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In this episode we take a look at everything that’s coming (and not coming) in Patch 4.1, Patch 4.2 and Firelands, Hotfixes, Art Updates & More!

Watch in HD! Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe!

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In this episode we take a look at lots of Patch 4.1 and PTR News, Some 4.0.6 Hotfixes, Joyland, Lots of cool and funny art and much, much more! 😀

Watch in HD! Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe!

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ZGBanner

More Patch 4.1 Goodness

The recently announced patch 4.1 PTR notes have been updated and we have been treated with even more fresh and exciting changes. The guys over at Blizzard posted an updated list of changes on the 28th of February and there are quite a few interesting additions. There were a few class changes, most notably to warlocks, warriors, druids and priests, but I won’t discuss those fully here. The biggest change in this update of the update was probably that you can now fly in the Ghostlands and this was obviously done in response to the fact that a lot of players will be streaming to the area to do Zul’Aman once the patch goes live, so why not make it a little easier for them to travel there? (You can see an exploration video of the whole ‘flight in Ghostlands’ thing below, courtesy of TotalBiscuit.) There were also a few changes made to the way resilience scales.

Patch 4.1 Public Test Realm Notes – Updated Feb. 28 – World of Warcraft Community Site

WoW PTR – Ghostlands, now with added flying – YouTube

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Extras

As usual, there are tons more unreported changes and additions that I have no choice but to discuss. This patch finally unlocks the Old Ironforge area of the dwarven capital, now you will finally have a chance to walk around the area without having to exploit your way through the door, hooray! You will be able to explore the area and even see Magni Bronzebeard in a petrified state following the events of the Cataclysm. A bit sad, but still quite nice to see! TotalBiscuit has a nice exploration video up of the area and you can find it, quite conveniently, linked below!

More mounts, pets and other finery have been discovered and, as usual, MMO-Champion has the scoop. A couple of new Firehawk mounts were dug up, which you can see in another rather convenient YouTube video, along with a Flameward Hippogryph and even a quick look at the two new mounts we’re set to be picking up in Zul’Gurub, the Zulian Panther and Razzashi Raptor. The Winterspring Frostsaber’s grind, which I am sure some of you are quite familiar with, has been changed quite drastically, in a good way! The quest is now pretty much identical to that of the Venomhide Ravasaur quest that the Horde gets. So yes, the mount takes a minimum of 20 days to get now, but it only costs you a couple of minutes every day to do that daily quest, so it’s not that bad! Lastly, there are a bunch of new companion pets to check out below, too.

Fire Hawks and Patch 4.1 Mounts/Pets, The MMO Report – MMO-Champion

WoW PTR – Old Ironforge – YouTube

Old Ironforge – MMO-Champion

Looking for Guild Feature Coming in 4.1 (Maybe!) – Wowhead

Patch 4.1 PTR: Wintersaber mount grind goes daily – WoW Insider

Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes – February 25

The next few, and I really do mean few, Patch 4.0.6 hotfixes are upon us and these, well, these are all in the Bastion of Twilight. I am pretty sure the raiders amongst you will appreciate this batch, the ones doing heroics even more so. Along with those there was also just a quick fix for some of the issues player neutral with the Twin Peaks and Battle for Gilneas factions were having while playing. See the full list below!

Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes – February 25 – World of Warcraft Community Site

Rejected Concepts

Daily Blink – Legs, Legs, Legs!

The guys and girls from the Daily Blink are back with even more humorous images concerning current events in the World of Warcraft. What can I say, this one was bound to happen. In their latest image they take a jab at the whole ‘Ragnaros with legs’ debacle by throwing some extra legs on various other big names from Azeroth, calling them rejected concepts. Quite funny and worth checking out! 😀

This Idea’s Got Legs – The Daily Blink

Wow Smalls

World of Warcraft Smalls:

New Player Tips: Dial M for Macro – World of Warcraft Community Site

Poll: /cast [target=WeeklyPoll] Vote – World of Warcraft Community Site

SwagDog Hoodie Sale – World of Warcraft Community Site

Cryptozoic: World Tour in Paris – World of Warcraft Community Site

Blizzard Artists Signing at 2011 Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con – BlizzPlanet

PST Episode 18 – YouTube

TankSpot’s Guide to Heroic Conclave of Wind – YouTube

Datamining Cataclysm’s legendary staff – WoW Insider

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Ladder Map Changes

Along with the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Libery Patch 3.1 on the PTR, which I will be covering extensively in my next Pulse Episode, there were a few changes made to the ladder map pool. Let’s have a look at them!

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps – Shacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR – Starcraft II Community Site

These stealth changes removed quite a number of maps from the ladder map pool, but, there were also quite a few fun looking additions. It is worth noting that the ladder maps that were removed can still be played via custom games, the maps are there, just not in the ladder map pool. Blizzard also says that they plan to add “a couple more new maps to the official ladder rotation in the coming weeks, including a user-made 1v1 map that is currently being featured in the Global StarCraft League.” I am rather curious to see which of the GSL maps they are thinking of adding, but I guess any of them would be a great asset! Rather than leave us asking why certain maps were removed, Shacknews posted a detailed listing of the changes with included commentary on each decision, which can be found below, courtesy of Shacknews.

