Blizzplanet Mists of Pandaria Press Event – Submit Questions

Blizzard Entertainment invited Blizzplanet to the Mists of Pandaria press event to be held through March 13-15th. We are taking questions from Blizzplanet visitors exclusively about Mists of Pandaria.

1. I invite everyone to please read the Mists of Pandaria BlizzCon Panel Transcript Archive. Once you read and digest all the panels feel free to elaborate your questions internally.

2. Submit your questions at our new vBulletin forum.

Note: Many thanks for your continuous support ordering Blizzard licensed products through Blizzplanet. This made possible to acquire a vBulletin license, and the upcoming Eldorian’s trip to Blizzard. Thank you.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Press Kit

This section gathers all the material Blizzard Entertainment provided Blizzplanet network manager Eldorian at the BlizzCon 2011 Press Room.

World of Warcraft: Intro to Mists of Pandaria

Browse through the Transcript Archive of each panel.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Class Talent Panel

Dungeons & Raids Panel

PlayStation PS Vita On Sale Feb 15.2012

Not sure if Blizzard will ever release video games for the PS Vita, but Gamestop alerted me the PlayStation Vita Limited Edition will be released next week, on February 15, 2012. The other versions will be available on February 22nd.

There are four models to choose from:

Features

  • Front and back multitouch screens, motion sensors and Six Axis sensors
  • Catch every detail with the PlayStation Vita system’s stunning, multitouch 5-inch OLED display
  • Feel the full-on intensity of First Person Shooters with Dual Analog Sticks
  • Take on your friends – or the whole world — anywhere, anytime with Wi-Fi or alwayson 3G
  • Blur the lines between entertainment and reality with breakthrough features such as front and back touch, motion sensors and augmented reality.
  • Get into the biggest and best games – only on PlayStation Vita.
  • Take on your friends – or the whole world – anywhere, anytime with always-on 3G and Wi-Fi
  • Chat with others on the fly – in the midst of multiplayer action or while watching videos.

Diablo III Demon Hunter Jacket Shipping

The Diablo III Demon Hunter Jacket is shipping already, and stocks seem high enough for you to catch one of your size. Don’t waste time. Make sure to benefit from the current 10% off promo code at checkout.

Type Promotion Code: LUVHERTZ

This offer expires at 11:59 PM PST on Monday, February 13, 2012, so don’t wait!
*can’t be combined with any other offers, sale prices, or discounts

Check out the T-shirts and Hoodies currently available:

2012 St. Valentine: Blizzard T-Shirts 10% Off Promo

Spend $40 in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III T-shirts and Hoodies (other brands too) and get 10% Off during checkout.

Type Promotion Code: LUVHERTZ

This offer expires at 11:59 PM PST on Monday, February 13, 2012, so don’t wait!
*can’t be combined with any other offers, sale prices, or discounts

Diablo III Beta: Twitter Bashiok Q&A Transcript

Bashiok’s coffee maker pot went dry last night and decided to keep himself awake with a bombardment of questions from the community via Twitter.

Kultbot: So chat channels are still part of the game?

Bashiok: They’re in there right now. Unless people are expecting general open channels? We’ve consistently said we won’t have those.

witwix: Is there going to be as much incentive to sit around and MF for 14 hours at a time? Or is the end game plan more WoWesque?

Bashiok: It will be similar to D2, but emphasis is off boss runs and on exploring the world.

IamBGriffs: Any word when news about runes will be released?

Bashiok: We’re planning that out. Its in and working. Not too much longer.

Bargo_Gosu: Does this include the skill system?

Bashiok: Skill and rune systems are intrinsically linked.

Darth_caesar: Is there any bonus to pre-release bonus to pre-ordering the CE?

Bashiok: I’m not aware of any pre-order bonuses… We usually don’t do those.

Mrknify: how do i use the Diablo 3 forums ? it says I need a Wow account ? mine is frozen, and I have D2/D2_expansion?

Bashiok: You’ll need an active WoW sub, StarCraft II license, or DIII beta license.

iM_Bennotronica: What % will you guys take from real money action house?

Bashiok: That’s a good question, I actually don’t know. % is only on cash out though, or commodity/stackable item sales.

ReXimus128: Why did you guys remove scrolls of identification? Simplicity sake? Also, why can you change skills anywhere now?

Bashiok: We didn’t really feel like they added anything, except to take away inventory space.

Varastus21: I have a question about friends and chat in D3. Is it possible to add someone to a friends list? Also, is there a global chat?

Bashiok: Yes there’s multiple different types of friends lists. Global chat like you want to spam all your friends? 🙂 no.

Millerjoeblue: any plans for any guild/clan features?

Bashiok: We’d love to offer some kind of support for social groups, but it’s on a wish list at the moment.

Chiefey68: Will xpacs increase level caps or just new content/items? Thanks for the outreach!

Bashiok: We’re still just working on the game, but our philosophy is that levels should match the content. If that answers your question.

SimonTupper: One of the reasons why Diablo 2 was such a succes was that it was getting better over the years, will diablo 3 follow that pattern?

Bashiok: We’re fully designing and planning for Diablo III to be supported long into the future.

Efren1776: Any idea when more beta invites will go out?

Bashiok: We don’t really plan it out like that, it’s more a symptom of seeing how many people are playing and seeing if need more.

andrespdr: Any plans for contests for beta keys for people outside the states? (Latinamerica)

Bashiok: Yup, but I’ll let them tell you about it. 🙂

OldIronBlood: will we be seeing any runestones or gems in beta?

Bashiok: Extremely unlikely. The point of the beta is to test the service, patcher, launcher, and hardware compatibility.

hashstep: In the game guide some weapons have a range of values for min and max dmg (2-3)-(4-5) dmg for ex. Can the values be non-integers?

Bashiok: Nah, whole numbers is sexier.

CaptRaven: could you elaborate a bit more on why exactly Blizzard thinks that a general open chat channel like in D2 or SC1 is a bad idea?

Bashiok: The good is minuscule compared to the bad, and we have to actually support these things…

Doriide: How does crafting work?

Bashiok: It’s a bit complex to describe in 140 characters. You already read the artisan section on the website?

jeremysnow2: My wife wants to know how much sleep everyone at Blizzard is averaging trying to get this game out to demanding people like me…

Bashiok: Hah! It’s a lot of long hours and weekend work days, and has been for a while… but we have fun. 🙂

Regardless_: Could you tell us how the legendary weapons are coming along and if they will be in the beta?

Bashiok: Quite well. I don’t think we drop any more until later in Act 1. Probably not.

Efren1776: as somone who hasn’t played the first 2 will it be easy to understand the story of this one?

Bashiok: No matter what it’s going to be a fun story. If you’ve played the others you’ll get something extra, if not, you’ll seek it out.

eclittlejohn: Does the current list of items on the D3 website give all the items we can expect to see on release? Are there going to be more?

Bashiok: No, no, no, the website has very few items. We’ll update it when we get close to release.

Sarfazar: How close to the date of release should we expect the Diablo III, beta to run?

Bashiok: That’s a good question. I don’t think we exactly know. Pretty close.

IReesesCupI: Do you guys plan to have expansion for Diablo 3 still? If so would it be a class/content or just content. Etc.

Bashiok: We think it makes sense, but we’re focusing on releasing the game first. 🙂

pliers1: Is there going to be a pre-release download, so people can start playing as soon as servers go up? Including people on annual pass.

Bashiok: We plan to have a digital download people can grab so they’re ready to go right at midnight.

digitahlemotion: Aside from being able to slow down to enjoy the lore, are there any drawbacks (in regards to the story) to playing solo vs co-op?

Bashiok: We hope not, we’ve worked really hard to try to ensure co-op is nothing but bonuses and awesomeness.

Procrastajason: is the retail release of the game the entirety of the content we’ll see for a while or will there be content patches ala WoW?

Bashiok: Well, WoW is a subscription game. We’ll have patches. New items, probably. New zones or bosses? Probably not.

WilliamCairns1: With you taking out the scrolls do you have any plans to put them back in maybe as like purchasable pet like in WoW maybe?

Bashiok: We didn’t remove them so we could charge people for them later, if that’s your question. 🙂

SamuEllmer: Will there be official midnight launch events globally? (and if so, could you make it to London’s?)

