Blizzard Not Attending 2009 E3 Expo

A few days ago, major gaming sites reported that Activision Blizzard had returned to this year’s E3 Exhibitors List. Last year, Vivendi and Activision had withdrew their ESA membership and E3 altogether.  GiantBomb—where ex-Gamespot Editorial Director Jeff Gerstmann works nowadays—got response from Blizzard Entertainment. And the answer was:

Blizzard Quote:
Blizzard Entertainment will not be attending or participating in E3 2009.

Short and straight. This is a big surprise, knowing Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 won’t get the press time and hands-on gameplay at an event that Blizzard had previously attended to. It seems Blizzcon and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals will remain to be the main platforms for new game and expansion announcements—including hands-on gameplay.

Last year’s Blizzcon had the whooping achievement of over 15,000 attendees from all around the world.

Upcoming 3.1 class changes

As many of you know the next major content patch will include some very exciting things, such as Ulduar, a new epic raid dungeon, a wealth of new items, and much more. We thought players would especially enjoy reading just a few of the class changes we’re currently planning.

This is the second in a series of three upcoming class change highlight announcements: Priests, Rogues, Shaman, Warlocks, Druids, and Warriors. Please keep in mind, that these lists are not at all comprehensive, and subject to change.

Please read and discuss details of these upcoming changes in each class forum:

Priest

2009 New York Comic Con: Pocket Books Giveaway

Simon & Schuster informed me something that New York Comic Con attendees will certainly love to know. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star Books) will be doing an exclusive giveaway !!! The first 50 fans showing up at their booth (1402) on Saturday at 3:00 P.M. and Sunday at 3:00 P.M. will receive a bound galley of the upcoming WORLD OF WARCRAFT:  ARTHAS, RISE OF THE LICH KING.

Sweet !!!

Note: Seems there will be a new Front Cover for ARTHAS. More later.

Pre-orders on this book are available here. It ships on April 21.

For information to get New York Comic Con tickets go here. To locate the booth 1402 check this map.

Guinness Records To Come To The New York Comic Con

The New York Comic Con organizers announced the Guinness World Records commitee will be at the event to find out if the world record of the most people disguised in video games costumes is broken. If you are coming disguised, register to let the NYCC folks know you are attending to support this Guiness record. Make history by coming to the event with your World of Warcraft costume.  For the Horde !!!

Guinness World Records

World of Warcraft: Arthas Description Available

Simon & Schuster provided the new description of the upcoming Christie Golden’s pocket star book World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King—on bookstores by April 21. Simon & Schuster is already taking Pre-Orders here.  We posted its first chapter excerpt a few weeks ago. If you have done the Icecrown quests, this first chapter will pop your eyes … Matthias Lehner.

Frostmourne.

It was caught in a hovering, jagged chunk of ice, the runes that ran the length of its blade glowing a cool blue. Below it was a dais of some sort, standing on a large gently raised mound that was covered in a dusting of snow. A soft light, coming from somewhere high above where the cavern was open to daylight, shone down on the runeblade. The icy prison hid some details of the sword’s shape and form, exaggerated others. It was revealed and concealed at the same time, and all the more tempting, like a new lover imperfectly glimpsed through a gauzy curtain. Arthas knew the blade—it was the selfsame sword he had seen in his dream when he first arrived. The sword that had not killed Invincible, but that had brought him back healed and healthy. He’d thought it a good omen then, but now he knew it was a true sign. This was what he had come to find. This sword would change everything. Arthas stared raptly at it, his hands almost physically aching to grasp it, his fingers to wrap themselves around the hilt, his arms to feel the weapon swinging smoothly in the blow that would end Mal’Ganis, end the torment he had visited upon the people of Lordaeron, end this lust for revenge. Drawn, he stepped forward.

The uncanny elemental spirit drew its icy sword. “Turn away, before it is too late,” it intoned.

His evil is legend. Lord of the undead Scourge, wielder of the runeblade Frostmourne, and enemy of the free peoples of Azeroth. The Lich King is an entity of incalculable power and unparalleled malice—his icy soul utterly consumed by his plans to destroy all life on the…

But it was not always so. Long before his soul was fused with that of the orc shaman Ner’zhul, the Lich King was Arthas Menethil, crown prince of Lordaeron and faithful paladin of the Silver Hand.

