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BlizzCon 2009 - Christie Golden and Richard A. Knaak Signing

I forgot to mention I interviewed Christie Golden at the Book Revue in Huntington, New York back on June 13.  The video interview covered a few questions such as her thoughts on making it into the New York Bestselling Hardcover twice for World of Warcraft: Arthas; and various questions about Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight.  I voluntarily submitted the video to Blizzard, to make sure everything is alright, and they will get back to me.  Once that happens, the video interview will be public. Stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you missed them, I released some of the videos where Christie reads pages from World of Warcraft: Arthas to the attendees at the Book Revue. I’m sure many of you will appreciate listening to her.

After the interview, I asked Christie Golden if she is scheduled to attend Blizzcon 2009.  She confirmed she is going to be there, so make sure to bring your books and mangas from both authors to be signed, and take photos.  Jaime from Simon & Schuster, Inc. (Pocket Books) and her husband came all the way to Huntington to meet Christie and gave her and me a copy of Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight.  Really cute, eh?  She also confirmed to be going to Blizzcon, and we agreed to meet there.

Richard A. Knaak wrote a lengthy newsletter confirming his attendance to Blizzcon 2009 and letting fans know which booths to find him at.  He also reveals the schedule for some of his upcoming Warcraft and Diablo pocket books.  Actually, the Diablo release is the trade paperback (TPB) titled Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy Archive.  Fans have been expecting this TPB for ages, and now it is been announced to hit bookstores on December.

The coming months bring a lot of activity and so there will be updates in the future, but here is what is going on:

First and foremost, LEGENDS OF THE DRAGONREALM will be out in just over a month!  Go to http://www.richardaknaak.com to see both the cover and some very nice comments about the book from R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, Glen Cook, & Ed Greenwood!  At 708 pages and with the first ever map of the series—- two pages yet—- this is a terrific way to begin or return to my series, which has been published in many languages and is still going strong!

Second, I will be appearing at the following conventions—- Blizzcon in Anaheim from Aug. 21-22 and Dragoncon in Atlanta Sep. 4-6!  Look for me at the Pocket or Tokyopop Booth at the former and on panels (tba) or near the Larry Smith Bookseller Booth at the latter!  I hope to show off a copy of LEGENDS at Blizzcon and we will definitely be getting copies for Dragoncon!

Next, if you plan to check out LEGENDS from the library, I encourage you to make certain that your library will actually be getting a copy.  Requesting is always helpful in how libraries decide which titles to order!  Special thanks to readers in Washington State and Minnesota who have already pushed the title there!

WARCRAFT fans!—- For those of you interested in my next novel, STORMRAGE, check out WARCRAFT LEGENDS VOL. 5 from Tokyopop for an exciting excerpt!  I’ve also written a story for the manga that will tie in with events to come…but you need to check out the manga to learn more!  smile  I’m hoping that there will be copies of the manga at Blizzcon!

Lastly, below is a current list of what is coming out and when:

9/1——LEGENDS OF THE DRAGONREALM (Pocket Books) ISBN-10: 1439107009/ISBN-13: 978-1439107003—- $18.00 Trade

9/1——WARCRAFT LEGENDS Vol. 5* (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 1427815267/ ISBN-13: 978-1427815262—- $10.99 Manga

*Features an excerpt from the major upcoming WORLD OF WARCRAFT novel—- STORMRAGE!

12/1——BEASTMASTER: MYTH (Pocket Books) w/SYLVIO TABET, original producer of the films and series ISBN-10: 1439144176/ISBN-13: 978-1439144176—- $16.00 Trade

12/1——DRAGONLANCE: THE GARGOYLE KING (WOTC) ISBN-10: 0786952385/ISBN-13: 978-0786952380—- $7.99 Mass Market

Tentative:

12/1——DIABLO: THE SIN WAR ARCHIVE (Pocket Books)

2010—- WARCRAFT: DRAGONS OF OUTLAND VOL. I – SHADOW WING (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 1427810265/ISBN-13: 978-1427810267—- $10.99 Manga

2010—- WARCRAFT: MAGE (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 142781497X/ISBN-13: 978-1427814975

That’s all for now!  More details as they become available!

Sincerely,

Richard A. Knaak

Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner, BlizzCon Ticket and More

World of Warcraft fans in the California area—and why not, international and national folks—will be delighted to hear of a special offer that might get you into Blizzcon if you missed out the ticket lottery.

