Blizzard

August 12, 2015

The Return of the Burning Legion

WoW Legion Image from Blizzard Website

These are exciting times for all World of Warcraft fans, with the announcement of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The expansion was just announced at Gamescom 2015 and since then Blizzard has released a raft of information which includes the key features and necessary lore to enable all fans can get up to speed before jumping into the action.

Legion will be set on The Broken Isles, which is a new and expansive continent comprising several small islands in the heart of Azeroth: The Broken Shore, Suramar, Stormhein, Highmountian, Val’sharan, and Azsuna. In Warcraft lore, before the Great Sundering, the region that would become the Broken Isles was a part of Ancient Kalimdor . It was here that the ancient forest of Val’sharah, home of Cenarius, was located, as well as the city of Suramar, hometown of Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage.

The Broken Isles Map

In this new expansion, the mutual enemy of the Horde and the Alliance, the Burning Legion, has returned. In order to combat the armies of the Legion invading Azeroth, both Alliance and Horde must secure mighty artifacts and join forces with a new hero class, the Demon Hunter – an elven outcast shunned for daring to wield the terrible powers of the Legion. The objective is to find the Pillars of Creation which are the secret to Azeroth’s salvation.

Apart from the setting and the familiar addition of new Dungeons and Raid, World of Warcraft Legion will also be bringing plenty of additional content into the gameplay. The new features are summarised below:

  • New continent: The Broken Isles
  • New class: Demon Hunter (Tank and DPS available)
  • Artifacts: customizable weapons that grow in power as you do
  • Class-specific Order Halls and followers
  • All New Dungeons and Raids
  • New World Bosses
  • Level cap raised to 110
  • Re-vamped PvP progression system
  • Improved transmogrification system
  • Improved social features
  • Character Boost — immediately raise one character to level 100

 
You can sign up now to opt in for Beta testing later this year. All you have to do is log in to your Battle.net account, go to Beta Profile Settings and check the Warcraft option, making sure you click Update Preferences to save your choice. You will then be eligible to be randomly selected for a Legion beta invitation once the testing process begins.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing what Legion has to offer as much as I am.  For more information on the latest expansion and more details about the new Demon Hunter class, new artifacts and expansion lore you can visit Blizzards dedicated Legion site at www.battle.net/wow/en/legion.

May 19, 2014

Diablo III Patch 2.0.5

Full patch notes are available here: Blizzard Patch Notes 2.0.5

Patch 2.0.5 was released on the 13th May 2014 and there is a lot of stuff in this latest release. Of particular interest was the issue of class balance, although the patch wasn’t intended to focus too much on class balance when it first was scheduled. The Crusader ended up with quite a lot of changes, not only because it is the newest class in Diablo III, but because Blizzard also felt that it needed some fine tuning. If you are playing a crusader it’s definitely worth taking a look at these patch notes to see how this affects you.

There are also some undocumented patch 2.0.5 changes that came out in the community following the release which are listed below. However, all these items are based on community observations and are not official Blizzard patch notes:

  • Stash doesn’t close when a rift closes.
  • Female Barbarian Leap animation slowed to match male animation.
  • Significantly reduced hitch when opening inventory.
  • Witch Doctors are now limited to 15 fetishes. New ones replace older ones.
  • Items that cannot be salvaged are greyed out.
  • Spiderling egg sacks and a pack of spiders are between Wortham Chapel and Caverns of Araneae
  • Illusory Boots now allow you to pass through wallers’ walls.
  • Bul-Kathos’s Whirlwind can now crit.
  • Rift guardians can now drop more than one pile of Blood Shards.
  • Horadric Hamburger transmute now works.
  • Wizards can now only have 1 Slow Time bubble out at a time
  • Shields and Crusader shields have 3000-5000 more block amount.
  • Piranhas: Wave of Mutilation now knocks up enemies it hits.
  • Monsters with the Knock-back effect seem to knock you back significantly further.

April 11, 2014

Blizzard at PAX East 2014

 

Visit east.paxsite.com for  the latest news from PAX East, schedules, forums, and more. You can also download the official PAX app for smart phones for free to your smart phone.

What’s happening at the Blizzard Booth at PAX East 2014

  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on demo featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
  • Hands-on time with the in-development Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for PlayStation 4.
  • The latest information on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and a chance to play the mobile version on iPad.
  • A brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm, featuring new Heroes playable for the first time anywhere outside of Blizzard.
  • Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.