Not keen to read it all? No problem! 😀

Firstly, let’s have the quick and dirty version. I will be looking at the added 1v1 and 2v2 maps extensively below, so check that out too!

 Changes to 1v1:

1v1 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (1) Scrap Station
  • (2)Xel’Naga Caverns
  • (4)Delta Quadrant
  • (4)Metalopolis


1v1 Maps Removed:

  • (2)Blistering Sands
  • (2)Jungle Basin
  • (2)Steppes of War
  • (4)Lost Temple
  • (4)Shakuras Plateau

1v1 Maps Added:

  • (4)Backwater Gulch
  • (4)Slag Pits
  • (4)The Shattered Temple
  • (4)Typhon Peaks

Changes To 2v2:

2v2 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (4)High Orbit
  • (4)Monlyth Ridge
  • (4)Red Stone Gulch
  • (4)Scorched Haven
  • (8)Tempest

2v2 Maps Removed:

  •  (4)Arid Wastes
  • (4)Tarsonis Assault
  • (4)Twilight Fortress
  • (4)War Zone

2v2 Maps Added:

  • (4)Gutterhulk
  • (4)Khaydarin Depths
  • (4)Omega Sector
  • (4)Ruins of Tarsonis

That may well suffice for many of you, but those that want the reasoning behind the additions and removals, the full details can be found below! I am only going to be posting / talking about the 1v1 changes as that is what the general populace cares about the most, you can ‘read more’ below to see the details behind the 2v2 / 4v4 and FFA changes, too.

Detailed Changes To 1v1

1v1 Maps Removed:

(2)Blistering Sands

We wanted to reduce the number of rush maps in general, and Blistering Sands was one of them. On top of that, Blistering Sands matches resulted in too many all-in games due to the rocks into the main base. The frequency of all-in roach/speedling, 4 warpgate push, or even mass marine/marauder stimpack push by breaking the rocks was a bit too high, so we decided to pull this map from the ladder.

(2)Jungle Basin

Jungle Basin has a few traits that make it extremely favorable for Terran, so we decided to remove it from the ladder. These include:

  • It’s possible to set up siege tanks right below the main base of your opponent and harass his natural expansion while preventing his forces from leaving his base.
  • Too many choke points everywhere on the map made it difficult for Zerg to deal with marines, marauders, or siege tank-based skirmishes.
  • Difficult access to second expansion

High ground right in from of the ramp leading down to main. Setting up units at both this high ground as well as part of the low ground was too powerful, especially for Terrans that use siege tanks.

(2)Steppes of War

Again, we wanted to reduce the number of rush maps, and Steppes was the most rush-friendly rush map we decided to cut. It’s not that we don’t like rush maps, but we have learned over the course of season 1 that two-player rush maps are generally more one-sided than four-player rush maps. For the ladder map changes, the rush possible maps we’ll have will be four-player maps only.

(4)Lost Temple

Problems of Lost Temple:

  • If one side controls one of the center watch towers, there’s no alternate ground-based route to half of the map, meaning it’s too easy for the game to become a stalemate with each side taking half of the map.
  • Small islands in the corners were problematic in that they were difficult to assault as each of the three races. We noticed it’s possible to hold out at one or both of these islands and drag on a game for longer than needed. It was also problematic in that in some matchups, these islands were just free expansions that almost never get attacked, which is not what we wanted in an expansion.
  • The choke point by the natural expansions were too small; it was possible to block them off easily using only a few buildings.

(4)Shakuras Plateau

This map we decided to remove for a different reason. There isn’t a huge problem with this map, but we felt there aren’t enough interesting features of this map. The natural expansion is easy to take and defend; there are only two possible attack paths only one of which is generally used, and main bases aren’t easy to harass. For a change, we wanted to replace this relatively plain map with something new. 

1v1 Maps Added:

(4)Backwater Gulch

Backwater Gultch

Backwater Gulch has a familiar main to first expansion layout. Early game play on this map should feel familiar and there probably aren’t too many early game threats or difficulties in terms of gimmicky strategies you need to worry about. The second expansion, however, features a high ground area that is accessible by two ramps, meaning it can be easily harassed. The center area has two watch towers as well as two high yield expansions that will be difficult to maintain, and the key to victory in some games could come down to how long you hold one or both of these center expansions.

(4)Slag Pits

Slag Pits
Metalopolis was one of two favorite maps across the different skill levels of players. We decided to introduce a very similar map, but slightly more macro heavy. We took out Shakuras Plateau, which was a very plain macro map, and added this map instead. Some of the key features of this map are the low ground high yield expansions, the 2 lines of shrub area that can be used to position units, as well as the low ground watch tower that watches over all of the low ground center.

(4)The Shattered Temple

Shattered Temple

The Shattered Temple is a newer version of Lost Temple that’s more balanced. Improvements to Lost Temple found in this map include:

  • Wider center area
  • Watch tower changed to only cover a part of the center of the map. It’s possible to sneak units around the corners of the central area without getting detected by the watch tower.
  • Rocked off islands. This creates an alternate attack route, and reduces stalemate situations that islands cause.
  • Larger choke point by the expansion makes it more difficult to block off. 

