Diablo 3 Fans Q&A Session Invite

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I invite all Blizzplanet visitors to join the Diablo III public Q&A with Flux, Elly, and myself on Wednesday, October 5th at 2pm EST (New York) / 7pm (London). If you aren’t able to come at that time, feel free to click the script to submit your questions. We will be able to read them later on and answer them.

Elly: On the back of the recent indepth play reports by Flux and other various Blizzcon reports we

Icecrown: Banshee

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Spoilers: The Icecrown Glacier quests are among the best quests in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and that’s an overstatement. Especially when Icecrown has at least 140 quests listed in the Achievements System.  When Blizzard Entertainment developers said this expansion was designed from the ground up to have Arthas the Lich King be a permanent presence throughout level 70-80, they weren’t bluffing.  Every single time you have a questline wrap up fighting special bosses, Arthas the Lich King will pop up in and out like Nightcrawler … (BAMPF, sulfur stench and all).

In this Ebon Blade questline, the Banshee you converted to the Ebon Blade’s cause helps you capture the bravest Vrykul hero from his hibernation chamber and to defeat it. Thereafter, you challenge Overthane Balargarde and lo and behold … Arthas the Lich King shows up midfight. Tremble mortals!

Quest and event transcript after the break. Share your comments with other WoW fans.

WoW Steins Photo Contest

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A reminder to participate in Blizzplanet’s WoW Steins Photo Contest. All you need to do is to take a photo of yourself with friends holding a stein at your favorite local bar and submit the photo to Blizzplanet. You can choose an Alliance or Horde Stein. The contest ends on November 11th. Hurry up!

Read the contest rules

Blizzcon 2008: Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier Interview

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ElkY is spotlighted this week with two articles. One from PokerNews and a video interview about his experience at Blizzcon 2008 playing Starcraft II.

Starcraft player phenomenon known as ElkY has been featured on today’s PokerNews Profile. Elky was sighted at this year’s APPT Macau disguised as the Dark Knight film’s Joker. Elky used his aggressive Starcraft skills to conquer the elite Poker gaming circuits in Europe, the Caribbean and Las Vegas. This year he won an European Poker Tour title.

While chatting online with Grospellier, one of his friends from the gaming world told him about PokerStars and his experiences playing poker online. ElkY’s interest was piqued and he made a deposit, starting out at the $1-2 no-limit hold’em tables. He almost immediately lost all his money, as he didn’t have a very clear concept of the game yet. Grospellier began studying in earnest and realized he could apply a good deal of his skills from StarCraft to poker

Environmental Damage against a Player?

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Environmental and interactive objects and traps which use the physix engine might be monitored closely by Blizzard in the internal alpha and future beta. These might be removed or tweaked depending the degree of exploits used to affect other players. Blizzard wants to create a co-op experience that makes players work together as a team. An experience without grievers or gankers who dedicate to kill players when they are low in health or fighting other mobs.

I clicked a mechanism on a wall while playing the Diablo III demo at Blizzcon.  A chandeller fell from the ceiling.  I ran my Barbarian underneath, and it crashed on his head giving it a daze effect for a few seconds. This type of mechanisms or traps could be used against other players to cause damage or provoke their deaths if timed correctly when they are low in health.

In PvP, can a player utilize the interactive environment to cause harm to another player?  Can certain Mobs be able to use the interactive environment against you?

Bashiok: Right now if you knock down a wall on top of, or drop a chandelier on the head of someone in your party, it does damage/“daze” them. There’s some potential issues with it, right now it’s sort of just there because of the way those object interact with player characters as a whole. It’s possible that due to exploitative or griefing potential they just can’t continue to work that way. We’ll see.

Enemies will destroy some/most destructible objects if they’re in their way. Whether that may include actual damage dealing destructibles or not is probably more of a design decision on a case by case basis. We sort of want to reserve that for the player too I think, being able to damage enemies with the destructbles, but specific creatures that use the environment to their advantage are always cool.

Share your comments with other Diablo fans.

World of Warcraft Realm Issues Compensation

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Blizzard wants to give you money back … say whoa? Yea, compensation for certain downtime and performance issues since patch 3.0.2—listen to what Nethaera relayed from the offices:

Nethaera: Since the release of the latest patch, Echoes of Doom, we have gone through a series of optimizations in order to increase overall game performance. We’ve seen steady, stable populations and a flurry of activity and excitement during the Hallow’s End event and the latest rumblings of zombie attacks. It’s been an exciting time for us as we draw closer to the release of our second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.

