PodCast.Blizzplanet.com – Disclaimer

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Blizzplanet is not affiliated with any of the PodCast communities listed here. Each individual PodCast is the sole copyright owner of their respective content. All trademarks or registered trademarks of each PodCast name/title in the United States and/or other countries belongs to the respective PodCast community and/or its parent company. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright of their respective owners. Blizzplanet is in no way associated with or endorsed by any of these PodCast communities.

None of these PodCast shows are produced by Blizzplanet. These RSS feeds are meant to inform you about the existence of several cool third-party PodCast communities within the Blizzard Entertainment ever-expanding fan community which focus on World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III or other Blizzard games’ topics.

RaidcallNews

FNATIC Welcomes Fans to Chat on Raidcall

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Please click here to download Raidcall.

Professional gaming superstar Fnatic (server id: 133714) has recently started up their own Raidcall server and will be online to chat with their fans. If you want the opportunity to talk with your favorite professional gamers. Download Raidcall you’ll have the opportunity to chat with Fnatic’s Heroes of Newerth team.

FnaticMSI’s Heroes of Newerth team was formed in 2010 and has gone on to win every major HoN tournament with an astounding 85% victory rate – unrivaled by any other team in the world. The team trounced their opponents at the recent Steelseries HoN World Cup, winning the final and earning a respectable $10,000 in prize money. On top of that, they are also defending champions at Dreamhack, the world’s largest LAN party.

Right now the team is competing in several online leagues and has done so with an amazing success rate. On March 9th Wednesday, from 19.00 to 21.00 CET team members Kalle “Trixi” Saarinen, Henrik “FreshFriFly” Hansen, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, Jascha “NoVa” Markuse, Tal “Bot” Aizik and team manager Danijel “StreeT” Remus will be online to chat with fans on Raidcall’s Fnatic server (server id: 133714). The team will be talking in English. If you’re a fan of Fnatic or interested in professional gaming in general, this is one opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!

SK Gaming will have the same interaction recently in their own Raidcall server, please stay tune on Raidcall official Facebook(www.facebook.com/raidcall) and Twitter(www.twitter.com/raidcall

World of Warcraft TCG Store

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Cryptozoic Entertainment is the licensed company to develop the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Below you may order all the core products and expansions. Visit the WoWTCG.com to learn how to play by using the tutorials.

The Bastion of Twilight (zone in)

Cataclysm Beta Raid Dungeons Open

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

Raid Dungeons will open in a few minutes today Sunday, Oct 17th at 1pm (PDT), 4pm (EST), 20:00 GMT.

Best way to get an invite is to have a new premade with 346 – 352 level gear. If you didn’t create a pre-made in the past week you likely have 333 gear.

Pre-mades have jewelcrafting and enchanting professions enabled with plenty of stacks of materials to gem and enchant their items. Including pants, shoulders and head enchant items.

I will post screenshots and videos of The Bastion of Twilight, and if possible the Blackrock Descent dungeon. Stay tuned in a few hours.

Cataclysm Beta: New Archaeology Features Revealed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Slorkuz posted an article about the plans for the Archaeology secondary profession, and revealed things unknown until now. As a newly Illustrious Grand Master Archaeologist this makes all the pain and gore of searching artifacts truly worthwhile.

You can obtain epic weapon rewards and use the keystones to grant a raid buff. These keystones can be sold at the Auction House. These features are not yet implemented in the current Beta build. Keystones currently give +12 fragments, but the live version will only grant +5 and grant buff attributes yet to be known. Each race has its own unique keystone, so buff attributes might vary.

[BLUE]Hunting the unknown, discovering the lost, knowing the forgotten.

The Explorers’ League of Ironforge is redoubling its efforts to learn the secrets of the past. The league has begun teaching the discipline of archaeology to all members of the Alliance in a bold attempt to procure as many ancient relics as possible. This initiative is being matched by the campaign of the Reliquary — a Horde faction formed from an unknown council based in Silvermoon. The Reliquary is training members of the Horde in the art of the dig and challenging them to find any and all artifacts of historical significance before the Explorers’ League does. Each side now jockeys for position, relishing in the chase, vying for control of time-lost relics, and jealously guarding any valuable information the objects may impart.

Archaeology is a new secondary profession introduced in Cataclysm that can be trained along with Cooking, First Aid, and Fishing. After learning Archaeology from the appropriate trainer in a major city, the newly educated treasure hunter will be presented with an Archaeology Journal to track his or her progress, as well as a surveying tool to facilitate discoveries.

The main purpose of Archaeology, of course, is to find artifacts! Artifacts are items lost to history that carry with them a story of the past. While their worth is mainly obtained from the information they impart and the simple joy of discovering them, rarer artifacts represent treasures of sizeable value. Every artifact has an origin, and these origins can be traced back to the races that now inhabit Azeroth and Outland. Research projects are presented in the Archaeology Journal, categorized by the races they’re associated with. The fragments needed to complete each research project can be discovered by visiting dig sites.

At any time, players can open their maps and see these dig sites outlined for them across Azeroth and Outland. Upon reaching a dig site, a player can then search for artifact fragments with the survey tool. The survey tool arms the Archaeologist with two unique devices: a telescope and a distance indicator. The distance indicator will change from red to yellow to green as the treasure hunter gets closer, while the telescope will keep pointing the player in the right direction. When the player locates and digs up the treasure, it will provide the Archaeologist with fragments that are collected in the journal. This process will eventually result in a complete artifact.

Completing the rarer artifacts can reward the Archaeologist with unique items, including epic-quality weapons, mounts, and non-combat pets. In addition to the normal artifact fragments used to finish all research projects, special fragments called keystones can also be found by higher-level players. These fragments are valuable to all Archaeologists because they count as five normal fragments for most research projects, and they can be freely sold and traded. Archaeologists of exceptional skill can also use keystones to grant benefits to their friends in high-end raid instances.

Whether you’re an avid treasure hunter with a drive to discover all the world has to offer, someone interested in uncovering the mysteries of the past, or an explorer looking to obtain items of power, Archaeology is your ticket to a glorious adventure.[/BLUE]

Embark into the WoW TCG Spectral Safari to get a Spectral Tiger on July 24-25

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Here is hoping those of our visitors who play WoW TCG read this exciting and urgent news in the front page or via the Blizzplanet Mobile app or Blizzplanet’s Twitter page for a chance at winning a Spectral Tiger at your local TCG events store.

This July 24th and 25th, come join the hunt for the greatest game of them all. Cryptozoic Entertainment, home of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, will release a streak of Spectral Tigers into the wild. If you want to bag and tag one of these elusive mounts, join the party with fellow World of Warcraft TCG fans at a Spectral Safari near you.

A tournament friendly to players of all experience levels, the Spectral Safari participants will receive — at random — one of the 18 Class Starter Decks and compete in a tournament with that deck. The first 25 players to register for the event will pocket a Landro’s Pet Box code. Players who do well will earn Wrath Gate booster packs, and the winner picks up a Blazing Hippogryph Loot card. The Spectral Tiger will be randomly won as a door prize at the end of the event, so every entrant has an equal opportunity to ride home in style!

If you’re ready to play big game hunter, visit the Cryptozoic forums to find a local hobby store near you and join the event page on Facebook.

San Diego Comic Con: Possible Blizzard Products GuessCraft

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

The San Diego Comic Con will kick in through June 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center. No press releases or news have been released obviously as any potential new Blizzard licensed product (if any) will be unveiled at the show floor.

Wildstorm Comics

The World of Warcraft comic book was revealed at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con a few years ago by Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson and Jim Lee. It was yours-truly who published the existence of an upcoming comic book a week before DC Comics unleashed their press release announcing it, by unleashing a leaked World of Warcraft # 0 Sampler.