Bashiok: We tend to have midnight launch events, no announcements until we know when the game will launch. 🙂

Ryallcowling: Do I need to pay any tax on my monthly paypal earnings from the sale of in game items? Any other options than paypal?

Bashiok: I believe that’s between you and the IRS? PayPal is what we’re focusing on for NA and some other regions.

Wasted_Panda: Will the colorblind mode be implemented during beta?

Bashiok: Do we need one? Would appreciate feedback in a forum thread if there’s specific issues.

MrPaNtsONhEad: I like the changes to skillswap with cooldown BUT why is there a cooldown when you are in town?

Bashiok: It’s a rough first implementation. It was wrangled in very shortly before the patch went out.

leftupseven: In a party, if people are skipping loot barrels and side rooms, do you lose xp for staying back and exploring?

Bashiok: You need to be within range (screen and a half or so) to be counted for drops or experience.

EldacarJS: Is there going to be a monster in the game named Bashiok? Also will Rakanishu and Bishbosh be returning?

Bashiok: Yes. Well… I don’t know. Those guys are dead…

verylemonade: Why the massive disparities in starting armor for some of the classes for male/female? EX: Sorcerer/ess.

Bashiok: Likely one was revised and the other wasn’t. (bug) A bug report or other written feedback would help.

Br0ckHamill: with pets been taken out of the game is there any plans of the use of the models or will they just return to wild life in game?

Bashiok: I believe they’ll be freeze-dried until later.

EmperorDoomwolf: Is it possible you can make the CE wings dyeable? I know they’re an inventory item. It would just be cool!!!

Bashiok: No, they’re the single amazingly cool color they already are. 🙂

Kennigit: How many times have you played through the campaign?

Bashiok: From start to finish with one character? :X never…

LadyFoxette: Do you recommend I go back and play the first two games (+expansion), or does Diablo 3’s story stand well enough on its own?

Bashiok: I think you can find some good story recaps (if anyone has link pls share) that it’d be pretty easy to catch yourself up.

Darkcoro: Is a melee Wizard still viable with the new stat system etc? Was very interested to try that ^_^

Bashiok: Absolutely.

dethbox: Max players per game. 4 or 8?

Bashiok: 4.

arkeus: Is it possible we will see a return of the Amulet feature in an expansion?

Bashiok: Anything is possible. That kind of secondary item-based stat augmentation is real cool though. Perfect for later on.

SnailCraft: How big is the game in comparison to D2?

Bashiok: I dont know. Around the same I suspect.

Regardless_: Do you get to influence the game design at all outside of being the CM? If so, what did you help with?

Bashiok: I complain all the time but I’m usually wrong. 🙂 All the good stuff comes from the community.

Sn0wcatcher: Can paypal unsupported countries use the rmah ? Is blizzard usiing any other web-based payment besides paypal?

Bashiok: I believe we’ll be providing more info about regional options once they’re ready. To be honest I don’t know specifics.

mikesacco: forum feedback still says DH feels less powerful than other classes; perception or real thing? any plans?

Bashiok: Overall we agree. Next patch (?) there will be a number of class changes.

Sarfazar: Is it possible to post gold/real money on the auction house to be bought with real money/gold respectively.

Bashiok: You can put up gold to be bought with currency, yes.

jaredgaut: any word on a new Blizzcast?

Bashiok: The delay kinda threw us off. We’ll get back on track…

Mikeregan7: When does beta testing end?

Bashiok: sometime before release.

digitahlemotion: Are the Pre-Orders for Diablo 3 CE by Walmart, Gamestop, etc legit?

Bashiok: I would assume so. I’m not sure how those work, I’d guess they have to work off a unit estimate?

AlexVanDijkNews: Any ETA on news about the EU beta? Will the EU beta be the final phase/part of testing?

Bashiok: Not yet. No.

7,240 M / nearly 2 Acre of Land on Sale Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Land on sale for development: 7,240 M (almost two acres) located in Ocean View street at Miradero, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 00623. Price: $199,990

Enough land to build many houses, or a big Inn for tourists. View to the Caribbean Sea at a distance, and to the mountains. Water and electricity available.

Close to all the beaches in the area, restaurants of Joyuda Bay, the big city of Mayaguez and its university, Club Deportivo of Cabo Rojo (about ten minutes away), and Surfing in the beaches of Rincon, Puerto Rico (about ten miles away). Contact mdragon here for more details.

Access map through maps.Google.com using the address of “calle Ocean View, Miradero, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico”. (Map)

Attractive value of this land on sale

The Club Deportivo of Cabo Rojo is famous for hosting the annual Blue Marlin International Fishing Tournament with the biggest participation of yachts throughout the Caribbean Sea. Club members have access to the Marina.

The Club Deportivo also hosts the annual Deportivo Golf Open Tournament. It contains four Tennis courts, and exclusive restaurants for club members.

Learn more about the Club Deportivo del Oeste.

https://www.clubdeportivodeloeste.com/marina.html

Google Map below:


View Larger Map

Black Friday 2011: World of Warcraft and StarCraft II Bundles

This is the opportunity to get the right gift for a friend or family member for Christmas or earlier. Black Friday is coming and prices go down ridiculously.

Get World of Warcraft vanilla, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm for only $80.00 (That’s 20 bucks each). Order the World of Warcraft Bundle and save $20.

The other offer is the StarCraft II Bundle. Get StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and pick your favorite Battle Chest: either the StarCraft or Warcraft III Battle Chest.

Simply follow step by step the instructions to apply the Black Friday offer to your cart at checkout.

Michele Morrow as Lady Sylvanas Facebook Reaches 5,000 Likes

Scream Queen horror film actress Michele Morrow continues to sway more zombies from the Lich King’s grasp to join her cause in the Michele Morrow as Lady Sylvanas Facebook page.

The fanboy Facebook page has reached 5,000 Likes from fans like you who want the actress to take the role of Lady Sylvanas in the upcoming Warcraft film directed by Sam Raimi and produced by Legendary Pictures.

Michele is giving away a Two-month World of Warcraft game card signed by her.

Our Army has reached 5k. THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your support. In honor of this achievement, I am giving away this signed two month WoW game card to someone that leaves a comment on my Official Website, or the FACEBOOK post. The winner will be random and announced one week from today: November 19th. 10k… here we come.

Michele Morrow recently made YouTube TradeChat’s Top 10 Hottest Chicks who play World of Warcraft List. The video has over 100,000 views.

Bookmark Michele Morrow’s Official website to follow her latest press news and blog.

Michele attended BlizzCon 2011 and was interviewed by the WoW Insider/WoW Head/Gamebreaker.tv BlizzCon Fans Meetup show (at minute 1:23)


Watch live video from gamebreakertv on Justin.tv

**Rendition image by 3D artist Jarjara, retouched by Medievaldragon.

Blizzplanet Review: SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse

SteelSeries played catch with Blizzplanet and threw us a fast-ball special. Patiently and eagearly, I have been checking downstairs at reception to see if the shipped goodies had arrived. SteelSeries had told me the box was on its way the day the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse and the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset were out on sale.

The reception had removed the paper to verify which rooms had mail and I was already leaving when out of the corner of my eye I saw a logo. It took my brain a few seconds to post-process once the window was out of view. I then back-paddled to check out whatever my eye caught. There it was. It was on the counter table standing tall on its side,  a huge box with the SteelSeries logo.

Immediately, I told the receptionist that was for me. I took the box home, and started to unpack the contents.

My ego deflated when I saw the large box was half empty. I don’t know which thought won in my head: “Why ship it in such a large box to have it half empty?”, or “Zomg, they could have added some extra ones to fill up the other half (grins)”; but don’t listen to this troll’s back-of-my-mind arguments. All those nonsense thoughts evaporated, and my ego inflated at a dangerous rate when I looked at the bottom of the box …

SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse Unboxing

All the photos you will see in this page are taken by me at the moment of unboxing this product. The SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse and the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset boxes were there staring back at me.

The box is made of hard cardboard to protect the content. It can be used later to store your eSport Professional Mouse, and fits easily in a backpack. Imagine taking this box out of your backpack in front of your friends. Their jaw will drop definitely. You can’t deny you love to do that. You, evil you.

