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Filed under: Europe

TCG art contest winners announced

Some of the coolest contests happen in the EU, and unfortunately, sometimes completely under our radar. World of Warcraft in Europe recently announced the winners of a contest held between November 23 and December 6, 2009 (that's a period of two weeks, so even the folks in Europe might've missed out on it) which asked folks to design their own World of Warcraft trading card. We told you the coolest contests happen in the EU.

Winners were announced last December 18, 2009, with Blizzard apparently selecting the best entries according to language. Five winners were selected, with J. Hoermandinger winning the top prize for English submissions with the Boo'Yah "Brickhead" card; D. Klenk was the German winner with Shilanya; S. Mariez won the French top prize with Perséphia Tristombe; A. Fuentes Garcia was the Spanish winner with Nairies; and A. Kirsanova won the Russian prize with a thankfully nameless but awesome-looking card (Cyrillic would be a little troublesome to jot down here).

The contest awarded a veritable Upper Deck treasure trove that included a Death Knight deluxe starter kit, a World of Warcraft miniatures game starter kit and booster pack, and the ScourgeWar epic collection which has the Tiny loot card. The loot card enables Horde characters to mount a miniature raptor and Alliance characters to ride a miniature pony to move at unmounted speed. Congratulations to the all the winners! For those of you who missed out on the fun, you can always make your own TCG cards by downloading their Horde or Alliance templates. Enjoy!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Contests, Fan art, Europe

WoW's 5th anniversary celebrations have begun

The celebrations have started in Europe and Oceania, anyway! Players in these regions have started to receive their Onyxian Whelps in the mail, along with a letter welcoming them to a new year in Azeroth and a feat of strength upon logging in. This probably means that those of us in the United States (and Canada and whatever other magical lands are in the region) will be getting ours tomorrow. Considering Pilgrim's Bounty also starts tomorrow, it's kind of exciting! It really is a holiday in Azeroth.

The screenshot above comes from Enduser of Ghostlands EU. Since most of us here at WoW.com are US players, we're in dire need of screenshots! If you have any, please send them our way along with your character name (if you want credit for it) so we can add them to a gallery!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Europe

Blizzard pet store now regional

In a short (but not necessarily sweet) announcement, Zarhym announced on the official forums that the recently opened Blizzard pet store are now regional. This means that pets purchased from, say, the European store can only be redeemed on European World of Warcraft accounts. He doesn't go into detail other than to say that pets that have already been purchased from one region and redeemed in another region are not affected by this change.

While it's a curious move on the surface, it effectively restricts players from Europe purchasing their Pandaren Monk and Lil' K.T. from the US store where the pets are cheaper at $10 compared to €10 or £10 in the EU (roughly $15). Interestingly enough, the pets are priced at ₩12,000 in the Korean version of the store, which is about the same price as in the US ($10.3). It's unclear why the European version of the pets -- along with a few other Blizzard store items -- are more expensive, a fact that makes Turpster huff and puff and blow Azerothian houses down.

Obvious business reasons aside, it also creates a minor inconvenience for people who would like to give the pets as gifts to players in other regions. However, considering that many vanity pet codes have been regional in the past, such as those given away during Blizzard special events, it's not a surprising move. Then again, this whole foray into microtransactions was a bit of a surprise, so we've learned to never underestimate those folks from Irvine.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Europe

IgroMir 2009: More Cataclysm guild leveling details

IgroMir is Russia's largest gaming convention -- sort of an Eastern European Electronic Entertainment Expo (E5?) -- and Blizzard made an appearance there this week, showing off World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II. Besides the demo booths, visitors could look forward to panels with J. Allen Brack (the current WoW head honcho) and Chris Sigaty (SC2 grand poobah), trivia contests with the Russian Blizzard CMs, and goblin/worgen leveling contests.

But, of course, here at WoW.com we're mostly interested in Cataclysm news, so let's get right to it, shall we?

In his Cataclysm panel, Brack touched on two subjects -- Tol Barad, the new outdoor PVP zone/quest hub, and the new guild leveling system. The Tol Barad talk was apparently nothing new, but the guild leveling talk had some good information in it. Not everything discussed here is new, but some of it is, so I'll just reiterate what he said.

After the jump, of course.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Europe, Cataclysm

Emergency European maintenance this evening

A little while ago, 2 am Paris time, servers went down in the EU for emergency maintenance. More specifically, "emergency database maintenance." They're estimated to be down until 4 am Paris time, which by my estimate is another hour or so. Should that maintenance be extended any further, we'll be sure to let you know right here on WoW.com.

Many thanks to our followers on Twitter for alerting us of this downtime, because our European staff members are apparently off doing silly things like sleeping. Thanks a lot, guys. Because of that, I'm now inflicting cultural stereotypes on you all in the form of the picture at the top of this post. Don't take your rage out on me, take it out on the warlock.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Europe

EU Battle.net problems


Many folks this afternoon playing on EU servers have tipped us to the issues going on with Battle.net. It seems that they are unable to logon, with all accounts being stuck on the "Connecting" phase.