The World of Warcraft comic book ended with the World of Warcraft Special # 1, but with the promise that Wildstorm would relaunch it in Graphic Novel format. San Diego Comic Con is the perfect platform to make the announcement of a release date and teasers of the upcoming World of WarCraft and StarCraft Graphic Novels.

Sideshow Collectibles

While there haven’t been anything showing up in my radar, about a year and a half ago, I asked the Sideshow Collectibles president if there would be any new Warcraft, Starcraft or Diablo dioramas. He said live in the chat that there were plans, but for now they would focus on the Warcraft franchise. It took them about a year to show the painted Diablo III Overthrown Diorama after showing the unpainted version. So, if the calendar schedule is a clue, they should announce something anytime by now. San Diego Comic Con could be a good place to start teasing a new Blizzard licensed product. Time will tell.

J!NX

J!NX announced they will be at San Diego Comic Con. Blizzard folks are likely attending the event as they did in times past. I could foresee the 2010 WoW T-shirts Summer Sale line-up, and to celebrate the StarCraft II release date, a brand-new T-shirt. Only time will tell how close my 8-ball is.

DC Unlimited

These folks unveiled the Arthas the Lich King action figure at the 2010 New York Toy Fair. I attended the place, but too late when they were packing their stuff [smashes forehead into a nearby wall].

The guys didn’t want to unpack them for me, but I do know they showed a prototype StarCraft action figures and didn’t allow people to take photos of them. That was back on February 2010. Could they unveil the Starcraft II Action Figures and the Lich King one at San Diego Comic Con? [8-ball shake and rub] … maybe.

Cryptozoic Entertainment

This is a new company that surfaced a few months ago, deeply tied with Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft TCG after Upper Deck got their license expired.

As you can see at their website, they post updates quite often, and wish to grow the hype. San Diego Comic Con and BlizzCon are two potential targets to make some announcements about future TCG expansions and starter packs. I am not so certain on this one, but it’s a possibility.

TOKYOPOP

This company is definitely among my favorites, along with Pocket Books. Both companies are very-very supportive and trigger-happy to provide me with the latest details, preview scans, front covers sneak peek, and interviews, or general information, or to bridge approvals between Blizzard and us.

Tokyopop’s latest Blizzard manga were World of Warcraft: Death Knight, World of Warcraft: Mage; and World of Warcraft: Dragons of Outland.

Personally, I would love to see more manga based in the three franchises. Sadly, I haven’t heard any announcements about their attendance to the San Diego Comic Con or announcements of any new Blizzard manga. I really hope they show up there. [8-ball shake and rub] … unlikely. But we still have BlizzCon to hope for, eh?

Stay tuned, for any hot news coming our way because the 2010 San Diego Comic Con starts in less than 18-hours, and many things are possible to happen, such as new Blizzard licensed products.

Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

The Creative Team has posted exciting answers to several questions submitted by fans over the past weeks. This Q&A reveals the origin of the Obsidian Statues like not even the RPG Books did before and a good chunk of lore on Watcher Tyr and the early Humans (the Azotha). Kinda got a confirmation that Tyr wasn’t General Vezax …

Blizzard Quote:
Present (June 30/2010): Whatever happened to Tyr?
CDev: The watcher Tyr was not in Ulduar when adventurers finally freed the titan city from Yogg-Saron’s influence. If anyone knows where Tyr is now, he or she isn’t speaking up.

Past (Sept 1/2009): Why doesn’t Tyr have a room in Ulduar?
Valnoth: What makes you think that Tyr doesn’t have a room? Or that you haven’t actually fought him? Old Gods and their corruption… I’m just sayin… It would be pretty strange to think that the area before Yogg Saron’s prison has always been a twisted, corrupt temple dedicated to the praise of an Old God. Clearly – in *happier* times – there must have been a final arbiter. A jailor of sorts.

Maybe Vezax ate him! Or…

That just made my day. Hope to see what Metzen thinks up for Watcher Tyr. Whatever it is, it gotta be EPIC.

Blizzard Quote:
A few weeks ago, we launched a small questionnaire on this forum, asking people to post questions directed to the CDev team. You can see the thread and its responses here:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24702149985&sid=1

Most of your questions fell into one of four categories:

    1. Questions that will be answered by soon-to-be-released published content (such as the upcoming novel The Shattering by Christie Golden)

    2. Questions that will be answered by soon-to-be-released game content (patches 3.3.5 and 3.9.0, as well as the Cataclysm expansion)

    3. Questions that can’t be answered at this time without thoroughly spoiling future game and published content

    4. Questions that we can answer now, if only partially

Using your questions (verbatim!) from category #4, the CDev team has been meeting with Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi to nail down answers that we can share with you now. So get your secret decoder rings ready, kids! Here comes the first set of answers!

Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?

A: Yes!

Q: What happened to all of the Scourge’s Obsidian Destroyers?

A: The entities known as obsidian destroyers are actually enslaved titan constructs that were once called the tol’vir. The tol’vir were created to maintain titan lore repositories and titan machinery surrounding the titan cities of Ulduar and Uldum. Not long after the troll empires divided the insectoid kingdom of the aqir, the aqir that travelled north discovered and overthrew the tol’vir society in Northrend. These aqir would eventually become the race we know as the nerubians today, having adapted the tol’vir’s architecture for their own purposes. Similarly, the aqir that travelled south ransacked and overthrew a titan research station near Uldum, renaming themselves the qiraji and calling their new home Ahn’Qiraj. Although the Scourge would eventually consume the nerubian empire and throw its few remaining tol’vir slaves into the front lines, it’s possible that more tol’vir still exist in the hidden titan city of Uldum or deep within the remnants of Azjol-Nerub.

Q: The Blood Knights of Silvermoon lack direction. None of them were seen in Northrend, and it is very unclear whether the Order still exists, or if it’s been disbanded. It’s also very unclear where the Blood Knights obtain their power, now. It used to be the Naaru, but then… remnants of the naaru. Surely these remnants are all but tapped now. Do we obtain power from the Sunwell?

A: As of the end of the Burning Crusade expansion, blood elves who wield the Light do so through the power of the renewed Sunwell. It is a harmonious relationship, no longer one of discord caused by the blood elves’ attempts to bend the Light to their will, which will likely have a positive effect on blood elf society in the long run. Look forward to updates that reflect this change in the Silvermoon and Blood Knight quests.

Q: What happened to Frostmourne after it was shattered?

A: While this is a closely guarded secret, we’ll trust you to be discreet: no one knows where the remnants of Frostmourne are now.

Q: Will we be hearing from any of the old or neglected human nations in Cata, specifically Stromgarde, Kul’tiras, and the remnants of Alterac (hey, Deathwing paraded around as an Alterac noble before)?

A: With the revamp of the classic World of Warcraft zones, players will get a chance to see how the fallen nations of Stromgarde and Alterac have fared over the last few years. Kul Tiras, the island nation, will not be visible at the start of Cataclysm – something about tectonic plates shifting it out to sea….

Q: What is the nature of the Void state of the Na’aru? For a being of the Light, turning into such a dark being seems like a heavy weakness. Sucking in souls and causing destruction simply because of a loss in strength greatly diminishes their saintly image. Though, this might be a reason they don’t act in combat very much, as turning on your army due to fatigue wouldn’t be good for morale.

A: Because three cases of this “cycle” have been demonstrated in Nagrand, Auchindoun, and Sunwell Plateau (K’ure, D’ore, and M’uru, respectively), players may have received the wrong impression with regard to the magnitude and rarity of these events: it is EXCEEDINGLY rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru’s fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru; if energy beings could weep tears of joy, this would do it.

Q: What happened to Algalon after Ulduar? It didn’t seem like he was just going to go back to business-as-usual.

A: As shown in the World of Warcraft Special #1 comic, Algalon is currently monitoring the activities of the mortal races of Azeroth. His outlook on life and the titans’ plans has been called into question, so he seeks to understand what makes Azeroth so different from the countless worlds he has observed before.

