Blizzard slipped at the ESL in Vienna, Austria the Starcraft II Beta has an internal release date.  The date was not revealed, and it is not certain if the date is set in stone. However, to hear Blizzard confirm they have an internal date means CLOSED BETA is imminent. Starcraft anniversary (April 1) is coincidentially very close, barely 2 months away. It could happen any time between February and April range. Crosses fingers. By the way … GIMME BETA !!!!

Sorry, I had to.

Diii.net - Possible Death Knight Class and Ureh

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Diablo 3 News

I posted an article over at Diii.net to discuss a possible paladin-like class based on some concept art shown within Cain’s Journal. It wouldn’t completely be like the original Paladin class however, but a darker version of it with other class traits.

When I played the Diablo III demo at Blizzcon, the Wizard felt very much like a merge of the Sorceress and the Assassin classes. The Wizard can melee and you can even assign points to the dagger’s abilities in the talent trees.

The Witch Doctor has some traits of the Necromancer merged with traits of the Druid class, summoning pets.

So, would it be too far-fetched to think the Paladin will have traits from another class? The Amazon, or even the Necromancer? One of the concept arts shows a warrior/paladin like class wearing skeletal shoulderpads. A Death Knight or Darker Zealot?

Here is the article in question. Any thoughts on the possible Paladin-like class or Ureh are welcome. Discuss.
http://www.n4g.com/NewsPendingCom-262562.aspx?CT=1&Page=1&Page2=1#C1956553

Lore: The Heart of the Lich King

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Lore, World of Warcraft News, WoW: Wrath of the Lich King, Wrath of the Lich King Story Arcs

Recently, I transcribed the first pages of World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden. The book to be published on April 21 introduces a very key feature of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion’s storyline that reveals Arthas was wounded in the duel against Illidan, and after he merged with Ner’zhul, Arthas went into a long sleep where the orc, the prince and the boy (Matthias Lehner) brewed an inner-turmoil during his long dark dream.  The answer to end this long dreamscape was to cast his own heart out to strip away his weakness.

If you read the book preview, and experience the Icecrown quests with Matthias Lehner you will see a big tie-in between the book and the in-game quests. Probably a connection with what might happen in the Lich King dungeon encounter. Some fans do not have yet the Wrath of the Lich King expansion or don’t play WoW at all. If you don’t mind heavy spoilers, watch the two videos below showing you the quests given by the child Matthias Lehner (Arthas Menethil anagram).  You get to control Arthas and use his abilities in two quests.  You fight Illidan too.  More interesting is what happens when Tirion Fordring—wielding the Ashbringer—faces Arthas the LIch King at the Cathedral of Darkness in Icecrown.

At the bottom of this page, you may read the transcript of all the questline.

Video 1: Army of the Damned

Video 2: The Hunter and the Prince

Opportunity (Horde)—Exploiting an Opening (Alliance)

Koltira Deathweaver: We recently came upon schematics that indicate a weakness in Icecrown Citadel. An opening in its defenses, both figuratively and literally.

The captured diagrams show an orifice leading several hundred feet into the ground. We’re unsure of its purpose, but our scouting has revealed it to be of high importance to the Scourge.

Speak to Sergeant Kregga below Icecrown Citadel, she’s leading the attack on the site.

End
Seargeant Kregga: Just in time, (name). Koltira spoke highly of you. Perhaps you’ll be able to push the scales in our favor.

Establishing Superiority (Horde)—Securing the Perimeter (Alliance)

Sergeant Kregga: We’ve one shot at dealing some damage to this place—let’s make sure we get it right.

We’ve acquired potent, Scourge-made, saronite bombs. But we must secure this area before we can set them off.

We’re going to need to get the Scourge defenses under control quickly, before reinforcements arrive.

Help my men out and come back when you’re ready for some fireworks.

End
Sergeant Kregga: You made quick work of the Scourge, (name). Let’s finish what we came to do here.

Blow it up! (Horde)—Set it off! (Alliance)

Seargent Kregga: This is probably as under-control as this situation is going to get. Let’s do this, (Name).

I need someone to light the fuse on those bombs and it looks like you’re the one to do it.

Yourself: These bombs look pretty potent. They should at least put a dent in the surrounding structure.

A Short Fuse

Yourself: As you light the fuse, you notice that it is consumed by fire far quicker than you would expect.

The bombs are about to go off and your best chance at surviving is to lean towards the pit and hope the fall doesn’t kill you.

Note: Once the bomb explodes, your character is catapulted into the pit landing into a pool within the Forgotten Depths. A pulsing ice crystal floats inside the pool.

End
Object: This pulsing object is covered in a thick layer of ice. It shimmers strangely beneath the water.

A Voice in the Dark

The object is not a crystal at all, but some form of organ, encased in ice.

As you touch it, your hand reels in horrible pain. You feel as if your hand has been cut, yet there is no visible wound.

As you collect your thoughts, you hear a young boy’s voice nearby.

“You really shouldn’t have done that.”

Time to Hide

Matthias Lehner: You shouldn’t have touched it. But now that you did, he’s going to come looking for you.

And he’ll find you. Unless you hide yourself from him.

Bring me blood from the faceless ones if you want to live!

End
Matthias Lehner: Did you get the blood? What are you waiting for? You have to rub it on you!

Quick! Or he’ll see you!

Return to the Surface

Matthias Lehner: You should leave now. You’ll find a portal behind me. It’ll take you to the surface.

We’ll meet again. He’ll be looking for you.

It’s only a matter of time until he finds you.

End
Koltira Deathweaver: (Name)! We thought you were dead!

We lost a few men in that explosion… but we sure put a hurt on the Scourge. They’re scrambling their forces back to the citadel and leaving big gaps in their defenses. It’s time to push forward.

Field Repairs (Horde)—Field Repairs (Alliance)

Koltira Deathweaver: The Scourge is still reeling from our attack, (name). Now is the time to capitalize on our momentum.

The strategically important valley below us is wide open. We’ve located a disassembled demolisher vehicle in what we believe is working condition in the southeastern corner of the Valley of Lost Hope area.

If you can get the remaining parts from the Scourge scavengers, you should be able to get it running again. A single working demolisher can wreak havoc on the enemy’s ground units.

Object: The demolisher has suffered much damage.

The Demolisher has seen better days, but the structure hasn’t suffered any permanent damage. The parts you obtained should be enough to get it running again, at least temporarily.

Do your Worst

Matthias Lehner: You’re going to use this machine against the Scourge? You’re not going to win against them like that.

You can destroy hundreds… even thousands of them. But you won’t win. Not out here.

When you’re done playing with your machine, meet me to the north. There is an old army encampment. What I will show you will teach you a little bit about who you’re up against.

Use the Refurbished Demolisher to destroy 150 Decomposed Ghouls, 20 Frostskull Mages and 2 Bone Giants in the Valley of Lost Hope. Speak to Matthias Lehner at the First Legion Forward Camp when you’ve completed this task.

Matthias Lehner: You see? You killed your fair share, but for every one you destroyed, another rose from the dirt to take its place.

You don’t know what you’re up against, (name). Let me show you.

Army of the Damned

Matthias Lehner: You probably think you’re quite strong—fighting these undead and crushing their bones beneath your war machines.

That is nothing compared to the strength it took to create them.

I saw the prince do it himself. I can show you how it happened… if you’d like.

Matthias Lehner at the First Legion Forward Camp wants you to raise an army of 100 Ghoulish Minions

Matthias Lehner: The prince’s true power wasn’t his ability to make armies out of corpses… that was easy

But killing his own men, with whom he’d shared many battles… the prince’s true power was his ability to do what had to be done.

Futility (Horde)—- Futility (Alliance)

Matthias Lehner: Do you see now? Sending your men against the prince’s armies just swells their numbers.