We’ve reached a point where we feel we can now accurately evaluate the events since the patch release. Though overall downtime has been minimal, players have experienced latency, inaccessible instances, and general frustrations. We are therefore announcing that we will be issuing compensation to accounts in all realms in the US, Oceanic, and Latin American regions. Accounts that are currently active and in good standing will be credited with an additional three days of game time.

We would like to thank you for your patience during this time and look forward to seeing you in game!

Starcraft II Built for e-Sport Pros and … Moms

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MTV Multiplayer cornered Chris Sigaty at BlizzCon 2008, where the developer confessed he wishes to make the RTS game as good as to make eSports shine brighter, but as simple to learn that his mother and wife could play it. There may be some tricks up the Starcraft II Team, or I am just assuming (”senses a developer answering yea”). Well, the original Starcraft was simple to learn, hard to master. I enjoy the single player, and UMS, and as Entropy can confirm, I am a shame on melee multiplayer, but I love Starcraft, so whatever.

Point is that Chris Sigaty wants his mother and every mother to learn and enjoy Starcraft II gameplay. If you thought that’s ridiculous or nigh impossible … (whispers) my mom (age 57) plays Starcraft almost everyday the past three years. Read the full interview.

Share your comments.

Class Forum Changes

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Nethaera: “With the upcoming release of Wrath of the Lich King and the many changes the expansion brings to classes and mechanics, we have decided to rearrange our forums to make it easier for players to hold constructive discussions. To that end, we have added three role-based forums: Tanking, Damage Dealing, and Healing. Why?

Common ground for common roles. The new structure provides central places for players of diverse classes and specs to discuss their common roles. Until now, there was no one obvious forum for a holy paladin to discuss Arena healing tactics with a restoration shaman, or for a protection warrior to talk tanking mechanics with a feral druid. This often led to splintered, fractured, and redundant discussions.

The class forum structure is great for players of each class to have a sense of identity, but it isn’t necessarily effective for taking into account the impact of talents. While lumping together a shadow priest and a holy priest (for example) may be good for maintaining the identity of priests, this isn’t always effective in terms of our ability to address the very different roles these two talent specializations fulfill.

Celebrate diversity! While a tank tanks and a healer heals, the specific ways each class and talent build go about these roles are very distinct—and the addition of new abilities in Wrath of the Lich King will continue to add even more ways to play. The new forum structure will still be a place for a frost mage (for example) to discuss tricks of the trade with other frost mages, while at the same time facilitating an understanding of the unique tools that rogues or other damage-dealers have to perform similar functions.

Help us help you. The new forums will also allow the community team and developers to follow discussions and gather feedback more effectively as the game continues to evolve—which, ultimately, translates to a better World of Warcraft for you.

Please bear in mind we will have a continued moderation presence on the class forums to ensure discussion remains civil, however, the focus of our posting about class roles will be on the new role-based forums. You can begin using the new forums immediately at the links below”:

Future Shop Wrath of the Lich King Midnight Openings

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Future Shop retailer across Canada will welcome players who come to buy Wrath of the Lich King at midnight on November 12th. A costume contest will be held in each local store. Are you attending this midnight opening? Share your comments with us and make sure to submit your photos or video.

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Oct 30, 2008—Legions of fans will march into Future Shop, Canada’s leading consumer electronics retailer and e-tailer, at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12 to purchase World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King. Media and customers are invited to this midnight opening for the much anticipated expansion to the PC and MAC game World of Warcraft series which is expected to be a bigger hit than its previous successor on its first day at Future Shop stores across Canada.

Limited Collector’s Edition
Gamers attending the midnight launch at Future Shop will have the chance to line up to purchase a copy of the very limited Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft which features: a 208-page book with never-before-seen images of the game; an exclusive in-game pet; a behind-the-scenes DVD; the official CD soundtrack, and more, while quantities last.

Free Gift with Purchase – Limited Quantities
Customers that purchase either the Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft or the regular edition at Future Shop will receive a free gift with purchase, while quantities last. The free gift is an exclusive limited edition World of Warcraft hat.

Chinese StarCraft 2 and Battle.net to be Distributed by NetEase

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An article titled “China’s Super-wealthy See Fortunes Fall” revealed one of the multi-billionaires affected by the economy crisis is the founder of Netease. The article reveals that Netease signed a three-year contract with Blizzard Entertainment to distribute Starcraft 2 and Battle.net in Mainland China.

