Introduction of the Timewalking feature

Implemented back in September 2013 during the patch 5.4, the Timewalking mode was supposed come right after that but was report to a future patch, which is now.

With the arrival of the patch 6.2 the functionality is finally presented by Blizzard and will take place during a few Timewalkings events from noon Friday to noon Monday.

Patch 6.2 Preview – Timewalking

As we get started testing Patch 6.2 on our public test realms, we’re looking forward to discussing all of the new features and content coming to World of Warcraft. First up, we’re excited to present Timewalking.

In Patch 6.2, we’re introducing seven different weekend events that will run from noon Friday through noon Monday every week. Two of those events will be Timewalking weekends, in which you’ll be able to queue up for a randomly selected old-school dungeon with a new sort of “heroic” difficulty: When you Timewalk these dungeons, you’ll find that your character’s power and gear has been scaled down to a fraction of what they normally are. For the first time in years, some dungeons you outgrew long ago will once more put your skills to the test.

A good challenge deserves a good reward, so to go along with scaling you down, we’re going through most every piece of loot in each Timewalker dungeon and scaling it up. That’s right, when you Timewalk through Utgarde Pinnacle, take down King Ymiron, and loot his Red Sword of Courage, it will scale up to an item level appropriate for use at your level.


Courage comes in several shades of red.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll test Timewalking on the PTR in the following dungeons:

Timewalking will be available to characters who are level 71 and higher for Burning Crusade content, and level 81 and up for Wrath of the Lich King dungeons. It will open up only during certain three-day-long weekend holidays. While Timewalking, your power will be adjusted down to the level of the Heroic dungeon, but you’ll retain all of your skills and talents. We will also be testing additional rewards, such as a level 100 quest that rewards one Seal of Tempered Fate per weekend, so keep an eye on the in-game calendar.


Patch 6.2 PTR testing is underway! You can get started testing with us by copying your character and downloading the PTR client. Once you’ve had a chance to try out the patch, visit our PTR Discussion forum to talk about your experiences. To report any issues or errors, use the in-game Submit Bug feature (found underGame Menu > Help > Submit Bug) or visit the PTR Bug Report forum.

 

How fast are LiquidSky SkyOS 2.0 (Alpha) Internet Speeds?

For the past few weeks after LiquidSky gave me VIP access to the SkyOS 2.0 (Alpha) client, I have been so excited and hopeful for this small team, their technology and their vision.

I am a true-believer of gaming in the cloud. Remember that time when I said I was downloading World of Warcraft’s 28GB of data at over 70MB – 100MB/s? I launched the client tonight.

First thing I did was to launch Google Chrome, and went to SpeedTest.net to see exactly what the download / upload is. I am currently paying about $40.00 to my new ISP, for 50MB/s download and 25MB/s upload. I see this speed graphic, and I can’t but say: “OMG I want this thing to be public launched now. I don’t care if it was buggy, it is just AWESOME!”

Before I finished the first paragraph above, SkyOS 2.0 had already downloaded all 28GB of the World of Warcraft PTR 6.2. I saw the popup window saying I could play. Imagine the possibilities. Playing High-End video games at max settings in any old computer, with 36ms latency, blazing-fast downloads; or watching Netflix without a single buffering in an old computer running Windows XP or Windows Vista, and a mere 10MB/s internet speed. Load SkyOS, and it doesn’t matter how old your computer is… you can do the same as someone with a T3 and with most-expensive graphic card. The possibilities are endless. I am so glad for the millions of people around the world able to benefit from this service once it goes public.

Ever been jealous of those people with Google Fiber? This cloud service is like giving you the opportunity of having access to a slim version of Google Fiber. You access LiquidSky’s servers remotely from your computer. Download your stuff into Google Drive or Dropbox with their 300MB/s speeds. You could potentially cancel your ISP, and get the cheapest download/upload plan, save money in the process. Get a good Google Drive Gigabyte or Terabyte plan to download stuff there. Delete all your video games, and download them into the cloud servers instead. You save drive space in your hard disk for video editing or whatever else. You can play all your video games in your old computer, in the tablet, or any of the devices LiquidSky plans to support (Android, PC, iOS, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, HMTL5, Windows Phone, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, VIZIO Smart TV, and Raspberri Pi). More important: NO VIRUSES for as long as you use any browser through the SkyOS. Technically, cookies won’t be able to track you anymore either. It’s a firewall. A VPN. There are so many benefits with cloud gaming. It is the future now.