 

What’s behind the box? Basically a round up on the specs in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

1. Optimal comfort with an ambidextrous shape and size, making it versatile for all types of gamer grips.
2. 7 ergonomically placed programmable buttons.
3. World’s most durable switches – guaranteed lifespan of 10 million clicks.
4. Programmable Diablo III®-themed illumination options.
5. Durable, double-braided nylon cord with a gold-plated USB connection.
6. Quick and effortless remapping of mouse buttons with Drag & Drop, pre-defined game actions/functions/skills as well as illumination settings. All of which are easily configured in an intuitive Diablo III®-themed driver available for Windows and Mac OS X users.

 

 

As I attempted to open the box, I noticed the front of the box actually opens up like a book to show the interior letting you see the mouse covered by a plastic, and on the left side of the inner-book-cover is an artwork of Tyrael. I was dumbfounded. How did the cover didn’t come out loose whenever I kept moving the box around to see the back and side? Took me a bit to figure it out. It keeps itself closed because the packaging designer added a magnet for flavor which keeps it tight closed.

The text is localized in the same four languages: “The fast-paced action of Diablo III requires quick response times and a weapon that will withstand the fury of the Prime Evils. Co-designed with the creators of Diablo III, the SteelSeries Diablo III mouse is built to aid you in your quest against the forces of the Burning Hells. An ambidextrous shape, a comfortable grip, and oversized pressure points all help ensure a smooth glide for quick movements. The SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse has been engineered and designed to survive and conquer the relentless punishment of the Burning Hells, with a guaranteed lifespan of 10 million clicks — 3x more than an average mouse.

Prepare for victory.”

 

Inside the box, you will find a re-sealable bag with the Quick Start Guide, a folded catalog containing several Blizzard Licensed Products, and SteelSeries products; and a SteelSeries sticker.

 

SteelSeries Product Catalog

On display are the following SteelSeries Blizzard Licensed Products:

Product Review

First, let’s go to the basics of what a gaming mouse should be and do for your personal taste.

Ambidextrous: The majority of mice I have purchased in the past have had an ergonomic shape designed for right-hands, and usually small in size for my big hand. As you have read, the Diablo III Mouse has an ambidextrous design, so It’s taking me a bit to get used to this big mouse.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are many players who use the left hand to play, and this mouse does justice to both. SteelSeries doesn’t discriminate or penalize one or the other. Ambidextrous for the win. You win.

Comfortability: The Diablo III Mouse is comfortable. It takes a while, and a bit of use to get used to it. I have been using it for a while, and my hand and wrist don’t feel exhausted. I also have to say that the SteelSeries QcK Diablo III Gaming Mouse Pad makes the Diablo III Mouse slide back and forth smoothly and precisely.

That not only comes handy with video games such as Diablo III, but for your day-to-day applications like Adobe Photoshop CS.

Durability: As soon as SteelSeries announced the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse a few months ago, around the Summer, I have to be honest … I fell in love with it.

I have a story about my consumption of mice over the past decade. In the initial years, when I had a Mac G4 Tower, and later the HP Pavillion I used to spend a bit over $20.00 in mice. Usually Logitech Mice. Some of them with several programmable buttons. I grew intensely fed up of those. Gamers are a special breed of computer users. We multi-task between gaming, and fragging the heck out of players in Half-Life, Doom, Team Fortress, and other FPS/Deathmatch games; chatting on AOL, YIM, MSN, GTalk, ICQ; browsing soundtracks; viewing Marvel/DC comics Online, and working on our favorite flavor of software applications.

Bottomline, we punish the mice like no one else. Soon or later, my Logitech mice became unresponsive and ended up in the trash can. After 2005, a year and a half into World of Warcraft — I was in the 2004 beta in case you wonder — I ended up giving up on Logitech and consequently on any company who ever sold a Mouse over $10.00. That’s right. All of them. These past six years I haven’t consumed anything but cheap mice ranging $2.99 – 8.99. Different companies. It didn’t matter to me.

The reason? Mice Durability. As a gamer the mice are punished so, that I end up replacing my mice once or twice a year. It doesn’t matter if the mice are 2.99 or $69.99 … all of them have the same flaw: the thin cord. That’s all this story leads to. The thin cord. As gamers, we keep moving the mice all around the place. Sooner or later, the bending that thin cord back and forth will cause the interior cabling to wear off and break.

Have you experienced this? When the mice stops working and the laser goes off. You play around with the cable inch by inch and suddenly the laser turns on. That’s the thin cable bending at a certain point causing the internal cable to stop communicating with the mouse. There goes your expensive mice. Straight into the trash can.

Going back to when SteelSeries announced the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse, I fell in love straight there. Upon close inspection of the photo what caused me to jaw-drop was the cabling. It looked like a cobra. A thick cable shielding protecting the inside from the rigorous mistreatment and punishment we gamers give mice.

I really need to smack this one at your face again, even if it’s there in the Mice specs I posted above. Read and sing along with me folks: “Durable, double-braided nylon cord with a gold-plated USB connection.

Mozzart and Beethoven come short against SteelSeries. That single sentence there is music to my ears. This is what I have been waiting for for a decade to make me come out of my self-exiled retirement from Professional Mice. I might end up buying another one at some point for my elder parent, who’s also a gamer. She also wasted about a couple of mice a year.

I am not able to give you the experience of touching this cable, but the SteelSeries description gives you an idea of what to expect from this product. It’s a solid cable. If you attempt to bend the cord, you will notice a very strong and solid opposition to do so. You can’t harm it unless you really try hard. Period.

Another bonus. After I removed my cheap mouse, I compared the length of its cable against the Diablo III Mouse. I jaw-dropped. The Diablo III Mouse’s cord is a full feet longer. You heard it: “12-inches longer” than your average mouse cord. The Diablo III Mouse’s cord-length is 2 meters (6.5 Feet).

Aesthetics: It’s Diablo III-themed. Heck, do you need another reason to love its looks? The mouse-wheel is wider than anything I have ever seen — and trust me, at a rate of nigh two mice a year for a decade I have seen my share of mice (over 20).

The outer-layer of the wheel has a rubber with the shape of scales. Think of Deathwing-like spinal cord scales. Perfect for scrolling and traction against your fingertip. Many of those cheap mice I used to have kept sliding and skipping with their awful or lack of traction.

I’m having problems with the buttons on the right side of the Diablo III mouse. As I wrote this article, I kept accidentally pushing the side button with the fourth finger (right-hand). I had programmed it to hit the “4” keyboard button. Thus, the SteelSeries Engine macro would type “4” while I typed this article. Then I realized … this is an ambidextrous mouse. Decided to clear the macro for that button, and it hasn’t given me further issues. My fingers are kinda long and big, so no blame there.

Now on the most obvious aesthetics, who doesn’t love to see that Diablo III Logo illumination humming on and off. Watch my video in the dark to see the Diablo III logo illumination (Note: Lower your sound. Loud music. Switch video quality to 720HD, and click the fullscreen button to see the programmable buttons UI)

Gameplay: I might update this review later to offer in-depth feedback. So far I programmed the two buttons on the left-side of the Diablo III Mouse to activate macros. I don’t really have to type a macro perse. All I do is choose the button in the SteelSeries Engine UI, and press the button I wish to program that button with. In this case, the button “1” and “2” on my keyboard correspond to the Diablo III Beta spell bar.

It felt fantastic to be able to cast Electrocute with the left-button using my index finger, Wave of Force with the right-button using my middle finger, and suddenly shoot an Arcane Orb and Shock Pulse with my thumb finger.

Noise: A fan asked me about the noise made by all the clicking in a click-intensive game like Diablo III, concerned about his wife. I used a Logitech Mouse (my parent’s), a cheap Orange mouse, and the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse to test clicking. Curiously, the Logitech mouse barely made any clicking noise. However, the thin cord of the Logitech means the mouse won’t have a long lifespan with Diablo III. The double-braided nylon cord in the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse, thus a longer lifespan, alone makes it a better investment.

SteelSeries needs to work a bit on click-noise design to counter Logitech, but to be fair the SteelSeries Diablo III mouse was designed in such a way, that most of the sound decibels from clicking seem to be cancelled out. The noise is mostly internal. The cheaper mouse had a more aggressive external clicking noise. Here’s an MP3 sound recording (WMA here) of the cheap mouse vs the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse. It was recorded with the SteelSeries Diablo III Headset’s built-in extendable microphone.

