Blackwing Lair By End of June

Blackwing Lair will be released in the next content patch within the next two-to-three weeks, to be expected by the end of June or beginning of July, as reported by Jeff Kaplan(Tigole)—World of Warcraft Quest Designer:

“We had the final Blackwing Lair playtest on Monday at which time the dungeon was “locked out” and sent through the QA process so it can be delivered to you guys. So I wanted to give an early head’s up that Blackwing is on the horizon and should be in-game in the near future. Keep in mind, there are other things that can hold up a patch. I would expect Blackwing to be delivered to you guys around the end of June or early July. That’s my rough estimate at least.

As for Zul’Gurub, the zone is making great progress. We’ve recently re-lit the zone and replaced many of the buildings in there. I’ve seen people release screenshots of the zone that they’ve obtained by cheating their way in (this will get you banned btw!) but I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised to see the actual zone when it is live. The item and quest guys have some real challenges with this zone. Their goal is to keep all of the items and quests for the top end dungeons relevant while still making Zul’Gurub items desirable. Yet at the same time, the Zul’Gurub quests and items cannot outshine the Molten Core and above loot.

Some of the boss fights are really cool, as well. We had a ton of fun designing them and we’re really looking forward to getting them out there for you guys.

The dungeon and raid team has also been working on some “top secret” stuff that you’ll probably hear about soon.

But in the meantime, Blackwing Lair and Zul’Gurub are not that far off!”

Recently, Blizzard offered a Full preview of Blackwing Lair.

Blizzplanet Status

We are glad to announce new changes Blizzplanet will undergo in the upcoming days to grow and evolve.  DarkNemesis—Chief Programmer of Blizzplanet, is finishing a new content module.  Each Blizzard game will have its own subdomain, with its own content, menu and layout.  The subdomain websites will be for Starcraft: Ghost, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Warcraft 3, Diablo II and Blizzard Classic games.  We will have a separate subsite for Flagship Studios new game Hellgate: London to which Blizzplanet is a official fan site.

Special thanks to Draco from WC3Campaigns.com for setting up the subdomains.  As you have noticed, Blizzplanet has a new Forum Community with 31,000 members.  We decided to merge with Warcraft3.com to offer Blizzplanet visitors a vast community with friendly members and moderators.  The Starcraft, Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 sub-sites will have a large database of Mods and Map Campaigns available through the community.  Modders and map makers will be able to submit links to their projects.

Blizzard vs BNETD Continues June 20

Blizzard will move to the next stage in the legal case against BNETD programmers on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation website.  If Blizzard won, it would set a precedent against modders that create illegal servers.  Thumbs up!  Share your comments in our Forum

Along with co-counsel Paul Grewal of Day Casebeer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing three open source software engineers who reverse-engineered an aspect of Blizzard’s Battlenet game server in order to create a free software game server called BnetD that works with lawfully purchased Blizzard games. The BnetD server lets gamers have a wider range of options when playing online. The lower court held that the reverse-engineering of the games needed to create this new option for consumers was illegal.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether the three software programmers were in violation of the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Blizzard Games’ end user license agreement (EULA). EFF will argue that the DMCA expressly protects the programming and distributing of programs such as BnetD and this protection cannot be undercut by general state contract law as applied to EULAs.

Source: VodooExtreme

Wow Taiwan Website Launches

Blizzard announced the release of the new Website for World of Warcraft Taiwan at
WowTaiwan.tw

Taiwan is a new market targeted by Blizzard to expand their successful MMORPG franchise.  In a recent interview, Paul Sams—Blizzard VP of Business Operations, hinted of new markets they plan to expand to around the globe.

Battlegrounds Alterac New Changes

Blizzard announced new changes that will be implemented into Battlegrounds Alterac Valley in the upcoming days that will affect and enhance the way a faction of players advances through the field to take towers, and will help shorten the length of time that it takes to beat the other faction.  Ordinn reported that changes will alter NPC/Guard spawn and attack behavior to stop the massive train of guards, along with changes to Ivus, Lokholar the icelord, and Korrak.  Looting will be made fair by capping the amount of items per Battleground Alterac game that you join.  This will help to balance looting and it will stop loot-ninjas which dedicate to steal loot to increase their reputation.  Read the full details below . . .

Official Wow Windows Media Skin

Blizzard has released a new Windows Media Skin with a World of Warcraft theme.  It is rare to see Blizzard release skins, hope more comes out:

Microsoft Games for Windows has just released a new skin for Windows Media Player 10 that will help bring out your inner warrior, or rogue, or hunter, or mage, or druid…while watching videos or listening to your favorite songs online (such as one of the many World of Warcraft MP3s we’ve posted on the World of Warcraft community site). Grab the new World of Warcraft Windows Media Player skin here

Symphonic Game Music Concert Tickets Sold Out

The event we announced recently where World of Warcraft music by Jason Hayes will be played by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany has been completely sold out.  No more tickets are available.  In previous years, there were additional tickets sold.  We will keep you updated if this year the same occurs.  The complete concert program is online now; all game and song titles have been revealed. More details below.

Wow Custom User Interface Toolkit

Blizzard released a new Custom User Interface Toolkit! which enables you to customize your World of Warcraft interface to suit your specific needs.  You may download it Here to give it a try.

Wow Patch 1.5.1

World of Warcraft had a new patch during the server maintenance schedule today.
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an assertion that was preventing Mac clients from playing in he Battlegrounds and causing a memory leak on Windows PCs when they did.