From July 17 through 19, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to purchase tickets for the Laguna Art Museum

Blizzard Entertainment - Project Hydra Rears Its ugly face again

Retrospect on Diablo III. Codename: Project Hydra

This thing has returned to bite me once more in the—err— where sun doesn’t shine.  The first time you probably heard about Project Hydra was when I posted here on Blizzplanet a rumor from a anonymous source that reached me via chat.  I usually don’t listen to hearsay, or anonymous “I have an uncle that works at Blizzard and told me … this and that”-kind of breaking news.  That’s why I go straight to the source myself, be it writers, editors, voice actors, music composers, or else.

However, this guy really made me wonder if it was or not fake—about two years ago.  Right before StarCraft II was officially announced, 1up.com had seen a Medusa codename on the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals itinerary (schedule sheet).  I posted about it on May 18, 2007 at 3pm EST, and twenty minutes later, this guy contacted me to let me know Medusa was the codename of Starcraft II and that it would be announced at Seoul during the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals—here is the archived post.  Few hours later, it happened. Starcraft II was announced, which made me wonder if the anonymous source wasn’t fake after all.  He also mentioned Project Hydra and Project South Seas.

On September 7, 2007, barely four months after I first posted about Project Hydra, TheInquirer posted to have heard codename Project Hydra at the GDC.

Last week, Kotaku was not allowed to take photos of three locations within Blizzard Entertainment’s Headquarter.  One of them had a sign titled … Project Hydra. Check out Kotaku’s article.

The

Diablo II Patch 1.13 hitting PTR Soon

Bashiok has finally revealed the reasons Diablo II patch 1.13 was delayed.  Basically, the Diablo II team resources were moved to work on an emergency contingency when the Warcraft III custom map exploit affected players with injected malware.  This is what Karune said on January 5, 2009:

Blizzard Quote:
Warcraft III Custom Map Security Warning
We have identified an exploit that could allow malicious software to be spread through Warcraft III maps. We have applied a temporary fix to address this issue when playing on Battle.net, and we are working on a patch to permanently address the issue when playing on a LAN or playing single-player custom maps.

In the meantime, we recommend that players avoid downloading maps from unofficial sources or websites they do not trust—be aware that corrupted maps may share the same name as other popular maps. If you encounter custom maps that no longer function or other issues related to this fix, please post details below.

As a reminder, this is a serious issue we are working on, and we want to make Battle.net the best online service for gaming as possible. Please only post in this thread if you have constructive feedback to add in regards to this Warcraft III exploit.

This was obviously a very critical exploit that needed action.  The Diablo II team really wanted to dispatch patch 1.13 to players back then, but reality-check things happen.  The good news is that the patch to fix Warcraft III custom map vulnerabilities is now on PTR. Once that PTR is over, the Diablo II team will be free to resume work on the final steps of Diablo II patch 1.13.  They were almost ready to launch within a two-week window.  That means patch 1.13 will be hitting PTR any time in the next few weeks folks.

We want all our fans and visitors to be alert on the news and to join Diablo II patch 1.13 PTR to submit feedback and bug reports to the developers.

You can read Bashiok’s long story after the break.

Blizzard Quote:
Many of you are wondering what’s up with the patch and the ladder reset. While I’ve sprinkled some information around, it’s about time it was all mashed up in one easy-to-read location.

The Story -
Once upon a time our internal legacy development teams wanted to put some much needed love into Diablo II. Diablo II doesn’t have tournaments with millions of dollars swirling about them, so it generally took a back seat to the patch development time of our other legacy titles. But one day the planets aligned, and it was finally time to give the old girl a new coat of paint and break a bottle of champagne over her bow with the release of a patch. This went well. Meetings were held, the community was involved and polled, and an extremely long list of ideas and changes was created. That list was then cut down to changes felt to be either necessary changes, or easily implemented to ensure development time was efficient. This also went well.

Not long after, the alarm bells sounded. The patch was progressing quickly, and the release was potentially imminent. Early on it was decided, and somewhat of a no-brainer, that a ladder reset with coincide with the patch release. With the patch progressing well, a potential release of two weeks was estimated, and as always this is the exact amount of forewarning given to players and the community before a ladder reset. An announcement was made quickly and immediately to ensure a full two week notice was given. There are many reasons for this standard two-week notice, not the least of which is that most players don’t understand the meaning of ladder and non-ladder, and how a reset affects their characters. Following any reset our support departments are flooded with issues related to the change of their characters, so we attempt to inform beforehand and avoid any unnecessary confusion.

This was all well and good, the community was excited, and the developers were having fun and enjoying being able to work on Diablo II again. Then, as it tends to do, reality struck. (Warcraft III Custom Map Security Warning http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=16888549346&sid=3000) Work had to be swiftly and immediately realigned and has and continues to be focused on addressing issues for a different title to resolve a very serious issue.

The Now -
The Warcraft III patch is now on the Public Test Realm (PTR) and testing is progressing. Once that patch is released work can shift back to Diablo II and the 1.13 patch, and we’ll be working to getting that patch up on its own PTR as soon as possible. This could be a matter of weeks. Once it’s up and in a testing state for all of you, it’s then going to be a matter of ensuring the features are good and it’s a solid patch. The more people we have testing the patch and providing valid feedback, the better the patch will be, and hopefully the quicker it will be released. So that’s my challenge to you. You’ve been waiting a long time, you want an awesome patch, you want a reset. To get all that, we need good solid testing and feedback, reproduction steps for bugs, detailed descriptions of issues or errors, etc. So once this goes live on the PTR, I expect some crazed-youruinedtheeconomy-testing.

Last Chance - Fansites BlizzCon Tickets Giveaways

The Blizzcon Tickets are sold out.  However, you still have a chance at winning a Free ticket to attend Blizzcon via Fansites Giveways courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.  Blizzard is very supportive to all the fansites under their flag. So take this very exciting opportunity.  Beneath are all the fansites whose giveaway is still active.  Participate in all of them to increase your chances at winning one. However, if you got two be honest and let them know. Good luck and see you at BlizzCon.

INCGAMERS NETWORK

OTHER FANSITES

Blizzard Lists Fansites Giving Blizzcon 2009 Tickets

Bashiok announced the latest fansites participating in Blizzcon 2009 ticket giveaway contests. Participate in all of these to increase your chances at getting a free ticket.  Good luck and see you in Anaheim.

Blizzard Quote:
Didn’t get tickets? Well don’t worry because we’ve selected a number of fansites to give away additional tickets through contests and giveaways!

Each site chooses their own method for giving away their tickets. They range from simple to specialized. From easy questionnaires to dedicated art or story contests. Each one providing you with an additional chance to attend BlizzCon!

Visit the below sites for more information on their individual ticket give away events, rules, and regulations.

BlizzPlanet – ends June 9th
http://www.blizzplanet.com/

Diablo-Source – ends June 12th
http://www.diablo-source.com/

WoW Interface – ends June 11th
http://wowinterface.com/community.php

inStarCraft.de – ends May 27th
http://starcraft2.ingame.de/

StarCraft Wire.net – ends May 25th
http://starcraft.incgamers.com/blog/comments/blizzcon-2009-ticket-giveaway/

StarCraft II Australia
http://www.starcraft2.com.au

Best Costume to win a free trip to Blizzcon 2009

Blizzard is preparing to announce a new contest that starts on May 20.  The winners of this contest will get free trip for two to BlizzCon 2009 and some phat lootz.  The catch?  You better be good at sewing costumes … or a blacksmith or leatherworker in real life.

Blizzard Quote:
Warm up your sewing machines and start selecting the best fabrics you can; the Blizzard Costume Contest is coming soon! The best costume-maker will receive a grand prize package filled with great loot from our partners Panini, SteelSeries, and Upper Deck as well as an a trip for two to BlizzCon 2009! Check out our contest information page for details.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/contests/costume09/

This contest will launch on May 20 so get your costumes ready!

Diablo II Patch 1.13 To Be On Public Test Realms Before Deployment

Bashiok has delivered good hints on when to expect the upcoming Diablo II patch 1.13 and something else you would love to participate in.  There is no release date, but he confirmed players will be able to test patch 1.13 to offer feedback on all the features and to report bugs—which means the final patch release will be more much clean and stable thanks to players participating in the Public Test Realm. We do get a hint of when patch 1.13 will go live.  Blizzard will announce a Diablo II ladder reset two weeks in advance, which heralds the release of the patch on live realms.

Blizzard Quote:
Bashiok: So yeah, we’re still working on the patch. It’s coming along really well. We’re getting there. I can’t give an estimate or date, we’re expecting there to be a good amount of testing required due to the types of changes being made. We want to take our time and put out a solid patch, and that means we don’t have a release date right now.

Some exciting news – and it also may be some comfort – due to the types of changes we’re making we will be offering the Diablo II 1.13 patch for testing and feedback on a test realm before its release. We’ll have more information about how you’ll be able to help test it in the coming weeks.

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