It only seemed like yesterday that Warlords of Draenor was revealed at BlizzCon 2013 and now we have a launch date for this new expansion which was announced at gamescom 2014 in Cologne, the world’s largest games convention. Get ready because the new expansion will be available to play as of November 13 2014 with a new level cap of 100; new talents, dungeons and raids; flexible scaling for raids and much more. If you are at gamescom this week, be sure to stop by the biggest Blizzard booth to date in Hall 7.1 (B051) and check out Blizzard’s latest offerings: Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of the Storm on PC, Hearthstone on PC and iPad, and Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition on PS4.
On Thursday at gamescom Blizzard unveiled both the Warlords of Draenor opening cinematic and the first instalment of a new animated lore mini-series, Lords of War, in a live-stream event. I know how impressive Blizzard’s cinematics are on the big screen, so if I’m feeling the awesome power of the Draenor storyline here in the UK, the atmosphere would have been electric at the Koelnmesse on Thursday – check out both of these below. Lore buffs can also get their teeth into the new lore mini-series over the weeks ahead at www.worldofwarcraft.com where Blizzard will release more episodes following ‘Lords of War: Part 1 — Kargath Bladefist’, perhaps generating more questions than answers, but a must see for Warcraft fans.
Don’t forget that you can pre-order Warlords of Draenor now to prepare for the November 13 launch, with that level 90 boost to get you right into the heart of the action. And if you upgrade to the Digital Deluxe edition and enhance your adventures in Draenor with epic in-game items including the Dread Raven mount, StarCraft II portraits of Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand and a Diablo III Warsong Pennant.
Also in the news, Blizzard CM, Kaivax, reveals that “over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing a pre-expansion patch that will bring players to the brink of great peril, as the Iron Horde begins to aggressively gain a foothold on Azeroth. As part of this patch, players will encounter fierce new opponents and get their first chance to experience a number of updates we’re making to the game. In addition to changes to the skills and abilities for every class, this patch will introduce brand new features such as 20-player Mythic-difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as systems adjustments including stat squish and diminishing returns on crowd control”. Be prepared to see an advance party of Orcs coming through the Dark Portal and making their way to Blackrock Mountain. For a short time there will be a specially re-vamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde.
For the Horde or Alliance, it’s time for our forces to unite and push back the Iron Horde before Azeroth falls.
If you’ve never been to Gamescom you are missing out, with the latest in the hardware and software sector it’s one of the years most prominent events. At Gamescom you can immerse yourself in the multi-faceted world of gaming and technology, have fun and experience all the latest game premiers. If you can’t be there, here are a few of the highlights that you might want to check out, as we get more information be sure that we’ll bring it to you here at The Gamers Blog. Here are a few of the announcements so far that I’m particularly excited about.
Firaxis prepare to upgrade XCOM with their Enemy Within expansion
Enemy Within will be available on PC and Mac, while Xbox 360 and PS3 will get the “Commander Edition” that includes a copy of Enemy Unknown and the Slingshot and Elite Soldier content packs. Set in the confines of Enemy Unknown, it’s the same game just with more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KdSli869U
Diablo 3 unleashes new terrors, in the new expansion, Reaper of Souls
Named after its new lord of darkness, Maltheal, the fallen angel of wisdom who has now become the angel of death. The expansion will add new zones to fight through, a new class called the Crusader and raise the level cap to 70 for all of Diablo 3′s current classes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0
Crytek’s new CryEngine
Now just called ‘CryEngine’ features revolutionary PuddleTech. Crytek’s Carl Jones explains “We have revolutionised many parts of the engine: we have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie quality character rendering and animation solutions, vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our Sandbox editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel accurate displacement mapping and now physical based rendering; all of this while maintaining our first principal: that making games should be real-time, all the time.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF1zjDSqPoo
Last week marked the 4th Gamescom to be held in Cologne, Germany, the world’s biggest trade fair and event highlight for interactive entertainment attracting more than 275,000 visitors. If you’ve been following the news coming out of the convention this year and want to be part of the action, the next Gamescom will be held from the 21st to the 25th August 2013. But before we start thinking ahead lets look back at just some of the highlights from last week.
Announcements and Reveals
The opening cinematic for Mists of Pandaria was presented at Gamescom setting the scene for the expansion release on 25th September 2012.
Russian League of Legends team Moscow 5 defeated SK Gaming winning a best of three series 2-0. This win means that they pick up $30,000 in prize money and will be guaranteed a place in the League of Legends World Championships alongside Raidcall who have also qualified.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified gameplay was revealed during Sony’s press event, as was Black Ops 2’s multiplayer gameplay during the week.
Hitman: Absolution revealed a new online challenge mode called ‘Contracts’ which enables the player to set targets to be assassinated for themselves and their friends.
Sony revealed a number of titles during its press conference including: Rain (a PSN exclusive), Tearaway (PS Vita) and Puppeteer (Sony Japan).
EA revealed that upcoming Command & Conquer Generals 2 has become the new Frostbite 2 engine-powered Command & Conquer, new and F2P.
Revengeance is the first brand new entry in the Metal Gear series since Metal Gear Solid: Peacwalker was released for the PSP in 2010.
Capcom were up first on gamescom press conference duty and unveiled details and a trailer of cyberpunk action game ‘Remember Me’.
Capcom unveiled more details of the first person alien shooter that will run on the Unreal Engine 3, Lost Planet 3.
