After six years of hiatus, trapped within the Nightmare, Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage is back to business in Azeroth. Your first sighting of him will be at the center of the tornado of Darkshore, and lastly in Mount Hyjal.
But … when and how did he return from the Emerald Nightmare? Many fans who don’t read the novels will have this self-question in their minds when they see Malfurion and don’t find any quest explaining his return.
All your questions are revealed in World of Warcraft: Stormrage — the three-time Locus Magazine Bestseller by New York Times Bestseller author Richard A. Knaak. It was released back on February 2010.
Couldn’t find the novel online or at a local bookstore? Try again. World of Warcraft: Stormrage went for another round at printing, and is available again.
Richard A. Knaak opened an Amazon store with all his Blizzard novels and Dragonrealm work.
If you missed them, he recently wrote two TOKYOPOP mangas — World of Warcraft: Mage and World of Warcraft: Shadow Wing, Dragons of Outland Vol. 1.
Update: World of Warcraft: Stormrage paperback is scheduled for November 2010.
According to ChinaGame, Blizzard Entertainment’s manager of asset services Tim Campbell was at the inaguration of the “Fights, Flights & Frights Inside the Storm” art exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taiwan. There are several photos of the exhibition in that page.
Blizzard is displaying over 700 posters of art from their three main franchises: Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo.
The exhibition will be open to the public until October 10th, 2010. It’s the first time Blizzard Entertainment takes the art exhibition overseas. In recent years, the studios has brought their artwork assets to exhibitions. Last year, the WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon exhibition was held at the Laguna Art Museum from June-October 2009.
Lylirra announced the 2010 North American Warcraft Regional Finals have begun, and you can watch the live video stream broadcast from Austin, Texas.
Visit the Tournament’s official page to download the plugin and start watching the live stream. I suppose Lylirra will be updating the forums live as the matches go. Thus, reload this forum page from time to time just in case.
Hello from Austin, Texas! We’re here at the 2010 North American Warcraft Regional Finals to watch as the best players from the Warcraft III Ladder and World of Warcraft Tournament Realm battle for victory, cash prizes, and an invitiation to compete this October at BlizzCon 2010. We’ll be bringing you news from the event, so stay tuned to this thread today and tomorrow for the lastest action and updates.
Our live stream coverage for the first day of the 2010 North American Warcraft Regional Finals is scheduled to begin in approximately 15 minutes at 11:00 AM CDT. We’ll be kickstarting the festivities today with a Warcraft III matchup featuring Jake “Yeggi” Moran and Nikolaus “Sonkie” Cassidy. Kim “bunny” Phan and Alex “Orange” Nicholas will be shoutcasting this match, so get ready for some epic Warcraft III action!
Fresh of the oven! J!NX has announced their new World of Warcraft Fall 2010 T-shirts line-up. Start stocking up your clothing in anticipation to your three-days stay at BlizzCon, or simply for your day-to-day hanging with friends and family. Good options as gifts to your loved ones too.
The hoodies with the Alliance and Horde spray logos are finally available. The previous season line-up introduced the T-shirt versions. Ya’know, Fall means temperature swings will go up and down randomly, with those darn unexpected cold breezes. Gotta get covered up in style to avoid the flu.
Blizzard Entertainment is a factory of bestsellers, and that’s reflected in the countless world-shattering guinness record sales.
Every Collector’s Edition in their portfolio sells out in no time. Many players know this for a fact when they search every game store online and locally to get the same answer: Sold Out.
It doesn’t extend to only Blizzard games. Take as example the BlizzCon tickets sold out within 30 seconds, and you know the frustrating sad panda face you get when tickets or pre-orders are no longer available.
For that matter, get your hands on the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector’s Edition before they become unavailable. You will be a happy panda knowing your pre-order is secured, and ready to ship on launch date. Go Pre-order now !!! Urgently. As in … right the heck now ! Go go go!
Blizzard deployed a new Cataclysm beta patch to address several bug fixes. The patch is over 470MB
Players should no longer get stuck at the loading screen when teleporting to Moonglade en route to Hyjal.
Characters with two professions learned should again be able to train new spells.
There is no longer a section of geometry missing from where the floor and wall meet in Fireland Hatchery.
Gnome and troll character no longer have a broken background displayed as well as a LUA error at the character selection and creation screens.
Sudden Death procs should now reset the cooldown of Colossus Smash.
Hairstyles should no longer cause the male worgen face to disappear.
Shadow Protection is now functioning correctly.
Entering a phase with phased terrain (i.e. Rim of the World) no longer boots players from flying mounts.
Players are now able to receive Stoneskin Totem from shaman trainers.
The quest “Up the Volcano” can now be completed.
Characters now ride the Swift Seahorse for the quest “Waking the Beast.”
The mob Tendril from Below should no longer fall below the world when killed.
Globe of Boiling Water should now drop from Scalding Water Lords for the quest “Full of Hot Water.”
The quest “Blackfin’s Booty” can be completed.
The quest “Offering to Azshara” can be completed.
The quest “Seeds of Discord” should reset properly.
The rug in Stormglen Inn is should no longer be experiencing z-fighting with the floor beneath it.
The fire damage from lava should no longer hit players at any height.
Trainers are functioning properly.
Selecting a character on the character select screen after creating a new one will no longer cause the game to display and act on the character two slots above the selected one.
Full patch notes after the break.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Patch Notes (version 12803)
Welcome to the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta test! Patch notes listed here are not comprehensive and will be changed throughout the testing process.
The Alliance starting experience for worgen is available. Venture through the cursed lands of Gilneas to discover your true path! Currently the female worgen character is not available for testing.
The Horde starting experience for goblins is available. Beginning on the Isle of Kezan in a goblin paradise, players will face a treacherous road ahead!
The level cap for all characters is 83.