Q: What Loa do the Darkspear worship?

A: Because the Darkspear were originally part of the Gurubashi empire, they still worship many of the same Loa as the Gurubashi once did.

Q: What were Varok Saurfang’s notable accomplishments prior to WoW?

A: Varok Saurfang has served with the Horde ever since he drank the blood of Mannoroth alongside Grom Hellscream. Varok led forces in the sacking of Shattrath, Stormwind, and everything between, never losing in battle until the Horde was routed at the end of the Second War. When Orgrim Doomhammer seized control of the Horde in the First War, he chose Varok Saurfang as his second-in-command after witnessing Varok’s efficient and brutal tactics on the field. After the demonic bloodlust had been lifted from the orcs due to Grom Hellscream’s sacrifice, Varok helped dozens of veterans come to grips with their previous atrocities, ultimately saving the lives of many great Horde soldiers. Rumor also has it that Saurfang once cleaved three men in half with one swing… of his hand.

Q: How did ethereals get so… ethereal? They seem to act a lot more like a mortal race than other energy beings we meet, such as elementals.

A: K’aresh was an arid planet, home to a thriving ecosystem and several sentient species before the arrival of Dimensius the All-Devouring. How the void lord found K’aresh is still hotly debated among the surviving ethereals, but the effects of his coming were unmistakable: he opened countless gateways into the void and the Twisting Nether around the planet, bathing K’aresh in arcane and dark energies. Using every scrap of its advanced technology, one of the mortal races hastily attempted to construct magical barriers around its cities, but it was only partially successful; although the dark energies were blocked, the unimpeded flood of arcane energy tore away the mortals’ corporeal shells and infused their souls with enough energy so that they could subsist without a body… barely. Members of this race, now called ethereals, took to binding themselves with enchanted strips of cloth to provide their souls with enough structure to survive. This altered state proved to be a blessing in disguise, as their enhanced minds and magical abilities allowed the ethereals to fight Dimensius and his limited forces to a standstill. Over the years, however, Dimensius eventually grew powerful enough to summon armies of fellow void creatures, forcing the ethereals to flee into the Twisting Nether.

Q: Do incubi exist?

A: There are several different rumors concerning the male counterparts to the demonic succubus race, and it’s clear that the succubi are responsible for all of them. A few of the more common rumors are:

    1. Yes, there are incubi, but the spell to summon them has been conveniently forgotten by mortal practitioners and Burning Legion agents.

    2. Incubi are kept as slaves on their home planet, having been rendered incapable of escape or independent movement.

    3. The succubi consumed the males of their race when they were brought into the Burning Legion. (Alternatively, the act of devouring the males is what caught the attention of the Burning Legion.)

Q: Could you please explain the lore behind goblin shamans? Goblins do not seem like a particularly spiritual race, especially one that would care about the elements (as evidenced by the Venture Co.).

A: Goblin shaman are an extension of their society’s single-minded devotion to making a profit; to a goblin shaman, elementals are potential customers. Goblins do tend to be a bit more forceful in their negotiations than the other shamanic races (especially the tauren) would like, though they are far less forceful than what we’ve seen from the taunka in Northrend. (Unless the elemental tries to weasel out of its contract. Elementals tend not to have breakable knees, so goblins sometimes have to resort to other methods of control.) As for the goblins’ “mechanical” totems, note that these are merely physical manifestations of the small totems they tinker/craft to form a link with the elemental spirits. Instead of lugging around large totems, goblin shaman have a ring (probably the same ring on which they keep their house and motorbike keys) with small totems they’ve built as conduits for the elemental spirits they do business with.

Q: Can you please explain how “light” works? The lore states that undead are physically incapable of using the light, much like the Broken, but then we have Forsaken players casting healing spells, and Sir Zeliek in Naxxramas using pseudo-paladin abilities.

A: Without spoiling too much, we can tell you that wielding the Light is a matter of having willpower or faith in one’s own ability to do it. That’s why there are evil paladins (for example, the Scarlet Crusade and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne). For the undead (and Forsaken), this requires such a great deal of willpower that it is exceedingly rare, especially since it is self-destructive. When undead channel the Light, it feels (to them) as if their entire bodies are being consumed in righteous fire. Forsaken healed by the Light (whether the healer is Forsaken or not) are effectively cauterized by the effect: sure, the wound is healed, but the healing effect is cripplingly painful. Thus, Forsaken priests are beings of unwavering willpower; Forsaken (and death knight) tanks suffer nobly when they have priest and paladin healers in the group; and Sir Zeliek REALLY hates himself.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the manner in which trolls become druids?

A: While it’s only barely hinted at during the upcoming “Zalazane’s Fall” event, new troll druids in Cataclysm should learn much more about their race’s adoption of these foreign practices.

Q: Why was Myzrael imprisoned?

A: Myzrael fell to madness after she was corrupted by ancient evils under the earth (read: Old Gods). She was defeated during the events of classic World of Warcraft, which purged her of the corruption, but she may make a cameo appearance in Cataclysm. Keep an eye out when adventuring through Deepholm.

Q: Who is the arakkoa “master” that Isfar talks about? It is not Terokk…

A: There are more Old Gods than just the ones trapped on Azeroth. It takes a lot for them to become manifested on a physical plane, however; see the quest line in Shadowmoon Valley that ends with “Thwart the Dark Conclave” for more information.

Q: With Lady Prestor’s, aka Onyxia, plot foiled, will Stormwind once again send soldiers to Lakeshire, Duskwood, and Wesftall or will these area’s and their self-made miitias continue to defend themselves?

A: With the return of King Varian Wrynn and the removal of Lady Prestor from power, the outlying towns finally received the reinforcements they needed. As you’ll see in Cataclysm, however, the reinforcements might not be enough….

Q: There was (and still is) a Moonwell smack dab in the center of Duskwood. This was the ONLY Moonwell on the Eastern Continent prior to the Burning Crusade which saw a Moonwell being added to the island west of Silvermoon (which from a lore sense, the placement of this Moonwell in Quel’Thalas made absolutely no sense.) Will the Duskwood’s Moonwell’s presence be explained?

A: Without spoiling anything, we can tell you that both of these moonwells are recent creations by night elves.

Q: What did the massive machines around the Storm Peaks, like the Engine of the Makers, actually do?

A: These machines are all part of the same system: the Forge of Wills.

Q: What’s the relation between The Order of the Silver Hand, Tyr’s Hand (City from Lordaeron region) and Watcher Tyr (from Ulduar)?

A: Long ago, on the continent that would eventually become known as the Eastern Kingdoms, a small group of creatures struggled to survive, using the limited supplies provided to it by parents who had just abandoned their children on an unfamiliar shoreline. These creatures, eventually called “humans,” would occasionally take to gathering around a fire whilst trying to read from scrolls telling of ancient heroes and leaders – tales from the civilization that had cast these creatures out. One of these scrolls spoke of a great leader, a paragon of order and justice, who sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within this hero’s power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, the hero impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice. This hero, who slipped into memory long ago, went by the name of Tyr.

Q: Building off that- whatever happened to Tyr?

A: The watcher Tyr was not in Ulduar when adventurers finally freed the titan city from Yogg-Saron’s influence. If anyone knows where Tyr is now, he or she isn’t speaking up.

Q: Are Mimir and Mimiron supposed to be the same entity, or are they relatives?

A: Same entity, though only his close friends are allowed to call him Mimir.

Q: What is Tiffin Wrynn’s backstory in terms of family, original nation, etc.? I’d be curious as to what connections were set up through that marriage.