This is really bad timing for this to be happening, as it was just announced yesterday that on November 11th in the US and November 12th in the EU all accounts will have to be converted to Battle.net accounts. Many people are concerned that these problems will persist through the conversion, although it's important to remember that these issues have existed before Battle.net came about as well.

There has not been any official word from Blizzard on today's EU problems, but that hopefully be coming along shortly -- along with an idea of when it all will be fixed.

Filed under: News items, Europe

Blizzard releases details on Icecrown Citadel


Looks like patch 3.3 might be closer than we thought. Over on the European site, we have a massive info dump about Icecrown Citadel's Frozen Halls, a new instance with normal and heroic versions offering iLevel 219 (on Normal) and 232 (on Heroic) gear. It sounds like the new 5 man we were told was coming. (Edited to add: the North American site has caught up to our European brethren.)

It seems that Horde and Alliance each get their own juicy lore goodness in addition to loots, as players will be able to accompany Sylvanas Windrunner or Jaina Proudmoore as they seek a path into the heart of Icecrown Citadel for their individual reasons. (It's safe to say Sylvanas is probably looking to shoot Arthas a lot.) Once inside the Frozen Halls, players must confront the bosses of the Forge of Souls and the Pit of Saron before finally confronting Arthas himself. Sounds pretty bloody epic to me.

The text indicates that each section will have its own unique means of challenging the players before confronting the bosses. With names like Bronjahm the Godfather of Souls (is that a James Brown reference) and Scourgelord Tyrannus, I think it's safe to assume we're not going to be offered tea and crumpets, unless of course they're evil tea and necromantic crumpets.

So there you have it. Go forth and feast your eyes on screenshots of this 'massive, sprawling 5 player dungeon' if I may paraphrase.

Since we know many of you can't access WoW's official website at work, the complete details from Blizzard are reproduced after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King, Europe

European weekly maintenance: 23rd & 24th September 2009


Many of our characters may be lying face down in the snow, beer mug still in hand, at 3am on a Wednesday morning -- but that's not going to stop the weekly maintenance. Normal scheduled maintenance for most realms means an outage between 3am and 11am, Paris time (CEST).

As well as this regular maintenance two English Battlegroups (Reckoning and Ruin) will be receiving optimizations to their instance capacity. This will mean an extended outage on Wednesday until 5pm CEST and also a further outage between 3am and 7am on Thursday. I'm sure players on these servers will be glad to finally join those who have already received this optimisation to help resolve the Door Boss issue. Full list of realms impacted after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items, Europe

Faction changes available in Europe


Since World of Warcraft's paid faction change service launched in the US at the beginning of the month, not a day has gone by when we have not received tips, questions, and complaints asking when the feature would be available in Europe. Well, European readers, the wait is over! So if you're eager to go from Gnome to Orc, all you need to do is head over to the account management page and be willing to pony up 25.00 Euros or 20.00 Pounds for the privilege. If you're the indecisive sort, remember you can only change your character's faction every 60 days -- but read the FAQ for full details. What the FAQ doesn't tell you, though, is that you should be prepared to lose your Argent Tournement standing if you make the jump -- so, to anyone jumping on the faction change bandwagon I hope you enjoy jousting!

However, if you're just wanting to change races within your current faction, this is not the service you're looking for. Blizzard has said they plan to make same-faction race changes available in the future and Ancilorn confirms this is the plan for Europe, as well.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Europe

How I WoW ends its run, Patrick Beja to work for Blizzard


Our good friends Patrick Beja and Shawn Coons (who you've likely heard on our podcast before a few times) have posted the very last episode of the popular and excellent How I WoW podcast. Both Turpster and I have appeared on and enjoyed the show, as we've said before, and they're calling it quits -- the final episode features Scott Johnson of The Instance podcast (who was also on the very first episode, so that's fitting), and besides saying goodbye to their audience, the three guys talk very insightfully about the WoW community and its podcasters, and the kinds of ties we create as players in places as varied as the game, the online community, and real-life events like BlizzCon.

The show is ending (temporarily, perhaps -- Shawn hints that he may revive it, or help someone else to do so) mostly because Patrick Beja, as we heard at the very end of BlizzCon, is off to work for Blizzard in their Paris office. Unfortunately, he says he won't have a very public face at the company, but he's excited to have the position, and we're obviously very happy for him. He won't be able to podcast about World of Warcraft or Blizzard at all, so as Shawn says in the final show, there will definitely be a Patrick-shaped hole in the community. He won't be gone completely, though: he says will be able to continue his other podcasting work, including on The Movielicious podcast with our very own Turpster.

We wish Patrick and Shawn the best, and if you haven't yet tuned in to How I WoW, definitely go give it a listen while the archives are still up -- it's a very interesting take on some of the more familiar faces in the community at large. We'll miss the show for sure.

