Posts Tagged ‘news’

Elemental Invasion Portals will Stay Open

Word just came down today that the portals that the elementals have been rampaging through for the past couple of weeks will stay open until further notice, just in case you “need anything from in there.” Interesting. Here’s the word from Bashiok on the new official forums:

Due to your valiant efforts in protecting the key invasion cities, the four boss portals are now ‘permanently’ open. If you need anything from inside the portals, or maybe you dropped your keys in there, now is the time to go through and get them.

Initial reports from shaman in the area that were available at time of publishing suggest that this is hinting at something far more sinister. One such shaman, a one ‘Krunkmaster’ from Proudmoore was quoted as saying “This is hinting at something far more sinister.”

Chilling!

You’ll want to stay tuned to the World of Warcraft community site for the latest developments on this and other events.

Oh dear. Well, the bright side is that the fun will remain for anyone looking to get in on the action who wasn’t able to – bad news is…well..what is that “something sinister” referred to there? It could be nothing, or could we be looking at a world-wide epic invasion awesomeness death and destruction launch event? We’ll just have to wait and see!

The Cataclysm Beta is Officially Over

keyboard deathwing

Well folks, that’s that – it’s all over. The Cataclysm beta is finished, all said and done. Sayeth the Zarhym on the official forums:

We’re just about two weeks out from the official global launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm! And with that, the time has come to conclude the beta test. We will be shutting down our beta realms momentarily. We want to sincerely thank all of you for your dedication to testing, providing feedback, reporting bugs, and everything else you’ve done to help us make this expansion the best World of Warcraft title to date.

Stay tuned to our new community site (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/) for the latest news and updates as we get closer to release. We’ll see you in Cataclysm!

Yeah, the down-side to this is that they aren’t doing anything fun like a wide open beta or any huge world-ending event in Cataclysm, but…well…it is the Cataclysm after all. That should be world-ending enough, shouldn’t it?

If you didn’t get into the beta, no worries – you only have a week or so left before the fun comes to you!

World of Warcraft’s 6th Anniversary – November 23, 2010

Next week, it’ll be six years since World of Warcraft hit store shelves, launching an empire that’s expanded across three expansion packs and over 12 million subscribers and growing. The game is still the defining title in the MMO genre, and it’s easy to forget that when the game launched there were questions over whether a subscription game could ever be popular, even if it was from a game developer with other successful titles under its belt like Blizzard.

The debate over subscription versus free-to-play seems to be a long ago echo in the past now, and there’s no doubt that even today MMOs copy the most successful elements of World of Warcraft to power their own titles and draw in subscribers or free-to-play players looking for an alternative experience. Even so, our beloved WoW wasn’t entirely original in its own right – it relied on tried and true methods of gameplay and mechanics, visuals, and techniques borrowed from the MMOs that went before it in order to become popular.

To celebrate, everyone who logs in gets a feat of strength achievement to celebrate the birthday – but if you didn’t play last year, where we all got the Baby Blizzard Bear for logging on for the 5th anniversary, you’re out of luck – there’ll be no anniversary pet this year! According to a blue post on the forums, Blizzard wants to reserve the pets for the special, significantly numbered anniversaries and occasions.

Blizzard Unveils New World of Warcraft Community Site

Blizzard unveiled the new World of Warcraft Community Site yesterday, which completely revamps the interface, updates the look specifically for Cataclysm, and among other things completely revamps the forums and the software that back-ends them.

The new community site looks cleaner and is definitely more up to date and interactive, includes more features and links to featured news, is easier to link to, and all in all performs much better than the old site. The site has a blog embedded on the front page with links to news that you can get from the front page and link around the Web more easily.

Perhaps most notably though are the changes to the forums. Take a look here:

The new forum layout is definitely different, but it’s much more well spaced and has a number of hover-over features that allow you to see recent posts in a specific thread and visual cues to let you know if the thread is active or has been posted in recently.