(4)Typhon Peaks

Typhon Peaks

  • This map has a lot of the fun traits of previous maps. Rocks by on the sides of the map are positioned similarly to Scrap Station to reduce rush distance in vertical start locations. The center has two watch towers and provides the main attack path like in Shakuras Plateau, and the second expansion is similar to the setup of Xel’Naga Caverns. Even though this map is brand new, players will be able to utilize some of their existing strategies that have been used on other maps, and potentially combine them to fit the unique play style of this new map.

Phew, that’s the 1v1 out of the way. As I said before, no word yet on which GSL map Blizzard were thinking of using, but hey, a little mystery is always fun! Let’s check the 2v2 changes out. (Once again, remember, if you want to see the full size images, check the gallery out over at Shacknews!)

Detailed Changes To 2v2

2v2 Maps Removed:

(4)Arid Wastes

Team play maps where your base is too far from your ally tend to favor race compositions that can use mobile armies. This is the reason why we will avoid having maps like Arid Wastes in the team play ladder in the future.

(4)Tarsonis Assault

This map has a similar feel to Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge. The main difference is that distance to future expansions are very far. We wanted to remove 1 of these 3 maps since they’re similar in style, and Tarsonis Assault was the worst one out of the three.

(4)Twilight Fortress

This map is an extremely macro heavy map we wanted to try. The game play on this map is very different, and the average length of games on this map was too long so it is being taken out of ladder play.

(4)War Zone

War Zone suffers from similar problems as Arid Wastes. It’s near impossible for certain team setups to help each other, and in team games, we want to have maps that are more team play based.

2v2 Maps Added:

(4)Gutterhulk

Gutterhulk

Like Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge, this map has a center area between the two allies where each player can safely expand. However, the main difference is that there are rocks blocking off the back of the main bases, meaning harassing either players’ main base is possible. In terms of main attack routes, there are 5 different attack paths to your opponents, meaning that control of the two watch towers is key to success on this map.

(4)Khaydarin Depths

Khaydarin Depths

This map was first showcased during Blizzcon 2009 even before the retail game launched. This map features an easily defendable high yield expansion in between you and your ally. However, this expansion is blocked off by destructible rocks, meaning you have to choose when to break this rock vs. when to attack or defend vs. the opposing team. Controlling the center of the map gains you access to most of the center of the map, but there are still back door routes around to the opponents’ bases by breaking one set of destructible rocks.

(4)Omega Sector

Omega Sector

Omega Sector is a two-player version of the popular 3v3 map Arakan Citadel. The start locations are very similar on both maps, and side expansion areas are a bit more easily accessible by the opposing players. This map has a possible three paths to attack, and although the center is the fastest route, the other two routes will be used very frequently because there are no watch towers overlooking them. As with Arakan Citadel, your ally is slightly far away from your base, so consider this when placing your first production structures.

(4)Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis is a more-balanced version of War Zone, which is being removed from the map pool. The biggest downside of War Zone was that it was near impossible to assist your ally if you didn’t have a mobile army. However, with the shared choke points on this map, it’s now possible to play as any race combination without obvious disadvantages. In the mid/late game however, there are back door attack paths leading to your second expansion areas, so be sure to defend those locations as well.

Well, I can totally understand why some of these were removed or changed because, as an avid 2v2 player myself, I can tell you that I have had quite a few problems on quite a few of the maps. But hey, I can’t wait to get in there and try these new maps!

I don’t really see the need to cover the 4v4 or FFA map changes, additions or removals, so if you feel you need to know what happened there, check the post linked below. Remember, instead of reading all of this, you can watch it all in video form above. Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe! 😀

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps – Shacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR – Starcraft II Community Site

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Cataclysm Patch 4.1

Patch 4.1 Public Test Realms Coming Soon

Patch 4.1 has been revealed! That’s right, development on the first major content patch for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is well underway! Blizzard are currently making preparations to bring some of the initial content and updates they’ve been working on for this patch to the Public Test Realms. So, what will we find in the first 4.1 test client? Here it comes and be careful, there’s a lot of it.

The Gurubashi Tribe Persists

Firstly, Zul’Gurub, originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is, or will soon be, a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346, also a step up from the 329 required for the current Heroics.

The Return of Zul’Aman

Next up, another Zul in the form of Zul’Aman. Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is also being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will be joining ZG in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, also providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting. Also sounds good to me!

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So, with the Zuls returning, the biggest question is definitely about those silly, and yes, unique mounts, that were once contained therein. Blizzard are quite pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. Blizzard said that they will reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.

Class Design

Now, on to the class changes we can expect in this new, and certainly anticipated, patch. While Blizzard do intend to make fewer balance changes in patch 4.1, we can still expect to find a fair number of updates. Below are just a few that they’d like to share with us right now. They ask us to keep in mind that these changes don’t encompass the entirety of the 4.1 changes, nor do the initial Public Test Realm patch notes and these are just the big ones, there’s much more to be seen below.

  • To start, it seems like Blizzard want to do a better job of balancing the AoE power of the different damage-dealing specs, so, we can expect to see some changes to this end made throughout the testing process.
  • Inner Rage is now available at level 56. It was intended to solve an excess rage problem that largely isn’t affecting warriors anymore. They’ve added a replacement ability for warriors at level 83: Rallying Cry.
  • Colossus Smash now ignores 70% of an opponent’s armor, down from 100%. Blizzard are compensating Fury and Arms warriors by increasing the damage of other attacks.
  • Word of Glory: Blizzard want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but they know paladins sometimes feel like they can’t use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. Blizzard would rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.