  • Improved error reporting to give more useful information to development

  • Starcraft Ghost

    In an interview with Paul Sams made at GamesIndustry.biz, he says that a product release date might be announced very soon.  And that the multiplayer aspect of the game is undergoing a lot of new technology.

    “What’s your release timeline for Ghost?

    We haven’t announced a new release timeline, but I would say that that’s something we’ll probably be sharing in the relatively short term future. “

    GamesIndustry.biz Interviews Blizzard

    GamesInudstry.biz—a popular gaming analyst site by EuroGamer, interviewed Blizzard VP of Business Operations, Paul Sams.  This interview Paul Sams talks extensively about how the launch of World of Warcraft in America blew apart their expectations and caught them unprepared, as the projections and preparation for a one year prediction became reality within first week of launch, which caused server stability to decrease at first.  Paul Sams also comments on the success in Europe, and Korea.  Currently 1.5 million paying subscribers play World of Warcraft worldwide.  China is still in closed beta and the projections of the demand on Closed beta players is staggering.  Paul Sams also mentions that Taiwan will be the next market where World of Warcraft will be launched.  The part that seems optimistic for other languages is the fact that Blizzard wishes to reaches other markets.  Spanish / India ?  It is a mystery.  Although no much was revealed, Paul Sams admits of a World of Warcraft expansion. 

    The possibility of World of Warcraft going Xbox 360 is not been decided.  It is under analysis at this point and no decisions have been made.  Paul Sams admits that Blizzard has been in contact with Microsoft about Xbox 360.  Just don’t hold your breath.  Read the Full Interview

    PlanetWarcraft Interview with Shane Dabiri

    Planetwarcraft.com got an interview with Shane Dabiri—World of Warcraft Producer, about Battlegrounds, Hero Classes, Housing and Future Expansions.  Not much was answered on the last three topics, but Shade Dabiri talks about some of their plans for Casual and High-end Content.

    Battlegrounds is Live!

    The Battlegrounds Patch is now LIVE including Alterac and Warsong Gulch.  Alterac Mountains of Lordaeron is Alterac Valley, where teams of 40 complete PvP quests, enlist the aid of powerful NPCs, and clash over strategic objectives in an all-out battle for domination. In the Northern Barrens, on the highly contested border between Horde and Alliance territory, lies Warsong Gulch, a fast-paced capture-the-flag-based Battleground where teamwork and strategy are the keys to success. Simply log in to World of Warcraft to begin downloading the latest patch and start in on all the fun.

    For additional information on World of Warcraft’s Battlegrounds, please visit the new Battlegrounds mini section, which contains information about the rewards for both Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch, as well as each Battleground’s score screen!

    Glynnis Talken: San Diego Scottish Festival, CA

    Glynnis Talken, voice of Starcraft Kerrigan, announced a book signing event in San Diego Scottish Festival at Brengle Terrace Park in Vista, California on June 25th and 26th.  Although, it is not a Blizzard event, Blizzard fans are welcome to bring their posters and/or Blizzard products to be signed by her.  You may also take photos with her.  Submit your photos with Glynnis Talken to us and let us know your experience.  Glynnis is known for her Medieval Romance books and for her talents in voice acting in Starcraft, Diablo II and MTV TheMaxx.  Look for Glynnis at the Tea & Sympathy booth

    The San Diego Scottish Festival will have plenty of other great experiences:

  • Highland Dancing, Drum Major, Bagpipe & Drumming Competitions

  • Sheep Dog Trial

  • Scottish Country Dancing

  • Scottish Food, Drink & Merchandise

    For directions, email, Phone, Fax and maps on where to find the Scotish Festival location, visit sdhighlandgames.org/

  • Emerald Dream Active?

    Caydiem was very cryptic on her answer to one of the fans when asking if the Emerald Dream was an instance we can get into now or if we had to wait until Blizzard releases it officially.  Ever since Closed Beta during installations of patches, everyone has noticed when clicking the details tab, that Emerald Dream files are updated and that exist already within our client.

    Caydiem answered:

    ” Perhaps with study and patience, the Emerald Dream may become open eventually… but for the time being it remains closed to all.”

    That pretty much leaves everyone with a fallen jaw.  It seems that the Emerald Dream is waiting for a player to find a way to enter it.  Below is a summary of the quests tying with the Emerald Dream.  Read below . . .
    UPDATED June 4 at 6pm

    Blackwing Lair Preview

    Blackwing Lair Instance will be the next major content patch to be released, followed by Zul’Gurub.  World of Warcraft UK Website has released a preview of what to expect in Blackwing Lair and a few screenshots.  The instance will be inside Upper Blackrock Spire, on the opposite side of the hall leading to the Beast area.  Nefarian—known as Blackwing, is son of Deathwing and brother of Onyxia.  Caydiem confirmed that Blackwing Lair will be more difficult than Molten Core.  No doubt a great challenge for hardcore guilds.  Read the full preview at Wow-Europe.

    New SCM Draft 0.55

    SCM Draft has a bunch of new features, check them out!  For those of you who don’t know SCM Draft is a replacement Staredit.  Note: SCMDraft is not supported nor made by Blizzard.

    Some features include:

    • Ability to open multiple maps simultaneously
    • Ability to open multiple windows of the same map
    • Ability to preview units viewrange (Actual fog of war)
    • Ability to zoom out
    • Completely redesigned terrain palette, easier to use and improved scroll speed
    • More liberty with brush sizes
    • The unit tree now includes doodads, sprites, as well as terrain
    • All sounds are now played using DirectSound, the wav dialog will no longer lock up.

    View the Official News Report for full information and features.