Diablo II Lore Sections in the Works

I haven’t forgotten about the Diablo fans.  I already finished transcribing Act III of Diablo II, and started Act IV.  Once all six acts are transcribed, I will add and organize all the text dialogues from NPCs in our new Diablo II/LOD Lore section.  We haven’t seen this done in the known Diablo sites, to my knowledge, so I will go and give fans a treat with some collected lore.  Hopefully it will be finished by next weekend or earlier.

For now, check out our Diablo Classic History from the Game Manual.

StarCraft the movie

Although this is an old post from January, it deserves a mention.  EvanC—Blizzard Poster—replied a thread titled Starcraft the Movie:

EvanC: “Officially
We are very interested in taking our worlds and characters into other realms of entertainment, but as with any of our projects, we seek to work with the best talent available. While we would love to bring StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo to the screen, we will do so only when we find the right partners.

Un-Officially
What kind of a story outline would you have a movie portray; the story line of SC and BW or a new story?”

A fan suggested creating a movie based on STARCRAFT: LIBERTY’S CRUSADE.

Another Blizzard Poster, NickJS, commented on a thread titled World of Starcraft.

NickJS: “The topic of “World of StarCraft” is often brought up. I would like to see something similiar to PlanetSide which I had a lot of fun playing during the beta.”

Worldwide Invitational Begins at Seoul

The Blizzard Worldwide Invitational is about to kick off at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul, Korea. The coming three days will feature hands-on demonstrations of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and StarCraft: Ghost. The finals of the Battle.net Ladder Season Three tournament and an invitational tournament featuring some of the world’s best players will begin later in the afternoon. For more information, bios of the competitors, brackets, and tournament formats please visit the Worldwide Invitational tournament webpage here.

Inside The Game will be covering the event live, including the opening ceremony which takes place at 12:30pm KST. The live audio and video stream can be found here.

CHECK OUT Screenshots from WWI 2006— I am surprised by the Dark Portal and Onyxia huge replicas in those photos.

CHECK OUT The video Coverage

Starcraft Ghost Novel Excerpt

We got a buzz from Zere, who wrote a transcript of the Excerpt of STARCRAFT GHOST: NOVA pocket book that—as mentioned by Keith R.A. DeCandido in our recent interview—comes attached within WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CYCLE OF HATRED pages.  Let’s get some SPOILERS !!!—-  Read the book excerpt

“Today i got the new warcraftbook “cycle of hatred”, inside there is a 20-site-preview of the upcoming novel “nova” if its still new to you, go to broodwar.ingame.de/kommentare.php?newsid=244500

There are two parts: one of 6 pages, which I typed in there, and another 14-paged part, which describes the mentioned 15th-birthday party. In the birthday-part, Nova’s full name is mentioned: November Anabella Terra, named after her mother Anabella. Her father, Constantino Terra, who knows about novas psi-abilities, is a wealthy industrial. He tells Nova that she’ll soon leave the planet, after getting 2 news reports:

  • Losing a production planet to some rebels
  • Destruction of Mar Sara due to Protoss (-> SC:Ghost plays at least 3 years after Starcraft Classic)

    Greetings,
    zere”

Wow Europe: Gadgetzan Times!

From Wow-Europe Official Site, hitting newstands around Azeroth is the latest, most informative and entertaining magazine in all of Azerothian history: the Gadgetzan Times! Pick up your copy of the Gadgetzan Times today!

Available in French and German

Contains:

  • Gadgetzan: Jewel of Tanaris
  • Goblin Engineering 101
  • Gnomish Speed Racer
  • A Day in the Life of a Bruiser
  • Ask Auntie Fizzle
  • Jetsett Spannerwork’s Guide to Azeroth

Brood of Nozdormu Reputation

The Brood of Nozdormu Reputation page has been added to the Official site’s Reputation section. As your reputation increases with the Brood of Nozdormu, more items become available for you, including Epic items! Check it out here

Diablo 3 Job Postings?

Ladies and Gentlemen …  is Diablo 3 on the horizon?  Well, I don’t know that for sure … but … have you checked the Blizzard Jobs lately?  Check out the underlined out text for some drooling-session!

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Job Update 2/1/06
New Position: Art Director
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for a talented, motivated, and experienced Art Director to help lead our art team in developing beautiful, cohesive game worlds for an unannounced PC Project and future projects. The ideal candidate will have shipped multiple AAA titles as an Art Director, at least 5 years game industry experience and a strong illustration and concept background. Check out the Art Director posting for more information.

