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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blizzcast reveals Sunwell details

Episode 1 of Blizzard's new podcast, cunningly titled "Blizzcast," went live today. It's in two segments, one hosted by CM Karune and featuring Blizz artist extraordinaire (and, in fact, art director) Samwise Didier, and the second hosted by CM Drysc and featuring Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan. This installment is audio-only, but they promise that future episodes will include video as well. For now you can hear the podcast or read a transcript of it, and check out some Samwise art, at Blizzard's site. A more extensive overview is forthcoming, but for now, I imagine what you really care about is Jeff Kaplan's hints for the upcoming patch 2.4:

  • The Sunwell raid is tuned for players in T6 gear, but there is no attunement.
  • The Sunwell faction, called Shattered Sun Offensive, is a joint effort by Aldor and Scryer to drive the Burning Legion out from the Sunwell Plateau. Jeff calls it "the culmination of the Aldor and Scryer storyline." Many Aldor/Scryer NPCs in Shattrath will be changed to SSO NPCs.
  • SW25 gear will be a Tier 7, but the looks will not be class-specific; the example he gives is that the Pally plate and the Warrior plate will be differently-colored versions of the same models -- but you can, apparently, rest assured that the itemization will be better than AQ40.
  • The 5-man dungeon will be about as hard as Shadow Labyrinth or Shattered Halls. There are four bosses. On normal mode, the first three drop ilvl 110 blues (normal dungeon blues), but the last boss drops an ilvl 115 epic, on par with a lower-level Karazhan epic. In heroic, the first three bosses drop ilvl 115 epics, and the last boss drops an item on the level of Prince Malchezzar's drops. Buffing the loot like this means it will still be relevant for people that have been playing BC for a while now, and also it gives newcomers a chance to catch up.

  • As one more bonus, Blizzard is giving away 12 Logitech 5.1 speaker sets and Starcraft II hats to lucky folks who write feedback emails about the podcast to them; details on this are at the Blizzcast home page. I for one really enjoyed hearing the voices behind some of the avatars I see every day, and of course hearing some new details about 2.4. Keep it up, Blizzcasters!