All of these new previews herald the eventual lock and removal of the old forums and the decommissioning of the old community site. Don’t worry, change may be difficult, but I don’t think you’ll miss the old site very much when you see the new one.

World of Warcraft Tops 12 Million Subscribers

Blizzard announced this morning that World of Warcraft had finally topped 12 million subscribers. I saw the news first in a post on Twitter from the @Warcraft account, but here’s the scoop from the press release:

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft®, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 12 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of World of Warcraft’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King®, and also as global anticipation continues to mount for the December 7 release of the game’s third expansion, Cataclysm™.

“The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December.”

The press release then goes on to hit a little history that I think we all know by this point – that World of Warcraft has done ridiculously well every year since its release, that it and its expansions have topped sales charts around the world each year, especially on years when expansions are released, and how World of Warcraft is clearly the most popular MMO franchise in the world.

Still, you have to ask the question: how does Blizzard do it? Even now, in a year between expansions where people are eagerly anticipating the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and many people have even stopped playing the game entirely because the content from the last expansion has been exhausted, Blizzard doesn’t just have staying power, but it’s proven that it has growing power even during dormant periods (for the players anyway – clearly not for developers.)

It’s really impressive, all things told – and I have every reason to believe that the player base will see a boost when mainland China gets its version of World of Warcraft, and when Cataclysm comes out early next year.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm to be Released on December 7th

Blizzard announced this morning that the date we’ve all been waiting for, the release date for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be December 7th, 2010, according to a post over at Shacknews, which cites Blizzard as the original source of the report.

If correct, and it likely is, the Shack is no slouch (trust me, I’m a Shacker,) this means that all of the nonsense Amazon has been pulling by changing the shipping dates for pre-orders is just that – nonsense, and that Amazon may have heard rumbling that a release date is coming, but nothing confirmed.

If you haven’t pre-ordered, now’s the time to do it!

Update: We just got the press release, and here it is confirming the news:

IRVINE, Calif., Oct 04, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft(R): Cataclysm(TM), the highly anticipated third expansion for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game*, will be released starting on December 7, 2010. The expansion will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows(R) XP/Windows Vista(R)/Windows(R) 7 and Macintosh(R) at a suggested retail price of $39.99 and will also be offered as a digital download from the Blizzard Store. A special Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items will be available exclusively in retail stores for a suggested retail price of $79.99.

“Cataclysm includes the best content we’ve ever created for World of Warcraft. It’s not just an expansion, but a re-creation of much of the original Azeroth, complete with epic new high-level adventures for current players and a redesigned leveling experience for those just starting out,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With the help of our beta testers, we’re putting on the final polish, and we look forward to welcoming gamers around the world to enjoy it in just a couple of months.”

The first two World of Warcraft expansions, The Burning Crusade(R) and Wrath of the Lich King(R), each shattered PC game sales records upon their release.* In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races – worgen and goblins – will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.

The beta test for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is currently underway. Visit the official Battle.net(R) website at http://www.battle.net to set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate. To learn more about World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, visit http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm.

Video :: Archaeology Preview – Cataclysm Beta

Straight from the mouth of the cynical Brit himself, TotalBiscuit, comes this fabulous new preview of the upcoming secondary skill coming in Cataclysm, Archaeology. Since it’ll be a secondary skill, it means that anyone will be able to learn it, much like fishing or first aid.

TB walks through the skill as it stands in the beta now, and some of the things you’ll be able to do with it when Cataclysm is released. Head over to YouTube to see the video in higher-quality, widescreen glory!

Edited: Cataclysm Point Conversion Announced

Lately I’ve been doing a lot more tweeting. Especially about WoW. I’ve been working on gearing up to be most prepared for the Cataclysm release. My druid has already made the server transfer over to Eldre’Thalas, my original WoW home realm. So, reading all of the various blogs from those who are actually on the beta, I’ve come to realize a few things.