More To Come

As I mentioned before, there is a lot more than just that, and it can all be found below. Blizzard are still hard at work on additional features, balance updates, and bug fixes for patch 4.1. They let us know that they do look forward to sharing more information with us in the days and weeks ahead as they release new content on the Public Test Realms. Until then, have a look at the patch notes that they’ve prepared thus far. As always, these notes are not final and will continue to change as they go through the iterative development and testing processes.

So if you’d like to read more about any of the stuff I just mentioned, check the post linked below. Now that the official changes are out-of-the-way, let’s get on to the good stuff.

Patch 4.1 Public Test Realms Coming Soon – World of Warcraft Community Site

Looking For Guild Feature

One change that was not mentioned in the Patch 4.1 post but was in fact in the patch notes was that work has begun on a Looking for Guild System. There’s isn’t much known about it yet and Blizzard only says that further details will be provided when they are ready for feedback. This feature was hinted at during BlizzCon last year and it’s great to see it finally implemented, sort of, at least. There seem to be a few options available but I am unsure as to how well something like this would actually work, as with the Dungeon Finder Tool, you might get stuck with people don’ t really want to be stuck with. Oh well, check it out above and read more about it over at MMO-Champion. Enjoy!

 Spellcasting Changes

Another pretty big UI related change is that spells bound to a key now start to be cast when the button is pressed down by default, instead of waiting for the key to go up. This is an option that can be turned off in the Interface menu under Combat. Mouse clicking has not changed and operates on mouse click up. I think this would probably just help people who are used to that feature from other games or feel it would make them a bit faster when playing, personal preference I guess.

Ragnaros New Model

New Models

On the unofficial changes front we have quite a few new models that were dug up by the guys over at MMO-Champion. The most talked about? Probably Ragnaros and his new, pretty pimping, gear and, um, legs? Yeah, Ragnaros is now sporting a rather out-of-place looking pair of legs, check it out above. Other than that, which is really quite enough, there are two other big ones, namely the ‘Salamander Hunter’ NPC / mob and a new mount called a  Crimson Fire Hawk. You can check all three of those out, in full size, below.

Other than all the big ones, Wowhead have an entire collection up of smaller NPC’s, pets, other random goodies and lots of kitties. All cool looking and more than worth a look!

Patch 4.1 – PTR Build 13682 – 3D Models: Ragnaros and Kitties! – Wowhead

Crimson Fire Hawk and Salamander Hunter – MMO-Champion

Lastly, you can check how sad Ragnaros looks about the addition of those legs to his previously magnificent form. Thanks reddit!

ragnarosmeme

Patch 4.1 Extras

There are lots more changes that are popping up by the hour and, well, one of them is that, come the patch, we will see Battle.net account bound items that can actually be transferred to different servers. Yes, proper bind on account items, but there is no word on how this will work, or whether it will change our existing items or not. There are a bunch of new and updated icons for achievements, items and creatures, in the new PTR client, there’s some newly discovered Trading Card Game loot being added, Blizzard will be tracking your elevator deaths from Blackwing Decent, there is a lot of speculation about a new caster legendary item from the Caverns of Time that has a placeholder in the new client files, there’s a lot of new loot to be seen, all those high level items and even a new, epic, guild tabard that gives you 100% extra rep when worn. All of that and much, much more can be seen below, courtesy of WoW Insider, MMO-Champion and Wowhead, enjoy!

Patch 4.1 – PTR Build 13682 – New and Updated Icons – Wowhead

Patch 4.1 – PTR Build 13682 – Spell Changes – Wowhead

Battle.net Account Bound Items – MMO-Champion

 New WoW Trading Card Game loot – WoW Insider

Caster legendary news and speculation – WoW Insider

New pet collecting, food, drink and tabard achievements – WoW Insider

WoW now tracking your BWD elevator deaths – WoW Insider

The story moves forward – WoW Insider

New pet collecting, food, drink and tabard achievements – WoW Insider

New hydra pet available for hunters – WoW Insider

Joyland Progressing

Earlier this month I spoke about that Blizzard themed amusement park called ‘Joyland’ that was set to open in China sometime in March. Well, thanks to an article in The Huffington Post, it seems like the rumors are true and that the theme park is in fact being constructed in the Wunjin District of China. A few new photos of the park were released and I gotta say it is coming along quite nicely and looking almost exactly like the concept art shown of the park on their site. Anyway, I just thought I would mention that for all those theme park junkies out there. No, for those wondering, Blizzard still doesn’t have anything to say about all of this. If you wish to see the new images of the park or just read a little more about it be sure to check the post linked below. Enjoy!

‘Joyland’ Blizzard Theme Park Being Built In China (PHOTOS) – Huffington Post

Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes

To stray away from that which is yet to come and have a look at what’s going on the live servers right now, a few more sets of Patch 4.0.6 hotfixes have been applied. Below you can find the lists of changes from the February 18, 19 and 22 hotfixes. The notable changes for these sets include the following: The previously proposed Dungeon Finder changes have been implemented but, some changes may yet require a realm restart. For hunters, Aimed Shot damage has been decreased to approximately 160% weapon damage (at level 80+), down from 200% & Aspect of the Hawk now provides 2000 attack power at level 85, these changes are set to take effect after this weekend and Demolishers were apparently respawning too quickly in Strand of the Ancients, they are now on a 20-second spawn timer. There were a couple more changes, but, it does seem like the hotfixes are getting less every week, and that’s a good thing. I guess that will only last till 4.1 hits the live servers. Read the full lists below, enjoy!