When a plague of undeath threatened all that he loved, Arthas was driven to pursue an ill-fated quest for a runeblade powerful enough to save his homeland. Yet the object of his search would exact a heavy price from its new master, beginning a horrifying descent into damnation. Arthas’s path would lead him through the arctic northern wastes toward the Frozen Throne, where he would face, at long last, the darkest of destinies.

Zarhym Talks About Content Patch 3.1

Zarhym expressed a lot of feedback about the upcoming major content patch 3.1 and the 25-man / 10-man dungeon Ulduar.  Content patches will be released at a fair pace, but not as often as it happened in Burning Crusade to allow guilds breath-space with raid progression before moving on to a new dungeon.

Blizzard Quote:
Our development team is currently hard at work on Ulduar. It’s going to be massive. For those looking to progress past Naxxramas, this will be your place. For those looking for much more of a challenge content-wise than they’ve seen thus far in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar welcomes you.

After The Burning Crusade’s final major content patch, the plan was to space out the new raid dungeons in Wrath of the Lich King so there wouldn’t be overwhelming moments or times where several raids are released at once and slightly ill-tuned (as was the case with The Burning Crusade’s launch); we also don’t want extremely long periods of time where no new raids come out, as was the case after The Burning Crusade’s initial launch.

I trust players can expect to find a fair amount of challenge and content with patch 3.1, and each major content patch after that in Wrath of the Lich King will offer similar new feats.

Raid progression in this game has always been fairly linear. That is by design. The idea is to have clear progressions depending on how you choose to spend your time, whether in 5-man, 10-man, 25-man, or PvP.

It takes quite a bit of time to design a new dungeon, even just speaking about the art alone. By the time we get around to tuning a new raid dungeon, the idea is to offer new, more difficult challenges, which would naturally result in better rewards. That seems to describe a linear design philosophy as you put it.

For those asking about the challenge, I’d wager the average guild couldn’t expect to waltz into Ulduar and clear the place right away in its top form. If it didn’t come back to haunt me (har), I’d guess it would take weeks for the average guild.

You might see some additional rewards from heroism vendors down the line, though it’s not expected there will be a host of new items released comparable to Ulduar or Icecrown loot, at least not in the same manner Sunwell badge gear was provided.

As we continue to evaluate professions, one shouldn’t rule out additional glyphs in the future. The achievements will continue to come, and there will always be plenty of achievements for everyone.

Figure Prints Releases How They Are Made Video

Figure Prints recently dropped their lottery waiting list and they are taking instant orders on demand and printing them right away. To celebrate the growth of the company, they have released an awesome step-by-step video tour that captures the process of creating your unique FigurePrint World of Warcraft Character. The video has a full-screen mode button. Watch the video at their website.

Our friend Pig from WanderingGoblin recently reviewed his own Tauren Figure Print.

Now is a great time to order a custom statue of your favorite World of Warcraft

SteelSeries – New Wrath of the Lich King Keyboard and Gaming Surfaces

Blizzard announced four new products from the SteelSeries folks based on the Wrath of the Lich King. If you already own the Zboard keyboard, you can buy the Wrath of the Lich King keyset individually.

Blizzard Quote:
Just in time for the journey to Northrend, SteelSeries is launching a new line of Wrath of the Lich King-themed peripherals: the new Zboard Limited Edition Gaming Keyboard, Qck Limited Edition Lich King Exclusive Gaming Surface, and 5C Limited Edition Frost Wyrm Exclusive Gaming Surface. All are made with high-quality materials and feature artwork from Wrath of the Lich King. Please visit SteelSeries.com for full details on each of their features and availability.

Sideshow WoW Diorama 30% Discount Only Through January 30th

As reported recently, Sideshow Collectibles ran a poll to decide which product would get the 30% discount axe.  Because You voted, Sideshow has deemed the WoW Diorama winner of the poll.  The World of Warcraft Blood Elf Rogue vs. Draenei Paladin Polystone Diorama is now available at $209.99 ONLY through January 30th and while supplies last. Go grab yours here.

A copy of this diorama will arrive to my home soon. Expect a review and video footage of this awesome polystone statue on Worldofwar.net

Sideshow: Our first Vote for your Discount promotion is now over. The Blood Elft Vs Draenei Paladin Diorama won and is available at a 30% discount for January 30th 2009 only! Place your in-stock order today! Click Here. Offer good only while supplies last.