Ken Levine Admits He’s a WoW Whore …

This gotta be the funniest quote from a game developer ever made about Blizzard’s addictive World of Warcraft.  Ken Levine (Bioshock) told IndustryGamers the top 10 favorite games he is playing and World of Warcraft is his # 1 on the list. He is currently working on a secret unannounced game for 2k Boston—probably taking some ideas from Blizzard.  The funny part is when he says:

“Okay, it

PTR 3.3 Icecrown Citadel Bosses Schedule For Oct 26-30

The WoW Team has scheduled four Icecrown Citadel bosses for testing on the PTR throughout October 26-30. Only normal difficulties will be tested for 10-players and 25-players.

The Icecrown Citadel raid test schedule will be very flexible, and can change at a moment’s notice due to build status, bugs, and server issues. Remember that this is the test server, so things can, do, and will break from time to time.
The schedule is as follows:

US Servers

Monday, October 26 at 7PM EDT / 4PM PDT

Twitter Transcript: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Dev Q&A

The World of Warcraft Team’s Game Director Tom Chilton and Director of Production J. Allen Brack responded questions from fans through the official Warcraft Twitter this afternoon. Among the questions are some Cataclysm and Icecrown Citadel infoz of interest to you.

Our first developer chat on Twitter is about to begin! Be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!

Please be sure to include the hashtag #BlizzChat when submitting your questions on Twitter so that we can find it.

Due to the limitations of providing complete answers within Twitter, all answers will be posted on the forums in this thread, with links to the answers provided through Twitter.

Will Path of the Titans be as time consuming as obtaining Sons of Hodir reputation?

Sons of Hodir was easy, we’re thinking more along the lines of Argent Dawn rep actually. JK! As a matter of fact, we don’t want the paths of the titans to feel grindy at all so we’re trying to make sure that each step along the way feels more like a great quest, or a key achievement (like killing all the bosses in a new raid zone). So, it should be more oriented around accomplishing something that feels important rather than grinding.

What

World of Warcraft # 24 Preview

Wildstorm has released preview scans of World of Warcraft # 24 (on sale October 21) featuring the return of Vindicator Maraad and his grand-nephew Med’an to Azeroth after their trip to Shattrath City. In previous issues, both had traveled there to recruit Khadgar as a member of the New Council of Tirisfal. For unknown reasons, he declined but proposed Scryer Magistrix Dalynnia to take his place. The preview starts with all of them flying through the Dark Portal into Azeroth. However, Med’an heard once more the mental call from his father Medivh urging him to come to Karazhan.

Med’an excuses himself before Maraad and teleported away to the Gamesman’s Hall of Karazhan. There he met the Avatar of Medivh who reveals Medivh had left with him a message to relay to his son Med’an. We finally find out how Med’an was conceived. Medivh knew Garona was half-orc and draenei. While Sargeras was distracted, Medivh bedded Garona as part of his plan. The Avatar of Medivh proceeded to tell Med’an his story. For those fans interested in Medivh, Khadgar, Garona and Karazhan, the story of this comic book issue is a recap of the events from the novel Warcraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb. The novel is based on Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (RTS, 1994).

PTR 3.3 New LFG Tool Available

The World of Warcraft Team has enabled the Looking For Group (LFG) Tool on the PTR 3.3 build 10623.  Many fans will feel shocked to the huge and drastic changes made to the UI and its function.  In live realms, you choose whether you join LFG as a tank, dps or healer.  Then you choose from a drop down menu if you will join a normal, heroic or raid group. Then you select which dungeon to queue in—sometimes you have a very limited amount of dungeons depending the level you are. On the Looking for More tab, you usually are able to see other players queued and you can invite individual players from that list.

Well, keep your jaw tight.  Say bye to the LFM tab. You no longer see other people in the queue, nor can whisper or invite them.

NEW LFG TOOL

The changes are drastic, some of those functions such as LFM tab will be very missed, but apart from the setbacks, the benefits of this new system might be a payoff.

Were you annoyed by having to go through the drop down system, and to not have access to Burning Crusade and Classic WoW dungeons because you are level 80?

Now you will be glad to hear that the dropdown menus have been replaced by a hierarchy tree that you can collapse or open. Each hierarchy tree shows:

  • all the normal dungeons under Wrath of the Lich King
  • all the heroic dungeons under Wrath of the Lich King
  • all the normal dungeons under Burning Crusade
  • all the heroic dungeons under Burning Crusade
  • all the normal dungeons under WoW Classic

Basically you can queue on all the dungeons adequate for your level range at once.  You will be matched with other players who also check marked any of those dungeons.

When the LFG Tool has found five candidates to create a 5-players group, all five players will get a popup message giving you the option to join or to cancel.  When you click accept, you will see onscreen a window with five icons (representing tank, dps, healers) and view a ready check on each icon.  Once all have successfully agreed to be ready … drumroll … you are automatically teleported into the dungeon itself. Goodbye, Meeting Stones !!! No more clicking individual players to summon.

Basically this system shortens the amount of time to search for a group, the amount of time to wait until two people reach the meeting stone—yea, have you been in that situation where everyone is in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdom, and only one is in Northrend? How many times have you had to waste 10 minutes for just one person to reach the meeting stone to help you summon players? No worries. The system searches players for you, and it teleports you straight inside the dungeon.

