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Posts with tag starcraft-2

Weekly maintenance extended to 3pm PST

Weekly maintenance extended to 3pm PST
Realm maintenance for all Warcraft realms as well as Diablo III and StarCraft II has now been extended to 3pm PST, according to the official BlizzardCS Twitter feed. Maintenance was originally extended to 1pm PST, but apparently some unforeseen issues have come up which require some additional work. What exactly this maintenance is addressing is unknown at this time, but hopefully realms will be up and playable soon.

Blizzard does have a thread that is being updated as more information comes in, so if you're waiting for realms to come back up, you may want to keep an eye on the official thread. Alternatively, if you have a Twitter account, following @BlizzardCS is an excellent way to keep tabs on maintenance issues as well. If there are any further extensions, we'll update this post as needed.

Edit: All servers are now back online and available for play!

Filed under: News items

Tickets for Battle.net World Championship on sale soon

Tickets for Battlenet World Championships on sale soon
This year's Battle.net World Championship will be held Nov. 17 and 18 in Shanghai, China. If you're looking to go, the tickets will be on sale via Blizzard's Chinese website. If you have difficulty paying through that site for whatever reason, Blizzard has also given tickets to various fansites listed here. So if you're interested in attending the event to watch some of the best StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft players in the world compete, hopefully you can find a way to do so.

You can read the Blizzard post above or head to their Battle.net World Championship page for more details.

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: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard issues account security alert after Riot Games breach

Blizzard issues Account Security Alert after Riot Games hack
Not the first time we've seen something like this: Nakatoir of the EU community team posted this account security alert after Riot Games' EU branch warned its users that hackers "gained access to certain personal player data contained in certain EU West and EU Nordic & East databases." This information included email addresses and encrypted account passwords, and more than half of the passwords were considered simple and at risk of being cracked.

Blizzard issues its security alert because many players who play various Blizzard games like WoW and Diablo III or StarCraft II also play League of Legends; therefore, if they use the same email address for Battle.net as League of Legends or the same passwords, those Battle.net accounts may also be at risk.

This is not an announcement that Blizzard itself has been hacked, mind you. It's simply a precaution based on the habits of players of many games to use the same passwords and login information for multiple accounts. If you're not a League of Legends player in the affected EU regions, there's no way for this to affect you.

The full announcement is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm playable at MLG, Wings of Liberty on sale

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm beta playable at MLG, Wings of Liberty on sale
The upcoming weekend is a big one for StarCraft fans: The United States Nationals of the StarCraft II World Championship is taking place at the MLG Spring Championship all weekend long. For those of you not interested the e-sports scene, there's another event coinciding with this one: The Heart of the Swarm press event is taking place this weekend, and an early build of the upcoming expansion is playable at demo stations on the MLG floor. Heart of the Swarm isn't officially in the beta phase yet, so this will be the first time players have an opportunity to see the expansion first-hand.

To celebrate both the Nationals and the Heart of the Swarm preview, Blizzard has put StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty on sale for the weekend. Blizzard has taken 33% off of the standard box price of $59.99, bringing the price down to $39.99.

Update: Check Battle.net for further information on this weekend's events as well as a pair of video previews of Heart of the Swarm. You can also find the videos embedded below.

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Filed under: StarCraft 2

Play Diablo 1 with World of Warcraft models in StarCraft 2

The StarCraft II Arcade feature, a tool intended to help the community highlight quality custom maps and game modes created with the StarCraft modding tools, has recently gone into beta. Coinciding with that beta, Blizzard has launched a contest that requires you to play, rate, and review an Arcade game for a chance to win a Heart of the Swarm beta key.

One of the delightful custom game modes that has become an Arcade chart-topper is an incestuous mix of all of Blizzard's major franchises: It's the first Diablo game ported into StarCraft II using World of Warcraft art assets for the 3D models. The gameplay doesn't match the original Diablo click-for-click, but the core mechanics and all of the sound files have been carried from one game to the next, including Deckard Cain's signature stay awhile and listen.

StarCraft II shoutcaster Husky recently featured the game mode on his YouTube channel, and you can watch his 18+ minute preview/review embedded above.

Filed under: Contests, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2

StarCraft vs. Warcraft: What is the WoW community missing?

For the past year or so, I've been living a double life. To some, I am a skilled and tenacious night elf priestess, adventuring through Azeroth at the charge of the Holy Light, healing the injured and saving the incompetent. To others, however, I am but a lowly brood mother, commanding a swarming, parasitic army with occasional success against my enemies across the Koprulu sector. Don't follow me? Basically, I've just been playing a lot of StarCraft 2 whenever I'm not raiding.