A: We’ll keep this brief because we could easily write a few pages for this one. Tiffin Wrynn was originally Tiffin Ellerian of the Ellerian noble family of Stormwind, a small house that only had a small chunk of land in Westfall. Her marriage to Varian was pre-arranged at her birth, finally securing her family a spot on the Stormwind House of Nobles. Tiffin and Varian initially disliked each other, but they eventually became inseparable. Tiffin helped Varian control his occasional anger issues and taught him economics, while Varian helped teach Tiffin about politics and social etiquette. Tiffin was eventually known as a queen of the people, and she was the most adamant supporter of paying the Stonemasons’ Guild the initially agreed-upon sum. Her accidental death during the Stonemasons’ Guild riot was a monumental loss for Varian, Anduin, and the people of Stormwind.

Q: Will you be explaining why the forest spirits of Hyjal will be friendly to the Horde despite the fact that Horde has done so much damage to Ashenvale?

A: By the start of Cataclysm, the ancients and spirits of the forest will have recognized that the forces of the Cenarion Circle and the Alliance combined are still not enough to stop Deathwing, the Twilight’s Hammer, and the elementals they have unleashed. As much as these ancients and spirits hate to admit it, they realize that they need the assistance of the Horde.

Q: What role, if any, will Med’an play in Cataclysm?

A: Med’an will not be visible in Cataclysm; something else is keeping him occupied.

Cataclysm - Screenshot of the Day: The Southern Barrens

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

The Screenshot of the Day shows the Southern Barrens in all its chaotic majesty on the battlefield from siege vehicles ablaze to aerial combat.

Will Blizzard surprise fans with aerial PvP combat for a change? This feature was removed from Wintergrasp during Wrath of the Lich King beta.

bodyguardz-armor-carbon-fiber-apple-ipad-2

BodyGuardz Apple iPad 2 Armor Carbon Fiber – Scratch-Proof Protection

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber for iPad 2 (White) is the ultimate in expression and protection. Each carbon fiber skin is custom designed to fit your iPad 2 device and provide tough scratch protection.

Made from a strong PVC based film, Armor Carbon Fiber is simple to install and can be easily removed. The carbon fiber pattern is stylish and smooth to the touch.

  • Strong PVC Based, Carbon Fiber Textured Skin – Scratch-Proof Protection
  • Custom designed for each device
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Screen protector included
  • Includes HD ScreenGuardz Screen Protection

Armor Carbon Fiber is very thin and will not add bulk to your Apple iPad 2.

Included in every pack is a BodyGuardz ScreenGuardz screen protector to ensure maximum coverage. Thin, tough and durable, Armor Carbon Fiber lets you relax, knowing your Apple iPad 2 is protected.

Installation

bodyguardz-armor-carbon-fiber-apple-ipad-2

Cataclysm: Screenshot of the Day # 4

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Two screenshots of the Day, double the fun. The first screenshot straight from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm shows the new Swamp of Sorrows.

The new Screenshot of the Day below is Stonetalon Mountains. The screenshot angle doesn’t permit to see much, but the terrain texture looks familiar as seen in this sceenshot of present Stonetalon Mountains. I took another screenshot at the barrow den of Stonetalon Peak — and that area resembles somewhat the mountain shape of today’s Cataclysm screenshot.

The screenshot of the day [below] shows Tauren architecture. We haven’t heard of any gnome faction working in Tauren territory — especially with the horde insignia displayed on that crate, so this rocket and its launching pad must be goblin tech.

That tall peak behind the launching pad is pretty close, which means this location is high in the mountains where we haven’t been before. The top of Stonetalon Peaks was mostly unexplored and inaccessible territory, but with flying mounts enabled in World of WarCraft: Cataclysm there will be a lot of new landmass never seen before that will likely contain more mobs, camps and towns.

Revising quickly some of the lore from quests, by memory, the non-Horde aligned blood elf Braelyn Firehand sent us to Stonetalon Peak to kill Keepers of the Grove, Dryads, and Night Elves to sate her vengeance against the transgressions the Highborne suffered with their exile from Kalimdor; and we basically wiped out the Talon Den too.

The only unscathed place was the Stonetalon Peak Inn, but who knows if any surviving Keeper of the Grove or Dryad remains in the place. With the Grimtotem, Harpies, Keepers, Dryads, Venture Co. and Alliance annhilated in Stonetalon Peaks, by now in Cataclysm the zone should see an increased presence of Horde camps and towns.

Will there be any Alliance towns? New invading enemies? Slight changes after the Cataclysm? Anything is possible.

StarCraft II Single Player Cinematic - Tidings of Doom

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Blizzard Entertainment unveiled at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals the Tidings of Doom cinematic that thrilled fans of the epic galactic-struggle storyline. However, that sneak peek was a placeholder. In April 19, 2010 — during the Press Invite Event in their Irvine headquarters, Blizzard provided us the revamped version of the Tidings of Doom cinematic with improved graphics, textures and a different dialogue between Jim Raynor and Zeratul.

We finally see what that intriguing concept art was about. It’s an “Ihan Crystal” that serves as some kind of memory database with a holographic projector. It locks within the fate of creation. Information that Zeratul risked his life to attain, and forwarded it to Jim Raynor. Zeratul thinks only Jim Raynor will be able to complete this mission. The fate of creation lies in Jim Raynor’s hands, and it seems the only spark of hope for the universe is Kerrigan the Queen of Blades. Say whoa? Our worst enemy shall be the key to victory?

Zeratul: James Raynor. I bring tidings of doom.

Raynor: Zeratul!?

Zeratul: I’ve pierced the veil of the future, and beheld only oblivion. Yet, one spark of hope remains. You will hold her life in your hands, and though justice demands that she dies for her crimes, only she can save us.

Raynor: Wait a second. You are talking about Kerrigan. It’s been four years. You show up out of nowhere and –

(Zeratul grabs Raynor’s arm, and places his right hand upon Raynor’s)

Zeratul: Time is short. You must understand. The answers you seek, lie within. Study it well. The fate of creation hangs in the balance.

(Zeratul steps back and fades away into the shadows, leaving behind an astonished Raynor)

Raynor: … nice to see you too.

The novel written by Christie Golden in 2008 plays a very important role in the StarCraft II Single Player episodes as a prologue to the game. StarCraft: The Dark Templar revealed the Xel’Naga did not abandon the Protoss. For Aeons, the Protoss thought they were imperfect. A failure. So unworthy, their creators departed and left them. In reality, the novel explains the Xel’Naga were creating their mean to return. Their life cycle is to be reborn in the body of their children, as their new host. The creation of the hybrids breaks this natural cycle blueprinted by the Xel’Naga, nullifying their rebirth. In the wake of the upcoming conflict against the Hybrids and a greater evil, it seems Kerrigan — a zerg/human creature — is important to save the universe.

The StarCraft: The Dark Templar trilogy ended with Zeratul chasing a creature through outer space. He witnessed the birth of this phoenix-like creature as it shed away from within a Xel’Naga Temple. Astonished, Zeratul beheld how the creature reunited with hundreds of similar beings, and followed them through a wormhole. That was the last time Zeratul was seen before BlizzCon 2009.

Zeratul has finally appeared once more fighting Kerrigan at a Xel’Naga temple, and now at the Hyperion — bringing Jim Raynor this mysterious device with a Tidings of Doom warning.

With 29 missions, and two upcoming episodes, StarCraft II presents fans an epic saga of great proportions worth of a few Oscars.

WoW TCG: Wrathgate Contest: Win a roundtrip to Cryptozoic in Irvine

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Cryptozoic is celebrating their upcoming release of the World of Warcraft TCG: Wrathgate expansion by giving away two flight and hotel roundtrip accomodationsl and some juicy swag, lunch and dinner. The winners will visit the Cryptozoic headquarters in Irvine, California to witness the first opening of a wrathgate pack and to play with the staff.

Cryptozoic Internal Sneak Preview contest!
April 15, 2010

On Friday, May 14th, employees of Cryptozoic Entertainment will be busting open packs of Wrathgate in our fresh new digs in Irvine, California. It will be a big deal for us, as it will mean our very first release will be rolling out on trucks and planes on the way to a store near you. So to celebrate, we’ll be taking an afternoon off to play in our internal Sneak Preview.

