Brood War added to the ESL

The ESL (Electronic Sports League) has picked up StarCraft: Brood War for their German Pro Series. The ESL polled the community, and StarCraft was voted in last week. StarCraft joins Warcraft III in this series,  For more information about the ESL and the Pro Series, please visit the ESL’s Web site.

6 New Screenshots

Blizzard has realized Six new screenshots of Starcraft: Ghost.  It will be interesting to find out what Blizzard has to say in BlizzCon.  It could be the opportunity to reveal the release date.

Xfire 1.44 Now Available

Xfire version 1.44 is now available, and it includes improvements to *BETA* person to person voice chat, dragging and dropping of groups in the friends interface, a CS:S infoview game skin, and more. Read all the details and then login to be automatically updated.  Download Xfire 1.44 here

Blizzplanet uses XFire peer-to-peer closed servers to transfer big files such as movies. Players can chat and browse servers as well. Enjoy!

World of Warcraft Trading Cards Game

Blizzard has announced partnership with Upper Deck Entertainment to bring World of Warcraft trading cards game players nationwide. The Trading Cards Game will be available the first quarter of 2006, players will be able to build their decks and attend events that let them challenge Onyxia, or raid Molten Core in an attempt to defeat Ragnaros with the hopes of getting powerful Epic cards. Visit for more details on the card-based game.  Upper Deck will offer special Foil cards.

World of Warcraft Game Trading Cards

Blizzard has announced partnership with Upper Deck Entertainment to bring World of Warcraft to trading card game players nationwide. The Game Trading Cards will be available the first quarter of 2006, players will be able to build their decks and attend events that let them challenge Onyxia, or raid Molten Core in an attempt to defeat Ragnaros with the hopes of getting powerful Epic cards. Visit for more details on the card-based game.  Upper Deck will offer special Foil cards.

Zul’Gurub: Hakkar Screenshot

We got a screenshot of Hakkar the Soulflayer from Zul’Gurub.  The Test Servers are now open providing patch 1.7.0 for any fan who wishes to copy their character for a hands-on on Zul’Gurub and Arathi Basin Battlegrounds.  Check out the screenshot here.  Additionally, the new Paladin set Zandalar Freethinker

Thanks to [email protected]

Patch 1.7.0 LIVE on Test Servers

Blizzard Test Servers are now live.

The Public Test Realms are live! Players can now experience, and help us test, all the changes and additions coming in patch 1.7, including a new raid dungeon, a new battleground, and many other exciting features.

Players can participate in the test realms by creating a character or by copying their characters from existing realms to the test realms. Those who have previously copied their characters to the test realms will need to do so again, as all previous characters have been removed from the previous test realms. To copy your character and to download the test client, visit our Test Realm Character Copy page. Only players who created their accounts before August 2 will be able to login to the public test realms. Also, players will not be able to log in to the public test realms if they have changed their password since August 16.

Please be aware that the test realms are there to allow us to test major content patches before the patch goes public. Therefore, some changes may be introduced to the public test realms before a patch goes live, and some changes may be introduced to the patch after the test realms have closed. To read more about the test realms, please review the Test Realm FAQ. We truly appreciate our players taking the time to help us test the latest changes to the game; thank you all!

Patch Notes

Test Realm FAQ

BlizzCon Goodies Announced

Blizzard has announced the Goodies to be given to fans going to BlizzCon.  If you thought BlizzCon was too dry for the ticket cost, then the Goodies may rise some grin to few who paid for the tickets:

  • World of Warcraft In-Game Pet
  • Beta-Test Access Code
  • BlizzCon T-Shirt
  • BlizzCon Playing Cards
  • BlizzCon Souvenir Show Guide
  • Other Goody-Bag Item Souvenirs

 

Zul’Gurub Underway

Tigole, Quest Designer, has revealed some important details concerning Zul’Gurub, to be released in patch 1.7.0:

As many of you know, the Dungeon and Raid team has been working on a zone called Zul’Gurub for quite some time now. We’re deep into the playtesting phase of the zone and are currently iterating on a few final boss encounters. The majority of the encounters have been “locked out” and are ready to go. Itemization of the zone is complete and the zone is fully quested.

I wanted to take a minute to talk about the intended “goal” of the zone. Zul’Gurub is often referred to as a “casual raid zone”. But I think the term “casual” can at times be misleading. Rather than get hung up on the semantics of “casual” versus “hardcore” I think it’s best if everyone understands Zul’Gurub’s place in the overall zone and dungeon flow of World of Warcraft.

Zul’Gurub is intended to fit in somewhere between Upper Blackrock Spire and Molten Core. Zul’Gurub only requires 20 people compared to the 40 it takes to do Molten Core or Blackwing Lair. This lower raid cap contributes to the zone being deemed more “casual”, as it takes less organization to get 20 people together than it does for 40.

Another goal of the zone is that it can be completed relatively quickly. Once the zone is mastered, raids will be clearing it in under 2 hours.

Now what I just said can be a little misleading. I know that a signifcant number of people are going to read it as “I can clear Zul’Gurub in under two hours.” But the important thing about what I said is that those fast clearing times will happen once the zone has truly been mastered. Even though the zone is referred to as “casual”, there is still a learning curve to it. The encounters in Zul’Gurub are challenging and require good coordination and skill. The encounters will also be tuned assuming raid groups DON’T have Molten Core or better loot. What this means for well-equipped, hardcore raiding guilds is that they will find the zone to be fairly easy.

The coolest thing about Zul’Gurub, in my opinion, is it allows everyone to have the chance to see some of the coolest parts of the raiding experience—highly scripted boss encounters. There are a LOT of bosses in Zul’Gurub and a lot of time has been put into making all of those fights unique and challenging. I think players of all playstyles will find the zone fun

Dire Maul Hot Fix

Dire Maul chests has been temporarily disable to avoid exploiting and server crashes in all realms.  Patch 1.7.0 will addres the issue permanently.

A hotfix has been applied to all realms that disables all chests in Dire Maul. This was done to stop cheating players from exploiting the chests, which was resulting in realm instability and instance crashes for all legitimate players on multiple realms. A more permanent fix will be applied in Patch 1.7. This permanent fix will allow us to reinstate the chests.

Please note that only the normal treasure chests were disabled; this hot fix should not affect tribute runs

Nazjatar Ascent

Blizzplanet is a strong supporter of Blizzard pocketbooks and RPG Books.  Chris Metzen is the father of the Warcraft Lore.  Many fans do not know what most of the RPG Books are about.  Although they are based on D&D / D20 system—it was Chris Metzen who worked on the RPG Books as Creative and Rules Design Assistant besides additional content provided by him.  Therefore, the RPG Books are 100% Warcraft Lore.  There is a great deal of info revealed by Chris Metzen in the RPG Books, that can’t be found on the Official Website.  I personally own all the RPG books and Pocketbooks, and I want to share a glimpse of what Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light has to offer fans.

Shadow & Light provides details of the Ancients, Dragon Aspects, Elemental Lords, and also information on how the Elemental Plane looks like.  Each have its own illustration and drawings, including the Titans and Elemental Lords.  One of the prelude stories shown in between sections reveals a small story set after Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, nearing the time-frame of World of Warcraft.  The story reveals how a group of Alliance soldiers and a Shadowhunter Troll prepared for seven years the ascension of Nazjatar from the depths of the Maelstrom with a device that would make the land rise above the water.  Their goal … to kill Azshara.

Read the story Nazjatar Ascent
Get Warcraft RPG: Shadow & Light PDF format

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.”