New Position: Lead 3D Environment Artist
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for an exceptionally skilled Lead 3D Environmental Artist for an unannounced PC project. The ideal candidate has experience modeling and texturing assets for a diverse visual range of environments. A solid grasp of form, color, and light for both 2D and 3D art assets is essential. The Lead Environment Artist must have skill in another art task as well—illustration, modeling, texturing, animation, concept drawing—and be well-versed in related tools—3DS Max, Photoshop, etc.

New Position: Lead 3D Character Artist
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for an exceptionally skilled Lead 3D Character Artist to work on an unannounced PC Project. The ideal candidate has experience modeling and texturing a diverse visual range of characters and creatures. A solid grasp of form, structure, color, and light for both 2D and 3D art assets is essential. The Lead Character Artist must be skilled in another form of art production as well—illustration, modeling, texturing, animation, concept drawing—and be well-versed in related tools—3DS Max, Photoshop, etc.

New Position: Lead 3D Character Animator
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for an exceptional Lead 3D Character Animator to work on an unannounced PC Project. The ideal candidate has experience animating both human and non-humanoid characters. A solid grasp of the principles of body movement, anticipation, overshoot, follow-through, squash and stretch, forward and inverse kinematics and other facets of both 2D and 3D animation is essential. The Lead 3D Character Animator must have experience managing a team of animators and skills in another character art task as well—illustration, modeling, texturing, or rigging—and be well-versed in related tools—3DS Max, Character Studio, Maya, etc. The ideal candidate works well in an environment of peers who are passionate about making great games.

Diablo Lore and History

As announced in our Blizzplanet Update few days ago, we added Diablo Lore and History.  And Warrior, Rogue and Sorceror Class description. This material comes from the Diablo Classic Manual.  Special thanks to StarcraftFreak from WC3Campaigns for his contribution.

Stay tuned, in a few days, we will add the in-game gossip and mission text from NPCs to introduce our new Diablo II and Lord of Destruction Lore section.

Diablo 1 – Classes

Diablo invites you to enter a world of Dark Gothic Fantasy. Play as a brave Warrior, cunning Rogue or mysterious Sorceror. As you venture deeper into the labyrinth, you’ll discover weapons, armor and magical treasures, and develop your character’s skills and abilities.

Glynnys Talken: Scottish Festival and Games

Glynnis Talken—voice actress of Kerrigan—is almost ready to launch her new non-Blizzard book Lady Danger around April.  After a few months of hiatus, she’s back with her monthly Newsletter and public appearances.  She?ll be appearing aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach for the Scottish Festival and Games on Sunday, February 19th. You can find her signing the Knights of de Ware trilogy at the Tea & Sympathy booth. Details of tickets for entry to Queen Mary.

As revealed exclusively in Blizzplanet a few months ago, with her new publisher Warner she will change her writer name from Glynnis Campbell to her new seudonym . . .  Sarah McKerrigan.

Eyonix: Priest Talent Tree Details Soon

Eyonix dared what no CM do … he offered a ETA on when to expect details about the Priest Talent Tree changes to be released on patch 1.10 – and we encourage you to stay tuned to Friday’s possible announcement. However, be merciful.  ETAs usually change due to many variables.

Eyonix: “After a long discussion with the class designers concerning Priests, yesterday, as a Blizzard employee whose function is to provide news, I smiled at the information I was provided. As a Priest player, I giggled to myself for hours. The changes are impressive, although like any change to the game, specifically a class, the outcome of such is most often times subjective.

The changes are being tested, and finalized.

My goal, if possible, is to provide an update, as comprehensive as possible concerning the upcoming Priest changes, by this Friday. Please note, this may not be possible due to a number of variables, however, it’s at least a reasonable possibility.”

1up: Patch 1.10 Interview - Weather Effects

1up.com interviewed Jeff Kaplan (Tigole) to discuss changes in the upcoming patch 1.10 which will bring more casual quests for level 60, Priests Talent Tree changes, and Weather Effects.  The article has screenshots and video of the Weather Effects.

Tigole Replies Rants from NYTimes Article

Tigole defended his position before World of Warcraft players that have posted their rant concerning the NY Times article published on Saturday.  The Forum Thread’s post-limit was broken at page 35, and another thread was created to created to continue the debate. Due to the massive feedback, Tigole decided to make a lengthy reply to the community.

Note: Forum thread might be pruned over time. Below is a copy

Blizzplanet Updates

Through the day, I have been updating many pages including interviews, and added all Warcraft books excerpts and book cover images with its own section. The excerpts now link to the interviews. Check them out:

General

Frozen Throne

Additionally, now that I have a forced leave from World of Warcraft due to my PC dying out two weeks ago, until I repair it, I will have some extra time to update other areas.  I will start working on the Orc Campaign of Frozen Throne.  The Human, Undead and Night Elf Campaigns of Frozen Throne are already available here

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Soon as I am done with Frozen Throne, I will pick up on Reign of Chaos’ Campaign missions.  I will get all the text spoken by Hero NPCs in-game and from the cut-scenes as a source of Warcraft lore.