Patch 4.0.6 Hotfixes – February 22 – World of Warcraft Community Site

Patch 4.0.6 hotfixes for Feb. 18 – WoW Insider

Patch 4.0.6 hotfixes for Feb. 19 – WoW Insider

Patch 4.0.6 hotfixes for Feb. 22 – WoW Insider

ss1252

Art  Updates

In some more of our favourite type of updates, art updates, we have some new Fan Art from the Warcraft Universe to drool over and a couple of updates to the official Wrath of the Lich King gallery. See my favourite above and links to the new work below, enjoy! 😀

Blizzard Art Gallery Update – World of Warcraft Community Site

Media Section Update (Fan Art) – World of Warcraft Community Site

comic-2011-02-02-large

Blizzard Comic Goodness

Blizzard challenged us, the fans, to submit our comic creations to the Blizzard Comic Contest, and the entries never fail to amuse and amaze, that much is sure. The following comic from Melissa Boston was selected as an honorable mention Blizzard’s ongoing contest. Check it out, I think it’s totally cute and well made, and keep checking back here for more!

Bonus Blizzard Comic Contest Entry – World of Warcraft Community Site

As an extra you can also check this comic out from the guys over at GU Comics about the recent debacle with the Whiptail in Uldum, quite fun! 😀

The Value of Whiptails – GU Comics

Wow Smalls

World of Warcraft Smalls:

Battleground Horde/Alliance Win Ratio – MMO-Champion

Brazilan and Japanese locale added in 4.0.6 – Blizzard Slate confirmed? – MMO-Champion

About the link above, remember the leaked Blizzard Product Slate from a few months back? World of Warcraft Brazil was actually on there, and, if you think about it a little, well, the timing is near perfect. That means that the rest of the items on that list may well be correct too. Diablo III in Quarter 4 2011? Yes please! 😀

2200 Rating PvP Weapons Now Available For Purchase – WoW Insider

A WILD MOLTRES APPEARS – reddit

Know Your Lore: Garona: A Study on Stealth and Treachery, part 1 – WoW Insider

World of Warcraft # 15 Comic Book – Digital Download at Comixology – BlizzPlanet

Legendary – The WoW Video Podcast – Hotfixes vs PTR – Wowhead

The Weekly Marmot – Raid Leading: A Crash Course – YouTube

PST – Episode 17 – YouTube

World of Warcraft Blues:

…On 4.0.6’s Warrior Juggernaut Nerf – Wowhead

…On Major Cities Which are Ghost Towns in Cataclysm – Wowhead

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Patch 1.2.1

Patch 1.2.1 Now Available on PTR

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty patch 1.2.1 is currently in development and now available for testing on the PTR. This minor patch contains several bug fixes as well as a sneak preview of new ladder maps. So as usual, by participating in the PTR, you’ll be among the first to test out these latest changes and help Blizzard ensure that when the patch is released its of the highest possible quality. This is, sadly, only available to the US players amongst you and as I just said, the biggest thing is probably just that you can test the new maps out. Might well be worth it, though. So if you’re interested, check the Patch 1.2.1 notes out below or hop onto that PTR now. Enjoy!

Patch 1.2.1 Now Available on PTR – Starcraft II Community Site

New Ladder Maps

As an extra, if you want to check the new 1v1 or 2v2 maps out and can’t get onto the PTR, AskJoshy has a nice video up reviewing the lot of them! You can find that video embedded above or linked below!

NEW 1v1 Maps! – StarCraft 2 Public Test Realm! – YouTube

NEW 2v2 Maps! – StarCraft 2 Public Test Realm! – YouTube

Tournament & Event News

Tournament & Event Smalls:

TotalBiscuit to cast Fnatic’s PLAY Open – GosuGamers

Nerchio wins InsideNation National Challenger Cup #2 – GosuGamers

TeamSpeak TL SC2 Open #12 – 5 Feb – TeamLiquid

Kas Wins Champions Trophy EU – SK Gaming

SeleCT Wins Champions Trophy US – SK Gaming

Adel Wins Spirit-LAN, ToD 2nd! – MyM

SjoW Wins Go4SC2 Cup #77 – MyM

elfittaja Wins ZOTAC Cup #41 – MyM

DIMAGA Wins Go4SC2 Monthly Finals – MyM

Recent Craft Cup Winners – CraftCup

Assembly Winter Groups Released – MyM

New ESL / Sennheiser Cup Announced (5000 Euro Prize Pool) – ESL

Brood War – Bacchus OSL Champion Decided – SK Gaming

IMMvp

GSL January Code-S Grand Final – IMMvp Wins!

The first season of the new and improved GSL Sponsorship League’s Code-S has been completed and we have our winner. IMMvp faced off against MarineKingPrime in an epic best of 7 series, that, well… didn’t really last as long as some would have liked. Mvp managed to destroy MarineKing with a score of 4 to 0 to claim his first place and the prize of over $40,000. This makes Mvp the first terran GSL Champion and, well, he fully deserves that number 1 spot. Below you can find the final standings of the event along with a full recounting of the finals. Enjoy!

