It has a 50mm speaker unit surrounded by leather, with XL-sized ear cups which cancel out noise. I have a hard time listening to people talking to me while playing video games because the ear cup does an amazing job at what it was designed to do — giving you that much of an immersion into the video games music, special effects and ambient sounds.
I play Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo III beta, Crysis, and other video games with the Diablo III Headset.
I feel this SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset gives me an extra edge while playing FPS games. The sound is so amazingly crisp and clear, I can hear people walking nearby — allowing me to prepare an ambush. I can more or less determine where other players are by listening the direction in which their shooting sounds come from.
Without the headset I can’t hear nearby movement nor determine the direction where people is shooting from as I do while using the Diablo III headset.
For those using FRAPS, you can record videos using FRAPS while the Diablo III Headset is plugged into the computer, and the sounds can be heard in the uploaded videos.
Ever spent $2.99 for a cheapo noname-brand headset from those 99-cents Stores? (guilty)
Ever got one of those $19.99+ Logitech headphones? (guilty)
How long have those lasted? A few months. Let me tell you what’s likely what caused 98% of your headphone’s malfunction. It’s the poor cabling protection.
The cabling is usually thin. As you handle it back and forth the cable bends, and the connection is lost between the jack and the ear cup receiver.
The Diablo III Headset (Siberia v2 D3H) is a diamond for anyone who wants the best sound quality, but the most important thing about this headset is its lifetime.
Cheap headsets usually malfunction within a few months. The secret of the Diablo III Headset (Siberia v2 D3H) is that it shares the same cable material as the Diablo III Mouse. The double-braided nylon cord prevents the internal cable from bending — the natural cause of the death of most other headsets.
The USB jack connector is gold-plated. The only benefits for gold-plated USB connectors is a better contact and that they do not oxidize or corrode, which of course extends the lifetime of the product another notch.
There’s a small box in the cabling that allows the user to adjust the volume of the headset’s sound, and it also has a slide-button to enable or mute the microphone.
The noise cancelling pull-out microphone is located on the left ear cup. You can pull out to use it, or hide it back in when not using it. Ideal for Skype and in-game chat via ventrilo.
Another wonderful feature of this Diablo III Gaming Headset is the length of the cable. The headset has a 1 meter (3 feet) cable, but a 2-meter (6.5 feet) extension cable comes along in the box to attach the headset’s USB connection. In total, you have a cable length of 3 meters (9.5 feet).
I am able to walk around the room to the small refrigerator and back without removing the headset. If you are listening to music, that’s great to be able to multi-task away from the computer.
The Diablo III-themed illumination around the back of the ear cups can be programmable.
The illumination intensity has the off, low, medium and high options.
Pulsation can be customized to steady, slow, medium, fast or trigger.
It’s Diablo-III themed, thus the illumination only has a solid red as a color option. No biggies.
The SteelSeries Engine driver icon sits accessible at all times in the bottom-right of the Windows Vista/7 quick launcher area. Drivers can be found at Steelseries.com/support/downloads
The Diablo III Headset software has an equalizer UI to change the intensity and depth of the sounds. You can create profiles for each game, and assign a specific profile to be triggered by the launch of a game/exe by browsing the game location in your computer.
The box has the golden Diablo III logo with a runic-like-embossed texture. The Blizzard logo and SteelSeries logo. Headset specifications and description.
The box is made of strong cardboard, and it’s designed to be opened easily.
The front of the box can actually be opened like a book. The frontal flap is kept closed with a tiny magnet hidden somewhere within the cardboard.
In the interior you can see Tyrael and Imperious artwork, as seen in the Diablo III: Book of Cain.
The text is localized in english, french, german and spanish:
“And the Heavens shall tremble. Enhance your senses and prepare to safeguard the mortal realm from the rising powers of the Burning Hells. Hear the world of Sanctuary the way it was intended.
Co-designed with Blizzard Entertainment, the official Diablo III Headset brings players an immersive audio experience through its optimized soundscape, clear microphone communication and an illuminated, Diablo III-themed design. hear your fate. Prepare for victory.”
Plug-and-Play: In-line controls with USB connection.
Long Lasting Comfort: Lightweight suspension design
I only have one cons. Just one. I am not able to record sound in the Windows Moview Maker’s Narration timeline while the Diablo III Headset is plugged into the USB, and it is not even displayed in the sound source options. I can only see my internal sound card.
Not a big deal if you aren’t into video making. All you need to do is remove the Diablo III headset.
I’m waiting for the price to go down to get a second headset for two family members who would no doubt love this as a gift.
You really need to get the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset. Best sound quality, best cabling material, great length allows you to walk around the room. Microphone, mic mute and sound adjustment buttons. Long lifetime. Diablo III-themed equalizer UI (via SteelSeries Engine) and product design. It’s awesome. Go. Get. It.
Note: Blizzplanet is giving away one Diablo III Gaming Headset. Check out our Diablo Dialogue web show hosted by The Bearded Gamer to learn how to participate to win one.
The artwork by Livio Ramondelli is awesome, and well-complemented by the coloring and special effects. You don’t see this level of visual F/X in comics very often consecutively from panel to panel in merely 8-pages. It’s pure raw action.
Letters by Robbie Robbins add an extra depth to the story using noise F/X such as CHA-KOOOOM, KRAAK, CHAMMK, BWAM and others with special fonts.
Transformers: Autocracy # 3 quickly puts the 12-part series into high-speed heartbeat-rate.
In this issue, everyone gets their answer about StarScream’s massacre in Megatron: Origin. There were no survivors to relay who perpetrated the assassination of the Senate of Kaon — as you can read in this image.