The Android version is coming within a few weeks. I really hope many of you are able to join beta testing. Register here for email updates. Spread the word and earn beta points.

I’ll begin playing World of Warcraft PTR 6.2 through SkyOS 2.0 to bring you some photos and video of Tanaan Jungle. Stay tuned.

Note: NVIDIA will ship a Shield tablet to me very soon, so expect an article about the tablet, and a round up of how SkyOS 2.0 Android looks like with the NVIDIA Shield tablet. Follow the link above to join SkyOS 2.0 beta testing. The Android client will be available very soon. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get updates once the Android client is available.

PTR 6.2 First Look: Tanaan Jungle

WoWScrnShot_041415_232952

Hi everyone, it’s the Red Shirt Guy here with some screenshots of the new areas added in patch 6.2.’s first PTR build. We’ll be looking at Tanaan Jungle, and a change to the Alliance garrison.

Pictures after the jump…

Tanaan Intro quest:

WoWScrnShot_041315_221602

KamuiCosplay: How to build Shadowmourne Axe (Video)

KamuiCosplay posted a step-by-step video tutorial showing the crafting of her Shadowmourne axe and the addition of LED lights and cabling in its interior.

Check out my Cosplay Crafting Books if you wanna learn this stuff: http://www.kamuicosplay.com/store/

Shadowmourne was always one of my dream weapons in World of Warcraft. Though I thought it would be even more awesome to get in RL instead of having it ingame. So… I just build it!

Material was the following:
– 0.4mm PVC foil for the Pepakura model
– Worbla (shops are linked on my page: http://www.kamuicosplay.com/links/
– Balsa wood and a wooden staff for the core
– Digital LED RGB strip (WS2812B chip with 60 LEDs, Trinket Pro 5V, Powerboost 500c and LiPo Battery with 6600mAh from www.adafruit.com
– Parquet foam insolation as a diffusing material

Also a huge shout out to Jon McPhalen for helping me with the programming and to Charlie for my awesome new YouTube intro.

Check out Adafruit for all their amazing products: https://www.adafruit.com/
For more micro-controller programming please look forward to one of my future books about advanced costume LEDs. :)

More info at: http://www.kamuicosplay.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/kamuicos

kamuicosplay-shadowmourne

 

Blizzplanet Preview: Test-Driving LiquidSky Cloud Gaming with Blizzard Games

Years ago, in 2010, there was a company embracing the vision of Cloud Gaming, which allows the player to stream high-end video games from supercomputer servers onto your mobile device or internet browser: Gaikai. Gaikai was acquired by Sony Entertainment in 2012 to develop Sony Vita, PlayStation Now and Remote Play.

Before that, in 2003, we heard of OnLive which allowed you to play video games in their closed client. OnLive strived for over a decade until just a couple of days ago (April 3, 2015) when OnLive announced they were shutting down and sold their assets to Sony Entertainment.

Very few companies sharing the vision of a cloud gaming open to all PC video games remain out there. In the long run, such a vision could change the lives of players with low and mid-range computers and/or graphic cards, as well as those who have a mobile device. Who wouldn’t love to play their favorite games at home on their PC, and continue playing in the cloud while in a train heading from New York to Boston?

Enter: LiquidSky

During my visit to the New York Comic Con, I stumbled upon the LiquidSky Software, Inc. booth where I met Ian McLoughlin (founder). I loved the concept of playing video games on your PC through the cloud, or with a mobile device; and I have checked their website often since then.

Currently, LiquidSky has a queue to access their cloud servers while they iron out some bugs. The company reached a milestone days ago by moving away from their young and slim client into a more robust Alpha client, built from scratch. At the moment, only testers with the top beta points have access to the client without the queue. This Alpha is currently in internal QA to find and correct as many bugs as possible to launch an Android version soon. Beta testers are welcome to help squash those bugs. The sooner those are ironed out on the PC version, the quicker the Android client may be released. Join beta right now at Liquidsky.tv to get email alerts on when testing opens again.

liquidsky-logo-banner

So far I have written three articles about LiquidSky, and that has caught some attention from our audience. Many of the current beta testers joined after reading about LiquidSky at Blizzplanet. Last night, while I was playing World of Warcraft. I got a Skype message. I jaw-dropped. It was LiquidSky community manager Jesse Solotoff who was sent by Ian to contact me. LiquidSky invited me with VIP access to their exclusive Developer Alpha client to test-drive their new cloud gaming experience, to share my hands-on experience with you.

