Patch 3.3: Trag Highmountain and Heroes Join the Icecrown Citadel Assault

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For months, I have theorized that the final assault against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon and the battle against the Lich King will be assisted by heroes.  This is strongly suggested due to the introduction of faction champions in the Argent Coliseum—i.e. if you are Horde you will fight Alliance champions.  And viceversa.  My theory is two-fold:  If you are Horde, Thrall and Garrosh will fight alongside you against the Lich King.  Whereas if you are Alliance, King Varian and Jaina Proudmoore will.  I am unsure if there will be other faction heroes—for example, King Magni and Mekkatorque; or Cairne and Vol’jin are very underused. Vol’jin at least had a participation in the Battle for Undercity, but the other heroes haven’t been used.

As an example, Akama the draenei helped us in the Illidan the Betrayer battle, and below 20% health Maiev Shadowsong joined the battle to defeat him in the Black Temple.  It is smart to think that in order to defeat Arthas the Lich King we might need the assistance of faction heroes to take him down.

The second theory was that Trag Highmountain would play a role in the battle against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon.  This character comes from the pages of Tokyopop’s manga through Warcraft Legends Vol. 1-4, a story written by Richard A. Knaak.  Trag however debuted in a previous manga titled Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy along with Kalecgos, Anveena, Dar’Khan Drak’thir, Tyri and Jorad Mace—who already have NPCs in-game since the Burning Crusade expansion days.

Trag Highmountain rose as a undead tauren in Warcraft Legends Vol. 1.  He had destroyed the Orb of Ner’zhul sacrificing himself.  However, the orb rose him as undead later.  He sought help from his tribe’s shaman, but was deceived by his own people.  Thrall helped Trag heal within, and allowed him to reach Borean Tundra aboard the ships that sailed to settle the Warsong Hold.

From there, Trag found the Taunka at the Taunka’le Village and helped them contain the attacks from the Anu’bar.  Trag accompanied a Taunka in his search for a beloved female.  They found her corpse at the Galakrond’s rest graveyard.  Here Trag found a bone of Galakrond and created a weapon out of it with the hope to kill Arthas the Lich King with it.  His thirst for vengeance against the one responsible for his undead state is vast. However, he succumbed to the Lich King and became his Death Knight puppet. His first mission was to lay siege to the Icemist Village.  Without spoiling further, Trag Highmountain recovered his freedom, and as revealed today in patch 3.2 he claims he will help us in the final assault against the Lich King.

Trag: “I will join in the assault upon Icecrown Citadel when the time to strike is upon us.”

Last year, after I met Jeff Kaplan at the Blizzard campus’ cafeteria, I shared with him an idea for the Lich King encounter.  I have no clue if he ever got to follow up on that before he moved on to the Next-Gen MMO development, but we will see.

Starcraft II Single Player Hands On: Screenshots # 11

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The Tech Purchase tab is accessible through the console next to Mr. Swann in the center of the Armory Room inside the Hyperion battlecruiser.  You can see the great design overhaul it has evolved into from what we saw at BlizzCon 2007.  It looks more detailed, with a much deserved Terran flavor from the original Starcraft. You purchase upgrades for your units, buildings, and other stuff with the credits you have earned in each mission.  At the right you can see the credits you have, and the cost of the upgrade you have selected.  You press the purchase button if you want it. Otherwise, nothing happens and you can explore each upgrade.  The bottom-left panel offers a handy preview animation of what the upgrade might do.

Return to the Single Player Hands On: main gallery page or close this page.

StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight is AWESOME

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I finished reading StarCraft: The Dark Templar, TWILIGHT by Christie Golden.  Is it worth reading?  My verdict:  OMG !!!!  It is soaked with revelations, teasing and cliffhangers.  All roads lead to StarCraft II single player in one way or another.  The truth about the Xel’Naga are finally revealed, and now it is obvious how dire the future is for the Protoss, Terrans and Zerg … and all of the StarCraft universe. But are things the way we have speculated and expected for the past 12 years?  Be ready for a shocking canon revelation that will shake your socks. (grins).

