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Posts with tag WarcraftIii

Blizzard bans 320,000 WarCraft III and Diablo II players

Blizzard appears to be cleaning house in preparation for its StarCraft II release as well as its Battle.net revamp. In a recent announcement on the service's forums, Blizzard rep Bashiok revealed that over 300,000 accounts were punished for violations of the terms of service for Warcraft III and Diablo II for using hacks and illegal third-party tools (which are essentially hacks).

For those of you who have had past experience with Battle.net, these numbers probably don't surprise you. The network has had a long reputation of being fairly easy on people using hacks as Blizzard tends to save up over a long period of time in order to do a massive batch of bans at once. This means that those who are using hacks have a long period of time to abuse the system before anything is done about it. The hacks for some games were rampant enough that other players began using hacks that detect other hacks. Regardless of the reason behind using a hack, it is still against the terms of service and means if you get caught, you're out.

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Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: The prequel

I know our own Elizabeth Harper had already started re-playing Warcraft III before BlizzCon, and a few days after I came home I reinstalled it (although Bioshock is taking up more of my time lately than anything else-- stupid Big Daddies). But what about you guys-- now that we know Arthas is just around the corner (in relative terms, of course-- this is Blizzard, after all), have you gone back to check out the last RTS game Blizz released?

If you've never played it, not only is it an awesome game, but you've probably already guessed from everything we've seen so far that it will be a perfect prequel to what we'll see in Northrend. Sure, if you've already heard all the lore, the whole thing's been spoiled for you, but if you really want to see what happened in Stratholme before we do the new CoT instance, or what all the echoes in the Lordaeron throne room are about, or even why there might be an Old God in Northrend, the game is worth checking out.

Are you planning on playing it if you haven't before, or have you already gone through it again lately, in expectation of seeing Arthas again?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

The claiming of Frostmourne

Blizzard has posted Chapter 2 of their little "Rise of the Lich King" series on the official Wrath of the Lich King website. It's called "The Claiming of Frostmourne," and it covers Arthas' descent into corruption, the razing of Stratholme (remember that place?), and the finding of the sword Frostmourne in Northrend.

If you've played Warcraft III, of course, this is all old news, as all these events are actually shown in that game. But if you haven't played Warcraft III (and its expansion, the Frozen Throne), now might be a good time to do so. While the Burning Crusade reflected more old school lore, including the creation of the Orcs and the opening of the Dark Portal, Wrath of the Lich King's history is pretty recent. Yes, Illidan appeared in the expansion, and others in Outland did as well. But since the beginning of Warcraft III, the story has been all about Arthas, and how bad things are done in the name of believed-to-be-good intentions.

With the next expansion, it'll be great to finally return to that story. Of course, my favorite part of Arthas' story is actually the scene that comes after "The Claiming of Frostmourne"-- what Arthas does after he obtains Frostmourne and is corrupted by the Lich King. Echoes of that are still heard (literally) in the world of Azeroth today.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard's Hero class implementation 101

Toeo of Dragonmaw wrote in to ask about a clarification on Hero classes (of which the Death Knight will be the first). What are they, what will they require, and what does it mean to be a Hero class? We are nothing if not helpful, so here's what we know about Hero classes (mostly from BlizzCon).

There were a number of ideas floating around about how Blizzard might implement Hero classes (mostly from D&D, in which Prestige classes are the precursor), but what they landed on was an "unlockable class," that's opened up to your account via a quest with a level 80 character-- that quest hasn't been created yet, so we're not sure what it will require*. So, to play as a Death Knight, you get a character of any class to level 80, do the Death Knight quest, and once your character has completed the quest, you can log on, and create a new character (of any race, we're told) that is of the Death Knight class.

That new character then starts at a higher level (anywhere from 55-70, but Blizzard hasn't decided where yet), with starter equipment of the appropriate level (again, Blizzard hasn't decided exactly which equipment yet or how it will work), and then the Death Knight character can work their way up to level 80 as well as a completely different character. Death Knights will have their own Rune resource system, and they will have their own three talent trees, just like all the other classes. It is a completely separate character, unlocked and able to be created when one of your level 80 characters finishes the quest.