What about when you are in a group, and zone in, then realize the leader forgot to set the dungeon to heroic? Everyone goes … /facepalm. Zone out, wait for the leader to change difficulty to heroic, then zone in. How often does that happen? Could that be one of the reasons there are many instance full messages? Well, this new LFG tool helps to avoid this type of mistakes, and makes sure there aren’t instance limit exceeded issues.

Another issue about LFG is that not everyone always uses it, or there aren’t enough people for your Occulus Achievements. Blizzard is addressing this problem by giving raiders the opportunity to earn gold and tokens for using the LFG Tool, in addition to the solo daily quests and raid daily quests.  Many have used this popular raid daily quests as a means to acquire Emblems of Heroism, Emblems of Triumph and other tokens.  By voluntarily joining a random Wrath of the Lich King LFG, you can get 19 gold (86 Silver) and two emblems of Triumph. For a random Wrath of the Lich King Heroic LFG, you will acquire 26 gold (46 Silver) and two Emblems of Frost.  Rewards for joining random Burning Crusade or Classic WoW dungeons haven’t been enabled or specified.

Do you have questions or concerns about the new LFG Tool?  Feel free to post your comments below or at our following forum thread. We are gathering questions for the developers through the US Community Manager: Nethaera.

I am among the fans who feels upset about not been able to see people on queue under the LFM tab, but I have to agree this was a very nice and well-thought out design that deserves to be tested thoroughly before complaining about it. It’s worth it.

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

Blizzard Entertainment at IgroMir! in Russia

Our russian visitors will be glad to hear that Blizzard officially announced their attendance at the upcoming Russian event known as IgroMir from November 6-8.  You will be able to play Starcraft II and the goblin / worgen races in the Cataclysm demo. Изумлять !!!!

Blizzard Quote:
We’re pleased to announce that Blizzard Entertainment will be attending IgroMir 2009, the premier gaming event in Russia, in Moscow this November.

When: November 5-8 2009
Where: Moscow, Russian Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 57

We are delighted to invite everybody to our booth at IgroMir (http://www.igromir-expo.ru/ – site in Russian only) when the event is open to the public between the 6th and 8th November. Visitors to our booth will be able to take part in various competitions, and also play two hotly anticipated Blizzard Entertainment games: our real-time strategy title StarCraft II, and the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion.

http://eu.starcraft2.com/
http://www.wow-europe.com/cataclysm/

Our recruiters will be at the booth ready to answer your questions about recruitment and working at Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Europe currently has numerous open positions in quality assurance, localization, customer support and other departments in our offices in Velizy, France (near Paris) and Cork, Ireland. We’re looking for speakers of various languages including Russian. Bring your CV along and talk to us about our employment opportunities.

http://eu.blizzard.com/en-gb/company/careers/

PTR 3.3 Icecrown Citadel – Oct 21-22 Test Schedule

Blizzard invites all PTR players to login on Wednesday and Thursday to help test the Icecrown Citadel 10 and 25-player dungeons.  US players will test Festergut and European players will test Rotface on Wednesday.  Both US and Europe players will test the Icecrown Gunship battle on Thursday.

The PTR 3.3 build 10623 was released and you can download it by launching the public test client.

Blizzard Quote:
We are scheduling raid tests in Icecrown Citadel for October 21-22.

The schedule is as follows:

US PTRs
October 21 at 7PM EDT / 4PM PDT – Festergut
October 22 at 7PM EDT / 4PM PDT – Icecrown Gunship Battle

EU PTRs
October 21 at 19:30 CEST – Rotface
October 22 at 19:30 CEST – Icecrown Gunship Battle

Only normal difficulties will be tested, although 10 and 25 player raids will be available.

The Icecrown Citadel raid test schedule will be very flexible, and can change at a moment’s notice due to build status, bugs, and server issues. Remember that this is the test server, so things can, do, and will break from time to time. Check this forum for the latest Icecrown Citadel raid testing schedule information in the weeks to come.

Blizzard on The negative impact of buying gold

Blizzard has posted a new page addressing the players who engage or are considering gold farming and power leveling services.  In this page they reveal some of the investigations they have performed that tie these activities with hacked accounts.  Those who wish to learn how the Blizzard Authenticator works as a second layer of protection for your WoW account should read our recent step-by-step article.

Blizzard Quote:
Through our normal support processes and the assistance of players, we also find that many accounts that have been shared with power-leveling services are then hacked into months later, and all of the items on the account are stripped and sold off. Basically, players have paid money to these companies, sometimes large amounts, and they’re then targeted by these same companies down the road. We come across stories every week of the aftereffects of players using these services, and some players now have to deal with long-term repercussions—in addition to consequences such as possible account suspension or closure, in many cases the companies they paid use their personal information to perpetrate identity theft and credit card fraud. These are long-lasting effects on players’ personal lives that can take years to recover from.

Cataclysm Dev Chat on Twitter this October 22

During our visit to the Blizzard campus in Irvine, prior to Blizzcon, the community managers told us at the fansites summit there were plans to do live Q&A with the Cataclysm developers on Twitter.  The plans have come to fruition. Now you have the opportunity to pitch your questions at the developers to find out more details of this new and exciting expansion: gameplay, lore, pvp, dungeons & raid, character customization, Path of the Titans, and more. Create a Twitter account, and visit http://www.twitter.com/warcraft on October 22.

Blizzard Quote:
Developer Chat on Twitter

Join us this Thursday, October 22, at 3:00 PM PDT on Twitter for a developer chat with World of Warcraft

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