Elements of the guild leveling, perks, and roster page are now functional. Players should once again be able to buy and register guild charters, which now only require five signatures. See the Known Issues section for issues associated with this new system.
The amount of experience required to reach new guild levels has been substantially reduced.
Creature damage output has been increased from roughly level 65 and up. These increases scale upward with level. Creatures in exterior zones at level 80 now have 2.5 times the damage output they did previously in beta, 3.2 times at level 81, and 4 times at level 82 and up. To leave feedback about how this change feels with regard to creature spawns in level 80-85 exterior zones, visit our forums here: Creature Damage Output Changes
Cataclysm Launcher Update
The new Cataclysm Launcher allows you to stream game data while you play. This will reduce the time you spend downloading, installing, and patching World of Warcraft. We’d like to get your feedback on the toolset and gameplay experience. Please head to the forums here for additional information: New Cataclysm Launcher Available
Players may use our Character Copy feature for copying existing characters to beta realms, or may choose from high-level pre-made template characters.
Tol Barad is now available for testing. Players can reach the zone by speaking to NPCs in the capital cities.
Battleground queues should once again be functional.
The Battle for Gilneas is now available for testing.
Mount Hyjal and Vashj’ir, two new level 80-82 zones, are available for testing. Deepholm, a new level 82-83 zone is available for testing. Players may find their way to these zones by speaking with temporary teleportation NPCs located in any major city.
The level ranges of Gilneas and the Lost Isles are in the process of being adjusted slightly. Creature, quest, and quest reward levels are all being altered so that players finish questing in these zones roughly by level 12. Further fine tuning will continue in future content updates.
Several zones have had quest maps integrated.
Arathi Highlands, Badlands, Blasted Lands, The Cape of Stranglethorn, Dun Morogh, Duskwood, Eastern Plaguelands, Elwynn Forest, Hinterlands, Loch Modan, Northern Stranglethorn, Northshire, Redridge Mountains, Searing Gorge, Silverpine Forest, Swamp of Sorrows, Tirisfal Glades, Western Plaguelands and Westfall are ready for testing.
Most zones in Kalimdor are available for testing, though work continues on polishing the quest experience and flow, as well as zone aesthetics.
Dungeons & Raids
Blackrock Caverns, a new level 80-81 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.
The Stonecore, a new level 82-84 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.
Throne of the Tides, a new level 80-81 five-player dungeon, is available for testing.
All spell and ability tooltips will now display damage averages rather than minimum and maximum damage potential. This feature is on by default but can be changed via the Display settings under User Interface options. Note: this change has not yet been implemented for the mage class.
All hunter and warlock pets have been deleted to address a data corruption issue. Hunters will need to tame new pets, while warlocks will notice the names of their pets have changed.
Ammo has been removed from the game.
The character levels at which classes gain new spells and abilities have changed.
The glyph system is in the process of being altered. Existing glyphs may not be fully supported or functional.
Many item and class stats have been changed or removed.
Rage has been normalized.
Spells and abilities no longer have multiple ranks and now scale with character level.
A first pass on new talent trees has been implemented.
Each specialization has been reduced to a 31-point talent tree.
Players will now get a total of 41 talent points to spend.
31 points must be spent in the primary specialization tree before any points can be placed in additional trees.
Players will be asked to choose a specialization at level 10. Doing so will result in the unlocking of a spell or ability unique to that specialization, as well as one or more passive bonuses.
Spell Alerts have been added to notify players when procs on select spells and abilities occur. A visual notification will display around the character and the activated ability will be highlighted on the action bar.
The ability to use third-party addons has been temporarily disabled for the test environment.
The Arena Teams pane has been improved.
Auto-quests have been added to the game. Players will automatically be given an auto-quest by entering specific areas in the game world. This alert will appear distinctly in the Objectives pane via the Advanced Quest Tracking feature. These quests will still be given to players with full Quest Logs, but will count toward the 25 total allotted quests if the log is not full.
The Character pane has been redesigned. Character stats can now be shown or hidden via the Show All Details/Hide All Details button on the bottom left. When shown, all character stats will be visible in a window to the right of the pane. Stat sections can be reorganized by clicking and dragging them up or down the pane.
The Professions panes now have more filtering and search functionality, as well as buttons to easily link recipes in the chat frame.
Many of the yellow System Messages that would display in the chat frame when leveling up have been removed.
New text animations now alert players as they level up, also providing information on when new talents, spells and abilities are available.
Professions and Class Trainers windows have been altered to more clearly display available and upcoming purchases.
Raid frames are now available and have temporarily replaced the standard party frames so that players can test them.
The Spellbook interface has been improved for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal.
Experimental support for DX11 (can be enabled by passing ‘-d3d11’ on the command line or adding SET gxApi “d3d11” to the Config.WTF file).
OpenGL Hardware Cursor support (can be enabled on the Video Resolution Panel).
Improved water and lava rendering system (enabled by the Liquid Detail slider on the Video Effects Panel)
0 = Classic Water
1 = New Water (fake reflections)
2 = New Water (ocean has real reflection for terrain)
These values are likely to change during Beta.
Dynamic Sunshafts effect (enabled by the Sunshafts option on the Video Effects Panel).
The Swift Spectral Gryphon does not increase movement speed.
Floating Combat Text is not functioning.
The Abyssal Seahorse requires Artisan Riding to use, but the Subdued Abyssal Seahorse only requires Expert Riding to learn.
The portal from the Deepholm Temple of Earth to Orgrimmar currently spawns players underneath the world.
Worgen are playing their idle sound effect every time they stop moving.
All Heirloom items now have durability.
Robes do not have durability.
There is a section of missing geometry where the floor and wall meet in Fireland Hatchery.
The bones for the quest “Spirits of Stonemaul Hold” cannot be interacted with.
There is a large section of terrain that is blocking the entrance to Night Web’s Hollow.
Characters cannot interact with Egg of Onyxia for the quest “The Brood of Onyxia.”
Several cloaks are displayed incorrectly on draenei females.
Ground mounts can be used when underwater in Vashj’ir.
Corpses are not tapped on the quest “Free Your Mind” allowing other players to use the Sovereign Rod on targets they did not kill.
While on the quest “Blood and Thunder!” NPCs will despawn prior to the event and the quest cannot be completed.
Sound is cutting in and out during two segments of Mor’norokk’s voiceover during the quest, “Some Spraining to Do”.
The spell effect visuals for Healing Rain and Earthquake look awkward when cast on a staircase or a steep incline.
Guild control and guild banks are experiencing issues related to the new guild leveling interface and functionality. In addition, guild experience may not display properly when players change zones, and guild members will be demoted to the lowest guild rank when logging out.
Battleground queues are undergoing significant changes and are not currently operational.
Players are currently unable to create new worgen characters.
Selecting high Liquid Detail when using Geforce 6 & 7 series video cards will currently prevent lava and water from rendering properly. You can temporarily restore liquid to the world by reducing the Liquid Detail setting via the Video Effects Panel, or by typing “waterDetail 0” in your Config.WTF file.
Aspiring Fantasy and Sci-fi writers are very welcome to submit their entries for the Blizzard Entertainment’s 2010 Global Writing Contest which is nigh reaching its deadline.
This is an amazing opportunity to write a story many will read around the world, and an opportunity to meet Blizzard’s Creative Team in their Irvine studios.
I was fortunate to meet the last year’s 2009 Global Writing Contest winner (author of In the Shadow of the Sun). By coincidence or fate, we shared the van which picked us up at the airport — courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment. We met again at Blizzard’s Headquarters before and after she met the in-house writers. I sneaked her in into the Anaheim Convention Center’s press room, and hopefully she managed to play the Cataclysm demo.
She was very excited meeting the writers and developers at the studios and to enjoy BlizzCon. I took the photo seen below in front of the Anaheim Convention Center’s press room. The contest winner (to the left, wearing a green shirt) with our WoW: Incgamers staff Maticus.
If you haven’t started writing your awesome story, it’s a very good time to do so
Be warned, all ye wordsmiths and masters of prose… the 2010 Global Writing Contest soon draws to a close!
If you have yet to submit your original tale from the Diablo, StarCraft, or Warcraft universe, the deadline is next Monday, August 23, 2010.
Those who take us on the most brilliantly written journey shall reap the ultimate reward — a trip to Blizzard Entertainment’s headquarters to meet the writers and staff behind the lore of our games. You’ll find all of the details here, including the winning story from last year.
IRVINE, Calif., Aug 17, 2010 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for a limited-release Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft(R): Cataclysm(TM), the third expansion for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game,* World of Warcraft. The special Collector’s Edition package, which will only be available at retail stores, will include the following exclusive bonus items in addition to the game disc:
Art of the Cataclysm art book, featuring 176 pages of never-before-seen images from the archives of the Blizzard Entertainment cinematics department and the World of Warcraft development team, as well as progressive visuals from multiple stages of development.
Exclusive in-game pet: he may not be a breaker of worlds just yet, but Lil’ Deathwing will still proudly accompany heroes on their struggle to save Azeroth from his much, much larger counterpart.
Behind-the-scenes DVD with over an hour of developer interviews and commentaries, as well as a special Warcraft(R) retrospective examining the rich gaming history of the Warcraft universe.
Soundtrack featuring 10 epic new tracks from Cataclysm, including exclusive bonus tracks.
Special-edition mouse pad depicting Deathwing menacing the ravaged continents of Azeroth.
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game cards, including a 60-card starter deck from the Wrathgate series, two extended-art cards, and two Collector’s Edition-exclusive hero cards, marking the first appearance of goblin and worgen heroes in the TCG.
The first two World of Warcraft expansions, The Burning Crusade(R) and Wrath of the Lich King(R), each shattered PC game sales records upon their release. In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races — worgen and goblins — will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.
The beta test for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is currently underway. To set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate, please visit the official Battle.net website at https://www.battle.net.
The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector’s Edition will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows(R) XP/Windows Vista(R)/Windows(R) 7 and Macintosh(R) at a suggested retail price of $79.99. The release date and other details for the game will be announced in the months ahead. For more information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, please visit the official website at https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm.
Loregasm incoming! Recently, Wildstorm announced at San Diego Comic Con 2010 the new limited series WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CURSE OF THE WORGEN. Now it’s dated: November 17, 2010.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CURSE OF THE WORGEN #1
Written by MICKY NEILSON & JAMES WAUGH
Art by LUDO LULLABI & TONY WASHINGTON
Cover by JOHN POLIDORA
The best-selling WORLD OF WARCRAFT comic series returns in time for a worldwide CATACLYSM!
A series of grisly, animalistic murders have rocked the walled town of Gilneas. A famous detective sets out to discover the perpetrators and finds far more than he bargained for. To find the truth, he must delve through years of twisted history – both the history of his family and Gilneas itself. This pivotal 5-issue miniseries explores the in-depth lore of the Worgen!
It ain’t funny to make updates on a mobile internetz, but I manage to play Starcraft II single player for achievements as best as I can, and that’s not the only thing I spent my time with. Remember that huge database of World of Warcraft Easter Eggs I compiled a few years ago? Here’s a cool thing I have been working on in the past days to entertain our Starcraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft visitors.
The Starcraft II Easter Eggs wikipage.
One of the Collector’s Edition bonus avatars for Battle.net is the Diablo Marine.
Level 800 ETC will play a live performance – they still play WoW in the year 2500s?
One of those Dominion scientists should get fired for playing World of Warcraft while splicing Zerg DNA. What a cretin! — WoW Character Screen.
