New Wallpaper Available

We understand that picking out the appropriate desktop wallpaper to fit your tastes and complement your décor can be an arduous task. To that end, we’ll be offering you help every Tuesday by featuring a new downloadable Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft wallpaper image on our community sites.

Here’s what we have for you this week. Enjoy!

Art Gallery Update

We’ve updated our Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces. Each image is taken directly from the official World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Be sure to give a shout-out to your favorite pieces in the comments.


   

Valentione’s Day: The Bonds of Love (01/31/2012)


That season of love is nearly upon us—that magical time of year when we turn to chocolate-scented kisses to convey the love we hold in our hearts. Yes, Valentione’s Day is fast approaching! Indeed, it appears The Harbor Herald, unable to contain its feelings any longer, has already published an article in eager anticipation!

Yearning to read the entire article? Long no longer!

New Lore: Lor’themar Theron Story Now Available!

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the latest entry in the "Leaders of Azeroth" short story series: In the Shadow of the Sun!

Lor'themar was not any surer of his thoughts by the day Aethas was scheduled to arrive. As he made his way through Sunfury Spire to the front hall where the archmage would appear, Halduron stopped him, holding out a small bundle of soft crimson wool. Lor'themar took it and held it up as it unfolded, beholding a regal golden phoenix upon its field: the Silvermoon City tabard.

"No," he said curtly, shoving the garment back at his friend.

"You should wear it," Halduron pressed.

"What does it matter?" he answered, striding forward. "Anyone in the service of Silvermoon may bear it."

"It is the symbol of state," Halduron called after him. "You are the head of state. You should look the part."

"I am the regent lord," Lor'themar said, continuing to walk away. "Not the king."

 

Written by Sarah Pine, "In the Shadow of the Sun" is the 2008 Global Creative Writing Contest winner. To view this story in its original format, head on over to Blizzard.com.

Blizzard Art Gallery Update

We've added four more pieces to our World of Warcraft: Classes and Cataclysm Art galleries. These pieces offer an inside look at the creative process behind building the Warcraft universe.

Warrior Tier 7 ArmorPriest Tier 8 Armor
Zul'Aman Armor

First Glimpse of the 2012 Battle.net World Championship

Hot off the presses and fast on the heels of the recently announced 2012 Battle.net World Championship event set for later this year, Team Liquid took the time to interview Ilja Rotelli, director of global community and eSports at Blizzard Entertainment. The interview looks deeper into the new structure of the Battle.net World Championship and the future of Blizzard eSports. Here’s a brief snippet from the interview to whet your appetite.

At the national qualifier level, do you hope to hold some tournaments that are completely open to anyone who wants to compete?

Ilja Rotelli: That is precisely one of the design philosophies we originally adopted. The idea is that we want to make a more aspirational and participatory eSports environment for StarCraft. The idea that there are superstars that seem so far away, that one can't hope to become; this makes eSports very restrictive.

Blizzard has a slightly different goal from eSports companies. If you think very frankly about the business goal for Blizzard as a company, we gain when more people play the game, and a strategy that makes sense to achieve that goal is to go grassroots. We don't have plans in place yet, but in my dreams, this is the beginning, where we go as grassroots as we can for the first year. Then, in 2013, we would love to add an additional layer to the bottom of the structure, to be even more grassroots than now. This is just a philosophy, not a practical plan that we have in place, but certainly that is one of the design principles we have been using so far.

Visit the Team Liquid site to read the complete article.

The Last Word — Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing (01/26/2012)


The Last Word — Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

The Raven, Gridania’s leading tabloid, alights today, bearing words as dark as its wings. Serial abductions have been reported in Gridania, leaving citizens caught in the vice-like grip of fear.

Intrepid reporter Kipih Jakkya has picked up the scent of the culprits, and writes to us with the findings of her investigation.

Introducing Easier Payment Methods! (01/26/2012)


In the months leading up to the end of FINAL FANTASY XIV's extended free trial period, we received copious amounts of feedback from customers regarding the billing system. We took that feedback to heart, and have worked to implement new payment options that better meet the needs of our players. As the first step towards our goal, we introduced the ability to utilize additional payment methods to purchase Crysta, and subsequently implemented a system that allowed for the purchase of user-specified amounts of Crysta.

As the next step towards a better customer experience, we are pleased to announce that it is now possible to enter credit/debit card information directly into the system to handle subscription payments. This feature has been by far the most popular request received from the community, and so we are very happy to make it available.

To utilize the new easier-to-use payment options, simply log into the Square Enix Account Management System and select the FINAL FANTASY XIV Service Account to get started.