I am still shocked and thrilled about that. I was not expecting this. However, the clock is ticking and I must do what I love doing: play games and preview things for the Blizzard Entertainment community. The keys to drive the SkyOS developer alpha client is temporary. I’ll have access to it only for a few days. They don’t usually give people access to this developer client.

Liquidsky sent me the developer client around 2:00am and instructed me over Skype how to get it running. It was easy and straightforward. Then, I was greeted by the SkyOS Welcome page.

Preview: Test-Driving LiquidSky Cloud Gaming with Blizzard Games

The temporary Desktop displays a list of pre-installed games: League of Legends, StarCraft II Demo, Dota2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and Minecraft. The Steam client is there too.

liquidsky-skyos-desktop

LiquidSky also comes with a slider to control the video quality streamed to you. The representative told me he finds the sweet spot to set this video-quality slider to is between 14 and 16.5 for a PC. Mobile devices should set it to 7.

liquidsky-video-quality-slider

At first, I was a bit lost on how to browse through the SKyOS. I mean, it is hard to grasp the concept of a remote desktop for someone not used to that sort of thing. I’m grateful the community manager was there with me up till 5:00am to answer any questions.

The first thing I did, of course, was to click the World of Warcraft icon. The Battle.net Launcher appeared within a window that had an agreement checkbox. Hopefully, I didn’t sell my soul, because I just clicked the checkbox and mentally-screamed: “GIMME!!!” without a second thought. Upon close inspection it is the Battle.net End-User License Agreement page… oh well, no loss. My soul is already Blizzard’s since 2004. =(

liquidsky-skyos-battlenet-agreement

Right now, LiquidSky doesn’t offer a permanent hard disk space to keep your downloaded and installed data, but they plan to do that later on when the client is launched to the public. However, Google Chrome is pre-installed and that allows you to access Google Drive and Dropbox where you can save your files permanently, and simply launch your games from within SkyOS.

For some reason, World of Warcraft wasn’t pre-installed as I thought. The Battle.net Launcher showed the World of Warcraft install button. 28GB of data to download — not to my computer’s hard drive, but into the LiquidSky supercomputer servers. That would certainly scare away people, right? Well, I clicked the install button. Go me! Well, what happened? I saw downloads speeds from an average of 70MB/s and peaking at a max of 103MB/s. This beast finished downloading within a few minutes. By the time I finished writing and editing this small paragraph it already downloaded 16GB out of 28GB. That blazing fast!

If you are in a low-speed ISP (cough, under 15Mbps) I am sure you will love downloading video games into your Dropbox or Google Drive at those speeds and playing games from within the Cloud. More of that in a few.

The first thing I tested when I launched World of Warcraft was something I experienced a few months ago in the younger LiquidSky Alpha client. Back then, any movement of my mouse would set my camera spinning out of control, or moving to the sky or the ground instead of on the direction I wanted to walk towards to. That problem still exists in the new LiquidSky Alpha client, but hitting F12 solves that problem. My mouse became responsive as usual.

It was great to have the LiquidSky representative live on Skype as I tested the game. I found a few bugs and he took notes. I even got beta points for finding the bugs and troubleshooting with him. For example, when pressing F12 to stabilize the mouse movement I could no longer see the mouse cursor. After some troubleshooting with the community manager, we found the cause was the Hardware Cursor setting (located at Options –> Advanced). It was set to Enabled by default. With this bug discovered, LiquidSky will program it to be set to Disabled by default on pre-installed copies of World of Warcraft to prevent the cursor invisibility issue.

The thing to note here is that you as a beta tester can help make LiquidSky a better experience by submitting your bug findings. You are rewarded with beta points which later can be used for perks.

World of Warcraft

The first thing I did was to crank the Graphic Settings up to 11, err… to Ultra.

