Formerly Hardcore #1: Adventures in BRF, Part 1

Hello and welcome to the 1st edition of Formerly Hardcore, ZAMs column on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft. The title probably makes it obvious, but in case anyone hasn’t guessed, this column is going to be from the perspective of an ex-hardcore raider. There will still be plenty of talk about raiding in general, especially for this first post, but I’ll also talk about different aspects of WoW as a whole as patch notes and my whims take me.

For our first column, I’m going to talk about my adventures into WoW’s latest raid, Blackrock Foundry. The gates of BRF opened up to Normal and Heroic groups on February 3rd with Mythic opening the following week and Looking For Raid difficulty a week later. My raid team is not large enough to try our luck in Mythic BRF, but after three weeks of Normal difficulty, dipping our toes into Heroic as well as trying the first two wings of LFR, I’m ready to talk about the raid.

Guild Wars 2: Pre-PAX Interview

This weekend, ArenaNet will be at PAX East with the first demo build of the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion Heart of Thorns. Last week we had the chance to visit the ArenaNet studio to get an early look at the demo. While there, we were able to interview Jon Peters and John Corpening of ArenaNet.

Empyrean Armor Reforging

 Tied of your old Empyrean armor collecting dust? Wishing that you could give it a useful boost to make some of it relevant again? You're in luck! In the upcoming March version update of Final Fantasy XI, a new battle content system will be added which rewards players with items to upgrade their Empyrean armor from Abyssea to item level 109 and 119 versions!

 In addition, Rune Fencer and Geomancer, missing Empyrean armor due to being released after Abyssea's completion, will be seeing equivalent armor sets being added in the same update as well!

Excited for these Empyrean additions? Let us know over on the ZAM forums!

Letter From the Producer

On the docket in this Letter From the Producer are EverQuest's 16th anniversary, changes to heroic adventure experience, and testing:

Greetings, Norrathians!

It's cool and rainy here in San Diego, which is about as wild as our winters get. We understand that much of the rest of the country is under a blanket of snow, and a thick blanket to boot. If you or your loved ones are affected, we hope you are staying warm. Pull up your chair, grab a cup of warm cocoa, don your fuzzy socks, and allow us to explain what to expect for the next few months.

Anniversary Event Schedule

EverQuest's 16th anniversary celebration is nearly upon us! Though, it may be more accurate to say that it's already begun. You can get a head-start collecting anniversary currency by tackling the "War Games" mission in the Plane of War, which may not be a bad idea, as the (Special Celebratory Goods) vendor has a few new unique wares to offer. The main event, seven new Player-Designed Missions, kicks off on the 16th. Like the other anniversary events, these missions reward currency, but there are rumors of hidden bonus rewards if you approach the missions in a certain way or accomplish a side goal..

Downtime - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

US live servers will be brought offline on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:00AM PST for an update. Estimated downtime is one hour.

There will be extended maintenance for European servers.

EU servers will be brought offline on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at approximately 9:00PM PST for an update. (Approx. 5:00AM London Time on February 27, 2015). Estimated downtime is four hours.

The update notes are below.

The Elder Scrolls Online Update 6 Launches March 3

The Elder Scrolls Online's highly anticipated Update 6 is finally here! The update includes changes to Provisioning, a Justice system, and a new form of character development called the Champion system.

Evolve PAX East ESL Tournament

Giant monsters are invading PAX East this weekend as the competitive multiplayer shooter, Evolve, makes its way to the convention with the Evolve ESL Pro-AM Tournament.

Battlefield Hardline Premium Membership Announced

EA has announced the Premium membership program for Battlefield Hardline. In addition to four expansion packs, monthly rewards, early access to expansions and exclusive in-game events, Hardline Premium will also introduce four new "super features": Masks, Gun Bench, Competitive Play and Legendary Status.

GOG.com Unleashes Double Insomnia Promo

Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee—GOG.com's Insomnia Promo is set to begin! Kicking off at 6am PT/9am ET today, March 2, the promotion will run non-stop for 96 hours (four days). This time GOG is offering two potential pools of games to choose from: classics and new titles.

Humble Store Simulator Weekend Sale

The Humble Store started a new sale yesterday: 22 awesome simulator games are discounted. Hurry! These deals will end on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10AM Pacific time.