Keep an eye for our video interview with Christie Golden held last week at the Book Revue in Huntington, New York where Christie teases few hints of what to expect in TWILIGHT.  I’m hoping to release the video around June 30th to celebrate the official nationwide launch of StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight to a bookstore near you.  And maybe some extra hints via review. Stay tuned.

Mtn Dew WoW Game Fuel Battle Bot Pet Available !!!

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That’s right. The Mountain Dew World of Warcraft Game Fuel pet is now available, and you don’t even need to buy Game Fuel to get it.  It seems you need to log everyday into the Game Fuel website each day to fuel up your Battle-Bot.

You simply go to the official WoW Game Fuel website, and click the Battle Bot promotion image. There you are forwarded to your Battle.net Account.  Once you login, you are treated with: “Congratulations. You have received a Battle-Bot pet.  The next time you log in to World of Warcraft after fully logging out of the game (return to the login screen), you should be able to pick up your Battle-Bot from any in-game mailbox.  Return to the Mountain Dew Game Fuel website each day to receive a case of Battle Fuel for your Battle-Bot!”

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StarCraft # 4

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The War Pigs are getting closer and closer to hunting down renegade marshal Jim Raynor, but obstacles and internal conflict continue to muddy the mission waters. Far-from-gentle giant Turfa Dei confronts the ghosts of his past while the team faces off against present day ghosts

PTR 3.1.2 Goes Live With Premades

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Blizzard is preparing to launch the PTR 3.1.2 for testing. You can now copy your character or even create a premade character.  I just did both of them on USA.  WoW-Europe PTR Copy is also available. The client is 107MB.

Blizzard Quote:
World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.1.2

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at:
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/underdev/testrealm.html

The latest patch notes can always be found at:
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/patchnotes/

General
New art textures have been added for Argent Tournament mounts. Any mounts already purchased from the Argent Tournament vendors will be updated automatically. Argent Tournament mounts with the old textures will still be available for purchase from the Argent Tournament vendors for a small Champion’s Seal and gold cost (standard faction requirements apply).
Copied Test Realm characters will no longer be copied with their achievement history in order to better facilitate the character copy process.

PVP
Vehicle health and damage output in Strand of the Ancients and Lake Wintergrasp now scale with the item level of the operator’s gear. Power scaling is now 1% damage and 1% health per average item level.

Class patch notes after the break.

Blizzard Quote:
Death Knights
Improved Death Strike: This talent now also increases the healing from Death Strike by 25/50% and the tooltip has been adjusted to reflect the actual functionality after the hotfix in 3.1.0.
Ghoul Frenzy: Now has a 10-second cooldown.

Druids
Innervate: This ability has been redesigned to grant 450% of the casting Druid’s base mana pool to the target over 20 seconds.

Mages
Mirror Images: The images summoned by this spell will now target the creature that most hates the Mage, and should no longer cast Fire Blast or Frostbolt on targets that are affected by crowd control debuffs that break immediately on damage unless they are already casting these spells when crowd control is applied.

Priests
Divine Hymn: Healing and healing scaling reduced by 30%. Buff on affected players changed from 15% to 10%.
Renewed Hope: Effect can no longer be dispelled.
Soul Warding: Mana cost reduction is now 15% down from 30%.

Warlocks
Nether Protection reduced to 30% damage reduction, down from 60%.
Shadow and Flame: Now also includes Shadowburn.
Fire and Brimstone: No longer increases the damage of your Immolate spell, but now increases the bonus damage your Incinerate deals to targets afflicted by your Immolate by 6/12/18/24/30%.
Conflagrate updated: Consumes an Immolate or Shadowflame effect on the enemy target to instantly deal damage equal to 12 seconds of your Immolate, or 8 seconds of your Shadowflame.