GSL Jan 2011 Code S champion crowned – SK Gaming

GOMTV GSL January Grand Final – Report – GosuGamers

GSL Jan 2011 final standings:

  • 1st  Jong-Hyun ‘mvp’ Jung (T) – $44,480
  • 2nd  Jung-Hoon ‘MarineKing’ Lee (T) – $17,790
  • 3rd-4th  Jae-Duck ‘NesTea’ Lim (Z) – $4,450
  • 3rd-4th  Jonathan ‘Jinro’ Walsh (T) – $4,450
  • 5th-8th  Gregory ‘IdrA’ Fields (Z) – $2,670
  • 5th-8th  Hyung-Sup ‘choya’ Lee (P) – $2,670
  • 5th-8th  Ki-Soo ‘Trickster’ Seo (P) – $2,670
  • 5th-8th  Yoon-Yeol ‘NaDa’ Lee (T) – $2,670

GSL Up / Down Matches

The Up-And-Down matches to determine the next seasons Code-A and Code-S players have also been completed. The players knocked down into Code-A were the following:

 Seong Hun ‘Polt‘ Choi
 Man Hyuk ‘jookToJung‘ Jo
 Seo-Yong ‘Rain‘ Park
 Han Eul ‘Maka‘ Kwak
 Dong-Nyung ‘Leenock‘ Lee
 Gyeong Su ‘LegalMind‘ Kim

The following six will replace them and will get the chance to prove themselves in Code S:

 June ‘Lyn‘ Park
 Seung-Chul ‘sC‘ Kim
 Hyun Wo ‘Byun‘ Byun
 Jung Hoon ‘TOP‘ Kim
 Myung-Duk ‘BanBans‘ Seo
 Sung-Jun ‘July‘ Park

Lastly, Artosis recently revealed the four foreign seedings making it into the Code-A for the next season of the GSL. HuK, HayprO, Ret and mOOn-GLaDe have all been invited to participate. That is pretty exciting and I absolutely can’t wait for the next season to kick off! Read more about all those moves below.  

Season V Code S settled – SK Gaming

HuK, Ret, HayprO, mOOn-GLaDe to GOMTV GSL Code A – GosuGamers

GSL Extras

There are, as usual, a bunch of little GSL related extras you can check out, too. SK Gaming has a pretty in-depth article up called The State of the GSL, Artosis has an incredibly long video up of his visit to the Code-A qualifiers (Including a bunch of interesting interviews) and you can even read about the apparent new maps that are set to be used upcoming seasons of the GSL and ESL events, too.

The State of the GSL – SK Gaming

[Official] GSTL map pool change – TeamLiquid

ESL gets new maps – GosuGamers

ESL and GSL add new maps – MyM

[V] Interviews from the GSL Code A qualifiers! – TeamLiquid

New ESL / Sennheiser Cup – 5000 Euro Prize Pool

ESL has added yet another cup series to their already long list of events. This €100 Euro weekly cup titled the ‘Sennheiser StarCraft 2 Cup’ is set to carry on for 16 weeks with each winner qualifying for an offline play-off that will happen at the GamesCom expo in Koln, Germany, on May 28. These cups are happening on the EU servers and they sound like a lot of fun. As I alway say, everyone had better take part. Read the full details below.

Sennheiser Starcraft II Cup – ESL

FXOpen Invitational Series #1 – $1500

The guys and girls from over at FXOpen are proud to announce their first 64-player invitational tournament in their latest series of invitational events. This new format sees yet another increase in the prizepool, with $1500 cash up for grabs. There are a ton of great players that have been invited and, well, they even managed to sign Artosis to do the English casting for the event! It all sounds quite exciting and I can’t wait for the event to kick off on the 19th of February.

[FXO] FXOpen Invitational Series #1 – $1500 – TeamLiquid

Top 200 Starcraft 2

Top 200

The top 200 lists have been updated, yes, again. This time, though, there’s something different about them, the EU one in particular. One of our very own South African players has managed to creep up in there at the 183rd position. Yes, you guessed it, its Shase and he is doing us all proud! You can check that out on the EU top 200 list and leave him a grats in the comments, I’ll be sure to pass it on! Below you can also find the US, Korean and South East Asian lists, enjoy! 

EU Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

US Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

KR Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

SEA Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

Community News

Community Smalls:

Day[9] voted as best ‘Community Effort of the Year’ 2010 – GosuGamers

Demuslim with broken hand after “skirmish” – TeamLiquid

StarCraft Premium Series 1 Action Figure Set Pre-Orders – BlizzPlanet

Sjow applies for foreigner house in Korea – SK Gaming

Junwi – President Of Starcraft II Players Association

Incredible Miracle zerg player Junwi has been voted the first ever president of the StarCraft II Players Association and is expected to hold the office till the end of 2011. Junwi apparently received 26 out of a possible 84 votes to win his position. After being appointed he had the following to say:

“Thank you to all the players who voted for me, I will try my best to become a president that every single player will respect and enjoy.”