Two of you will be joining us.

We’ll be picking one of you to grab a friend* and come be one of the first to see Wrathgate. You’ll get two round-trip plane tickets and a nearby hotel room for two nights. We’ll give you two a tour of the offices, buy you lunch and dinner on the 14th, and maybe throw a little swag your way.

Here’s what you have to do: Send an email to contest@cryptozoic.com telling us why you want to come to Irvine and play the TCG with us. If you’re going to tell a story, keep it to 250 words or less. Other than that, the sky’s the limit. Send us a photo. Draw a picture. Impress us. We’ll pick the one we like best and book your flight.

Here’s the catch: You have ONE WEEK to submit your entry. Entries must be received by April 23rd at 11:59pm PDT, and must include your name, address, email, phone number, and birthday. Full rules are available here.

So get busy.

Epicly,
Benhameen

StarCraft II Beta Patch # 8 Build version 0.10.0.14803 Released

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StarCraft II Beta Patch # 8 build version 0.10.0.14803 was deployed today to apply new race balance changes and Battle.net UI changes

Blizzard Quote:
The latest patch notes can always be found at
http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=23094049316&sid=5000

General

  • Korea

  • Added support to display the game rating information on the login screen.

Balance Changes

TERRAN

  • Thor

    • Build time decreased from 75 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Siege Tank
    • Build time decreased from 50 seconds to 45 seconds.
  • Marauder
    • Concussive Shells now require an upgrade.
  • Barracks Tech Lab
    • Concussive Shells upgrade added.

    • Concussive Shells upgrade costs 100/100 and takes 80 seconds to complete.

PROTOSS

  • Void Ray

    • Changed to only have 2 damage levels instead of 3. Still takes the same amount of time to fully charge.

    • Base damage changed from 2 (+4 armored) to 5.
    • Powered-up damage changed from 8 (+16 armored) to 10 (+15 armored).
    • Armor value decreased from 1 to 0.
    • Cost increased from 200/150 to 250/150.

ZERG

  • Roach

    • Burrowed move speed decreased from 2 to 1.4.

    • Armor value decreased from 2 to 1.
  • Hydralisk
    • Life decreased from 90 to 80.

Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX Lens

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The new arrival of the Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera has photography enthusiasts excited. It’s now available for Pre-Order. The camera will ship on March 21, 2013.

Nikon-D7100-DSLR-Camera

The D7100 DSLR Camera with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX Lens from Nikon is a high performance, compact DSLR camera with high resolution photo and Full HD video capability. It is bundled with the 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens which is versatile wide-angle to telephoto zoom lens specifically designed for the DX format.

The 24.1MP DX-format CMOS sensor on the D7100 provides superior images with accurate colors and, designed without an optical low-pass filter, it maximizes its resolution for exceptionally sharp details. The EXPEED 3 image processor brings with it stable, high-speed response, including a continuous shooting speed of up to 6 frames per second. With an ISO sensitivity range that expands to a 25600 ISO equivalent, low-light photography is sharp and detailed with less noise and fast-moving subjects are captured with more accuracy and less blur. At the low end of ISO sensitivity (ISO 100) images display vibrant colors with rich tones.

Autofocus performance on the D7100 is on par with professional-level DSLRs and includes a 51-point focus area with 15 cross-type sensors for detecting both vertical and horizontal variations to achieve fast, precise focus. The central cross-type sensor works down to f/8, which is an advantage when using compatible tele-converters. The D7100 features the option of a 1.3x crop which allows you to get closer to your subject, as well as providing more image size options and faster processing of your images, including a faster 7fps burst rate.

Full HD 1080p video is supported on the D7100 and offers professional-level control including continuous autofocus, manual exposure control, a built-in stereo microphone and an external microphone and headphone jack. Recording at 60i, 50i, 30, 25 and 24 frames per second is possible an HDMI output allows for direct screening on an HDTV. At 720p HD you can record at 60p frames per second for smooth slow-motion sequencing.

A 3.2″ 1229k-dot TFT-color LCD provides 100% coverage for accurate playback and live view composition and the pentaprism optical viewfinder features an OLED display element for clear reading of the camera’s settings without removing your eye from the finder. Dual SD card slots offer large memory capacity and the ability to designate which images go to each card. A built-in flash with commander function supports Advanced Wireless Lighting and a hot-shoe/accessory mount is available for speedlights. The D7100 is lightweight and durable with magnesium alloy top and rear covers and weather sealing to prevent dust and moisture damage. 

The D7100 is compatible with all NIKKOR F mount lenses, both DX and FX format, and can provide wireless connectivity with the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. With the WU-1a and Nikon’s free Wireless Mobile Utility app installed on your smartphone or tablet, you can instantly share images and use your phone or tablet as a Live View monitor.

Included with D7100 is the NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens which is optimized for the DX format sensor. Its versatile focal lengths are ideal for a broad range of shooting situations from wide-angle to telephoto. In the 35mm format, its focal length is equivalent to 27-157.5mm. Close-up photography is possible as the lens can focus as close as 1.48′ (45 cm). Vibration Reduction image stabilization minimizes the blur caused by camera movement providing sharp images in low light and at long focal lengths. Equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), the autofocus is fast, smooth and silent, which is especially important when shooting video. An extra-low dispersion lens element and an aspherical element reduce aberrations providing high quality optical performance and Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating enhances light transmission and reduces flare. 

24.1MP DX-Format Sensor + EXPEED 3 Image Processing System
With its 24.1MP CMOS image sensor and Nikon’s EXPEED 3 image processing system, the D7100 DSLR delivers high quality images with low noise. The EXPEED 3 image processor combined with 14-bit analog/digital conversion provides even tonal gradations while managing color, contrast, exposure, and noise resulting in brilliant image quality. EXPEED 3 also provides the D7100 with fast response time, autofocus speed and a rapid six frames-per-second (fps) burst speed up to 100 images.
Omitted Optical Low Pass Filter
The D7100 is designed without the optical low-pass filter which will allow the sensor to capture images with exceptional sharpness and detail.
Full HD 1080p Video
With full-time autofocus and manual exposure control during video recording, a built-in stereo microphone and an external stereo microphone jack, headphone and HDMI jacks, the D7100 achieves exceptional cinematic reproduction and quality. Record in several high-definition formats: 1080p at 60i/50i/30/25/24 fps or 720p at up to 60p for ultra-smooth slow-motion sequences. Dual SD card slots give you additional recording time, and an all new 60i function enables smooth playback on HDTVs or external monitors.
3.2″ 1229k-dot LCD and Optical Viewfinder with OLED Display
The D7100 features a new 3.2″ ultra-high-resolution 1,229K-dot LCD monitor which provides crisp image playback, menu adjustments and Live View shooting. The pentaprism eye-level optical viewfinder contains a low-power consumption OLED display element for bright, high contrast data readout and provides 100% frame coverage.
Included 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX Lens
The NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is optimized for the DX format sensor. With a 35mm focal length equivalency of 27-157.5mm, it is a versatile lens ideal for a broad range of shooting situations from wide-angle to telephoto. Close-up photography is possible as the lens can focus as close as 1.48′ (45 cm). Vibration Reduction image stabilization minimizes the blur caused by camera movement providing sharp images in low light and at long focal lengths. Equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), the autofocus is fast, smooth and silent, which is especially important when shooting video. An extra-low dispersion lens element and an aspherical element reduce aberrations providing high quality optical performance and Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating enhances light transmission and reduces flare.
Fast Autofocus
The D7100 uses 51 focus points, including 15 cross-type sensors for detecting both vertical and horizontal contrast variations, to achieve fast, precise focus.
1.3x Crop
Get closer to your subject with the new 1.3x crop of DX sensor. Using the 1.3x crop option allows the 51 autofocus points to cover almost the entire frame as well as providing longer equivalent focal lengths and faster image processing.
Built-in HDR
Built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) combines shots taken simultaneously at different exposures into one rich, high-contrast image. When shooting high contrast scenes with bright spots and shadows, HDR will create a balanced image in which no details are lost.
Picture Control
Picture Control gives you instant access to the color characteristics of your images and allows you to tweak colors for optimization or completely redesign the look of your image for creative variations.
Spot White Balance
Spot White Balance control for Live View shooting makes setting the white balance as easy as pointing to the area in the frame that should be white.
Built-in i-TTL Flash and Speedlight Compatibility
The built-in pop-up iTTL Speedlight offers wide-angle flash-coverage. The camera also has Wireless Commander support so users can maximize the potential of Nikon’s creative lighting options. Using the integral flash set to Wireless Commander in combination with one or several off-camera Nikon Speedlights, the shooter can create a unique look for each and every photograph. Up to eight Speedlights can be fired at once. A hot shoe/accessory mount is also available for external Speedlights.
Dual Memory Card Slots
The D7100 DSLR features dual SD card slots with SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card compatibility that offers a several recording options including designating separate NEF (RAW) JPEG and movie files.
Durable Build and Weatherproofing
The D7100 combines lightweight handling and durability with magnesium alloy top and rear covers and weather and dust sealing.
Scene Modes
Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Pet Portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn Colors, Food, Special Effects Mode (Nigh Vision, Color Sketch, Miniature, Selective Color, Silhouette, High Key, Low Key), User Setting 1, User Setting 2
Playback
Full-frame and Thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images or calendar) Playback with playback zoom, Movie Playback, Photo and/or Movie Slide Shows, Histogram Display, Highlights, Photo Information, GPS Data Display and Auto Image Rotation
Supported Languages
Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.
Optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
Connect the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter to the D7100 and instantly transfer shots to a compatible smartphone or tablet, then upload them to the web, send by email or text-share them however you like. With Nikon’s free Wireless Mobile Utility installed on your smartphone or tablet (available for both Android and iOS), you can also remotely control the D7100. Use your phone or tablet as a Live View monitor to take shots without having the camera in your hands.