In the previous issue, Zeta Prime ordered his best officer Orion Pax (later to be known as Optimus Prime) to capture the Decepticon spy Soundwave.
Orion Pax and his autobots team are now hunting down the spy to prevent critical classified info from falling into the hands of the Decepticons.
The aerial defences of Iacon won’t allow an emergency evac, thus Soundwave has no other option than to run for it toward the Kaon border — identified as a Decepticon-controlled territory in continuum consistency with the events of Megatron: Origins.
As Metzen said in the Autocracy # 3 video teaser, you will see Soundwave making use of its cassette minions in a surgical way to make his escape. He uses all of them, thwarting the Autobots hunt. Soundwave is definitely one of the more interesting Decepticons. Flint Dille and Chris Metzen make him shine in this story.
Something curious about the citizens of Iacon is how much they fear Zeta Prime’s forces: the Autobots. Something you should put attention to. The citizens fear the Autobots as much as they do the Decepticons.
The only autobot remaining in the hunt is Orion Pax, and you know what that means. “Crack!!!”, It’s Clobbering Time!!!
The end of this issue just makes you wish you could read Autocracy # 4 already, craving for more.
I don’t know if Livio Ramondelli created this front cover artwork with this in mind, but the metaphorical vibes of this image are mind-boggling. That’s a close up on Soundwave with Orion Pax (Optimus Prime)’s reflection in the middle of Soundwave’s chest. See the decepticon insignia on Orion Pax?
Throughout the story, you will see Orion Pax and the Autobots feared as much by the citizens as they fear the Decepticons. Zeta Prime has reached a point where he will rather massacre an entire district than to let the Decepticons continue their hit-and-run terrorist tactics. Zeta Prime is like Machiavelli: The end result justifies the means.
This is definitely not the heroe Optimus Prime we know and love. This was a time of desperate conflict. Orion Pax had been deactivated prior to all this, and reactivated by Zeta Prime to be his best officer. There is a hollowness within Orion Pax, and his loyalty to the law enforcement clouded his vision to see the truth.
In issue # 2, readers can find out what Zeta Prime’s plans are. It’s genocide. Not only the Decepticons, but the innocent citizens who will serve as fuel to the Vamparc Ribbon weapon wielded by the Omega Destructors. As Metzen implied, Autocracy # 3 starts to pave the ground to the truth. Orion Pax was not in the Senate room to hear Zeta Prime’s speech. He was ordered to hunt Soundwave who managed to infiltrate the Iacon Citadel and fled with the recording of Zeta Prime’s plans.
What will happen if Orion Pax sees the video footage? Will he side with the Decepticons? Will he turn against Zeta Prime? This front cover has an interesting vibe.
You can read Transformers: Autocracy # 3 for only $.99 cents in your iPhone, iPad, or at Comixology (PC,Mac,Android).
Check out our interview with Chris Metzen concerning Autocracy # 3.
Autocracy # 3 Teaser Video
A few hours before Autocracy # 3 went on sale, Chris Metzen and Flint Dille posted a video in YouTube to tease the release of this issue. Check it out!
Last summer, during the BotCon 2011 celebrated in Pasadena, CA through June 2-5, Chris Metzen and Flint Dille revealed they would launch Transformers: Autocracy — an 8-page digital format comic book spanning 12-parts. It sets the ground that ignited what will later be known as the great civil war of Cybertron. A world ruled by Zeta Prime. This is where the Optimus Prime we love and cherish was forged. At the time, he was the best officer of Zeta Prime. But things weren’t black and white in this era, and back then Optimus Prime was still known as Orion Pax.
Transformers: Autocracy launched on January 18th, and it’s published every two weeks in Comixology (PC/Mac), and the iPad and iPhone mobile platform.
In the eve of the launch of Transformers: Autocracy # 3 (available Wednesday, February 15th) I had the awesome opportunity to ask Chris Metzen and Flint Dille some questions about the digital comics.
When did you get hooked up with Transformers, and what’s your geek out story around the franchise?
Metzen: Well the opportunity to write a Transformers story for IDW popped a few years ago now. It’s taken awhile to get it (all) together. Thankfully the editors at IDW have been very patient!
As for favorite geek-out? There’s no question (IMHO) that the franchise’s greatest moment (across all media) is the throw-down mega-fisticuffs slug-fest between Prime and Megatron in the animated film. “Why throw away your life so recklessly?” Heh. Still makes me smile like an idiot?
Which Transformers stories did you read as background for Autocracy prior to writing the 12-part story?
Metzen: Ooof. Everything I could get my hands on! I had been reading the ongoing series/All Hail Megatron/etc. since it started, but needed to brush up on all the one-shots. Loved Maximum Dynobots and the Last Stand of the Wreckers tales as well. There was a lot to take in and I see lots of places where we missed a few notable details. ? It was a lot to cram for. My biggest inspiration (apart from the animated film) is Furman’s body of work on Transformers. That man paved some serious ground.
Some people are confused with what little they have read in the past 16 pages (spanning Transformers: Autocracy # 1-2) and what they know from Megatron: Origins. Especially concerning Starscream. In Megatron: Origins, Sentinel Prime is still alive. Starscream fights alongside the Deceptions against the Autobots and kills Kaon senators in front of everyone. Yet, in Autocracy, Starscream is a delegate with freedom to walk among the Senate and Zeta Prime as if no one knows what he did. Are fans going to get a clearer picture of what’s going on, or is there a retcon?