Among them is 37-year-old Internet entrepreneur William Ding Lei, once China’s richest man, who was among 10 billionaires who returned to the list after dropping off in past years.

Lei’s online gaming company Netease saw its profits rise 40% in the second quarter and his flagship game ‘Fantasy Westward Journey’ is one of China’s top 10 downloads.

He signed a three-year contract with US game developer Blizzard Entertainment to distribute ‘StarCraft 2’ and ‘Battle.net’ on the mainland.

Share your comments.

Fans Chat: Zombie Invasion Reminder

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Update: 11pm EST – The Fans Chat is now over. Thanks for contributing to the topic.  A gift winner will be announced tomorrow. A correction about something I said at the end: World of Warcraft: Ashbringer isn’t coming out on January.  It is coming out to newsstands and comic book shops on October 29th.

Update: The gift we will be giving to one lucky attendee is one of the upcoming World of Warcraft

Upper Deck Launches DRUMS OF WAR

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On Tuesday, October 28th, Upper Deck released Drums of War, the latest World of Warcraft Trading Card Game expansion.  Drums of War features brand-new content, including a new card type and new Loot

WorldofWar.net - BlizzCon 2008 /Silly Contest Video

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BlizzCon held a competition this year to come up with the best /silly comment, to match the jokes your in-game characters tell. Many people entered the contest, and they got to go on stage at BlizzCon and tell their /silly in front of 15,000 people. Some of them were good, some were

World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 2 - Preview Scans

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Blizzard and Wildstorm Comics have just released a preview scan of the first pages of World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 2.  This comic book is full of awesomeness starting from the art style, to the coloring schemes using heavy orange gradients, blue, green and teal for backgrounds. It is a definite change from the original ongoing series.  The story is set in the past when Mograine (the father) was alive.  In this second issue, the scans show the Forsaken’s arrival to the Ruins of Lordaeron to start construction of Undercity.

The preview reveals some of the rivalry and jealousy between Renault Mograine and his brother Darion, which may explain the betrayal. Renault built a lot of anger toward his father. He worked hard to make a reputation as one of the best soldiers, yet won’t have recognition and love from his father, as much as he would for Darion.

This issue introduces the new Troll priest hero: Zabra Hex.  If the name sounds familiar, it is.  Zabra Hex is one of the DC Unlimited Action Figures announced about a year ago. It’s hard to judge from the preview, but it looks like a very interesting story. The Zabra Hex plot is something many would like to pursue reading.  It’s a troll who took shelter in one of the Silver Hand’s buildings and read the books.  Understanding, the troll prayed, and the Light answered. Read more after the break.

Wrath of the Lich King - Icecrown Bombing Daily Quest

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The pre-requirements to unlock this Icecrown Glacier Daily Quest are fulfilled by talking to Chief Engineer Cooperclaw—aboard the Doom’s Hammer Gunship (Horde).  The Alliance has its own version aboard its own gunship.  After completing all his quests, you unlock “Green Technology”, which sends you to the north toward Aldur’thar Gate. High in the air (on a cloaked platform surrounded by a green-dome), you get the daily quest from a female goblin: Fringe Engineer Tezzla.

The old Ogril’a bombing days are a thing of the past.  Now this is for the pros. You are now a true hotshot. In this new and exciting Daily Quest, you fly aboard an airplane. You can’t control its flight, but you can control the gun and bomb-dropping. It’s a really cool daily quest bombing mechanic. You get three different UI Frames. Read more and watch the video after the break.

The Scourge Plague is Over … Orgrimmar’s Razing Cometh?

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The Scourge Zombie Plague Invasion is over, but the war continues.  Although fans accuse Blizzard for ending the plague under speculation that they caved in to certain whinning from a few fans, that’s proven false.  Everything has been planned all along.  The plague ended with the arrival of Grand Apothecary Putress.

