A sign that Patch 3.1 is about to be deployed into live realms soon. And that date might be in two weeks. Blizzard Representative Ancilorn has announced Phase 3 of the 2009 Arena Tournament is ending next week. Keep working hard throughout the week to get your rewards. Phase 4 will start on April 15.
|| Blizzard Quote:
||Phase 3 of the 2009 Arena Tournament will be ending next Tuesday, April 7, at 21.00 CEST. Please keep in mind that you have until the end of this phase to complete the 200 rated 3v3 games required to qualify for prizes. Participants must also remain on their team for the duration of the tournament to ensure prize eligibility. The Arena Tournament realms will be shut down for a week in preparation for Phase 4 of the tournament (the invitational ladder), which will determine who advances to the regional finals. Phase 4 will begin on Wednesday, April 15, after maintenance. For more information on the tournament, please visit our Arena Tournament information page:
To discuss the tournament with your fellow players, please visit the Arena Tournament Forum:
Thank you to all of the participants, and good luck to everyone who qualified for the invitational ladder!
Blizzard Entertainment has been selected among the finalist nominees by the 2009 MI6 Awards. The 4th Annual MI6 Video Game Marketing Conference will be held through April 8, 2009 at the San Francisco Grand Hyatt in Union Square (345 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA – (415) 398-1234—see Map).
MI6 Awards nominated Blizzard in six categories:
OUTSTANDING TV OR THEATRICAL CAMPAIGN
World of Warcraft 2008 What’s your Game?” TV Campaign”
OUTSTANDING TV OR THEATRICAL AD
The World of Warcraft Action Figures Series 2 got its price slashed by a lot, so collectors and would-be collectors who wish to start grabbing these should benefit from Entertainment Earth’s 13th Anniversary Sale. Non-Blizzard action figures have up to 80% discounts including Star Wars, Marvel and DC action figures—browse through those offers here. WoW Series 2 costs now Sale Price: $45.60 while supplies last. You save $29.39 or 39% off the retail price which is $74.99. You can grab it here. .
The World of Warcraft Action Figures Series 2 consists of four-pieces: Human Warrior: 1x Archilon Shadowheart, 1x Troll Priest: Zabra Hexx, 1x Gnome Warrior: Sprocket Gyrospring, and 1x Night Elf Druid: Broll Bearmantle.
Prepare for battle! Jump into the World of Warcraft craze with these incredibly detailed, plastic action figures. Multiple points of articulation make extreme action poses easy to achieve with these astonishing, 4 1/2 to 8 1/2-inch tall pieces. Choose a role, grab a character, and get into the action!
Thank you for your business these past 13 years! We’re celebrating by marking down hundreds of items up to 80% off. Action figures, games, and select collectibles are available at our lowest prices ever, starting as low as $1.10! These prices and limited quantities won’t last long…
Upper Deck’s World of Warcraft TCG: Dark Portal Starter Deck is also covered in this special sale promotion for only $4.40—You save $10.59 (71%). You can grab it here.
Aaron Rosenberg and Keith R.A. DeCandido will be at the 2009 I-Con 28 held through April 3-5 at the Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) Grant Campus in Brentwood, Long Island (New York)—within The Health, Sports, Education/Convention Center.
If you are planning to attend the event, feel free to look them up and say hi, take a photo and get your Warcraft and Starcraft books signed.
Another incentive to go to the event, on Friday March 3 you can find Mark Goddard (Major Don West in Lost in Space, 1965) on a Q&A from 7pm-7:30pm at the Main Stage; and on Saturday, March 4 from 3pm-3:30pm and Sunday 6 from 4pm-5pm.
Sean Astin—(Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings) has a Q&A on Friday March 3 from 8pm-9pm on the main stage. Saturday at 11am on SCCC Hallway.
Gary Graham (Ambassador Soval in “STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE”) on Saturday, March 4 from 1pm-1:30pm and Sunday March 5 from 12pm-12:30pm.
Other guests are Larry Hama (G.I. Joe Comic Book writer); Sala Baker (Sauron, Lord of the Rings); Nicki Clyne (Crewman Specialist Cally, Battlestar Galactica); and Tory Belleci (Star Wars Trilogy, 1999)
Sounds like it is going to be a fun event.
Read Aaron Rosenberg and Keith R.A. DeCandido schedule and an interactive map of the location after the break.