Metzen: Ok, lemmesee if I can clear this up… (fingers crossed)…
Autocracy takes place AFTER Chaos Theory, Megatron: Origins and Spotlight: Blurr. You’ll see it’s AFTER everything IDW’s tackled in that era. It’s the story of the end of that era – and the start of the WAR we all know and love.
As for Starscream and the senate of Kaon – no one survived that (very brazen) attack and all video coverage was quickly disposed of. Decepticons are very clever… and thorough! Thus, Starscream’s role as a Decepticon is still largely under wraps as Autocracy gets underway (at least as far as Zeta and these remaining senators are concerned). That entire attack was covered up pretty quick – so one has a clear picture of exactly which Decepticons were specifically involved.
I’ll also go out on a limb here and address the other lingering break – Sentinel WAS Zeta’s immediate predecessor – NOT Nominus. That was my bad… the mention of him getting whacked at the start of Chaos Theory was etched in my head as I was scripting Chapter 2 and I referred to the wrong guy… (do I get a last cigarette before the firing squad does away with me?)…
Why did you choose to write a story set in that time period? Whose was the initiative to do so, yours or the IDW editorial team?
Metzen: Well, Flint and I had pitched a really cool ‘present day’ hook that took a deep look at Optimus and what made him tick. It had some heavy flash-back elements from the old days. Some of the themes and hooks we pitched seemed similar to those that were being developed for Chaos Theory (which no one had seen yet), so the editor, Andy Schmidt, walked us through what Chaos Theory was going to be. We were hooked – and knew immediately that our story would fit far better into that pre-war era. From there – Autocracy really started to find its feet.
What can you tell us about Zeta Prime and his extreme measures to combat the Decepticons?
Metzen: Well… I believe Zeta started strong and wanted to be a Prime that really maintained order and security for the people. But Megatron really stoked the fires of unrest. I think there was a crazy escalation between Zeta’s conventional tactics and the Decepticons’ terror tactics. Over time, he concluded that fighting fire with fire was the only reasonable response to what Megatron represented. He wasn’t always a monster – but he sure became one in response to an increasingly lawless and darkening world.
Sounds like there’s a good story to be told there…
Autocracy # 2 was very harsh. How does Orion Pax copes with his orders knowing his duty to Zeta Prime makes him a harbinger of mass destruction upon the very citizens he’s sworn to protect?
Metzen: He doesn’t know yet how bad things are. He doesn’t know the extent of Zeta’s plans (he wasn’t in the room to hear any of this). In general, since he’s having trouble FEELING/Hearing his conscience – one could argue he’s operating through intense tunnel-vision. He doesn’t yet see how bad things are out there in the world – or what that means to him personally.
Obviously, he was in the zone when he stood up to the Senate… clear-minded, compassionate, selfless… But when his ‘heart’ got ripped out… Well, he just ain’t been the same since. However, can you imagine how PISSED he’d be if he saw that video footage Soundwave made off with???
I have been a subscriber of Marvel Digital for a few years. I love the digital library concept. Let’s say that fans — best editors when it comes to continuum inconsistencies — find some retcons, or mistakes in Autocracy. Are you actually able to correct these in Transformers: Autocracy digital at any time? If so, how do you feel about having that sort of control?
Metzen: See answer above regarding said Sentinel/Nominus snafu… Hell yes, I’d like to FIX bits and pieces of this!!!! ? We’ll see about modifying digital content. Not sure what IDW’s plan is for that.
You are working on Diablo III, and both StarCraft II and World of Warcraft expansions, and the next-gen MMO. How do you stretch time to fit writing Transformers: Autocracy?
Metzen: Well, I recently bought a new Mac for home use, so the timing was perfect. And hey – where there’s a will, there’s a way!
There’s a lot of good and awesome critic in the forums around the Transformers: Autocracy’s digital format. It’s only 8-pages, but it crams in so much from panel to panel. The story rolls out. No pun. How does your experience in video game storytelling this past fifteen years converges with comic book storytelling?
Metzen: With 8-page chapters, there’s no room to screw around or get self-indulgent. We have to make every page, every panel, every line count – and tell this story as effectively and excitingly as we can. In that way, it’s not all that different from writing games – where a player/viewer’s time is a precious commodity. The pacing does keep things tight.
Chaos Theory, Autocracy, and other relaunch stories — all of them seem to be leading to a major event set in the present borrowing from events and characters from the long past. Is this really what’s going on? Will you be part of that project or follow up projects?
Metzen: Well, IDW’s big relaunch event was CHAOS – and the two new ongoing series (More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise, respectively) are keeping their hands full. That’s the only mega event I’ve been aware of. As for more down the line… well, let’s see how Autocracy does as it picks up steam.
What should we expect to see in Autocracy # 3, and how do the events affect the remaining issues of this 12-part story?
Metzen: Well, Orion’s going to be busy hunting down Soundwave… shenanigans certainly occur.
Soundwave, Soundwave, Soundwave… for those of you who are fans of this character – buckle up! This is HIS chapter! (maybe my second biggest franchise geek-out…)
Blizzard’s roots started developing DC The Death and Return of Superman in 1994 and DC League of Justice Task Force for Super Nintendo in 1995. If Activision asked Blizzard to work on one of their IP, is that door open?
Metzen: Geez, I dunno. I think we’re doing pretty well with the franchises we’re currently developing. From a story perspective, we’ve still got miles and miles to go with each of them!
Grab a digital copy of the Transformers: Autocracy #3 for only $.99 cents via iPhone, iPad or Comixology (PC/Mac)
Note: Check back later for Flint Dille’s answers.