 

I rode my mount through the open world in Frostfire Ridge, placing my mouse cursor on the latency/FPS meter. Home Latency was at 39ms as I ran a straight line through Frostfire sporting a steady 60-65FPS. Moving left and right in zig zag made it drop for a sec to 45FPS sometimes, but mostly within the 50s range. Very impressive compared with my PC setup. I have an old PC I built from scratch in 2008. This is my PC computer setup: Intel i7-920 (2.69GHz) CPU, EVGA X58 SLI, 16GB RAM, and a EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST (2GB RAM). Windows 7 Home Edition (Service Pack 1).

I don’t know if your computer is older, but imagine you had the opportunity to play high-end video games on your old PC through playing them in the LiquidSky cloud. No need for expensive graphic cards, or a new computer. That’s an amazing thing, isn’t it?

I recorded this World of Warcraft video with graphics set to Ultra settings. I queued to an Heroic dungeon and played to give you an idea of how latency and FPS looks like in the cloud. Again, what you are going to watch below is not my PC hardware at all. It is cloud gaming. Liquidsky’s servers are doing all the CPU and GPU computing for me, and streaming it into my computer.

Take in mind and into account that I am also running XSplit to record video, I am livestreaming, and I have Photoshop Cloud, Skype and SkyOS Alpha open simultaneously. In a normal situation if I was playing the game using my PC computer’s CPU/GPU — Xsplit would be dumping frames, and bottlenecking.

 

Heroes of the Storm

Your computer can’t handle Heroes of the Storm at max settings? Not a problem. Load SkyOS, and set settings to max. I am not an expert in MOBAs. This is my first one, and I suck at it. However, we aren’t here to troll my expert skills in sucking. Let’s take a look at the video quality and latency playing Heroes of the Storm in the cloud. Watch the video below (please, change the YouTube video to play in 720HD).

Diablo III

Diablo III players hurl chaotic spells constantly, covering all the screen with special effects and explosions. That certainly may cause an intense FPS impact in some old computers. Even new ones might have a few hiccups now and then processing all that raw data. I haven’t played Diablo III in a long time, but I couldn’t resist the curiosity… How would Diablo III: Reaper of Souls look like in Max settings? My computer certainly can’t handle that and stream or locally record video simultaneously. Xsplit would usually dump a lot of frames with the strained CPU crying for its life. Only one way to find out. Let’s load Diablo III in the cloud! For this video I installed OBS to capture as much detail as possible in 1080HD. It played smooth.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is already playable in iPad and Android with Blizzard’s clients. However, I did notice no lag on my PC when I played Hearthstone through SkyOS 2.0. Even the animation when you queue to play a ranked play game looked smooth. That’s when I figured my CPU or GPU were not showing that correctly. Usually when an opponent is found and the roulette starts slowing down I see a blur, then the animation freezes a few seconds, and looks unnatural. In SkyOS it went smooth. The attack animations were smoothier than on my PC too with no CPU/GPU or internet lag.

Android Tablets

Did you know LiquidSky plans to develop a client for the Android, PC, iOS, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, HMTL5, Windows Phone, LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, VIZIO Smart TV, and Raspberri Pi? My first thought was, darn these guys are serious on conquering the world. How about that, Pinky?

Of course, this will be in development after the PC and Android versions are free of critical bugs. It will take time and LiquidSky will make these clients available at some point.

I heard confirmation the Android client is coming in a few weeks. So go to Liquidsky.tv and join beta and get email alerts.

Why play Blizzard games in the cloud in an Android Tablet?

Personally, I don’t have an Android Tablet or a tablet of any kind. However, the Blizzard community is vast. I must care for everyone. I am a founder and co-organizer of the Hearthstone Fireside in New York City. We have 280 members, and many of them come to the fireside gatherings with their iPads and Android Tablets.

I have also been to BlizzCon, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris, and PAX East. I have felt the urge of playing my favorite games when I am traveling. I can imagine how those with a Tablet feel like when they are traveling.

World of Warcraft streamed in the cloud at max settings to an Android Tablet offers the opportunity to access the Auction House, Pet Battles, the Mailbox, checking your Garrison Followers and Work Orders, and maybe even running an Heroc dungeon to complete some Garrison Inn dailies.

I am not sure how Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm would feel like in a tablet or if it is possible. Once the SkyOS Android client becomes available, I’ll either borrow or rent an Android Tablet to give you feedback on how it works out.

Have any questions about SkyOS beta testing, about its features, or wish to submit feedback? Contact LiquidSky community manager Jesse Solotoff on Twitter at @realcloudgamer or post on the LiquidSky Reddit page and subscribe to get updates and post-maintenance notices.