Items
Darkruned 2-Piece Set Bonus: The bonus critical strike chance for Frost Strike and Death Coil has been increased from 5% to 8%.
Guise of the Midgard Serpent: The base attack power on this item has been lowered to balance it against items of a similar quality.
Nightsong 4-Piece Set Bonus: Chance for Insect Swarm to trigger an instant Starfire changed to 15%.
Scourgeborne 4-Piece Set Bonus: The runic power gain has been reduced to 5 runic power from 10 runic power.

Glyphs
Glyph of Conflagrate redesigned: When you use Conflagrate, the damage done by your next 3 Destruction spells is increased by 10% for 15 seconds if the Immolate on the target has 5 or fewer seconds remaining.
Glyph of Innervate: Has been adjusted to grant the Druid 90% of his or her base mana pool over 20 seconds.
Glyph of Mass Dispel: Now only decreases Mass Dispel cost by 35%.
Glyph of Penance: Now increases critical strike chance by 5% instead of its old effect.

User Interface

Equipment Manager
When enabled from the Interface Options menu, this feature will allow players to store sets of equipment, easily swap between saved sets using hotkeys, and pull items directly from backpacks or bank slots (must be at the bank to equip inventory from the bank).

Bug Fixes

Death Knights
Anti-magic Shell: Tooltip error corrected.
Blood Boil: If no target is available for Blood Boil to hit, the spell will now cast and consume a blood rune but generate no runic power.

Druids
Maim: Rank 2 of this ability is properly considered a stun and can be escaped by Blink.

Hunters
Go For The Throat: Explosive Shot critical strikes now trigger this talent.
Rabid: This Hunter pet talent no longer lists a percentage chance to be triggered, as that chance varies by the attack speed of the pet.

Paladins
Divine Sacrifice: Damage done to the Paladin while this is active will no longer cause the effect to break early, and if it is dispelled or cancelled early, the damage counter will reset correctly the next time the spell is cast.

Rogues
Shadow Dance: Issues with action bars and ability use arising from using Stealth while Shadow Dance is active have been fixed.

Warlocks
Demonic Sacrifice: This spell will no longer appear in any Warlock’s spellbook.

Dungeons and Raids
Players can no longer become saved to a raid instance when they aren’t in the raid during a boss kill.

Ulduar
The Spark of Imagination: Characters that release in part of the boss room will no longer be ported to Westfall or The Barrens.

Battle.net Mobile Authenticator Released

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The Blizzard Mobile Department released their first iPhone / iPod app recently, offering fans an alternative to secure their World of Warcraft accounts by replacing the physical Blizzard Authenticator with an iPhone.  You can download the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app off iTunes. Simply launch iTunes and type: Blizzard Authenticator.  It will allow you to download it for free. The application will give you a random number that you must enter when login into World of Warcraft or entering your account webpage.

This app gives you an extra security that your account won’t be hacked and items stolen by gold farmers. A very nice guide with screenshots on how this app works can be found here.

Diablo III User Interface Uses Intelligent Engine

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Bashiok explained some of the Diablo III User-Interface (UI)  features, how it is distributed on-screen and more interestingly the intelligent UI engine that auto-assigns an ability or spell to the hotbar when you gain a new one. It is gonna be exciting to see how much the hotbar and UI has changed from what we saw at Blizzcon 2008. Hopefully, it will be playable in the upcoming Blizzcon (August) to keep you updated.

Blizzard Quote:
Bashiok: In Diablo III you’ll have seven places which skills can be placed. Four on the hot bar, one for the left mouse button, and two for the right mouse button. The two for the right mouse button can be swapped back and forth using Tab or the scroll wheel.

Currently any of your skills can be placed into any of these seven skill spots. The game tries to help you out with their placement though. When you train a new skill it will attempt to intelligently place it for you. So if it’s – for instance – a buff or non-targeted aoe ability (witch doctor Horrify, barbarian Ground Stomp, etc.) it’s going to put it into your hot bar as it’s not something you use through a mouse-targeted enemy attack. For abilities that are used by clicking on an enemy (wizard Magic Missile, etc.), the game will attempt to intelligently place them on your mouse buttons for you. So after learning a new skill it’s already on your bar ready to be used, and it’s placed somewhere that makes sense to how it’s used.

But just because it attempts to help you out by placing skills where they make the most sense, you can put them anywhere you like. If you want to have Magic Missile cast by pressing the first hot bar key (the 1 key on your keyboard), you can, and it will cast toward wherever your cursor is. You can do this with any of the abilities.

The system automatically places skills where they make the most sense, but allows you to customize however you please. It’s a nice wide open, play how you want to play approach, while still offering a helpful guide in the beginning. Also I think it will help, or possibly just not impede, class build diversification.

Starcraft 2 Q&A - Batch 50

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Chat with Devs: StarCraft II from its conception has been designed to be an eSport and one of the backbone features to helping players learn more about their own gameplay as well as their opponents is through replays. In our chat with Dustin this week, he highlighted various features that will be available to players while viewing replays. These features are designed both to help players improve in StarCraft II as well as serve as a platform of statistics for eSports commentary.

Starcraft 2 Anti-Gravity Changes

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Karune informed the anti-gravity ability has been changed from its original concept, thus some of the Q&A batches are outdated.  In the current alpha build, anti-gravity cannot lift buildings, and cannot lift big units such as the Colossus and the Thor. The ability doesn’t cause any effect on air units either.

The anti-gravity ability is meant for harassment and strategic disabling of key units early and mid game.

Keith R.A. DeCandido Shipping Signed Books

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Keith R.A. DeCandido is now shipping autographed books. You can buy Starcraft: Ghost and/or World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred via PayPal paying to

US residents do not need to pay for shipping. Keith will ship to you. Just pay the cover price. If you live Overseas pay for the cover price ($8.00) via PayPal and he will ship to you. Overseas residents will be billed for the postage afterwards.



World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred

Starcraft Ghost: Nova

World of Warcraft: Arthas Galley Giveaway

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WoW Fans who have been craving to get their paws on World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King will have the opportunity to WIN one out of (ten) galleys by participating in this Blizzplanet giveaway. What is a galley? It is an Advance Reading Copy courtesy of Pocket Books. Here’s your chance to read the book before it’s released to the public! This galley will be on your hands a month earlier before it even reaches bookstores. Ten chances to win … sweet !!! (We will give more soon, stay tuned!)

The rules to participate are very simple and straight-forward. Follow all three steps:

1. Submit a screenshot of your World of Warcraft character standing alongside Arthas the Lich King.*
*Submit your screenshot to the email provided here.

2. Register here. Your password will be sent to your email inbox. You can change the password later. Once the registration is complete … Go to the World of Warcraft: Arthas pre-order page. Browse the left menu in that page and click the “Message Board” button.  Select the Blizzplanet – WoW: Arthas Link.  Post a comment at that thread explaining why you are interested in reading World of Warcraft: Arthas, and what do you love of this book.

3. Specify the username you used to register in the Simon & Schuster forum in your email when you submit the screenshot.

It is that simple.

The giveaway prizes are courtesy of Simon & Schuster. This giveaway ends on March 5th, 2009.

Pre-orders for World of Warcraft: Arthas are available here.

Helpful Tips: You can find Arthas the Lich King in some dungeons, in some Icecrown quests, and as a Death Knight lvl 55 and more. It would be helpful to make your comments based on knowledge about World of Warcraft: Arthas. So it would help you to read the book excerpt and to watch our recent video interview with Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson—who talk plenty about this book.

New York Comic Con 2009 Round Up

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NYCC day two (Saturday) was awesome. I met Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson for the first time. I had been in contact with Metzen a few times in the past 6-8 months, but this is the first time we met face to face. It wasn’t possible to meet him when we visited the Blizzard offices on October the day prior to Blizzcon. So it was great to finally do.

I was quite surprised to find out that he visits Blizzplanet very often, and that he has seen my news at Worldofwar.net too. I really love the passion he puts on everything he works with. Both, Chris and Micky are very down to earth folks, very friendly, and humorous. Very geeky in the good sense. Heck, I’m geeky. I got over 1,600 comic books, all Blizzard games (non-arcade), all Warcraft RPG books and Pocket Star Books.  I have been covering Blizzard games and products news for a bit over six years now.  Am I geeky? Hell, yea.  Blizzplanet turns six years old this very month of February.

During the interview, Chris and Micky hinted Sargeras is not out of the picture. He will eventually return. That’s gonna be an epic fight to take down a renegade Titan. We are going to find out a lot about Arthas’s turmoil within his mind as he slept for the past years in order to regain his strength and control.  Those who read the excerpt know that in that lapse of time, Ner’zhul, Arthas and Matthias Lehner (the ghost child from Icecrown) are the three personnas within Arthas the Lich King during his slumber.

We will see Calia Menethil and the events of Day of the Dragon through the eyes of a young Arthas.  His love triangle with Jaina.  We will see Arthas’ thoughts the moment he disbanded the Order of the Silver Hand, and more. Micky Neilson said there is much more happening behind Arthas’ actions at the time he did that.  Overall they are very happy with Christie Golden’s work. She is a WoW player in an RP server, so she knows the world and the lore by heart. and pours that knowledge into her books.  I recommend reading World of Warcraft: Arthas, the Rise of the Lich King. You can pre-order it here. (Ships April 21)

As for Diablo, there is big secrecy about upcoming Diablo books. I will keep watch over the next months until it pops on my long range radars. I am still testing different conversion formats for the video interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson. Each test takes a while to process. So bare with me. Just know it was an awesome interview. Very informative, teasing and humorous.

I got footage of their book signing session at the Simon & Schuster booth and at the Tokyopop booth. There I got them and Keith R.A. DeCandido to sign 14 Starcraft comic book posters (1’ x 4’) to giveaway to fans. Pop around for details of the contest once the video interview is online.

Sadly, I missed the DC book signing and the comic book interview with Metzen around 12:30-1:30pm. I arrived around 1pm to start setting up the camera and tripod at Simon’s. I thought it would happen in the late afternoon after the Simon & Schuster signing. Fret not. I will send the questions via email instead.  I am geeky about comic books, and I know there are many out there that love the World of Warcraft comic book. Especially this new arc that is so full of thrill.

I had the opportunity to briefly interview Walter and Louis Simonson about the World of Warcraft comic book (Wildstorm). I interviewed him last year when the comic book launched.  This video interview will take a bit longer before making it public, until I submit it to Blizzard and DC.  There were some answers that are too HOT. They did try to not spoil much of the new arc that started with issue # 15 introducing Garona and her son. I could feel the passion they have for writing World of Warcraft.

Those who visited the DC Unlimited booth on Friday, and didn’t do so again on Saturday, there were three new action figures showcased there. Chris Metzen told me about it, and I was obliged to go back and see by myself. I was astonished. I really want one now. What is it? King Varian Wrynn (Lo’gosh) is part of the new action figures series by DC Unlimited. There is also a new Night Elf female hunter with a Owl pet—a character that I was told at the booth might join the Comic Book at some point. I think her last name was Moonbreeze.  And a Ghoul.

Many thanks to Jaime and all the Simon & Schuster staff that helped me set up the video camera onsite. And for facilitating this interview with Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson the past few weeks. And all the back and forth preparations with Shon Damron and Rob Tokar from Blizzard Entertainment.

This weekend has been exhausting, and I barely have time at home. Need to run to day three to cover Aaron Rosenberg’s signing at 11am. See you later tonight.

UPDATE: Full interview available now. Watch both videos here.

2009 New York Comic Con - WoW Comic Book Q&A Submissions

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DC Comics informed me I will be able to interview Chris Metzen (again) at the DC Comics booth 1641.  He will be there on Saturday, February 7th in the afternoon. For further details about the New York Comic Con you may visit their official website.

I will probably meet Walter Simonson (WoW comic book writer) and Jim Lee (Wildstorm director, artist)

I already wrapped up question submissions for the Simon & Schuster booth interview. However, you can submit questions exclusively about the World of Warcraft comic book and the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 1-4. Feel free to post your questions below or at the lore forums.

How to Get a Job at Blizzard

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Dustin Browder (“Cavez” on Battle.net) has made more and more appearances on Battle.net lately (another indication of the StarCraft 2 Beta coming soon), and while most of this naturally is related to StarCraft 2 alone, he did reply to a Swede asking about getting a job at Blizzard after graduation. Want to work with Blizzard? Well, check the Blizzard job page, basically! To be fair, Dustin does answer a few questions as well…

[BLUE=”http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=14697502260&sid=3000″]We have a job listing on the web site. Sometimes we are looking for entry-level developers and sometimes we are looking for experienced developers. Check out the site and see what you think you are a good fit for. Blizzard is an international company with offices all over the world. Our Irvine office frequently hires developers from Europe, Asia, South and Central America, etc.

We always encourage people who have a strong skill set and a passion for our titles to apply for positions that match their abilities. Good luck.=)

Go Sweden!

Via StarCraftWire.net

No Drake Unless You’re In The Club

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The new achievement system has meant that everyone and their mother has started taking part in WoW’s World Events. The reason is probably the lovely Violet Proto-Drake you get as a reward for completing all the individual tasks.

However, I wonder how many players have spotted that part of the Brewfest event meta achievement requires that players have Brew of the Year. This sub-achievement requires players to sample a different brew each month that you can only drink if you are in the Brew of the Month club, which I believe you can only join in August. If you joined last year and have been drinking the brews each month you have nothing to worry about, but if not it’s going to be September 2010 before you get your drake.

Unless Blizzard removes this as being one of the requirements for this achievement of course, which they are not willing to do at the moment.

image

Netherwing Rep Grind Nerfed

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Sharp-eyed players across the net have noticed that a couple of the daily quests in the Netherwing faction rep grind have been made easier.

A Slow Death and The Not-So-Friendly Skies have had the required quest items changed to 100% drop chance. Netherwing Relics used to drop at around 50% and Fel Glands were even more dire at roughly 25%.

I doubt this means we’ll suddenly see a huge influx of Netherdrakes but it will make the grind slightly less painful.

image

Source.

Blizzplanet Database Restoration In Progress

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As you may see in the right navigation, I started focusing work on some of the content pages. This will take some time, but what matters is that the work is begun.  You will still find some broken links in some of the pages.  I will be working with those once the basic structure of what the left menu on the old layout looked like is finished.

I will have to manually change the URL paths to all the pages eventually to point to their new destination. Bare with me.  So far I am restoring the store section. I will eventually restore the lore pages for each game.  Some are already online, just need to plug the links for you to find them the old-fashion way.

Blizzard Music: Echoes of War Contest

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1. A reminder that the Echoes of War contest and the Razer Xmas Contests will end on January 2 at 11:59pm (New York time). The Echoes of War contains music from Diablo III, Starcraft II, Starcraft: Ghost and Wrath of the Lich King. You shouldn’t miss it. Read the instructions to participate. Just need to answer of a few questions and submit your entry.

2. The Razer Xmas Contest gives away a Razer Armadillo, a mouse cable management system that enchances your gameplay by grounding the mouse cable for better movement and precision. Send a screenshot of your character wearing the Winter Veil costume while mounting the Metzen Reindeer. Instructions here. Ends on January 2.

Warcraft Audiobooks: Dick Hill Interview

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Tantor Media Audiobooks, Pocket Star Books and Blizzard Entertainment partnered to launch three Warcraft novels in audiobook format: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon will be available on December 29, 2008, boasting 11 hours of audio—available as Audio CD or MP3.  The Lord of the Clans is slated for February 2009, while the Last Guardian is expected on April 2009. For this special project, many World of Warcraft fans will no doubt check out, Tantor Media Audiobooks hired Dick Hil, winner of three coveted Audie Awards and many times nominee of various awards.

Thanks to Richard A. Knaak, we were able to reach Richard Dick Hill for an interview to find out more details of the Warcraft Audiobook series.

Hi, Richard. I read you have performed in over 400 audiobooks. How long have you been voicing and acting audio books?

Dick Hill: In truth, it’s probably over 500 by now.  I’ve probably been doing audiobooks for 15 years.

When and How did your passion for your career reading for audiobooks started?

Dick Hill: I was working in regional theater, and a friend who was doing an occasional audiobook hooked me up with a publisher.  He’s a brit, so we don’t generally compete, and I’m forever thankful to him.  This is a perfect fit for me for a number of reasons, I’ve got iron pipes, so I can go all day if need be without my voice tiring, I’ve always been pretty good at cold reads (I seldom pre-read, I like the spontaneity), and best of all I get to play all the parts, which was always my desire when I acted onstage, much to my fellow actors’ annoyance.

There are many podcast and voice acting aficionados out there. What would you recommend them to do to follow on your steps and to be as successful as you?

Dick Hill: It certainly helps to be a prodigious reader.  I’ve read all manner of things throughout my life, and that helped in this work.  I’ve recorded classics, the Bible, lots of mystery and thriller fiction, scifi, fantasy, non-fiction…. even some romance..  Talk back to the TV or radio or moviescreen.  It’ll annoy those around you, so it’s best to have an understanding mate, and when you do go to the movies, hit matinees and hope nobody else is there.  It’s a great way to pick up different voices, simply parroting what you hear.  YouTube interviews, CNN, all valuable.  Acting skills, an understanding of character development and interpretation….all those sorts of things can be fostered and improved through study.  A lot of it though, I think is just a predisposition to be a convincing liar.  Seems to me that’s what much of acting is.  It’s a terribly competitive field these days, audio publishers have stacks of demo cd’s from aspiring talents.  You need to put together a demo that shows some of your range, various genres, voices, etc., then start sending it out.  As I said, it’s probably harder to find this sort of work than it is to find work acting, and most actors don’t manage to make a living solely from their craft. Susie and I count ourselves blessed to be able to do so.

How was the idea of publishing a Warcraft audiobook born?

Dick Hill: I’m a hired gun in a sense, and I have no voice in what gets recorded.  Other than my voice.  Hmm…..there

Quest Buddies - Good Or Bad?

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Maticus wrote an article about her experience leveling to 80 with a buddy that didn’t seem to commit too much time or is too casual. Have you been in the same situation? Is leveling with a buddie good or bad? Read up the article and share your personal experience and opinion with other WoW fans.

Reminder: Blizzplanet Razer Goliathus Drawing

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Today is your last chance to get a Razer Goliathus! Celebrating the release of the expansion, this is a drawing contest for all fans playing the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. All you need to do to participate is to complete both questions below and submiting the corresponding screenshots.

1. What did you enjoy the most in the continent of Northrend?
2. Attach a screenshot of the area or location in Northrend you enjoyed the most.

Prize: Razer Goliathus / Speed Edition – Medium Size (High precision mousepad
for both high and low sensitivity users)

Deadline: November 20th, 11:59pm EST (New York).

Submit your entry to the following email address.

BlizzCast 6 - Diablo III Q&A

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BlizzCast 6 is already available with a few interesting interviews.  This time around Bashiok (Diablo III Community Manager) interviewed Anthony Rivero (Senior Character Artist), who worked on Diablo II and Lord of Destruction. He created the Mosquito Demon in Act 3 and modeled and textured Mephisto, the Druid and some of its abilities and pets. For the expansion, Anthony Rivero was credited as Lead Character Artist.

