Zarhym Hints South Seas Expansion?

With Blizzcon 2009 barely eight days away, the excitement and paranoia triple in anticipation.  I apologize in advance, but I can’t just ignore this one and let it slip.  While answering a question about the 310% Brood of Onyxia mount drop-rate, Zarhym may have slipped a hint about the upcoming expansion, or maybe not. Maybe it’s a stretch from my end.  Maybe it’s delirium with all the Blizzcon-driven ecstasy swirling through my mind at light’s speed. What do you think?

Blizzard Quote:
The drop rate will be extremely low. One day I will have it, though as soon as I loot it I’ll probably be struck by lightning on a sunny day and attacked by a shark, all while in the presumed comfort of my living quarters.
  • Struck by Lightning on a sunny day (The Maelstrom is a chaotic arcane storm—- in a sunny day.)
  • Shark?  (South Seas)

Translation: By the time you get to loot a Brood of Onyxia mount, you will probably be immersed in the South Seas expansion content****

Blizzard jump into Twitter with a bang

Blizzard Entertainment is preparing to launch three official Twitter feeds: @Warcraft, @Diablo and @ Starcraft—where they plan to update news, run contests and events.  Who knows what they may do throughout the two-days Blizzcon 2009 event.

If you are excited with the opportunities and potential for a Blizzard twitter start subscribing with all three to follow them. It’s awesome to see Blizzard expand their social networking with more ways to interact with the community.

310% Speed Brood of Onyxia Mount Update

“The 5-year Anniversary Onyxia encounter will have no Heroic mode”—according to Zarhym. It will only have the 10- and 25-player normal mode versions.  Both modes will have an equal chance to drop a 310% speed Brood of Onyxia mount.

There is no lore behind the return of Onyxia, nor expect any.  This is simply a reward to players to celebrate the 5-year Anniversary of World of Warcraft.  There have been similar special rewards before granted by Blizzard to celebrate other meaningful dates.

Read the recent announcement of the 5-Anniversary Onyxia Dungeon Overhaul.

Last Call On 2009 Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner Tickets

This is your last call to get tickets for the Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner. Follow the links below to get further details on what this event is and how you can acquire tickets.  The goodies for the price of this ticket may be worthwhile to many fans who coundn’t buy a Blizzcon ticket.

Blizzard Quote:
There are still a few tickets available for this great event, but quantities are limited. To purchase your ticket, please go to the Laguna Art Museum

World of Warcraft: Stormrage

Pocket Books has provided Blizzplanet the front cover of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak (February 23, 2010). Expect our World of Warcraft: Stormrage video interview with Richard A. Knaak straight from Blizzcon.  Submit your questions.

A few months ago, Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson revealed in our video interview this book would deal with the Nightmare which is affecting the Emerald Dream. Thus making lore geeks go into speculation-mode that the next expansion to the MMORPG might introduce the Emerald Dream.

The front cover already incites controversy. The twins Malfurion and Illidan were identical except for one thing. Illidan’s eyes were golden, while Malfurion’s were silver.  This front cover shows a golden-eyed Malfurion which brings the interrogative whether Illidan’s psyche has somehow merged with Malfurion’s body after his demise in the Black Temple.

In the present, Malfurion’s body is hidden by the Night Elves in an unknown location, presumably it should be at the Barrow Den in Moonglade, but it’s not physically there in the MMORPG.  Meanwhile, Malfurion’s dream-form is trapped in the Nightmare within the Emerald Dream, and has been unable to wake up.  Could it be possible, that somehow Illidan’s psyche took over the physical body of Malfurion during his sleep?  Speculation, but that image spawns many intriguing questions.

Blizzard France Modifies WoW Patch 3.2 Loading Screen

Our old buddies from Judgehype are reporting a subtle change introduced in patch 3.2 to the loading screen.  The one that shows Arthas on his throne with both hands together, except the old version of this loading screen shows two fingers flexed forward.  In the French version, these two fingers have been removed and now both hands are completely together.

This initially didn’t make sense to the guys at Judgehype, but later a fan told them a reference of what the two-fingers mean.  I shared this with Maticus, and she caught it right away describing an old feud between the English Longbowmen and the French.  In short, the V-sign with these two fingers mimics when the English longbowmen prepared to shoot their bows.  But there is some more behind this.

I did some quick look up on the net, and found the tale behind this offensive two-finger sign, which in the present has evolved to be an equivalent of “The Finger”. Thus a provocation gesture or insult.

We can see how the gesture has evolved throughout the centuries, with Winston Churchill using the V-sign with both fingers as an insult during the World War II meaning victory over their enemies.

All I can say is … you motherless Arthas the Lich King … we are gonna get ya in patch 3.3!!!

An early recorded use of the ‘two-fingered salute’ is in the Macclesfield Psalter of c.1330 (in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), being made by a glove in the psalter

BlizzCon 2009 Pocket Books Schedule: Richard A. Knaak and Christie Golden

Our adorable and hard-working contact from Pocket Books, Jaime, has provided us their Blizzcon 2009 schedule—where you will meet Richard A. Knaak and Christie Golden; and have the opportunity to get some free stuff (while supplies last).

We have been given green-light from Blizzard and Pocket Books to ask Richard A. Knaak questions about World of Warcraft: Stormrage, so the community is very welcome to hurl some of the best questions about the Nightmare in the Emerald Dream, Malfurion, Cenarius and any other relevant topic surrounding the plot.  You can either register and post below at the comments area, or to submit via email

All weekend long, stop by the Pocket Books booth in Hall B and receive a free copy of STARCRAFT: DARK TEMPLAR, BOOK 1: FIRSTBORN, while supplies last! While you

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm … The Portents of a Prophecy

Blizzcon 2009 approaches rapidly in 10 days.  About a month ago, I found at the Trademark Office website that Blizzard filed a new trademark titled Cataclysm.  I submitted it to the press and it has spread globally.

Lot of speculations have birthed since then.  I have written my share of articles in the past weeks supporting the theory that Cataclysm refers to a World of Warcraft expansion based in the South Seas and the Maelstrom.  As well as the Emerald Dream. Both as a combo.

I remind you the Burning Crusade introduced a combo: Outland, Quel’Thalas and Azuremyst.

In previous articles I mentioned the hologram of the world of Azeroth in the Halls of Lightning by Loken’s room.  Which can also be found at the Planetary hall in Ulduar. You can see a screenshot here.

In that image you can see Kalimdor is broken nearly in half.  Most of The Barrens, Dustwallow Marsh, Mulgore and some of Stonetalon Mountains are represented as a crater that sunk underwater.

However, amidst that huge crater lies an island.  What could be tall enough as to not be submerged underwater with everything else?  Thunderbluff.  Who do we know lives in Thunderbluff that has ties with the Old gods?  The Grimtotem tribe.  Their leader?  Magatha Grimtotem.

As read in the Tauren History, Cenarius taught the Tauren druidism long ago.  However, when Cenarius abandoned them, who we know as the Grimtotem tribe fell to the old whispers.  Everyone knows nowadays that’s in reference to the Old gods.

There are other hints that support the theory behind Cataclysm, beyond the fact there was a Sundering 10,000 years in the past.  Ralo’shan the Eternal Watcher in Silithus mentioned a new sundering that originates from the nightmare.

Malfurion revealed to Remulos in Moonglade the Nightmare’s source is the Old gods.  Thus Ralo’shan gave us a hint that the second Sundering will originate from the Emerald Dream.

Then we have the quote from World of Warcraft: Arthas (novel by Christie Golden) where Arthas the Lich King had a vision of the near future, a precognition.  In it he saw possibly Nazjatar rise from the depths of the Maelstrom to the surface of the sea.  He saw Cenarius in the Emerald Dream’s Nightmare.  And lastly, a cataclysm—read more.

The mountains themselves came to life, taking giant strides, crushing everything luckless enough to cross their paths. With each mammoth footfall, the world seemed to tremble and shake.

Patch 3.3 – Icecrown Citadel will have 31 bosses? Whoa?

Looks like Ghostcrawler wasn’t serious about the 31+ bosses in the Icecrown Citadel after alll. Besides apologies on my end … /facepalm

Now I am not suggesting it.  I DEMAND IT !!!  Bansai !!!

Blizzard Quote:
I put in the Yogg achievement with what I hoped was a ridiculous stand-in number. Clearly it wasn’t ridiculous enough because players were variously excited or worried that it was a real number.

Then in an example on how we don’t want raids to rotate in tanks, I wanted to pick what I hoped was a ridiculous number so that players wouldn’t try and and deduce from my answer how many bosses Icecrown has.

Sadly, my sarcasm doesn’t translate well to the forums. smilesource

I am not sure if to feel excited, or astonished. Or both?  Ghostcrawler slipped something about the Icecrown Citadel dungeon that will really shock.  He hinted at least (not an exact number) 31 bosses in this dungeon encounter.  At least implied. And you thought Naxx had a ton of bosses,eh?

Blizzard Quote:
I don’t know that I would say we want tanking niches. I ultimately am agreeing with what you’re saying, but once we say “tanking niches” players have visions of the DK who parks outside of Icecrown until boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big).

I totally agree that no tank can be the worst at everything. What you have to remember though is that “everything” is generally defined as the current raid content. Coliseum isn’t a large raid. If there are 5 bosses and 4 tanks then it seems that even in the best case that someone might be “the best” on 2 of them and everyone else is “the best” on 1. (And honestly, we don’t design raid encounters with that goal in mind—they have enough constraints on them already.)

Again, the goal is “close enough” and the mushiness of that definition is intended. For some groups, having a tank that is “5% harder to heal” (whatever that means) is acceptable and perhaps not even detectable. We just need to avoid the extreme situation where the guild that feels gimp because their MT is a paladin (or whatever) and paladins have a lot of liabilities on the current raid content to the extent where that player is getting replaced on more than just a couple of fights. (And I should add by knowledgeable raid leadership, and not just the Naxx pug guy that read on the forums that bears are the best tank and so only accepts bears.)—source

BlizzCast # 10 Released

Blizzard has finally released BlizzCast 10 barely 2 weeks prior to BlizzCon. So what’s crammed in into this new podcast?  Blizzard developers Scott Mercer (Lead Encounter Designer) and Dave Maldonado (Senior Game Designer) responded questions to Zarhym about the lore behind the Argent Tournament Coliseum, the boss events in the coliseum, the new daily quests and the new Battleground Isle of Conquest.

Blizzard Quote:
Continuing our behind-the-scenes look at Blizzard Entertainment games and developers, BlizzCast 10 features a Q&A session about World of Warcraft patch 3.2, Call of the Crusade.

As players have begun exploring all of the new content available in this patch, you

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