Transformers: Autocracy # 3 – Chris & Flint Teaser (Video)
Meet the Writers
Chris Metzen is Blizzard Entertainment Senior Vice-president of Creative Development — responsible for developing and expanding the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo universes and directing the team of story writers for upcoming game content and licensed products such as novels and manga. Chris Metzen is loved by the lore community, and he has identified himself as a geek. The Transformers franchise is in a dear place near his geeky heart.
The Fall of Deathwing dungeon was masterfully made by the WoW Team and Creative Team in both lore and gameplay mechanics. This is the last major content patch of the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, closing a pivotal chapter.
That doesn’t mean this is the last patch of Cataclysm, or the last content. As history has demonstrated, Blizzard Entertainment will add a pre-World Event and World Event content to wrap up Cataclysm and tie-in what’s to come in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria — the new expansion.
I have never been in a hardcore guild like those which chew World First Boss Kills Achievements without a sweat. Actually, between us, they do sweat a lot, but they won’t stop till they get the job done.
I remember the days where my old guild Untold Prophecy farmed Molten Core everyday, that was as hardcore as I could get back in 2004. Farmed Tower of Karazhan for countless months, defeated Kael’Thas, Lady Vashj, Illidan in Burning Crusade. I managed to kill Yogg’saron a couple of times before another guild disbanded.
In Wrath of the Lich King, after the guild disbanded in Ulduar, and after years of hard work in PUG teams, I only managed to get 10/12 at Icecrown Citadel. On September 15, 2011, I finally got the Defender of a Shattered World Achievement which includes all Cataclysm Heroics and the Raid Dungeons: Throne of the Four Winds, The Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent.
Not bad for a casual raider. Around a week later, I felt confident to get back to Icecrown Citadel where — after two years — I laid the smackdown on the Lich King at level 85. I felt like I cheated, but no one is gonna erase the satisfaction.
My current guild has been in hiatus for about six months or so after our main tanks called it quit for real life matters. One of them serving military time. I have had to go back to solo powering up my character with daily heroic dungeon finder and valor points. Nowadays, my healer character’s item level is 375 and none of it came from my guild. I worked hard in PUG teams.
A couple of weeks ago, I used the new Raid Dungeon Finder introduced in patch 4.3 to enter The Siege of Wyrmrest Temple. The Fall of Deathwing raid dungeon was either not available or my item level didn’t meet the requirements. No clue which.
After a few PUG attempts, I got my Siege of Wyrmrest Temple Achievement (Dec 3, 2011). I never thought possible to achieve that in a PUG, but it happened. Not just once, I have cleared it a few times. It’s hard and had fun.
On the lore aspect, I truly loved the linear structure of the three 5-man dungeons. Blizzard Entertainment recently released a short story by Matt Burns (Charge of the Aspects) which ties-in with the new Caverns of Time dungeons in patch 4.3. I recommend reading that story which is a prelude to the new 5-man dungeons.
The Short Story shows Ysera and Thrall planning a way to defeat Deathwing. She reveals Thrall an idea or vision about using the Dragon Soul — however, the Demon Soul was destroyed during the Second War by Rhonin (as seen in the novel by Richard A. Knaak – Warcraft: Day of the Dragon).
Alexstrasza agrees, while the Dragon Soul brought pain and misery to her red dragon flight, the Dragon Soul is how it all started, and it should be the way to end Deathwing and the Hour of Twilight. This is how the idea is born to ask Nozdormu to help the Aspects retrieve the Dragon Soul from the past.
However, Ysera’s vision of the Hour of Twilight — as seen in the novel by Christie Golden (World of Warcraft: Thrall, Twilight of the Aspects) — is drawing near. Nozdormu is unable to open the timeways to the past. Thus, Nozdormu recommends to kill the leader of the Infinite Dragonflight … to kill his very own future self, in order to preserve life in Azeroth.
Think about that for a second. All this time, Nozdormu was shown by the Titans the moment when Nozdormu’s demise would happen. For milennia, It likely worried him. And now he’s the one to take the decision to kill his future self to protect Azeroth. The Hour of Twilight begins during the Fall of Deathwing Raid dungeon in Patch 4.3.
The moment Ultraxion enters the fray at the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple, if players aren’t able to defeat Ultraxion, the Dragon Aspects take the full brunt of the Hour of Twilight spell that causes 300,000 Shadow damage, and die — causing the death of all life in Azeroth, and the Ascension of the Old gods.
Nozdormu sends players into the future to the End Time. A period of time, after the Hour of Twilight where all life on Azeroth has been already extinguished. There, players must defeat the echoes of Jaina, Sylvanas, Baine Bloodhoof, or Tyrande (two random) in order to fight Murozond (the future version of Nozdormu who has fallen to madness by the Old gods).
The WoW Team added NPCs at the end of each 5-man dungeon to teleport you to the next dungeon — making it clearly a linear lore event. That’s awesome. You can also access each dungeon individually, or use the dungeon finder to play them randomly. So there are three choices to approach and circumvent them if you don’t wish to have a linear experience.
After End Time, once Murozond is dead, the timeways become open to travel back in time 10,000 years into the past during the War of the Ancients. The idea is to retrieve the Dragon Soul a few minutes before the Well of Eternity implodes and sunders the land underwater.
When players help Tyrande, Malfurion and Illidan to defeat Mannoroth, who is sucked into the portal along with the demons back to the Twisting Nether, Chromie appears on the scene giving players the option to continue the mission in a linear way. Now that you have acquired the Dragon Soul, Chromie sends you forward in time to the present where Thrall will welcome your arrival and take possession of your delivery of the Dragon Soul.
