“Prove your skills in combat with the 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass! Compete with the best players in 3v3 Arena matches for rewards, glory and a place at the top of the leaderboard.”
The 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass gives players a dedicated competitive environment based on the World of Warcraft Arena system. Players will be able create up to 11 level 90 characters per registered World of Warcraft account, each character will be based on one of a set of template characters with the ability to choose from some of the best items available in the game. You can set up your Arena team just like you would a normal PvP group in World of Warcraft, once created, you can compete with your fellow teammates in the special Arena Pass Battlegroup.
What you can earn for your in-game characters:
Participating in at least 50 rated Arena Pass games on one character and with the same team will be eligible to receive the Armored Murloc pet.
If you are a member of one of the top 1000 teams at the end of the rated phase and have participated in at least 100 rated Arena Pass games on a character on a qualifying team, you will receive the “Vanquisher” title for live characters level 71 and over.
To sign-up for the Arena pass you must:
Have an active subscription to World of Warcraft with an account in good standing, e.g., not flagged or banned for any reason.
Have a World of Warcraft account that has been upgraded to Mists of Pandaria.
Have a valid credit card to pay the registration fee for the Arena Pass, which is $20 in North America and €15/£12 in Europe.
Reside in a country or territory that allows participation (you will see the full list when registering).
Complete the required information on the registration page to register for the Arena Pass.
May has been an extremely busy month, but there is always time of course for some warcraft and I’ve been smiting my way to 90 with my priest, not far to go now 88 and counting. Also in a bold move, our 5-man dungeon team have decided to strike out on our own and set-up a brand new guild! Never ones to be afraid of a bit of hard work we realise we’ve got quite a way to go to make level 25 but we’re going to have fun trying, it gives us a chance to do the things we always wanted: to make a guild that is fun and social attracting like-minded people, using our professions to help our fellow guildmates and stocking our guild bank and especially knowing who to go to by actually having a guild website as well as plenty of officers who are online regularly. We acknowledge that we’re not epic, we’re all about the learning experience, and encourage others to come learn with us and not feel that they’ll be letting anyone down… we do that for ourselves mosts instances! So, it’s time for us to run some of those classic dungeons, grab a tabard and grind that rep, I see good times ahead. So it’s great news that Blizzard have released their in-game events page to the World of Warcraft Game Guide, the page lists all the different types of regular contests and celebrations in one place.
Also on my radar is the new Elder Scrolls Online developed by ZeniMax Online Studios which is currently scheduled for a 2013 release, but you can now sign-up for beta access here: http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/. If you loved Skyrim and you love MMO’s then this is one not to be missed. Set 1000 years before the events of Skyrim, Tamriel is in the midst of a struggle for the emperorís seat. The world has broken off into three alliances, each alliance contains in itself a triumvirate of races. There is the Daggerfall Covenant in the west (Breton, Redguard and Orc), the Ebonheart Pact of the north and eest (Nord, Argonian and Dark Elf), and the Aldmeri Dominion of the south and south-west (High Elf, Wood Elf and Khajit).
You’ll see that it shares it’s fighting style in part with World of Warcraft in that there is an action bar with six abilities and the associated cooldown timers but this is combined with swordplay which means you’ll be doing a lot of left and right clicking for certain abilities. But unlike Warcraft you weapons will also gain XP, level up and be granted skills. In lots of ways I compare the Elder Scrolls Online to the best parts of my favourite MMOs, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, as with GW2 Zenimax are emphasising that sense of exploration which is something that I know will be a big bonus to a lot of players.
Confirmed features to pique your interest:
Player vs Player (available after Level 10)
Available in three different languages: English, French, and German.
Time-travel will be featured in the game.
Mundus Stones will be used to give characters special abilities.
Fast Traveling will be available through unlocked Wayshrines.
Mounts will be included.
Classes will be used, including Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, Warden, and Nightblade. Classes will only define the special abilities of the characters, not the weapon choices.
Synergy abilities are those that naturally blend players’ abilities together to bring down tougher enemies.
Players will be rewarded for successfully attacking, blocking and dodging through the “Finesse” system. Once significant finesse points are earned, players are able to use a designated Finesse attack, called Ultimate Abilities, which level up the more it is used.
Ultimate Abilities are Class-based, meaning that each class will have different Ultimate Abilities.
Crafting elements can be done in cities as well as in the wilderness.
Players will be able to own a pet, which they can use in combat.
Daedric Artifacts will exist in the game, and will be tied to the Fighters Guild storyline.
Only 5 Abilities will be available at once, however these can be changed.
Abilities can be leveled up to become more powerful the more they are used.
6 Skills can be used at any one time: The first two are weapons skills. The next three are class skills. The final skill is the Ultimate Ability.