AARON ROSENBERG SCHEDULE
Marriott Salon B
Myths of Publishing
Crawford, Rosenberg, Gorinsky, Parris
Enhancing your career by learning how to recognize and deal with persistent myths
SCC Dealers Room
Balancing Writing and Life: so many words, so little time
Rosenberg, Freedman, Kessman, Mains, Gannon
A topic almost any writer can identify with. Tips on keeping your love for and need to write from overwhelming the rest of your life
Know Your Craft: the elements that bring a story to life
Parris, Rosenberg, Paffenroth, Mains
While plot, character, POV, setting etc can vary in importance to the story you want to tell, the writer must master all
The Publishing Apocalypse
Crawford, Rosenberg, Leigh, Parris
Panelists discuss the unprecedented challenges faced by traditional publishing
The Business Aspect of Writing Tie-Ins
Peel, Mack, Rosenberg, DeCandido
The best ways to market your skills at writing in
The new PTR 3.1 Raid Schedule covers March 31-April 1. Today it is Hodir (Hard Mode) for USA and no test for Europe. Wednesday it is Iron Council (hard Mode) for USA and General Vezax (Hard Mode) for Europe. Make arrangements with your guilds to help test these bosses, and make sure to offer feedback and bug reports.
|| Blizzard Quote:
||Here’s the current schedule for Ulduar PTR testing:
On the North American test realms:
Hodir (Hard Mode) – Tuesday Night, March 31, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
We’ve made some adjustments to the NPC mechanics in an effort to better balance the ability for melee and ranged players to do damage.
Iron Council (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night, April 1, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
We’d like Steelbreaker last tested again, we have Static Disruption working again.
On the European test realms:
General Vezax (Hard Mode) – Wednesday Night, April 1 at 19:00 CET.
We’ve made further adjustments to try and balance the the effectiveness of ranged DPS casters and melee in the fight.
For Hard Mode testing, Shirts of Uber will be available on Ursula McWeaksauce to help simulate a raid having obtained Ulduar gear. Check the entrance area of Ulduar for the vendor.
This schedule could change at a moment’s notice due to server, bug, or patch status. I’ll try to keep everyone informed as much as possible. Ulduar and the bosses to be tested will remain also open a variable length of time. How long they stay open depends upon a host of factors including designer availability, bug status, etc.
We’re very interested in seeing combat logs and parses for all raid testing on the PTR.
Quick Ulduar FAQ:
Q) Where’s all the trash?
A) Trash is complete, and players will see the trash associated with each boss during their tests.
Q) Where’s the loot?
A) All loot is present.
Q) What about achievements?
A) All achievements are active.
World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak was released on November 18, 2008. In barely four months, its popularity among lore fans has been astounding. It is now on its fourth printing. These are selling like hot bread in the morning. Go grab yours while supplies last.
Richard A. Knaak has announced his participation in Dragoncon in Atlanta, Georgia on September. If you are planning to attend the event, make arrangements to get your books signed.
This is for those of you who have expressed previous interest in my work. If you have received this email by accident, please let me know and you will be deleted from the list.
FIRST AND FOREMOST: LEGENDS OF THE DRAGONREALM, a new omnibus featuring the first three novels of my series—- FIREDRAKE, ICE DRAGON, & WOLFHELM. With beautiful new cover art and a map, this trade paperback should not be missed. Check it out at my website: http://www.richardaknaak.com !
In case you missed them, late 2008 saw the release of THE FIRE ROSE for Dragonlance. Sequel to THE BLACK TALON, this novel continues the Ogre Titans Trilogy. Golgren and the Titans vie for an artifact fashioned by the god of fire and alchemy, a deadly double-edged creation that was responsible for the downfall of their once-regal race centuries before.
Also released was WORLD OF WARCRAFT: NIGHT OF THE DRAGON. A sequel to DAY OF THE DRAGON, the first ever WarCraft novel, NIGHT brings us back to Grim Batol, where the dragon mage Krasus returns to discover what evil has now arisen in what was the last stronghold of the orcs.
AND JUST RELEASED: WARCRAFT LEGENDS VOL. 3! The third anthology includes the third segment of my four part saga about the tauren Trag. Risen as an undead, Trag struggles against the evil calling to him from chill Northrend. Yet, he knows that if he wishes to free himself, he must face the dread Lich King there. However, Northrend itself is full of danger…and possible allies.
Lastly, special news! I am to be a guest of Dragoncon in Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend! I’ll be there from the 4-6th (not the 7th). I will be on various panels! More news on this as the convention approaches!
Thanks for reading!
Richard A. Knaak
The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is pleased to announce this year’s nominees for the 2009 Scribe Awards, which honor excellence in licensed tie-in writing
A few months ago, on December, I interviewed Dick Hill, who voiced the Warcraft audiobooks for Tantor Media Audiobooks. The books were Warcraft: Day of the Dragon, Warcraft: The Last Guardian, Warcraft: Lord of the Clans and World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal.
As many have noticed, the Tantor website no longer lists these books since early January. Without going into many details, the audiobooks are postponed until further notice. The release of these audiobooks will be delayed for a while, but hopefully we will get an announcement of its new release dates. Note that it is not considered cancelled. Keep your hopes up.
*Postpone: to put off to a later time (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Fresh outta da oven comes the just completed cover for the upcoming TOKYOPOP release Warcraft: Death Knight! (A World of Warcraft Adventure) The manga will detail the untold story of Thassarian, one of the first death knights. It’s an action-packed tale of tragedy and loss, as well as hope and rebirth.
Look for it in stores December 2009!
Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Rocio Zucchi
Author: Dan Jolley
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: TokyoPop (December, 2009)
Jeff Kaplan (Tigole) exposed his panel The Cruise Director of AZEROTH: Directed Gameplay within WORLD OF WARCRAFT at the GDC 2009 (Moscone Center, San Francisco). There are various interesting topics in this panel that fans would like to read.
The WoW Quests Problems theme summarized the 9 worst problems affecting players in the World of Warcraft quests:
1. The Christmas Tree Effect: Mini-map gets cluttered with yellow exclamation marks. So many quests, gahh!!!
2. Too Long, Didn’t Read: Quest text is too long, why read all that? Click, and go.
3. Medium Envy: More pew pew, less Lore. (Kaplan hates Metzen? Burn !!!)
4. Mystery: Kaplan mentioned Mankrik’s Wife. Nuff Said. Huh? WTF do I find [X].
5. Poorly Paced Quest Chains: Long quests discourage you from doing those in the future, and skip them. Myzrael  is given as example.
6. Gimmick Quests: Vehicles in quests are Teh suck, according to Kaplan. Fun for developers to make, not fun to players.
7. Bad Flow: A Loch Modan chart shows the poor choice of quest types imposed on players, and how to avoid it.
8. Collection Quest Mistakes: The Green Hills of Stranglethorn Vale
9. Why Am I Collecting This Shit?: So I have to collect 8 paws, but Gnolls drop one or none? Don’t they have two paws jacknabbit?
The Progressive Percentage Item Drop Mechanic show us how loot drops are coded to make progression more fast paced, while eliminating the poor drop rates that plagued us in classic WoW. On the other hand, the Game Developers Are Not Shakespeare topic might rise some eyebrows among the Lore Community. We all know Tigole comes from a Raiding background back on his Everquest days, but I have to differ with him in this particular topic, mostly because I am on the other side of the spectrum. Lore is an important part of World of Warcraft, and it drives a percent of players who play the game, who love to read the Warcraft novels by Christie Golden, Richard A. Knaak, Keith DeCandido and other authors.
A lot of material from those novels have been brought to life in the MMO, and the experiences lived in-game when playing those quests, interacting with the heroes, and reading the lore in the quests related to those novels complement fittingly. I buy the expansions not to loot l33t items, but because of the lore. Loot and raiding comes next as an addition to the overall experience. Not everyone wants to read quests, or cares about the story. But not everyone likes hardcore raiding either, or PvP. Some like only one aspect of the WoW gameplay (there are casual and solo who don’t do raiding or PvP), or a combination of two such as PvP and Lore (an dislike dungeon raiding), some like lore and raiding (but not PvP—I’m among these group), and so on. Most of the people that play World of Warcraft do so because they experienced the single player storyline in Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and previous Warcraft games. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a MMORPG. Metzen and his team are our Shakespeares, and if anything I would love to see more books in printed format and more “experience a book”—of the Warcraft universe—in-game through textful quests.
I don’t hate Jeff Kaplan folks, just don’t share that particular view. In fact, I do like the work he’s done, and read most if not all of his interviews online. And although I will miss him as Lead Game Designer of World of Warcraft, I am confident he will do his best on the Next-Gen MMO.
Check out the different topics discussed throughout his GDC Panel:
This discussion will focus on the original development of WORLD OF WARCRAFT’s quest system and how it has changed over time, with WRATH OF THE LICH KING being the latest evolution. The presentation will also include some of the guidelines and philosophies that are followed when creating WoW content. It will also be suggested how WoW’s philosophy applies to other game genres and touch on topics such as game design as it applies to story, single player, massively multiplayer, open world and constrained locale considerations.
Attendees will gain some insight into the quest design nuances in World of Warcraft. Not only will this talk focus on quest design, but there will be discussion of directed gameplay and its relationship to story/lore.