Filed under: Podcasting, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Interviews, Europe

European weekly maintenance: September 2nd 2009

It's nearly the middle of the week once more as well as the start of September. Can anyone else smell autumn yet? The days are getting cooler (thank you!) and the nights, darker. It will be the Harvest Festival in a couple of weeks with free food outside Ironforge and Ogrimmar and there are only so many days till Hallow's End and Christmas/Winter's Veil (sorry, I couldn't resist). However the onset of autumn, as well as being my favourite time of year, also means more time to play WoW. Just not on Wednesdays.

This week Blizzard will be taking all European realms offline from 1:00am until 11:00am (CEST). However a selection of realms will be down for longer "to address instance capacity." These realms will be offline from 1:00am to 3:00pm on Wednesday and 3:00am to 7:00am (CEST) on Thursday:

Agamaggan, Aggramar, Al'Akir, Arathor, Argent Dawn, Aszune, Azjol-Nerub, Bladefist, Bloodhoof, Bloodscalp, Burning Blade, Burning Legion, Crushridge, Daggerspine (oh boo, that's me), Deathwing, Doomhammer, Draenor, Dragonblight, Dragonmaw, Dunemaul, Emerald Dream, Sunstrider, Twilight's Hammer and Zenedar.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, News items, Europe

Upper Deck announces Amsterdam Darkmoon Faire

European fans of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game are in luck as the Darkmoon Faire will be visiting Amsterdam this September. Upper Deck, who host the events, are expecting 350 players to attend and are offering a host of prizes, including a goody bag for every attendee as well as raffle with some really epic loot as prizes. The goody bag contains a T-Shirt, regular and exclusive Mini figures, a Death Knight Starter pack, some battleground cards, a demo CD, a common loot card and an entry form for the raffle.

The raffle is where things get interesting. Upper Deck have fifteen prizes up for grabs which have a combined worth of €5000. They are giving away:
  • One Frostmourne sword
  • Two Collectors Editions of Wrath of the Lich King
  • Five exclusive Wrath of the Lich King mousepads
  • Two complete sets of Minis
  • Five Spectral Tiger mounts
The event will be taking place at Westergasfabriek between September 12th and 13th. Tickets are free so if you're in Amsterdam that weekend, you might want to pop along.

Filed under: Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, WoW TCG, Europe

European weekly maintenance: 26th August 2009

So BlizzCon is over for another year and the road to Cataclysm stretches out in front of us. In Azeroth, things continue as they always do. Wednesday, as every WoW player in Europe knows, is maintenance day and Blizzard have just announced their plans. Tomorrow will see scheduled maintenance, meaning all European realms will be offline from 3:00am until 11:00am (CEST). On top of that, a selection of realms will be getting extended maintenance to hopefully fix that annoying instance-launching problem.

Aerie Peak, Anachronos, Boulderfist, Chamber of Aspects, Eonar, Frostmane, Grim Batol, Jaedenar, Kazzak, Kilrogg, Outland, Ravenholdt, Saurfang, Tarren Mill, Vek'nilash and Wildhammer will all be offline from 1:00am to 3:00pm (CEST) on Wednesday, and also from 3:00am to 7:00am on Thursday 27th August. The sheer length of this maintenance means that hopefully Blizzard might be close to cracking it, so hang on in there, okay?

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Blizzard, Expansions, Europe

European weekly maintenance: 19th August 2009


Greetings folks, the middle of the week beckons once more! Only a few more days until BlizzCon and the Big Reveal. Excited yet? Come on, be honest, we're all friends here. As the rest of Team WoW.com boards their planes, trains, automobiles and - in Turpster's case - boats to rendezvous in sunny LA, some of us (eg me) has to stay behind and cover things remotely. While it would be nice to be there, I get to watch all the cool stuff from the privacy of my own living room come office, enjoy my Grunty (in six to eight weeks) and work in a brightly lit room on a comfy chair. Oh, and no blisters.

So, it's maintenance time. Thankfully, it's a brief week with a live maintenance (yes folks it's rolling restart time) for all realms between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. CEST. As per usual every realm will receive the customary fifteen minute notice prior to being restarted. There we go, nice and simple. If my beloved cats let me (ha!), I'm sleeping right through this one but if you happen to be up an about, don't forget there's a lot to catch up on this week from the return of the Broodmother to the appearance of the patch 3.2.2 PTR servers.

See you on the other side!

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Europe

WoW Patch 3.2.2 PTR is up for the EU

Wow, okay, we didn't see that coming, at least not this fast. European Blue Wryxian announced this morning on the official forums that the PTRs are back up for testing patch 3.2.2. Character copy is up for both pre-mades and your own characters (the wait time is currently an hour but this is definitely going to change). There are four realms being offered, two PvP and two PvE: Remulos, Brill, Fordring and Naralex. So far, the PTRs seem limited to EU-only but we're sure America can't be far behind. We'll update you with more as we have more but in the meantime, if you have a European account, click here to download the client and copy over a character.

WoW.com is currently hopping onto the PTR as quickly as we can to find anything and everything we can, so keep an eye on the site.

Update: Patch notes are in the process of going up. We'll have them over here on WoW.com as well as soon as we're able.

Filed under: Patches, Events, Blizzard, News items, Events (In-Game), Europe

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