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Blizzard to host Community Round Table at gamescom 2012

Blizzard to host Community Round Table at Gamescom 2012
So, have you ever wanted to sit down with the people from Blizzard and tell them exactly what you think about their games? Well, here's your chance. Blizzard is hosting a series of Community Round Table events at this year's gamescom, covering everything from their involvement with e-sports to an artist workshop and focusing on the community and how it interacts with Blizzard.

If you want to take part, you're invited to email in and sign up, although demand is expected to be high and not everyone who signs up will be able to participate. You can sign up using the email links provided below, or head over to the official site for more details. I'd personally love to get to go to one of the MoP Features and Expectations panels.

Ulvareth - Community Round Table Meetings at gamescom 2012

At Blizzard, we believe that "Every Voice Matters." To that end, we'd like to extend an invitation to our community to join us at gamescom 2012 for round table meetings with members of the Blizzard Community team, where we'll sit down and talk about our games.

In these meetings, you'll be able to give direct feedback on certain topics, discuss these topics with us and other players, and get our views on points that matter to our community.

We're anticipating a huge demand for seats at these meetings, so unfortunately it won't be possible to accommodate everyone. Therefore, if you'd like to take part, you should apply by sending us an email in English. You can do so by clicking the link that corresponds to the meeting you'd like to attend, below. Please be sure to include the following details about yourself:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • How long you've been playing our games
  • What you'll contribute to the discussion

If you've written game guides, run an unofficial fan site or podcast, streamed your games, or engaged in any other way with the community, please mention it! While these are not requirements to attend one of the meetings, they would definitely be a plus. We're looking to gather a diverse group for each meeting – one that reflects the diversity of the Blizzard gaming community itself.

Please apply only if you're sure you'll be able to make it to the event in Cologne, Germany. It would be a shame to see an empty seat when someone else would have loved to fill it. Please be aware that travel to and entry into gamescom are entirely your own responsibility. Information on tickets can be found on the event's official site.

Round table meetings scheduled to take place at gamescom 2012:

Blizzard & eSports – 16.08.2012 – 10:00
Warcraft Experience – 16.08.2012 – 14:30
Artist Workshop – 17.08.2012 – 11:00 Please note: Only apply if you are an art student or art enthusiast!
Community Initiatives Ideas – 17.08.2012 – 11:00
Organising your eSports Tournament – 17.08.2012 – 16:00
MoP Features & Expectations – 18.08.2012 – 14:15
Community Initiatives Ideas – 19.08.2012 – 10:00
MoP Features & Expectations – 19.08.2012 – 14:00
SC II Voice of the players – 19.08.2012 – 15:00

Please be sure that the subject line of your email matches the meeting you would like to attend.

If you are interested in participating make sure to apply until Sunday, August 12. All selected applicants will be contacted via email one day before the start of gamescom.

For more information on Blizzard's activity at gamescom, visit our dedicated site. Good luck, and see you at gamescom 2012!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items

Cory Stockton refuses to be outdone in interview hijinks

Tremble, mortals, before he who was ancient (well, no, not really) when the game was young. Bow before Cory Stockton's yes-or-no interview with Player's Cut. Not one to let Dave Kosak (wonderful man, that Dave Kosak) outshine him, Lord Stockton (seen here with Lord Vader) also chose to answer a series of yes-or-no questions in an interview that's well worth your time.

Player's Cut seems to be blazing the trail for this style of interview. Who's next? Samwise? Mike Morhaime? Chris Metzen? Oh, a boy can dream, anyway.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Servers are now up, but Newfoundland is forever

Well, servers are up early, it seems. I'm standing in Dalaran right now. Why am I in Dalaran? I don't remember. The important thing is to note that yes, Newfoundland, there is a Blizzard Claus. Server maintenance, which had been extended to 3 p.m. PDT due to database updates, has apparently been finished slightly earlier than expected. Check to see if your server is among the ones that have come up.

I'm gonna go get ready for raid and keep reading about Newfoundland. I suggest you do too. Yes, both of those things.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items

Server maintenance extended to 3:00 p.m. PDT

The screenshot says it all, folks. Maintenance has been extended until 3:00 p.m. Pacific daylight time, which is 6:00 p.m. Eastern for those of you on the east coast (7:30 pm if you live in Newfoundland, according to the comments). Not much else to say there. We have a whole lot of stuff to read while you're waiting patiently (or impatiently, if you live in Newfoundland) for the servers to come up. Those databases don't do process updates to themselves.

My wife's from Newfoundland, in case you were wondering why I'm making so many references to it. I've always found it fascinating that it has so much history. I'm basically going to be reading about Newfoundland (and Labrador, too) during my time away from the game.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: News items

New Children's Week pets and quests

Wowhead News has unearthed some interesting additions to the Children's Week holiday, which starts this Sunday shortly after Noblegarden 2011 ends. For anyone worried about the meta-achievement For the Children, the achievements associated with the holiday haven't changed (more's the pity re: School of Hard Knocks), but the quest lines in classic Azeroth have.