The Night Elf Dancer can be found in the Hyperion’s Cantina, and as a big hologram in the [WIKI]Media Blitz[/WIKI] mission. Don’t worry, her ears were trimmed down to look more Terran.
Gamespot scored an interview with Russell Brower [Blizzard Entertainment Director of Audio/Video] to explore his career background and get a feel of what it was for him to compose for the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty RTS game.
Those who didn’t have the fortune of acquiring a Starcraft II Collector’s Edition and didn’t watch the Behind the Scenes DVD, here is a good recap of some of the elements explained there by Russell. One example he talks about is the dobro and harmonica soundtrack associated with Jim Raynor at the Joe Ray’s Cantina in Mar Sara. It’s definitely a good soundtrack giving Raynor’s background a old-western cowboy vibe.
Gamespot: How do you approach individual themes for characters?
Russell Brower: It’s contextual. I think one of the keys is to have a theme that is malleable that you can shape. I think the best thing I can give you is an example for Jim Raynor. When I sat down to write his theme, the first piece of cinematic footage I saw was where he became reunited with Tychus Findlay at the bar. And just given the nature of it…and they weren’t quite sure what to make of each other after so many years, I went with a fairly traditional Western sound with a dobro and a harmonica. But I wanted the melody to be able to be reused later in another context, and so even though at the moment I was writing for dobro and harmonica, I was imagining in my mind what it would sound like if it were an orchestra.
And so later, when the melodies become associated with Jim Raynor, and we’re talking moments when maybe he’s making a stirring a speech trying to engender hope and perseverance for the troops he’s with, then the theme is being replayed now with an orchestra. And then I start pulling my favorite French horns out of the bag and having that melody soar in that way. And even though it’s the same notes, it hits you at a different level.
One of the best moments in recording Starcraft II was when we got to hear that. I’ve been insisting to the cinematic director that this was going to work for so long…that what they heard on harmonica was going to work in orchestra. When we finally got to hear it…you know once in awhile you get that moment when the hair stands up in the back of your neck and you know you’ve struck a chord…if you’ll pardon the pun, it was a blast. I think flexibility, malleability…so that the melody can be associated with the character and follow them throughout their changes in fortune, and mood is very important I think.
The Cataclysm developers have an official Q&A revealing details of the new design of Southern Barrens which pushes forward a conflict storyline between the Alliance and the Horde for control of the Battlescar.
This area is a massive battlefield with constant hand to hand combat between NPCs, and siege vehicles launching blazing ammo. The Alliance is expanding big time sending reinforcements from Theramore. As a matter of fact, Dustwallow Marsh now has a long horizontal road through its mid-zone connecting Theramore and the entrance to Southern Barrens. In order to keep the forces in Stonetalon supplied and reinforced, the Alliance must continue their attempt at controlling the Battlescar which grants them access to Stonetalon Mountains.
Up near Stonetalon Peak rages yet another massive battle between the Alliance and the Horde. The Cataclysm has changed Southern Barrens drastically with a lava trench dividing The Barrens in two.
The zone has been redesigned for level 30-35 players with new quests. The Alliance has a new fortress as a quest hub giving Alliance players a new zone to level up. Camp Taurajo has been destroyed by the Alliance, and the survivors are trying to take revenge. Mulgore has sealed up access with a Great Wall to slow down Theramore’s forces.
It’s up to players to join up and defend their faction, and to move forward to claim control of the area. It’s strongly hinted the use of phase technology to change the world around you. It seems like a worth place to level up, to learn the new storylines of the new world order. Behind are the days of cooperation among both factions. It’s War time.
For our ongoing coverage of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we recently sat down with game designers Dave Kosak and Roman Marotte to ask them about the work they’ve done on the Southern Barrens, a once-familiar place drastically altered by Deathwing’s return and the continuing struggle between the Horde and the Alliance.
Game Designer Luis Barriga and Craig Amai talk about the new design of Darkshore, the low-level region near Teldrassil.
All the classic WoW quests in Darkshore were scrapped and rebuilt from scrath to fit the theme of Cataclysm.
It’s redesigned to tell a meaningful storyline, rather than give you random nonsense UPS quests, kill this or bring these items without a background or purpose.
When you arrive to Darkshore you will find a devastated zone. Auberdine is destroyed by a massive earthquake. A giant tornado can be seen from afar, and Malfurion Stormrage at its center raging powerful magic to undo what the Twilight’s Hammer did to the land.
The Master’s Glaive has undergone a change from a skull to a full-fledged excavation site revealing the upper torso of a creature that is not an Old god as everyone thought.
This is obviously a retcon — if you were a fan of the Warcraft RPG books, you will understand. Saggoth is revealed to be one of the most powerful servants of the Old gods instead.
Regardless, make an Alliance character if you don’t have one and explore the entire questline to learn a new brandished lore about Darkshore and the Twilight’s Hammer.
Game designers Luis Barriga and Craig Amai sat down with us to discuss upcoming changes to Darkshore’s landscape, the fate of Auberdine, and the challenges of redesigning an old-world zone from the ground up in this World of Warcraft: Cataclysm content preview.
What was the original concept for the zone?
Darkshore was one of the areas hit hardest by the Cataclysm, so the main idea was to present a zone that had literally been shattered by those events. That was the approach we took for the revamp in terms of lore and aesthetics.
In terms of gameplay, our goal was to take advantage of the changes to the environment and use them to help address previous issues with quest flow. It was an opportunity to streamline progression within Darkshore so that the overall experience for players would be much smoother and require less running back and forth.
Who will be using this zone (what levels/factions)?
Darkshore is designed for Alliance players, primarily night elves and worgen, from level 11 through 20.
What is changing about the zone?
Auberdine has been destroyed; entire species of creatures have been wiped out, and the land has been torn wide open in multiple places.