EA revealed Crysis 3’s multiplayer hunter mode.
Sony announced its ‘Cross-Buy’ platform that means if you purchase the PS3 version of a game you will get the Vita version for free.
Sony announced that its PlayStation Mobile platform is landing on more devices including the Wikipad 3D.
Games we want to play now
You control Nilin, an amnesiac ‘memory hunter’, through the streets of Neo-Paris in the year 2084. Nilin’s former employer, Memoryeyes, erases her memories to neutralize her, she must discover why and how to restore them.
Assassins Creed III
Set in Colonial America, the Assassin-Templar has become involved in the American Revolution. You are Connor Kenway, drawn into the fight against tyranny when your home is attacked by colonists.
The fifth in the Hitman game series, 47 is betrayed by those he once trusted and now hunted by the police, he finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world, in his search for the truth.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
The game is the direct sequel to Medal of Honor. Players will continue to control Tier 1 Operators through various scenarios, including rescuing hostages in Abu Sayyaf’s stronghold in the Philippines, and assaulting Al-Shabaab’s Pirate Town on the Somali Coast.
Call of Duty Black Ops 2
The protagonist of Black Ops, Alex Mason returns as the protagonist in the Cold War section, where he will be fighting in proxy wars for the United States in the Cold War. Known locations for this section of the game include multiple sites in Central America, Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and Angola.
Gamescom was seriously huge, I have only covered a tiny fraction here. If you were following let us know your highlights and what you want to play right now.
The temperature is up and so are the number of gamers at Gamescom on my second day. After arriving at the convention center, we are now expert level public transport users by the way, we were ready to hit the exhibitors once again after a quick stop to attempt some sort of wifi access. If I’ve had one issue with Gamescom it’s been the lack of wifi for the normal visitors, that did surprise me as it is such a huge center catering for on average 80 trade shows and 2000 conferences every year. We did eventually get sparse access, I looked on the bright side however and decided that some access was definitely better than none. We noticed quite quickly that some more exhibitors had arrived last night and set up, explaining the few empty spots we saw yesterday. We dropped by the LG trailer cinema which was fantastic and a big plus to the event and LG also presented their range of 3D TVs, the clarity was outstanding, and their In-Plane Switching monitors. But today sticks in my mind for two things, firstly wherever I seemed to turn I ran into a new kind of war game, wargaming.net were very prevalent with World of War Planes and World of Tanks, there was also Arma from Gamestar.de, and two new games from Nexon: Navy Field 2 and Shadow Company. Secondly, you only had to walk across to the next stand and you would most likely hear someone yelling loudly from a stage about free t-shirts, ‘do you want a free t-shirt’, ‘scream if you want a free t-shirt’, ‘come up on the stage for your chance to win a free t-shirt’… You get the picture, but it was all good fun and you could definitely come away with plenty of t-shirts!
I’ll be flying home tomorrow, but I’ll be keeping an eye on any new happenings here in Germany, probably more effectively as I won’t be quite as distracted. To be honest I’m itchy to get a bit of gaming done, there are now so many games I really want to play that I never thought I would before Gamescom. This trip has been amazing, thanks for having me Germany!
The sun is shining in Germany today and myself and thousands of other gamers headed down to at the Koelnesse Covention Center in Köln. Free travel cards with our tickets meant we got from the hotel to the convention center by Tram, no problems at all… but that was mostly because I wasn’t navigating, lol! This is by far the biggest games event I’ve ever been at and the scale of it was pretty overwhelming at first, 5 massive rooms with additional outdoor areas for refreshments and taking a bit of time out. Firstly I checked in at Blizzard of course and double/triple checked the MoP cinematic time and then started the exploration phase. Queue times were massive throughout the day, especially getting into the Call of Duty Black Ops II area, but it was similar for most big titles if you wanted a chance to get your hands dirty such as Far Cry 3, Ghost Recon, Hitman Absolution, Assassins Creed III, and Medal of Honour, just to name a few. In comparison the console area was easy to get into, PlayStation had a big gaming area and it was by no means empty. Cosplay was big, although I’ve yet to find this mythical cosplay village Blizzard have talked about, and they have done well with the character impersonators this year, The Hitman was awesome. I passed by the swtor stand, and snapped R2D2, but there wasn’t much happening so I will revisit tomorrow, but I did get to the new Star Trek 3D preview which showed some real-time gameplay, this looks pretty slick and I think will be a real turning point for Star Trek gaming, great fight sequences and as you would expect great voice acting considering the cast of the latest film are lending their voices to the game.
There is obviously so much more I haven’t talked about, I will add another update tomorrow and a full debrief with lots of photos when I’m back in the UK. Gute Nacht alle!
It’s almost upon us, Gamescom begins on Wednesday 15th August for trade visitors and Thursday 16th August for all us regular folk. I’m eagerly getting ready to fly out to Cologne and will be spending a couple of days soaking up the atmosphere and checking out what new and exciting games and entertainment Gamescom has to offer. This year there are a massive 600 exhibitors in attendance, up 8% on 2011. According to Gamescom “More than 300 world, European and German premieres from every segment of the games world we be available to be played for the every first time in Cologne”, and with PC, console, online, browser and mobile games on show, there will be something for every gamer. Follow me on Twitter @cat792k to keep up-to-date on what’s happening at Gamescom on Thursday and Friday and don’t forget to look out for the post-show debrief, I just hope I remember everything!