Gilneas to Open Up? - 7.31.2007

Today on the US WoW General forums, Siva of Magtheridon has noticed something new and interesting about the Worgen race. Will Gilneas be opening up?

He noticed that the Worgen have a bunch of new animations. For example, they can now kneel, talk, drown, hold guns and bows, and even ride mounts. With all this new expansion talk, could the Greymane Wall be opened to reveal a city that is barely breathing with a plague so bad the the king himself may have been affected? Interesting, eh?

-Matt Graham

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King - 7.31.2007

The name of the next WoW expansion has been officially leaked.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Earlier today over at MMO-Champion, someone posted an apparent 'leak' on the forums (with VERY bad grammar I may add). While Boubouille, the owner of MMO-Champion, has been recently deleting all threads with apparent 'leaks' in them, he kept this one up. I began to think. Have we got something here? Sure enough, Boubouille posted in the thread saying that this is definitely true. Still don't believe random people on the 'interwebz'? Go to and then do the same thing in another window, except replace 'wrath' with ANY other word. See it?

One odd thing though. The same poster who ended up knowing next expansion's name also claims that it will include Northrend (duh!) and Arthas (duh again!), the new level cap will be 75 (hmmm), and finally that a new class will be announced but not playable at BlizzCon - the Death Knight.

Personally, I like that level cap. I don't think that it should be 80, at least for this expansion. (I think 80 [or maybe 85] should be the final level cap.) Now, for the class, it may seem cliche, but I've always wanted to play a Death Knight. I just love the idea.

What I really think is weird is that we believe this 'leakster' about the name of the next expansion, but not about the new level cap and class? Come on people, if he's right about one thing that's very specific, I'm sure we can believe him about two other things that could possibly even be guesses.

UPDATE: Want more proof? The Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK), the German version of the ESRB, has rated a title called World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King for ages 12 and up.

P.S. - Sorry TB, looks like it's Northrend.

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: Warcraft Movie - 7.30.2007

Four days until BlizzCon.

Apparently, while the WorldofWar.Net staff was at ComicCon, Chris Metzen "slipped" some information pertaining to the Warcraft (yes, Warcraft, NOT WoW) movie that is in production under Legendary Pictures.

"...and Metzen 'slips' and tells us that more information about the World of Warcraft film by Legendary Pictures is on the way within a week (BlizzCon?)."

So far, this BlizzCon seems jam packed. What have we got thus far?

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft 3.0
Warcraft Movie
Starcraft II
Team 3 (Diablo 3?)

I don't know about you guys, but I am VERY excited! We are not prepared. :)

-Matt Graham

Undermine Confirmed - 7.29.2007

PLEASE NOTE: At the time I wrote this post, I was told that everything here was confimed, however my source has now backed off. The following is, of course, very probable, but it is no longer 100%. I'd say more like 85-90%.

Today, Blizzplanet released a good article on the speculation of Diablo 3. Although relating to Diablo 3, this same article confirmed the release of Undermine.

Whether it's the entire expansion content or not, Undermine has been confirmed.

"The informant said Team 2's (WoW) codename, but it was way too evident, rather than an analogy. This was another sign I noticed where the informant could be fake, as it didn't follow the analogy pattern. I won't reveal it here, but just take a look at your World of Warcraft Collector's Edition DVD (2004)."

If you remember, in one shot in that DVD, you could see a map of Undermine. Undermine is the only possibility because it's the only unreleased content on that DVD.

Blizzplanet also states the following, "You should get your hands asap on the World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery PDF file or hardcover to read up 'possible' lore content for the upcoming WoW expansion."

The Lands of Mystery RPG book includes BOTH Undermine and Northrend. While this may also confirm Northrend, we KNOW that it confirms Undermine.

So, with both these things including Undermine and Blizzplanet telling us that we'll find the answer in these two things, I'm pretty sure I've got something here.

UPDATE: To add to the proof, I posted a thread with this information on the official US WoW Forums and it was taken down with a matter of 30 seconds.
UPDATE 2: Blizzplanet has now removed the article from their website. Hmmm...

Okay, so it's not OFFICIALLY confirmed by Blizzard, but pretty much.

-Matt Graham

World Series of Video Games - 7.29.2007

Today at noon EST on CBS, the World Series of Video Games took place featuring about 15-20 minutes of WoW action. Team Pandemic competed against Insurrection in 3 round of 3v3 arena combat. Actually, I don't know if you can even call this a 'competition'. Team Pandemic steamrolled Insurrection by winning all 3 rounds - and they didn't just win the 3 rounds, they clobbered Insurrection.

Team Pandemic's Lineup
Kintt - Priest [MVP]
Ecilam - Mage
Nitrana - Rogue

Insurrection's Lineup
Caal - Druid
Azure - Mage
Agnos - Warlock

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: Northrend? - 7.29.2007

Five days until BlizzCon.

Well, we can just about confirm that the next expansion is Northrend. We've all seen the Northrend files in WoW Model Viewer, the leaked maps (which may be true or not), and now we have a new piece of evidence...

According to WoW Insider, an "anonymous tipster" sent them a note stating that the Video Games Live orchestra has received their sheet music for the final performance at BlizzCon. Three pieces of the sheet music have been named "Northrend 1, 2, and 3." Apparently, the track doesn't appear in any game surrounding the Warcraft universe. So, everything now points to Northrend.

That's right people, Northrend, whether it's the only new continent or not, will be in the next expansion for World of Warcraft.

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: Announcements - 7.28.2007

Six days until BlizzCon.

Rushyman of Boulderfist posted on the official BlizzCon Discussion Forum today with the BlizzCon event schedule.

At 1 o'clock PM (I assume PST), the World of Warcraft Panel begins - at the same time, the WoW demo stations have opened (for testing of the new expansion?). The first general WoW Panel is when I assume the new expansion will be announced. Directly after the opening WoW Panel, we have a WoW Class Discussion. While this is a stretch, I now have some reason to believe that a new class (or classes) or hero classes will be announced for the next expansion at this time. After the Class Discussion, we have a Raid & Dungeon Discussion - with every new expansion comes new raids and dungeons. I assume so much because that is all the World of Warcraft discussions for day 1 and right after the time when announcements would take place.

Another reason to believe this is because on day 2 we see less important discussions like items/professions, PvP, and lore/quests. However, we once again see a general WoW Panel and another Class Discussion. Now, my guess would be that the Class Discussion on day 2 is in regards to the current classes while day 1's discussion is about new classes for the next expansion.

Lots of guessing was just done, but in six days we won't have to guess anymore.

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: Character Copy - 7.26.2007

Eight days until BlizzCon.

Today, anyone who was signed up for BlizzCon received an e-mail containing the following:

If you are a World of Warcraft player, you have an exclusive opportunity to use a pre-made character OR your own level 68-70 characters to try out new World of Warcraft content at BlizzCon. You have the option to copy up to four level 68-70 characters to a special event realm to experience this content, which has not yet been seen on test realms.

This could very well be for Zul'Aman, but I have high doubts. I'm gunna go ahead and assume that this is for testing the new and so-far unannounced expansion.

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: 9 Million Players - 7.24.2007

Ten days until BlizzCon.

Today, Blizzard's World of Warcraft has reached a new milestone of 9 million players. Now, with a very high possibility of a new expansion being announced at BlizzCon, I would not be surprised to see World of Warcraft reaching the great mark of 10 million players by the end of 2007. Keep of the awesome work, Blizzard!

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: WoW 3.0 - 7.20.2007

Fourteen days until BlizzCon.

A fellow by the name of Kablamo over on the MMO-Champion forums is claiming that his leaks of the next WoW expansion are the real thing. Please note that none of what he states in his forum post has been officially announced (besides the fact that Engineering is the first on the list of 'profession reviews').

One really interesting thing that he claims to have leaked is that Blizzard is adding one final class to the game. Oh my God! Death Knight, please! He also points out that Blizzard will be introducing two new continents. Possibly the Great Sea and Northrend? He claims a new mount will be introduced. The only thing I can imagine would be some sort of water mount - maybe a boat.

Now, the most interesting thing that he points out is the new concept of "mercenaries". He described it in some detail, so just check out the post for more information on it.

Whether this is truth or not, it's an interesting thing to see.

-Matt Graham

BlizzCon Countdown: 'Team 3' - 7.19.2007

There are fifteen days left until August 3rd, the first day of BlizzCon. Everyday for the next fifteen days I'll be making at least one post that has to do with BlizzCon. This post may be rumor, speculation, leaks, or maybe even *gasp* news. So, here we go...

Fifteen days until BlizzCon.

Fifteen days until BlizzCon and Blizzard recently stated at E3 that they have a third team hard at work on an unannounced project. Frank Pearce, founding member and senior vice president of product development for Blizzard, told Gamasutra, "Our global headcount is 2,700, and most of that is customer service for World of Warcraft! In terms of development staff it’s probably around 350. World of Warcraft is about 135 people, 40 for Starcraft II, 40 for team 3, our cinematics team is about 85 guys. Then there’s sound and Q/A and that sort of thing."

First, let me say that it's no surprise that their cinematics team is over double the size of the team for a single game (Starcraft II and 'team 3'). The Blizzard cinematics are amazing.

Okay, back on topic. Now, we know two of the three current projects. World of Warcraft (including future expansions) and Starcraft II. The third project has the same amount of developers as Starcraft II. This gives me some reason to believe that it could very well be another RTS. Warcraft IV? Although that is pure speculation, I don't believe that this project is Diablo III like many people hope it is. In my opinion, Diablo III would take a much larger team and Blizzard would want a much larger team for it.

Anyways, I'm sure we'll find out what the new project is at BlizzCon. For now though, I'm going to guess that it's either Warcraft IV or a totally new IP.

-Matt Graham

Zul'Aman Information at E3 - 7.11.2007

Well, since Blizzard won't tell the community anything new about Zul'Aman, Gamespot got their hands on some information and shared it with the world.

SANTA MONICA--All the sunshine and sandy beaches in the world couldn't keep us from visiting with Blizzard Entertainment at the E3 2007 media summit in Southern California. The developer was on hand to show off new content updates for its insanely popular massively multiplayer game, World of Warcraft, including some new gameplay features and a brand-new dungeon area.

The big news is the new Zul'Aman area, an outdoor dungeon in the mid-leve Ghostlands area near the blood elves' homeland. The dungeon is inhabited by the forest trolls who first made their debut in Blizzard's real-time strategy game Warcraft II. ("Trolls love the outdoors," explains vice president of game design Rob Pardo.) The vast outdoor zone consists of ruined stone temples that reflect the trolls' shamanic beliefs growing through thick forests of trees. According to the story that Blizzard has penned for the area, Zul'Aman is the home of the troll warriors led by Zul'jin (a character from Warcraft II) and has become a stronghold from which the trolls have begun attacking the blod elves, thanks to a newfound power that a troll witch doctor has discovered. Apparently, this powerful troll spiritualist has somehow managed to steal away the essences of four troll animal gods and confer them to four mighty troll warriors. These avatars act as the early "boss" encounters for the dungeon.

Zul'Aman is a smaller raid dungeon that's better suited for 10-character parties than the full-on 25-character raids that some of the game's larger dungeons demand. Because the dungeon will not require any keys or attunements to enter, the dungeon seems intended to be more accessible to players on tight schedules. Much of the layout will call for methodical clearing of troll enemies who may call for help by beating on nearby war drums, which summon additional trol warriors to fight. Each of the four avatars, which have respectively been infused with the spirits of a bear god, a dragonhawk god, a lynx god, and finally, a god of evil, may also summon help as well as assume different forms over the course of battle. Once players have defeated each avatar, they'll eventually take on the witch doctor who started the whole mess, and finally do battle with Zul'Jin himself. The final troll boss will not only be a powerful foe; he'll also be able to draw upon the ghostly spirits of each of the four liberated animal gods and change his own shape to assume their powers.

In addition to offering challenging encounters against these mighty foes, Zul'Aman is also apparently intended to encourage players to tackle it repeatedly to master its content. There will be several characters hanging around just outside the dungeon to give out quests that take place within the dungeon, including hunting for treasure and liberating four different hostages who have been taken captive by the armies of each of the four avatars. The rescue missions will apparently be timed and will yield better rewards if completed early.

Blizzard also plans to release additional, smaller patch updates before then that will add two new features: integrated voice chat and guild banks. Voice chat will be added to the game free of charge, will mute the game slightly whenever someone talks (so that you won't need to talk over any onscreen battles), and will use onscreen icons to indicate who's saying what, so that you'll be able to quickly determine which team member in your party is asking for help. The guild banks, on the other hand, will let guild officers create vaults to store the guild's entire possessions, as well as set permissions to limit access to certain items if they care to.

World of Warcraft is still running strong with millions of subscribers worldwide. Unfortunately, there's no set release date planned for the Zul'Aman update, beyond "when it's ready," though we're told that the voice chat and guild bank updates should be coming sooner to the game.

-Matt Graham

OH MY GOD, MOM!! - 7.2.2007

Although this is a few weeks old now, I find it to be a "WoW Classic".

So, for those of you who haven't seen this, basically there was this kid getting a group for Karazhan going when his mom comes into the room. Accidentally, he still had Ventrilo on. His mother is trying to get him off the computer because he apparently has to get up early the next morning. After much arguing, his father decides to help his mother. Just listen to it. :) - Watch more free videos

-Matt Graham