Video Games Live 2009 March Schedule

Video Games Live played various music pieces from Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft games at the end of Blizzcon 2008, last year. It is very probable they might do so again this upcoming August at Blizzcon 2009.

Video Games Live will have a few concerts throughout the month of March. So if you love video games music played by a live symphony orchestra, and live in Kitchener, Ontario; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Austin, Texas—then check out the schedule and where to get the tickets.

ONTARIO
The music of video games will be performed by the world-class Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony led by industry veterans and world famous video game composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall on March 13 and March 14 at 8:00pm.  The Video Games Live concert will take place at:

The Centre In The Square
101 Queen Street N.
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada

The concert tickets for March 13 are sold out, but if you would love to be there—Saturday, March 14 tickets are still open while they last. Adult seating ticket prices range between $30-80. And can be ordered here.

There will be a pre-show festival starting at 6:30pm.  You can watch some Video Game Live video clips here.

MICHIGAN
On March 20, 2009, Video Games Live will perform at the Miller Auditorium at 8:00pm on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Tickets are available here—ranging from $25-52 for adult seating.

TEXAS
On March 28, 2009—Video Games Live will perform at the Long Center in Austin, TX at 8:00 PM.

Maps here. Ticket info here. Ticket prices range from $32-49.

Michael & Susan Dell Hall
701 W Riverside Dr
Austin, TX
(512) 474-5664

A Quest To Honor A Father’s Memory

When I read this, it somehow touched me. Of course, we don’t need Christie Golden or other writers to cause that thing deep within us to be touched. You know … emotions. Everyone wraps up with the artificial facade that is an online character or avatar, separting their true selves from their online alter ego to the point we classify our breathing and human things as IRL (In Real Life).

In terms of RPG or book stories, you would feel touched if you read something along a Tauren Shaman who embarks in a quest to deliver his father’s staff to the other side of the world, through perilous lands to bring it before the elders of his tribe to be placed on a sacred shrine in order to honor her father’s memory. If Christie Golden wrote such a story you would shed a tear most likely.

In real life, a man age 57—Jerald Spangenberg—was a World of Warcraft player, and had many friends in his guild.  However, one day he no longer came back online. He was absent for three weeks. He collapsed and died of an abdominal aneurysm while still playing World of Warcraft. His daughter Melissa Allen Spangenberg—for a reason that befuddles me felt the need to tell his guild that he had passed away.

She tried to contact a Blizzard Entertainment representative to find out her father’s account password to notify his guild, with no luck. This rises the question, whether Blizzard should consider an evaluation of their terms of service where parents or family members could have access to the accounts when the original subscriber passes away.  At least by presenting a certificate of death via fax. Or an option link in the terms of service that allows subscribers to set permission to a person (providing a name and address) to access your account in the event you died for as long as that person submits a certificate of death.

Regardless, Melissa didn’t rest until she could notify her father’s online friends of his death. She created a World of Warcraft account. Searched restlessly on his server to find out if anyone knew what guild he belonged to. And finally, she contacted the guild leader Chuck Pagoria from Morgantown, Kentucky to honor what could have been her father’s wish to let his friends know.

A waste of time, or a noble act? Read the full story at Tech.Yahoo.

Blizzard Campus: WETA Wolfrider Statue Installation Video

A few days ago, we reported the OCRegister Blizzard Blog had exclusive photos of the awesome 12-feet tall Orc Wolfrider Statue developed by WETA Studios which they installed at the Blizzard Entertainment campus recently.  Gametrailers now has exclusive video of the installation of the statue. Hurray, for Blizzard. For the HORDE !!!

PTR 3.1 Ulduar – Mimiron

Mimiron can be found at The Spark of Imagination within the Ulduar dungeon. This is the boss that can be accessed through the tram service. Mimiron mounts a tank that resembles the boss Leviathan. He named it the Leviathan MK II (Mortal Kombat II?)  I had the opportunity to test Mimiron 13 times. It is absolutely the hardest boss thus far.  It is a DPS race as much as it is a survival race. He dies in approximately 4:30-5:00 minutes for as long as enough players stay alive through the carnage.

The most fearful ability is definitely the Napalm Shell. This ability kills a player before a Flash Heal can get through. That’s barely 2 seconds or less. Read the phase one abilities below the video.

LEVIATHAN MK II – PHASE ONE

Leviathan MK II has 1742K health in 10-man.

Melee Swing: Hits for 4200 to 6000 physical damage.

Plasma Blast: It is a 3 sec cast, with a 7 sec cooldown. It deals 20000 Fire damage per sec for 6 sec.

Napalm Shell: It is a 2 sec cast. Deals 9425 to 10575 fire damage. It can be resisted down by half with fire aura and fire resist potions. The affected player must run away from the place of impact which gets a 5-yards aura that deals 6000 fire damage a tick for 8 sec. Healers will see his cannon throw a fireball toward a random target. Make sure to cast HOTs, Prayer of Mending, and Holy Shock on the affected player to keep them alive long enough for a healer to cast a flash or big heal.  It is nigh impossible to cast a flash light in time. Seriously, You can lose a player that rough-fast. Come prepared with health potions to help your healers keep you alive. As soon as you get hit by Napalm Shell, drink a healing potion.  Keep healing pots on a hotkey for this encounter. And a fel health stone. Paladins can use Divine Shield and Mages can iceblock out of its effects.

Rocket Strike: Instant cast. This deals 1000000 fire damage within a 3 yard radius.
damage.

Shock Blast: 5 sec cast. It deals 100000 Nature. It can be resisted. Does only around 14000 – 17500 nature damage with the Hunter buff. You will see a blinding electric jolt emanate from Leviathan MK II. All melee has 5 sec to run away. It has a 15 yard radius.

Proximity Mine: Inflicts 17500 fire damage. Can be resisted. Leviathan MK II willl launch a circle of mines 10 yards around himself which stay on the ground for around 20 sec before exploding. Make sure to stay away from them or they explode. They look like the mines in Blood Furnace. A rogue can dismantle them.

Once the Leviathan MK II tank is destroyed, the fight doesn’t end there. That’s the beginning of Phase 2, where he starts attacking players with the VX-001 Anti-personnel Assault Cannon. We didn’t get to test Phase 2, however. There is a total of four phases. More soon.

Warcraft Legends 33% Off Special Offer Until March 16

We have been covering the Warcraft Legends Marathon in the past days, and hope you have loved the free stories TOKYOPOP has allowed fans to read.  For that matter, I wish to share with you a special offer announced today by TOKYOPOP at one of their affiliate bookstores that knocks 33% off the retail price on all graphic novel mangas including Warcraft and Starcraft.  And that includes Pre-orders.  If you would love to start collecting the Warcraft mangas, this is the right time to do so. Let me tell you how to. Note: I created and account, and tested the coupon code and without. It does work.

1. Register an account at RightStuf.com—and login.
2. Click on the Purchase links at each manga page (below) to keep adding books to your shopping cart.
3. When you are done with your purchases, click the shopping cart button at the bottom of the page. (You have the option to pay through a secure server or via Fax/Mailed Order.)
4. Press the Ready to Check Out button on the top right and enter the following coupon code:

Coupon Code: infusion
Expires: Monday, March 16, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. CST

You will find the Coupon Code option textbox at Step 3: Shipping and Tax page.

The links below will take you straight into each Manga page for convenience.

WARCRAFT

STARCRAFT

These are the shipping options:
Canada – $7.00
Economy – $3.00
International – $10.00
Priority Mail – $5.00
UPS 2nd Day Air – $11.00
UPS Ground – $7.00

3rd Annual ELAN Awards Nominates World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard Entertainment has been nominated for the 3rd Annual ELAN Awards in the Best Animated Short Subject category for:

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (intro cinematic) Blizzard Entertainment
Jeff Chamberlain, Director; Phillip Hillenbrand, Producer

ELANS Announce Ceremony Date & Venue and Who Will be Waiting to Hear Their Name Called

Vancouver, BC- March 11, 2009 – Kelly Zmak, President of Radical Entertainment where the ELAN Awards press conference was held today, opened this morning’s presser by saying “The ELAN awards give our industry a chance to celebrate the talents and creativity of the people who create these art forms. At a time where we are surrounded by bad new and a barrage of negativity, the ELAN awards give us a chance to celebrate the positives of our industry and the people who make it great.”

DeCandido And Rosenberg At Lunacon 2009

Keith R.A. DeCandido and Aaron Rosenberg are attending the 2009 Lunacon to take place at Rye Brook, New York.  The event will be held through March 20-22. Keith R.A. DeCandido is author of World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred.  Aaron Rosenberg is author of World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness and co-writer of World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal.

Their scheduled programming doesn’t involve any Blizzard product discussion, but if you are planning to attend Lunacon, they would be glad to meeting you and signing your Warcraft and Starcraft books.  One of Aaron’s scheduled panels is Tribute to Gygax.
Description: The biggest name in the development of roleplaying games, and one of the few recognizable names in a low-profile field, Gygax was always a lightning rod for many people’s views about gaming, both from inside and outside the field. A look back at Gygax’s life and influence on the field..

Keith has an interesting panel titled From Book to Film:
Description: Why do some books make great movie adaptations, while others fail utterly? What are the problems inherent on moving between the two media? How do you make a book into a great film?

Send us your photos with Keith and Aaron taken at this event if you are attending. Below is my photo with Keith at the 2009 New York Comic Con.

 

Warcraft Legends Marathon Day 4

TOKYOPOP continues their Warcraft Legends manga marathon posting one story each day from volume 1 and 2, celebrating the upcoming release of volume 3—on sale March 17. Today marks the fourth story offered for free. You can only watch it for 24 hours. So, make sure to watch today’s story by Richard A. Knaak titled Fiend.

This story has all the whistles and potential to carry on into World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King’s Icecrown Citadel dungeon.  The undead tauren Trag Highmountain continues his journey toward Icecrown, aided by the Warchief Thrall.

We have 29 exclusive preview scans of Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 at the Worldofwar.net Wiki.

WoW Patch 3.1 Blessing of Wisdom & Mana Spring Totem change

The WoW developers are planning changes for mana regeneration and certain buffs in patch 3.1.0 by lowering down the amount of shamans and paladins required for a raid. They want raids to have an even amount of classes participating, rather than stacking 4-5 paladins or shamans.  Mana Spring will now benefit all the raid. Only one Shaman is now needed to benefit from that ability.

The major impact to how raids are usually done is that you can no longer stack mana regeneration. How is that?  From what Eyonix said, what can be understood is that Mana Spring Totem and Blessing of Wisdom will no longer stack.  So now the raid leader needs to synchronize which abilities must be used according to the raid’s class setup—depending on which classes are online at a given time.

If there is a shaman and a paladin, the way to go would be to have the shaman drop mana spring totem and the paladin to do blessing of kings.  If there are two paladins and no shaman, one will do Blessing of Kings and the second shall cast blessing of wisdom. The wrong way to go now is having a paladin cast wisdom and a shaman drop mana spring—both mana regen won’t stack, thus wasting a group buff.

This decision could probably benefit alchemists a tad in theory, as players will want to buy mana regen flasks more often than pre-patch 3.1.

We are making a change to these spells so that their benefits are exclusive in patch 3.1.0. The buffs will be equivalent, but will no longer stack. Mana Spring will affect the entire raid instead of just the shaman

PTR Testing Schedule Updated – March 13-18

It looks like double posting the news, but it is rather an update to the previous one.  A new PTR testing schedule update has been released.  Blizzard needs you to type /combatlog before engaging these bosses and then submit the log to them. The log may be found in your WoW folder within the logs folder. The numbering matches the date. To disable logging you can type oncreen again: /combatlog.

Blizzard Quote:
Here’s the current schedule for Ulduar PTR testing. We’re currently in a mild holding pattern while we wait for a new PTR build with updated changes to most all the bosses, Mimiron, Auriaya, more loot, etc. As a reminder, this schedule could change further depending on build status.

On the North American test realms:

Mimiron – Friday Night, March 13, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
Hodir – Saturday Night, March 14, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
Flame Leviathan – Sunday, March 15, starting at 2pm EDT/11am PDT.
Ignis the Furnace Master – Monday Night, March 16, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
XT-002 Deconstructor – Tuesday Night, March 17, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.
Kologarn – Wednesday Night, March 18, starting at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT.

On the European test realms:

Mimiron – Friday Night, March 13 at 19:00 CET.
Auriaya – Saturday Night, March 14, at 19:00 CET.
Flame Leviathan – Sunday Night, March 15, starting at 19:00 CET.
General Vezax – Monday Night, March 16, starting at 19:00 CET.
Thorim – Tuesday Night, March 17, starting at 19:00 CET.
Freya – Wednesday Night, March 18, starting at 19:00 CET.

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.

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