The Hour of Twilight dungeon have you escorting Thrall back to the Wyrmrest Temple. In the present, the Black dragonflight and the Twilight dragonfligt are attacking the Wyrmrest Temple. There are giant Old god-like creatures with massive tendrils coming out of the ground, Faceless Ones and Vile Oozes coming forth to prevent Thrall’s arrival to the Wyrmrest Temple.
Thrall is serving as the Earth Aspect to perform the ritual that will empower the Dragon Soul to affect and defeat Deathwing. It’s a nice touch to see Archbishop Benedictus as the final boss in the 5-man dungeon, as a continuity notch from Christie Golden’s novel. I ain’t going to spoil it for you, go read the book.
After this dungeon, you are ready to enter the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple raid — if you wish to experience the whole content in a linear way. I’m going to be blunt. It’s hard. However, the Raid Dungeon Finder also brings hardcore players who will take leadership to teach you what to do. Trust in them, and do your best. It’s no rocket science. It’s doable.
The Dungeon Journal is another great feature added by Blizzard Entertainment in patch 4.3 that let’s you read lore and tactical info about each boss, and what each spell does. Which spells are dispellable, and which can be interrupted. The Dungeon Journal and the Raid Dungeon Finder are Blizzard’s way to open up end-content to casual players. I got to say they have done a pretty good job. As a healer, it only takes me less than 10 seconds to get queued into the Raid Dungeon Finder. Sometimes a split second after I queue in.
Before I knew it, thanks to the Valor Point Quartermaster items, and a few loot from the new 4.3 Heroic dungeons I became flagged to join the Fall of Deathwing raid dungeon. I was totally glad to see the option enabled last night.
The Dragon Aspects: Kalecgos, Alexstrasza, Ysera and Nozdormu are at the top of the Wyrmrest Temple performing the ritual with Thrall to empower the Dragon Soul. Your job is to prevent the Black and Twilight dragons from interrupting the ritual. After several waves of drakes, Deathwing unleashes Ultraxion upon players. The ultimate Twilight dragon experiment who is meant to cause the Hour of Twilight by slaying the Dragon Aspects at this juncture.
After Ultraxion, a cinematic plays showing Thrall wielding the Dragon Soul to blast Deathwing. Deathwing’s eye zoom in on Thrall as he realizes he is holding the Dragon Soul. The blast is so powerful that a piece of his elementium armor comes out revealing part of his spine. Deathwing is severely injured, and flees away. Deathwing is in pain, but he makes a point to shake Thrall — Deathwing flies through the Horde Gunship — now we know how the Gunship in End Time got split in half.
The Dragon Aspects, Thrall and players come aboard The Skyfire (Alliance Gunship) in pursuit of Deathwing who seeing the defeat of Ultraxion and how easily Thrall injured him with the Dragon Soul decides to fly to the Maelstrom to cast the final Cataclysm spell that will shatter the world and cause a massive upheaval of volcanoes, magma, tsunamis, and earthquakes.
At mid-journey, Warmaster Blackhorn and his Twilight’s Hammer mounting Twilight drakes will attempt to stop you long enough to let Deathwing reach the Maelstrom. After Blackhorn’s demise, a cinematic kicks in showing human Sky Captain Swayze and orc Kaa’nu Reevs (Keanu Reeves, lol) parachuting down on Deathwing’s back.
After the cinematic, players glide down with parachutes on Deathwing’s back. Literally. There are a few mechanics here you should double-check with the Dungeon Journal in-game. The idea is to make the Hideous Amalgamation explode near the Elementium Plate protecting Deathwing’s Spine.
The blast causes the Elementium Plate to literally come off his spine. It has a amazing art animation. Once you have removed three Elementium Plates, the next cinematic kicks in.
Deathwing falls to his apparent death into the Maelstrom.
There’s a dialogue between the Dragon Aspects and Thrall, and you can loot a chest. However, the fight isn’t over. Deathwing’s body has been torn apart without the Elementium Plates holding his body together.
He’s become sort of an Old god with tendrils grabbing each rock around the Maelstrom. Players must attack each of these Limb Tentacles, and the Mutated Corruption tendrils. In between, there are waves of adds that must be quickly dispatched with AOE — recommendable to be done near the Limb Tentacles.
After all Limb Tentacles are destroyed, players fight the head of Deathwing.
Here I was with a full PUG raid joining the end-content dungeon that wraps up Cataclysm. How cool was that? In the range of one to ten? Thirty. It took me two years or longer to finally be able to kill the Lich King.
It took me a few hours last night to earn the Fall of Deathwing Achievement. Woot!!!!
It’s that easy folks. Start doing your homework (queue yourself into the Dungeon Finder and do the Random Hour of Twilight Dungeons) — get some item level 378 from there, and combine that with farming Valor Points to purchase item level 378 gear. Do a few Siege of Wyrmrest Temple raids and get some cool loot until the Fall of Deathwing Raid Dungeon option becomes enabled in your Raid Finder.
I got to admit the Fall of Deathwing raid dungeon was harsh to heal. Later I noticed I forgot to enchant, gem and meta my new acquired Helm, but I still managed to help the PUG team get the achievement. It was a great satisfaction to have killed Deathwing twice in a single night, rather than how long it took me to kill the Lich King.
Thanks to the WoW Team for opening up end-content to the majority of players, and shoe-kissing to the Creative Team for the awesome linear lore experience. I might have a couple rants here and there about Well of Eternity, but the experience was excellent either way.