Battle.net Mobile Authenticator for Android Released

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A few months ago, Blizzard released the iPhone version of the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator. Today, Blizzard has announced the availability of the Android version of the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator to offer an extra security layer for your account and in-game assets to those who use these type of mobile devices. Blackberry and very likely the iPad are among the device line up to be targeted at a later time.

Blizzard Quote:
We’re pleased to announce that the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator, an application for mobile phones that provides an extra layer of account security, is now available as a free download for Android mobile devices on Android Market (http://www.android.com/market/). The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator provides a one-time password that you use in addition to your regular account name and password to log in to a Battle.net account and any associated World of Warcraft accounts.

Versions for other mobile devices are also available for download here, or you can purchase a physical Battle.net Authenticator from the online Blizzard Store. Visit the Android Battle.net Mobile Authenticator FAQ for more information, or head to the setup page to get started after you’ve downloaded the application. For additional account security advice, visit our recently released Account Security page.

Check out the Android Mobile Authenticator FAQ and the Account Security Page.

Keith R.A. DeCandido signing at 2010 Emerald City Comic Con

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The convention-hopper and writer Keith R.A. DeCandido is a guest of the 8th Annual Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) which takes place this upcoming March 13th – 14th, 2010 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA.

Bring your copies of Starcraft: Ghost Nova and World of Warcrat: Cycle of Hatred (Pocket Books), and Starcraft: Ghost Academy (TOKYOPOP) for book signing.

Keith R.A. DeCandido can be found back and forth between the 402 and the 502 booths which are across each other under the BOOM! Studios banner. The booths are located in front of the main entrance of the Emerald City ComicCon. You can view it at the bottom of the Show Floor Map (PDF).

You can pre-order admission tickets here. There are select retailer alternatives to get the tickets from listed in that page, and you can get them at the door for a higher price.

Washington State Convention Center – See google map
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA 98101

(206) 694-5030

Jace Hall stormed the Diablo III Team

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Bashiok encourages fans to check out Jace Hall’s webshow on January 29th. I know Jace Hall visited Blizzard about a year ago or less to talk with the World of Warcraft developers and conspired with a developer to use GM powers against Felicia Day’s in-game character. However, Bashiok is making the announcement of Jace Hall’s show. Did Bashiok mean Jace Hall stole something secretive from the Diablo III Team’s office? As in we are gonna see something naughty like you know … the female Monk nude — I mean — gearless model? Hmm …

Blizzard Quote:
Bashiok: Jace Hall stopped by our offices recently to see how the Blizzard magic happens, and despite our very stern requests brought cameras with him to film it. We also think he may have stolen something. Anyway, you won’t want to miss the first two episodes of the new season.

(Jace, please return the calls from our legal council. Thank you.)

Season 3.0 of the Jace Hall Show kicks off this Friday, January 29.

Twitter Dev Chat # 2: Icecrown Citadel

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Blizzard has posted the entire Dev Chat held over Twitter concerning the Icecrown Citadel dungeon.

Blizzard Quote:
If damage and healing is too much per health ratio, then why don’t you have battlegrounds/arenas give a -30% damage/healing debuff?

We have been talking about solutions like that. It might feel a bit awkward, but it might also solve the problem and maybe it’s okay in the last season before an expansion to experiment a little bit.

Is there talk of a fire shield spell for elemental shaman to use like water shield for restoration shaman?

Not at this time.

Do you still have plans to implement guild housing?

Guild housing isn’t a priority. Aside from the huge development involved it gets people out of cities and into these private areas other players can’t see. We like cities to feel populated. But I’m not sure anyone expected WoW to be going as strong as it is after five years, so who knows in the future.

Can you please explain why Feign Death is still on the Spell Hit metric, especially in raids?

It’s a known issue, but just has to do with the way the spell is set up. Melee and ranged attacks mean a very specific thing to the game engine. We’re hoping to be able to clean up some of this with the Cataclysm overhaul.

All specs get a proc weapon from ICC25, except frost death knights and feral druids. Any plans to give these specs ICC25 proc weapons?

It’s tough when you get into the design mode of “everyone must be able to get something from every boss.” We try to cover a reasonable spread of players, but as with the Ashen Verdict rings and the Quel

Blizzard’s Return to Console Games

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Blizzard’s return to console games is just a matter of time, of which we know for certain at least Starcraft: Ghost will make a return someday.  In the verge of a new game announcement, hopefully at the next Blizzcon, things aren’t going so well for other gaming studios. J. Allen Brack recently told Gamasutra the following:

It’s very similar with World of Warcraft. We developed the game for the PC. It’s a very PC-centric control scheme and the way of playing the game is PC-centric. But we’re a company of gamers. I have two consoles at home. Sam has consoles. We’re a culture of gamers. We will definitely work on a console game at some point. I have no doubt about that. It’s just [a matter of] what game. What makes the most sense?

Should other console game studios worry to see Blizzard return to consoles?  Even before Blizzard has announced anything, some studios are already shaking with their own upheavals. Electronic Arts (EA) has announced an impressive list of servers to be shut down in phases throughout different months of 2010.  It is astonishing.  Is the game industry so in crisis that it has to resort to shutting down server operations? Is it a way to force their players to play newer EA games’s multiplayer?

Blizzard Entertainment for example has said their classic games will continue to be supported via the classic Battle.net, while new and future games will be playable on the upgraded Battle.net 2.0.  It is likely that whatever reasons EA had to shut down these many servers will cause an immediate backlash from their fans, followed by boycotts on current and future EA games. All of these affected games are Sport games.

The horde of players, now left in limbo, will have to spend their time somewhere else for their daily multiplayer fix, so 2010 will be a very good season for multiplayer games seeking more souls to harvest, specially newly orphan ones.