I don’t expect you to understand… you’ll probably just end like the others. You’d best return to whoever sent you. They might be worried.

End
Koltira Deathweaver: There you are. Nice work down in the valley. The carnage was visible all the way up here.

Are you ok? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.

Cradle of the Frostbrood (Horde)—- Sindragosa’s Fall (Alliance)

Koltira Deathweaver: We need to keep our momentum going. Let’s not give the Scourge forces any respite.

Sindragosa’s Fall lies east just beyond the Valley of Lost Hope. The Cult of the Damned operate there, under close supervision of the Lich King’s undead Vrykul lackeys.

It is a place of great power, possibly a blue dragonflight graveyard. The feared Frostbrood are raised there from the bones of blue dragons.

An attack there would have great impact on the enemy’s access to Frost Wyrms. Are you up to it, (name)?

Koltira Deathweaver aboard Orgrim’s Hammer wants you to slay 5 Wyrm Reanimators, 8 Cultist Corrupters and 3 Vrykul Necrolords at Sindragosa’s Fall.

Koltira Deathweaver: Hail, (name).

You’ve done well, (name). You might want to rest for a while. You look a little pale.

Where Dragons Fell (Horde)

Matthias Lehner: A whole brood of blue dragons fell here. And now, one by one, they’re being raised by his servants.

He raised the biggest of them all himself. Bring me some bone dust from the whelps and I’ll show you exactly how he did it.

End
Matthias Lehner: Did you get the dust, (name)?

Note: Before you, Arthas the Lich King phases in replicating the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic intro where he rises Sindragosa from the ice ground.

End
Matthias Lehner: Even the mighty wyrms had to heed his call. How is a simple mortal like you going to resist him?

Time for Answers

Matthias Lehner: You have a lot of questions, (name). You’re the only one who can see me because you touched something that once belonged to him… don’t you remember?

You don’t know what it is? Well I can’t just tell you… that would make him really mad. He’s not just a prince anymore… he’s the king!

Meet me at the Court of Bones, north of Icecrown Citadel and you can see for yourself.

End
Matthias Lehner: There you are. I started to wonder whether you’d show up.

The Hunter and the Prince

Matthias Lehner: Before the prince became a king, he fought many battles… but only one where he came close to dying.

It was fought right here. After you let me show you what happened, you’ll understand everything.

Find a bloodstained stone and pick it up from the floor. You’ll see what happened.

Note: You become Arthas the Death Knight and you fight Illidan the Betrayer, reliving the duel from Warcraft III: Frozen Throne.

End
Matthias Lehner: After that fight, the prince realized what was holding him back was that he was still human… he could still feel… he could still bleed. He still had a heart.

The first thing he did when he became king was to rid of himself of it. He threw it down the pit where we first met. And you, (name), were the first person to touch it since.

Knowledge is a Terrible Burden (Horde)—- Knowledge is a Terrible Burden (Alliance)

Matthias Lehner: Now you know what you’re up against, (name). An opponent who no longer knows pain… remorse… or humanity. An opponent who will do anything to get what he wants.

The heart was his weakness and now he knows you’ve found it.

If you’re going to go back for it, you’d best bring help. He will not leave it unguarded again.

End
Koltira Deathweaver: Little kid’s ghost… Arthas’s heart… you’d better slow down… you’re making my head spin.

Argent Aid (Horde)—- Tirion’s Help (Alliance)

Koltira Deathweaver: There were rumors about the events you speak of among the Death Knights. I always expected the story to be more… symbolic.

We must warn others, but we must be discrete. As soon as the Lich King knows we’re making our move, he’ll move the location of the heart—we’ll never get a chance like this again.

The Horde and the Alliance have been infiltrated by the Cult of the Damned before. The Ebon Blade operates too close to the Scourge.

We have to speak to Tirion Fordring and his Argent Crusade.

End
Tirion Fordring: Heavy words, (name). If it were somebody else saying them, I’d be likely to judge them insane.

Tirion’s Gambit

Tirion Fordring: Just this morning, my scouts informed me of a Cult of the Damned procession leaving from Icecrown Citadel to the Cathedral of Darkness, bearing an artifact.

And now I learn that it might be Arthas’s own heart… a thing containing the last bit of his remaining humanity.

This is a sign of the Light. As long as such an artifact exists, there is a chance that Arthas Menethil can become a man again!

Meet me at the cathedral’s entrance. Be sure to bring a cultist’s hood—we’re going incognito.

Tirion Fordring, at the Crusader’s Pinnacle, wants you to obtain and wear a Cultist Acolyte’s Hood and meet him at the entrance of the Cathedral of Darkness, northwest of Icecrown Citadel

Note: At the Cathedral of Darkness, once you acquire the Cultist Acolyte’s Hood, walk to the bonefire on the right side of the door. There is Tirion Fordring disguised with other Argent Dawn agents.

Tirion Fordring: There you are.  Are you ready then? Once we start, there is no turning back.

You: I’m ready, Highlord.

Tirion Fordring: It’s time. May the Light give us strength.

Note: Tirion and the Argent Crusade agents walk slowly into the Cathedral of Darkness, and stand near a table close to the altar where the Heart of Arthas has been brought by the Cult of the Damned.  Arthas the Lich King walks in.

Tirion Fordring: Keep yours head down and follow my lead.

(Shortly after)

Tirion Fordring: Here it comes. Stand ready.

The Lich King is here. May the light guide our blades.

Arthas the Lich King: Uninvited guests? Did you think you’d go unnoticed inside my dominion?

I must confess—you were not altogether unexpected. I hope you find your final resting place … to your liking.

Tirion Fordring: You sound a little too confident. Especially considering the way our last encounter ended.

Arthas the Lich King: Last time we met, you had the advantage of fighting on holy ground. You’ll find that our situation has been … reversed.

Tirion Fordring: That might be, but I don’t need to stand on holy ground to run that disembodied heart of yours with the Ashbringer.

Arthas the Lich King: I call your bluff.  You’re a paladin after all.  Your obsession with redemption goes beyond the inane.

You surely wouldn’t destroy humanity’s only chance to redeem its most wayward son. You’d sooner die!

Tirion Fordring: The heart … the last remaining vestige of your humanity.  I had to stop it from being destroyed.  I had to see for myself.  And at last I’m sure …

Only shadows from the past remain.  There’s nothing left to redeem.

Note: Tirion Fordring charges with blazing-speed toward Arthas’ ice-encased heart … and destroys it. An immense flash of light blinds everyone. Tirion is knocked unconscious by this, while Arthas the Lich King is badly hurt, falling to his knees … barely holding himself with Frostmourne.

Arthas the Lich King: Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh !!!!!!

Disguised Crusader: Tirion’s down. Defend him with your lives !

Arthas the Lich King: You … will pay for that, old man. Slay them all !

Note: The Cult of the Damned surrounds the Argent Crusade agents and clash in combat.  The Cult of the Damned is decimated with the sudden assistance of Highlord Darion Mograine and his Ebon Blade Knights. Darion opens a death gate to facilitate everyone’s escape from the Cathedral of Darkness back to the Crusader

Exclusive: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Audiobook Sample

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Merchandise, Blizzard Products News, Lore, Novels, Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft News

Dick Hill provided us with a 4-minutes Mp3 sample of the upcoming Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook slated to be on sale near the end of December 2008 at the Tantor Media Audiobooks store. Pre-orders are already available. The audio sample provided to us is from the scene where Elven Ranger Vereesa, dwarf warrior Falstad, and Kryll (the goblin) discuss going to Grim Batol. You can listen to the sample at our recent interview with Dick Hill.

Let us know if you liked his voice performance and if you look forward for Warcraft: Lord of the Clans (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian (April 2009) Audiobooks too.