That was the best ever World of Warcraft dungeon experience I have had in the last seven years since classic beta 2004. The game mechanics are unique and engaging.
Lore Enigma Analysis and Speculation
On the lore part, there is one big enigma that hasn’t been answered. I have come up with a personal conclusion to explain that enigma.
The End Time comes to happen in the present after Ultraxion kills the Dragon Aspects at the Wyrmrest Temple during the Siege.
The question is … what made possible the change of the End Time?
The Titans had foreseen the death of Nozdormu (aka Murozond). True. Thus, they had foreseen the death of the Aspects at the Hour of Twilight. End Time was meant to be the end of all things. Which means Thrall was not meant to get the Dragon Soul. What made possible the change of the outcome leading to the Hour of Twilight / End Time future?
This makes me think that someone outside time who has witnessed the future, and has no clouded perceptions like Nozdormu — who admits something is preventing him from seeing the future — has somehow managed to help the heroes avert the End Time and to start the Age of Mortals.
1. Ysera had a vision of the Hour of Twilight in that novel. How was she able to see a future event? Who did send her that vision?
2. Thrall reveals to the Dragon Aspects that Krasus was not in fact a betrayer of the Dragon Aspects, siding with the Twilight’s Hammer. Thrall tells them about a vision he had where Krasus is defending the Ruby Sanctum from a new Twilight viral strain that infested the red eggs, and all other eggs during a Twilight’s Hammer siege on Wyrmrest Temple and its sanctums. Krasus cast a spell that reached out to the other sanctuary portals to implode each portal. He sacrificed to prevent the eggs from turning into Twilight dragons — annihilating the dragonflights. Or so it seemed …
How did Thrall get this vision? Who gave him that moment of clarity to see what really happened with Krasus?
Sadly, Blizzard hasn’t revealed these two enigmas.
On top of that there is the third enigma: Did Krasus really die? His corpse was never recovered. Did he implode the Sanctums, or did he only collapsed the portals thus sealing off the sanctums as tesseracts / pocket universes? Another question to ponder: Did Krasus somehow know the Twilight’s Hammer would strike at that very moment and had a rogue plan of his own? Had someone who knew about End Time enlisted Krasus’ help to prevent End Time?
We have seen Krasus plan out schemes without the knowledge of his beloved Alexstrasza before. What if he was alerted of the Hour of Twilight by the same entity that sent Thrall and Ysera separately a vision? In order to accomplish this plan he had to fake out his death.
If this is the case, then the Creative Team has learned a thing or two from Marvel — and we know Chris Metzen is a hardcore fan of Marvel Comics. The Secret Invasion storyline took years in the making, and there were plenty of breadcrumbs left in comic issues for years hinting at the upcoming Secret Invasion (2008).
I have a little theory of my own about how Krasus could have learned of a future event for him to attempt to prevent it, and who may have had knowledge about the future to make the Hour of Twilight not come to pass.
Thrall went to the Caverns of Time to fulfill a special mission for Ysera. The Bronze dragonflight welcomed Thrall and recognized he was there on behalf of Ysera. Thrall’s mission was The Search for Nozdormu.
Not even the Bronze dragonflight has been able to find their master. Thrall traveled to other timelines and parallel Azeroths, but was unable to find Nozdormu on his own.
Eventually, Thrall would have returned back home without Nozdormu. Think about it for a second. Who starts the Dragon Soul 5-man dungeons? Nozdormu. It’s Nozdormu who sends you to the future to the End Time to face Murozond, to be able to retrieve the Dragon Soul from the past.
What if Thrall had not found Nozdormu in his Search through Caverns of Time? No one would have been able to prevent the Hour of Twilight. No one.
Blizzplanet and other Blizzard fansites had the opportunity to individually interview Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Lead and Senior Story Developer Micky Neilson over the phone. Eldorian forwarded most of the questions submitted recently by our visitors.
In our interview, Micky Neilson talks more about the mysterious Zoltun Kulle — for those who got to watch the BlizzCon 2011 Diablo III Lore Panel, and reveals the main theme of Nate Kenyon’s upcoming Diablo: The Order (Slated: May 29, 2012).
Read our interview with Micky Neilson to find out why!
Note: Post on twitter a comment about this interview using the hashtag #bookofcain plus @blizzplanet for a chance at a free Diablo III: Book of Cain giveaway. Deadline: Thursday, Dec 15, 2011. (example: @blizzplanet I <3 Blizzard, gimme #bookofcain)
Why is Deckard Cain so important in Diablo history?
Neilson: Why is Deckard Cain so important? Well, he’s one of the most identifiable characters. I would say that stems from him being chosen as the NPC you deal with the most in the series. So, I think as a character he resonated with fans early on so he had some longevity and some staying power. Over the course of the different games he’s become certainly a marquee character. He worked really well for this book specifically because he’s the guy gathering all the information, lore, text and all of that stuff. It really made sense that he’s the one to put this book together.
Where did the inspiration come from to make the Book of Cain a real item that people could buy?
Neilson: Early on the idea came from Chris Metzen as far as he came to the publishing team and said that he really wanted to do a book that is kind of a history of the universe and also an art book. He described it as a hybrid between a source book and an art book. So we went forward from there. As part of that process we had discussions if this is part of Cain’s journal from the game or something completely separate. So we went back and forth a few times and through the course of identifying what the book would be and kind of nailing down the vision of the book, we settled down on the in game artifact aspect of it. We felt like that was the better way to go. I mean as far as the cover and maintaining continuity within the IP it felt like a cool hook for it to be something actually within the game.