With this huge vaccum left behind by EA Sports, it would be interesting how many of these orphan gamers would jump aboard Blizzard games, specially when the Next-Gen MMO is announced.

The term Next-Gen MMO strongly suggests that Blizzard is working on a console game.  Did Blizzard give up on console games? The answer is no.  Though they postponed [not cancelled] development of Starcraft: Ghost, Rob Pardo has mentioned many times their willingness to return to the development of this game.  The Swingin’ Ape Studios was purchased by Blizzard Entertainment on 2005, and checking up on the current status of the founders of Swingin’ Ape Studios will reveal that all three co-founders Steve Ranck, Mike Starich and Scott Goffman are still working for Blizzard Entertainment as Lead Software Engineers.

Now excuse me, but have you ever heard of three former console developers occupying the Lead Software Engineer position for just one single game? Unless … [bliss] all three are Lead Software Engineers of three separate console games?

WoW: Cataclysm - Worldofwar.de interviews Tom Chilton

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Our german pals from Worldofwar.de have informed us that they are celebrating today their 8th Anniversary online, and kick off right on with an exclusive interview with Tom Chilton. The interview is available in english. The german version may be read here.

These guys got a strike right away. For the 104th time, No … there is no Player Housing feature in development. However, there are a few nice questions about Cataclysm, the redesign of the old world, and what the fate of the old dungeons will be. There are plans to make some changes to Stomrwind. Chilton also reveals there is a new world event similar in context to the zombie invasion, and a possible raid boss prior to the launch of Cataclysm — that sounds pretty much like when the Sunwell Plateau served to bridge Burning Crusade with Wrath of the Lich King’s launch.

Blizzard Quote:
WorldofWar.de: When you think back: what was the coolest feature you have ever implemented in World of Warcraft? Was it a feature in which you hadn

World of Warcraft Rated M by Australia

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Gamespot reports that the Australian OFLC department has finally rated World of Warcraft and its expansions with an M-rating for “Fantasy Violence”.  The Australian entity deemed World of Warcraft meets the definition of a computer game provided in the Classification Act, regardless of its online-only description. It took them 5 years to figure out how to handle and classify MMORPGs which do not have a local or single-player component (it seems).  Ever since, World of Warcraft and other MMOs had remained unrated until now. Congrats to the folks who followed up with the Australian Classification Board and the OFLC..

Keith R.A. DeCandido October 2009 Signing Schedule

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Starcraft fans can find Keith R.A. DeCandido at two public events in early October. Bring your copy of Starcraft Ghost: Nova to be signed, and say hi to the author.

Tuesday, October 6 at 7:30pm
Barnes & Noble Bookstore – Park Slope (Map)
267 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-832-9066

Sunday, October 11 (all-day-long)
Baltimore Comic Con (Map)
BOOM! Studios booth
One West Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Keith R.A. Decandido wrote World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, and Starcraft Ghost: Nova.  On 2010, you will see some of his new work in Starcraft Ghost: Academy Vol 1-2 (Tokyopop)  and Starcraft Ghost: Spectres (Pocket Books).

Blizzcon 2009: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Zones and Dungeons

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The World of Warcraft Preview Panel held at Blizzcon was presented by Chris Metzen, Alex Afrasiabi, Tom Chilton and Cory Stockton.

New Features:

Classic world revamp of every zone with updated quests, art and items.
Guild Advancement System.  Everything the players do will contribute to the advancement of their guild. There will be 20 guild levels.  All you do from arena, battlegrounds, quests, raids, daily quests and other aspects of the game will contribute to adding up points toward your guild level advancement.

What this does is that your guild will have its own talent tree, and as you unlock points for your guild, your guild master will be able to get cheaper repairs, mass-resurrection,

Blizzard will increase the notch up with the use of phased terrain to change the world around you as you progress through quests making the old world of Azeroth much more dynamic than ever before, making the stories more compelling and interesting.

The example given by Tom Chilton during the panel shows a coastline (before and after).  The phased terrain shows the coastline normal and later half of it is underwater.

The new secondary profession: Archaeology, is leveled up by exploring ancient ruins and caves for artifacts. As you progress discoveries and those lead directly to unlocking access to the Path of the Titans character progression.

There are no longer changes to your talent trees. You will keep your 51 points in the expansion. Blizzard is going a different way from this point forth with character progression. In Cataclysm, you must choose any of the Path of the Titans: Aman’thul, Eonar, Khaz’Goroth, Norgannon or Golganneth.

These paths can be chosen by any class.  It adds another dimension to your character’s customization. In addition there is the Mastery System, which allows Blizzard to prune some of the complexity of the talent trees allowing them to be more like passive bonuses such as crit chance, more damage, increase poison damage and that sort of thing.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm adds many new dungeons, creatures, quests and items.

THE WORLD

Cataclysm on Azeroth reveals new lands and it has dramatically altered classic world zones. Blizzard is revamping all zones. However, there are five adventure zones for level 78-85 and two starting zones for levels 1-15. You can also fly anywhere in this new revamped Azeroth. No restrictions like the ones over Wintergrasp. You can fly wherever you want. Beneath is a video we got from Blizzard’s Press Kit CD.  It is a B-roll of the new zones in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

There are multiple scales of change, and some zones have been drastically affected by the cataclysm just based on where they are.  Elwynn Forest isn’t so affected, but there are new quests. On the other hand, we have the Barrens which has been hit hard by the Cataclysm.  It has been split in two: Northrend Barrens and Southern Barrens.  Blizzard is changing the level flow from 1-60.

Cataclysm introduces seven new zones never accessed before by players:

  • Mount Hyjal (Present)

  • Uldum
  • The Lost Isles (Goblin Starting Location)
  • Gilneas (Worgent Starting Location)
  • Isle of Kezan
  • The Sunken City of Vashj’ir
  • Twilight Highlands

Uldum is not just an instance past the gates at the Valley of Watchers, it is a whole new Zone.  The Sunken City of Vashj’ir is a new type of zone, it is an underwater zone.  Blizzard will make sure it is not annoying to play underwater.

The Twilight Highlands is a new zone located to the east of Wetlands.  This zone was known previously as Grim Batol, east of the Grim Batol fortress. The Grim Batol dungeon will be playable in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

DUNGEONS

These are the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm dungeons:

RAIDS

Grim Batol
Skywall
The Firelands
Blackwing Descent

DUNGEONS

Grim Batol: lvl 85 5-man
Uldum: two 5-man dungeons (lvl 84-85 and 85)
Deephome: 5-man dungeon (lvl 81-83)
Skywall: 5-man dungeon (lvl 80-82)
Abyssal Maw: 5-man dungeon (lvl 81-83 and lvl 82-84)
Blackrock Caverns: 5-man dungeon (lvl 85)

OLD WORLD HEROICS
The Deadmines: One level 85 heroic 5-players dungeon
Shadowfang Keep: One lvl 85 heroic 5-players dungeon

Deephome is the elemental plane of earth in Azeroth.  The warped entrance to Deephome is located within Deathwing Scar—west of Burning Steppes.  There you can level up from lvl 80-85.  It’s like the Dragonblight of Cataclysm leveling-wise.  It is not connected physically to Azeroth, but this is the point of entry to the place where Deathwing has awakened from his slumber, and that’s the cause of the rupture of reality that originated the cataclysm.

Skywall, Abyssal Maw, Deephome and Firelands were mentioned to be among the dungeons to be expected in Cataclysm—this is interesting because those are locations within the Elemental Plane created by the Titans to imprison the Lieutenants of the Old gods.  This means that Deathwing has done something unimaginable.  He is sorta broken the barriers of reality and the Elemental Plane has sort of merged, or better said, warped onto Azeroth.