This is an interesting interview because he talks about the differences between creating Diablo II and now Diablo III. Back then the 3D modelers had to do everything from the ground up.  They had to do concept art, modeling, texturing, rigging and go through the tedious process of creating sprites of each armor and body part in 16 different directions for every frame animation. A very lengthy and complex process.  All that is now a thing of the past in Diablo 3 gone fully into a 3D engine. He designed the female Witch Doctor and her armor and the scavenger pets among other monsters.

The Fan Q&A with Jay Wilson offers details of the elixirs, special random death animations, and the full-screen map overlay.  Two Diablo III questions from IncGamers fans (Diii.net and Blizzplanet) were answered; so check them out. Congratulations to Immelmann and Sly_dawg19 who submited the questions to us. We forwarded them to Bashiok (Diablo III Community Manager) for this BlizzCast 6 Q&A session.

  • Elixirs are rare drops, not obtainable from vendors. They add special buffs for certain tough encounters.

  • Death Animations will be implemented through a check system where each boss checks your low health stats and randomly decides what type of animation set will be used. The Diablo III team is still jamming ideas about how to implement this system, and what kind of cool death animations to do or if they should at all.
  • Thus far there are no plans for a full-screen map overlay. However, some ideas are being discussed.

Download and listen to BlizzCast 6 and/or read the transcript.

Make sure to submit your questions in future BlizzCast Question Submission Calls we make in our front page news. Your question might be answered by the developers.

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World of Warcraft Comic #13 Sneak Peek

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Blizzard has released a sneak preview (PDF) of the upcoming World of Warcraft # 13. The comic book is just getting better and better. Lady Prestor has been unmasked by King Varian Wrynn to be Onyxia, who escapes Stormwind with a treasure on her paws: Anduin. Varian must reach Theramore to rescue his son. This new story arc will reveal exactly what the impostor duplicate of Varian really is.  Is he a black dragon? Is he from an alternate reality?  Or even worse … was Varian magically split into two personas? From what it looks the kindness of Varian was split into the impostor, while the bravery and cockiness of Varian was split into who we know as Lo’gosh.  Only time will tell … grab your copy to find out. And don’t forget … Garona will make her first appearance in the comic book. Check out the sneak peek preview.

Hitting stores this week, the penultimate chapter to our first major comic arc sees our heroes heading off to Theramore Island to resolve the damage done by the evil usurper of the throne. Check out the preview pages for yourself.

If you like what you see, you can visit Wildstorm for more information, locate a nearby comic store, or subscribe to the series directly.

Also be sure to check out World of Warcraft: Volume 1, a hardcover collection of issues #0 through #7. It’s on shelves and available online now at all major comic retailers.

BlizzCast 6 Live

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

BlizzCast 6 is finally Live as a sound stream and as a transcript. Welcome to BlizzCast Episode 6!  Nethaera (WoW Community Manager) interviewed Lead Tools Programmer, Monte Krol. He talks about his career background from the early days of Atari games until he applied for a job at Blizzard back on 2000.

Karune (RTS Community Manager) interviewed Senior Art Director Sam Didier and Lead Designer Dustin Browder who explain the process behind creating Starcraft II Unit design from Concept to Creation. Bashiok (Diablo Community Manager) interviewed Senior Character Artist Anthony Rivero who discusses Diablo character design. Don’t forget to read the fans Q&A at the end.

Support BlizzCast 6 and download it.

Thanks, Handclaw

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World of Warcraft Miniatures Game - Review

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Uncategorized

Eldorian wrote a review about his experience collecting the World of Warcraft Miniatures Game or WoW Minis from Upper Deck. In this review you will find out what’s inside the WoW Minis Core Booster and what rares you can find in a random box.  There is a chance to get the highly-sought Bearon mount which sells pretty well and may even reimburse your collection expense.

Read the review.