Does the Book of Cain take any information from previous Diablo books such as those written by Richard A. Knaak or Mel Odom?
Neilson: Yeah. There is definitely. A lot of the Sin War trilogy is covered in here. You can get kind of a condensed version of the events from the Sin War Trilogy, and it touches on some of the other books as well.
Given that this book is set as the source book for Diablo lore, does it contradict or change any of the major events that have taken place in the game? And if so can you elaborate and be specific on any of the changes?
Neilson: It does clarify a lot of things. We have a lore team who basically pour over all of this material. We knew going into the creation of this book that there were already some contradictions that existed in the lore and the history. So we took this as an opportunity to set the record straight. We definitely identified a few things. One specific example is Tal Rasha and the Soul Stone; and Zoltun Kulle being the one that suggested that the essence could be trapped within a human. There were already a couple of differing accounts and who made that suggestion. I think in one account it was Tal Rasha made the suggestion and another account that Tyrael made the suggestion. So we went in with a different option that Zoltun Kulle was the one who made the suggestion and the purpose of that was to set up that character more because he’s a main character in the next game.
Does Book of Cain go into any post-Sin War details after the trilogy by Knaak? A lot of the other lore in the games and other novels make it seem as if the Sin War didn’t end until a few hundred years before the events of Diablo 1.
Neilson: It does go into detail and we’re trying to nail down the timeline right now. I don’t remember if it nails down exactly how many years before the events of the game that the Sin War takes place but we are in the midst of nailing all of that down for a more refined timeline.
Book of Cain talks about the Angels, and Demons, but Does Trang’Oul get mentioned in the book?
Neilson: Trang’Oul is mentioned briefly. He actually has a gorgeous double page spread and as part of that there’s a little side bar written as a handwritten note from Deckard Cain. There’s a little bit of information, but it’s almost more like a teaser for Trang’Oul.
Are there any potential Diablo III story spoilers in Book of Cain for those who wish to read it before playing the game?
Neilson: There’s no spoilers for the game. Information in the Book of Cain certainly does inform what is in the game. When you read the book you will certainly be more informed of the lore perspective when you play the game.
Are there examples of Deckard Cain and Leah’s research throughout the years searching and piecing together the fragments of the new Prophecy about Azmodan and the comet?
Neilson: There is a lot of that covered in the book. The prophecy is kind of an amalgam that Cain put together on many different prophecies that exist. Some of the different cultures around Sanctuary have some of their own prophecies and a lot of these prophecies point to the comet and the end of days. Deckard Cain put together one all encompassing prophecy based on everything he’s read. So there’s the one he put together but there are a lot of different ones as well.
In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Tyrael opens a portal for Cain and the hero prior to the destruction of the Worldstone. Do we get to read about the explosion of Mount Arreat from the point of view of any surviving Barbarians? For example, the upcoming DC Comics Diablo mentions a survivor.
Neilson: We do have a section on the destruction of the Worldstone I believe, I’ll have to double check, but I believe it’s told from Deckard Cain’s perspective. So I don’t believe it’s told from the Barbarian perspective.
Does Cain mention Abd al-Hazir, and if so, does his research help Cain piece together the prophecy? Have they met or worked together?
Neilson: I don’t believe we mention Abd al-Hazir in here and if we do it’s just a really brief mention of the many sources Cain is drawing from. We don’t suggest in the book that they have been hanging out and sharing information.
Are all lands of Sanctuary featured, and given in-depth background story?
Neilson: There wasn’t enough space in the book to go in depth giving all the other information we put in the book. There is a section near the end of the book called Lands and Cultures that does cover all the main areas and cultures in sanctuary. It also covers all the new classes that will be showing up in Diablo 3.
Does Cain uncover new history of his Horadrim heritage and learn the background stories of NPCs/Bosses/lore figures met in the previous games? (for example: Leoric’s pre-Tristram reign, Warriv, Wirt, Anya, mythical stories of possible Tyrael encounters across time.)
Neilson: Yes. For sure we get into Leoric a lot more. We do touch into a lot of the history of the Horadrim, the hunt for the three, we get into a lot more detail as far as the events that took place back then. We’re also working on another book, Nate Kenyon is writing a book for us called The Order and that is really going to go into a lot more detail also into the history of the Horadrim and Cain’s involvement and how he learned about the Horadrim and the events at Tristram.
What was more interesting or challenging about compiling the lore for Book of Cain and working with Flint Dille?
Neilson: Flint Dille was great. Flint really understood the character so he nailed that character voice, that scholarly voice of Deckard Cain. I’d say the biggest challenge was just codifying everything. Just putting it all together identifying contradictions that existed and clarifying which direction we wanted to go. There’s a lot of history in the Diablo universe. It was a mammoth task just to put distinctly. What did we end up? 140-some pages? So just trying to the entire Diablo history in that amount of pages, and a significant amount of that was art, was not the easiest thing in the world.
What inspired this mythological background for the Diablo universe concerning Anu and Tathamet the dragon?
Neilson: A lot of that came from Chris Metzen and early on we had meetings and we talked about what would different mythology be for the universe. And we knew there was one we wanted to back and enforce as canon at least from Cain’s point of view and the information that he discovered. A lot of those ideas came from Chris Metzen, and we hashed out the rest of it in brainstorming sessions.
Is Tran’Goul somehow related to Tathamet considering both are dragons, but both seem to be different: the former good, the latter evil?
Neilson: I think there’s more information that will be revealed in the future about Trang’Oul – right now I can’t disclose anything.