World of Warcraft Wolfrider Statue At Child’s Play 2008 Charity Auction

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

The Child’s Play 2008 Charity Dinner Auction ticket sales will close on December 5th. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on the World of Warcraft Wolfrider bronze statue at the auction. This is the same bronze statue I saw at the Blizzard Entertainment main office’s entrance. A huge replica of this statue will be brought from Asia to be placed at the center of the Blizzard Campus.

Those smaller bronze statues are limited editions that only Blizzard employees have, so if you want a chance at bidding on this one and be helpful to the charity feel free to get your tickets while they last. Let us know your impressions of the event and share your photos. Child’s Play takes place on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30pm, on the 4th Floor of the Washington Convention Center (Skybridge). Dinner and the live auction will commence at 7:30pm.

SEATTLE – Dec. 1, 2008 – Hurry before it’s too late! Tickets are selling faster than the proverbial MMO on launch day for the 2008 Child’s Play Charity dinner auction to be held on Dec. 9 in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center’s skybridge; ticket sales will close this Friday, Dec. 5 (unless sold out prior). The event annually hosts over 400 videogame industry professionals and community members for an evening of drinks and silent bidding, followed by a plated banquet and live auction to benefit sick children in over 50 hospitals around the world. Contributions to the charity already exceed $450,000, passing the halfway mark for this year’s goal of $750,000.

Notable silent and live auction items will include:
– A microwave from Harmonix
– A Halo 3 Master Chief helmet signed by Bungie, Roosterteeth and Penny Arcade staff
– A bronze-cast World of Warcraft statue of an orc and wolf mount, given exclusively to Blizzard Entertainment employees
– A mint-condition, limited edition Black Dreamcast autographed by former Sega President Peter Moore

Dinner auction tickets may be purchased at http://www.childsplaycharity.org/cpdinner.php for $125 per person, $60 of which is tax deductible. Corporate table sponsorships (seats 10) are still available. Contact [email protected] for further information.

Breaking News: Jim Raynor and Kerrigan Auditions

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News

We have received heads up from a couple of agencies informing us that the voice acting role of Jim Raynor and Kerrigan the Queen of Blades are now up for grabs. It seems the Jim Raynor voice actor used in the Starcraft II cinematic and in the in-game single player demonstrations was a placeholder; or the creative team decided at last minute to change the actor.

Overall, this is an indication that Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is on crunch mode. Voice acting is one of the few steps of development when the single-player dialogues are set in stone. As many of us witnessed, the developers revealed they were a third done with the Single Player (at the Starcraft Panels during the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris back on June 28-29).

This was roughly five months ago. After Blizzcon, now we know that Starcraft II will be a trilogy. In short, fans could speculate they meant they were one third done with the Wings of Liberty episode.

Are we looking at an anniversary release date? (April 1); or the usual RTS release date (July 1)? We will have to wait and see.

We wish to gather feedback from the entire Starcraft Community. Do you wish Blizzard to hire the original Starcraft voice actors: Glynnis Talken (Kerrigan) and Robert Clotworthy (Jim Raynor)? Please, write up good reasons to wish these voice actors back in Starcraft II. Spread the word around your favorite forum communities.

Post your comments here. We will forward this petition to the Starcraft II team. This is your chance to get the former and loved Jim Raynor and Kerrigan voice actors back into Starcraft II!

 

BlizzCon 2008 - Diablo III Hands-On Gameplay Impressions

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Product Reviews, BlizzPlanet Articles, Diablo 3 News, Event Coverage

I am fortunate to be one of the lucky people who played the Diablo III demo showcased at Blizzcon 2008 in Anaheim. Not only was it a pleasure to play it, but left me craving for more. I decided to create a female Wizard. She spawns in the outskirts of the Tristram Woods where Captain Rumford and an armored warrior are piling up a bonfire of corpses. The warrior can be seen transporting the corpses off a wagon and into the bonfire.

Captain Rumford says they are burning the corpses to prevent them from rising as undead. NPCs that have something to say have a black oval with dots hovering above them when you place the cursor over them.  A popup window displays the “introduction” option, feature that remains a constant from Diablo II. However, not only does each NPC talk to you.  Your very own character talks back, interacting with the NPCs.  By saying talk, I mean both: the NPC and your character have voice over actors adding emotion and life to the Action / RPG.

Read below a lengthy preview on various features observed in the Diablo III hands-on demo

I started pressing keys to see what options were available.  Pressing (C) opens the Character window, Inventory (I), Quest (Q), Skill trees (S), and mini-map toogle (N), Game Menu (ESCAPE button)

CHARACTER STATS

At level 5, these were the stats I found on my Wizard character. Hope these stats offer you a better scope of how the Wizard stats and abilities work:

Melee damage: 2-8 |  Spell damage: 12-23 |  Armor: 34

  • 16 Strength – Physical damage bonus: 16%  |  Armor Bonus 26%
  • 28 Dexterity – Crit chance 7.0%  |  Dodge chance: 7.0
  • 18 Vitality – Life: 56 |  Mana Regen: 0.9 sec.
  • 94 Willpower – Spell damage bonus: 52.8%  |  Health globe bonus: 0.0%

In Diablo II, you get points after leveling to spend on these four stats. In Diablo III, thus far, these stats increase automatically. You no longer have control over where these points are spent into. At the bottom of the Character (C) window, you can find a table with two columns displaying the following data:

Physical Offense Defense
1.20 Attacks per second
70% Physical crit chance
150.0% Physical crit damage
0.0% Block amount
6.0% Block chance
34.0 Armor
2.5% Physical damage reduction

At the bottom left of the Character (C) window you will find your character resistances. These can be determined by icons:

Blue snowflake = Frost
Red Flame = Fire
Purple Thunder = Lightning
Green Skull = Poison
Yellow icon = Arcane

INVENTORY

The Inventory window shows a lot of visual information. It has a simple and intuitive UI frame with colorful gradients of orange and dark brown, and stylized symbols that highlight a gothic-like feeling. You can see your character model viewer which allows you to rotate your character. Around the viewer, you have 12 gear slots: helm, medallion, chest, sash, 2 rings, weapon, shield, boots, pants, gloves, and shoulder. Between the weapon and the shield is a strange circle. When clicking it, a new window pops forward. Based on the demo observation and loot, this window with 9 circles resembles the Glyphs window from World of Warcraft. In the case of Diablo 3, these 9 circles are reserved for Runes.  Thus far in the Blizzcon demo, only the Wizard can equip runes. (i.e. certain monsters may randomly drop a minor power rune).

Beneath the character viewer and gear slots can be seen the bag inventory—all in the same window.  There are 30 slots, but only a few are enabled. You can expand to the full 30 slots by adding bags into the bag slots.  On the bottom-right you can see four slots. There is where you drag the bags into. By dropping the bag item into that slot, you increase the amount of slots enabled.  Eventually your goal is to enable all 30 slots.  Each slot is thin and tall, and certain items can stack in the same slot. Doesn’t look like there is a special slot bar for potions, but mini-health potions have been seen, as well as elixir of dexterity and elixir of vitality which may have durations of up to 300 seconds (5 minutes).

RUNES

Not much was revealed about [WIKI]Runes[/WIKI]. [WIKI]Barbarian[/WIKI] and [WIKI]Witchdoctor[/WIKI] classes don’t have runes enabled in the Blizzcon demo, so it looks like it is something still in the works. In a press panel, [WIKI]Jay Wilson[/WIKI] revealed these runes will change the visual effects of your character and its spells/abilities. Imagine your lightning spell increasing its glow making it look more powerful and actually increasing your damage output.

MINI-MAP

You may toggle the mini-map by pressing (N).  It is more effective than the old Diablo II map overlay (tab). The mini-map is located on the upper-right corner.  It has no frame like the World of Warcraft circle framed mini-map.  It has an unframed tall rectangular area. By pressing the arrow keys you can move the mini-map in any direction. To reset simply press (N) twice, or escape.

How is this new mini-map more effective?  Diablo II’s overlay map would take the whole screen, and would interfere your line of sight affecting what you could see on-screen.  By placing the overlay map to the upper-right corner, your whole screen is visible for gameplay purposes.  Each [WIKI]NPC[/WIKI] is displayed as a tiny yellow dot. Place your mouse cursor over the yellow dots, and automatically a window pops up above the dot displaying the name of the NPC.  You can see and identify NPCs ahead of you, not yet within visual range. Update: Monsters are not displayed by the mini-map. You will still have the element of surprise. The mini-map helps you locate NPCs that might have a quest for you, or some interaction options to learn some lore.

RARE MONSTERS /  BOSS

In Diablo II, it was hard sometimes to notice a rare [WIKI]monster[/WIKI] among a bunch of mobs. Sometimes you would even get killed before noticing a rare was behind that bunch of mobs. In Diablo III, before the rare monster or boss enters into view, a name tag pops at the top-center with a health bar.  The health bar is divided into a few rectangles.  The health bar / name tag window displays the special attributes of the monster (i.e. a rare named Head of Grief had three attributes beneath its name tag: Vampiric, Froze, Fast.

QUESTS

While exploring the world, you will find NPCs with a yellow exclamation sign floating above their head.  When you accept the [WIKI]quest[/WIKI], the title and objectives are displayed onscreen at the right-center for few seconds, then fades out.  You can access the quest window by pressing (Q). It’s very similar to World of Warcraft.  After walking away from the bonefire of corpses at the Tristram Woods, you enter the Ruins of Tristram. There are a few destroyed buildings. You can see the Physix engine in action when randomly some debris of the ruins crumble down. Placing your mouse cursor over some of the door signs you will find Griswold’s Blacksmith Shop. While exploring, you find a well. It can be highlighted if you place your cursor on.  A quest starts and it is automatically displayed onscreen to the right: Little Girl Lost. Objective: Find a way to free the little girl’s spirit from the old well in Tristram.

When you stand near the well you can hear the girl’s voice over and weeping. She is trapped inside the well. Something funny … some of her quotes resemble that of the girl in the Poltergeist film.  Exploring further into the Tristram ruins you find a female ghost and listen to her voice over which is repeated over and over randomly: Where has gone my girl?  She must be so lonely.  She never goes away without her doll.  She’s lost without it!

Not far from the ghost you will find a chest on the ground. Within lies the doll. Loot it and return to the well. The quest is completed as you return the doll.  The spirit of the girl ascends from within the deep well and thank you. A reward is automatically placed in your inventory.  You will read a message onscreen saying how much XP (experience) you gained, and the name of the looted item. In my case, a Socketed Boots of Brawn (+9 armor, 1 socket, + 2 strength).

Before reaching the Cathedral of Tristram entrance, you will find [WIKI]zombies[/WIKI] kneeled on the ground as if eating from a body. Once you kill them, the body on the ground – tagged Dying Adventurer – automatically highlights a yellow exclamation sign enabling a new quest: The Return of the Skeleton King.

The voice over says something along these lines: “Please … listen to me!  The fire, somehow … it awoke him. The Skeleton King’s evil haunts the cathedral once more.”

Your character’s voice over says: “Skeleton King, huh?  Sounds interesting. Rest easy. I will show him the err of his ways.”

Enter the cathedral. Eventually you will find an NPC with a yellow sign on his head. Take the quest. Guess who the NPC is? If you have played Diablo 1 or have visited DiabloWiki.net the name Lachdanan will ring a bell. He was the loyal friend of King Leoric in Diablo 1.  Lachdanan killed King Leoric, who cursed him on his last dying breath.

SCROLLS & BOOKS

This is probably the most lovely lore source feature for players who decide to immerse themselves into the world of Sanctuary.  Let’s say you enter a dungeon, and find a pedestal. When you highlight the pedestal, by moving your mouse cursor over it and clicking it, you loot the book.  Open your Inventory (I) and click the book or scroll.  A sound clip pops up at the bottom-right of the screen. Underneath the clip are three buttons: play, stop, close. It is a voice over recording telling the story within the book.

For example, in the Cathedral of Tristram, the Journal of King Leoric tells his story during the time Diablo possessed his son Albrecht (Diablo I).

BUTTONS

The three buttons to the right of the main UI correspond to the Left Mouse button, Right Mouse button and an alternate Right button that switches those last two by pressing TAB button.

  • Click the left mouse button to move and attack enemies.
  • Click right mouse button to use the assigned skill
  • Press the alt key to show all dropped items
  • Use the 1-4 keys to activate assigned hot bar skills
  • Right-click on a hot bar, or mouse button slot to assign a new skill.
  • Press TAB or scroll the mouse wheel to swap between right mouse and alternate right mouse skills.

SKELETON KING

The Skeleton King appears at the third level of the Tristram Cathedral. Former King Leoric has a large axe. As told by Jay Wilson in the past, boss events can feel epic without the town portal escape trick or the heal potion spam mechanic. Once the Skeleton King engages in combat, dozens of zombies enter the room to attack you. The boss has an animation that alerts you when he is about to slam his long axe toward you. The idea here is to attack him a few times, and run away before he slams the axe in front of him. It can be avoided. Kill a few mobs for health orbs, and attack the Skeleton King again. Rinse and repeat. I was able to kill King Leoric without dying by doing these steps. Sadly, the Diablo III demo finished after killing this first boss, with a message from Blizzard congratulating me for killing the Skeleton King in this BlizzCon 2008 demo.

THOUGHTS

After playing the demo at Blizzcon, I can only say—hopefully not sounding heretic – that I loved Diablo III, and look forward for the announcement of the remaining two classes. No release date for Diablo III unfortunately, but personally I wish this game was on stores around October 2009. Gameplay mechanics are very similar to Diablo II,  except much better. The graphics are vibrant and colorful, without taking away the epic and dark feel of the previous games. The Physix engine honors the [WIKI]Barbarian[/WIKI] class pretty well, smashing stuff and debris in all directions.

You can click emblems on the walls, that activate a mechanism that drops a candelabrum. If timed correctly, it could smash onto a group of mobs. If you move your character quickly into the area the candelabrum drops on, your character gains daze effect for a few seconds (funny). It would be cool to interact more with objects and traps using the Physix engine to benefit you on bosses and monster encounters. For those who asked me recently if [WIKI]Stashes[/WIKI] and [WIKI]Waypoints[/WIKI] are returning in Diablo III, I asked [WIKI]Jay Wilson[/WIKI] and the answer is yes.  Waypoints however will play a different function this time around.  Upon death you respawn at the [WIKI]check point[/WIKI].  Check points I observed in the BlizzCon demo happen by the door toward the next catacomb (for example).  Some objects spawn near you at the check point. You need to equip them again.  This means no more running back to your corpse which is surrounded by 15 monsters. Diablo III is enhancing everything that was broken in Diablo II.

WotLK Beta 8982 - Lady Sylvanas & Varian Wrynn New Model … Again

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, World of Warcraft News, WoW: Wrath of the Lich King, Wrath of the Lich King Story Arcs

Blizzard is really demonstrating a lot of detail and change in Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Not only do we get inscription tradeskill, a new hero class, phasing quest system, achievements, calendars, and other bunch of features.  Blizzard is also caring for the lore aspect, and wrapping up past unfinished models.

Alexstrasza got a new model to show the difference between the dragonflight and the Dragon Aspect.  Which means Nozdormu and Ysera (which are in Northrend) are on queue for a model update. Varian Wrynn got a model update last patch, and this time it was Lady Sylvanas’ turn. She had been given a blood elf model with crazed red eyes a few patches ago. However, that was a placeholder. Now we are introduced the new Lady Sylvanas (Banshee Queen) with the true Dark Ranger model and texture.

