New Rise of the Lich King Stein Collection

3 Point Entertainment had successful sales of the World of Warcraft Steins and launched a new series at the end of 2008.  They have established themselves so well in the World of Warcraft market that a new collectible series based on Wrath of the Lich King has been announced recently.

Featuring Arthas the Lich King, the new stein comes in two flavors: Epic Collection for $89.99 and the Legendary Collection for $174.99. These new steins will be available on late April and late May.

Blizzard Quote:

Epic Collection

  • Shipping late April
  • Incredible Alex Horley artwork
  • Fine-grain stoneware with bas-relief sculpting
  • Sculpted pewter lid
  • Limited production
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

Legendary Collection

  • Shipping late May
  • Limited to only 750 steins worldwide
  • Hand signed by Alex Horley
  • Exquisite enhancements including premium hand painting (See FAQ for more details)
  • Limit 1 stein per customer
  • Purchase 2+ steins and pay only $12.95 shipping/handling on your total order!*

World of Warcraft # 16—The Return of Cho’gall

As revealed by Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson in our 2009 New York Comic Con video interview, The first Ogre Magi transformed by Gul’dan with the Runestone of Isle of Caer Darrow is back. Cho’gall did not die with the two axes to his chest, as depicted in the Pocket Star Book World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal.

Cho’gall is the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer Clan and in this upcoming issue # 16 he is at the chamber of … C’Thun in the Ahn’Qiraj Temple.

Blizzard Quote:
In the latest issue of the World of Warcraft comic, Broll receives a mysterious summons away from Theramore on the eve of the summit between King Varian and Thrall. Garona is taken captive by the Forsaken, but to what end? Plus, the return of Rehgar Earthfury! Check out the preview pages for yourself.

If you like what you see, you can visit Wildstorm for more information, locate a nearby comic store, or subscribe to the series directly.

Ulduar Lore

Patch 3.1 is coming underway imminently.  Blizzard has unleashed the lore behind the Ulduar dungeon.  A dungeon that will come in two flavors: 10-players and 25-players, including heroic-mode. This dungeon is set to be harder than Naxxramas and Obsidian Sanctuary, with a new badge system: Emblem of Conquest. Blizzard has also released images of some of the bosses to be found within Ulduar. Looks like we are fighting Giants of Frost, Fire, Life and more.

Ulduar

For countless millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. But since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure’s original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan’s mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is a horror even the Titans could not, would not destroy, an evil they merely… contained.

Beneath ancient Ulduar, the Old God of death lies, whispering…. Tread carefully, or his prison will become your tomb.

As the next step in tiered raid progression in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar is set to blow players away with gorgeous setpieces, sprawling battlefields, and innovative boss encounters. Ulduar’s design aims to provide a fun, unique, and innovative raid experience, but it also includes additional challenges – and rewards – for seasoned raiders. In this sneak-peek at World of Warcraft’s newest raid dungeon, we’ll take a look at some of the new content that makes Ulduar rise above the crop of amazing dungeons already available in World of Warcraft.

Welcome to Ulduar

Many players have already gotten their Wrath of the Lich King raiding feet wet in Naxxramas and the Sartharion raid, but Ulduar is the first example of the expansion’s much larger, truly epic scope of raiding, as will be evident from the second you set foot in the instance. The most obvious difference between Ulduar and its predecessors is that the dungeon actually comprises two separate raid areas. The first section is an epic battle against a vast army standing between you and the entrance of the dungeon proper; in the second area, you will dive into the heart of the dungeon itself and finally discover the secrets of Ulduar.

Ulduar’s new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests – including you, especially you – from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you’ll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar’s threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you’ve plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you’d like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan’s different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft’s most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Hard Boiled

Ulduar brilliantly illustrates the new design challenges and innovations that come with the bigger scope of the expansion’s raids. In order to make raid content more accessible, it has to offer a lot of variety, but it also needs to include a very granular means for players to adjust a raid’s difficulty. This concept was first realized in the Burning Crusade with the introduction of Heroic mode, and Wrath of the Lich King is developing the idea even further with new Hard Modes.

Boss fights that have a Hard Mode are affected by certain variables which players can control and which change the encounter’s difficulty. For example, spread throughout Ulduar’s vehicle section are four defense towers you can destroy. The more towers you leave intact, the harder the encounter with the Flame Leviathan will be, but the loot will also be better.