Additional Specs

  • Frames per Second: 12000
  • Inches per Second: 150
  • Counts per Inch: 100-5700
  • Acceleration: 30 G
  • Sensor Data Path: True 16-bit
  • Lift Distance: ~2 mm
  • Buttons: 8
  • Cable: 2 m / 6.5 Ft (braided)

SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse Drivers

The Quick Start Guide seen in one of the photos only has two readable pages, so no need to brainstorm and read lots of pages. Most of the pages are localizations in other languages.

To get started, once you removed the mouse from the packaging, connect the USB connector into an available USB port in the back or front of your PC or Mac computer / laptop.

The mouse will be operational right away after Windows auto-installs a basic driver. However, you must go to https://www.steelseries.com/downloads

Your browser might prompt a frame stopping the redirection. Click the OK button if your browser does that to redirect to the appropriate Download page. Otherwise go to the website manually and hover your mouse over the “Support” link at the top of the page, and select “Downloads”.

A list of images will show up detailing each product. Somewhere around the middle you will see the Diablo III Mouse image. Click it, and below it a small frame will appear showing you two different drivers for your mouse: Mac or PC. Make sure to download the correct driver.

The driver is around 28MB, and it might take around five minutes to download depending your internet connection speed.

Locate and run the installer and follow the instructions.

Mouse Settings Interface

Once done, the SteelSeries Engine driver tray icon will appear at the bottom-right of your screen (on Windows OS).

Clicking the Open SteelSeries Engine will popup the interface (UI). Choose open image in a new tab to see the original size.

The Statistics tab keeps record of how many times you have clicked each individual button. So far, I have clicked the left button 29483 times. The right button: 2196 times. You can set a timer by pressing the start button to start recording how many clicks you perform in a specific timeframe.

Conclusions

I definitely look forward to get a second SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse. It’s been two days using it for gaming and day-to-day tasks. It looks badass, and provides a firm grip.

This device has returned my faith in professional peripherals. The cord looks like it’s going to last me several years, which in turn protects your investment. A mouse costing $69.99 should last longer than a cheap mouse. The mice cord and its durability marks the difference between a cheap mouse and a professional mouse. SteelSeries got the formula right with the Diablo III Mouse.

Next up, Blizzplanet will review the Diablo III Headset on Tuesday, and giveaway a SteelSeries QcK Diablo III Mousepad. Stay tuned.

StarCraft II Region Linking on July 18

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the new feature: StarCraft II region linking will take effect on July 18 to match with the start of Season 3. The merging of the following communities: North America and Latino America, Europe and Russia, Korea and Taiwan — will become three stronger communities. That means faster queues, and a bigger pool for ladder climbing.

Blizzard provided a FAQ to explain the new feature and how it might affect you.

We’re pleased to announce StarCraft II region linking, an exciting upcoming change that will connect a number of StarCraft II communities around the world for multiplayer matchmaking and communication purposes. In conjunction with the start of Season 3, we’ll be linking the European and Russian StarCraft II communities together; North America and Latin America will also be linked together, as will Korea and Taiwan.

Region linking will benefit players in the connected regions in a number of ways. First and foremost, a linked community means a larger pool of players to improve our automated matchmaker. Whether you’re an elite Grandmaster or a Bronze-league all-star, more players in the mix means that we’ll be able to find you a matchup more quickly and more accurately. Players will also get access to a broader range of custom map games, which in turn means wider audiences for mapmakers. Those of you who have friends in the linked region will also be able to add them to your Battle.net friends lists once the region linking is complete.

For the vast majority of players, the process will be seamless. Just log in, play, and say hello to all of your new friends (with a sneaky drop in their mineral line). For more information about region linking, check out the FAQ.

Cataclysm Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari Trailer Revealed

Blizzard Entertainment recently released Patch 4.1 and the Rise of the Zandalari Trailer is available.

In addition, the Blizzard Insider newsletter has reached fans’ emails. It contains an interview with Scott Mercer where he explains how The Rise of the Zandalari came about as the central theme of Patch 4.1’s major content.

    How did Rise of the Zandalari come about?

    Scott Mercer: Well, it’s always a good time for trolls! No, just kidding, there’s more to it than that. The idea first came up after the launch of 4.0 when we reintroduced 5-player versions of Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines. The classic dungeons ended up being a big hit with players, so we knew we wanted keep the momentum going by remaking more dungeons. Zul’Gurub was an obvious choice as it was a long-time player favorite, and many people were sad to see it go when Cataclysm launched. We started revamping it as soon as we could. Much later, when work on Zul’Gurub was nearing completion, we decided to add Zul’Aman to the lineup as well. The team felt Zul’Aman was one of our best raid dungeons of all time, but that it launched late in the Burning Crusade expansion cycle, so not that many players got a chance to experience it when it first came out. It was really the “hidden jewel” of Burning Crusade raiding. We’re hopeful that bringing it back as a 5-player Heroic will open it up and allow a much larger portion of the player base to try out the encounters.

    Can you give us any indication of the how the major bosses and features of Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub will be updated for the patch?

    Scott Mercer: Zul’Aman was ahead of its times in a lot of ways, and it actually adheres pretty closely to the encounter design philosophies we use today. For that reason, we didn’t feel the need to change the encounter mechanics too much aside from a few tweaks here and there needed to retune it for 5 players instead of 10 or 20. On the other hand, Zul’Gurub needed to change a lot to bring it in line with our current thinking on encounter design. For starters, we simplified the dungeon layout by closing off some of the wings with doors or fallen debris. This should make progression through the dungeon more streamlined and obvious. We’re also completely redoing the non-boss NPCs in the dungeon to make them easier to clear with a 5-player group. A lot of the Zul’Gurub boss lineup is changing as well, and players can even expect to see some new faces in the crowd.

    Were there any specific challenges in taking a 10 or 20-player raid instance and revamping it for 5 players?

    Scott Mercer: Knowing that there will only be five players at an encounter introduces some constraints that aren’t there for larger raid encounters. For example, you can’t use tank switching mechanics when you know that most 5-player groups are only going to have one tank. In the same vein, events that require a lot of crowd control aren’t going to work either; there just aren’t as many players available for crowd control as you would have in a 20-player raid. We also had to be careful to limit encounter mechanics that could potentially disrupt or lock down the healer. These kinds of mechanics tend to be much more devastating in 5-player groups, mostly because there are no other healers available to pick up the slack. Of course, I’m not saying players aren’t going to see any disruptive mechanics at all, I’m just saying we had to use them much more carefully than we would with larger raid encounters.

    You discussed how several of the encounter mechanics are changing for the revamp. Can you give us any specific examples?

    Scott Mercer: Sure, take Akil’Zon, the eagle boss in Zul’Aman. He used to interrupt players by launching them straight into the air, which could be devastating in a 5-player encounter if he chooses the healer or the tank, so we changed this mechanic slightly. Now his summoned eagles pick players up and try to fly off with them instead. The player that gets picked up can still act and cast normally, even while being carried away. So the group just has to make sure the eagle dies before it carries the player away. This works better, because the eagle mechanic still creates a sense of urgency without completely disrupting the targeted player.

    Let’s talk phat loot! What kinds of rewards can players expect from the new versions of Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman?

    Scott Mercer: The bosses drop epic quality item level 353 loot, which we hope will help players gear up for Cataclysm raiding. We also reworked the Edge of Madness event as an optional boss encounter which requires the archaeology profession to activate. At a certain point, an archaeologist can release one of four randomly chosen troll spirits, each with unique loot. We’re also releasing new versions of the special mounts that used to be found in Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub. Players who successfully complete a timed run of Zul’Aman can get the new version of the war bear. Anyone who has the old version of a mount can still get the new version. Also — though this isn’t really part of the dungeon itself — we’re adding a new mini-raptor pet for people who do the Stranglethorn Vale lead-in quests. Oh, and of course, Mojo the toad can still be found in Zul’Aman.

    Going forward, can we expect more raid dungeons from past expansions and patches to be revamped as 5-player Heroic dungeons?

    Scott Mercer: We definitely want to, but there are a few technical limitations we will have to solve first, especially with some of the older dungeons. That said, we know players like the classic dungeons and we’re open to updating just about any instance that has memorable encounters, especially if the dungeon as a whole meshes well with our current philosophy of encounter design. Several dungeons in particular keep coming up as potential candidates for 5-player Heroics. I’ve heard Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance discussed a few times. We also think it would be cool to revamp Blackrock Spire and Blackrock Depths given their obvious tie-ins for the storyline of Cataclysm. Nothing’s been ruled out yet, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see which ideas rise to the surface and we move further into Cataclysm.

