launch

August 15, 2014

Warlords of Draenor: Launch Date Revealed

Image Source: Battle.net

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.

Archive Warlords of Draenor stories:

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor Revealed
Pre-Purchase Warlords of Draenor Now and get a Level 90 Character Boost
WoW Lore Series: Draenor

December 4, 2013

Starbound Beta Launches With Awesome Trailer

I have been following the development of Starbound, the newest game from Chucklefish, for what seems like an eternity.Starbound has oft been called a “spiritual successor” to Terraria, but this is a misnomer. Terraria and Starbound share an artist and basic gameplay premise, and that is pretty much where the similarities end. Today marks the launch of the first stage of the open beta. You can buy the game on Steam for 15 dollars and get started as soon as the download completes. Check out the trailer below and stay tuned from updates from me as the beta progresses.

March 21, 2013

More than 1.1 million fans join the global Zerg invasion

More than 1.1 million eSports fans tuned in to the launch broadcast for StarCraft II’s Heart of the Swarm. The launch showcased a massive 21-hour broadcast of launch events and at the end of the first two days after launch the game had sold around a million copies worldwide. Events included a Heart of the Swarm tournament at the Major League Gaming Winter Championship in Texas and we definitely agree with Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime who says in a press release “In addition to a brand-new single-player campaign, we added a ton of enhancements with this expansion to make StarCraft II even more fun to play, and more exciting to watch”. Although StarCraft has always been a popular game on Twitch, since the launch of the new expansion they’ve noted an uptake in viewers and also gamers streaming on Twitch, they reported a peak concurrent viewership of more than 157,000 viewers – not bad.

November 13, 2012

Launch Date Announced for Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2 Banner

The next chapter of Blizzard’s StarCraft II saga, Heart of the Swarm, will launch on March 12, 2013.

Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard’s first expansion to StarCraft II, picks up where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and take revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. You will follow Kerrigan as she travels the galaxy, growing in strength from mission to mission (20 in total), and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies. Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment says that “With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty. Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.”

Pre-sales for the standard digital and Digital Deluxe versions of Heart of the Swarm are now available. Players who would like to purchase either version and be ready to play the moment the expansion launches can do so now by visiting www.StarCraft2.com.

The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:

  • StarCraft II Torrasque
  • StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals
  • World of Warcraft In-Game Pet
  • Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil

While the collectors version includes all of the above plus:

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray
  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD
  • Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book
  • Zerg Rush Mousepad

To learn more about StarCraft II and Heart of the Swarm, visit the official website at www.StarCraft2.com.

September 9, 2012

Where is the Mists of Pandaria in-game launch event?

Although Blizzard have announced that there is going to be several official global launch events for the release of MoP in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Taiwan; there has not as yet been any news of an in-game launch event. But, the lack of any news doesn’t mean that there isn’t a plan in the pipeline, especially since Blizzard created in-game launch events for both the Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm releases.

In 2008 Wrath of the Lich King featured a full on zombie invasion where infected crates appeared in-game and began to infect the players themselves, the players could then choose to cure themselves by visiting one of the Argent Dawn within 10 minutes who had also appeared throughout the world. If you were not cured (either because you ran out of time or chose not to be) you then became a zombie who was treated as an enemy by all other players and NPCs except other zombies, and you had the ability to then infect other players.

And again in 2010 for the Cataclysm release, if you were allied to the horde you were called to take back the Echo Isles from a tribe of trolls called the Darkspears, led by their leader Vol’jin, after being ousted by the witch doctor Zalazane. If you were alliance you received a similar call to join the fight to take back Gnomeregan led by High Tinker Mekkatorque, following the betrayal by his chief advisor Thermaplugg.

Further details of the launch events can be found on the Blizzard website, members of the dev team will be at these events where possible so you can meet them and get your copy of the game signed. You will also be able to purchase both standard and collectors editions. In the meantime I’ll be looking out for signs of any in-game launch events, please do let us know if you’ve heard of anything, it seems like a lot of players are asking the question.

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