If you're Alliance, the brand-new quest series starts with Children's Week, offered by Orphan Matron Nightingale in Stormwind; if you're Horde, it starts with Children's Week, offered by Orphan Matron Battlewail in Orgrimmar. Both new quest lines will see you surveying the changes to the local landscape in Cataclysm, in addition to meeting important lore figures and paying your respects to the dead. Afterwards, you'll go out for the traditional ice cream treat and then visit a local vendor to get kites to fly. Wowhead News has more details on the individual quests if you don't mind spoiling yourself.

The quest lines end with the offer of a new noncombat pet in addition to the usual Piglet's Collar, Rat Cage, and Turtle Box -- a new Snail's Shell! It looks like the Outland quest series will also offer a new pet called Legs, though there don't appear to be any new quests there. Experienced orphan herders thus have a reason to pick up a tyke again this year, and with any luck, the Wrath of the Lich King variant will be available even if you've done it before.

Filed under: News items

Female worgen now available on the beta

Female worgen are now available as of the beta build (13221) that just hit tonight. I haven't checked yet to see whether you can just make a new female worgen, but I was lucky to get a character redesign option on a male worgen I've played previously for a Shifting Perspectives column. Many of the animations and emotes were glimpsed in May on untextured models, but some are new. Running Wild currently appears to be a bit bugged (that's the extra limb or two you'll see). Their Two Forms animation also differs from the male worgen version.

Above, you'll see a video of the Two Forms and Running Wild animations. Past the cut you'll find a much longer video of all the model's current animated emotes, casting and channeling animations.

Read more →

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

BlizzCon 2010: Cataclysm will be available for digital download on launch day

Straight from the Mike Morhaime's mouth during opening ceremonies -- Cataclysm will be available for digital download at midnight Pacific Standard Time of December 7, 2010. For the first time in the game's history, the game will be available for purchase online at the same time as it launches in retail stores. Pre-orders for Cataclysm digital downloads will be available on the Blizzard site soon. Players eager to play the game right away but don't have the endurance (or geographical proximity) to attend a midnight launch can simply sit in the comfort of their homes and enter a broken Azeroth as the game goes live on launch day. CLARIFICATION: Morhaime mentioned that the game should be available for digital download ahead of the launch date, allowing players to have the full game when Cataclysm goes live.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Cataclysm cinematic now available

The Cataclysm cinematic has just become available, and -- words fail me -- it's amazing. Some folks behind the scene here think it's Blizzard's best yet, but personally, I think it's a dead heat between this and the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic.

Interestingly, there are no NPCs or characters of any kind visible in the cinematic apart from Deathwing himself (apart from a quick glimpse of what are probably a few goblin or human-looking armorers). You do see some extraordinary landscapes rendered in high-definition glory for the first time -- The Barrens, Thousand Needles, Darkshore and Stormwind -- and perhaps it's meant as a reminder that the aspect of death was once the aspect of earth and that he hasn't relinquished his power over the latter.

Sorry, gnomes; looks like you're still waiting for a cinematic debut!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Scheduled maintenance on US Realms for February 2nd

It looks like there will be realm maintenance for all US realms this February 2nd. Since it seems to be somewhat extended (3 AM PST to 11 AM PST) and we're waiting for the 3.3.2 patch to drop in order to start Arena Season 8, I'm willing to go out on a limb and suppose that there will most likely be the next minor content patch at this time. This will also most likely open the last wing of Icecrown Citadel.

So! Are you excited? I'm excited! Well, also I'm kind of hoping I'm right, but then I'm excited. We'll have the Tuesday Morning Post for you to obsess over while waiting for the realms to come up, not that I compulsively refresh the realm status page or anything myself. No no, not me.

Filed under: Realm Status

Retaliation battlegroup down again

For the second Tuesday in a row around the same time (9:00-9:30 pm EST-ish), the US Retaliation battlegroup has crashed. Blizzard has confirmed that it's performing urgent maintenance on the hardware of the affected realms, and they'll provide an update at 11:00 PM EST/8:00 PM PST. Hmmm. Makes you wonder if whatever caused last week's crash was accidentally rolled back during server maintenance earlier today.