Finally, you should read a new entry to the Leader Short Stories section by creative writer Brian Kindreagan. Learn more about Vol’jin: The Judgment.

World of Warcraft Action Figures Series 7 in Stock 3.18.2011

Entertainment Earth has announced several World of Warcraft Series Action Figure Sets are now back in stock. Feel free to browse the available products, and order right away. They are in stock while supplies last.

The World of Warcraft Series 6 Set Set contains 3 Action Figures: Sylvanas Windrunner, King Magni Bronzebeard and Goblin Tinker Gibzz Sparklighter.

The World of Warcraft Series 7 Set contains 3 Action Figures: Human Paladin Judge Malthred, Orc Rogue Garona Halforcen and Worgen Spy Garm Whitefang

The World of Warcraft Premium Series 2 Set contains: Orc Warchief Thrall and Gnome Warlock Valdremar with voidwalker Voyd.

World of Warcraft Series 5 Set contains: King Varian Wrynn, Night Elf Hunter Althena Moonbreeze, and Scourge Ghoul Rottingham.

Check out the World of Warcraft Action Figure Store for additional products.

PodCast.Blizzplanet.com – Disclaimer

Blizzplanet is not affiliated with any of the PodCast communities listed here. Each individual PodCast is the sole copyright owner of their respective content. All trademarks or registered trademarks of each PodCast name/title in the United States and/or other countries belongs to the respective PodCast community and/or its parent company. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright of their respective owners. Blizzplanet is in no way associated with or endorsed by any of these PodCast communities.

None of these PodCast shows are produced by Blizzplanet. These RSS feeds are meant to inform you about the existence of several cool third-party PodCast communities within the Blizzard Entertainment ever-expanding fan community which focus on World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III or other Blizzard games’ topics.

FNATIC Welcomes Fans to Chat on Raidcall

Please click here to download Raidcall.

Professional gaming superstar Fnatic (server id: 133714) has recently started up their own Raidcall server and will be online to chat with their fans. If you want the opportunity to talk with your favorite professional gamers. Download Raidcall you’ll have the opportunity to chat with Fnatic’s Heroes of Newerth team.

FnaticMSI’s Heroes of Newerth team was formed in 2010 and has gone on to win every major HoN tournament with an astounding 85% victory rate – unrivaled by any other team in the world. The team trounced their opponents at the recent Steelseries HoN World Cup, winning the final and earning a respectable $10,000 in prize money. On top of that, they are also defending champions at Dreamhack, the world’s largest LAN party.

Right now the team is competing in several online leagues and has done so with an amazing success rate. On March 9th Wednesday, from 19.00 to 21.00 CET team members Kalle “Trixi” Saarinen, Henrik “FreshFriFly” Hansen, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, Jascha “NoVa” Markuse, Tal “Bot” Aizik and team manager Danijel “StreeT” Remus will be online to chat with fans on Raidcall’s Fnatic server (server id: 133714). The team will be talking in English. If you’re a fan of Fnatic or interested in professional gaming in general, this is one opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!

SK Gaming will have the same interaction recently in their own Raidcall server, please stay tune on Raidcall official Facebook(www.facebook.com/raidcall) and Twitter(www.twitter.com/raidcall

Cataclysm Beta Raid Dungeons Open

Raid Dungeons will open in a few minutes today Sunday, Oct 17th at 1pm (PDT), 4pm (EST), 20:00 GMT.

Best way to get an invite is to have a new premade with 346 – 352 level gear. If you didn’t create a pre-made in the past week you likely have 333 gear.

Pre-mades have jewelcrafting and enchanting professions enabled with plenty of stacks of materials to gem and enchant their items. Including pants, shoulders and head enchant items.

I will post screenshots and videos of The Bastion of Twilight, and if possible the Blackrock Descent dungeon. Stay tuned in a few hours.

Cataclysm Beta: New Archaeology Features Revealed

Slorkuz posted an article about the plans for the Archaeology secondary profession, and revealed things unknown until now. As a newly Illustrious Grand Master Archaeologist this makes all the pain and gore of searching artifacts truly worthwhile.

You can obtain epic weapon rewards and use the keystones to grant a raid buff. These keystones can be sold at the Auction House. These features are not yet implemented in the current Beta build. Keystones currently give +12 fragments, but the live version will only grant +5 and grant buff attributes yet to be known. Each race has its own unique keystone, so buff attributes might vary.

[BLUE]Hunting the unknown, discovering the lost, knowing the forgotten.

The Explorers’ League of Ironforge is redoubling its efforts to learn the secrets of the past. The league has begun teaching the discipline of archaeology to all members of the Alliance in a bold attempt to procure as many ancient relics as possible. This initiative is being matched by the campaign of the Reliquary — a Horde faction formed from an unknown council based in Silvermoon. The Reliquary is training members of the Horde in the art of the dig and challenging them to find any and all artifacts of historical significance before the Explorers’ League does. Each side now jockeys for position, relishing in the chase, vying for control of time-lost relics, and jealously guarding any valuable information the objects may impart.

Archaeology is a new secondary profession introduced in Cataclysm that can be trained along with Cooking, First Aid, and Fishing. After learning Archaeology from the appropriate trainer in a major city, the newly educated treasure hunter will be presented with an Archaeology Journal to track his or her progress, as well as a surveying tool to facilitate discoveries.

The main purpose of Archaeology, of course, is to find artifacts! Artifacts are items lost to history that carry with them a story of the past. While their worth is mainly obtained from the information they impart and the simple joy of discovering them, rarer artifacts represent treasures of sizeable value. Every artifact has an origin, and these origins can be traced back to the races that now inhabit Azeroth and Outland. Research projects are presented in the Archaeology Journal, categorized by the races they’re associated with. The fragments needed to complete each research project can be discovered by visiting dig sites.

At any time, players can open their maps and see these dig sites outlined for them across Azeroth and Outland. Upon reaching a dig site, a player can then search for artifact fragments with the survey tool. The survey tool arms the Archaeologist with two unique devices: a telescope and a distance indicator. The distance indicator will change from red to yellow to green as the treasure hunter gets closer, while the telescope will keep pointing the player in the right direction. When the player locates and digs up the treasure, it will provide the Archaeologist with fragments that are collected in the journal. This process will eventually result in a complete artifact.

Completing the rarer artifacts can reward the Archaeologist with unique items, including epic-quality weapons, mounts, and non-combat pets. In addition to the normal artifact fragments used to finish all research projects, special fragments called keystones can also be found by higher-level players. These fragments are valuable to all Archaeologists because they count as five normal fragments for most research projects, and they can be freely sold and traded. Archaeologists of exceptional skill can also use keystones to grant benefits to their friends in high-end raid instances.

Whether you’re an avid treasure hunter with a drive to discover all the world has to offer, someone interested in uncovering the mysteries of the past, or an explorer looking to obtain items of power, Archaeology is your ticket to a glorious adventure.[/BLUE]

Embark into the WoW TCG Spectral Safari to get a Spectral Tiger on July 24-25

Here is hoping those of our visitors who play WoW TCG read this exciting and urgent news in the front page or via the Blizzplanet Mobile app or Blizzplanet’s Twitter page for a chance at winning a Spectral Tiger at your local TCG events store.

This July 24th and 25th, come join the hunt for the greatest game of them all. Cryptozoic Entertainment, home of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, will release a streak of Spectral Tigers into the wild. If you want to bag and tag one of these elusive mounts, join the party with fellow World of Warcraft TCG fans at a Spectral Safari near you.

A tournament friendly to players of all experience levels, the Spectral Safari participants will receive — at random — one of the 18 Class Starter Decks and compete in a tournament with that deck. The first 25 players to register for the event will pocket a Landro’s Pet Box code. Players who do well will earn Wrath Gate booster packs, and the winner picks up a Blazing Hippogryph Loot card. The Spectral Tiger will be randomly won as a door prize at the end of the event, so every entrant has an equal opportunity to ride home in style!

If you’re ready to play big game hunter, visit the Cryptozoic forums to find a local hobby store near you and join the event page on Facebook.