Diablo

Finally, thanks to StarcraftFreak from WC3Campaigns, I will be able to add some juicy lore of Diablo.  He provided me with a lot of material I have never seen.  It is from the Game manual of Diablo 1.  Along with some artwork.  I have been playing Diablo II and Lord of Destructions last few days. I have collected data already from the RPG texts in-game to add them to Blizzplanet’s database.  This will actually be our very first content on Diablo. I got so far Act 3-5.  I will play again to get the Act 1-2.

Keith R.A. DeCandido Interview

Our interview with Keith R.A. DeCandido is now available.  Many thanks to the community of fans from RP-PvP.com, WC3Campaigns, Warboards, and Official Forums for being interested on the new books and for providing feedback for the interview.  The interview offers details of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred pocketbook and Starcraft Ghost: Nova pocketbook.  Both novel books serve as prequel to the games, explaining how things got to be the way they are in the game. Ghost is held until the game is ready to ship.  Blizzard will have the last word until the official announcement of the Console game release date.

New York Times: Naxxaramas coming on Summer

The New York Times interviewed Jeff Kaplan(Tigole) – lead game designer of World of Warcraft – to talk about the plans for World of Warcraft in the upcoming months now that Ahn’Qiraj Gates have been opened on the Medivh Realm.  Tigole said Naxxaramas is coming around the Summer and it will be the hardest 40-man raid instance in the entire game until the World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion.

NYTimes: “What can you tell me about Naxxramas?”

Tigole: “Naxxramas is going to be the most difficult thing in the game until the expansion pack comes out. It will be the pinnacle, and it’s absolutely massive. You’ll see this big necropolis floating above Eastern Plaguelands. It’s a 40-man raid zone, and it’s bigger than the Undercity [one of the main cities in the game]. Things could change, but we’re up to something like 18 bosses in there, and they are really cool, too. But it’s going to be hard. Really hard. We’re hoping to release it in the spring.”

Gamespot: Wow Closing Time

Matthew Rorie – Gamespot Editor – wrote an article describing his experiences in exciting games like Diablo II and World of Warcraft. However, the article is aimed at how addicting and time-consuming these games are – sqeezing large amounts of time from our lives. He decided to cancel World of Warcraft.

I (Medievaldragon) have personally played World of Warcraft since closed beta (Summer 2004) and have been hooked ever since.  I feel identified with some of what Mathew wrote.  Nevertheless, I didn’t put down the game for good permanently because I wished to. Recently, my PC for some odd reason stopped working. Not sure if it’s the hard drive or the motherboard. I heard a pop and some stench of burned circuits. Lights are on, but there is no image onscreen and mouse light won’t turn on.

I have been almost 2 weeks without World of Warcraft, and I can say it is addictive.  You can’t really compare it until you go through the withdrawal effects.  Sometimes I feel bored as heck, sometimes while dreaming some elements of the game show up. As days go by, it is feeling aweful without Wow. It will take a while before I manage to repair the PC. In the meantime, my subscription is cancelled.

Whether cancelling by free will or due to PC screwing up … it is not an easy choice, but possibly the best for your real life commitments that were left behind or uncared. Seems I am getting a life once more.  The Gamespot article is a good read. As for World of Warcraft, like Terminator … this might sound biased: “I’ll be back!”

Two New Screenshots

Blizzard updated the official Starcraft: Ghost website with two new screenshots. View them here

Worldwide Invitational Tournament Mini-Site Launched

The Worldwide Invitational 2006 mini-site has just been launched. The mini-site includes daily news updates, replays, results, and interviews covering everything that will occur before and during the event.

Blizzard also announced the seedings and bracket structure for both the Ladder Season 3 finals, as well as the StarCraft Invitational tournament.

Jason Hayes: Wow Music Interview

Working-Title Gaming site interviewed Jason Hayes, Blizzard Music Composer to talk about his role in the music of World of Warcraft.  For those who have missed out in the last months, there are some Orchestra Tours playing many gaming music playings including World of Warcraft and Warcraft’s.

Do you sometimes dream about live performances of your works by a symphonic orchestra? Or ist there even something like this intended?

Jason Hayes: “Absolutely! I love the expression and power of a live orchestra, and I am very hopeful to get more music produced in this way. In the realm of live performance, it was definitely a dream come true when “Video Games Live” debuted at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in July of last year, featuring music from the Warcraft series. Then in August, I travelled to Germany to attend the “Symphonic Game Music Concert” in Leipzig [Games Convention], where a suite of music from ?World of Warcraft? was performed. It was my first time in Germany, and I absolutely loved it!