The King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn got a second model and texture update in less than two weeks. This time Varian matches his World of Warcraft Comic book’s look. The new model even has the scar across his nose. The armor now has Lothar’s belt. The shoulders: one is in shape of an eagle, the other a lion. I am loving the new updates.

An image is worth a thousand words, and I am just … speechless, as many lore fans will. Shouts to the lore buffs over at ScrollsofLore. Watch the two short videos below.

StarCraft 2 - Jim Raynor, Blizzard and the Ugly

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News

Jim Raynor is a character from the Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War expansion who inspired many good feelings in the Single Player Campaigns. From Marshal of a backwater outpost in Mar Sara to leader of the Rebels against the Confederates, and later the Dominion and Mengsk, Jim Raynor continued his quest for a better tomorrow for humanity. No matter the odds facing him and his team. Or the challenges.

AUDIO SAMPLES

Jim meets Kerrigan

Jim Regrets

Jim Raynor, however, lost one odd that couldn’t be beaten: Blizzard. A year ago, at BlizzCon 2007, the Starcraft 2 team panels revealed that a new voice actor was given a casting to perform as Jim Raynor.  This however is not the Jim Raynor’s voice that we know and love for the past ten years. No. The reasoning behind this change was that the original concept of Jim Raynor was designed from a TV series titled Texas Ranger. With Starcraft 2, the opportunity to hire someone meeting this and other requirements presented itself.

Is this what fans want? I really doubt that. Would you enjoy upcoming Harry Potter films without Daniel Radcliffe? Would you enjoy the X-files without Scully and Mulder? Would you enjoy The Simpsons if Homer and Bart’s voice actors were replaced? In the case of the original Starcraft, the voice of an actor is what gives texture and life to a character. We have heard Jim Raynor’s voice in the single player, and the User-Map Settings games over and over for ten years. We aren’t tired of his voice. We listen to his voice, and we know immediately, that’s Jim Raynor. That’s the man who has gone through bitter and krap, and continues his fight with no rest. Like a man in real life should. Jim Raynor and his voice have become as iconic and symbolic as any other character’s of any TV show, Comic Book, Cartoon, or film franchise.

A change of a character’s voice or in the case of TV series or films, the actor, can be justified if the original actor has passed away.  The show must go on. However, when the actor is willing to continue his role from the bottom of his heart, and the administration decides to change the actor to stick to the original plan for a character … something is really, really bad. It is not a smart decision to tick off the fanbase. The voice actor was hired for the roll in Starcraft, and its expansion pack. Starcraft 2 should have the same voice actor performing Jim Raynor as we know and love.

Glynnis Talken reprised her role as Sarah Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in Starcraft 2. The same should have been done with Robert Clotworthy for his role as Jim Raynor. I will play Starcraft 2 regardless with the new voice actor.  But there will be a stake buried deep in my mind permanently … that is no longer Jim Raynor. That’s someone else. Every time I play the Starcraft 2 Single Player campaign … it will echo within my mind: “That is not the Jim Raynor I have known for ten years.”

Robert Clotworthy informed Blizzplanet the following:

I just found out today that I will not be returning as the voice of Jim Raynor.  The casting director of Starcraft 2 contacted Blizzard and was told that they appreciated my work, but were going in another direction.  I am obviously disappointed by their decision.  I was looking forward to returning as Raynor and was hoping that Blizzard would at the very least have given me the opportunity of auditioning. 

It has been my privilege to have been the voice of Jim Raynor.  I am disappointed by Blizzard’s decision, but I must respect it.  I wish Blizzard only the best with StarCraft 2, and I am certain the game will live up to everyone’s expectations.  Thank you to all the fans who have given me their support and enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.

Robert Clotworthy”

A year ago, Blizzplanet interviewed Robert Clotworthy shortly after Starcraft 2 was officially announced at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in South Korea. He expressed his feelings toward his role as Jim Raynor.

Robert Clotworthy has been actor or voice over actor of over a hundred film, TV episode, cartoon and game projects in the past thirty years of his career. Among them: Batman (Game), Tekken 5, Everquest II, The Young and the Restless, The Davinci Code (Game), Matlock, Melrose Place, Remington Steele, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Rockford Files (1978), Columbo, M*A*S*H* and many others. Read his entire career background at imdb.com.

Avatar of Freya the Lifewarden Guide - Sholazar Basin

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, World of Warcraft News

I posted a walkthrough guide of the awesome quest chain from Avatar of Freya, daughter of the Titans who may be found near the Lost Land in Sholazar Basin.  It is a lengthy quest series, but the blue loot reward might be worthwhile for tanks and retribution paladins. It is the most epic solo quest in World of Warcraft to be honest. You control a flipping Stonewatcher of Norgannon to siege the Undead Scourge at the Avalanche area on the northeast corner of Sholazar Basin. You need to kill 200 Scourge Minions and three elite bosses with interesting abilities.

Transcript and four videos coming. Two already up.

Richard A. Knaak Interview at WoWPodcast

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, World of Warcraft News

A few days ago, Richard A. Knaak had given me a heads up about a podcast interview he had with Jonathan Lonczak from WoWPodcast (BrokenEggsMedia.com).  The podcast will be available today Sunday in the evening. Jonathan sent me a few highlights for you to get a feeling. Oh, a new novel … World of Warcraft: Stormrage.

What got Richard Knaak into Blizzard?

They approached him because of his Dragonlance books. Some of the heads of Blizzard had grown up on his Dragonlance works and asked him to write for both Warcraft and Diablo. This allowed Richard to write for both of the kinds of fantasy that he liked, Lord of the Rings type fantasy and dark fantasy.

How much did he play the Warcraft games?
Richard played Warcraft II Battlenet Edition quite a bit. Played World of Warcraft a little bit, but used a lot of background material and screen shots for inspiration. Blizzard has lore keepers who are able to provide him with facts.  This also ensures that all of the information that is produced for the Warcraft franchise by writers is consistent.

Did he picture himself as Rhonin or Krasus?
Krasus and Rhonin are especially a part of Richard. He puts a lot of himself into all of his characters, but especially with them. It was difficult to orchestrate them into the story and to have them change parts of the history while maintaining the integrity of Blizzard’s original story.

How did he come up with the character traits of main characters?
Some of it came from the depth of the world itself, and the writing of the original story in game. Azshara’s vanity is a direct result of the way she is worshipped by her people, so it makes logical sense that this would bring about her downfall. Illidan’s lust for power acts in the same way leading to his downfall and internal conflict between good and evil.  Many of the character traits in the major characters are able to be derived by their actions in previous circumstances.

How did he come up with all the war tactics that are used in the War of the Ancients Archives?
He figured out what needed to be moved about in each battle. That determined how to bring characters to their next phase. He has a love for history and does a lot of reading about the civil war and major military conflicts. He then uses what he learned from military history and military war games into the Warcraft universe.

If he had to play any class in the game what would it be?
He likes Mages, Paladins, and Warlocks. His favorite races are Human, Tauren, and Night Elves.

Current Productions:
He has written the first story in the first Starcraft anthology. It is a moral story and is a bit longer than some of his other works. This will be released in August.

Working on “Dragons of Outlands” which will go into more detail about the outlands, but not allowed to say much more.

Working on “Night of the Dragon” this is the sequel to “Day of the Dragon” and will have returning and new characters . The book will also contain some Draenei and will be the hardest thing that Krasus has had to go through yet.

He will be working on a new Diablo novel which he can say nothing else about.
He will also be working on another new Warcraft novel “Stormrage”. Which he can also tell us nothing more about.

There are many more interesting questions and answers during the interview, to hear more please visit http://www.wowpodcast.com and listen to our streaming feed, or download the content to listen to on your portable player.

GCD 2008 Paris - Rob Pardo Says World of Warcraft Planned Free-Gameplay Originally

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Games News, Rob Pardo, World of Warcraft News

Rob Pardo presented a keynote today at the Paris Game Developers Conference.  The full Pardo conversation at GDC Paris is now available on Gamasutra, including the Blizzard exec thoughts on a whole host of major issues, from user-generated content through the Activision/Vivendi merger and beyond.

He elaborated: “If you make it subscription here, and free to play in Korea, that doesn’t work, because it’s a global community, and the other regions wouldn’t like it, because everyone knows what everyone’s doing. And the game design might not support it.”

Interestingly, Pardo commented on this subject: “When were first going to make World of Warcraft, we wanted to make it free and advertising supported.”

However, the Blizzard exec noted: “We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.”

PC Gamer Hints Diablo 3 on August 2008 Edition?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Diablo 3 News

UPDATE (5-22 5pm EST): Voodoo Extreme had word from PCGamer the August 2008 Edition’s mysterious exclusive is not about any Blizzard Game. I also got a email from PCGamer denying and clarifying it is not about a Blizzard game.—via Shacknews

Blizzplanet contacted PC Gamer the same day the rumor started circulating our sister forum, and got reply today afternoon: “Sorry to get your hopes up, but we can officially deny that Diablo is on our cover next month. We’re announcing something big and exciting and exclusive (actually, there are two big exciting exclusive announcements in this issue!), and we had to go a long way to get it, but it’s not from Blizzard.” said Dan Stapleton (PC Gamer Magazine, Senior Associate Editor).

Regardless, hope still remains that the favorite and craved RPG game of all-times gets announced on 2008. It is amazing how fans continue awaiting year after year the announcement of a new sequel seven years later. This rumor in particular caught momentum, because there were signs there pointing toward a Diablo exclusive. Signs you will read below in the original story. That doesn’t mean still a Diablo game won’t be announced at WWI, nor whether PCGamer has the exclusive on the July edition.  We will have to wait 36 days until the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris starts to find out.

Original Story (5-20): Another fan-fueled Diablo Rumor Mill has propelled out in full swing after PC Gamer’s July edition wrapped up with the following text:

NEXT MONTH
Have you ever had a secret that you’re just dying to blurt out, but you can’t for another month, and the stress of holding it in makes you want to do the pee-pee dance? That’s what the PC Gamer staff is doing right now, because the August issue will be chock-full of exclusives, including a top-secret cover story so huge we had to go to [CENSORED] to get it. Just 30 days more …”

Here are a few thoughts to ponder on this brainstorming puzzle PC Gamer unleashed:

– PC Gamer was probably among the Gaming press Magazines who visited Blizzard Entertainment early on May, a few weeks ago.

– If you remember, PC Gamer knew about the Starcraft II announcement last May 2007. Blizzard Entertainment made the announcement at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) at Seoul, South Korea.

– PC Gamer can’t talk about it for the next 30 days … the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals at Paris, France takes place on June 28-29.

– June 29 is the date Diablo II shipped on USA (2000) and the same date the expansion Lord of Destruction shipped on Europe a year later (2001).

– Notice how PC Gamer replaces a swearing with [CENSORED]?  Could this be a clue as to what the game they refer to is?  Because CENSORED really sounds like HELL … as in … Diablo?

UPDATE (5-21): Shacknews got response from Blizzard Entertainment.

UPDATE (5-22 6am EST): I just approached one of my friendly journalist collegue contacts: Leord, from WorldofWar.net,  to ask if PCGamer journalists were seen at the Blizzard headquarters early May 2008.  The answer was: Twice. Cheers.

UPDATE (5-22 10am): Jeff Green is a well-recognized PC gaming editor-in-chief and journalist at 1UP.com—Jeff Green’s reaction to the PCGamer Mysterious Exclusive:

As a former magazine editor, I’d say Diablo 3 makes sense. That’s my guess. Blizzard has the big Paris event coming up with a big game announcement. We’ve already been assuming over here that PCG would have the cover for this—-because, well, who else would at this point? So I was waiting to see a Coming Next Month from them written exactly like this. Gotta be D3.”—Source: Neogaf Forums

Share your thoughts at the Diablofans.com Forums. (former Diablo3.com)

Thanks, dunhac82 and Super.Fresh

Starcraft Ghost: Nova Pocket Book Sequel

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Starcraft: Ghost News

Keith R.A. DeCandido gave me a heads up of some details of his upcoming Starcraft Ghost: Nova sequel which he posted in his blog.  The pocket book sequel will tie-in with the Starcraft II plot introducing a backstory of the Spectre ghosts unit. The novel will have elements from the postponed FPS console game, the way the canned Warcraft Adventures was novelized. The pocket book title is Starcraft Ghost: Spectres.

Keith: “It’s pretty much official at this point, since Pocket’s made an offer to my agent that I’ve accepted, and Blizzard likes 90% of the outline: barring a major disaster, I will be writing a sequel to my StarCraft: Ghost novel Nova. Tentatively pencilled in to be published in the summer of 2009 (though it isn’t formally scheduled yet, so that could very easily change), the novel will be called Spectres, and will pick up where Nova left off.

(I really hope it is published in summer 2009, as that’s when the Ghost Academy manga is scheduled to debut also….)

In some ways, this will be a novelization of StarCraft: Ghost, the game-that-never-was. Nova was written to be a prequel to the game, and the plot of Spectres will include many elements of what was to be in the game. Having said that, don’t read this novel expecting to see exactly what the game would’ve been like. The game plot is, at best, a loose basis for the novel. We went for what worked best for the overall storyline in general and for this novel in particular, rather than fidelity to a game that will probably never see the light of day.

It will also tie into both Ghost Academy (which will take place alongside Chapters 18-19 of Nova) and to the forthcoming StarCraft II game. Nova will be in both, obviously, and another character in both the manga and the novel is a major player in the upcoming game. Oh, and Agent Malcolm Kelerchian will be returning in Spectres as well.

EPIC Weapon’s Frostmourne Replica Auction Closure

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, Warcraft 3 News, World of Warcraft News

A couple of nights ago, the Frostmourne Replica Auction run by Weapon Masters was closed, and you won’t believe how high the bids went.  Holy macaroonie!

Highest Bid:  $20700.00
Registered Users: 1012

The winner of the auction was Xeophonix from Italy.

A strong message to those who didn’t think this sword replica would be appealing to hardcore World of Warcraft fans, indeed. Well, at least hardcore players who have a 6-digit salary. After all there are Hollywood celebrities and professionals who play this game and have the strong cash to spend on their favorite fantasy setting.

Among known celebrities playing World of Warcraft are Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TheGuild Webisode), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Dave Chapelle (Comedy Central), and many others.

Keep an eye on Blizzplanet’s interview with EPIC Weapons in upcoming days.

Below is the list of the 99-bidders that clashed to be the royal owner of the
Frostmourne Replica # 1.  All the 99 participants automatically became members of the Arthas’s Army of Disciples Club. Below is a list of the auction winners. The image to the right will take you to the Frostmourne gallery.

Post a comment at the official Wow Forums.

World of Warcraft# 8 - OFFICIAL King of Stormwind

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

If you haven’t put your paws on the World of Warcraft Comic Book published by DC Comics and Wildstorm you have been missing a lot.  No pun intended.  Remember the Missing Diplomat questline?  It revealed that the missing diplomat was really the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn.  After patch 1.9 the King was removed from Alcaz Island.  And Patch 2.3 introduced new Missing Diplomat quests where a special cargo had been lost during a Defias Shipwreck at the coasts of Dustwallow Marsh.  The special cargo was a human.  The name of the human was never told, but … ta-da! … World of Warcraft the comic book issue# 1 was launched a week or two after the patch 2.3 introduced these new quests, and the comic book showed an amnesic human unconscious at the shores of Durotar, apparently surviving a shipwreck.