The Cataclysm has also given the upper hand to a number of nearby foes, including coastal naga, Twilight’s Hammer cultists, and opportunistic trolls of the Shatterspear tribe who seek to exploit weakened night elven settlements.
What’s happened to Auberdine?
Auberdine has been nearly razed to the ground, and what wasn’t destroyed by the Cataclysm is now under assault by air elementals led by Twilight’s Hammer cultists. The city is pretty much in ruins, but some survivors did make it out alive.
With Auberdine in ruins, where do night elves go now?
Lor’danel. It’s a small night elven town just to the north of the ruins of Auberdine.
Without giving up any spoilers, what’s the general storyline for this zone?
Darkshore has suffered immensely from the massive seismic ripples of the Cataclysm. The night elves are in survival mode, helping refugees and, wherever they can, fending off the advances of the Twilight’s Hammer cult, the naga, and the Shatterspear trolls. Meanwhile, Malfurion Stormrage, recently returned from the Emerald Dream, has traveled to the epicenter of the destruction and called upon the ancient powers of Cenarius to contain it.
What do you think is the most exciting new addition to the zone?
Without a doubt, the most exciting addition to Darkshore is the gigantic vortex in the center of the zone, where the devastating forces of the Cataclysm are being pit against the primal power of Malfurion Stormrage. Our amazing artists and level designers made us an epic energy vortex to serve as a visual centerpiece for the destruction, and it looks phenomenal.
What goes into redesigning a zone like this?
Redesigning Darkshore required much more work than we originally anticipated. This was one of the first zones we tackled that centered on the effects of the Cataclysm, so we started out with the modest goal of adding a few themed quests and improving the general flow of the zone. As we piled on the visual changes, though, we soon discovered that a lot more manpower was needed to generate content that correctly reflected Darkshore’s new landscape and lore.
What was the most challenging aspect about implementing these changes?
At first we thought that we would be able to work with the majority of the original quests in Darkshore, but most of them just didn’t make sense when viewed in the context of the zone’s new storyline and direction. For example, chasing after corrupted wildlife and investigating washed-up threshers would seem out of place when everything around you is being ravaged by natural disasters, elementals, naga… and worse. Reaching the realization that we would basically have to scrap all of the old content and start from scratch — and then actually bringing that plan to fruition — was probably the hardest part of the process.
What should players do or go see first?
Players should start in the town of Lor’danel and then play through the quest series naturally, slowly heading south. Higher-level players (levels 15 and up) may want to skip ahead and meet up with Malfurion Stormrage at the center of the zone, but Darkshore feels best if you experience the entire storyline from the beginning, as intended.
What’s happening at the Master’s Glaive? The last time we saw it, it was mostly buried underground.
Twilight’s Hammer cultists have recently begun to unearth the remains of Soggoth, one of the more powerful servants of the Old Gods, from beneath the Master’s Glaive with the intent of bringing him back to life. Players will have to foil the cultists’ plans before the new incarnation of Soggoth reaches full strength.
Is there anything new at the Grove of the Ancients?
The Grove of the Ancients was shielded from most of the devastation caused by the Cataclysm, due in large part to the power of the ancient guardians residing therein. Protecting the grove required an enormous amount of energy, though, and as a result, most of the guardians have gone into a sort of slumber. Players will have to figure out a way to wake them and bring them into the fight to ensure the survival of Darkshore.
Thank you, Luis and Craig, for taking the time to talk about your involvement in reshaping Darkshore for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!
The L.A. Times interviewed Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment co-founder and president to talk about the success of his game studios. I am a fan of everything Blizzard, and that doesn’t extend to only their products. I love to get to know and learn the story, background and passion of the people behind these products.
I had the fortune to meet Mike Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Bob Colayco (Public Relations) at Best Buy (Times Square) at the New York City midnight launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. No one knows, but I mistakenly clicked the voice recorder button wrong, and missed most of the interview that never got published, obviously. Yet, it was an honor just to sit there with Mike Morhaime and listen to him answer my questions. Shook his hand again in Paris, France — and even if he didn’t recognize one peon out of 11.5 million — I was glad to see him again, and to be able to say Thanks for making these video games, and for inviting me to Paris for the official announcement of Diablo III during the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. I had an aweful toothache around that time, but for me it was a blast of an experience to be there. Later met him briefly at Blizzcon.
Whether you are an employee at a McDonalds, Chicken in the Box, Best Buy, a gas station clerk, maintenance, unemployed or else, you can find inspiration in people who love to do what you do: To play and develop excellent video games. You might be the next building a successful company or joining the Blizzard Entertainment crew. You never know, till you try and give your best effort.
Feel free to learn a bit more about Mike Morhaime’s beginnings as a child, a student, and as the co-founder of a three desk office known as Silicon & Synapses, later renamed into Blizzard Entertainment.
PCGames.De reports that Diablo 3 Game Director Jay Wilson will hold a 30-minutes press conference and Q&A at the end of GamesCom 2010 — in Cologne, Germany — to reveal invited journalists a new secret feature of Diablo III.
The Diablo III demo will be available at the game floor throughout the GamesCom event.
Bashiok seems to confirm this report by the german site.
Empire interviewed Hollywood actor Brandon Routh (Superman Returns star) at the San Diego Comic Con 2010 and asked him about the World of Warcraft film.
Brandon Routh admitted he met Sam Raimi at a party a month ago (on June 2010). Both talked about their addictions to playing World of Warcraft, and about Routh’s interest in a role.
“I met Sam Raimi a month ago actually at a party Edgar Wright had, and he was very sweet, very nice, and we talked a little bit about our addictions to Warcraft. We’ll see what happens when they get it up and running.”
I have always thought Brandon Routh would do a great Blood Elf, donning some pointy ears. Who knows? He might play the role of Kael’Thas Sunstrider if the script had the character.