1. We’re all (and by all I mean each and every single person playing WoW right now) going to be relearning the game… all over again. All of us on equal footing.
2. Some quest reward gear from Cataclysm will be better than most T10 items from WotLK, much like WotLK quest rewards were better than BC end game items, and Vanilla before that.
3. The game will be wholly different than what we’ve all become accustomed to.

Lately Ive been reconnecting with old friends from EldreThalas on twitter (find me at a @hestiahdruid if youd like). Lots going on there. My friend Kurn is rebuilding her old guild. Were getting ready to hit the ground running at the very onset of Cataclysm, and Im getting excited over the possibilities! Getting to see the game before its been old news for months. Wowhead let me know, via twitter, that a Blizzard announced the currency conversions.

Previously it had been announced that Blizzard was taking WoW to a point system that was universal across the board. Something I believe should have been implemented a long time ago, but I digress. All of your old badges of Conquest, Valor, Heroism and Justice will be converted to a designated gold amount while Emblems of Frost and Triumph will convert directly over to the new Justice Point system. Equally a similar conversion will happen with the Honor system and all previously earned honor points, Arena points, Wintergrasp Marks, etc.  will convert over to the new Honor Point system.

There is a hard cap of 4000 points for either point system. At the beginning of Cataclysm there will be a soft cap allowing those players who have banked large quantities of Emblems or Marks to go over the hard cap. The difference being, players will not be able to earn more Justice Points or Honor Points until the previous points are spent to below the 4000 cap. All Justice points and Honor points earned over the cap will be converted to their designated monetary value and mailed to the character.

The biggest thing to pay attention to is the fact that both Frost and Triumph emblems have the same conversion value into the new system. Anyone without a raiding guild knows that obtaining Frost Emblems is much harder than getting Triumph Emblems. At level 80 you can earn 2 Frost Emblems for a random dungeon, and 5 Frost emblems once a week for the weekly. Anything above that requires the player to participate in ICC or VoA to get Frost Emblems.

A player needs roughly 1500 emblems of both types to even come close to hitting the hard cap once Cataclysm arrives. Those of us who want to have the ability to spend freely once the expansion hits know this means its time to run back-to-back random dungeons.

EDIT:  The new conversion rate of emblems has been changed to reflect an equivalent mathematical value to the current emblem system. This blue post explains that Frost and Triumph emblems now convert at a 11.58 Justice Point per emblem. Meaning that in order to max out at the start of 4.0.1, you’ll need roughly 345 Frost/Triumph emblems.

Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane’s Fall Available After Today’s Patch

After today’s maintenance, Horde and Alliance players will find that the updated instances for Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane’s Fall will be available to enter, so Horde players can head into the Echo Isles to retake the Troll homelands and put an end to Zalazane’s tyranny, and the Gnomes and their allies can muster their forces to retake the Gnomes’ home city of Gnomeregan.

The quests went live on the PTRs a while back, and today’s the day for them to go up on the live realms. Ready?

Heroic Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep Will Be Ready for Cataclysm

Back when Blizzard hosted the Cataclysm Press Tour, one of the unfortunate things we saw mentioned was the possibility that heroic versions of The Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep might not be ready in time for the launch of Cataclysm, and that they may have to wait for a future content patch update to give the team more time to work on them.

Well, word came down yesterday that those fears were nothing to worry about, because the two new dungeons will indeed be ready in time for the launch of Cataclysm, and players will be able to head in and see their favorite starting-game dungeons re-worked for the new world that we’ll get when the expansion comes out. Here’s the official word from Valnoth, when someone else in a thread stated that they wouldn’t be ready as fact and the reason why they weren’t available in beta:

Heroics are not ready for testing.

Heroic Shadowfang Keep and Heroic Deadmines WILL be released with Cataclysm. You will not have to wait for a later patch.

Strap on your pirate stompers kids, it’s back to Westfall for the Alliance and back to Silverpine Forest for the Horde!

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