AFK - 5.23.2008

Beginning tomorrow, I'll be out of town for 10 days with no computer. Possibly the worst timing ever for such a long trip, right? I'm still recovering from my virus and the WotLK news is still pouring out. Oh well - you win some, you lose some.

Plus, I guess wouldn't wanna be on the computer all the time during vacation anyways.

So, I'll see you all soon!

-Matt Graham

Championship Gaming Series - 5.23.2008

On Wednesday, I was contacted by the Championship Gaming Series, informing me of their upcoming 3v3 arena tournament. The top 1,000 arena teams from North America and Europe will compete June 9-22, and the top two teams will travel to Los Angeles on July 19 for the CGS World Final and a grand prize of $50,000!

LOS ANGELES – May 21, 2008 – Championship Gaming Series™ (CGS), the only worldwide professional video gaming league, announced its second annual World of Warcraft® Arena Championship, an invitational Arena tournament that will feature the top 1,000 Arena teams from North America and Europe in independent open-ladder competition from June 9 to June 22, 2008. The two highest-ranked teams from each region will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to battle against each other to determine the top team from Europe and North America and fight for their share of $50,000 in prize money. The final match between the North American champion team and the European champion team will be streamed live from Los Angeles, Saturday, July 19 at The top finisher will be crowned CGS World of Warcraft Arena Champion and receive US$25,000.

The CGS World of Warcraft Arena Tournament will follow the same 3v3 rule set and competition structure used in Blizzard Entertainment®’s 2008 Arena Tournament. The top 1,000 eligible teams participating in that tournament will be invited to register for the 2008 CGS World of Warcraft Arena Championship. All players will be provided with tournament-specific accounts which allow access to the CGS Tournament Realm, created specifically for the competition. Players will have access to the same gear and configuration options used for the Blizzard Entertainment 2008 Arena Tournament.

Visit the official website of the Championship Gaming Series for more information!

PLEASE NOTE: The CGS wasn't inviting me to participate in their tournament (I suck at arenas), they just wanted me to post this for them to let more people know about it.

-Matt Graham

I Got Owned - 5.21.2008

On Monday I woke up feeling a little warm with a temperature of 98.9°F. That's not very far off from the normal 98.6°F, but I could feel something going wrong. Later that day, I found myself winding up with a temperature of 104°F. So, I did what anyone else would do - I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with the Flu, which, for the most part, isn't very serious.

I'm telling you this because I want to apologize for not being able to make any good posts in the past three days. So many amazing WotLK leaks came up since Monday, but I haven't been able to bring them to you because of this damn virus. Sorry, guys! Hopefully I'll be better soon and be able to bring you some great WoW news!

P.S. - Please forgive me if some of the wording in this post is weird. The fever has caused me to be really confused.

-Matt Graham

WotLK Leak Compilation - 5.18.2008

I'm continuing to build my compilation of all the WotLK leaks I've seen thus far. There are currently two main sets, or albums: 1st WotLK Leak - 4.20.2008 and 2nd WotLK Leak - 5.17.2008. The albums are always growing as the internet produces more leaks.

The 2nd album will be updated with leaks throughout the next few days before I add a 3rd album with new leaks.

The current flow of leakage is said to have happened because the Friends and Family Alpha testing for WotLK began very recently.


UPDATE: I added a cool new picture of weapon loots in WotLK to the compilation.

-Matt Graham

The Fourth WotLK Leak - 5.17.2008

So, according to MMO-Champion, the WotLK Friends and Family Alpha Testing phase has officially begun. Well, it didn't take long for a few leaks to surface...

The picture to the left is, apparently, the Northrend world map. At first sight, I thought to myself, "Wow. This is overly plain." Then, I quickly searched Google images for a map of Outland only to find out that, it too, is actually very plain. After that, I searched for a map of the Eastern Kingdoms only to see that it deserves to be crowned the king of all plainness. I dunno why I expected such a detailed world map, but that's just what I thought about a first glance. And now, I've finally noticed how much I've been rambling on about something that doesn't really matter - so I'll stop.

The second leaked picture is, supposedly, the loading screen for Azjol-Nerub. Not a whole lot to say here besides the fact that it could be better. I mean seriously Blizzard, this is all you could come up with for something as big and important as Azjol-Nerub? I know that's a silly thing to say, but WoW is the top MMO and you, Blizzard, should treat it as such in every way possible if you want to stay at the top. Now, obviously Blizzard could change it before WotLK releases, but I don't see it happening.

Unfortunately there wasn't a whole lot leaked right away here and what was leaked was very random - *cough, Azjol-Nerub loading screen, cough*. However, I don't think it'll be too long before we see a bunch of new leaks.

UPDATE: Polar Bear mount FTW! I fine it kinda strange though... Most polar bears that I've seen in my life weren't black. Although, I've never seen one in real life so maybe pictures and TV lied. Some people are very skilled with Photoshop nowadays, you know. :P

UPDATE 2: The following is a transcript from the sound files from WotLK. I remember the lines from Warcraft III, so either this is a lie by the "leaker", or it's recycled lines - possibly for a Caverns of Time instance? Please God of WoW, PLEASE let this be for a CoT instance! It would be so awesome!

Arthas: Glad you could make it, Uther.
Uther: Watch your tone with me boy. You may be the prince but I'm still your superior as a Paladin.
Arthas: As if I could forget. Listen Uther, there's something about the plague you should know.
Arthas: Oh no, we're too late! These people have all been infected. They may look fine now, but it's just a matter of time before they turn into the undead!
Uther: What?!
Arthas: This entire city must be purged.
Uther: How can you even consider that? There's got to be some other way!
Arthas: Dammit, Uther! As your future king, I order you to purge this city.
Uther: You are not my king yet boy, nor would I obey that command even if you were!
Arthas: Then I must consider this an act of treason.
Uther: Treason?! Have you lost your mind Arthas?
Arthas: Have I? Lord Uther, by my right of succession and the sovereignty of my crown, I hereby relieve you from your command and suspend your Paladins from service.
Jaina: Arthas... You can't just...
Arthas: It's done. Those of you who have the will to save this land follow me - the rest of you, get out of my sight.
Uther: You've just crossed a terrible threshold, Arthas.
Arthas: Jaina...
Jaina: I'm sorry Arthas, I can't let you do this.

UPDATE 3: The Frostmourne altar's model.

-Matt Graham

"Death & ...Oh." - 5.16.2008

Arguably the best U.S. raiding guild, Death and Taxes, has officially disbanded.

This story hits close to home for me. I've always been a fan of DnT. I've always rooted for them in their endeavors towards world first boss kills - something they were very good at.

The guild originally started on the Shattered Hand server which happened to be the same server in which I first rolled on. When the transfers to Korgath from Shattered Hand, Warsong, and Skullcrusher (?) opened up two summers ago, I transferred - as did DnT. It's been nice following DnT's progress first hand since the beginning. I've really enjoyed following the guild and I thank them for their contributions to WoW and specifically Korgath - which now, even without DnT, is still arguably the best U.S. raiding server.

Thank you, Death and Taxes, and good luck in your future endeavors.

-Matt Graham

G4 WotLK Preview - 5.15.2008

Over the past two years, my love of G4 has consistently dwindled. However, this doesn't mean that they can't produce a good segment every now and again.

In the below video, a blonde Morgan Webb, of X-Play, interviews my favorite designer Jeffy K, as well as J. Allen Brack, about Wrath of the Lich King. It's short and sweet, but worth a watch.

-Matt Graham

Blogcraft's Not-So-April-Fool's "Joke" - 5.12.2008

On April 1st, 2008, I posted a blog entry entitled "BlizzCon 2008 - 4.1.2008". In that entry, I stated that BlizzCon 2008 would happen and would take place on October 10th and 11th. Well, I was spot on.