PVP: In Cyrodiil, combat will revolve around the capturing of Keeps and its surrounding buildings. It is designed for 10-15 players to take a keep, 10 for an Outpost, and 4-6 for a support structure such as a farm or Lumber Mill.
Fast Travel in Cyrodiil will be different from the rest of the game. Instead of the Wayshrines, players will travel to the Keeps that they control (Other than those currently under attack).
Siege Weapons will not only be in the game, but will be craftable and customisable.
Alliance Points: An Alternative advancement system, with 23 ranks at launch. A “lifetime alliance point tally”, each rank will give a new title and alliance icon. (Similar to faction ranks in Morrowind and Oblivion).
Guilds will exist in the game.
Guilds will be specific to a Faction’s campaign.
Public Dungeons will be instanced. That is to say, once you reach Level 50, new areas of the dungeon will open up, and you will be able to see the results of your actions previously in that dungeon. These are known as Adventure Zones.
Morality and Criminality will be added to the game after launch.
Emotes will be available, as will flags for the Megaserver to group players in.
Dragon Shrines will be in the game.
A list of wieldable abilities so far includes: Two-Handed, One-Hand and Shield, Dual Wield, Bow, Fire Staff, Ice Staff, Lightning Staff, Heal Staff, or One-Hand and Rune.
There are a total of eight ranks for increased character weapon proficiency.
Daedric Ruins are confirmed to be appearing in the game.
Crouching (Sneaking) will use Stamina, as will sprinting and blocking.
Patch 5.3 which is currently in PTR testing is due for release tomorrow, Tuesday 21st May 2013. For the PTR patch notes which tell you about all the changes that this patch brings to WoW you can get these from the battle.net site here. Also, just to remind you that the fourth installment of Dawn of the Aspects by Richard A. Knaak is now available for download, more details about both of these below.
WoW Patch 5.3 Key Patch Details
The experience required to level from 85 to 90 will be reduced by 33%.
The amount of Justice, Honor, and Darkmoon Faire tickets needed to upgrade Heirloom items will be reduced by 60%.
Heroic Scenarios require an average Item Level of 480; unlike normal Scenarios, you’ll need a pre-made party to enter.
An average Item Level of 435 is required for Heroic dungeons.
Outdoor world creatures level 90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses encountered as part of the Battlefield: Barrens quest event in Kalimdor will drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
The 7,250 Conquest Point requirement to purchase non-elite Conquest Point weapons (PvP) is being removed with patch 5.3.
All PvP characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
“Uncertainty plagues Azeroth’s ancient guardians as they struggle to find a new purpose. This dilemma has hit Kalecgos, youngest of the former Dragon Aspects, especially hard. Having lost his great powers, how can he—or any of his kind—still make a difference in the world?
The answer lies in the distant past, when savage beasts called proto-dragons ruled the skies. Through a mysterious artifact found near the heart of Northrend, Kalecgos witnesses this violent era and the shocking history of the original Aspects: Alexstrasza, Ysera, Malygos, Neltharion, and Nozdormu.
In their most primitive forms, the future protectors of Azeroth must stand united against Galakrond, a bloodthirsty creature that threatens the existence of their race. But did these mere proto-dragons face such a horrific adversary alone, or did an outside force help them? Were they given the strength they would become legendary for… or did they earn it with blood? Kalecgos’s discoveries will change everything he knows about the events that led to the… DAWN OF THE ASPECTS.” (battle.net website)
So, what’s part IV about?
A united group of proto-dragons have embarked on an assault against Galakrond and his undead army. The blue dragon Kalecgos continues to witness the battle through the eyes of his predecessor, Malygos. He and his new comrades: Alexstrasza, Nozdormu, Ysera, and Neltharion, soon find themselves struggling for survival. Their only hope for the future may lie with an enigmatic figure named Tyr, but perhaps even that is not enough to save them?
When will you be able to get the next installment?
Part 5: 17 June 2013
Go download (from Amazon or through iTunes) and read, NOW!
As most of you know, WoW patch 5.3 is now available for you to test on the Public Test Realms (PTR), the patch includes a host of new content and bug fixes. All you have to do is copy your character and download the PTR client. You can visit battle.net to see the full 5.3 inventory which includes class, profession and PvP changes, but in this post I wanted to share my top 5 that I’m most looking forward to seeing.
1. Transmogrification available from bank and void storage
Are you a fan of transmogging? Then it’s good news for you, instead of having to carry round the items you want to transmog in your bag you will be able to transmog items that are sitting in the bank or in void storage. No more accidentally selling an item in your bag or carrying around items and taking up valuable bag space.
2. Pet battles come to dungeons and raids
You can now duel with your pets in dungeons and raids, there is sometimes a little downtime in a dungeon or raid… toilet breaks, someone wants to get a drink, you’ll be missing a member or two so what better time than to pet battle while you wait.
