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    Blizzard will be adding underground fighting rings to its hugely successful MMORPG World of Warcraft as part of patch 5.1.0, which has just recently hit the Public Test Realms. The fights are set up by the Brawlers Guild and can be found in either Stormwind or Orgrimmar.

    These fights enable you to rise up the ranks and unlock unique rewards and abilities for your characters. Other player can spectate as you fight and it should be an interesting addition to the Warcraft world.

    Alongside the Brawlers Guild come the beginnings of the Panderan Campaign. There will be daily quests in Karasang Wilds to get and reputation to gain for Alliance players, the Horde in the Vale of Eternal Blossom.

    Also coming is an upgrade to the pet battles with something called Battle Stones, these somehow improve your battle pets, details are yet to be revealed as to how and what these items do. The pet journal is also being increased to allow up to 650 pets and a new Pet Journal.

    With new content at every turn Blizzard are trying to make Mists of Panderia a success and its improving massively.

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      A quite ridiculous yet equally important political news story has been doing the rounds today: Blizzard have banned all Iranian World of Warcraft players from playing the MMORPG. But why would they do such a thing?

      It seems the decision isn’t one Blizzard have made themselves – not entirely, anyway. The blame actually lays with US trade restrictions and sanction laws, which prohibit US companies from doing business of any kind with certain countries, Iran being one of them. The fact World of Warcraft demands a subscription to play means money is changing hands, which is a big no-no under the letters of the law.

      But why now, and why only Iran? The answer to that isn’t clear. The terms and conditions on World of Warcraft have stated for a long time that players from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Libya and North Korea are not allowed access to the game. Basically, any country the US has enforced a trade embargo over. Blizzard are only just enforcing it now, no doubt to fall in line with the increased pressure the US are putting on Iran to convince the Islamic republic to open up about its nuclear program.

      The Iranian Warcraft problem surfaced late last week as hundreds of players in the country posted messages to Blizzard’s European Battle.net forums complaining they could no longer access the game.

      Read More in Today’s Issue of T1 Daily

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        The fourth expansion to Blizzard’s record-breaking World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria, has received its release date – September 25th

        The game is shipping as a regular edition (roughly £35) and a special edition (Roughly £60) available in both physical and digital downloaded flavours. The Special Edition offers an exclusive in-game mount, pet, Starcraft 2 portraits and player sigils for Diablo 3 as well as a physical behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray, music CD, Hardcover book and a mouse pad.

        Blizzard seems determined to reinvigorate the flagging behemoth with a host of shiny new features to entice old and new players to revisit Azeroth’s shores. Here’s what you can look forward to when the gates of Pandaria open in September:

        New Race – The Pandaren

        First glimpsed in Warcraft 3 these far-east inspired residents of Azeroth have been popular with fans for a long time. Able to side with either the Alliance or the Horde and boasting some incredibly powerful Racial abilities (most notably receiving double rested experience) and a large class selection it’s likely there’ll be many furry faces around Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Perhaps players will finally have reliable cross-faction communication with one race – and logically, language – shared between them.

        Read More in Today’s Issue of T1 Daily

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          Activision has said that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers held firm during the company’s first financial quarter.

          World of Warcraft had 10.2 million global subscribers as of March 31, 2012, exactly the same total the publisher reported three months earlier.

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          The end is nigh! Blizzard today announced that Diablo III, the next chapter in its critically acclaimed action role-playing game series, will be unleashed from the Burning Hells on May 15.

          Starting that day, gamers with a thirst for fast-paced action and adventure will be able to purchase Diablo III at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

          In addition, gamers in the regions above as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil will be able to buy Diablo III digitally via Blizzard’s Battle.net website.

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            Industry leading MMO lost 100,000 active users in most recent quarter – 700,000 less than previous period.

            Activation Blizzard reported a net loss of 100,000 World of Warcraft subscribers for the three months ending December 31st, according to financial documents filed by the company.

            An aggressive marketing campaign featuring Chuck Norris during the quarterly period may have acquired enough new subscribers to negate further losses to its established user base.

            Three months prior to the fourth calendar quarter, Activision Blizzard revealed that the longstanding MMO had lost 800,000 subscribers – seven per cent of its total user base at the time. That followed another exodus of about 300,000 customers in the first six months of 2011.

            But Blizzard appears to have decelerated the reduction, ending the quarter with 10.2 million subscribers after seven years of business.

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              Did you know that there are 10 million people in World of Warcraft because Chuck Norris allows them to live?

              Neither did we but that’s what Blizzard’s latest World of Warfraft TV advert says, and as we all know if it’s on the TV it’s undoubtedly true.

              According to Blizzard’s official description, Chuck Norris – who as expected, plays as a hunter – didn’t break a sweat filming the newest World of Warcraft television spot. Instead, he made the director cry and then cooled himself with the tears.

              Watch the video, or Chuck Norris will probably kick your ass, and no one wants that.

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                Blizzard has revealed that the long-awaited Diablo 3 will require players to be constantly connected to the internet, even after an initial authentication process has been completed.

                Remember when you first heard stuff like how either Steam or StarCraft 2 require you to be online for authentication purposes? That the process to play or utilize either service offline can be a bit circuitous, but at least it’s still possible to be offline. But, Diablo 3 differs in that you must be online to play at all — not just for authentication.

                Executive vice president of game design Rob Pardo notes that the wealth of improvements and features Diablo 3 brings to Battle.net necessitate the always-online requirement. Specific additions that he refers to include:

                The 100% free-to-read September issue of Thirteen1 is available now, keeping your Autumn blues at bay with crazy shooters, head scratching strategy sims, previews of upcoming gems and free to enter competitions. Summer eh..who needs it!

                Click here and read it now!

                This month sees T1 dabble in the shady lie of crime, as 2K Games’ gangster sequel Mafia II dominates the front cover. Does the series’ next-gen debut outing deserve your respect? Or should it be cast aside and left sleeping with the fishes?
                The heist and gun play fun doesn’t stop there either, with Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days bursting onto the scene in a bid to right the wrongs of the original. They’re actually looking pretty good for a couple of dead men..

                And if that isn’t enough run-and-gun fun for you, the frenetic action continues with a special preview of Natural Selection 2, an epic upcoming FPS from Unknown Worlds Entertainment, as well as a review of MMO-shooter Global Agenda, which was recently released in the UK and has adopted the growingly popular free-to-play model. Guns, explosions, crimes and robots…it doesn’t get much better than this!


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