I have come from the future, my brothers. I have seen the frozen wastelands. I have faced Arthas many a time. I have beheld the fall of heroes, and have fought alongside them. From the future, I bring you knowledge. (Those sensitive to spoilers, shouldn’t read any of this article past this warning. Heavy spoilers from Wrath of the Lich King beneath)

Thrall: “The demon lord, Varimathras, and the Forsaken’s chief apothecary, Putress, are responsible for this betrayal. Yes, the same Putress responsible for discovering the cure for the recent Scourge plague outbreak.”—(Spoiler: Herald of War)

Thrall’s future self told me this. I saw Putress and his Apothecaries rain down the new Forsaken plague onto Alliance, Horde and Scourge with equal hatred. He who had cured the plague here, and now in the present shall be the betrayer of Sylvanas and the Horde. Heed my call!

I will share with you another wisdom from the future, from where I have cometh. I met Garrosh and Saurfang in Borean Tundra. And he confirmed my fears. Orgrimmar was razed … or in your case, here in the present, the time is nigh … look.  Look upon the sky.  A Necropolis hovers above. It

Win a Blood Elf Rogue vs Draenei Paladin Diorama Contest

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Sideshow Collectible is kicking Halloween’s eve with an awesome contest where the prize is a World of Warcraft Diorama: Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin.

Contest Details

Start Date: Oct 28, 2008 11:15am PT
End Date: Oct 28, 2008 2:00pm PT

Winners: Our Spooktacular contests continue with a chance to win these battling fantasy characters. TWO (2) randomly selected winners who enter the CORRECT answer before the cut-off time will walk away with this World of Warcraft Diorama!

The name of the winner will be posted here after the contest closes. The potential winner will be contacted by email with confirmation instructions, so watch your inbox!

Starcraft II Q&A - Batch 45

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Karune has released the latest Starcraft II Q&A Batch 45 with some cool information. Thanks, Handclaw.

Chat with Devs: After BlizzCon, it has been very exciting to see all the feedback from the fans and pro players about the latest build of StarCraft II. There was lots of noted feedback about both the Colossus and the Nydus Worms (which we are currently polling on right now in the gameplay forum:

). At my most recent meeting with Dustin, we decided to chat about some of the lesser focused on topics, that have undergone quite a few changes since the original StarCraft.

Hallucination
The first topic was about hallucination, a classic Protoss ability, that honestly did not get that much use in the original StarCraft. To make it more interesting, Dustin explained how the ability has been brought down in tech to the Nullifier. Additionally, hallucination could be used to create units in which the player doesn

Fans Chat: Zombie Invasion World Event

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Maticus (WorldofWar.net) and I will be chatting with fans about the Scourge Zombie Invasion world event.  We would love to listen to the fans: your impressions about the world event, annoyance, things you loved, ideas on how to do future world events, etc. Anything to do with what we consider the best world event in World of Warcraft to date. A special gift will be randomly given away at the end of the session.

When: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Time: 7:00pm EST (-5GMT New York) / 11:00pm (London)
Where: The script above the news.

All you need to do is click the script above the news, and wait until the session has started at the suggested time.

World of Warcraft Downloads for Your Phone

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Do you have a mobile phone? Do you love Blizzard Games? Solid sale. Grab one of the 65 pieces of content available from the Blizzard Mobile store including ringtones.

Carry a little piece of Azeroth wherever your real-world travels take you with our new World of Warcraft-themed wallpapers and ringtones for your phone. We’ve just launched a new service in the United States that lets you download content related to your favorite Blizzard Entertainment games to supported mobile phones. Currently, these wallpapers and ringtones are available through carriers AT&T, Cellular One, Sprint, and Verizon; support for T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile is coming soon.

Over 65 pieces of content are currently available, including ringtones of World of Warcraft’s capital city themes and the distinctive murloc gurgle, as well as wallpapers featuring character artwork, class and faction emblems, and more. Visit the new Mobile Ringtones and Wallpapers page for more information—and while you’re there, be sure to check out our StarCraft and Diablo mobile content, too.

New US Free Character Transfers

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Blizzard has announced free transfers from selected realms to a brand new realm. If your guild or you alone wish to make the move, follow the instructions.

Bornakk: We will be offering free character moves from a selected high population realm to a lower populated realm, assisting in population dispersal. The ability to move a character on the selected source realms will become available on Tuesday, October 28 at 12:00PM PDT, and are scheduled to run until Tuesday, November 4 at 12:00PM PDT.

In the event that these realms meet our transfer goals before the scheduled end date, the transfers to that realm will be disabled. We highly recommend that if you are planning to transfer that you do so at your earliest convenience. No characters will be eligible for these free moves once the transfers have been closed.