For the role of Sylvanas Windrunner, we already heard from Michelle Morrow, during our interview, she was interested in the role.
Production of the World of Warcraft film is still a ways off, but it’s a matter of time before we learn whether any of these actors get their heart’s desire.
Cryptozoic Entertainment will award over a quarter of a million dollars in cash prizes to the top competitors of the upcoming World of Warcraft Trading Card Game World Championship to take place at Gen Con Indy through August 5-8.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced a live streaming video coverage will be available at wowworlds2010.com/.
A lucky live streaming video viewer will get a Spectral Tiger.
Additionally, the Cryptozoic website reveals they will have Landro’s Wheel at the Wabash Ballroom where GenCon attendees may have the opportunity to win one out of 15 loot cards including the Spectral Tiger. The Wheel will be spinning all day long so just show up and join the long line of fans awaiting their turn to spin-da-wheel. Come and take a photo with Sylvanas the Banshee Queen during the Award Ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
Spin # 1: Head to the World of Warcraft TCG tournament hall in the Wabash Ballroom. Show your Gen Con Badge at Landro’s Wheel and spin!
Spin # 2: Bring one UPC code from the bottom of a Class Starter Deck and sign up for the Cryptozoic Entertainment League in the Wabash ballroom. For $10, you receive an exclusive Spectral Kitten Playmat and can use the Class Starter Deck straight out of the box to play all weekend and win awesome prizes!
Spin # 3: Bring two UPCs from the Class Starter Deck to Landro’s Wheel to spin the wheel again. You can repeat this as many times as you wish.
Being the expert Hunters we are, we bagged and tagged a few of our Blizzard friends. No Detect Traps for them. We’re releasing them into the wilds of Gen Con, and anybody skilled enough to beat one of our bounties will earn the new, exclusive Blizzard Entertainment playmat.
Blizzard Entertainment’s recruitment team will be present throughout gamescom 2010 at Cologne, Germany from August 19-22 to discuss various job openings and answer your questions about life as a Blizzard employee. This is your opportunity to bring a resume, cover letter and your portfolio or video reel to be considered for a job opening at the best game developer studios.
Blizzard Entertainment Europe currently has numerous openings in quality assurance, localization, customer service, web, community and other departments within our two European offices located in Vélizy, France (near Paris) and Cork, Ireland. Blizzard is looking for Italian, Polish, Russian, German, French, Spanish and English speakers.
Blizzard started to provide free trial promotions of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty as this ad campaign by EVGA seems to confirm.
EVGA is offering an activation key code good for 7 hours of continuous gameplay, or 14 days to play StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (whichever comes first).
This free trial is available when you purchase eligible EVGA GeForce® Graphics Cards purchased on or after July 27, you will have the option to collect a code on your product page (product registration is required).
Simply click on “View Details” and scroll down to promotions. You will see detailed instructions there.
With more than 1.5 million copies sold in its first 48 hours, Blizzard Entertainment’s sci-fi sequel is the best-selling PC game of 2010 and the fastest-selling strategy game of all time
IRVINE, Calif., Aug 03, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that StarCraft(R) II: Wings of Liberty(TM) achieved a day-one sales milestone of more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, making it the best-selling PC game of 2010 within its first 24 hours of availability.* The game went on to sell a total of more than 1.5 million copies in its first 48 hours, setting the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time.*
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released simultaneously in North America, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on July 27. More than 8,000 stores throughout the world opened their doors at midnight to celebrate the release, and Blizzard Entertainment developers were present at several locations to commemorate the event with players and sign copies of the game.
“We launched StarCraft II in 11 different languages and on 5 different continents because we wanted to make sure as many players as possible were able to log on and play on day one,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re pleased that so many people around the world have already picked up a copy of the game, and we look forward to welcoming even more players to Battle.net(R) in the weeks and months ahead.”
“GameStop had more than 3,000 stores open at midnight, so our StarCraft players got a jump start on playing the epic experience Blizzard consistently delivers with its games,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is officially GameStop’s fastest-selling PC game since Blizzard launched World of Warcraft(R): Wrath of the Lich King(R) in 2008.”
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. Sporting a vibrant 3D-graphics engine, StarCraft II once again centers on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying legions of veteran, upgraded, and new unit types. Unparalleled online play for StarCraft II is available through a new version of Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s world-renowned gaming service. Battle.net has been redesigned from the ground up to be the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers, with several enhancements and new features, such as voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements, stat-tracking, and more.
The solo campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty continues the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War(R). The story line chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players are able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games are also included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies.
The Research Lab is one of the four rooms Jim Raynor can visit within the Hyperion Battlecruiser before and after each mission.
The Research Lab is only accessible in the Single Player campaign. After the Zero Hour mission, Raynor and Tychus Findlay get rescued by Captain Matt Horner from the Zerg invasion dropped upon them in Mar Sara. However, you won’t get access to the Research Lab until you have Research credits from Protoss and Zerg Research missions.
You will see Stetmann, the Lab nerd, standing by at the Bridge Room bugging Jim Raynor about an ETA for the Lab Room to be ready. I recommend to do the Planet Agria’s Zerg Research and the Planet Monlith’s Protoss Research to enable access to the Lab Room.
The console next to Jim Raynor in the Lab Room will open the Research UI where you will see the Protoss Research to the left and the Zerg Research to the right.
Each tier in the tree is enabled every 5 research credits. You increase the amount of credits by completing the optional research quests of each mission. When you go to the bridge, you can click on the star map console to see which planets are available. If you wish to lean on a particular tree first, read on each planet which type of research (protoss or zerg) may be found there.
Check out below all the Research upgrades you can apply to your buildings and units to enhance your army throughout the entire single player campaign.
Ultra-capacitors: These self-replenishing Ultra-Capacitors reduce the reload time of all of our weapons and weapons systems.