For months fans have speculated … nay … been certain this was the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. Today it is OFFICIAL!  Issue# 8 starts the second story arc of this comic book series.

With this revelation, speculations may start abound on what Blizzard Entertainment’s plans are for Varian Wrynn in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion and the Warcraft Film by Legendary Pictures.  Is the mysterious Human (Anti-Thrall) Hero of the Warcraft Film … Varian Wrynn? Will the Varian Wrynn NPC be relocated to Stormwind? What will happen to Lady Prestor and all those quests?  Will Fordragon be moved to Northrend as a leading hero of the Northrend incursion against the Lich King? Will there be new quests in Wrath of the Lich King as a follow up to the Missing Diplomat quests? Will the Comic Book finally reveal the fate and whereabouts of Varian’s wife? You gotta have to hook up and keep track of the comic book’s upcoming issues as Varian continues his journey through Wetlands toward Stormwind in search of the family he saw in his memory flashback.

If anything the story of World of Warcraft the comic book is going to become very interesting post issue# 8 as he makes his way slowly toward Stormwind.

DESCRIPTION

“The Return” begins a new story arc set in the WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Upon learning he is in fact the missing king of Stormwind, Lo’Gosh returns to reclaim his throne with his comrades-in-arms Valeera, and Broll. But all is not as it seems in the eastern kingdom, especially if one informed dwarf has anything to say about it. Enter Thargas Anvilmar!

Written by Walter Simonson; Art by Jon Landry and Jerome K. Moore; Covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi
Wildstorm |  32pg.  |  Color |  $2.99 US

On Sale June 18, 2008

  • Check out our World of Warcraft Comic Book section here
  • If you have missed the first story arc’s back issues, don’t sweat. DC Comics is releasing the
    World of Warcraft Vol. 1 compiling all 7-issues of the first story arc. Pre-order it here.
  • Read our recent interview with Ludo Lullabi (DC Comics Wildstorm – WoW Comic Artist)

with 4-exclusive-preview-images from issue# 6.

Starcraft 2 - Zerg Unveiled

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News

March 10th 9:40am – It is said from South Korea that Starcraft2.com (US) will unveil the Zerg webpage on March 11th.

March 10th 12:20am – High Resolution Images by Thisisgame.com

Everyone is screaming while held tight on their seats in an euphoric ecstasis. However, one thing seems certain … with the Zerg race officially unveiled, this means only one thing: Starcraft 2 Beta Test might happen any time between April-June.  The 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Paris, France) will happen on June. Here hoping Beta is soon.

Update: March 9th 11:15pm – New Starcraft II Cinematic Video from GameTrailers. Transcript by Edfishy.

We are Swarm.
We burned a path of annihilation across the stars.
And then—We vanished.
Four years ago we faded into the shadows.
We thrived.
We, evolved.
Now, the time has come for us to step back … into … the light.
Now, worlds will tremble once again.
Empires will fall.
Alliances(?) will shatter.
We are the swarm.
But we are becoming … much… much more.
For the final metamorphasis has only just begun.

UPDATE: March 9th 10:22pm EST – SCLegacy is getting hammered.  And I am getting multiple people whispering me findings on the net. This is crazy. Edfishy from Project Revolution Team just gave me a heads up of some Korean forums linking these images.

From GameFAQ, YYZ reports the following:

Overseer
– Upgrades from the Overlord and now has an attack. The Overlord doesn’t have detection.  You must upgrade to Overseer in order to gain detection of burrowed and invisible enemy units. However, the detection range has been increased.

Queen
– The queen is a vastly different unit. She has the powerful ability to control Zerg base defense. The queen can create special structures and extend creep. It has the ability to create toxic creep. And it can make buildings regenerate faster. You can only create one Queen at a time on the map. It has an ability named Deep Tunnel which allows it to move to any hatchery spread on the map.

Roach
– The roach is a very fast moving unit with 90 hit points that recovers health quickly. Requires sustained damage to effectively kill it.

Infestor
– The infestor replaces the defiler. It can cast dark swarm. It may move toward the enemy while burrowed. Disease seems to mimic the Science Vessel’s irradiation. The Infestor can infest any building including barracks.

Corrupter
– The corruptor attacks air units. Instead of destroying them, it “corrupts” them possessing the enemy unit. It can cause a large group of units to fight each other, quickly turning the tide of the battle.

Swarm Guardian
– The swarm guardian is much like the original guardian, but it can now also create broodlings and has a longer range of attack.

Ultralisk
– The Ultralisk can now burrow.

More info translated to english at TeamLiquid.  (Thanks, Entropy).

Legendary Pictures - World of Warcraft Film Blizzcon video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, World of Warcraft Film, World of Warcraft News

WCRadio put up the video of the Legendary Pictures Panel held at Blizzcon 2007, where Chris Metzen, Paul Sams and Thomas Tull (Legendary Pictures Chairman) discussed details of the Film with fans. The video lasts 43 minutes, and it is very amusing, humorous and informative.  At the end you will see a concept art that shows Teldrassil.  If that is a hint of things to see, we will probably see Darnassus city and of course Tyrande Whisperwind.

It will be a live action film portraying a war conflict between the Alliance and the Horde.  The timeframe is set to a year before the events of the MMORPG.  The main character will be a new heroe described to be kick-ass Human.  Most of the story is told from the point of view of the Alliance, but there will be Horde elements with Thrall making it to the big screen. Thomas Tull hinted they want to make the first film a masterpiece that will make fans be excited of seeing what we we see everyday in the MMO come to live—and by saying “first film” basically let the cat out that they envision more films based on World of Warcraft.

Glynnis Returns as Sarah Kerrigan

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News

I have been in contact with Glynnis in the past months, and as reported recently, she went to the San Diego Comic Con to meet the Blizzard folks there.  She had been spearheading her way to get back her role in the past months.  Glynnis barely commented on the subject, but finally confirmed her participation in Starcraft II in her August newsletter released today.  I do not know how this affect our upcoming interview, or if she will be able to discuss certain details.

World of Warcraft Comic Book# 1 - DC Comics Press Release

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

New York, NY—DC Comics, the world’s largest English language comic book publisher and home to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman announced plans today to publish a new comic book series based on World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment’s popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Preview art from the series will debut at Comic-Con International, held in San Diego, CA from July 26-29. The World of Warcraft comic book will be published through DC / WildStorm imprint and debut this fall.

The ongoing monthly series will be written by industry veteran Walter Simonson (Thor, Orion) and feature art by Ludo Lullabi and inker Sandra Hope. The first six issues of the World of Warcraft comic series will each feature two covers, one by superstar comic book artist Jim Lee and a second by Blizzard Entertainment Senior Art Director Samwise Didier.

Wow Comic Book
Follow-up
Wow Comic Press Release 7-23
Wow Comic Official – DC Comics Pre-Orders Open! 7-21
Jim Lee @ BlizzCon – Official 7-20
Scans of Wow Comic Sampler# 0 Cover 7-19
Wow Comic @ San Diego Comic Con? 7-13

The Warcraft

Wow Comic Book Update - Jim Lee @ BlizzCon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

Wow Comic Book
Follow-up
Wow Comic Press Release 7-23
Wow Comic Official – DC Comics Pre-Orders Open! 7-21
Jim Lee @ BlizzCon – Official 7-20
Scans of Wow Comic Sampler# 0 Cover 7-19
Wow Comic @ San Diego Comic Con? 7-13

Short and straight to the liver. Jim Lee will make a public appearance at BlizzCon 2007 on Friday, August 3rd at the Anaheim Convention Center.

It was revealed some time ago, however, that DC Direct had acquired a license for World of Warcraft action figures.  This could be a reason for Jim Lee to be at San Diego Comic Con and BlizzCon.  The only possible evidence is the comic book sampler scanned image allegedly seen at a Local Comic Store by two comic fans.