Ulduar isn’t the first dungeon to include Hard Mode, but it certainly makes the most use of it. Out of 14 bosses, 11 will have a Hard Mode that offers additional challenges and rewards. Ulduar will appeal to a wide range of play styles, but the dungeon also has great longevity and a high replay value.
Ulduar’s new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests – including you, especially you – from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you’ll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar’s threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you’ve plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you’d like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan’s different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft’s most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Thx, HandClaw.

2009 New York Comic Con Coverage

You can check out all the Blizzard products showcased at the New York Comic Con in our coverage page. I was there in person, digital camcorder on hand to be your eyes and ears.

Tokyopop had a manga book signing session with Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Josh Elder and Grace Randolph. And showcased Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 and Starcraft Frontlines Vol. 2.

I interviewed Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson at the Simon & Schuster booth where they talked in-depth about World of Warcraft: Arthas and even awesome spoilers about World of Warcraft: Stormrage—heck, it is not even listed in Amazon.

DC Unlimited showcased the three new action figures: Lo’gosh, Night Elf Huntress Alathena Moonbreeze and Scourge Ghoul Rottingham.

DC Comics teased StarCraft # 1 comic book.

2009 NYCC: Tokyopop Metzen and Neilson Signing

We were at the New York Comic Con 2009 to bring you videos of the event. Today, you can watch the book signing session held at the Tokyopop booth where Blizzard Entertainment Senior VP of Creative Development Chris Metzen and the Senior Writer & Voice Director Micky Neilson joined book writers Keith R.A. DeCandido (Starcraft Ghost: Academy), Josh Elder (StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 1) and Grace Randolph (Starcraft Frontline Vol. 2) to meet and greet fans.

At the end of video # 2 you will see Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson signing the Starcraft Comic Book Posters exclusively for our giveaway to fans. They are also signed by the manga writers. If you want the opportunity to win one of these signed posters follow the link to participate.

If you were at the event, you will probably have great memories to share with your friends and guildmates. Enjoy.


Video # 1

Video # 2

Win a Warcraft Legends Vol. 3 Giveaway

This week I am shipping a Warcraft Legends Vol. 3, courtesy of Tokyopop, to a lucky fan that participates in this giveaway. All you need to do is to type: I WANT A WARCRAFT LEGEND at the following thread.

There you can read a very interesting round up of one of the stories within the manga concerning Trag the tauren (from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy) who returned from the grave as a undead.  His journey brought him to his people seeking help for his condition, just to meet betrayal from his brothers. Thrall gave Trag the means to regain his mind from the calling of the Lich King. Eventually, Trag reaches the icy wastelands with the quest to enact revenge against him.

Next week, It will be Blizzplanet’s turn for a giveaway. So stay tuned.

Blizzard Lead Producer Moves To New MMO

Our network site, IncGamers, got the MASSIVE breaking news that WoW Lead Producer Jeff Kaplan has moved away from the World of Warcraft team to focus all his time and effort on the Blizzard Entertainment’s unannounced Next-Gen MMO.

He will still be participating in certain WoW development decisions, but his new tasks will keep him busy on the development of the next-gen MMO. This brings a lot of speculation vibe to it. Why reveal he’s moved to the next-gen MMO team? Why now? Fans wouldn’t have even figured out he was missing except for the BlizzCast Q&As that aren’t released so often.

Will there be a new Blizzcon this year? Are we witnessing hints of an impending game announcement this year?

Will this Next-Gen MMO be a resurrected Starcraft: Ghost game? The game was postponed, not canceled.  It is quite possible. Back on Blizzcon 2005, fans played Starcraft: Ghost multiplayer. It looked more like an MMO than a console game. Another possible hint this game could resurface is the four Starcraft: Ghost printed-format books in development. Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star Books will publish Starcraft Ghost: Spectre by the end of 2009. Keith R.A. DeCandido has written around four chapters thus far.

Tokyopop will publish a manga trilogy titled Starcraft Ghost: Academy, aimed to be released throughout 2010. The Year of the Ghost. Speculations, speculations. Don’t we love that time of the year when Blizzard itches to tell something is being brewed in their headquarters?

Will it be a Starcraft MMO or Diablo MMO? It would be hard to tell. Back on 2002, two games were in development parallel to each other: World of Warcraft and Warcraft III.  Both games tied up lorewise with the introduction of the Night Elves, Tauren, Undead races and the Kalimdor and Northrend continents.

Starcraft 2 is now developed to be three separate episodes of around 30 maps each.  This could be seen as expanding the lore to introduce an MMO.  On the other side, we have Diablo 3. It hasn’t been revealed if it will be split into episodes, but last year it was revealed that the storyline in Diablo 3 wouldn’t be the end. The Creative Development Team has plenty of story to tell beyond Diablo 3. Whether that is via expansions or … coughs … a Next-Gen MMO, that remains to be seen.