Now each of the weapon upgrades in the Armory and Engineering Bay increases attack speed by 5% in addition to increasing damage.
Weapon upgrades increase attack speed by 5%.
Applies to Armory and Engineering Bay.
Vanadium Plating: We have created a new lightweight alloy called vanadium. Vanadium diffuses weapon impacts much more effectively than traditional armor plating, and it better preserves the life of our units.
Now each of the armor upgrades in the Armory and Engineering Bay increases unit life by 5% in addition to increasing armor.
Orbital Depots: We can now call down Supply Depots straight from orbit due to our new understanding of Protoss architecture. Key pivot joints have been added to the Supply Depot’s structure, allowing the [[[Supply Depot]] to survive the violent turbulence of breaking through an atmosphere.
Now an SCV simply has to place a Beacon, and the crew on the Hyperion will handle the rest.
Science Vessel: We have created a unique version of the Science Vessel that can perform hull repairs on friendly mechanical units. This version of the Science Vessel can also irradiate individual targets and detect cloaked and burrowed enemy units.
Detects cloaked and burrowed enemies.
Can Irradiate enemy units.
Repairs nearby mechanical units.
Built at the Starport.
Tech Reactor: Protoss plasma shields have finally given us the ability to fit the Tech Lab and the Reactor into a single structure add-on.
This new add-on, known as the Tech Reactor, replaces the old Tech Lab and Reactor add-ons and allows us to train two of any unit types simultaneously.
Shrike Turret: We have developed an automated turret that comes standard with all Bunkers. This turret which is based on our studies of Spore Crawlers, adds extra firepower to manned Bunkers and also allows unmanned Bunkers to contribute to base defense.
Outfits all Bunkers with an automated turret.
Fortified Bunker: This improved Bunker design, inspired by the Ultralisk exoskeleton, attaches a hardened carapace to the top of the Bunker. This carapace dramatically increases the amount of punishment that a Bunker can absorb.
Also note that a Command Center that has been upgraded to a Planetary Fortress can no longer lift off because the added weight is far too much for the Command Center’s Atlas Boosters.
Command Center can upgrade to a Planetary Fortress
Upgrade grants extra armor and the Twin Ibiks Cannon
A Planetary Fortress cannot lift off
Perdition Turret: This turret fires a deadly wall of flame that is ideal for holding off large waves of enemy units. The turret also conceals itself beneath the ground when out of combat, luring unsuspecting enemies into its field of fire.
The Zerg’s ability to burrow has allowed them to massacre countless Terran soldiers in deadly ambushes. The new Perdition Turret help even the score.
Does massive area damage
Conceals itself when not in combats
Predator: The Predator is equipped with an electrical discharge field. This field activates each time the Predator strikes an enemy in combat, dealing heavy damage to all nearby enemy units. This makes the Predator a devastatingly effective counter to large groups of enemy units.
Hercules: We have retrofitted the Herculess-class cargo ship for use on the battlefield. This massive transport can carry entire armies and unload them at record speeds.
The Hercules will also eject Survival Pods if shot down. Ejected occupants will sustain damage, but most would agree that injury is preferable to death.
Massive transport ship
Deploys loaded troops almost instantly
Loaded troops survive if Hercules is destroyed
Built at the Starport
Cellular Reactor: This reactor has a larger energy reserve on startup and can hold a much larger charge. Now our specialist units can use their abilities the moment they hit the battlefield, and they can store more energy when idle for long periods of time.
Specialist units are units that use energy, such as the Medic, Ghost, and Wrath.
Specialist units start with +100 energy
Specialist units gain +100 maximum energy
Regenerative Bio-Steel: Our ship and vehicle hulls are now made from a material called Regenerative Bio-Steel. This material uses internal Nanobots to slowly repair any damage the hull sustains.
While this regeneration process is much slower than conventional SCV repairs, it can be the difference between life and death if no SCVs are available.
The Western Plaguelands has changed drastically in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Only one of the five farms across the lands remains under the Scourge’s grasp. All other farms are now inhabited by humans who have retaken Hearthglen. Tirion Fordring returned to lead Hearthglen after the defeat of the Lich King. The Northridge Lumber Camp was retaken by the son of its former owner, and now leads a group of Hearthglen Recruits including worgen.
The Ruins of Andorhal is currently a warzone between the Alliance, the Horde and the remaining Scourge. The Alliance built new housings in the western-side of Andorhal, while the Horde Forsaken built a new village within the northern-side of Andorhal. From what I heard, there’s a quest titled the Battle for Andorhal in which the Forsaken take full claim of it. Not sure if that’s accurate.
The areas around Tomb of Uther have changed slightly. There is a new area known as Malicia’s Outpost south of the Weeping Cave. Seems the Twilight’s Hammer have an interest here.
The Weeping Cave now has goblins, Unholy Corpuscules (ooze-like glob), and undead frankestein-like monsters named Flesh-Cobbled Ripper.
Western Plaguelands is beautiful. I will miss the old Western Plaguelands a bit though.
Take a look at our 64 screenshots of Western Plaguelands posted in our brand-new vBulletin forums. Make sure to drop by and leave your comments at the forum.
To celebrate the worldwide launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, J!NX has launched its new line of StarCraft II T-shirts and Keychains. Considering at least 25,000 players will attend BlizzCon 2010, everyone who is traveling to Blizzcon and those who won’t should get their hands ASAP on these phat lootz.
Available while supplies last, and you know how long the BlizzCon tickets last! Go Get’em!
Want to experience the panel discussions, tournaments, game-related announcements, and all the excitement of BlizzCon from the comfort of your own home? The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket multi-channel Internet stream is now available to order around the world for $39.95 USD (pricing may vary by region). In addition, new DIRECTV subscribers in the United States who sign up for DIRECTV service between now and September 24 through https://www.blizzard.directv.com/ will receive this year’s BlizzCon Virtual Ticket coverage for free. Existing DIRECTV customers will be able to purchase the event on DIRECTV Pay Per View for $39.95 beginning October 9.