The following are the affected realms:

Area 52, Auchindoun, Azuremyst, Blade's Edge, Blood Furnace, Coilfang, Dawnbringer, Exodar, Fizzcrank, Galakrond, Ghostlands, Grizzly Hills, Shattered Halls, Terokkar, The Scryers, The Underbog, Velen, and Zangarmarsh.
My guild's on Retaliation and has consequently found itself without something to raid for the second Tuesday running. Last week their solution was to take off to Mug'thol and do a level 1 Hogger raid, complete with designated tanks and healers, damage meters, and -- to top things off -- a bonafide ninja looter of the Malachite drop. Our server might be down, but our hallowed traditions remain.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Night Elf Druid bear forms revealed

Thank heavens for Twitter. Twitterer @kreeoni tweeted a scoop detailing the Night Elf Druid bear forms following the exciting revelation of Tauren Druid bear forms yesterday. And oh boy... do they look spiffy. I particularly like the fellow on the lower right, with the Spike-like white stripe and matching sideburns. Our girl Allison is already jumping up and down from excitement (or is it envy? I can't tell with Tauren females...), probably impatient that we don't have the cat forms yet. But here you go, savor the first look at these new Druid bear forms with nastier growls and face paint. Man, Druids get excited over the tiniest things...

UPDATE: Apparently, Allison was jumping up and down from, uh, being underwhelmed. She's kind of weird that way.

: Hey, I am totally whelmed here. Maybe they're less a shock to the senses after the initial change to Tauren bear form!

Filed under: Night Elves, Druid, News items

Patch 3.2 details released

Tipster Brian pointed us at the under development page, which is now listing details for Patch 3.2. It's looking pretty interesting, all told. More Argent Tournament!

We're going to present a screenshot of the changes from the Under Development page after the jump, but just to make sure your appetites are whetted, so to speak (or type, I'm not actually talking) here's a detail: there will be a new battleground called the Isle of Conquest, a large scale siege between the Horde and the Alliance.

But wait, there's more!

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Raiding, Alts, Battlegrounds

Arena Season 5 to end as soon as April 14

Bornakk posted a tentative date for the announced end of Arena Season 5, indicating that the season can end "as early as April 14" or a week after. It should be noted that the first four Arena seasons had no breaks in between, with one season beginning immediately after the last ended. Arena seasons were only suspended upon the release of Patch 3.0 leading up to Wrath of the Lich King, with the first season of Level 80 Arena play beginning on December 16. This time around, however, Bornakk makes it clear that the next Arena season will not begin immediately but have at least a one week break before Season 6 begins.

This should also be taken as an indication of when Patch 3.1 will be released. Blizzard has stated that they plan to unleash Season 6 almost simultaneously with the new raid content, so if Season 5 ends within two or three weeks, it should be expected that Patch 3.1 is just around the corner. It might even come sooner rather than later, as Blizzard has noted that Season 5 would "end with or shortly after" Patch 3.1 goes live. All of the necessary files such as Season 6 items are contained in the patch, so this only makes sense.

Bornakk reminds all players who feel they will be eligible for end of season rewards, such as titles and the Deadly Gladiator's Frostwyrm, should refrain from transfering their characters to another realm until after Season 5 ends (or until rewards have been handed out to be safe). During the break between seasons, all ranked matches will be disabled and all Arena points and ratings will be wiped [EDIT: Arena points and ratings will continue to be available during the one week break to allow players to spend their points, but will be wiped when Season 6 begins.]. However, players will retain their matchmaking ratings and Honor points.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Arena

Blizzard Theme Park contest ending soon

Don't miss out on your chance to cook up the zaniest, most Blizzard-worthy idea of a theme park -- the deadline for submissions to Blizzard's Theme Park Contest is on March 30. Blizzard called on fanboys everywhere to submit their ideas for a theme park based on their properties, Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft, and anything from theme park maps to ride schematics to landscape pictures of the park are welcome. Selected entries will be shown during BlizzCon 2009.

The best entry incorporating all three properties will receive a Wacom Cintiq 12WX, along with the Echoes of War soundtrack and a pair of StarCraft II Beta keys. Three other winners with the best Diablo, StarCraft, or Warcraft themes will win Echoes of War and two StarCraft II Beta keys each. With just under five days to go, designer hopefuls should submit their designs soon! You never know, Blizzard just might make that theme park happen...

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests, BlizzCon

Rumor: The9 to lose WoW in China

Trading Markets reports from the Xinhua News Agency that The9, the company that handles World of Warcraft in China, is likely to lose their license as agents of the game. Blizzard and The9 have not yet reached an agreement regarding the extension of their contract, although The9 representatives have repeatedly tried to quell these fears. President Xiaowei Chen has confidently stated that the contract would be renewed in June.

An insider source, however, noted otherwise. Blizzard is said to have been unhappy with The9's performance over the past four years, and posed higher requirements in their renegotiation with the Chinese company. Recent troubles with the Chinese government in securing approval for Wrath of the Lich King hasn't helped matters, and The9 is facing bankruptcy should Wrath fail to get past China's censorship laws and negotiations fall apart. The online game operator gets 90 percent of their profits from managing World of Warcraft in China. The9 has refused to comment, only saying that negotiations have not been finalized.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

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