Keep your eyes open through the summer for any Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals or Blizzcon announcements. It could very well mean the unveiling of the mysterious Next-Gen MMO. Big thumbs up to Jeff Kaplan and his team. Make us proud and make the best MMO experience possible.

Blizzard Quote:
Tigole: I wanted to take a moment to let the community know that I

Ghostcrawler Dual-Spec Q&A

The US Community Manager Nethaera got an awesome interview with developer Ghostcrawler to immerse us into the new Dual-Spec feature. This allows players to use two separate sets of talents that can be easily switched to be used in an appropriate situation. You can be a healer on PvE, or a DPS beast on PvP—for example. Or you can be a tank on PvE dungeons, and go all-out DPS for solo-farming and solo-quests. Talent Dual-spec is a great and flexible feature.

The complex design behind it at a glance seems to be very well-thought and implemented, making it as hassle free as possible. Inscribers can summon a Lexicon of Power in a raid via a ritual.  This summoned item will allow players to switch their spec; or you can visit any major city to use the Lexicon of Power.

You can save talent specs, glyphs, and action bars per spec; and a gear management system that works separately was also revealed. You can switch gear and trinkets manually with a click. Most of these features, minus the gear management system will be available on PTR when it is ready. Make sure to participate on PTR when it is up to test these new features and to iron out bugs before dual-spec hits live realms. The complete Q&A can be read after the break.

Blizzard Quote:
Talent Dual Spec Q&A with Ghostcrawler
With the next content patch, we will be introducing a number of additions and changes to the game. One new feature in the works is the ability to set up two separate sets of talents, or “dual spec”. While the complete feature may not be immediately available in the Public Test Realms (PTR) and specifics are still liable to change, we wanted to go over some questions with Senior Game Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to find out more.

Nethaera: What is dual speccing?
Ghostcrawler: Dual speccing is the ability to save two separate talent specs, glyphs, and action bars.

Nethaera: Why are we allowing players to dual spec after all this time?
Ghostcrawler: We really felt like this was a great way to increase the flexibility available to players and encourage them to take part in more aspects of the game. To use just one example, some players like to participate in both raids and Arenas, which is awesome behavior that we want to promote. But, there are some talents which are more useful in one part of the game than another. Currently, players have to pay respec costs and go through the process of setting up the desired talent spec and action bars whenever they switch.

The new system makes this a much more logical process, saving on time and cost and allowing players to easily move from one aspect of the game to another.

Nethaera: Who will be able to use it?
Ghostcrawler: Players who have reached the maximum level will be able to set up dual specs.

Nethaera: Why do players need to be max level in order to do this?
Ghostcrawler: We didn

2009 NYCC: Metzen & Neilson Pocket Books Signing Video

Many Blizzard fans attended the 2009 New York Comic Con for the opportunity to meet the thundergod Chris Metzen (Senior VP of Creative Development) and Micky Neilson (Senior Writer & Voice Director) during the Simon & Schuster book signing session.

There were a lot of happy fans handing over their copies of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, the Comic Book Vol. 1 hardcover, even the Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition Art Book. I remember one of the fans brought the wall-mounting accessory of the Frostmourne sword replica to be signed. It was a fun experience to both Alliance and Horde players; and the developers were quite satisfied and passionate about the fans’ reactions.

Blizzplanet and WorldofWar.net was there to interview both Blizzard developers, and to record most of the book signing session. Below you can watch all three videos.


Video # 1

Video # 2

Video # 3

2009 NYCC: New DC Unlimited World of Warcraft Action Figures

During my visit to the 2009 New York Comic Con, I visited the DC Comics booth to check out their World of Warcraft action figures and the artists. Chris Metzen had told me after the interview to return to the booth to see three new action figures: King Varian Wrynn (Lo’gosh), a Night Elf Huntress named Alathena Moonbreeze and a Scourge Ghoul named Rottingham. These look awesome. If you are a action figures collector, these will do great. Their armor, weapons and clothing are very detailed and colorful. Very accurate to the game, standing on impressive poses.

The DC Comics was packed with hundreds of people, the ambient was welcoming with tall posters of each franchise, especially the World of Warcraft comic book. They were showcasing video on big HD monitors of DC Online, DC vs Mortal Kombat, and even playing the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King cinematic intro. I got video of each DC Unlimited World of Warcraft action figure from different angles for your viewing pleasure. As well as close ups. Enjoy.

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