How do you feel about the mood and story of the Diablo series? What do you think makes it stand from other dark fantasy universes?
Neilson: Interesting. So the biggest theme that we face with Diablo is heroism facing absolute terror. I really think that sets it apart. You have humanity that is caught in the middle between these cataclysmic forces of light and dark, but light and dark aren’t exactly what you expect them to be. The angels aren’t exactly what you expect angels to be – most of them want to destroy humanity. So it’s a really kind of an interesting dynamic and humanity has the ability to become powerful in its own right, and to upset the balance of the Eternal Conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. I think that is really a cool hook.
Thank you, Micky Neilson, Eric Yco, Bashiok, Lyndsi, and Blizzard Creative & Public Relations Teams for your awesome support to fansites and lore fans.
What’s exceptional about the GTX 560 Ti Classified version versus the normal GTX 560 Ti? Compare:
The normal GTX 560 Ti features only 384 Cores, 2048 MB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus, 128 GB/s Memory Bandwidth, and supports only 2-SLI.
The Classified version features 448 CUDA Cores, 1.28GB GDDR5 memory on a 320-bit memory bus, 156 GB/s Memory Bandwidth , 6 Phase PWM, 3-SLI support.
The limited edition Classified version, at the same price point as the GTX 560 Ti, sounds like a good video card to play the latest games like Batman: Arkham City, and Battlefield 3 at max settings.
If this card can do wonders on these two newest games, it should play Diablo III, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria pretty decent at max settings.
Gamers Daily News reviewed the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores Classified and gave it the Gold Award. It exceeded even NVIDIA’s suggested FPS performance. NVIDIA estimates a 15% performance increase compared to the normal version, but Gamers Daily News found through benchmarks it was really a 25% performance increase.
Personally, I find this card to be a bit expensive, but considering the free shipping, that’s a $8.64 saving (New York). It’s also around half the price of the EVGA GeForce GTX 580.
Some of you might be looking for a leet video card, at a mid-range price. Either of those are a good choice. Not only do you get Free Super Saving Shipping with both graphic cards, you also qualify for a Free Digital Copy of “Batman: Arkham City” ($49.99 value). Ain’t that cool?
Blizzplanet journalist and network manager Eldorian interviewed author Nate Kenyon by phone to dig more into the storyline of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres, a novel many fans of the StarCraft Universe have been anxiously awaiting for almost three years and a half (title revelation: May 10, 2008).
The StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres was originally assigned to be written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. For reasons only the Asgardian Norns might know, the direction of the book landed on the good hands of Nate Kenyon, a Bram Stoker Award finalist for both Bloodstone and The Reach. Nate Kenyon’s most recent novels (The Bone Factory and Sparrow Rock) have received great recognition by the American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine and Publishers Weekly.
Blizzard Entertainment hosted a live phone call interview between Richard A. Knaak and Blizzplanet member Eldorian. Questions were hand picked by Medievaldragon from the Scrolls of Lore community. Thanks a bunch, folks. Many thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, its Public Relations staff and to the Creative Team.
Eldorian: “The sound quality is decent enough. I’d just remind people that this was done over a cell phone and the sound quality is a little distorted due to that.”
Transcript in english and spanish will come at a later time. Stay tuned. Listen to the phone call interview below:
The StarCraft Books Store contains all the novels available for those interested in expanding their lore knowledge.
The StarCraft Archive contains the following novels in a single tome:
In the distant future, a loose confederacy of terran exiles is locked in battle sixty thousand light-years from Earth, caught in the crossfire between two powerful alien races: the enigmatic protoss and the ruthless zerg swarm. Conflicts rage across the Koprulu sector as each of the three species fights for its existence among the stars.
LIBERTY’S CRUSADE: Behind the attacks of the zerg and the protoss lies the story of a lifetime, and investigative reporter Mike Liberty is determined to uncover it. But every new piece of information only deepens the mystery. Thrown into the middle of a war that may determine the fate of humanity in the Koprulu sector, Liberty reports on the escalating conflict and wonders whom he can afford to trust.
SHADOW OF THE XEL’NAGA: Bhekar Ro is a bleak, backwater world on the fringe of the Terran Dominion, and every day is a struggle to survive for the planet’s human colonists. Yet when a violent storm unearths an unfathomable alien structure, Bhekar Ro becomes the greatest prize in the Koprulu sector. Zerg, protoss, and terran forces turn the planet into a bloody battlefield in their haste to claim the lost secrets of the most powerful species the universe has ever known.
SPEED OF DARKNESS: All Ardo Melnikov ever dreamed of was living in peace on the verdant colony of Bountiful. That dream was shattered when the zerg attacked the colony and annihilated his loved ones. Now a marine charged with defending the worlds of the Terran Confederacy, he must come to terms with the painful memories of his past…and the unsettling truths that may dominate his future.
UPRISING: She is the Queen of Blades. Her name has become legend throughout the galaxy, and that legend is death for all who dare oppose the swarm. Nevertheless, Sarah Kerrigan was once human, and an extraordinary human at that. Forced to become one of the Terran Confederacy’s merciless psionic assassins, she carried out her orders without question until a twist of fate propelled her toward a destiny no one could have foreseen. This is the tale of Kerrigan’s shadowy origins — and the war that was fought for her very soul.
The Pre-Cataclysm world event phase 1 introduced new quests to discover the Twilight’s Hammer plot to sway Alliance and Horde citizens to join their cult through doomsayers spreading propaganda about the end of the world of Azeroth.
You may find here screenshots of the entire Alliance questline and video (available in 720p HD, 1080p HD, and lower resolutions).