Once the transfers open you can begin your transfer by visiting the Character Move page located here:
https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/character-move.html

Source A (PvE)
Silvermoon
Aggramar
Alexstrasza
Proudmoore
Whisperwind

Destination A (PvE)
Korialstrasz

Source B (PvE)
Zul’jin
Area 52
Medivh
Thrall
Doomhammer

Destination B (PvE)
Terokkar

Source C (RP-PvE)
Moon Guard
Argent Dawn
Feathermoon

Destination C (RP-PvE)
Sisters of Elune

Source D (PvP)
Tichondrius
Kil’Jaeden
Mal’Ganis
Arthas
Mannoroth
Blackrock

Destination D (PvP)
Azshara

Source E (Oceanic PvP)
Frostmourne
Barthilas
Jubei’Thos

Destination E (Oceanic PvP)
Dreadmaul

Zombie Invasion World Event Ends

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Tigole has announced the Zombie Invasion world event has come to an end with the introduction of Grand Apothecary Putress. Fans are speculating that Blizzard gave in to the ire and complaints to end it earlier. Blizzard however reassures it ended because that’s how it had been planned.

Indeed—Beta players know that this is how things should be.  The introduction of Grand Apothecary Putress makes sense.  As you read a few months ago when I posted the Wrathgate and the Battle For the Undercity videos, the main character behind all these Wrath of the Lich King events was Grand Apothecary Putress.

According to the beta, Putress was the savior of the Lich King’s plague by finding a cure. However, Putress betrays the Horde and even Sylvanas later on in the expansion.  I can vouch that the end of the Zombie Invasion is on schedule as planned.

Share your comments with other Wow Fans.

Tigole: While we recognize that the event could prove to be disruptive at times, we hope you made the most out of it while it lasted. Part of playing in a “living and breathing world” means that things are going to change from time to time. We meant no harm but only wanted to create a lasting impression on players as they head to Northrend to defeat the Lich King. The Lich King’s goals (as you will soon learn) are to turn the Horde and Alliance not only on one another, but on their own kind as well. I think the plague truly demonstrated this firsthand.

So it looks like a cure has finally been found

Zombie Invasion Phase 6

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Early today Necropolises have appeared near major cities and the events of the past days have been just the tip of the iceberg for what seems to come nearing November.

  • A necropolis floats near Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Probably other cities.

  • Flameshocker (Skeleton) level 63 elite attack NPCs in major cities
  • Argent Dawn Initiate gives a special magical weapon to fight the invasion

Tenris Mirkblood and Arcanite Ripper Video

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Tenris Mirkblood is one of the bosses introduced in the Zombie Invasion Phase 4.  He can be found inside Karazhan.  Kill Attumen the Huntsman, and go up the stables’ stairs.  Once above, there are two doors. One to your left and one in front of the stairs.  Take the one in front of the stairs.  Not to far you will find a closed door on your right-side.  Tenris Mirkblood will start his emotes in red text.

The tank must be the one to open the door as Tenris will aggro very likely.  He has two abilities you should worry about:

  • Blood Mirror: Basically you will see a blood torrent flowing from Tenris on to a random player.  While this is been casted, the player will get the damaged equal to the damage the raid causes Tenris.  So, don’t go all out DPS on Tenris or you might wipe half your raid very fast. Healers must focus big heal spams on the affected random player. You can remove yourself from Blood Mirror by using ice block, divine shield, feign death, etc.

  • Sanguine Spirit: Stop casting and move away from these spheres if you are wearing cloth.  These can do between 6-10k shadow damage when they explode.  Just move when they are within 5-yards of you. For the love of Thrall, don’t AOE them or you will wipe the raid. Treat these as you would the first boss in Tempest Keep: Mechanar. The best and secure way to kill him without casualties is to kite him through the hallway. There’s plenty of space in the room you came from. The Sanguine Spirit move very slow.

    The video below shows you what happens when the raid doesn’t move away from the Sanguine Spirits, or goes all DPS during Blood Mirror.  I had to explain the event to the raid.  Our second attempt was cleaner and we killed him.  Everyone in the raid can loot a Vampiric Batling pet.  At the end of the video, you can see the Arcanite Ripper weapon loot in action transforming you into Guitar Hero.

    The Arcanite Ripper is a rare drop, and Tigole just mentioned Tenris will spawn for only 10 days. You only have two chances to kill him and loot this rare item.

    Share your comments with other WoW Fans.