International Battleground Test Servers Soon

Blizzard UK just announced that they are preparing to launch the Test Servers anytime soon during the upcoming days.  This is good news.

We’re happy to announce that we are now just a few days away from being able to deploy the first round of public test realms for our international audience. Due to the need to conduct as much testing of our initial Battlegrounds content as we can, the schedule calls for the next major content patch to go live on the US public test realms shortly. We will then roll out the public test realms for Korea and Europe as soon as the hardware setup and configurations are completed.

To conduct a targeted test of specific character classes for the Battlegrounds, we will be providing testers in Europe and Korea with access to a variety of high-level, fully equipped characters to choose from. More information on how players can access the test characters and the public test realms will become available as we get closer to launch. Assuming everything goes smoothly for this round of testing, we plan to deploy public-test-realm content for future patches simultaneously in Europe, Korea, and the US. We’re excited to see players from around the world on the test realms in the days ahead, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new PvP Battlegrounds

UPDATE: Caydiem confirmed that Alterac Battlegrounds is meant for up to 40 vs 40 players, while future Battleground locations like Azshara and others will be for smaller groups:

While Alterac Valley is meant for 40 vs. 40, the second Battleground we’re releasing is meant for smaller, faster play… it might appeal to you.

Wow Easter Eggs

I am gathering a lot of Easter Eggs shared by fans in the World of Warcraft forums in USA and Europe.  It is taking some time as the European forum has over 33 pages of it.  I am also searching online for the references, links and quotes.  Expect it here some time tomorrow.

Blackwing and Zul’Gurub are next!

Jeff Kaplan(Tigole), Quest Designer, informed the community that Blackwing and Zul’Gurub are the next instances to be released shortly in the upcoming months.  He also comments on the maximum player cap allowed in both instances.

Tigole:
Blackwing Lair is going to be capped at 40 people. The zone will be tuned to be extremely difficult to present a challenge to those guilds who have experience with content such as the Molten Core and Onyxia.

But rest assured, we have been listening closely to the community’s desires for a more “casuaul” friendly raid zone. So the zone we’re working on after Blackwing Lair will be tuned for a raid somewhere around 15-25 people (most likely 20). Ultimately, playtesting will determine the final cap. Also, we want the zone the be doable much more frequently than our “hardcore” raid content. So most likely it will have a reset of 1-3 days. We’re also trying to make the zone require less time than Molten Core. This zone is called Zul’Gurub and is located in North Eastern Stranglethorn. As it gets closer to the time of release, we’ll be releasing more information. But I think this zone will be a very attractive stepping stone for smaller guilds into the higher level raid content.

Warcraft: Lord of the Clans Summary

If you haven’t read this Warcraft novel for reasons like you don’t know what it is about or for lack of interest, then we have a small summary of the book.  If you do not like spoilers, do not read it.  If you at least wish to find out what the book is about before you purchase it, then take a look.  We will soon have an interview with the writer of Warcraft: Lord of the Clans … Christie Golden.  The book is about the life of Thrall after he was found as a baby and risen by a human, and how he grew up to become the Warchief of the Horde.

Glynnis Talken: USS Scottish Festival and Games

Glynnis Talken will be at a Public Book Signing in California.  She was the voice actress of Kerrigan in Starcraft and Broodwar and some Diablo II characters like the Rogue.  Blizzard fans are welcome to visit her.  You can bring along any Blizzard games books, posters, and whatnot and she will sign it.  You can take a photo with her and give her a hug.  Don’t forget sharing some photos with us.

  • Event: USS Scottish Festival and Games
  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, May 28th and 29th
  • Location: Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California

    If you wish to find out where to buy tickets and directions to get there visit the Official Homepage of the USS Scottish Festival and Games.  Map Here

    Read her May Newsletter below . . .

  • Jason Hayes’ Music to be played in CA and Germany

    Jason Hayes’s music will be featured in the Symphonic Video Games Concert 2005 series, an event featuring full orchestral performaces of some of the industry’s best and most popular game music. There’s a segment dedicated to the Warcraft series.  In 2005, the FILMharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Andy Brick, will perform together with the famous percussion player Rony Barrak and the guitar players from the award-winning rock band -123min. Rony Barrak is well-known for his work together with Sarah Brightman and Vanessa Mae.and the first show will be:

    Video Games Live Concert 2005

  • Date:  July 6, 2005
  • Time: 8:00pm
  • Location:  Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA

    You can buy the tickets for this event Here.  Prices range from $1 to $115.  If you need the directions on how to find the Hollywood Bowl, go Here.

    More details below . . .

  • Hellgate: London Gamestar Preview

    We got ahold of a copy of the Gamestar Magazine from Italy featuring an article of Hellgate: London.  Please, be aware that the translation from Italian is harshly vague and there may be misinterpretation.  Gamestar.it authorized Blizzplanet to translate some details from their Magazine.  We hope that it offers you additional details about the exciting new game Hellgate: London. The 8 images accompanying the summary are property of Flagship Studios and Gamestar.it (IDG Communications).  You can read our 2-pages summary Here
         

    Warcraft III Minimap: Shrine of the Ancients

    New Frozen Throne bonus map available from Blizzard.  There once existed a shrine to the ancient gods of yore, but all that remains is a ruin of rubble, sand, and ore. Though legends persist of creatures from the sea, that have surfaced to guard the treasures of an era long before. Download Shrine of the Ancients a new Bonus map

    Wow takes over Europe Charts

    Blizzard UK has set loose a Press Release announcing the takeover of European Gaming Charts as the #1 game on the top.

    “World of Warcraft? has reclaimed the #1 spot on game charts across much of Europe this week, following the release of additional boxes into European retail stores on April 15th.  The successful subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Blizzard Entertainment? is the #1 game on the PC charts in Germany, France, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Benelux.”

    Hellgate: London at Gamespot

    Gamespot interviewed Eric Schaefer to get a close look to Hellgate: London in its current stages.  There is a video we recommend to watch.

    Eric Schaefer:
    Hellgate: London will support many modes of single-player and online play. Most importantly, we will be providing a destination where players can congregate in large or small numbers within the world. Here, they will be able to group up for adventures, trade items, or just hang out and chat. Plans for competitive modes are just being discussed now, but our main emphasis will be on supporting cooperative adventuring.

    Hellgate: London Preview

    We got ahold of a copy of the Gamestar Magazine from Italy featuring an article of Hellgate: London.  Please, be aware that the translation from Italian is harshly vague and there may be misinterpretation.  Gamestar.it authorized Blizzplanet to translate some details from their Magazine.  We hope that it offers you additional details about the exciting new game Hellgate: London. The 8 images accompanying the summary are property of Flagship Studios and Gamestar.it (IDG Communications).  You can read our 2-pages summary Here
         

    Warcraft Manga Meet-the-Author Event

    Ordinn had word that Blizzard’s VP of Creative Development Chris Metzen and author Richard A. Knaak were featured speakers at the L.A. Times Festival of Books this past weekend. Their panel discussion centered on their newest project, the first installment in a series of manga titled Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy.  We reported this event to our audience few days ago.  Hopefully some of you were able to meet them.  If so, do no hesitate in submitting your own screenshots to Blizzplanet.s

    After the presentation, fans had a chance to ask Chris and Richard about some of their past collaborations as well as their current manga project. One lucky attendee walked away with a copy of the World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition!
         

    Wow Linux in the future

    Eyonix commented that a Linux version of World of Warcraft could be a possibility in the future.  There seems to be some issues of an internal Linux testings connecting to the server.  Blizzplanet initiated the Wow on Linux petition sometime ago.  Blizzpub facilitated to us a script to gather signatures for the petition for Blizzplanet under the condition of hosting the script themselves—until Blizzpub … removed our participation or any reference about Blizzplanet involved in the petition.  Yet, we are glad that a Blizzard Representative have given good feedback reporting a possibility of a Wow Linux client in the future.  Read more details at the Official Wow Forums.  Another post by Eyonix about Wow on Linux Here

    You know it is true Crast.

    Wow Linux Petition Online Here

    Flagship Studios Unleashes Hell at E3

    Flagship Studios is going to be at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo—by the Namco Hometek booth South 824—to showcase Hellgate: London.  Fans will be able to play the game at the booth.  Make sure to submit your screenshots of the event if you participate in the E3 2005.

    – Visit E3expo official website for directions.
    – Read a 4-pages preview at IGN
    – Official Press Release below: