Cataclysm Client Leaked, New Information Overload

Posted by on May 6, 2010 - 6 Comments »

With the F&FA version of the Cataclysm expansion for WoW leaked, data-miners have found pretty much everything in the game and are posting it like crazy. Boubille of MMO-Champion is leading the way. Here are some early highlights.

  • Early versions of the new talent-trees are available. Many of the planned changes are not in the game yet, including mastery.
  • Many new tradeskill items, including many enchants. Notably, these require item levels of 300, higher than anything available in Wrath of the Lich King.
  • Maps of new and old areas.
  • Models of bosses and other units, such of Neptulon and a fiery Marrowgar.

More after the jump.
Read more…

Blizzard Previews Battle.net’s Real ID and Facebook Integration

Posted by on May 5, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Blizzard’s revamp of Battle.net is creeping closer by the day, and today the company previewed a few of the new features that WoW and Starcraft II players will be able to take advantage of once the  service goes live.

Real ID is the means by which players will be able to communicate cross-faction, cross-realm, and cross-game via Battle.net. By using your Real ID to friend other players, you will be allowing those players to see and communicate with you no matter what game or character you may be playing on any game with the new Battle.net integration.  You will also be giving them your real first and last names, as displayed on the account information page.

Another function of Real ID is broadcasts, which will send out a message for all of your Real ID friends to see. Sounds a lot like Twitter or Facebook status messages.

And speaking of Facebook, Battle.net will be integrating with the social networking giant in order to allow players to import friends from Facebook to their Battle.net accounts, give status updates, and presumably more. The official press release states that more details will be announced as we get closer to Starcraft II’s launch.

It seems like Blizzard is just the latest to jump on Facebook integration, and it’s not something I’m particularly drawn to, but I know that soon I’ll be seeing loads of Starcraft II updates on my facebook feed. Other than that, I’m looking forward to the new Battle.net, mostly because I have some friends on other factions and realms that I’d like to chat with while we play. What are your thoughts?

Third Game From Cryptic Studios Being Unveiled In “Late Summer”

Posted by on May 5, 2010 - No Comments »

I absolutely hate when journalists report that news is going to be announced in the future (seriously, I’ve complained before).  “How is the revelation of future news actually news?” I ask myself.  I don’t know how they justify it, but I am going to let it slip because Bill Roper’s recent comments to MMORPG.com reveals a morsel of information on the project.

Roper, the new Chief Creative Office over at Cryptic Studios, said in the interview that the game will be unveiled in late summer.  “We won’t be making an announcement until late summer, and we’re still a ways off from launch. I can say that this is a game and a franchise (emphasis mine) we’re very excited about” he said.

The fact that he states that the game belongs to a franchise gives more credibility to the rumor that Cryptic is working on a Dungeons & Dragons MMOG.  Unlike Turbine’s wildly-successful Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, the title Cryptic is creating would be set in a different D&D universe, possibly the more famous Neverwinter Nights module.

Roper added that “The game is being developed around new design principles merged with Cryptic’s community-first approach to ongoing development.”  Hopefully, this means that it’ll be released with the ability to respec a character out of the gate.  Zing!

The rest of the interview can be found here.  It deals with Star Trek Online and Champions Online.

We’ll have the actual news for you when it drops later this summer.

For the Hoard 5 – The X-53 Touring Rocket

Posted by on May 5, 2010 - 2 Comments »

What’s this you say? A spare recruit-a-friend code that I had forgotten about? And the chance to use it on a shiny new mount? I’m there!

Join me on this quick episode of For the Hoard as I take the X-53 Touring Rocket out for a ride — and with a friend!

Thanks for watching! If you missed it, also check out my goodbye to the Zhevra, the previous recruit-a-friend reward. And tune in later this week for the conclusion to my run through Culling of Stratholme for the Bronze Drake.

The Novel Post: StarCraft: Ghost AcademyVolume 1 Review

Posted by on May 5, 2010 - 1 Comment »

This review of StarCraft: Ghost Academy Volume 1 is of the spoiler-free variety.

StarCraft: Ghost Academy is an odd beast.  It’s the fifth manga from Tokyopop set in the StarCraft universe, but it’s the first time one of the products contained a single story.  The StarCraft: Frontline series is built like Warcraft: Legends, a collection of shorts.  However, Ghost Academy isn’t a start and a finish, it’s the beginning of a trilogy surrounding Nova, a high-powered telepath.

That’s what makes it even more odd.  Nova was to be the main character in the scrapped StarCraft: Ghost console game –  A title that was so close to being done that Blizzard began marketing it with a tie-in novel, StarCraft Ghost: Nova.  The prequel book showcased Nova’s early struggles with wielding psionic powers and a troubled young life before becoming a powerful Ghost.  Keith R.A. DeCandido envisioned the original prequel novel, and returns to fill in the gap in his novel thanks to the three-part manga series focusing on Nova’s intense training.

Now that you know how we got here, hit the jump to find out if the story is worth reading. Read more…

Wrath of the Lich King gets "beat"

Posted by on May 4, 2010 - No Comments »

Saying you have beaten a game is usually reserved for single player games and not for MMOs like World of Warcraft but there are rare instances where MMOs are beaten.

Recently a player by the name of Caspi has beaten World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. It sounds ridiculous but check out Caspi’s armory. He has completed every achievement in the game giving him 1054/1054 achievements completed. This means he has beaten the Lich King on 25 hard mode, got a Gladiator title in PvP and completed every difficult achievement in the game.

That’s about the closest anyone will get to beating an MMO.

Champions Online State of the Game & Patch Notes Excite

Posted by on May 4, 2010 - No Comments »

I’ve been critical of Champions Online since securing a 6-month subscription, but that’s because I want it to succeed.  I truly have the purest intentions when I rib on it, turn critic or complain about what it’s lacking.  I want it to grow, rake in money and expand the market.  The last thing I want is another MMOG that’s outside the staple fantasy genre collapsing.

Cryptic Studios tripled up on the news today. Patch notes for the Super Powers Patch were deployed, exciting many.  Most players have not-so-patiently waited for Cryptic to balance the powers of the game.  The Super Powers Patch focuses on just that, putting melee and supernatural powersets in line with the more powerful flexibility and strength powersets.  Balance is definitely the number one aspect of the patch, hence the name, but new content is spread across the universe in the form of missions.  Dozens of them.  Yum.

After delivering on earlier promises, Rekhan decided to make some more.  The latest State of the Game addresses the aforementioned patch itself before beginning the forward-looking revelations State of the Game addresses often make.  The biggest eye opener is an upcoming adventure pack entitled “The Serpent Lantern.”  The Serpent Lantern will hit servers in June and includes veteran rewards, a review to Energy Builders and the addition of difficulty sliders.  Rekhan also announced that the Champions Online website will be receiving an overhaul “that will include a calendar of future updates as well as some navigation and visual improvements.”

Communication is always a plus in my book.

Last, but certainly not least, is the announcement of the Champs Referral Program.  Spam your friends with a 10-day unlimited trial code and if they play at all, then you’ll receive some action figures.  Play together and you’ll both receive an XP buff and other bonuses.  They can do you a huge solid by subscribing, granting you access to costume slots.  The more players that join your referral team the more you earn, ranging all the way to from free subscription time to Cryptic points.

Shameless plug time.  Shoot me a comment if you want to join my team!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Friends & Family Alpha Live

Posted by on May 4, 2010 - No Comments »

Want to play World of Warcraft: Cataclysm early? If you happen to be a friend or family member of a Blizzard employee, then you are in for a treat, as you are granted the honor of playing Cataclysm before anyone else.

Zarhym, a Blizzard employee and community manager for World of Warcraft, confirmed the Friends & Family Alpha.

Yes, we can confirm that the Family & Friends phase of the testing process for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has begun. The closed beta test phase has not yet started, but we will provide updated information when it does.

New screenshots of Cataclysm are appearing everyday via the game’s Screenshot of the Day gallery. The following image in particular shows off some nice water effects. Check it out below:

Keep on checking MMOCrunch for all the latest news on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.