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Anatomy of a Dungeon:
Utgarde Keep
World of Warcraft® Patch –
The Gods of Zul’Aman
World of Warcraft Battle Chest Launches
StarCraft® II Content Roundup
Recruit a Friend!
Change Your Character's Name
Web Spotlight
One Year MVPs!
After WotLK, what would you like to see Blizzard do next?
Bored at 70? Try this...

ive-person dungeons are a cornerstone of World of Warcraft. The experience of teaming up with a small group of fellow players to take on challenges --and gain rewards -- beyond the reach of a single player has lasting appeal. With Wrath of the Lich King, dungeon design is being pushed to a new level of immersion, refinement, and sheer fun.

The Insider sat down with the World of Warcraft design team to get insight into the overall philosophy behind five-person dungeon design in Wrath of the Lich King. In the process, they dish out the details on one of the first dungeons players will experience in Northrend, Utgarde Keep, as an example of these ideas in action. Here’s a sample:

"Utgarde’s design ties closely into the creation of Howling Fjord as a whole. Less high-concept than the otherworldly and wildly diverse regions of Outland, we want the zones in Northrend to follow a geographic theme that’s more consistent with the familiar geography of Azeroth. Many of Northrend’s regions originally appeared in Warcraft III – such as Howling Fjord, one of the two starting areas and also where Utgarde Keep is prominently located. Howling Fjord’s Azerothian feel stands in sharp contrast to the stark, alien beauty of Hellfire Peninsula, and this should help players establish an immediate connection to the expansion’s new environments."

Read the full article

he next major content patch for World of Warcraft, The Gods of Zul’Aman, will add an impressive array of new challenges, features, changes, and rewards to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

Zul’Aman is a 10-person raid dungeon located in the Ghostlands, with enemies and spoils that pick up where Karazhan leaves off. This outdoor raid dungeon is home to the vicious Amani forest trolls and their leader, the infamous Zul’jin. You and your band of heroes will battle the dungeon’s six bosses, including four avatars of Zul’Aman, each bearing the aspect of a different ferocious creature. Zul’Aman also features a challenging bonus reward structure based on completing certain objectives within a time limit, which provides an extra level of challenge – and thrills – for seasoned raid groups.

The other defining characteristic of The Gods of Zul’Aman is the bounty of rewards, both material and intangible, that it offers many types of players. The powerful epic items found in Zul’Aman are just the beginning. There is a host of new purchasable rewards as well, from the gladiator rewards of Arena Season 3, to the dozens of new Badge of Justice rewards and the full set of new Honor rewards. There are also more useful and fun items such as the new Flying Machine flying mounts, which can be built and operated by skilled engineers. Among the more abstract benefits to players are faster leveling to 60, the revamping of Dustwallow Marsh with new quests, new daily quests for dungeons and battlegrounds, and many class balance changes. This is just a sampling of the bounty that awaits in The Gods of Zul’Aman. Find many more details about this massive new patch in our Under Development page.

Read more about The Gods of Zul’Aman

he World of Warcraft Battle Chest is now available at retailers throughout Europe! The World of Warcraft Battle Chest contains everything you need to play World of Warcraft and its blockbuster first expansion set, The Burning Crusade™. Also included are Battle Chest Guides from BradyGames to aid you (or a friend) in the quest to level 70. The Battle Chest includes:

  • Complete original game, World of Warcraft, on DVD
  • Complete expansion set, The Burning Crusade, on DVD
  • World of Warcraft Battle Chest Guide from BradyGames
  • The Burning Crusade Battle Chest Guide from BradyGames

he mounting tension in the StarCraft universe continues to heat up as more units enter the fray, each bringing its unique capabilities to battle. The most recent unit updates on the StarCraft II website showcase some of StarCraft II’s heavy hitters: the Mothership, Carrier, Thor, and Banshee. Each now has a detailed profile complete with video, images, concept art, and background information.

In addition to the new unit profiles, we’ve released the official StarCraft II fansite kit, a potential bonanza for those wishing to build their own StarCraft II-related fansites. The downloadable kit contains art assets including screenshots and concept art, site design elements, text content, and tips – everything you need to get your site off the ground.

In other StarCraft II news, our European community representative Xordiah has been providing the European Community with lots of information over at the official European StarCraft II forums. Visit these forums for more information about StarCraft II, as well as for regularly updated issues of our "StarCraft II Q&A."

Visit the StarCraft II features page
Download the StarCraft II Fansite Kit
Visit the official StarCraft II forums

s your friend new to World of Warcraft?

Invite a friend to play alongside you for 10 days free and you could get 30 days free play! To invite a friend, just go to the Account Management section and click the Recruit a Friend button. If your friend later decides to purchase a retail account, you will automatically be credited with 30 days free subscription to your own account as soon as they begin their first paid period of subscription. For more information, take a look at our F.A.Q.

Is your friend a former player?

Invite a former-player of World of Warcraft to try the latest content for 10 days free and you could get 30 days free play! For every friend who returns to the game through your Scroll of Resurrection invitation, and then re-subscribes to the game with a paid subscription, you will receive one free month of World of Warcraft game-time. Click here to visit the Scroll of Resurrection page in the Account Management and start resurrecting your friends! You can also learn more about the Scroll of Resurrection by reading our F.A.Q.

layers will soon, through the wonders of modern gnomish engineering, be able to change their characters' names in Europe. Finally, you will be able to turn the moniker that seemed like a good idea at the time into something more befitting your true stature in World of Warcraft!

The fee for changing a name will be 8.00 € (£6.00) per name-change and, when the service is launched in Europe, you will be able to begin the process by visiting our Account Management page. We hope you’ll enjoy this new feature and the subsequent effect that your awe-inspiring new name will have on friends and foes alike! As with our recent addition of voice-chat to the game, this feature will be rolled out across all realms in several phases. For more information on when the service will be available, check our official website at wow-europe.com for updates.

ecent updates for Wrath of the Lich King and The Burning Crusade have kept Blizzard’s team of web goblins busy indeed. Here are some notable selections for your perusal:

  • Wrath of the Lich King Updates: Some tantalizing new content is now available on the Wrath of the Lich King website:
  • New Blizzard Movies: Using state-of-the-art gnomish filmmaking technology, we’ve captured some indelible moments in the Blizzard game universes for your enjoyment. You can download or stream our recent offerings:
    • Lament of the Highborne
      Gain insight into one of World of Warcraft’s major characters, Sylvanas Windrunner, with this haunting musical montage.
    • I Am Murloc
      The latest rocking video from Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain!
    • Brewfest Trailer
      A celebration of, well, brew.
    • BlizzCon 2007 Highlights
      This video captures the overall atmosphere of fun and camaraderie that was BlizzCon 2007.
  • Armory Updates: The Armory, the official searchable database for World of Warcraft, has been made smarter, better, faster, and stronger with a series of upgrades. Its overall speed and performance have been optimized, resulting in faster search results. A new Arena Calculator allows you to determine how quickly you’ll receive your next reward and how many points you’ll get in a given week. Lastly, the new Browser Search Plugin allows you to search the Armory from your browser’s integrated search field.
  • World of Warcraft Machinima Page: This new resource is an ongoing archive for a selection of machinima – short films created with the World of Warcraft engine. It also contains guidelines and insight for aspiring filmmakers to assist in the ongoing development of this emerging genre.

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