World of Warcraft: Cataclysm officially announced

IT’S OFFICIAL FOLKS!!!  World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was unveiled by no other than our beloved Chris Metzen (VP of Creative Design).  Deathwing is back, and the face of Azeroth has changed. Old villages are now destroyed, lava runs amok everywhere in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms.  The Goblins (Horde)and Worgen (Alliance) are officially new playable races.  Gilneas Greymane Wall collapsed during the cataclysm.  The residents are now cursed with the worgen state.

We can now fly in Azeroth.

I will now start uploading our press kits full of screenshots and details.  Check back shortly.  Grim Batol is in development based on the story from WoW: Night of the Dragon.

Mount Hyjal present is a new dungeon or zone.  Hyjal is under siege by Ragnaros sending his elemental army to burn the World Tree.  Malfurion Stormrage is back from the Emerald Dream.

The Barrens Split is broken in half by the middle.  Naralex is trying to regrow life into the Barrens in early quests in Wailing Caverns, well he was successful, you can see Barrens with life, and forests. While other areas are lava-like.

Uldum is a new dungeon.  There will be a cat-like race inside.

New Blackrock Spire dungeon.

Twilight Highlands is the Twilight’s Hammer base of operations.  The Twilight Dragonflight has risen.

Tol Barad is introduced as a prison isle.

Three new PvP battlegrounds.  One is Tol Barad and another in Gilneas.  New Arena Maps.

Desolace looks full of vegetation in some areas.  The druids seem to be doing their work around some areas after our experience in low level quests.

Blizzcon 2009 Gaming Convention Begins This Week

IRVINE, Calif., Aug 18, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival, BlizzCon(R) 2009, begins on Friday, August 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The convention celebrates Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) game universes and the communities of players surrounding them. Attendees of the sold-out show will be able to play the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment(R) games as well as speak with developers in discussion panels, participate in tournaments and contests, and meet with fellow gamers and friends.

The show will close on Saturday evening with an epic concert featuring the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment’s own Warcraft-themed metal band Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain will be performing, and Jay Mohr has returned to act as the master of ceremonies for the community contests taking place on Friday.

Those unable to attend are still able to purchase a “virtual ticket” to the show, featuring more than 18 hours of live coverage as well as the exclusive BlizzCon 2009 World of Warcraft in-game pet. This package is available both via Internet stream in over 100 countries and in HD through DIRECTV(R) satellite television service. Visit the official BlizzCon website, http://www.blizzcon.com, for more information on the virtual ticket, or to read daily coverage of the show’s highlights.

“With each BlizzCon, we strive to offer a truly unforgettable weekend of entertainment for every attendee, as well as those joining us from home,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to meeting players and sharing the latest news about Blizzard games with them, and we appreciate the contributions of our partners in helping us make this year’s show our biggest and best yet.”

BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s sponsors, who provide demo station hardware and peripherals, contest prizes, and more. This year’s platinum-level sponsors are ASUS, DIRECTV, Intel, Mountain Dew, NVIDIA, and Razer; the gold-level sponsors are Cisco, Dell, Kingston, SteelSeries, and Vasco.

Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, demo reels, art portfolios, or business cards, as the global staffing team will be on hand to accept materials and discuss any job-related questions.

World of Warcraft # 25

The World of Warcraft comic book ongoing series continues to amaze fans with the introduction of Garona and her son Med’an 10 issues ago.  The story arc is just exciting with all the revelations. The hints of an upcoming cataclysm to be provoked by Cho’gall and his Twilight’s Hammer who wish to free the Old gods. And most importantly the founding of the new Council of Tirisfal which is composed of Jaina Proudmoore, Aegwynn, Meryl Winterstorm, Med’an, Valeera Sanguinar and Vindicator Maraad.

This solicitation is for issue # 25, and as you heard recently from us, this is the issue that marks the close of the story arc—which will trigger the split of the WoW Comics into two spin-off titles.  One for the Alliance and another title focused on the Horde.  In the previous issue (# 21), we learned Vindicator Maraad is Garona’s uncle, thus Grand Uncle of Med’an.  The young Med’an wishes to learn Light’s magic from him, and if the cover of issue # 25 is any indication—he is learning pretty fast.

Med’an wears plate shoulderpads and gauntlets in this cover.  Not only is he the son of the Last Guardian Medivh—he is learning to master arcane, shaman and now Light magic. Can you see Broll?  Is he back from his adventures in the Emerald Dream?  During my interview with Walter and Louise Simonson at the New York Comic Con 2009, they revealed some of their characters would show up in other writer’s novels.  It is very probable that Broll will be one of them in World of Warcraft: Stormrage (February 23, 2010).  Meryl Winterstorm appears in the upcoming Warcraft Legends Vol. 5 (September 8, 2009) in the story The First Guardian by Louise Simonson (who also writes alongside her husband Walter Simonson in the Wildstorm WoW Comic Book).

In case you wonder, that’s not Valeera Sanguinar in the front cover.  That character hasn’t been introduced yet.  By the color of her tabard, she is a Scryer Blood Elf from Shattrath City.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT # 25

The bonus-sized epic final showdown! Will Med’an and the newly formed Council of Tirisfal vanquish the evil Cho’gall and the Twilight’s Hammer? Will the unlikely union of Horde and Alliance be torn asunder?

