RP-PvP Realms Go Live

Tomorrow Tuesday, Blizzard will release two new servers for RP-PvP starting 11AM PST.  The new servers are named Maelstrom and Emerald Dream.  After the maintenance schedule, fans can start creating their new characters and enjoy roleplaying with other players.  Join Blizzplanet/RP-PvP Forum Community to share with other members from the RP-PvP servers.

Bonus Map - Wizard’s Retreat

New Warcraft III: Frozen Throne bonus map has been released.  Nestled in the Arathi Foothills lies the pristine resort enclave where the wizards of Dalaran retreat from the front lines to recuperate while relaxing in steamy hot mana pools.

Download Wizard’s Retreat,  a new Bonus map for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

Blackwing Lair: Threat Bug Fix

Tigole informs that the Dev Team has identified the threat bug that was affecting players in Blackwing Lair:

” We identified the cause of the threat bug that was causing erratic behavior in the Ebonroc and Chromaggus encounters. In fact, the bug could occur in any encounter but due to the length of the above mentioned fights, it’s mainly being noticed there. The bug would cause aggro to “ping-pong” after a certain threat value was reached.

We *should* be able to get this bug fix into the 1.7.0 patch. If we cannot get it in there, we’ll try to hotfix it or get it in an incremental patch soon after.

Apologies for this bug”

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BlizzCon Costume Contest

Blizzard Entertainment announced the official BlizzCon Costume Contest, co-sponsored by Intel and Alienware. Show up to BlizzCon on Friday, October 28th as your favorite Blizzard Entertainment character and enter to compete with others for prizes and great fun! Interested?

BlizzCon World of Warcraft Movie Contest

Blizzard announced the official BlizzCon World of Warcraft Movie Competition, sponsored by NVIDIA! Talented players are welcome to create a movie using in-game footage and combine it with music from any of Blizzard past games. Blizzard is accepting submissions beginning Thursday, September 8. Five winners will receive an NVIDIA? GeForce? 6800 Ultra, two tickets to BlizzCon, and much more.

More Blizzard Employees Depart

It is confirmed by Gamespot, Blizzard Entertainment has lost three additional staffers. Mark Kern, William Petras, and Taewon Yun announced today they had founded Red 5 Studios Inc.  And Blizzard North’s Rick Seiss joined Castaway Entertainment.

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Blizzard North Lead Designer Gone?

It is a mystery what’s going on at Blizzard North.  Rick Seis, former Lead Designer of Blizzard North, has joined Castaway Entertainment—founded by ex-Blizzard North employees back in 2003. Recently, Blizzard announced the shutdown of Blizzard North in San Francisco, relocating employees to the main headquarter in Irvine.  It is not been confirmed if there were layoffs or if in this particular case Rick Seis chose to accept the Castaway offer on his own.

” REDWOOD CITY, CA ? September 6, 2005 – Castaway Entertainment is proud to announce that former Blizzard North studio lead Rick Seis has accepted the position of Technical Director and lead programmer for their current unannounced project.

?I?m delighted that I will be able to rejoin friends and former coworkers from Blizzard North,? remarked Rick ?and I look forward to reuniting with several others from that team very soon.?

Before joining Castaway, Rick held the position of development team lead at Blizzard North, the company responsible for the creation of the highly successful Action-RPG series Diablo. Prior to this position, Rick, who joined Blizzard North in 1994 as one of the company?s first employees, served as both a senior programmer on the original Diablo and the lead programmer of Diablo II. He has also functioned as the company?s director of technology.

?We are very excited about acquiring more of the most important resources of Blizzard North: the people that comprised the team there were by far their most valuable assets,? stated Michael Scandizzo, president of Castaway Entertainment. ?With the team we have built, we will be able to maintain the quality of development Blizzard North fans have come to expect.?

Castaway Entertainment, LLC is an independent video game development studio focused on developing world class RPGs for the PC and next-generation console systems. Headquartered in Redwood Shores, CA, Castaway is a growing company founded in 2003 by a team of experienced and talented game developers from across the industry.