San Diego Comic Con: Possible Blizzard Products GuessCraft

The San Diego Comic Con will kick in through June 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center. No press releases or news have been released obviously as any potential new Blizzard licensed product (if any) will be unveiled at the show floor.

Wildstorm Comics

The World of Warcraft comic book was revealed at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con a few years ago by Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson and Jim Lee. It was yours-truly who published the existence of an upcoming comic book a week before DC Comics unleashed their press release announcing it, by unleashing a leaked World of Warcraft # 0 Sampler.

The World of Warcraft comic book ended with the World of Warcraft Special # 1, but with the promise that Wildstorm would relaunch it in Graphic Novel format. San Diego Comic Con is the perfect platform to make the announcement of a release date and teasers of the upcoming World of WarCraft and StarCraft Graphic Novels.

Sideshow Collectibles

While there haven’t been anything showing up in my radar, about a year and a half ago, I asked the Sideshow Collectibles president if there would be any new Warcraft, Starcraft or Diablo dioramas. He said live in the chat that there were plans, but for now they would focus on the Warcraft franchise. It took them about a year to show the painted Diablo III Overthrown Diorama after showing the unpainted version. So, if the calendar schedule is a clue, they should announce something anytime by now. San Diego Comic Con could be a good place to start teasing a new Blizzard licensed product. Time will tell.

J!NX

J!NX announced they will be at San Diego Comic Con. Blizzard folks are likely attending the event as they did in times past. I could foresee the 2010 WoW T-shirts Summer Sale line-up, and to celebrate the StarCraft II release date, a brand-new T-shirt. Only time will tell how close my 8-ball is.

DC Unlimited

These folks unveiled the Arthas the Lich King action figure at the 2010 New York Toy Fair. I attended the place, but too late when they were packing their stuff [smashes forehead into a nearby wall].

The guys didn’t want to unpack them for me, but I do know they showed a prototype StarCraft action figures and didn’t allow people to take photos of them. That was back on February 2010. Could they unveil the Starcraft II Action Figures and the Lich King one at San Diego Comic Con? [8-ball shake and rub] … maybe.

Cryptozoic Entertainment

This is a new company that surfaced a few months ago, deeply tied with Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft TCG after Upper Deck got their license expired.

As you can see at their website, they post updates quite often, and wish to grow the hype. San Diego Comic Con and BlizzCon are two potential targets to make some announcements about future TCG expansions and starter packs. I am not so certain on this one, but it’s a possibility.

TOKYOPOP

This company is definitely among my favorites, along with Pocket Books. Both companies are very-very supportive and trigger-happy to provide me with the latest details, preview scans, front covers sneak peek, and interviews, or general information, or to bridge approvals between Blizzard and us.

Tokyopop’s latest Blizzard manga were World of Warcraft: Death Knight, World of Warcraft: Mage; and World of Warcraft: Dragons of Outland.

Personally, I would love to see more manga based in the three franchises. Sadly, I haven’t heard any announcements about their attendance to the San Diego Comic Con or announcements of any new Blizzard manga. I really hope they show up there. [8-ball shake and rub] … unlikely. But we still have BlizzCon to hope for, eh?

Stay tuned, for any hot news coming our way because the 2010 San Diego Comic Con starts in less than 18-hours, and many things are possible to happen, such as new Blizzard licensed products.

Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1

The Creative Team has posted exciting answers to several questions submitted by fans over the past weeks. This Q&A reveals the origin of the Obsidian Statues like not even the RPG Books did before and a good chunk of lore on Watcher Tyr and the early Humans (the Azotha). Kinda got a confirmation that Tyr wasn’t General Vezax …

Blizzard Quote:
Present (June 30/2010): Whatever happened to Tyr?
CDev: The watcher Tyr was not in Ulduar when adventurers finally freed the titan city from Yogg-Saron’s influence. If anyone knows where Tyr is now, he or she isn’t speaking up.

Past (Sept 1/2009): Why doesn’t Tyr have a room in Ulduar?
Valnoth: What makes you think that Tyr doesn’t have a room? Or that you haven’t actually fought him? Old Gods and their corruption… I’m just sayin… It would be pretty strange to think that the area before Yogg Saron’s prison has always been a twisted, corrupt temple dedicated to the praise of an Old God. Clearly – in *happier* times – there must have been a final arbiter. A jailor of sorts.

Maybe Vezax ate him! Or…

That just made my day. Hope to see what Metzen thinks up for Watcher Tyr. Whatever it is, it gotta be EPIC.

Blizzard Quote:
A few weeks ago, we launched a small questionnaire on this forum, asking people to post questions directed to the CDev team. You can see the thread and its responses here:

https://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24702149985&sid=1

Most of your questions fell into one of four categories:

    1. Questions that will be answered by soon-to-be-released published content (such as the upcoming novel The Shattering by Christie Golden)

    2. Questions that will be answered by soon-to-be-released game content (patches 3.3.5 and 3.9.0, as well as the Cataclysm expansion)

    3. Questions that can’t be answered at this time without thoroughly spoiling future game and published content

    4. Questions that we can answer now, if only partially

Using your questions (verbatim!) from category #4, the CDev team has been meeting with Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi to nail down answers that we can share with you now. So get your secret decoder rings ready, kids! Here comes the first set of answers!

Q: Will a dev ever actually answer anything in this thread?

A: Yes!

Q: What happened to all of the Scourge’s Obsidian Destroyers?

A: The entities known as obsidian destroyers are actually enslaved titan constructs that were once called the tol’vir. The tol’vir were created to maintain titan lore repositories and titan machinery surrounding the titan cities of Ulduar and Uldum. Not long after the troll empires divided the insectoid kingdom of the aqir, the aqir that travelled north discovered and overthrew the tol’vir society in Northrend. These aqir would eventually become the race we know as the nerubians today, having adapted the tol’vir’s architecture for their own purposes. Similarly, the aqir that travelled south ransacked and overthrew a titan research station near Uldum, renaming themselves the qiraji and calling their new home Ahn’Qiraj. Although the Scourge would eventually consume the nerubian empire and throw its few remaining tol’vir slaves into the front lines, it’s possible that more tol’vir still exist in the hidden titan city of Uldum or deep within the remnants of Azjol-Nerub.

Q: The Blood Knights of Silvermoon lack direction. None of them were seen in Northrend, and it is very unclear whether the Order still exists, or if it’s been disbanded. It’s also very unclear where the Blood Knights obtain their power, now. It used to be the Naaru, but then… remnants of the naaru. Surely these remnants are all but tapped now. Do we obtain power from the Sunwell?

A: As of the end of the Burning Crusade expansion, blood elves who wield the Light do so through the power of the renewed Sunwell. It is a harmonious relationship, no longer one of discord caused by the blood elves’ attempts to bend the Light to their will, which will likely have a positive effect on blood elf society in the long run. Look forward to updates that reflect this change in the Silvermoon and Blood Knight quests.

Q: What happened to Frostmourne after it was shattered?

A: While this is a closely guarded secret, we’ll trust you to be discreet: no one knows where the remnants of Frostmourne are now.

Q: Will we be hearing from any of the old or neglected human nations in Cata, specifically Stromgarde, Kul’tiras, and the remnants of Alterac (hey, Deathwing paraded around as an Alterac noble before)?

A: With the revamp of the classic World of Warcraft zones, players will get a chance to see how the fallen nations of Stromgarde and Alterac have fared over the last few years. Kul Tiras, the island nation, will not be visible at the start of Cataclysm – something about tectonic plates shifting it out to sea….

Q: What is the nature of the Void state of the Na’aru? For a being of the Light, turning into such a dark being seems like a heavy weakness. Sucking in souls and causing destruction simply because of a loss in strength greatly diminishes their saintly image. Though, this might be a reason they don’t act in combat very much, as turning on your army due to fatigue wouldn’t be good for morale.

A: Because three cases of this “cycle” have been demonstrated in Nagrand, Auchindoun, and Sunwell Plateau (K’ure, D’ore, and M’uru, respectively), players may have received the wrong impression with regard to the magnitude and rarity of these events: it is EXCEEDINGLY rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru’s fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru; if energy beings could weep tears of joy, this would do it.

Q: What happened to Algalon after Ulduar? It didn’t seem like he was just going to go back to business-as-usual.

A: As shown in the World of Warcraft Special #1 comic, Algalon is currently monitoring the activities of the mortal races of Azeroth. His outlook on life and the titans’ plans has been called into question, so he seeks to understand what makes Azeroth so different from the countless worlds he has observed before.