Written by Walter and Louise Simonson;
Art by Mike Bowden and Tony Washington;
Cover by Mike Bowden and Tony Washington

Wildstorm – 40pg. – $3.99 US
On Sale November 18, 2009

Soundblaster Teasing WoW Cataclysm Themed Product?

WoWinsider spotted a new teaser at the Soundblaster website.  You can see the Maelstrom, the Horde logo and you can listen to the Lament of the Highborne music playing in the background. The only text in the teaser says: “To be continued”.  Just days away from Blizzcon. Are we getting more hints that the new WoW Expansion is set in the South Seas?  We are just 4 days away from finding out.  At last.

What do you think Soundblaster will announce?  A new World of Warcraft-themed sound card? Or speakers?

Cataclysm: The Return of the Highborne

With Blizzcon 2009 a week away, Blizzard launched Patch 3.2.2 which introduced a new Alliance quest near the portals in The Silver Enclave (Dalaran).  The Horde had a different version titled An Injured Collegue a few patches ago leading you to the Rise of Elders in Thunderbluff.  The quest didn’t have much of a purpose besides luring you to witness an amusing discussion between two Tauren about Mu’sha and the Night Elves.

The Alliance version, however, discusses cryptically the coming of something that may threaten Azeroth. The Highborne have returned.  Something urgent has made them leave the walls of Eldre’Thalas (Dire Maul) to seek audience with High Priestess Tyrande. Something so dire that foretells a … Cataclysm?

Though people see both quests as mere babbling, with no purpose, it does flare up the rumor that all races will get new classes they didn’t previously have.  The Tauren quest hints of Tauren Paladins who may fworship the sun’s Light instead of Mu’sha.  While the Highborne would join the Night Elves to justify Night Elf mages. Hmm.

 

A CAUTIOUS RETURN

Daros Moonlance (The Highborne): A moment of your time.

Change is coming.  It has drawn us out of the ruins of Eldre’Thalas and into the wide world once more.  I have come to research this city and cannot stray from it, but if you are inclined, I have an errand for you.

My collegue set out for Darnassus to speak with the High Priestess there, that we might come to an understanding.  Take this journal to Mordent Evenshade in the temple.  It may help in his diplomacy mission.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade (The Highborne): I suppose I should not be surprised at this cold reception.  We have long been in hiding, and the separation from our brethren was necessary.

That time, however, is done.  Whether the residents of this young tree come to accept us or not, the Highborne are returning to light, and we wil not turn our backs on what we are.

It seems I have time to talk.  What is this regarding?

(Daron’s Journal)

Ah, the writings of Daros.  He always was meticulous about tracking progress.  His words may aid in explaining how far we’ve come.

You have my thanks for bringing this to me.  Perhaps we will see more of each other once it is understood we mean no harm.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: Sentinel, I would speak with your High Priestess.

Sentinel Stillbough: You must wait for an audience.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: Must I?  I doubt Tyrande has more pressing business.

Sentinel Stillbough: You show some nerve coming to Teldrassil, Highborne.  Your kind are unwelcome here.  We have not forgotten the War of the Ancients or the minds behind it.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: The lure of power is great.  Mistakes were made.

Sentinel Stillbough: And we would not see those mistakes repeated.  Return to your exile.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: I will not return until I am heard.  There is too much at stake.  There is a change on the wind, and we cannot ignore it.  I have traveled from the dust and ruin of the past to come to an accord.  The time may soon come when the kal’dorei require the knowledge and skill we have to offer.  I will wait, Sentinel … but I will have my audience.

(Archmage Mordent Evenshade looks over at the moonwell with a sigh.)

Sentinel Stillbough: Take your gaze off the moonwell, exile.  The power within is not yours to wield.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: Calm yourself, Sentinel.  I do not seek to use it.  I am merely … remembering.

Sentinel Stillbough: Recalling your treachery?

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: Enough.  I have been apart from this for centuries.  The well within this temple may be a pale spectre of the Well of Eternity, but it still holds the same … beauty.  Purity.  I had forgotten.  I do not believe admiration and wistful thoughts are against the societal norm.

Sentinel Stillbough: Watch yourself, Highborne.

Archmage Mordent Evenshade: You were the one who challenged me for merely looking.  I still await my audience with Tyrande.

Sentinel Stillbough: In good time.

PTR 3.2.2 Solution: This downlaod is not authorized

All fans attempting to install the PTR 3.2.2 to test the revamped Onyxia content, should read the following immediately. If you have merged your World of Warcraft account with your Battle.net 2.0 Account, you may be among the thousands of fans having trouble to install the PTR.  A message will say that you are unathorized to download the MPQ (1.15GB).

If this is the case, first completely quit the PTR client if it is still open and make sure the old PTR folder, installer and downloader are deleted from your Program Files folder or World of Warcraft folder.

Go to your WoW Account page and download the PTR client—yes it is numbered the same as the old PTR, but it is updated, so download it straight from the website again.

Go to your World of Warcraft PTR folder.  Click on the Launcher.  Login using your old username and password—which you used before merging your WoW Account with the Battle.net account.  Voila.  Your PTR Blizzard Downloader will start downloading the PTR normally.

I am one of those fans who were running through this problem.  I followed the instructions, and I am already downloading the PTR at a very slow rate (6% done), but at least it is not stuck in “This download isn’t authorized”.  This will probably take a while to download, but as more people such as you start applying the solution to your problem, more people will be seeding the Blizzard Downloader and eventually speed up downloads.

Many thanks to Knob @ Sporeggar for spotting this solution.

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.

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