Blizzard Insider
Blizzard Insider

The Blizzard Insider is an online newsletter of all things Blizzard. In each issue, the Insider provides exclusive, breaking news on Blizzard games, interviews with the Blizzard development teams, special offers available only to Blizzard Insider subscribers through our online store, and much more.
Blizzard Insider #39 ? RAGE OF THE FIRELANDS
Patch 4.2 - Rage of the Firelands

Diablo® III Runestones

StarCraft® II: New Multiplayer Maps

World of Warcraft®: Dev watercooler

Leaders of Azeroth - Gelbin Mekkatorque

Merchandise Spotlight
Tier 12 Armor Set Preview

Anduin Wrynn: Then and Now

New Player Tips - Second to None

DreamHack Summer 2011 Recap

MLG Columbus Wrap-up

Season 3 Ladder Map Pool Updates


ith Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) now live, Ragnaros the Firelord has returned with a burning vengeance to challenge players on his home turf, the elemental realm of twisting flames and churning magma.

To get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Ragnaros's domain, the Insider recently sat down with Jonathan Dumont (lead level designer) and Gary Platner (lead environment artist) from the World of Warcraft® team to discuss the creative process and art philosophy behind the game's newest 10- and 25-player raid instance and accompanying quest hub. So read on, and learn how the Firelands evolved from rough concept art to a fully fleshed-out in-game environment.

What visual challenges did the Firelands present when the World of Warcraft® artists began building the zone?

Jonathan: The main thing we had to keep in mind was that the instance is just the stage and ultimately the players are going to provide the action. So in addition to everything we put into the zone, there are also going to be players, monsters, pets, and all their spell effects going off during the raid. We didn't want the action to be overwhelmed by bursting fires and lava explosions, but at the same time, it's the Firelands, so you definitely need some of that! Finding a visual balance between the spectacular and the practical was a challenge.

Read the Full Interview    Watch the Patch Trailer

n Diablo® III, runestones allow you to augment your characters' skills and powers in potent and remarkable new ways. With the right runestone, you can turn the barbarian's whirlwind attack into a swirling vortex of fire, enable the monk's sweeping wind strike to summon sandstorms, or even allow the wizard's ray of frost to shatter slain enemies into jagged piles of freezing ice.

Read on to get the newest details of the Diablo® III runestones system, and begin planning how you will configure your powers and abilities for maximum devastation.

Diablo® III: Runestones

ollin' out! The StarCraft® II development team recently released information on the upcoming Season 3 Ladder Maps.

These new maps feature a variety of terrain and obstacles to promote new strategies and encourage players to adapt their tactics on the fly. Click below for details, and get ready for the next evolution in StarCraft® II's intense multiplayer action.

StarCraft® II: New Multiplayer Maps

n the ongoing Dev watercooler Web feature, World of Warcraft® developers share their thoughts and insights on all aspects of the game's design and balance. Check out their most recent entries on the World of Warcraft® community site, in which Dave "Fargo" Kosak discusses the team's approach to single-player quest design in Rage of the Firelands and Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street explains several of the game balance changes of Patch 4.2.

Dave "Fargo" Kosak: Content for the Casual 85
Ghostcrawler: Cataclysm Talent Tree Post-Mortem

he newest short story in the ongoing Leaders of Azeroth series explores High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque and his relationship with Sicco Thermaplugg, the one-time usurper of Gnomeregan.

Written by Cameron Dayton, "Gelbin Mekkatorque: Cut Short" offers fresh insight into Operation Gnomeregan and the gnomes' recent retaking of their capital city.

Read the Short Story

 new arrival has landed in the Blizzard Pet Store: the majestic Winged Guardian, a flying mount designed by the titans to protect Azeroth's most ancient secrets. As with the Celestial Steed, this Guardian of the Titans will carry you across Azeroth as fast as your riding skill will take you. So mount up and fly home with the Winged Guardian today.

Winged Guardian on the Blizzard Store


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