Today, Blizzard came out with a press release announcing BlizzCon 2008 for October 10th and 11th. As usual, the event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California; however, this year BlizzCon is expanding from two convention halls to three.

Just make me the speculation king now. :D

P.S. - WTB [BlizzCon Tix]

-Matt Graham

The Might of M'uru - 5.12.2008

What an intense couple of weeks it has been for raiding guilds. With M'uru's gate open, raidgroups dove upon him like starving dogs upon a raw steak. And, much to their surprise, they were thrown aside. M'uru fought back!

Blizzard has truly outdone themselves on this encounter - the 5th boss of Sunwell Plateau. It is by far the hardest encounter of The Burning Crusade so far, and rightly so. The intricate strategy and high skill level needed to defeat this boss has resulted in only 6 guilds worldwide killing him to date. That's 12 raiding days. This boss makes the Eredar Twins look like those mischevious little kids next door who keep ringing your doorbell and running away. M'uru wouldn't hesitate to blow them away with his rocket launcher of doom, he's that badass.

With such a difficult encounter, one may expect cries of outrage from the raiding community. But (aside from the typical 1st day whine on US Raids+Dungeons forum), raiders are eating up this boss fight. Finally Blizzard has responded to the hardcore raiders and given them an encounter the likes of which hasn't been seen in this expansion.

Focus was on Nihilum and SK-Gaming, as ever, as to who would take world 1st. This time around, SK took the pole position, downing M'uru on the 4th of May, a good 2 days clear of the next nearest guild. Nihilum have responded with apathy, not even caring about the kill having missed the world 1st. I would go so far as to presume they are concocting some devious plan in order to down Kil'Jaeden first and secure their title as the world's top guild.

If you are interested in seeing how guilds worldwide are doing, WoWProgress.Com seems to be the most accurate and up to date for guild rankings, and also full of other tidbits of information regarding the guilds listed.

Next week some 2.4.2 discussion - it's on PTR and it will be on Live soon, bringing with it Large Prismatics for all! Woot!

-Joe Zara [Phoee]

Wrath of the Lich King Preview [Part 3] - 5.11.2008

Boubouille has posted the third part of his "Wrath of the Lich King Preview", and wow, it is awesome!

Part 3 offers some great information about the lay of the land in Northrend, as well as professions, raids and dungeons, Death Knights, and Patch 2.5 stuff.

Something that I really found interesting:

  • The mounts available to buy in Wrath will probably be able to take passengers. These mounts will also work in the old world (Provided they are land mounts), so players can give low-level characters a ride! The new mounts will also be slightly faster, around the speed of the Armored Netherdrakes.
  • We're not sure if that will be available from the start but one of the ideas is to give the players new mounts they can buy and allow these new mounts to be available for passengers.

Check it out whenever you get a chance!

P.S. - Happy Mother's Day!

-Matt Graham

Wrath of the Lich King Preview [Part 1 and 2] - 5.9.2008

An insane amount of new Wrath of the Lich King information was released this morning via a variety of websites. I may post about some specific things sometimes, but I'm not going to bother posting all the information because Boubouille, from MMO-Champion, has created an awesome compilation of all the news. Check it out A.S.A.P. It truly is amazing!

Wrath of the Lich King 10 Minutes Trailer from Boubouille on Vimeo.

Make sure to turn HD ON when watching the above video!

-Matt Graham

The Third WotLK Leak - 5.3.2008

Well, it appears as though the "third" WotLK leak is here.

To the left, you can see a photograph of the box art for the Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition. The art really isn't a whole lot different than the Burning Crusade Collector's Edition. Now, it could be a photoshopped picture - the collector's edition would be an obvious choice to try an fake over the regular edition's box art (Blizzard has a thing for character's faces). However, even if this is a faked creation, I really don't think it will be any different from the actual box art.

Well, there isn't a whole lot to post on this, so I'll leave you with that. Just enjoy pondering over the awesomeness of what will be the Wrath of the Lich King.

-Matt Graham