ABYSSAL MAW

Abyssal Maw is one of the two 5-player dungeons located in the underwater zone named the Sunken City of Vashjir. The Abyssal Maw is sort of the Elemental Plane of Water.  It is a giant vortex in the center of the zone. Getting near the vortex will pull you in into the Elemental Plane of Water.

From there you can enter any of the two dungeons of the Abyssal Maw.  The Sunken City of Vashjir was created by the Titans for water elementals.  However, the Naga has come in, and we will learn some new storylines there that will let us know why the Naga are there and how are they tied to Deathwing and the Cataclysm.

The Abyssal Maw is a non-linear dungeon. You choose where to go. It’s a lvl 78-82 dungeon.  This is one of the first dungeons you will see in the expansion.

ULDUM
Uldum is an entire new zone where you will find the Hall of Origination which is composed of two 5-player dungeon wings.

You will experience the ultimate Titan dungeon. It’s non-linear, so you take the choice of what to do first. We will find Prospector Brann Bronzebeard here. There are seven bosses here.

BLACKROCK CAVERNS

Some fans are confused with the rumors going around the net.  Yes, we are going back to Blackrock Mountain, but this is a completely new dungeon separate from Blackrock Depths and Blackrock Spire.  This new dungeon is occupied by the Twilight’s Hammer. Deathwing basically dug a hole from beneath Blackrock Mountain to Grim Batol connecting both mountains through a huge tunnel. An underground freeway that he uses to transport supplies back and forth and anywhere in Azeroth.

ICECROWN CITADEL

Scott Mercer (Lead Encounter Designer) showcased the Icecrown Citadel dungeon. He played a joke mentioning there would be 31 bosses—then stopped and said did Ghostcrawler play with the powerpoint slides? Then rectified. There are twelve epic bosses in Icecrown Citadel.

It will have a 10-player and a 25-player raid dungeon. Teleporters will be available to get straight to bosses.  A successful formula widely welcomed by players in Ulduar. Sindragosa will be the ultimate frost wyrm. This is the former consort of Malygos, not a wannabe drake or young dragon.

Icecrown Citadel is plain crazy.  Once you reach the second floor, you will board an airship.  If you are Alliance you will find King Varian Wrynn. If you are Horde, there will be Thrall.  Basically, the opposite faction leaders and their troops will aboard your airship. You have to fend them off. Then you have to board their airship and take down the mages and stuff. You fight all the way till the airship reaches the top of Icecrown Citadel.

Once you reach the third floor, there are three wings with different sets of bosses. You will find Sindragosa the Frost Wyrm here. You need to clear all three wings to get access to the fourth floor: The Frozen Throne.

That’s eight bosses across three separate dungeon wings that interact with the Lich King. Something interesting in this patch 3.3 dungeon is that there are epic quest lines to unlock access to the second and third wings.

You fight alongside Alliance/Horde heroes.  Among them are Jaina Proudmoore or Lady Sylvanas.

One little spoiler about the Arthas the Lich King encounter that was revealed is that part of the floor will break, and if you fall that’s bad.

FIRELANDS

Ragnaros has sent his fire elementals to burn the World Tree in Mount Hyjal (Present), a new zone.  This time the players will have the chance to enter from Mount Hyjal—apparently—the warp-gate to the Firelands in the Elemental Plane. What this means is that you will take the fight to Ragnaros own backyard, to his domain …. where he is at full strength.  You will find him at Sulfuron Keep. You will find several fire elemental bosses in the outdoors.

Blizzcon 2009 - T-Minus Two-Days: Wednesday

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

I guess I am getting used to boarding airplanes—with July 20th attending the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player hands-on fansite event, and now—in less than a month.

Arrived to a Texas Airport around 5pm CST, and I could swear some guys down there at the control tower were saying: “Houston, Houston—do you copy? I think we got a [problem]. We are seeing a fiery Medievaldragon land on our field.”

Silliness aside, it was a nice trip, except for my old back pain. They surely don’t make those seats for tall people (6’1”).

Reached California around 7pm, and called the taxi van that was scheduled by Blizzard Entertainment to pick me up.  Two guys boarded the taxi, and the driver was curious why the other guys meant to be there for pickup hadn’t arrived yet.

I knew at least one of those meant to take the taxi with me: pR0gR4m3R from Starcraft-ESP.

Met the girl that won the Lore Contest. She was invited by Blizzard to the event.  Looks like LordofAscension and pR0gR4m3R had flight issues, and arrived much later nigh midnight. Didn’t get to have dinner with them as planned.

Found AJ (Starcraft.org) and Starcraft2forums.com or was that Starcraft-Source? Meh, too tired to remember.  I’m not too chatty, so I was just listening their dreadful WWI Paris stories, and laughing some at the old memories. Around 10:30pm, since the dinner with the guys wasn’t gonna happen till they arrived past midnight, I went with the Lore contest winner to eat at Ihop. Go figure, they don’t just sell pancakes. Yup, I’m an Ihop nooblar.  Went to bed by midnight, and woke up nigh 5am. We are heading to Blizzard campus after 9:30am for the Fansites Summit. More later.

Blizzplanet: Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Single Player Hands-On Preview

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

I was invited to the Single Player Hands-On Gameplay event in Irvine, CA on a very short notice (Thursday, July 16th).  I was told Chris Metzen was behind my invitation. I can say I deeply thank him. I’m flattered and honored.

Blizzplanet has been devoted to reporting the latest news about all Blizzard games’s licensed products, interviews with writers, and game lore content for the past seven years.

To be among the first batches of fans having the opportunity to play the Starcraft II Single-Player is certainly very rewarding.  Being an all-geeky lore-nerd myself, having read most of the Starcraft novels, mangas and now subscriber of the Starcraft comic book, I can better appreciate all the clever integration of the licensed products’ printed media based on the Starcraft universe and its continuity become a reality within the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Single-Player.

The build I played had approximately 6-7 maps available out of over 30-35 missions the final product will have. My lore spider-sense tingled at least five times while playing the single player campaign, after noticing stuff that came straight out of the novels and the Starcraft: Frontline manga. These bits let me extrapolate that the entire final game will be very influenced by everything hardcore lore fans have read in the printed media.  They are fully integrated.

It will be much more rewarding to fans when they go: “Holy, I saw that in “X” and “Y” book”.  “OMG, that’s from the manga”.  You will already have the backstory of these characters, and plots. Which is a plus, in comparison to going through the missions not knowing who the characters are, or how meaningful, if at all, are certain locations or objects.

This is why World of Warcraft has been so successful.  There were millions of Warcraft II and Warcraft III players around the world by the time the MMO was launched. In the same way, all those fans who have read all the printed media will feel so close and excited with the single-player. If you haven’t yet read any of these novels and manga, you better get going to a local or online bookstore to start educating yourself in advance prior to engaging the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player.

In this Starcraft II: Single Player Hands-On preview you will be glad to see 16 screenshots, an HD Video Footage, and details from the first single-player maps, achievements, upgrades, rooms and characters within the Hyperion, Mercenaries, and an exclusive interview with our beloved Blizzard VP of Creative Design: Chris Metzen.

I will now share with all of you this single-player experience from the point of view of a geeky lore-nerd. To navigate through all the pages, simply click on any of the images below to jump to the next page. Instead of links for navigation, I wanted to make this like the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign where you choose which mission to play. Get back tomorrow for the lore comprehensive article that analyzes in-depth all the lore within the novels, and manga which have been integrated within the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player.

Your first page to read in this journey is my introduction: The Hyperion.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty - Single Player Video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Blizzard Entertainment invited Starcraft II fansites to visit their Studios in Irvine, California to play the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player campaign.  There were approximately 6-7 missions available in this press-exclusive demo build.  We want to show you some footage of each of the mission maps we played through.  Hope you are as excited as us.  I really wanted to take home a copy of this demo.  To be honest … I CAN’T WAIT.  Watch the single player gameplay video.

More articles about the single player below: