Wow Music: Leipzig Symphonic Concert

As reported few months ago, World of Warcraft music will be played on Wednesday by the Prague Filharmonic Orchestra during the Game Music Symphony Concert in Leipzig, Germany.  The tickets sold out within few days of the Concert announcement as we mentioned back on June 16.  The link provides the full listing of game songs to be played.

I contacted Jason Hayes, and he told me that he arrived last night at Leipzig, Germany.  He is preparing for the Concert, and having fun.  Hopefully, he will provide Blizzplanet some photos and material of his experience in the concert.  For all our fellow fans that paid the tickets and are going to Leipzig, we want to inform that Jason Hayes will be signing autographs.  If you got your Wow Collector’s Edition, poster, or other World of Warcraft and Warcraft III product, feel free to bring it to the concert for an autograph.

2005 GC: Game Music Symphony Concert
Date: Aug 17, 2005 at 8:00pm CET
Location: Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Additionally,  VGMConcerts.com reveals that the 2005 Symphonic Game Music Concert will once more be enriched by an autograph session with famous game composers. Chris Huelsbeck (Giana Sisters, Turrican, Star Wars: Rogue Leader), Rob Hubbard (Human Race, International Karate, Nemesis the Warlock), Jason Hayes (StarCraft, Diablo, World of WarCraft) and Gustaf Grefberg (Enclave, Knights of the Temple, Chronicles of Riddick) have confirmed their attendance. Tthe autograph session will be accompanied by a video game music CD sale from synSoniq.

Join Jason Hayes’ Community Forum

BlizzCon: New Game Announcement

George Wang, from Blizzard Public Relations, told CNN of a new game announcement to be made at BlizzCon:

Blizzard expects up to 6,500 guests at BlizzCon, thanks in large part to the staggering worldwide success of “World of Warcraft”. Over 3.5 million people pay $12.99-$14.99 per month to play the game. In addition to the opportunity to chat with the makers of the game and attend a concert, attendees will be the first to see what’s next for Blizzard.

“We’re going to be showing off a new product we haven’t announced yet,” said Wang. (And for those thinking it’s the long-rumored unveiling of “Diablo 3” or “Starcraft 2,” get ready for a letdown. Wang said the announcement will be linked to “World of Warcraft”.)

Jason Hayes Interview at WowVault.IGN

WowVault from IGN, interviewed Jason Hayes—Blizzard Music Composer about his role in World of Warcraft’s music.  You can join Jason Hayes’ Forum Community here

WoW Vault: What tools and instruments do you use to create your music?

I generally use Emagic’s ?Logic? software on a Mac workstation, and have 3 PC computers on the side that act like instruments, because I run a software program called “Gigastudio” on them. This software basically turns each PC into a powerful sampler. Into each of the Gigastudio computers, I load instruments from various libraries, such as: * Miroslav Vitous Symphonic Orchestra (for solo instruments- especially winds- and some percussion) * Peter Siedlaczek’s Advanced Orchestra * Garritan Orchestral Strings * Vienna Symphonic Library

…And some others, too. Just lately, I’ve also been using the “EXS24” software sampler, which allows you to load in many of the same types of instruments directly in Logic on the Mac, which is very convenient because everything is located within the same environment, and you avoid the complication of all the extra cables smile

I?ve also had the good fortune to record with live orchestra and choir a few times, which is a real joy! Most recently, I recorded with the 80-voice Long Beach University Chorus for the World of Warcraft Intro movie, and they sounded absolutely beautiful.

Another tool I find very helpful is a small digital voice recorder, which I?ll carry around with me to sing ideas into when I?m away from the studio. It?s a great way to get in touch with the creative side of yourself, because a roomful of gear can sometimes feel a little oppressive when you?re trying to be imaginative.

Diablo II Accounts Closed

Blizzard has just closed more than 36,000 accounts for cheating on Battle.net. More than 28,000 CD keys tied to these accounts have been disabled from Realm play on Battle.net for one month, and more than 3,000 CD keys have been permanently disabled from Realm play due to repeat offenses. Players should check out and read the Battle.net FAQ for details on Blizzard’s anti-cheating procedure. As a reminder, the Battle.net news window that Diablo II players see after logging in has had a long-running warning against the use of hacks, clearly indicating that if Blizzard detects that cheating is taking place, the offending accounts may be closed without notice and the CD keys tied to these accounts may likewise be disabled without notice. The account closures reflect Blizzard’s zero-tolerance policy against cheating, as well as their effort to prepare the Realms for the new ladder season. Blizzard: “We appreciate the support of the thousands of legitimate Diablo II players in helping us keep Battle.net a secure and fun place to play Blizzard games”.

New Warcraft Classic Mp3

Blizzard released a music soundtrack selection from old early Warcraft games.  Download the Classic soundtrack here

Warcraft III Bonus Map - Terenas Stand

“Noble countrymen, evil is upon us. Darkness has befallen our shores. Rise and slay thy enemies? strike, strike so others shall live. The meek shall not fade into the night? live my brethren, live.” ? King Terenas.  Download the new Bonus map.

Jason Hayes Website: Modding Support

The Modding: Voice Acting & Music Category at Jason Hayes website is now open.  If you have a new mod project or if you have talent and a microphone, head over to his Forum and make yourself known in the community.  Star Alliance is part of Jason Hayes’s Modding Community Forum.  Here is an excerpt of the welcome:

The primary aim and purpose of this forum is to bridge the gap between composers and mod-makers, so that mods might have the chance to receive custom music written for them, and so that composers of all skill levels may have the opportunity to work on game projects in a non-commercial context. It is a place for people to meet and discuss ideas, and to collaborate on mod projects.

Mods are game modifications, which are custom content developed by people not associated with the company which created the game. Mods can add to a game elements such as scenarios, campaigns, stories, models, units, sounds, and so on, utilising the game engine as a canvas from which to create new games from.

Arathi Basin Battlegrounds Preview

Arathi Basin Battlegrounds Preview is now available in the North American World of Warcraft website.  Among the most notable features are:

  • Both sides of up to 15 players each compete to occupy the five resource nodes spread throughout Arathi Basin.
  • Each claimed node generates resources for the owning team. The more nodes your team controls, the quicker you gain natural resources. The first team that gains 2,000 resources wins.
  • Both the winning and losing team earn honor after completing an Arathi Basin Battleground, as accumulated resources translate directly into bonus honor for players. Even if you don’t win the Battleground, you walk away with honor.
  • As players compete, they will improve their reputation with the Defilers or League of Arathor, thereby earning many new and powerful rewards.
  • Arathi Basin is banded by level, just like Warsong Gulch. The minimum level to join is 21, and different instances will spawn for players between levels 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51-60.

 

Arathi Basin Battlegrounds Preview

Arathi Basin Battlegrounds Preview is now available in the North American World of Warcraft website.  Among the most notable features are:

  • Both sides of up to 15 players each compete to occupy the five resource nodes spread throughout Arathi Basin.

  • Each claimed node generates resources for the owning team. The more nodes your team controls, the quicker you gain natural resources. The first team that gains 2,000 resources wins.

  • Both the winning and losing team earn honor after completing an Arathi Basin Battleground, as accumulated resources translate directly into bonus honor for players. Even if you don’t win the Battleground, you walk away with honor.

  • As players compete, they will improve their reputation with the Defilers or League of Arathor, thereby earning many new and powerful rewards.

  • Arathi Basin is banded by level, just like Warsong Gulch. The minimum level to join is 21, and different instances will spawn for players between levels 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51-60.

  • New Linux Drivers for Nvidia

    Wow players using GeForce 7800 GTX under Linux, should download the new driver.

    Nvidia Linux Display Driver – AMD64/EM64T
    Version: 1.0-7676
    Operating System: Linux AMD64
    Release Date: August 9, 2005

    Release Highlights

    * Fixed GeForce 7800 GTX clocking problem that affected 3D performance.
    Details and download here

    Glynnis Campbell New Book Pseudonym

    We are pleased to announce all Starcraft Fans, that Glynnis Talken—voice actress of Kerrigan in Starcraft and Broodwar has won all three Awards of her Medieval Romance Book entries into the Hearts Through History Contest?-for Best Medieval, Best Western, and A Hero for All Time! Categories.  Most notable is that Glynnis Talken has changed her book publisher to Warner with a new Writer pseudonym.  Could you believe which?  Glynnis Talken will be known in the Medieval Romance Book world as SARAH McKERRIGAN.  Glynnis Talken has done voice acting for games like Starcraft, Broodwar, Diablo II and has also been known for the voice behind MTV TheMaxx, and Star Wars Audiobooks.  Due to some terms by Warner, her Glynnis Campbell pseudonym may no longer be used on her new books with Warner, therefore she chose Sarah McKerrigan.  I will have to apologize to Glynnis.  She told me her new pseudonym a month and a half ago, and I sincerely thought she was kidding me.  The Newsletter announcement makes it official.  Read her August Newsletter below …

    Ancients Lore

    Did you ever want to know more about the Ancients of Azeroth?  Some lost their lives during the War of the Ancients, but their legacy allowed their followers and worshipers to continue on their duties.  Among the Ancients we have gathered details are: Malorne, Agamaggan, Aviana, Cenarius, Elune and Ursol & Ursoc the twin bears.  Most of the information is taken from the following references: War of the Ancients Trilogy books, Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light, Warcraft: Day of the Dragon.  Find out more here

    Arathi Basin Preview in Korea

    World of Warcraft Korea has been chosen for the exclusive preview of Arathi Basin Battlegrounds to be released in patch 1.7.0—within next few days, the North American and Europe websites will show the preview.  When a preview is made, it is given to one of the Wow Centers as an exclusive.  This time it was Korea’s turn.  Stay tuned for the American version.

    Devilsaur invades Orgrimmar

    I have seen images and videos of Lord Kazzak causing mayhem in Stormwind, but seriously, I don’t know whether applaud these 10 players from Guild: O o t S Realm: Tichondrius or whether ask them to get a life.  They trained the Devilsaur from Un’Goro all the way up to Orgrimmar going through Thousand Needles, Feralas, Desolace, Stratholme, The Barrens, up to Durotar.  Now . . . that, my friends, is either a waste of long time or an out of proportions adventure.  Take a look at the Screenshot of the Devilsaur entering Orgrimmar City.  There is a bunch of screenshots showing the Devilsaur walk through all Kalimdor zones up to Durotar.

    BlizzCon Invitational Prizes Announced

    When the world’s best Real-Time Strategy players descend on Anaheim this October, there will be more than just honor at stake. Blizzard announced that the champions of the StarCraft and Warcraft III invitational tournaments will be able to look forward to taking home a check for $10,000 to accompany their winner’s trophy. The runner-up in each tournament will be awarded a $3,000 prize. Be sure to check back soon for more information on the identities of the 16 participants that will be invited from all across the globe to compete for these cash prizes.

    Diablo 2: Ladder Reset Announced!

    With the release of the recent new Patch 1.11,  a new Ladder season has arisen for Diablo 2.  Players are welcome to climb to the top of the Ladder starting this Monday, August 8th.  The current season will not end til the weekend is over, so get out there and clash blades with Diablo, Mephisto and Baal before it all ends!  For more information on the Diablo 2 Ladder, check out our D2 FAQ.

    Jason Hayes: Modding Community

    Jason Hayes has announced a new feature in his website to be launched within few days, where the Modding Community of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo universes may find valuable assistance.

    Jason Hayes: “The brand new “Mod Projects” forum – a section dedicated to the burgeoning mod community! This will come online in the next day or two. It will be a great place for mod makers to come in order to find composers for their projects, and for composers to discover opportunities to write music for mods.”

    Jason Hayes: Modding Community

    Jason Hayes has announced a new feature in his website to be launched within few days, where the Modding Community of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo universes may find valuable assistance.

    Jason Hayes: “The brand new “Mod Projects” forum – a section dedicated to the burgeoning mod community! This will come online in the next day or two. It will be a great place for mod makers to come in order to find composers for their projects, and for composers to discover opportunities to write music for mods.”

    Zul’Gurub Preview at WOW Europe

    Wow Europe has a preview of Zul’Gurub Instance to be released soon in patch 1.7.0

    Over a thousand years ago the powerful Gurubashi Empire was torn apart by a massive civil war. An influential group of troll priests, known as the Atal?ai, called forth the avatar of an ancient and terrible blood god named Hakkar the Soulflayer. Though the priests were defeated and ultimately exiled, the great troll empire collapsed upon itself. The exiled priests fled far to the north, into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they erected a great temple to Hakkar in order to prepare for his arrival into the physical world.

    Rumor Advocate: Blizzard North Unannounced Game Analysis

    There is been a lot of rumors going on for last two years, concerning Blizzard North’s non-announced project, after Blizzard North executives resigned back on June 31, 2003.  Blizzplanet has in the past started rumors that have turned out true, as in the case of Starcraft Going Multiplayer, two months before it was publically announced—as you may confirm at VoodooExtreme(IGN).

    We are going now to analyze the evidence offered through past interviews and comments from Blizzard Employees to reach a veredict.  This time the hammer drops on Blizzard North’s Unannounced project.  You, the Juror, will have the final deliberation.

    EXHIBIT A

    Going back in time—on February 7, 2004, an article by HollywoodReporter mentioned the following:

    “According to industry observers, the departure of 25-30 Blizzard staffers in the past 10 months has prompted the San Mateo, Calif.-based Blizzard North development studio to merge its two teams into one and to cancel one of its two unannounced projects.”

    EXHIBIT B

    I have had that HollywoodReporter article in mind constantly for months, as well as the words said by a Blizzard employee on the World of Warcraft Beta Forums on February 10th, 2004.  Although the Beta Forums are forever gone, there was a Forum Watcher script at Wow.Ethrex.com that would capture Blizzard Employee’s posts.  Here is the bold words from GFraizer concerning the game that was cancelled:

    ” It was Blizzard North so it was a Blizzard North type game. Blizzard North has made Diablo I, Diablo II, and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction..”

    Synopsis:

    • From the HollywoodReporter article we know that Blizzard North was working on two projects by 2003 and one of the games was cancelled, moving the remaining staff to the second team.
    • And a Blizzard Employee, three days after that article, hints that Diablo 3 might have been the canned game.

    So we are back at square one.  What is Blizzard North’s unanounced project?  Whatever the game is, it is been cooking for over two years now.

    EXHIBIT C

    Just few months ago, as reported by Gamespy, Dustin Browder, game design director for EA’s Battle for Middle-earth announced his leave from EA, and his new position as a Blizzard Employee to be effective on March 14th, 2005. Browder is under direction of Rob Pardo on an unveiled game. Browder didn’t know at that point what game he would be working on.

    EXHIBIT D

    Taking a look at MobyGames, Dustin Browder has high expertise in developing RTS and Action type of Games like:

    • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth (2004)
    • Command & Conquer: Generals (2003)
    • Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour (2003)
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dominion Wars (2001)
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (2000)
    • Battlezone (1998)
    • Vigilante 8 (1998)
    • Heavy Gear (1997)
    • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries (1996)
    • MechWarrior 2: Ghost Bear’s Legacy (1995)

    EXHIBIT E

    Curiosly Dustin Browder was assigned to work at Irvine, not at San Francisco-studio.  Recently, Blizzard North was shut down, relocating employees to the headquarters in Irvine—where Dustin Browder is Senior Designer at.

    EXHIBIT F

    Finally, Gameinformer recently interviewed Blizzard on July 18th, 2005, asking the following:

    “Q: Will there be a StarCraft II? When?

    A: Although we have not made any announcements and do not have a development or release timeline, we do fully intend to revisit the world of StarCraft on PC at some point in the future.”

    Having in mind EXHIBIT A through EXHIBIT F, we have somewhat a big picture of the scene.  Blizzard North’s unannounced game is an RTS game and it is not Starcraft 2.  Another rumor has been that Diablo would be launched as a RTS game, but EXHIBIT B basically squashes that rumor. So we have now Starcraft 2 and Diablo III removed from the case.  That would leave only two possibilities: Warcraft 4 is one, but having a huge success with over 3 million paid subscribers on the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft would make a Warcraft 4 very unlikely, since Blizzard doesn’t usually create games that may affect the sales of another game.  Take in consideration that World of Warcraft Expansion was confirmed recently by Shane Dabiri on his Wow Battleplan Press Release.

    The Irvine Team designated for Warcraft RTS games, is who works on Starcraft, but that team was moved to work on World of Warcraft after the release of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.  Most likely that team is now working on the World of Warcraft Expansion as we speak, while the second Irvine Team is developing new content for the current World of Warcraft: Zul’Gurub is scheduled for patch 1.7.0 and Ah’Quiraj instance in Silithus is scheduled for patch 1.9.0

    That leaves both Irvine teams busy.  In the past, Blizzard has always answered they plan to revisit the world of Starcraft for PC sometime in the future.  But at the Gameinformer interview Blizzard was very precise and specific saying there is no current development of Starcraft 2 at this moment.

    Now the question is why was Dustin Browder, an RTS developer, moved to Irvine as Senior Designer when the Warcraft 3/Starcraft Team is possibly working on the World of Warcraft Expansion.  Blizzard North staff was relocated to Irvine to get all of their teams to have regular, direct input on each other’s projects.  If Dustin Browder is working on a Blizzard North project from Irvine as Senior Designer, having the team relocated to Irvine makes things easier.

    Many fans may doubt that Blizzard North may create games other than Diablo, but in reality, Blizzard North has contributed to all other Blizzard games.  In an interview we had with Mike Huang—ex-Blizzard North employee—back on January 2004, he told us that as a Blizzard North employee they had to offer feedback to all games.  Mike Huang was who gave the idea to a Starcraft programmer to make Protoss Buildings be powered by Pylons.  He revealed to have worked on Warcraft 3 and even on World of Warcraft, which means Blizzard North isn’t simply a Diablo only studio.  If Blizzard requests them to work on “X” project, they have the capability to do it.

    That leaves only one possible answer for Blizzard North’s unannounced game:  An RTS game based on a New creative universe not related to Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo series.  A new Franchise.  A possible announcement of this mysterious game could be made at BlizzCon 2005 through October 28-29.

    Wow Password Trojan: Norton Anti-Virus Update

    Everyone who owns Symantec Norton Anti-Virus, please, make sure to download and install the latest update of your software.  The new update, as of August 1, detects a new trojan that attempts to steal your World of Warcraft Account Password.  Among the consequences of a security breach of your computer, your World of Warcraft account could be perma-banned by Blizzard if the trojan creator caused mayhem with your account by violating any EULA or Terms of Use; your items and gold may disappear; and/or your credit card number(Partially—first 4 numbers and last 4 numbers) and personal info like home address and phone number may be in jeopardy as well.  You may visit Symantec website to see the new Trojan definition concerning
    World of Warcraft Password Trojan

    “PWSteal.Wowcraft is a password-stealing Trojan horse that attempts to steal the password to the “World of Warcraft” game and send it to the creator of the Trojan. “

    We recommend players to read the Removal Instructions on their website to following directions on how to disable System Restore(Windows ME/XP) before running Norton Anti-Virus.
    Special thanks to Redrock for the buzz!

    Blizzard North Shuts Down Offices

    IRVINE, California—Aug. 1, 2005—Blizzard Entertainment? today announced its plan to centralize its PC development teams at the studio’s Irvine headquarters.

    As part of this initiative to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its teams, a majority of the staff from Blizzard’s Northern California office will have an opportunity to relocate to the company’s Irvine office, where they will continue work on an unannounced project.

    “We’re looking forward to having our PC development teams together in Irvine,” stated Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “In addition to improving our efficiency as a company, the relocation also represents an opportunity for all of our teams to have regular, direct input on each other’s projects.”

    Blizzard does not believe that these changes will cause significant delays on any of its projects in development. The company released its subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game, World of Warcraft?, at the end of 2004 and is continuing work on StarCraft: Ghost(TM), its upcoming tactical-action console game set in the award-winning StarCraft? universe. Plans for future products will be revealed at a later date.

    World Event Nostalgia

    Caydiem—World of Warcraft Community Manager—wrote a long PR response to a player who requested an explanation concerning lack of World Events like the one provided at the end of Public Beta.  Apparently those days will make many long nostalgia.  Read Caydiem’s note below . . .

    Bonus: We collected nearly 140 screenshots of the Beta Finale event, check out the 3 galleries.

     

    Diablo 2 Patch 1.11 is now LIVE!

    The Lords of Terror, Hatred, and Destruction lurk once more in the bowels of the world, their vile blood galvanized with the thirst for revenge against the Heroes who have thwarted their dark reign. Can the stalwart Paladins, lightning-quick Assassins, and ferocious Barbarians rise to this new challenge? The call has been made, so come join the adventure once again!

    • Click here for more details on Diablo 2 Patch 1.11.
    • Click here to check out the Patch 1.11 Wallpaper.

    Judgehype Q&A with Blizzard Europe

    Our friend-site Judgehype in France had a Blizzard Developers Q&A concerning World of Warcraft.  We recommend you to read the English version of the interview Here

    JudgeHype: Some Professions and Classes are facing inventory storage issues. E.g. the Warlock class (due to Soulshards) or some gathering professions (such as Herbalists). Is it conceivable to provide special bags, which may be created by players, in order to bring a solution to this issue ? Similarly, would it possible to create some kind of keys holder, which would be useful to store together all the required instances keys.

    Blizzard: We are working on specialized bags that can only hold, for example, quest items, soul shards, keys, and profession-based materials. We haven?t decided exactly which kind of bag will be available, but our first goal is to have soul shard bags and key rings.

    The Alliance/Horde characters proportion is apparently quite messy on some servers. This mainly poses a real issue on the PvP servers, due to the queuing linked to Battlegrounds, which is often pretty long at the Alliance side, while at the Horde side they have to play in inferior number. Even if the players understand pretty well that a perfect balance can’t be achieved, could you give us an example for measure that could be applied in order to bring a solution to this on some Realms ?

    We are working at a number of different initiatives. It?s a complex problem, so unfortunately, we don?t have more detailed specifics at this time.

    Hunter Talents Tree Preview

    Blizzard has now a new preview featuring the Hunter Class Talent changes for the next patch 1.7.0

    Curious about the changes to Hunter talents in the upcoming content patch? Wonder no longer! In this interactive preview of the changes, you can view the progression, read up on the new abilities and enhancements within the various trees, and experiment with new builds!

    The preview team has implemented new web feature: the talent calculator!  In the coming days, all classes will be available, allowing players to plan out their progression and save it. Stay tuned!

    Diablo patch 1.11 in the Horizon!

    Great evil has returned to the world of Diablo 2. Will you answer the call to save Sanctuary?  Blizzard has announced a new patch for Diablo II.  Patch 1.11 is coming …  Now the question is whether all this hype is herald to more exciting news.  Blizzard North has been working on a game, as announced in 2003.  BlizzCon could be a special event for any announcements.  Keep your fingers crossed!  Now it is time for some drooling, check out the screenshots below:

    VGTour Ladder Invitation

    We were informed of a new VGTour ladder—Vile Gaming Tour—on Battle.net, organized by IA-NewB.  The VGTour ladder is based mostly on US West realm and is entering its 4th season. Vile Gaming Tour founder, Spartan, was recently interviewed on GosuGamers.net.

    The VGTour is trying to provide a solid ladder on West for all the skilled west players to compete on and determine who is really the best. The event has two ladder sections, one for high money and one for low money maps, so that ALL gamers on bnet can participate.  Read the interview for more in-depth details.

    Music4Games Interviews Jason Hayes

    The Editor of Music4Games has informed us about their interview with Jason Hayes, World of Warcraft Lead Composer, regarding Video Games Live and GC concert performances of his music:

    Music4Games:How does it feel to have your music selected
              for the GC Game Music Symphony Concert?

              Jason Hayes: I’m very honored to be a part of this spectacular
              concert event! To have music performed at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig,
              a city so renowned for its rich music history, is a real thrill
              for me.

    Music4Games: What other projects are on the horizon after the live
              concerts?

              Jason Hayes: I’m going to be in high production mode on the
              album for the next few months, and I’m also currently starting a
              brand new game from NCsoft. Right now, all the details are completely
              undisclosed, but I’m hoping that some information will be released
              about it soon. I think it’s really going to be incredible!