Still, being heavily invested in WoW and StarCraft has really felt like living two lives at times, especially when you consider how dramatically different they both are. And I'm not talking about the gameplay; obviously one would expect an MMORPG and an RTS to be incomparable. What I mean is that that the culture and community that surrounds these two games are distinctively different, despite the fact that the games share some of their playerbase with one another. You'd think that one game community would be pretty similar to the next, but they're not.

The whole thing has left me with a lot of questions to turn over in my mind. Is it possible that the WoW and StarCraft communities could learn from the other? Seven years in, is it even possible for the WoW community to change in any significant way at this point? And if so, is there something missing in the WoW community? To explore the idea further, I started making a list of all the things I thought the StarCraft community had that the WoW community was lacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

BlizzCon 2011: Opening Ceremony Liveblog

We'll be live blogging the opening ceremony at BlizzCon 2011. The start times for this liveblog is as follows:

Pacific Time zone: 11:00 a.m.
Mountain Time zone: 12:00 p.m.
Central Time zone: 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Time zone: 2:00 p.m.

We're expecting a lot from this BlizzCon opening ceremony, including the Mists of Pandaria expansion, some StarCraft expansion announcement, and potentially an announcement concerning the Diablo 3 release date.

Stay tuned! We'll start liveblogging soon.

10:42 a.m. - Patch 5.0 will introduce a new talent system.

10:42 a.m. - Initial reports are that the expansion will be playable at BlizzCon today.

The rest of the liveblog after the break!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

The Lawbringer: The odd future of bill S. 978

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The machinima and streaming communities built around World of Warcraft are filled with some of the most talented and creative people in gaming, from awesome musicians to dedicated streamcasters. The first time I ever got to experience the WoW beta back in 2004, I was watching someone stream footage of their human warlock messing up mobs in (if I remember correctly) Westfall. Streaming is beneficial to gaming, MMOs, and e-sports because of video games' competitive nature and spectator-oriented design.

You've probably heard of Senate bill S.978 already, most likely from many video game blogs and news outlets or YouTube campaigns fighting against the passage of this bill. Bill S.978 aims to institute a "10 strikes" policy, making the unauthorized streaming of content a felony, resulting in potential jail time. The main purpose of the bill is to strengthen the law and punishments available to organizations such as the MPAA and other content conglomerates to stop illegal streaming of millions upon millions of dollars in stolen entertainment. As is the way of things, gamers might be caught in the crossfire.

Some of you fine readers sent me a few messages on Twitter asking me to weigh in on the 10 strikes streaming bill and maybe give a basic analysis of the thing, so I shall oblige. Lawbringer this week is all about the odd future of bill S. 978 and what it could mean for MMOs and WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Predicting Battle.net's social future

If you think we've scratched the surface of Battle.net cross-game implementation with Real ID, you are going to be amazed at what is coming next. Do I know any of this for sure? No, of course not. I base my predictions on three simple facts:
  1. Blizzard has created an account-based loyalty program that has encapsulated each and every one of its games;
  2. Blizzard is chock-full of smart individuals who understand community, as illustrated by the new community website; and
  3. Blizzard has made your account mean something into perpetuity.
If you think Battle.net is sharp at 2.0, you can't even imagine 3.0.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

MMO Roundup: World of StarCraft, RIFT news, and more

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.
StarCraft II turned into World of StarCraft by enterprising fan
World of StarCraft is, by all indications, high on the list of desirable games that have never been announced or even hinted at. It's certainly a universe ripe for development, and it's not as if Blizzard doesn't know anything about running an MMO. But why wait for an official release when you can put the game together yourself?
The latest RIFT news
If upcoming MMO RIFT has caught your attention, the past week had a number of RIFT-related news stories that might strike your fancy. New beta additions? PvP details? New class reveals? Massively has it all.
First Impressions: Battlestar Galactica Online
Last year, developer Bigpoint announced that Battlestar Galactica Online was being developed as a free-to-play browser MMO. Just last week, Massively was able to get its hands on the game and take it for a spin.
The Guild Counsel: What every leader should know about recruiting
Do you like WoW Insider's Officers' Quarters? Then you might like Massively's Guild Counsel. This week, The Guild Counsel tackles the topic of guild recruitment, discussing the right and wrong ways to do it.
Hello Kitty Online meets Manhattan
Hello Kitty Online is near and dear to our hearts here at WoW Insider. We were all excited to hear about the latest HKO update. Hello Kitty Online visits New York City, where the locals have gone missing for mysterious reasons. Find out what happened, and cheer up the victims!
Week in Review: It's all about souls
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

New Blizzard community website, forums begin testing in November

The announcement came out this morning on the EU forums that Blizzard is getting ready to roll out its new community website and forums for World of Warcraft some time in early November. Anyone who has been to the community site for StarCraft 2 will already be aware of some of the new features including a more advanced forum system than what we have now. Features will include the ability to report a post for trolling or spam without changing pages, being able to see a quick summary of the thread by mousing over and letting players up- and down-rate responses.