Junwi will lead the association in establishing an emphasis on the importance of education for professional players, as many GSL players are still in high school, or only recently graduated. He will also lead his team, Incredible Miracle, in the running of a blood drive for the Brood War pro Violet, who was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia last week. Now that sounds like a whole bunch of good things that Junwi is set to do this year and everyone had better wish him the best of luck. Read more about this story below, courtesy of SK Gaming.

Junwi voted SC2 players association president – SK Gaming

Grubby Interview

Fragster recently spoke to Grubby about his big move of switching to Starcraft II. In the interview they cover his current success in Warcraft III, whether that will translate into wins in Starcraft II or not, and how Grubby is enjoying Starcraft II right now. It really is a good read, especially for all those Warcraft III players that changed to Starcraft II recently themselves. Check the entire thing, titled ‘I am the underdog’, out below, enjoy!

“I’m the underdog” – Fragster

BoxeR’s Wings Episode 1

The guys from over at TL Subs have posted the first episode of ‘BoxeR’s Wings’, a documentary that follows the life of Lim Yo Hwan, BoxeR, as he makes his comeback to professional gaming in StarCraft II. It really is a close up look at what makes BoxeR tick, his fears, hopes and dreams for the future. A great watch and I urge all of you to check it out. Big thanks to dinki and his team for doing the subs!

[TL Subs] BoxeR’s Wings Episode 1 – TeamLiquid

Liquid Weekly #26

The latest TeamLiquid weekly is here and well, it’s a good one! This week we are treated with a lengthy TLO interview done by Sebastian from PolygonreVue that includes some Bloodline champions related talk and footage that’s probably worth checking out, an interview with LiquidTyler and a nice replay pack for all those zerg players out there from HayprO. All that and more, check it out below! 

The Liquid Weekly #26 – TeamLiquid

Tour Of The GOMtv Foreigner House

Artosis is at it again, this time he takes us on a tour of the newly rented apartment for a potential 8 foreign players from outside of South Korea. The apartment has everything, from bunk-beds, great looking bathrooms with electric toilet seats, a ready-to-use kitchen and a capacity of eight practice computers. The place looks great and what makes the video even better is that John the Translator is the one giving the tour of it! Artosis also conducts a short interview at the end with John wherein he mentions a few interesting pieces of information, most notable of which is that GOMtv will be picking the players that get to stay in the apartment based on their past accomplishments and current ladder ranking. So, head on over to ArtosisTV on YouTube to check that out. 

GSL Foreigner House Tour – YouTube

P1020495

Starcraft II Sculptures

The guy that brought us the amazing Husky Infested Marine Sculpture, and many others, is back and in business! Well, sort of. The Notbusch Modeling website is back online and showing off some amazing new sculptures. I suggest you all give it a look and let me know what you think. I gotta say, the detail in some of these is pretty freaking amazing. Check that out below and wish the creator luck with getting a licence to sell these from Blizzard. Enjoy!

Sc2 Sculptures are back – TeamLiquid

IMBALANCED! – EP 01 – Introduction

Big names Artosis and IdrA bring us a new show, a show about imbalance! In this first episode they just introduce the show, talk a little about what it is and what they plan to do with it and then start talking about the protoss Colossus. Is the Colossus imbalanced? I think you’ll just have to watch the episode for the answer to that one!

IMBALANCED! – EP 01 – Introduction – YouTube

IdrA vs IMMvp

In one last little bit of IdrA related news, as I know you all love it so much, below you can find an amazingly epic ladder game from IdrA’s livestream between himself and IMMvp. The game clocks in at around 40 minutes and, well, it has pretty much everything you’d ever want from a ZvT. No, no spoilers. Check it out!

IdrA vs Mvp – Justin.tv

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Patch 4.0.6

Patch 4.0.6 Now Available on Public Test Realms

The first World of Warcraft: Cataclysm patch of the year is in development and now available for testing on the Public Test Realms. Blizzard explains that Patch 4.0.6 is set to contain the recently discussed class balance changes, a bunch of  hotfixes that they were unable to apply via, well, hotfixes, assorted bug fixes and more! Sooo I guess if you guys and girls want to help Blizzard out with the testing of this freshly announced patch I guess you’d better get that PTR client updated! Below you can find a link to the preliminary PTR patch notes. As an added extra, for those amongst you sick to death of Cataclysm’s terrible meta-gem requirements Blizzard has made its promised changes to Chaotic and Relentless gem types in patch 4.0.6, making both require three red gems. But, that’s not all! There are also three brand new meta-gems coming with the new patch, which is good news indeed, more choices are always welcome. Keep in mind that these are, as Blizzard in fact said, not the final 4.0.6 notes, so if there is something missing that you feel really needs to be there, don’t panic just yet. Enjoy!

Patch 4.0.6 Now Available on Public Test Realms – World of Warcraft Community Site

The first World of Warcraft: Cataclysm patch of the year is in development and now available for testing on the Public Test Realms. This minor patch includes several updates that we were unable to apply via hotfixes, including the recently discussed class balance changes, assorted bug fixes, and more. If you’d like to help us test out this patch and provide feedback, you can start by copying your character over to a test realm. Once you’ve had a chance to try things out, be sure to visit our Public Test Realm forum to discuss the patch.