Upcoming events include “Video Games Live” in March during the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, and the “Play! A Game Music Symphony” concert series which will make its U.S. debut in May at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago, followed by a June concert in Stockholm, Sweden at the Konserthuset.”

Two New Realms

Two new Realms were added today to World of Warcraft.  One for Oceania and a Roleplaying Realm for North America.

Eyonix: ” To support the ever-growing population of Azeroth, we’ve opened two new realms! Jubei?Thos, a new Oceanic PvP realm, and Thorium Brotherhood, a brand new RP realm. If you’re just beginning your adventures in Azeroth, or a veteran looking for a fresh start, these realms are the place for you!”

Upcoming Changes to Zul?Gurub

The DevTeam will tone down some boss events in Zul’Gurub, while the Hakkar encounter will be more difficult.  Hakkar is currently not working as intended.

Tigole: “The following encounters will be slightly toned down:

  • Arlokk (Panther Boss)
  • Thekal (Tiger Boss)
  • Mar?li (Spider Boss)

The Hakkar encounter will become more difficult. It?s not currently working as intended. Also, we have reduced the number of creatures in the zone significantly. In addition, we have increased the amount of reputation awarded for killing creatures in the zone. Gaining reputation should be much easier.

These changes will go live in the near future. I don?t have an exact ETA for you at this time.”

Cenarion Circle Reputation

Blizzard released a new Cenarion Circle Reputation page showing the various Leatherworking, Enchanting and Clothing recipes available from Friendly to Exalted.  And the special Class sets that require honored.

I certainly love the +15 Fire resist on Cloak. Some stats are very low, but keep in mind that Ahn’Qiraj requires every Nature resist and Mana Regen you may get your hands on. The Ayamiss the Hunter event is poison intensive, and the long fights require mana regen gear to stay alive long enough.

Starcraft Patch 1.13F

Starcraft and Brood War expansion have been updated to patch 1.13f.  Eight years, and we keep getting patches. Won’t you love that?  At least Starcraft buddies aren’t been forgotten.  If you need a manual download of the patch, check it out Here.

Patch Notes

  • Fixed several bugs that contributed to game exploits.

Lore: Lunar Festival Celebration

RPGVault (IGN) got ahold of an exclusive peek into World of Warcraft’s upcoming Lunar Festival Celebration packed with lots of quests.  The Lunar Festival history starts as a celebration of the defeat of the Burning Legion ten thousand years ago.  This quest makes a direct reference to the novel pocketbook War of the Ancients Trilogy—The people of Azeroth celebrate their triumph of many thousands of years ago, when an alliance of good races (Night Elves, Tauren and Earthen – a proto-Dwarven race) defeated a terrible evil. It is also a time of remembrance for the valor and wisdom of that ancient age.

The celebration is a homage to China’s New Year of the dog and will run in-game through January 27th until February 14th.

The article contains a good deal of new lore concerning a demi-god created by Elune and offers 17 screenshots.

ATI Catalyst 6.1 Released!

ATI Technologies has released the latest Catalyst version 6.1—which addresses some World of Warcraft issues.  Download the video card driver Here.  Read the Patch Notes.

  • World of Warcraft: Rotating or zooming within the Blackwing Lair or Seering George level of the game no longer results in a VPR Recover occurring after approximately a few minutes of game play. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-21265

Ahn’Qiraj Gates: More Than Meets the Eyes?

It seems the Opening of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj event is far more than fans realized.  According to Caydiem—Community Manager of World of Warcraft—something will happen in various locations of Azeroth around the same time the gates are opened.  No one knows for sure, but this seems to be some sort of World Event similar to that happened at the end of Open Beta where all towns and cities were attacked by waves of mobs.  This is speculation, but judge yourself by reading the message below.

Caydiem: “We’re aware that many realm communities are becoming excited as the War Effort nears completion. Several players, wanting to see the event, have created alternate characters on the realms closest to completion and have trekked out to Silithus in order to bear witness. While we respect your enthusiasm, we do need to take steps in order to allow the realm communities who have worked for this completion to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

As such, we are temporarily shutting down character creation on Medivh and Mannoroth. If you have characters there already, you will be able to create new ones without a problem, but those without characters will not be able to create new avatars on these realms until the event is complete. We may implement additional measures as the situation warrants. This should hopefully cut down on the latency experienced by large crowds and allow the industrious communities of these two realms to experience the opening of the gates.

Keep in mind, also, that there’s more to see than just Silithus when the event unfolds—there’s no need to gather all in one place. Keep your eyes and ears out for events around the world!”