Anyone who orders the event will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft in-game item. In addition, for the first time, BlizzCon 2010 Virtual Ticket holders will have access to exclusive BlizzCon merchandise.
Where are all the New York City’s StarCraft II fans? Well, not all, but a good group of New Yorkers will celebrate StarCraft II Midnight Opening at the Union Square Best Buy. There won’t be any Blizzard developer in New York City, but it will be fun nonetheless to see hundreds of fellow StarCraft II fans awaiting their copy.
I will very likely attend this event, merely to take video, photos, and to share some time with fellow fans. I will wait for my CE pre-order till August 2.
Starcraft II Midnight Release
Join us at the Midnight Opening for this exciting sequel.
*Free Starcraft 2 posters for the first 75 customers*
Date: July 27, 2010
Time: 12:01 a.m
BEST BUY (Map)
One Union Square South – Corner of 14th Street and 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10003
As my 8-ball predicted, Blizzard Senior VP of Creative Development Chris Metzen and Blizzard Publishing Lead Micky Neilson were at the San Diego Comic Con 2010 to reveal details of the upcoming World of Warcraft Mini-Series and Graphic Novels.
According to Newsarama, World of Warcraft comic editor Hank Kanalz talked about the first World of Warcraft mini-series titled World of Warcraft: The Curse of the Worgen by Micky Neilson and James Waugh. This mini-series will flesh out the background of the Gilnean werewolf humans cursed with the Worgen state.
On the other hand, the first new World of Warcraft graphic novel by Mike Costa will focus on the Alliance, with some of the mysterious origins of the Worgen.
The second World of Warcraft graphic novel by Doug Wagner will deal with the Horde. Among the concept art revealed at the San Diego Comic Con were orcs, tauren and there seems to be a mockup about a pandaren character. It’s not clear if it is a stand alone mini-series based on the Pandaren. I will see what I can find out.
My 8-ball also hit home with the prediction that Cryptozoic Entertainment would be at the San Diego Comic Con represented by Cory Jones to lay the plans for their upcoming Scourge War TCG expansion in September.
Chris Metzen also talked about the World of Warcraft film.
“Especially in the past month, we’ve been back and forth on a treatment [Sam Raimi]’s been working on…Hopefully, we’ll be moving very very quickly, very soon.” — said Chris Metzen.
The man behind the Warcraft lore is giving us a good sign that the 40-pages treatment mentioned recently by Sam Raimi at the Saturn Awards [in an interview with the Collider] might be getting fleshed out into a more stable script fast enough to get the ball rolling next year on 2011.
Of course, it might just be my fanboy mentality at work here, but at least that “soon” doesn’t have the old-school-Blizzard [tm] attached to it.
The San Diego Comic Con 2010 isn’t over yet as it will run through June 22-25, so I will inform any updates I find online as announcements are made at the show floor.
Are you one of our visitors who have the luck of going to the San Diego Comic Con? Whether you have or not a video camera or able to take photos, send me a private message, post in our forum, or email me to post your coverage on the front page.
Blizzard has unleashed the Ghosts of the Past cinematic teaser that will make every StarCraft II fan so excited they will be heading to the midnight launch with excitement begging for a copy.
The unlocked content at the Dominion page has reached its 100%, unveiling this cinematic.
The cinematic starts with the broken New Gettysburg billboard on the ground. Suddenly materializes the ghosts of the past as Jim Raynor remembers in his mind while drinking at the Cantina and looking at a photo of Sarah, the moment when Sarah Kerrigan is betrayed and left behind by Arcturus Mengsk. The zerg closes in and Sarah finally succumbs.
Matt Horner tries to make Jim Raynor understand the fate of Kerrigan wasn’t his fault.
We see Arcturus Mengsk in the cinematic telling Jim Raynor to leave Tarsonis at once. Jim Raynor shows up in Mengsk’s computer complaining his order to abandon Kerrigan to the Zerg.
Matt Horner reminds Raynor that their revolution is not about vengeance, but about Freedom. Matt invites Raynor to think about it, and to alert them when he’s back to them to lead them.
Next, the cinematic shows us the moment Sarah Kerrigan looks into the sky, and gives up, letting her riffle fall to the ground as Mutalisks descend upon her like a locust swarm.
Raynor embraces his old Mar Sara Marshal badge on his hand, and begins a Rambo-like sequence wearing his guns and stuff.
Suddenly the radar systems pick up a massive Dominion Battlecruiser fleet closing in on them out of warp.
Raynor kicks in with the phrase, now our revolution is about to kick in into overdrive.
The Dominion and the Raynor’s Raiders fight it to the bone. There are some random sequences like Raynor shooting the screen after a anti-Raynor speech by Mengsk.
Valerian Mengsk makes a appearance in the cinematic when Raynor stands face to face with him with a gun aiming Valerian’s face. Valerian instead offers Jim Raynor what he most desires. An alliance between both men is incoming, which means the son will betray the father, as expected since the events which transpired in Christie Golden’s novel StarCraft: The Dark Templar trilogy.
The cinematic is amazing. The Uncertain Future video is a thorough StarCraft II lore narration with a slideshow teaching you the basics of what you need to know before playing the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player this upcoming July 27th, 2010. Go grab your copy, kiddo! Check out the Starcraft II Dominion webpage.
Ghosts of the Past
Emperor Mengsk, we’ve finished analyzing the rogue transmission sent from criminal propagandist Michael Liberty to wanted terrorist Jim Raynor.
Oddly, the only information contained within was a brief message: “Run from your past, and it’ll chase you down even faster.”