Below you’ll find the preliminary PTR patch notes. If you feel that we forgot certain overdue class buffs, can’t find any Tol Barad updates, or are sad because Ghostcrawler promised you a pony… don’t panic! This isn’t the final version of the 4.0.6 patch notes and our development team is hard at work on bringing these updates and more to a realm near you. 

Cataclysm Hotfixes – Updated Jan. 5 & 6

The next two sets of hotfixes are here! The January 5 release gives us, once again, quite a few changes and improvements. Biggest amongst the lot, to me at least, would be the following – Heroic The Deadmines now has significantly less trash mobs, Ramkahen now has a functional mailbox and Tol Barad’s security has been beefed up a little. The January 6 fixed that pesky bridge exploit in Tol Barad. Entering Tol Barad via the bridge during an active battle by joining the queue will port the player to the correct starting place of the battle, but players who do not join the queue will be ported back to the camp, nice! There are, obviously, many, many more changes, improvements and fixes. So if you want to see that full list and read how Blizzard is making your gameplay experience all the better, you can find it below, enjoy!

Cataclysm Hotfixes – Updated Jan. 5 & 6 – World of Warcraft Community Site

Guild Flask And Couldron Fixes

Yet more hotfixes! This time around Blizzard has had a look at issues related to flask and cauldron creation for guilds. Originally, the achievements to unlock guild cauldrons and other perks required an insane amount of flask creation, around 10,000 flasks for the Mix Master achievement and around 25,000 for Better Leveling Through Chemistry. (Which awards the Big Cauldron of Battle) These two achievements requirements were lowered quite drastically to 1,000 and 3,000 respectively. I think that is a pretty reasonable change, seeing that most guilds didn’t seem to be anywhere near getting those achievements just yet. Other than those changes the amount of charges per cauldron has been increased to 20, from 17 and the time limit on them is up to 10 minutes, from 5. Blizzard also gave a quick breakdown of how cauldrons work, for those that didn’t know.

Sounds good, you can read the full announcement and explanation below.

Guild Flask and Cauldron Hotfixes – World of Warcraft Community Site

Blizzard CS Twitter

Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support Europe on Twitter!

You can now follow all Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support Europe news and updates on Twitter! Yes indeed, just head on over to the twitter account linked below for any and all updates on maintenance, service issues and outages. It seems like they will also be updating the twitter account with the latest news and relevant support information on current World of Warcraft events. I guess this is pretty good news for a lot of people. There are, obviously, those out there that really prefer twitter above all else. Anyway, you can access the customer support twitter in English, German, French, Spanish and Russian. See the full quote below and enjoy!

Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support Europe on Twitter! – World of Warcraft Community Site

You can now follow all Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support Europe news and updates on Twitter! Just head over to @BlizzardCSEU_EN, (http://twitter.com/BlizzardCSEU_EN) where we will be providing updates on maintenance, service issues and outages. We will also endeavor to bring you all the latest news and relevant support information on current world (of Warcraft) events. The feed is available in English, German, French, Spanish and Russian.

If you have any feedback for us regarding our Twitter feed then please email it to CSTwitterFeedbackEU@blizzard.com.
Blizzard Entertainment

Heroics Too Easy?

Zarhym posted recently on the World of Warcraft’s just reiterating the point that they had absolutely no intention of nerfing heroic dungeons at all. They say that they will continue to tune the trash, boss encounters and abilities, though, and that some of these changes may well involve nerfs. Lastly they just mention that they are quite happy with their decision to start with the difficulty where it was and they’re happy, overall, with the progession path they have in Cataclysm. Sooo for all those worrying about Blizzard overnerfing heroics or raids, that just won’t happen. Read the full quote below and rest easy.

I don’t believe we ever said we refuse to nerf Heroic dungeons. What we’ve been trying communicate is that it wasn’t our plan to make sweeping nerfs to Heroics within the first month of the expansion’s release. We will continue tuning dungeons, trash, boss encounters, and abilities. Some of those changes will involve nerfs. This act just shouldn’t be misconstrued as us changing our minds, or a sign that we’re unhappy with the general level of difficulty of all Heroics.

We don’t think it was a mistake to start with the difficulty we did. We’re happy overall with the progression path we have in Cataclysm. I think we’ve set an appropriate standard for this expansion, but we’ll continue fine-tuning things (nerfs and buffs) to make sure the end game feels right as time passes.
Zarhym, Blizzard Entertainment (Source)

activision blizzard logo

Activision Blizzard and Zynga Sued Over Alledged Patent Infringments

Word has apparently gotten out about a new lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard and the social networking game publisher Zynga. (Farmville, Frontierville) The website TechCrunch reports that the lawsuit was filed by Walker Digital, an apparent ‘invention company, back in 2002. Walker Digital claims that Activision Blizzard and Zynga are infringing on the patent which is for ‘a method and a system for a distributed electronic tournament system …’ Lastly, they say that a number of games released by both publishers, including Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 and 2, World of Warcraft and others infringe on said patent. Walker Digital is seeking an unspecified amount for compensation and damages. Activision Blizzard and Zynga have yet to respond to the lawsuit but I can’t help but think this one will probably not go through. I just don’t see how so many companies think they can coming out now, nearly 10 years later, asking for money. Ridiculous. Anyway, read the full story below courtesy of BigDownload.

Activision Blizzard and Zynga sued over alledged patent infringments – BigDownload

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