Currently developing our own multi-platform next-generation action RPG, we are looking for a publishing partner to bring this high quality game to the shelves.”

StarCraft Map Contest Winners Announced

The five winning StarCraft maps that will be used in the BlizzCon Invitational have been chosen!! Players from across the globe will be competing at BlizzCon playing with this maps.  The winning maps can be viewed and downloaded from the BlizzCon website.

New Areas in Silithus Map?

A fan in the Official Forums made a new find in the Maps section of WorldofWarcraft.com Site.  The map of Kalimdor has been changed to reveal a new extended area to the west of Silithus.  Checking the Map of Patch 1.7 in the Test forums doesn’t show this new map, which seems strange.  Blizzard announced in the Battleplan part 2 that patch 1.8 will have new quest series and that Silithus would be a major quest hub.  The outdoor area of A’Quiraj will have 20-players raid content—which might explain why the Kalimdor map has been extended with new land areas off the western coast of Silithus.

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Wow: Battleplan part 2

The new Battleplan announcement by Wow Lead Producer Shane Dabiri reveals that BlizzCon indeed will share with fans a lot of content planned for Wow Expansion.  Ah’Quiraj will have an outdoor content for 20-players while the indoor will have an instance for 40-players which Dabiri claims will be a tier above Blackwing Lair.  Quests for Silithus will be added in patch 1.8 that will tie in with quests for other instances.  We are promised that AhQuiraj will be a quest hub for future content quests.

“Beyond the doors of Ahn?Qiraj, Silithus is being fleshed out as a major quest hub with episodic storylines that extend into its depths and past its borders. Players have frequently requested more small-party and solo content, and we?ve focused our efforts to meet those desires around Silithus. Everyone should definitely check out the new quest and storylines when the Silithus content is released in patch 1.8.”

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Patch 1.7 Bug Fixes & Classic MP3 Releases

Few interesting news from World of Warcraft website:  A Bug fixes list of what is been addressed in the Test Servers for patch 1.7 was released possibly in the attempt to cooldown fans who are impatient and want to know why the patch has not been released.  The answer is that the Test Server is simply for testing to find bugs, and hoping that players will cooperate informing the bugs.  The feedback helps the Dev team to fix them before the patch goes out into the Live Realms.  Second news is the release of a new Classic Warcraft Music MP3.

New York Times: Wow Owning the Market

New York Times has written an article about the boom of Massive Multiplayer Online Games with the launch of World of Warcraft, but with the concern that the game might be hurting other companies in the genre.

“World of Warcraft is completely owning the online game space right now,” said Chris Kramer, a spokesman for Sony Online Entertainment, buyer of Matrix Online and one of Blizzard’s chief rivals. “Look, Matrix Online is good, but it’s like being in the early 90’s and trying to put a fighting game up against Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter; it’s just not going to happen. There are a lot of other online games that are just sucking wind right now because so many people are playing WOW.”

EFF Criticizes BNETD Court Decision

The Electronic Frontier Foundation(EFF) strikes back at the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to give a victory to Blizzard Entertainment on the legal case against BNETD:

The court ruled that Congress? explicit protections for reverse engineering and add-on innovation in the highly controversial DMCA are too narrow and weak to protect innovators from lawsuits when the software they create is used for illegal copying, even if the copying occurs without the knowledge or participation of the program?s creators. The court also ruled that clicking on a EULA?s “I Agree” button, common when installing almost any software product purchased today, can be used to force both consumers and competitors out of the marketplace for add-on innovation.

Additionally, Gamespot got a reply from Paul Sams—Blizzard VP of Business Operations after the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled their decision.  The link provides some more of his comment.  Here is an excerpt:

We have worked hard to provide gamers with a free and secure environment on Battle.net, and this ruling further validates that we are justified in protecting our service and our players. In addition, it represents another major victory against software piracy.”

Jeff Grubb: Submit your question for Q&A

All fans of Jeff Grubb, writer of D&D and Wizards of the Coast, feel free to share your questions for the Q&A to take place at RP-PvP.com Public IRC Chat.

The topic can be anything from Warcraft: The Last Guardian, Warcraft RPG Books, Magic: The Gathering – Ice Age, Star Wars, D&D: Manual of the Planes, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms or any of his previous and current projects. Post your entry here

Jeff Grub is an addict player of World of Warcraft in his spare time. We humbly hope he joins the RP-PVP Servers when they are launched in the US =]

Hellgate: London Q&A: Beta on the horizon?

Hellgate Guru ran a Q&A with Flagship Studios CEO Bill Roper, and it seems that the Hellgate: London Alpha or Beta might be somewhere around the corner.

“Hellgate Guru: For my last question: we’d all like to know how far the game is into development, and when can we expect to see a playable alpha/beta of the Hellgate: London?

Bill Roper: We’re in the phase of development where we are generally dumping in lots of content. We’ve defined the “acts” of the game, roughed out how we’re moving the story along through those levels, and have huge lists of tasks we’re ticking off one by one. As for timing on an Alpha and Beta – stay tuned!”

Blizzard Wins Blizzard vs BNETD Case !!!

It has been announced that Blizzard has won the Blizzard vs BNETD case.

“A federal appeals court has ruled that computer programmers do not have the right to reverse-engineer Blizzard Entertainment’s video games to improve their playability.”

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Blizzard: Katrina/Lousiana Community Call

Blizzard is calling to the heart of all Blizzard players to donate to the Red Cross, to facilitate the help offered to victims of the hurricane Katrina in the southern zones of United States, specially those of New Orleans(Lousiana)

Help the Red Cross!
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the individuals and families affected by Hurricane Katrina. We encourage everyone to assist the federal, state, and local organizations doing vital work on the ground by making a donation to the relief efforts. The Department of Homeland Security has asked that donations be made in the form of financial contributions, rather than supplies, which are difficult to get into the affected areas at this time. If you would like to make a donation to the relief efforts, please contact the American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org; 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-4357-669).

Player vs Player Ranking System

Blizzard released a new feature that may be exciting to some hardcore players: The Player vs. Player rankings. You can now look up the rankings for your realm and your faction (Horde or Alliance) on the website. These listings are updated weekly. The new feature will make your player vs. player experience more enjoyable.

Starcraft: Ghost needs 3D Environmental Artist

Recently, an interview revealed that Swingin’ Ape Studios, acquired by Blizzard as its new console studio, has scrapped most of Nihilistic’s work, from engine to storyline; and rebuilding the engine from the bottom up.  With that said, Blizzard is looking for a talented 3D Enviromental Artist.

Blizzard Console is looking for an experienced and versatile 3D Environmental Artist with great problem solving skills. If you have the experience and the vision to help bring Blizzard games to the console gamers of the world, then see our 3D Environmental Artist posting for more information. Console also has many exciting positions open here.

Zul’Gurub: New Epic Mount?

Caydiem made a brainstorming revelation concerning Zul’Gurub instance to be released in Patch 1.7 within few weeks. Caydiem started a after-midnight teasing spree through many posts in the same thread.  A new mount is to be discovered within the ancient ruins of the Stranglethorn Troll Empire.  What could it be?:

Caydiem: “Oh, there’s word on a Zul’Gurub mount.

It’s not called “Reins of the Bengal Tiger”, but the look miiiiight make those of you seeking that ol’ mount happy. 😀 “

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Jeff Grubb Exclusive Interview

Jeff Grubb, known writer of D&D and Wizards of the Coast, will be interviewed by Blizzplanet soon.  Jeff Grubb has written a wide range of books for Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Star Wars, Magic: The Gathering—Ice Age, D&D: Manual of the Planes and some Blizzard Novels like Starcraft: Liberty’s Crusade and Warcraft: The Last Guardian.

Our interview will focus on Warcraft: The Last Guardian and his role in Warcraft RPG books, as well as his current projects.