Q: What Loa do the Darkspear worship?

A: Because the Darkspear were originally part of the Gurubashi empire, they still worship many of the same Loa as the Gurubashi once did.

Q: What were Varok Saurfang’s notable accomplishments prior to WoW?

A: Varok Saurfang has served with the Horde ever since he drank the blood of Mannoroth alongside Grom Hellscream. Varok led forces in the sacking of Shattrath, Stormwind, and everything between, never losing in battle until the Horde was routed at the end of the Second War. When Orgrim Doomhammer seized control of the Horde in the First War, he chose Varok Saurfang as his second-in-command after witnessing Varok’s efficient and brutal tactics on the field. After the demonic bloodlust had been lifted from the orcs due to Grom Hellscream’s sacrifice, Varok helped dozens of veterans come to grips with their previous atrocities, ultimately saving the lives of many great Horde soldiers. Rumor also has it that Saurfang once cleaved three men in half with one swing… of his hand.

Q: How did ethereals get so… ethereal? They seem to act a lot more like a mortal race than other energy beings we meet, such as elementals.

A: K’aresh was an arid planet, home to a thriving ecosystem and several sentient species before the arrival of Dimensius the All-Devouring. How the void lord found K’aresh is still hotly debated among the surviving ethereals, but the effects of his coming were unmistakable: he opened countless gateways into the void and the Twisting Nether around the planet, bathing K’aresh in arcane and dark energies. Using every scrap of its advanced technology, one of the mortal races hastily attempted to construct magical barriers around its cities, but it was only partially successful; although the dark energies were blocked, the unimpeded flood of arcane energy tore away the mortals’ corporeal shells and infused their souls with enough energy so that they could subsist without a body… barely. Members of this race, now called ethereals, took to binding themselves with enchanted strips of cloth to provide their souls with enough structure to survive. This altered state proved to be a blessing in disguise, as their enhanced minds and magical abilities allowed the ethereals to fight Dimensius and his limited forces to a standstill. Over the years, however, Dimensius eventually grew powerful enough to summon armies of fellow void creatures, forcing the ethereals to flee into the Twisting Nether.

Q: Do incubi exist?

A: There are several different rumors concerning the male counterparts to the demonic succubus race, and it’s clear that the succubi are responsible for all of them. A few of the more common rumors are:

    1. Yes, there are incubi, but the spell to summon them has been conveniently forgotten by mortal practitioners and Burning Legion agents.

    2. Incubi are kept as slaves on their home planet, having been rendered incapable of escape or independent movement.

    3. The succubi consumed the males of their race when they were brought into the Burning Legion. (Alternatively, the act of devouring the males is what caught the attention of the Burning Legion.)

Q: Could you please explain the lore behind goblin shamans? Goblins do not seem like a particularly spiritual race, especially one that would care about the elements (as evidenced by the Venture Co.).

A: Goblin shaman are an extension of their society’s single-minded devotion to making a profit; to a goblin shaman, elementals are potential customers. Goblins do tend to be a bit more forceful in their negotiations than the other shamanic races (especially the tauren) would like, though they are far less forceful than what we’ve seen from the taunka in Northrend. (Unless the elemental tries to weasel out of its contract. Elementals tend not to have breakable knees, so goblins sometimes have to resort to other methods of control.) As for the goblins’ “mechanical” totems, note that these are merely physical manifestations of the small totems they tinker/craft to form a link with the elemental spirits. Instead of lugging around large totems, goblin shaman have a ring (probably the same ring on which they keep their house and motorbike keys) with small totems they’ve built as conduits for the elemental spirits they do business with.

Q: Can you please explain how “light” works? The lore states that undead are physically incapable of using the light, much like the Broken, but then we have Forsaken players casting healing spells, and Sir Zeliek in Naxxramas using pseudo-paladin abilities.

A: Without spoiling too much, we can tell you that wielding the Light is a matter of having willpower or faith in one’s own ability to do it. That’s why there are evil paladins (for example, the Scarlet Crusade and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne). For the undead (and Forsaken), this requires such a great deal of willpower that it is exceedingly rare, especially since it is self-destructive. When undead channel the Light, it feels (to them) as if their entire bodies are being consumed in righteous fire. Forsaken healed by the Light (whether the healer is Forsaken or not) are effectively cauterized by the effect: sure, the wound is healed, but the healing effect is cripplingly painful. Thus, Forsaken priests are beings of unwavering willpower; Forsaken (and death knight) tanks suffer nobly when they have priest and paladin healers in the group; and Sir Zeliek REALLY hates himself.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the manner in which trolls become druids?

A: While it’s only barely hinted at during the upcoming “Zalazane’s Fall” event, new troll druids in Cataclysm should learn much more about their race’s adoption of these foreign practices.

Q: Why was Myzrael imprisoned?

A: Myzrael fell to madness after she was corrupted by ancient evils under the earth (read: Old Gods). She was defeated during the events of classic World of Warcraft, which purged her of the corruption, but she may make a cameo appearance in Cataclysm. Keep an eye out when adventuring through Deepholm.

Q: Who is the arakkoa “master” that Isfar talks about? It is not Terokk…

A: There are more Old Gods than just the ones trapped on Azeroth. It takes a lot for them to become manifested on a physical plane, however; see the quest line in Shadowmoon Valley that ends with “Thwart the Dark Conclave” for more information.

Q: With Lady Prestor’s, aka Onyxia, plot foiled, will Stormwind once again send soldiers to Lakeshire, Duskwood, and Wesftall or will these area’s and their self-made miitias continue to defend themselves?

A: With the return of King Varian Wrynn and the removal of Lady Prestor from power, the outlying towns finally received the reinforcements they needed. As you’ll see in Cataclysm, however, the reinforcements might not be enough….

Q: There was (and still is) a Moonwell smack dab in the center of Duskwood. This was the ONLY Moonwell on the Eastern Continent prior to the Burning Crusade which saw a Moonwell being added to the island west of Silvermoon (which from a lore sense, the placement of this Moonwell in Quel’Thalas made absolutely no sense.) Will the Duskwood’s Moonwell’s presence be explained?

A: Without spoiling anything, we can tell you that both of these moonwells are recent creations by night elves.

Q: What did the massive machines around the Storm Peaks, like the Engine of the Makers, actually do?

A: These machines are all part of the same system: the Forge of Wills.

Q: What’s the relation between The Order of the Silver Hand, Tyr’s Hand (City from Lordaeron region) and Watcher Tyr (from Ulduar)?

A: Long ago, on the continent that would eventually become known as the Eastern Kingdoms, a small group of creatures struggled to survive, using the limited supplies provided to it by parents who had just abandoned their children on an unfamiliar shoreline. These creatures, eventually called “humans,” would occasionally take to gathering around a fire whilst trying to read from scrolls telling of ancient heroes and leaders – tales from the civilization that had cast these creatures out. One of these scrolls spoke of a great leader, a paragon of order and justice, who sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within this hero’s power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, the hero impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice. This hero, who slipped into memory long ago, went by the name of Tyr.

Q: Building off that- whatever happened to Tyr?

A: The watcher Tyr was not in Ulduar when adventurers finally freed the titan city from Yogg-Saron’s influence. If anyone knows where Tyr is now, he or she isn’t speaking up.

Q: Are Mimir and Mimiron supposed to be the same entity, or are they relatives?

A: Same entity, though only his close friends are allowed to call him Mimir.

Q: What is Tiffin Wrynn’s backstory in terms of family, original nation, etc.? I’d be curious as to what connections were set up through that marriage.

A: We’ll keep this brief because we could easily write a few pages for this one. Tiffin Wrynn was originally Tiffin Ellerian of the Ellerian noble family of Stormwind, a small house that only had a small chunk of land in Westfall. Her marriage to Varian was pre-arranged at her birth, finally securing her family a spot on the Stormwind House of Nobles. Tiffin and Varian initially disliked each other, but they eventually became inseparable. Tiffin helped Varian control his occasional anger issues and taught him economics, while Varian helped teach Tiffin about politics and social etiquette. Tiffin was eventually known as a queen of the people, and she was the most adamant supporter of paying the Stonemasons’ Guild the initially agreed-upon sum. Her accidental death during the Stonemasons’ Guild riot was a monumental loss for Varian, Anduin, and the people of Stormwind.