3. Changes to the hit rate in Pet Battles
Patch 5.3 removes the base 5% to dodge. This means that without making any additional changes some pet abilities would have had a 100% chance to hit. This has been fixed by giving some abilities a base chance to miss – but in return the damage has been increased when they do hit, this should even out the playing field.
4. Pick your loot specialisation
You can now pick a loot specalisation that is different than your current spec for Raid Finder, Bonus Rolls, and Pandarian quests.
5. New battleground, Arena and Scenarios
Deepwind Gorge: the new Battleground situated in the Valley of the Four Winds; The Tiger’s Peak: the new Arena where gladiator hopefuls have a new location to test their mettle in the Kun-Lai mountain tops; and new scenarios: Battle on the High Seas, Blood in the Snow, Dark Heart of Pandaria and The Secrets of Ragefire.
“We love having the opportunity to hang out with our players at BlizzCon, and it’s always awesome to see the greatest gaming community on earth swarm Anaheim. We look forward to delivering two full days of gaming, activities, and other entertainment, and we can’t wait to show some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on.” Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.
Are you planning on attending this year’s BlizzCon? If the answer is yes then you need to know that BlizzCon 2013 tickets will be going on sale in two batches this year:
First Batch: Wednesday 24th April at 7pm PT Second Batch: Saturday 27th April at 10am PT
Tickets will be priced at $175.00 and are available from www.blizzcon.com. In addition there will also be a small number of tickets to the pre-BlizzCon dinner in aid of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, which not only allows you to rub shoulders with the Blizzard Staff but also gives you full access to the main two-day event – these tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 1st May at 7pm PT, also available from www.blizzcon.com. The event will be held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center on the 8th and 9th of November.
If like me you’re not fortunate enough to be able to attend in person, Blizzard haven’t forgotten you, there is also going to be the option to purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket which will give you full live coverage of the event. Details of this virtual ticket have not yet been announced, but we’ll be posting more information as it becomes available.
March has been a super busy month, I’ve dedicated much of my free time to levelling my Worgen Priest, Lursaduras, through the available WoW dungeons and practicing healing on my 5-man group. Our group is pretty laid back when it comes to running dungeons but we must be doing something that works because wipes are pretty rare. This week has been great and I’ve only been finding totally amazing gamers on my WoW server, I’m just drinking it the good vibes and help instead of the abuse and it’s been great to share the good experiences with you all on Twitter, if you want to check out our streams you can find me @cat792k and all our blog posts @gamersblogbytes!
In addition to playing WoW, I’ve now become a total Warcraft fiction addict. I’ve recently posted about Richard A. Knaak’s most recent series on the blog, Dawn of the Aspects (http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-dawn-of-the-aspects) and the good news is that the second part of the series is now available for download. In the first part we saw how the former dragon aspects are on the brink of going their separate ways to find new destinies since their original purpose as the protectors of Azeroth seem to be no more. Kalecgos has uncovered a mysterious artifact that allows him to see through the eyes of his late predecessor, Malygos, and he has been sucked into the past, literally sharing Malygos’ body, where dragons must fight for survival and he encounters the terrifying alpha dragon, Galakrond. We left Kalecgos in the clinches of Galakrond at the end of the first part – will he and Malygos share the same fate? The answer is, of course not, but what he finds next leaves him more troubled, enter the undead. Alongside this new discovery a stranger from the past begins to appear in the present and Kalecgos fears for his own sanity. Part 3 of the series will be available for download on the 22nd April 2013. At the moment you can discuss this series and also The War of the Ancients series with @WowWellRead on Good Reads at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/88038-warcraft-well-read.
Also on my radar since it was announced at PAX East is Hearthstone, the new Blizzard digital strategy card game (http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft). Fans of the amazing podcast, The Instance, will be excited to know that they’ve got an interview lined up for next with with the Hearthstone team, you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the game and the team @PlayHearthstone. Although the initial beta testing will only be available on the US servers according to the current plans, it’s possible this might change so stay tuned. If you do want to get signed up for the beta test just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account.
Last weekend saw the spectacle that is PAX East 2013 in Boston. If you were lucky enough to go we hope you had a fantastic time, if like me you watched from afar, perhaps not as far as the UK though, I thought I’d do a quick update on the MMO side of things at this years event. Blizzard Entertainment promised us something new would be announced and they didn’t disappoint, there was plenty of speculation before hand about them perhaps revealing more information about Titan or some new content relating to Diablo III, but instead they gave us Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft which is billed to be a new digital card game where players build card decks based around one of nine WoW character classes. With all the excitement it definitely warranted a bigger piece on the blog and you can find the full story about Hearthstone here: http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft/. If you were at PAX East you would have been able to try out the game now and reports coming back are positive from gamers – although they don’t see anything particularly groundbreaking it’s perfect for your ‘off-wow time’. For the rest of us the beta should be coming soon – there is currently no set date at present.
On the MMO expansions side a few interesting ones were announced: CCP Games announced EVE Online’s next expansion, Odyssey, due for release on June 4th 2013; and Cryptic announced the first expansion for Star Trek Online, Legacy of Romulus, due for release on May 21st, this gives players the ability to play as a Romulan and captain a Warbird-class vessel. On the flip side ArenaNet confirmed that we won’t be getting an expansion for Guild Wars 2 anytime soon, the game’s developers are focusing instead on more immediate content releases to make the game as good as it can be.
We recently also had a piece on the blog about Runescape and Jagex announced Runescape 3 at PAX East 2013 which improves on the last 12 years of the original game’s development. You can check out why you might want to play Runescape in our MMORPG Update piece titled ‘Discovering Runescape’: http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-discovering-runescape/. The release takes advantage of a new game engine and will run faster and look better, although you will still be able to use the old Java client if you want.
Newcomer to my world of MMOs was F2P MMO City of Steam from Mechanist Games, described as an “industrial age fantasy in a fallen world” the game mixes fantasy with industrialism. Good reports are coming out from the PAX East weekend about this game and it will be going into beta sometime soon, the developers tell us that they are hoping to launch sometime in the next few months.
Blizzard were also showcasing their Diablo III’s console edition and hinted that it might not stop at just the PlayStation 3 and 4. Check out the trailer shown to gamers at the Blizzard booth here:
There was of course tons more information available over the weekend and if you are interested in what else happened or other PAX events a good starting point is the website here at: http://east.paxsite.com/.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced the the upcoming release of a new free-to-play strategy card game for PC, Mac and iPad which will be called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There will be a hands-on demo at PAX East this weekend, but beta testing is coming soon. To make sure you are ready for the beta just make sure that you sign up for this in your beta profile settings on battle.net.
In the game, players build card decks baed around one of nine WoW character classes (we don’t know what the nine will be as yet out of the available classes here: warrior, paladin, hunter, rogue, priest, death knight, shaman, mage, warlock, monk or druid) and play each other for the chance to win new cards… oh, and for the win, we can’t forget about that! The game is designed so that all players, even if they have never played WoW before, will be able to pick it up and start playing straight away. You will be able to play against the computer in practice matches, pitting your wits against some of the great strategists of Azeroth, and take on your friends via your battle.net friends list. You will also be able to play in two competitive game modes:
A typical head-to-head with a chance to increase your ranking and earn new cards.
Players start with a new deck of cards and use that to play other Forge challengers. Players will not only be able to win new cards but add to their collections by buying new card packs or disenchanting existing cards to craft ones that they might be missing.
There will be hundreds of different cards to choose from featuring all your favourite characters from WoW, their spells and weapons, but it will be up to you to build your deck and create winning strategies.
WoW Patch 5.2 Rise of the Thunder King is due for release imminently. Here’s a chance for you to check out the trailer for the latest patch and also brush up on your lore, who is the Thunder King and what is this patch all about?
The story so far…
Lei Shen of the Mogu was fluent in the ways of war in his youth, but unlike other Mogu he also had wisdom. Once he came of age and commanded his own legions Lei Shen took his followers where no-one had dared go before, the Thundering Mountain, it was here that it is said that he took on the Mogu God with the help of an ancient artifact and tore it’s heart out, by doing this he gained power over wind and storm declaring himself to be The Thunder King.
With his new power, the Thunder King rose to power by eliminating his rivals one by one (The Mogu Way), he was ruthless to his enemies when they did not submit to his will, but in him the Mogu saw purpose and direction, and they followed him, enslaving the other races of Pandaria; Jinyu, Pandaren and Hozen. Lei Shen unified his people and those he could not force to submit he found other ways to motivate them to do his will. He was particularly hard on the Pandaren because in them he saw great potential, their leaders were executed and all Pandaren art and literature was burned. In order to protect the ancient artifact that had helped Lei Shen rise to power as Emperor of the Mogu and the other races he ordered the construction of the Mogu’shan Vaults to contain the powerful weapon.
One of the races that Lei Shen knew would be useful to him was the troll empire of the Zandalari, this tribe of trolls helped the Mogu when the Pandaren staged an uprising years later and since that uprising the Mogu have been scattered.
Lei Shen eventually died of old age after his armies fought with monks in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. It is said that in his final moments, Lei Shen summoned a storm that blanketed the vale for several days. Recently however the Zandalari along with the other troll tribes have allied themselves once again with the Mogu, together they found Lei Shen’s body inside the Tomb of the Conquerors, alongside his army. They took the body to the Isle of Reckoning and resurrected him with the help of prophet Khar’zul.
It is in patch 5.2 that we see Lei Shen make his return to Pandaria. The Alliance and the Horde must stop him and his allies which culminates in the new raid ‘Throne of Thunder’.