 

Follow @Official_PAX on Twitter and you can also follow @PAX_lines for the latest from the main theatre.

March 19, 2014

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is Almost Here

The Prime Evil has been trapped within the Black Soulstone, but before the artifact can be sealed forever Malthael, the Angel of Death, returns to steal the Black Soulstone and use its power for his own ends.

Are you ready to face the Angel of Death? Check out the offical gameplay trailer for Reaper of Souls.

Go anywhere, slay anything. March 25th 2014.

Remember if you pre-order before the 25th you’ll get the following bonus items:

  • The Wings of Valor in Diablo III
  • Unlock Valla the Demon Hunter in Heroes of the Storm

 

For more information and to pre-order your copy of Reaper of Souls vist the Battle.net shop now.

March 15, 2014

WoW Lore Series: Draenor

Map of Outland

Many thousands of years ago there was a solitary planet in the universe unknown to Azeroth of which the Orcs were the native inhabitants. The Orcs lived simple lives, grouped into clans they held a belief in the elemental forces of nature and followed the path of the Shaman. The Orcs needed nothing more. However, fleeing from persuit, a group of aliens known as the Eredar came to the planet and set-up a colony. This group of Eredar called themselves the Draenei and they named the planet Draenor. Led by their prophet Velen, they were a splinter group from the rest of their race who would not serve Sargeras and the Burning Legion, hey had been mercilessly chased by Kil’jaeden, a powerful eredar demon lord, and finally believed that they had found a place where they would be safe. For the most part the Dranei and the Orcs kept a distance from each other, only sometimes meeting to trade in items that they needed. The Dranei, who were talented magic-wielders, kept their main city hidden and the two races co-existed peacefully on the planet.

However, that peace was not to last. Agents of the Burning Legion found Draenor and picked up the tell-tale signs of Draenei magic there, but when Kil’jaeden found out about the Orcs he immediately saw that they had the potential for destruction and wanted to add this race to his army. He cleverly deceived the Orcs into believing that the Draenei were plotting against them by disguising himself as the deceased mate of one of the elder Shamans, Ner’zhul, and so the Orcs fell into his trap, not only would he add them to his Burning Legion, he would use them to take care of Velen and his followers once and for all. Kil’jaeden gave the orcs dark magic, they had never seen such power and eagerly threw away their shamanistic ways, Shamans became Orc Warlocks. Ner’zhul finally realised what was happening, but it was too late, Kil’jaeden stripped him of the power he had bestowed upon him and instead allowed Ner’zhul’s eager apprentice, who craved power, to take his place as leader.Now that Gul’dan was in place, the Pit Lord Mannoroth was instructed to give his blood to the cheftains of the orc clans to drink to show their loyalty to the Burning Legion. Most Orc cheftains drank the blood which caused their minds to be altered and a strange bloodlust decended upon them, with their new power and lust for death and destruction the Orcs destroyed any Dranei in their path and their main city of Shattrath. Many Dranei were killed and many of those who did not fall to the Orcs bloodlust were infected by the fel energy of the new Orc warlocks and became corrupted.

Now hungry for more, Gul’dan with the help of Medivh of Azeroth, who was possessed by Sargeras at the time, opened the Dark Portal linking Draenor and Azeroth. Gul’dan saw a whole new world for the taking and this was exactly what Sargaras wanted. The Orcs went through the Dark Portal and destroyed anything in their path including leaving Stormwind in ruins. This was the first war and the Orcs had triumphed. But their victory was short-lived, the races of Azeroth rallied, the humans, elves and dwarves formed the Alliance of Lordaeron and thus began the second war. In the second war the Alliance pushed back the Burning Legion and attempted to close the Dark Portal, through the efforts of the Alliance it looked like the Portal had been destroyed, however a small tear between the worlds remained that could not be closed.

On the other side of the Dark Portal, now cut off from Azeroth, the clans fought against each other, unable to quell the bloodlust and with no enemies to fight – something had to be done. Ner’zhul, who had been injured during the destruction of the Dark Portal, was visited by the Orc deathknight Teron Gorefiend. Gorefiend had a plan to open more portals on Draenor to other worlds, but he needed two things: Ner’zhul to lead the horde once more and some rare artifacts – from Azeroth. Ner’zhul agreed to the plan and recovered the artifacts, but he was followed back to Draenor by the Alliance who sought to retrieve them, unfortunately the party from the Alliance were too late and Ner’zhul had already started to open portals to other worlds and by doing this Ner’zhul was destroying Draenor, the planet was literally ripping itself apart under the strain. The Alliance could only do one thing, they needed to break the link between Draenor and Azeroth before it was too late and both planets were destroyed. Ner’zhul quickly abandoned the horde and escaped through one of the portals just before the planet was ripped apart sending pieces of the shattered planet to float in the Twisting Nether, the Alliance party sent through the Dark Portal were presumed dead. The bits of Draenor that remained became Outland and though many perished in the destruction, those that survived lived on.

Years later, the Dark Portal between Azeroth and Outland was re-opened, but there was little for anyone in Outland anymore and the draenei were happy to remain on Azeroth with their newfound Alliance allies.

February 22, 2014

Heroes of the Storm in Beta Testing

Powerful warriors from Azeroth, Sanctuary, the Koprulu sector and beyond have been sucked into the Nexus, a trans-dimensional storm. Stranded in the Nexus, these heroes engage in an endless battle for glory and survival.

Heroes Game Screenshot

Heroes of the Storm will be a free-to-play online team brawler for PC and Mac, starring your favourite Blizzard characters. The game is currently in beta testing as of 2014 and although Blizzard do not yet have a release date, they say that they should be in a better position to announce this after beta testing has started.

The game allows you to build and customise heroes from across every Blizzard universe to suit your play style. Team up with your friends and engage in fast-paced action across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play the game. In each match you can select from an array of Blizzard heroes and join a team to battle against enemy players, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base.

Summon all your favourite characters: Thrall, Kerrigan, Diablo, Arthas, Zeratul, Tyrael and others from more than 20 years of Blizzard games. In Heroes of the Storm, players are distinguished through the accomplishments and overall success of their team. Every role is valuable and viable over the course of each match, and every player benefits from each hero takedown and each epic victory they contribute to. The battlegrounds in Heroes of the Storm mix up the experience with a variety of maps and advantages that you can unlock including powerful allies, friendly towns, and valuable vantage points offering multiple paths to victory and that reward teamwork, strategy, and creativity.

Heroes of the Storm Roles

This ‘team brawler’ is now available for beta sign-up via battle.net and for updates about the game and it’s expected release date keep an eye on the official website: http:/www.heroesofthestorm.com. You can also follow the game on Twitter @BlizzHeroes, and on the official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BlizzHeroes.

February 22, 2014

Upgrade to the desktop App for Battle.net

Blizzard Beta Launcher

In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to Blizzard’s new desktop app for Battle.net. This update is designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline Blizzard gameplay. But you don’t have to wait until then to check out the new launcher, the open beta test is underway and you can download and install the app now – I would highly recommend doing this, I love the app is absolutely brilliant: http://www.battle.net/en/app/

So, what does this app give you?

Single Sign-On
Log in once to access all your games and stay logged in for up to 30 days, easy.

Install and Auto-Update Games
Install games directly through the app and, you can leave the app running on your desktop and keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer.

Get the Latest News
No need to check elsewhere for the latest news and update information, the app is a central hub for this information. You can filter news based on the games you play.

For more information about the launcher visit: https://eu.battle.net/support/en/article/launcher-update-testing

November 8, 2013

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor Revealed

“When past and present collide, the fate of all worlds hangs in the balance.” The Prophet Valen, Blizzard.

warlords of draenor graphic

Day one reveals the fifth World of Warcraft expansion ‘Warlords of Draenor’ and with this comes some big changes to the game, not to mention the ability to explore Warcraft history by going to Draenor and living that time of the Draenei and the Orcs that up to now has only been possible through the Warcraft lore. There we find that a merciless new Iron Horde has been forged from the historic orc clans and heroes from Azeroth will be called to save their own world from impending invasion. There is so much on offer from this expansion, aside from the opportunity to go back in time, Blizzard has taken onboard feedback from the community and implemented a whole host of upgrades to the game (upgraded character models, better organisation of bags, no quest items held in bags to save space, new in-game guide based on your character, etc) the following was announced at BlizzCon 2013 for Warlords of Draenor:

  • New level cap of 100
  • New level 100 talents
  • The ability to construct your own garrison
  • The ability to customise your garrison
  • The ability to recruit followers and base them at your garrison
  • Your followers can be sent on missions and use their skill to assist your cause
  • Instantly boost one character to level 90 to join the battle for Draenor
  • New dungeons and raids
  • Flexible scaling for raids
  • Upgrades to existing dungeons
  • New monsters
  • New quests
old character models new character models

The expansion is available to play on the floor at BlizzCon 2013, but there is no release date as yet.