The current forums will be set as locked during the beginning of the transition and then will be completely removed toward the end. This means that if there are any old guides, posts or fun things from days of old that you want to see moved to the new forums, you should copy them to your own computer now.

One thing that is curiously missing from the announcement is what alternative Blizzard has developed to its original Real ID forums concept since it was thrown out. StarCraft 2 has a centralized handle that is associated with your Battle.net login, and it is the same handle/avatar that's used for multiplayer games. Hopefully, they'll provide more details on issues like this as things start to lead up to the changeover.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Lawbringer: Buying precedent

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The following is an opinion piece dealing with Blizzard's ongoing litigation. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of me, Mathew, the columnist.

You might have heard that Blizzard and its lawyers have recently started new litigation against three StarCraft 2 hackers in District Court. To a lot of people, this looks like another case of Blizzard going after more hackers for screwing with the online experience. To me, I see Blizzard's lawsuits as positive EULA-builders with huge benefit to the independent game market. It sounds crazy, but less so when you think about the concept of buying precedent.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

BlizzCon 2010: Closing ceremonies

As BlizzCon 2010 comes to an end, Paul Sams (chief operating officer of Blizzard) started out the ceremonies. A series of intentionally bad gamer jokes followed as he got the crowd ready. He then took it to a serious note and thanked attendees both attending in person and at home.

Blizzard used this opportunity to bring out the tournament winners. Warcraft 3 winner Remind (night elf) from South Korea and StarCraft 2 winner NEXGenius (protoss), also from South Korea, were presented with $25,000 for being grand prize winners. They will also be getting an eSports ring customized to their game that's the size of Superbowl rings. The WoW Arena tournament was still going on at this point (*aAa* vs compLexity.Red), so there was no winner to announce for it yet.

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: BlizzCon Day 1 anticipation

BlizzCon 2010 is finally here and the schedule's pretty packed for opening day. If you lucked out on a BlizzCon ticket (and had the resources to make it out to Anaheim), you might be hard-pressed to choose which panel to attend, given that there are two stages where panels happen simultaneously. On top of that, the world's best StarCraft II and World of Warcraft arena players duke it out on separate areas, as well. After the opening ceremonies, there'll be a showcase of Diablo III gameplay concurrent with a showing of StarCraft II cinematics; these are followed by a World of Warcraft dungeons & raids panel and StarCraft II secrets of the masters; after those, there's a panel on WoW quests & lore, as well as a discussion on SC2 custom maps and editor; finally there's a live raid for WoW and a Q&A on the SC2 storyline. To close the first day, there are the costume, song, and dance contests which I'm fairly certain will be on everyone's itinerary.

One easy way to go about BlizzCon would be to just follow one game, such as World of Warcraft, and attend all the relevant panels. If you're like most folks who play Blizzard games, however, you're probably a big fan of everything they churn out (you're looking at BlizzCon, after all), which means picking the best panel to attend can be a bit of a dilemma. Happy problems aside, if you didn't have to choose which stage to sit in front of -- like those of us who picked up the DirectTV stream -- what part of today seems the most exciting? Personally, I think I'd have to go for WoW quests & lore. Now that we're already at Cataclysm, I can't wait to see what they've got in store for us, story-wise. Is there anything you're really looking forward to today? Or are the cooler events (e.g., the class panel) happening tomorrow? What do you think Blizzard's got up its sleeve?
BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

WRUP: StarCraft 2 edition

Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW.com staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

I have to admit it: I'm just not into all of the StarCraft 2 hype. It's a bit awkward since practically everyone I know -- and a lot of the WoW.com staff -- seems to be excited about SC2 above all else. So I'm attempting to turn things around, at least for the duration of this post, with this week's WRUP. In addition to asking what everyone's playing this weekend, I've asked for everyone's thoughts on the ongoing Cataclysm beta test. Well, it might have taken their minds off SC2 for a minute, at least ...

Everyone's answers -- and your chance to add your own -- after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

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