Become a beta tester of SkyOS at their website: http://www.liquidsky.tv and earn beta points by reporting bugs and referring friends.

SkyOS Beta Phase 2.0 Release Notes

  • Client Fullscreen support has been added (F11)
  • Relative Mouse Toggle(F12): Toggling this adds support for FPS games and camera controls.
  • Support for more games has been added.
  • Video Bitrate Slider has been adjusted.
  • Option to automatically reduce bitrate has been added for testing.
  • Liquid Hardware support has been upgraded in preparation for the next phase.
  • Support for mods/add-ons have been added. Utilize the Steam Workshop, or manually install your own!

Other Notes:

  • Audio is disabled while we optimize our video stream and will be enabled at a later date.
  • Liquid Hardware support will continue to be upgraded as we progress in the Beta.
  • Until we enable Sky Storage for testing, a fresh install will be required for all games programs, mods, and add-ons.
  • Relative Mouse currently hides both your local pointer, and the LiquidSky pointer for FPS games.
  • For all games, It may be necessary to toggle relative mouse off to use an in-game shop.

The beta queue will be slow for a few days while we monitor the queue selection system.

Micky Neilson signing at WonderCon 2015

mickey-neilson-headshotWonderCon 2015 attendees should head to the Insight Editions booth (#1809 in Hall D) on Friday, April 3 from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

New York Times Best Selling Author Micky Neilson (World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria) will be there to sign copies of your favorite Warcraft, StarCraft or Diablo Insight Edition book, as well as any of your novels, comic books or graphic novel collections. Copies of Diablo III: Book of Cain might be available at the signing booth while supplies last. You can follow him on Twitter @MickyNeilson

Come by and say hi, handshake and praise his writing. Ask any lore questions and whatnot. You won’t regret meeting Micky. If you didn’t get to buy a WonderCon ticket, ask your friends if they are attending. They might get it signed for you.

Note: There is no Blizzard Publishing panel at WonderCon.

Bibliography

  • Hybrid (StarCraft, 2000)
  • Uprising (StarCraft, 2000)
  • War of the Shifting Sands (Warcraft, 2005)
  • Unbroken (Warcraft, 2007)
  • Ashbringer (Warcraft, 2008)
  • Curse of the Worgen (Warcraft, 2010)
  • Stealing Thunder (StarCraft,2010)
  • Pearl of Pandaria (Warcraft, 2012)
  • Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls — Hatred and Discipline story (Diablo, 2012)
  • Blood of the Highborne (Warcraft, 2013)
  • Diablo III: Morbed (2014)
  • Gnome vs Goblin (comic, 2014)

Floor Map

Check out hte Floor Map (PDF) to find Insight Editions booth #1809. It is on the left side of the map, a bit south of the CAPCOM booth. Insight Edition shares space with Loot Crate.

Micky Neilson signing at WonderCon 2015

Medievaldragon’s Whereabouts and Musings Part 2

It’s been nigh four years since I provided a solid update on my personal situation. Many long-standing visitors know about it, while newcomers might be in the dark on what that exactly is.

Six years ago, New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg and his administration decimated Housing program funds for thousands of low-income families. We were victim of those funding cuts, and I survived a year paying out of my pocket.

Nearly 5 years ago (back on June 17, 2010) a marshal enforced a judge’s decision to evict us from our [apartment]. One where we lived 13 years at. I have to point out that we did never owe rent. Not a cent. The greedy landlord managed to get away somehow with removing us under the basis that we wouldn’t be able to pay his new rent. We never knew what that new amount was until after we talked with the neighbor (after the eviction). The landlord offered him our apartment for $400 above what our former rent was. Not sure how he got away with increasing it so in a controlled-rent apartment.

Moving forward, I ended up in a shelter for the homeless with an elder parent. For a year, the shelter’s cafeteria provided three free meals a day (not very edible food, but better than nothing). After the end of that year (2011), we were relocated to another shelter for the homeless. They didn’t have a cafeteria and we were supposed to use the stoves — except these didn’t have the burner top. You had to basically give up your Photo ID at the lobby to get them, attach it yourself to the stove, then return it when you were done. Take into account there were over 30 rooms per floor and only two stoves per floor. Even shared bathrooms were a pain with people knocking the door with attitude.

There was a situation that scared the heck of us. While my parent was at a shared bathroom, the next-door neighbor slam the bathroom door, yelling and asking her to let him use the bathroom. Kinda silly with six bathrooms per floor. The neighbors had to come out to assist her. Another neighbor punched him in the nuggin’. Days later, the same problematic neighbor stabbed a guy with a knife. I had a strong verbal situation with him 2 days before, which made me realize how close I was to be stabbed. To prevent verbal fights, or interaction with other tenants (we got scared, mind us) we decided never to use the shared kitchen. We relied on buying cooked food at about $6 per meal at nearby restaurants. I don’t think I will miss crispy chicken sandwishes, pizza, and greasy/salty rice and beans with even saltier beef stew. Not a lot of variety in our menu those 4 years.

I wouldn’t be able to describe all the bad moments we endured throughout those five years in less than 10,000 words. I am very thankful with an advocate who effortlessly presented all my medical records to a judge to demonstrate my disability in late 2013, and in part that enhanced my quality of life this past year.

After even more stress and situations, we were finally approved for a low-income housing. I’m happy to share a special update on my whereabouts with those who have supported me over the years.

On March 23, 2015 — we signed the contract for an apartment. I moved in on March 25. I’m no longer homeless. I must thank in part the new Mayor Bill de Blasio (check #5 on this article). It has been a long journey, full of obstacles, dangers, and sorrow. We have fought together to overcome those.

Packing stuff and getting ready to leave the shelter.

I wish I could describe much more about my personal life these past 5 years in a shelter for the homeless, but it would take too long to write, and to be read. How does one go through something like that (for that long) without falling victim to depression? I wish the only answer was to get closer to the main figure or philosophy of your religion. That should be the only answer. In my situation, I should have. That’s yet something more I need to reflect upon now that the nightmare is over, and to give thanks to Him — as well as ask forgiveness.

I’m not much into public discussion of politics or religion, so — I don’t know how much each of the thousands of Blizzard Entertainment developers, PR managers, Community Managers and those in-between are aware of how important their day-to-day work on video games can be to people with diverse personal situations. In religious terms, it would be described as a false solution or idols. Most likely true. Yet, gaming distracts a lot from dwelling on your problems. The proper thing is to stand and fight to reach your goals. However, there are millions of disabled people around the world, who do not have the opportunity or the support to do such thing.

Those who can’t walk in real life, travel miles and miles of beautiful distant lands. Those who aren’t able to socialize in their neighborhood, can interact with thousands of people around the world and make friends, and even find love with a like-minded person. I gotta mention Bajheera as an example of that one. Some of us find joy in achievements, and trying and trying again until we claim victory over the hardest of odds. Of course, it is not a real achievement, but the feeling is there still, and that’s the magic that helps prevent depression. I have laughed a lot playing World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. I have laughed and enjoyed reading the novels, the comic books, and web stories/comics, or watching the cinematics, the cutscenes, and the trailers. Immersing myself in those expansive universes.

I have to thank the Blizzplanet staff members who have supported me so much in our Skype channel. I have to thank so many Blizzard employees who I have either interacted with face-to-face, by email, Facebook, Twitter or via Skype. I can’t mention all of them but those who come to mind: Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland, Kat Metzen-Hunter, Christie Golden, Richard A. Knaak, Nethaera, Bashiok, Zarhym, Zeriyah, Lyndsi, Che’von, Azuriel (Val), KathyZ, Nick Carpenter, Samwise, and gee just so many. I’m nearing 1000 words in this article.

I love Blizzard games and their makers, and love very much this community. You guys rock! Thanks for supporting me, and for supporting this 12-years-old fansite with your visits, or simply by buying a Blizzard T-shirt or Blizzard Licensed Product on Amazon through our links.

A new beginning for me. Here’s a short video sharing with you my new apartment.

Even in the bad times I faced these past 5 years, I never asked directly for donations and barely used the site revenue to help myself. This fansite has the support of staff members who, like me, love Blizzard games. I have paid some expenses to staff members who attend BlizzCon, GamesCom, SDCC, and PAX thanks to those fans who buy T-shirts and other products. However, after Jinx changed affiliate partners — revenue has been decreasing. I’d love to help them with travel expenses to interview developers, take photos, and panel videos. We also have a team that provides the panel transcripts. Please, support the Blizzplanet Patreon.

We welcome new contributors interested in sharing with the community their passion for Blizzard games.

Code of Rule, an Ogre short story

Today, Blizzard published a new short story but unlike the others this one is focused on a race we didn’t hear so much before : the Ogres. We are learning here from the Imperator Mar’gok’s point of view (who maybe everyone killed a dozen of time ) on how the ogres of Highmaul made an alliance with the Iron Horde of Hellscream.

New World of Warcraft Short Story: Code of Rule

In the days before the Iron Horde invaded Azeroth and tightened its grip on all Draenor, Warchief Grommash Hellscream sought every advantage in his quest to conquer the orcish world completely.

The ogres of Highmaul once ruled Nagrand—and they still exert control over land and sea from their capital. They are massive obstacles to orcish dominance; obstacles that Hellscream himself has a highly personalstake in removing.

Faced with the prospect of extinction before a growing Iron Horde, the Sorcerer King of the ogres, Imperator Mar’gok, plots to ensure Highmaul’s survival at any price. But what can Mar’gok offer those who so eagerly seek his people’s demise?

Download and read “Code of Rule,” written by Ryan Quinn, to learn more about the Highmaul ogres and their tenuous pact with the Iron Horde.

 

Have you raided Warden Thul’tok in Highmaul Arcane Sanctum?

How many times have you raided Highmaul’s Arcane Sanctum (Normal or above)? Tons of times, most likely. In my experience, the raid ends when Ko’ragh dies and everyone gets loot or … the insidious Augment Rune (sorry, drops like candy instead of my sought gear).

Today, I went afk after Ko’ragh (Normal), and took a S.E.L.F.I.E.

Have you raided Warden Thul'tok in Highmaul Arcane Sanctum?

I had to stand on the highest part of the stairs in his room to get a clear shot. That’s when I realized the stairs area isn’t a deadend. I kept exploring beyond, and there was a upper level leading to a terrace.

I could see those Night-Twisted Fanatics climbing the walls to attack the Gorian guards and two Ogron Warbringers.

I decided to risk it, and mounted quick to explore what was beyond the terrace. To my surprise none of the Night-Twisted Fanatics attacked me, and thus I decided to ride along the edge of the cliff. None of the Gorian guards aggroed and they kept fighting the fanatics.

At the end I entered a small building. A deadend. I was hoping to find a portal to the Imperator’s Rise, but instead found some sort of boss I had never seen before. I didn’t even know this terrace existed beyond Ko’ragh.

Considering how many times I have raided Arcane Sanctum, I was surprised to find out there was actually another bonus boss in here that nobody seems to know exists. None of those raids I played in ever came all the way up to that terrace to fight this hidden boss. His name is Warden Thul’tok (Defender of the Rise).

WoWScrnShot_031515_035756

I went to WoWHead, to find out if this was a boss or just a no-loot lackey like those at the beginning of Imperator’s Rise; but nope, this is an actual boss with iLevel 655 loot in Normal Highmaul (which is where I found him). This bonus boss, however, is not available in LFR Arcane Sanctum. He is only available in Normal and above.

I can’t believe raiders aren’t coming to this boss to get this iLevel 655 loot. I’m hopeful that those who read this article will encourage their guildmates or Premade Group fellas to tackle Warden Thul’tok. The setback is that he may also drop green loot instead; but trying him is worth the setback. We killed him with 7 players. One tank and a mage (for polymorph spam). He leaves a purple AOE on the ground, and has a knockback. Make sure to have your back against the wall, especially if you are a healer. Take a look at his loot table:

Ogre Waystone
Ripswallow Plate BeltWaist (dps/heal)
Eye-Blinder GreatcloakCloak (Tank: Agi/Str)
Kyu-Sy's Tarflame DoomcloakCloak (dps spells: Int)
Eyeripper GirdleWaist (Leather: agi/int)
Belt of Inebriated SorrowsWaist (Mail: Agi/int)
Cord of Winsome SorrowsWaist (Cloth: int & mastery)
Gill's Glorious WindcloakCloak (healer)
Milenah's Intricate CloakCloak (Str, Haste, Vers)
Magic-Breaker CapeCloak (Agi)
The Joy of Draenor CookingTeaches Master Cooking + Recipes
Abandoned Medic KitFirst Aid