No confirmation or debunk on the unconfirmed World of Warcraft Comic Book by Wildstorm / DC Comics at this point.  It will remain a rumor until San Diego Comic Con, or until Blizzard, DC Comics or Wildstorm issue an official press release.  Stay tuned.

Recent details here

Wow Comic Book - Wildstorm / DC Comics

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

Few days ago I reported sighting of a suspicious entry at the San Diego Comic Con 2007 schedule, which listed Jim Lee, Chris Metzen and Mickey Nielson for Friday, July 27 from 3:30-4:30pm.  What can a veteran comic book artist and a Warcraft lore (Creative Director) have in common at such event?

To those who do not know Jim Lee, he is the famous artist of X-Men# 1 (second series, 1991), issue that sold over 8 million copies. He created the concepts of the X-men uniforms at the time of launch: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Psylocke, Storm. On 1992, Jim Lee co-founded Image Comics – later named Wildstorm Productions.  Among his credits are WildC.A.T.s., Cliffhanger, Gen13, DV8, Stormwatch, Deathblow, The Authority, Planetary, and Divine Right.

Wow Comic Book
Follow-up
Wow Comic Press Release 7-23
Wow Comic Official – DC Comics Pre-Orders Open! 7-21
Jim Lee @ BlizzCon – Official 7-20
Scans of Wow Comic Sampler# 0 Cover 7-19
Wow Comic @ San Diego Comic Con? 7-13

In 1996, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld returned to Marvel Comics to reboot Iron Man and the Fantastic Four titles back at issue# 1 with Heroes Reborn, after the Onslaught: Universe / Onslaught: X-Men storyline. The success of Heroes Reborn basically saved Marvel Comics from bankruptcy. Nowadays Jim Lee is working with DC Comics on a Batman title and on a rumored DC MMO.  Seeing this artist sharing schedule with Chris Metzen caught my attention.

Is Wildstorm / DC Comics licensing and planning the launch of a World of Warcraft comic book?  At the time of this posting some of my emails to various key people haven’t been replied back.  However, deep-searching online for some hours brought up a curious forum thread by thefreakytiki at the thecomicforums.com.  He mentioned to have sighted a free comic sampler at his local comic book store.  According to thefreakytiki, the credits for the free sampler goes like this: Jim Lee (Cover Artist), Ludo Lullabi (penciler), Walter Simonson (Writer). Some Marvel Comic fans will remember Simonson from Thor title. Thanks to this I was able to search more thoroughfully online and found a scan at ComicPriceGuide.com – click the image.

All we need now is an official confirmation from Blizzard or to wait for details from San Diego Comic Con.

UPDATE 7-20-07: Official. Jim Lee will make a public appearance at BlizzCon 2007 at Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, August 3.  Nuff’ said.

UPDATE 7-20-07: Scans of the inner pages of the free comic book sampler reveal a short interview with Walter Simonson (writer) and Ludo Lullabi (artist).  It is official.  World of Warcraft# 1 to be released on November 2007.  Image scans at the bottom.  Contact your local comics store 1-888-COMIC BOOK.

Thanks, Dassaace for the scans

World of Warcraft Comic Book @ San Diego Comic Con?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

The schedule for San Diego Comic Con 2007 has been released, and by the looks of it there will be a World of Warcraft comic book to be shown there.  This is mere interpretation. So I will tag this as rumor until we get a clarification.  Don’t hold your breath however.  I have known for over a month that Sideshow Collectibles will unveil a secret World of Warcraft Collectible statue at San Diego Comic Con.  This schedule might be just saying different companies will showcase different and unrelated products separately. Personally, I am a comic book junkie with over 1,500 Xmen issues.  I would love to see a World of Warcraft or Starcraft comic book. If you go to San Diego Comic Con send us images and tell us what you saw there from Blizzard.  Contact me here. This is what will happen on Friday, July 27.

Wow Comic Book
Follow-up
Wow Comic Press Release 7-23
Wow Comic Official – DC Comics Pre-Orders Open! 7-21
Jim Lee @ BlizzCon – Official 7-20
Scans of Wow Comic Sampler# 0 Cover 7-19
Wow Comic @ San Diego Comic Con? 7-13

3:30-4:30pm PDT—WOW! It’s World of Warcraft!—Are you ready? Comics, collectibles, and online gaming are about to collide! How does the world’s most popular online game, World of Warcraft, plan to crash the comics and collectibles world? Find out here! As a special incentive, a collectible comic will be distributed to fans at the panel. Join Jim Lee (editorial director, WildStorm), Chris Metzen (VP of creative development, Blizzard), Mickey Neilson (writer/voice director, Blizzard), Hank Kanalz (VP/general manager, WildStorm), and Georg Brewer (VP, design and DC Direct creative) to discover the results of these combined forces! Room 4

Wow: Tides of Darkness Plot Confirmed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, World of Warcraft News

On our follow up to plan a Public Q&A with Aaron Rosenberg, he confirmed the new novel is a novelization of the RTS Game: Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness.

The book front cover was painted by Blizzard Entertainment’s artist: Glenn Rane.  The same artist who painted the front cover of Cycle of Hatred, Rise of the Horde, Ahn”Qiraj 1.9 Release among others. You can see his work on the Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition: The art of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Book.

Khadgar features heavily in the story, Lothar, Orgrimm Doomhammer, and Gul’dan. Teron Gorefiend makes a brief appearance in the novel. And many more. Make sure to come to the Public Q&A to ask Aaron Rosenberg anything you wish to know about this new book.  Chris Metzen is working closely with the author, and wishes fans to read the story of Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness. Do we dare to ask if Beyond the Dark Portal novel is planned after the novel?  You gotta find out, loyal Warcraft Lore fan!

The Public Q&A will take place:

Sunday, February 18th
9pm EST (New York time)

Server: irc.gamesurge.net
Channel: #blizzplanet

Read the recent Novel Announcement if you missed it.
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Starcraft 2 on the Horizon?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, StarCraft 2 News, Starcraft News

Dustin Browder, game design director for EA’s Battle for Middle-earth announced his leave in a few days from EA, and his new position as a Blizzard Employee to be effective on March 14th.  Browder will be under the direct work with Rob Pardo on an unveiled game.  Browder doesn’t know at this point what game he will be working on, but his great expertise in RTS games, rises few eyebrows in the community.  Speculations are starting to arise since the only RTS people can think of is Starcraft 2 or Warcraft IV—which is unlikely.  Another speculation heard from fans in many forums is that Blizzard could get Diablo series into an RTS.  Browder will be a Senior Designer in Irvine, not in San Francisco.

Blizzard North was known to be working on 2 games until the executives resigned back in June 31, 2003 and later the new vice-president announced that one of the games were shelved after 30 employees resigned a month later.  Most of the remaining team was merged with the second game project which is kept in secrecy.  Although seeing a Diablo RTS is improbable, we have also to consider that Starcraft—a traditional RTS is now being developed as a Console Shooter gamer and Warcraft RTS game is now a MMORPG—terrain that Blizzard is stepping into for first time.  Therefore, with Blizzard you can never know.  They are innovative and have no fear to explore new grounds.  We will find out soon enough.  Dustin Browder was credited for:

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth (2004)
  • Command & Conquer: Generals (2003)
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour (2003)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars (2001)
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (2000)
  • Battlezone (1998)
  • Vigilante 8 (1998)
  • Heavy Gear (1997)
  • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries (1996)
  • MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear’s Legacy (1995)

Read the full article at Gamespy.  We submitted this news to SCLegacy as we consider this is a big news of interest to the Starcraft fans.  We will try to dig more details after Browder starts his duties at Blizzard.  Stay tuned!