Blizzplanet recently partnered with RP-PVP.com Forum community, and to celebrate our new friendship, our interview with Jeff Grubb will take place on their IRC Chat at irc.stratics.com port: 6668 channel# rp-pvp

The date/time for the interview is yet to be determined.  Stay tuned to Blizzplanet and PVPRP.com /RP-PVP.com for more details.  Fans will be invited to the public Q&A, and at the end of the interview with the staff, Jeff Grubb will welcome questions and comments from fans.

Blizzplanet / RP-PvP.com Partnership

Our forums were put online temporarily while finding a suitable community to partner with.  Blizzplanet has partnered with RP-PVP.com Forum community.  This young community is appealing to all fans of the new World of Warcraft RP-PvP Servers.  The community will provide visitors of Blizzplanet a great atmosphere of mature, respectful and organized roleplayers where fans can communicate and share thoughts.

Firence is the leader of the community forum along with Meara, community manager of the Roleplaying Community. Feel free to register to the new forums.  You can find me on the forums as Medievaldragon.

RP-PVP.com will create two new forum categories:  Blizzplanet news—Each of our news will offer a link to a forum post where you can share your comments for a specific news shown in Blizzplanet.  The second forum, by petition, will be a Warcraft Lore forum—where fans may ask questions to other fans and to the staff concerning the lore.  Please, register to the new forums, and have fun!

Wow Expansion for Late 2006

Something that personally surprised me, and may make anyone look at the calendar to double-check if it is April’s Fool.  Gamergod acquired an interview with Shadwn Carnes, Blizzard Developer.  He slates World of Warcraft Expansion to be ready around late 2006.

Grimwell:
With WoW as a clear success, an expansion is a no-brainer to follow up on the success. What are the plans for this?

Shawn:
An expansion is planned, not in 2005, possibly in late 2006 barring unforeseen chaos. Work is already going on for the expansion, and it’s going good. What to look for?

Wow Reaches 4 Million Customers

Blizzard Entertainment?, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft?, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has reached more than one million paying customers in North America. This brings the total population for Blizzard?s critically acclaimed game, the largest MMORPG in the world, to more than four million paying customers. You can read more by checking out this press release.

Goblins: Not a Playable Race?

Many fans are anticipating Goblins to become a playable race in World of Warcraft Expansion.  A comment by Fangthooth, however, suggests that i might not be so:

” Goblins, while being very cool, are in it for the Gold. If they chose either the Horde or Alliance, they would lose out on 50% of their profits. It is better for them to stay neutral and make more money, than choosing a side and slaying potential customers”

Of course, we are listening to this from a Murloc, ahem.  If Goblins ever made it to be a playable race, I imagine it would be a new faction that plans to dethrone the Princes of Trade or one of the Prince of Trades seeking to purify Undermine of the evil and black markets threatening his nation.  The Goblin Princes of Trade are very powerful, each with their own army and trade outposts.  Some delve into black market, and many goblins are known to have joined the Shadow Council and Twilight Hammer Sects.

Lorekeeper of Norgannon

We have added the Wow in-game lore: Lorekeeper of Norgannon given when you defeat the Norgannon watcher in the instance of Uldaman.  At the end, you get access to the Uldaman Discs which tell a lot of lore about the origin of the Dwarves and Troggs, and the bases of the Titans.  Besides Uldaman there are two other Titan bases in Azeroth:  Ulduar in Northrend and Uldum in Tanaris, Kalimdor.  You can find out more about Uldum and Ulduar here.

Special thanks to Varghoss from Pvprp.com

Thunderaan Movie

Adam has added the Thunderaan Movie to the XFire Peer-to-Peer Network.  Waz from the Fortis Guild in Kel’Thuzad server created a short movie showing one of the few Thunderaan summonings performed in the Test Realm.  After the fight, the player loots the Windseeker Sword and duels a player to show the proc animation which engulfs the opponent in a tornado, slowing down his movement and attack rate.  Download it now at our Wow Movie section