Blizzard Entertainment announced juicy discounts for World of Warcraft and StarCraft II during this year’s Black Friday. Get World of Warcraft Battlechest (which includes all expansions up to Cataclysm) for $5 and Mists of Pandaria for $10.
StarCraft II and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm are down to $19.99 each.
Nick Carpenter shared on twitter just a glimpse into the type of work that Visual Effects can do for any film. The video below shows a “Before and After” breakdown from the film The Great Gatsby. While Westenhofer wasn’t involved in that film, this video shows heavy use of visual effects work. By the way, Simon Dugan (“The Great Gatsby” cinematographer) in on the Warcraft film. So this video below shows his work too.
Having watched that, below is a “Before and After” of the movie titled “The Life of Pi” for which Bill Westenhofer won an Oscar. Bill Westenhofer is the VFX supervisor for the upcoming Warcraft film.
Presenter: World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel. Your panelists are Alex Afrasiabi (Creative Director), Tom Chilton, Brian Holinka, Dave Kosak, and Chris Metzen (Senior VP Story & Franchise Development).
Kosak: Hello, hello, hello BlizzCon. Guys I am… I am so excited! I’m so excited to be here just to meet the fans and the costumes – guys you outdo yourselves every year. I got to tell you, you guys make this the most fun gaming convention I’ve ever been at, hands down! Thank you so much.
Alright so we’re going to talk about Warlords of Draenor. So if you were on an earlier panel, I think we blew through two hundred PowerPoint slides in like 60 minutes or something. It was a little much, we kind of ran out of time. For this panel we wanted to want to slow down a little bit, take it easy.
We are going to talk about just a few topics. What we’re going to do is we are going to talk about the heart of this expansion, our values sort of the soul and why, most importantly why Draenor is absolutely the next place to take the Warcraft franchise.
Alright, so let’s get my PowerPoint up here, because I’m a big fan of PowerPoint.
Okay so recap, how did we get here? How did this all began? We asked ourselves what if, what if you take, you take this guy, Garrosh Hellscream. Now we know about Garrosh, we know about his values, we know what’s important to him; we know yeah, yeah we know the kind of horde that he wanted.
The World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects is available in paperback at a discounted price of $10.12 (37% Off the retail price). The book will ship immediately. It was released a few days ago.
Uncertainty plagues Azeroth’s ancient guardians as they struggle to find a new purpose. This dilemma has hit Kalecgos, youngest of the former Dragon Aspects, especially hard. Having lost his great powers, how can he—or any of his kind—still make a difference in the world?
The answer lies in the distant past, when savage beasts called proto-dragons ruled the skies. Through a mysterious artifact found near the heart of Northrend, Kalecgos witnesses this violent era and the shocking history of the original Aspects: Alexstrasza, Ysera, Malygos, Neltharion, and Nozdormu.
In their most primitive forms, the future protectors of Azeroth must stand united against Galakrond, a bloodthirsty creature that threatens the existence of their race. But did these mere proto-dragons face such a horrific adversary alone, or did an outside force help them? Were they given the strength they would become legendary for . . . or did they earn it with blood? Kalecgos’s discoveries will change everything he knows about the events that led to the . . . Dawn of the Aspects.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (November 19, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
The Diablo III: Storm of Light pre-order has a discount price of only $10.67 for Kindle (many mobile apps available) and $10.74 (37% Off) for the paperback.
The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.
Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind….
Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the Soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before the Heavens fall to ruin?
The Untitled is now available for pre-order with its new ISBN-10: 1451684487. The pre-order seems to have a discount at $20.02 (retail price: $26.00). Grab yours while the discount is on effect.
This novel bridges World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.
While the novel is about Garrosh’s trial in Pandaria after the Siege of Orgrimmar, Christie Golden recently said in an interview with WoW Insider that she doesn’t get into his mind, but instead into the minds of most of the leaders of the Alliance and the Horde who have a bone to pick with him. There’s significant development for Sylvanas and Tyrande.
I’ll update in a few months once the cover image becomes available.
Two hours of raw gameplay playing Adventure Mode in a Crusader class level 35-42. Adventure Mode for me is very fluid and enjoyable. I feel the campaign mode is long and less fluid. Campaign mode can be monotonous long before the 1000th time going through it.
Adventure Mode on the other hand is completing a random Bounty at a time. You choose which Bounty to tackle, and which area of Sanctuary or High Heavens you want that Bounty to be at.
Some are short, others even shorter. It feels like the perfect gameplay experience for someone who doesn’t have 2 hours to play, but 20 minutes or 40 minutes. You complete as many bounties as you wish in the time-frame you wish, and you know you will be done before the time you need to go take a shower to go to college or to your job, or to the movies with a friend.
Best yet is the rewards. Every bounty you gain a Horadric Cache, monsters might drop them too. The bigger ones are sold by the Horadrim for 100 Blood Shards. Some have a chance to drop a Legendary item. The way this new mode is designed will likely make players level 70 go this route to gear up. It’s so fun to open the Horadric Cache and see this bunch of loot come out. Even if your leet Legendary didn’t drop, lots of Blacksmith materials pop for you to craft stuff.
Watch the 2 hours video below. (720HD available with full screen)
Note: On Tuesday or earlier, I’ll take video of the Crusader at level 70. I am level 61 right now. Working hard on it. I’m also going to gather all the Crusader skills in a list and add short videos of each skill+rune variant. Stay tuned.
Disclaimer: This video shows gameplay in the Friends & Family beta testing. It doesn’t represent the content to be seen in the final product as things might change or be removed.
When playing in Adventure Mode, you will have the opportunity to loot a Rift Keystone from an elite monster.
These can be used at the Nephalem Obelisk near the Main Camp. Usually you can see it on the mini-map at the town or main camp as a obelisk icon.
A yellow portal opens. Click it and your character will be teleported to a random dungeon.
A progress bar will appear on the right side, just beneath the mini-map. It goes from 0% to 100%. As you kill monsters, that bar increases. At 100% the Rift Guardian will spawn near you.
Below is a video I took of my Crusader level 26 entering a Nephaelm Rift. The video is about an hour long. You can skip everything after I kill the Rift Guardian. I stayed a while to clear all the five dungeon floors. If you see me smashing monsters with Fist of Heavens, I heard a few hours later that the ability is bugged. Supposedly hits 10 times harder than intended. If you are playing beta, I don’t recommend exploiting bugs. Might get banned.
The feedback I have heard so far is that Bounties look more appealing and rewarding than a Nephalem Rift. As usual, the developers listen to fan feedback, and chances are there will be significant changes. Remember, this is still Friends & Family beta. Nothing seen in this video is final.
In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, players have two Game Mode options to play a game. You can choose the linear progression Campaign Mode, or you simply choose the non-linear new Adventure Mode.
Now what exactly is Adventure Mode? It is Awesomeness-in-a-nutshell. Ok, that’s a generic answer, so let’s go into a more detailed one. When you select Adventure Mode, you are given the option to play in private or public games. The text displayed says: “Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot!”
When you launch the Adventure Mode game, none of the quests you usually get in the Campaign Mode are available. You are given free choice to do what you want to do. Nothing is linear. That is you choose your bounty dungeon, the location in Sanctuary or Heaven you wish to go to. Teleport there. Kill monsters. Complete the bounty. Reap your reward. Move on to choose the next bounty.
Adventure Mode is what hardcore players really needed for a change of pace. In Adventure Mode you also get access to the Nephalem Rifts which is kinda crazy sending monsters of all random types at you in a single wave.
Adventure Mode is also perfect for leveling up. No need to go back and forth completing quests and wasting precious time to gain gold, experience through quests in order to level up. I created a Crusader class character at level 1. I chose Adventure Mode and picked a bounty quest location on the map.
Starting an Adventure Mode doesn’t mean there isn’t characters talking or quests. Just they are completely different than what you would usually see in the Campaign Mode. And you even get an intro tutorial to Adventure Mode.
Tyrael (with voiceover acting) welcomes you when you join your first Adventure Mode.
Tyrael: “Greetings, Nephalem. Though you have defeated many powerful foes, there remains much to be done. This is a map of Sanctuary and the realms beyond.”
Tyrael: “From here, you can select a region to view it in greater details. This map displays the different places you can go within the region. Locations marked by an exclamation point have bounties for you to undertake. Bounties are the many tasks and challenges which require your attention. In return for completing them, you will be rewarded with powerful items. Good luck, nephalem. Sanctuary has need of you.”
As you can see in the image above, you can navigate back to the Sanctuary map by clicking the globe located at the top-left corner. Hovering your mouse over one of the quest exclamation point over a waypoint in the map will show you the title of the bounty. A horned-skull icon represents a mayor boss like Zoltun Kulle, Belial and Maghda.
The rewards system is very different to what you would see in the Campaign Mode. When you choose a bounty in the map it doesn’t tell you what the rewards will be, but when you complete the bounty objectives you will get a Bounty complete window informing you what the rewards were. Usually Gold, Experience, a Horadric Cache and a Bloodshard.
In Adventure Mode, the Inventory displays two currency options: Gold and Bloodshards. The Bloodshards can be used to buy from Lorath Nahr (the Horadrim disciple) or from Kadala. Both of these Horadrim stand next to Tyrael in the main camp.
Lorath sells a Greater Horadric Cache which contains a random loot when opened.
Kadala sells an assortment of four options: 1-Hand Mystery Weapon, 2-Hand Mystery Weapon, Mystery Orb or Mystery Mojo.
This in fact looks exactly like it does — Gambling is back and it doesnt’ cost you gold, but Blood Shards instead. On my first 2-Hand Mystery Weapon purchase I got a Bow.
Adventure Mode Gameplay Video
This video lasts about one hour and forty minutes. I started a level 1 Crusader on Adventure Mode in Normal difficulty. Before the end of the video, I was level 12. Basically, players can skip a lot of content and simply focus on the main bounty objectives. For example, if the objective is to kill everything in the second level of the Cathedral of Tristram, if I wished I could skip everything in Level 1 (where possible) and slip into Level 2 to sort of finish the Bounty as quickly as possible. Disclaimer: What you see in Family & Friends beta will not reflect what will be seen in the final build of the launched game. Things might change through multiple iterations. Secondly, the video will show a few bugs like the rockworm that swallows my character. It can’t be attacked and doesn’t do any damage to my character. As soon as you see the rockworm in the video, jump to minute 11:00 to skip that part.
The profile UI has been simplified a bit re-arranging where we used to see personal info about our characters. This is a look at the Profile’s Career Page — before and after.
The Profile page for each individual character has been also simplified drastically. Unless the current state is a placeholder, a lot of graphics have been trimmed out. Likely to enhance server stability, but that’s speculation on my part. This is how it looks on Diablo III vanilla and how it looks on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.