Q: Will you be explaining why the forest spirits of Hyjal will be friendly to the Horde despite the fact that Horde has done so much damage to Ashenvale?

A: By the start of Cataclysm, the ancients and spirits of the forest will have recognized that the forces of the Cenarion Circle and the Alliance combined are still not enough to stop Deathwing, the Twilight’s Hammer, and the elementals they have unleashed. As much as these ancients and spirits hate to admit it, they realize that they need the assistance of the Horde.

Q: What role, if any, will Med’an play in Cataclysm?

A: Med’an will not be visible in Cataclysm; something else is keeping him occupied.

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Cataclysm: Screenshot of the Day # 4

Two screenshots of the Day, double the fun. The first screenshot straight from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm shows the new Swamp of Sorrows.

The new Screenshot of the Day below is Stonetalon Mountains. The screenshot angle doesn’t permit to see much, but the terrain texture looks familiar as seen in this sceenshot of present Stonetalon Mountains. I took another screenshot at the barrow den of Stonetalon Peak — and that area resembles somewhat the mountain shape of today’s Cataclysm screenshot.

The screenshot of the day [below] shows Tauren architecture. We haven’t heard of any gnome faction working in Tauren territory — especially with the horde insignia displayed on that crate, so this rocket and its launching pad must be goblin tech.

That tall peak behind the launching pad is pretty close, which means this location is high in the mountains where we haven’t been before. The top of Stonetalon Peaks was mostly unexplored and inaccessible territory, but with flying mounts enabled in World of WarCraft: Cataclysm there will be a lot of new landmass never seen before that will likely contain more mobs, camps and towns.

Revising quickly some of the lore from quests, by memory, the non-Horde aligned blood elf Braelyn Firehand sent us to Stonetalon Peak to kill Keepers of the Grove, Dryads, and Night Elves to sate her vengeance against the transgressions the Highborne suffered with their exile from Kalimdor; and we basically wiped out the Talon Den too.

The only unscathed place was the Stonetalon Peak Inn, but who knows if any surviving Keeper of the Grove or Dryad remains in the place. With the Grimtotem, Harpies, Keepers, Dryads, Venture Co. and Alliance annhilated in Stonetalon Peaks, by now in Cataclysm the zone should see an increased presence of Horde camps and towns.

Will there be any Alliance towns? New invading enemies? Slight changes after the Cataclysm? Anything is possible.

StarCraft II Single Player Cinematic - Tidings of Doom

Blizzard Entertainment unveiled at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals the Tidings of Doom cinematic that thrilled fans of the epic galactic-struggle storyline. However, that sneak peek was a placeholder. In April 19, 2010 — during the Press Invite Event in their Irvine headquarters, Blizzard provided us the revamped version of the Tidings of Doom cinematic with improved graphics, textures and a different dialogue between Jim Raynor and Zeratul.

We finally see what that intriguing concept art was about. It’s an “Ihan Crystal” that serves as some kind of memory database with a holographic projector. It locks within the fate of creation. Information that Zeratul risked his life to attain, and forwarded it to Jim Raynor. Zeratul thinks only Jim Raynor will be able to complete this mission. The fate of creation lies in Jim Raynor’s hands, and it seems the only spark of hope for the universe is Kerrigan the Queen of Blades. Say whoa? Our worst enemy shall be the key to victory?

Zeratul: James Raynor. I bring tidings of doom.

Raynor: Zeratul!?

Zeratul: I’ve pierced the veil of the future, and beheld only oblivion. Yet, one spark of hope remains. You will hold her life in your hands, and though justice demands that she dies for her crimes, only she can save us.

Raynor: Wait a second. You are talking about Kerrigan. It’s been four years. You show up out of nowhere and —

(Zeratul grabs Raynor’s arm, and places his right hand upon Raynor’s)

Zeratul: Time is short. You must understand. The answers you seek, lie within. Study it well. The fate of creation hangs in the balance.

(Zeratul steps back and fades away into the shadows, leaving behind an astonished Raynor)

Raynor: … nice to see you too.

The novel written by Christie Golden in 2008 plays a very important role in the StarCraft II Single Player episodes as a prologue to the game. StarCraft: The Dark Templar revealed the Xel’Naga did not abandon the Protoss. For Aeons, the Protoss thought they were imperfect. A failure. So unworthy, their creators departed and left them. In reality, the novel explains the Xel’Naga were creating their mean to return. Their life cycle is to be reborn in the body of their children, as their new host. The creation of the hybrids breaks this natural cycle blueprinted by the Xel’Naga, nullifying their rebirth. In the wake of the upcoming conflict against the Hybrids and a greater evil, it seems Kerrigan — a zerg/human creature — is important to save the universe.

The StarCraft: The Dark Templar trilogy ended with Zeratul chasing a creature through outer space. He witnessed the birth of this phoenix-like creature as it shed away from within a Xel’Naga Temple. Astonished, Zeratul beheld how the creature reunited with hundreds of similar beings, and followed them through a wormhole. That was the last time Zeratul was seen before BlizzCon 2009.

Zeratul has finally appeared once more fighting Kerrigan at a Xel’Naga temple, and now at the Hyperion — bringing Jim Raynor this mysterious device with a Tidings of Doom warning.

With 29 missions, and two upcoming episodes, StarCraft II presents fans an epic saga of great proportions worth of a few Oscars.

WoW TCG: Wrathgate Contest: Win a roundtrip to Cryptozoic in Irvine

Cryptozoic is celebrating their upcoming release of the World of Warcraft TCG: Wrathgate expansion by giving away two flight and hotel roundtrip accomodationsl and some juicy swag, lunch and dinner. The winners will visit the Cryptozoic headquarters in Irvine, California to witness the first opening of a wrathgate pack and to play with the staff.

Cryptozoic Internal Sneak Preview contest!
April 15, 2010

On Friday, May 14th, employees of Cryptozoic Entertainment will be busting open packs of Wrathgate in our fresh new digs in Irvine, California. It will be a big deal for us, as it will mean our very first release will be rolling out on trucks and planes on the way to a store near you. So to celebrate, we’ll be taking an afternoon off to play in our internal Sneak Preview.

Two of you will be joining us.

We’ll be picking one of you to grab a friend* and come be one of the first to see Wrathgate. You’ll get two round-trip plane tickets and a nearby hotel room for two nights. We’ll give you two a tour of the offices, buy you lunch and dinner on the 14th, and maybe throw a little swag your way.

Here’s what you have to do: Send an email to [email protected] telling us why you want to come to Irvine and play the TCG with us. If you’re going to tell a story, keep it to 250 words or less. Other than that, the sky’s the limit. Send us a photo. Draw a picture. Impress us. We’ll pick the one we like best and book your flight.

Here’s the catch: You have ONE WEEK to submit your entry. Entries must be received by April 23rd at 11:59pm PDT, and must include your name, address, email, phone number, and birthday. Full rules are available here.

So get busy.

Epicly,
Benhameen

StarCraft II Beta Patch # 8 Build version 0.10.0.14803 Released

StarCraft II Beta Patch # 8 build version 0.10.0.14803 was deployed today to apply new race balance changes and Battle.net UI changes

Blizzard Quote:
The latest patch notes can always be found at
https://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=23094049316&sid=5000

General

  • Korea
  • Added support to display the game rating information on the login screen.

Balance Changes

TERRAN

  • Thor
    • Build time decreased from 75 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Siege Tank
    • Build time decreased from 50 seconds to 45 seconds.
  • Marauder
    • Concussive Shells now require an upgrade.
  • Barracks Tech Lab
    • Concussive Shells upgrade added.
    • Concussive Shells upgrade costs 100/100 and takes 80 seconds to complete.

PROTOSS

  • Void Ray
    • Changed to only have 2 damage levels instead of 3. Still takes the same amount of time to fully charge.
    • Base damage changed from 2 (+4 armored) to 5.
    • Powered-up damage changed from 8 (+16 armored) to 10 (+15 armored).
    • Armor value decreased from 1 to 0.
    • Cost increased from 200/150 to 250/150.

ZERG

  • Roach
    • Burrowed move speed decreased from 2 to 1.4.
    • Armor value decreased from 2 to 1.
  • Hydralisk
    • Life decreased from 90 to 80.

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