When I’m not stuck to the live feed via my Virtual Ticket I’ll post updates on what’s going on as it happens, please do follow us on Twitter @gamersblogbytes. And to everyone at BlizzCon 2013 – enjoy it!

October 22, 2013

Ah…There is a certain beauty in the stillness. Let’s kill it!

tattooed kittyWith the upcoming Diablo III expansion ‘Reaper of Souls’ comes a brand new class, enter ‘the crusader’. The Crusader is a mid-range melee class wielding a flail/sword and a shield, but also has mid-ranged spells at their disposal using Wrath as their energy source. The class is based on the Paladin from Diablo II. Resourceful and resilient, Crusaders are a different breed of holy warrior, trained to wield powers unlike any before. They are a group of men and women chosen for their prowess and cunning on the battlefield, and also for their unyielding dedication to the Light; their purpose, to hunt down the enemies of Zakarum and rid Sanctuary of their corruption – they will not let anything stand between themselves and their goal finding strength in their unshakable confidence in their cause.

The Crusader

Background of the Crusader
The origins of the Crusaders lie during the time of Rakkis’s crusade against the Western Kingdoms. As Rakkis’s paladin forces moved westward, one of the leaders of his forces sensed Mephisto’s taint in the Zakarum faith, and secretly founded the Crusader order. The order was specifically founded as a separate entity from the paladins for fear of carrying over corruption into their new sacred duty. Over the centuries, the Crusader order was hardened through combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary as their quest to cleanse the Zakarum of Mephisto’s taint, the corruption of Sanctuary as a whole drove them on and they were intent on achieving this goal through any means necessary.

Male and Female Crusader

Primary Skills

Punish
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Smash your enemy for 130% weapon damage, plus 10% of your shield’s block amount as damage. Your strikes heighten your battle senses, increasing your block chance by 2% for 3 seconds.

Slash
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Ignite the air 5 yards in front of you with Holy fire, causing 135% weapon damage to all enemies caught in it.

Justice
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Hurl a hammer of justice at your enemies, dealing 140% Holy weapon damage.

Scourge
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Scourge your enemies for 120% weapon damage. Striking an enemy surrounds it in hallowed threads which have a chance to jump to 3 nearby enemies.

Secondary Skills

Shield Bash
Costs 25 Wrath. Bash all enemies in front of you with your shield, dealing 270% weapon damage as holy, plus 10% shield block amount as damage as holy. / Enemies struck have a 20% chance to be stunned, increased by 25% of your shield’s block chance. / The skill can also be used to reflect projectiles.

The Fist of the Heavens
Costs 25 Wrath. Call a lightning bolt down from the sky, dealing 220% weapon damage to any enemy within 8 yards. When the lightning bolt hits the ground, it splits into 6 piercing charged bolts that fire outward, dealing 50% weapon damage to enemies they pass through.

Sweep Attack
Costs 25 Wrath. Sweep a mystical flail in a wide arc through enemies 20 yards before you, dealing 230% weapon damage to all enemies caught in the arc.

Blessed Shield
Costs 25 Wrath. Hurl a celestial shield at enemies, dealing 200% weapon damage and 10% of shield block amount as damage. The shield will ricochet to 1 targets nearby.

Blessed Hammer
Cost: 10 Wrath Summon a blessed hammer that spins around you, dealing 125% weapon damage to any enemy hit. Hammers have a 100% chance to pierce.

Defensive Skills

Shield Glare
Cooldown: 12 seconds. Light erupts from your shield, blinding all enemies 30 yards in front of you for 4 seconds.

Judgement
Cooldown: 20 seconds. Pass judgment on all enemies in an area, rooting them in place for 4 seconds.

For more information about Diablo III and what the game is all about check out the game guide here: http://www.battle.net/d3/en/game/what-is. While you’re at it, you could grab yourself a virtual ticket to Blizzcon 2013, along with your ticket you get a Diablo III in-game gift – the Murkalot, this is a murloc based on the Crusader. The crusader sounds like a fun character to play, I can’t wait. For gamers who love their MMOs there are often difficult decisions to be made regarding how many games you play at any one time, in my own experience I have a main game that I play in-depth, WoW, and try to play other games in my downtime – but Diablo III is a bit of a rogue element, it’s definitely going to be getting a good share of my time once the expansion is released. Killing monsters and looting dungeons hand-in-hand with some apt one-liners… bring it on!

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