*Update: Commenter Avalanche makes a good point: we don't know much about the quest, but we know it will be similar to the Warlock epic mount quest, and that it will not require raiding. Thanks, A.!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCon tournament brackets announced


We knew that there Blizzard was going to be holding tournaments for StarCraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft Arenas at BlizzCon, but until today we didn't know who would be participating. The BlizzCon site has been updated with a list of participating players along with brief player profiles. The Arena tournament will includes the top two teams from Korea's regional finals, the top two teams from the European regional finals, the top three teams from the American regional finals, and the winner of the 2005 BlizzCon Invitational. (Don't ask me how that works, since I'm quite sure we didn't have arenas in 2005.) And for those of you curious about worlds beyond Warcraft, check out the StarCraft and Warcraft III brackets.

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon

BlizzCon schedule leaked


Blizzard has, inexplicably, been keeping the schedule for BlizzCon under wraps. We at WoW Insider have been frantically planning coverage here, and yet we haven't heard a peep from Blizzard about what to expect during the show. But now WorldofWar has posted what seems to be a leaked schedule for the event (no word on how they obtained it), and we'll finally have some idea of how the days are laid out. Here's what to expect if you're headed to BlizzCon:
  • World of Warcraft and Starcraft II open gaming
  • WoW, Warcraft III, and Starcraft tournaments
  • An opening ceremony (where they'll announce a new game or expansion?)
  • Panels on WoW classes, dungeons and raids, professions and items, and PvP
  • A Starcraft II gameplay demo
  • More panels on Warcraft Art, Blizzard Sound/Music, Careers in Gaming, Cinematics, Starcraft II Lore and Art, WoW UI mods, the TCG, and the Expanded Universe (likely the Warcraft novels)
And the convention will wrap up with a big concert from L70ETC and Video Games Live hosted by Jay Mohr.

Sounds like a full few days! Of course there will also be an exhibit hall open the whole time, but we haven't heard much of what will be in there (don't forget that Xfire will be there, as well as Upper Deck and all the TCG folks, and of course the WoW Insider party will be before the convention starts on Thursday night). Stay tuned for more details as we get them. Under a week left!

Filed under: Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

Q&A with Jason Hayes

[Ahh, the music of WoW. Perfect for that romantic night out killing stuff with the one you love.]Now I will admit, I tend to alternate between playing the game music and playing my own music, depending on the zone. This is not because I don't like the soundtrack -- far from it. I've actually been known to play the World of Warcraft soundtrack in my car. (You can't imagine how fast you can weed out fellow Warcraft players by playing "Legends of Azeroth" -- or the Login Screen music -- at a stoplight with the windows down. hee!) But love it or hate it, the music of Warcraft has left its mark on our lives, even if it's just the goosebumps we got when we watched the trailer for World of Warcraft the first time and heard the music sweeping along with the images.

For those audiophiles who enjoy the music of Warcraft, Gamespot has an excellent interview with Jason Hayes, the man behind the sweeping songscapes in WoW. In this interview set to preface the PLAY! Symphony set to perform in Sydney, Australia from June 19-23, Jason talks about things as varied as his work with WoW, his thoughts on the movement to accept gaming as a legitimate art form, and the technical problems he faces as the composer of gaming soundtracks. He also includes some information about his plans for the future. (Maybe SC2? We can hope!)

All in all, an excellent interview well worth checking out after a weekend of WoW before the work week kicks in. (Or alternately, a great interview to catch up on while having your morning coffee when the work week has already hit.)

[via Gamespot]

Draenei Lore Update

There's a new post up by Chris Metzen that makes an attempt at explaining the interesting quandary of the new Draenei lore.  It's a fairly long post, so I'll summarize...
  • The change in the Eredar/Sargeras encounter was an accident, caused by not reviewing the older lore.
  • Sometimes you need to be a bit flexible with the world's history in order to "broaden the scope and accessibility of your setting."
  • They're going to run with the story as it currently is on the Burning Crusade site.  They feel it's a stronger story and have already started to build around it.
However, there's a lot more in the post and I highly suggest checking it out if you have the time.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

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