Blizzard Entertainment reveals third expansion for its popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game at BlizzCon
An ancient evil lies dormant within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane. Hidden away in a secluded sanctuary, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing has waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he can reforge the world in molten fire.
Soon, Deathwing the Destroyer will return to Azeroth, and his eruption from Deepholm will sunder the world, leaving a festering wound across the continents. As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.
Blizzard Entertainment’s third expansion to World of Warcraft forever alters the face of Azeroth, as the destruction left in Deathwing’s wake reshapes the land and reveals secrets long sealed away. Players will be able to re-experience familiar zones across Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, areas rewrought by the cataclysm and filled with new opportunities for adventure.
In an effort to survive the world-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races—worgen and goblins—will join the struggle between Alliance and Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll explore newly revealed zones, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.
- Two New Playable Races: Adventure as one of two new races—the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
- Level Cap Increased to 85: Earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to customize characters
- Classic Zones Remade: Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content, from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens, which has been sundered in two.
- New High-Level Zones: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great Sunken City of Vashj’ir beneath the sea.
- More Raid Content than Ever Before: Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with optional more challenging versions of all encounters
- New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.
- Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
- New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
- Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
- Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms like never before.
World of Warcraft: Cataclyms has shocked fans all across the globe. No one saw coming how Blizzard would deal with a complete overhaul of Azeroth as we know it. Some areas are volcanic lava lands, while other known deserts such as The Barrens and Desolace are now partial forests. Some places are split in half, others sundered underwater.
We got here some screenshots for you straight from our Press Kit CD courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can watch here the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm video shown at Blizzcon 2009. This is cataclysm and shocking to say the least. The world of Azeroth has changed in ways we did never imagine Blizzard would ever dare going. You can really say you didn’t see this coming.
The Diablo III Monk Class gameplay video is just amazing. This monk comes from a highly structured theocratic society well-known by Sanctuary citizens. They fight using a mix of combo skills based on martial-melee and holy magic decimating their opponents. When a large group of mobs surrround him, all you can see is a splash of red blood across the screen. Yea, what you might say by now is: AWESOME!
IT’S OFFICIAL FOLKS!!! World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was unveiled by no other than our beloved Chris Metzen (VP of Creative Design). Deathwing is back, and the face of Azeroth has changed. Old villages are now destroyed, lava runs amok everywhere in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. The Goblins (Horde)and Worgen (Alliance) are officially new playable races. Gilneas Greymane Wall collapsed during the cataclysm. The residents are now cursed with the worgen state.
We can now fly in Azeroth.
I will now start uploading our press kits full of screenshots and details. Check back shortly. Grim Batol is in development based on the story from WoW: Night of the Dragon.
Mount Hyjal present is a new dungeon or zone. Hyjal is under siege by Ragnaros sending his elemental army to burn the World Tree. Malfurion Stormrage is back from the Emerald Dream.
The Barrens Split is broken in half by the middle. Naralex is trying to regrow life into the Barrens in early quests in Wailing Caverns, well he was successful, you can see Barrens with life, and forests. While other areas are lava-like.
Uldum is a new dungeon. There will be a cat-like race inside.
New Blackrock Spire dungeon.
Twilight Highlands is the Twilight’s Hammer base of operations. The Twilight Dragonflight has risen.
Tol Barad is introduced as a prison isle.
Three new PvP battlegrounds. One is Tol Barad and another in Gilneas. New Arena Maps.
Desolace looks full of vegetation in some areas. The druids seem to be doing their work around some areas after our experience in low level quests.
All IncGamers fansites are logged into the live blog from Blizzcon’s Press Room. Join the chatting, and as new stuff happens Flux (diii.net), Maticus (Worldofwar.net), Elly, Rush, Leord (StarcraftWire.net) and me will be on top of things.
Thursday was a fun day for all fansites who attended the Fansites Summit at the Blizzard Entertainment campus.
All fansites waited together at the Marriott Hotel’s lobby awaiting the arrival of the bus. Bashiok took the lead and gave everyone their NDA sheets, and some free Breakfast tickets for the local Cafe del Sol restaurant.
From there we traveled to the campus where the awesome Wolf Rider statue welcomed us. We immediately moved to the Theather room where no recordings or photos were allowed as said by our NDA—so if you get to see any photos of that, someone is in trouble.
Bashiok started by loading Diablo III onscreen and playing a male Wizard in what looked like Act II in a desert. By the NPC dialogue, it was near Caldeum.
Caldum Guard: It’s not safe here. We need to move.
Asheara: Alcarnus is lost. There’s no hope.
Caldeum Guard: No sign of them, Captain.
Asheara: The desert is overrun.
Didn’t get to catch much of the dialogues, but that pretty much let’s you know the situation.
Objective: Follow the road to Alcarnus.
We got to see many monsters in the area such as the Sand Wasp in various sizes. There is voice over every few seconds throughout your journey, making it a pleasant and more vivid experience as you travel through the canyon.
You find optional quests too. One of them asks you to find the outlaw camp. However, some of this characters you find may be a trap. Bashiok got to talk to a weeping girl and suddenly the screen fill up with monsters from all directions.
The inventory was redesigned from what we have seen before. Now it holds items that take only one slot, but some items take up to two slots like in Diablo II to show off nice art where it’s worth.
Bashiok reached a place named the Howling Plateau. Here we saw a monster named Lacuni Warriors, Lacuni Huntress, Fallen Overseer, and other varieties, and more Sand Wasps. At some point, Bashiok loaded a female Witch Doctor. We saw a unique that almost kills Bashiok’s: Blade Jade.
We saw the three Skill trees: Zombie, Spirit and Voodoo.
One of the few we got to see said Spirit Vessel: Gain 20 mana whenever you pick up a health globe (rank 2/5). Next level gain 30 mana.
Some items will be unidentified, but if you have scrolls of identify, you only need to click the item (I’m guessing with the left-button but may be wrong) and it auto-identify.
We saw the ability that fears mobs. A huge witch doctor ghostly figure appear above the female witch doctor and moves his hands around with a threatening pose animation. Looks pretty nice. Mobs run in fear in all directions. Another ability causes a corpse to come out of the ground to spew corpse spiders to attack your enemies.
We got to see Fallen Hound in the area named Canyon RIm Mines. Here we got to see for the first time a waypoint. It looks like a stony floor with a swirl. When you step in you are teleported to some areas. In this case a ruins.
Bashiok showed us the skill trees again and explained that their new system allows to diversify your class in comparison with other players. The philosophy is that you can place skill points in any of the three trees simultaneously and for as long as there is 2 points in Zombie tree, one point in Spirit tree and two points in Vodoo tree (for example) completing a total of 5 points in Tier 1, you automatically unlock Tier 2, and you can continue spreading your points. Once you reach the limit across all trees, you unlock Tier 3, and so on. That’s pretty cool because it doesn’t hamstring your capability to spend and mismatch points where you wish, nor need to spent a bunch of points in a single ability to unlock the next tier.
You can now drag any of the spell icons from any of the skill trees into the spellbar UI. Respecs will be available in Diablo III as mentioned a few weeks ago.
We got to see a special monster named Champion Lacuni Huntress with a blue tag. Below its name it said (Frozen).
We saw the return of shrines. He found a desecrated shrine, and somehow restored it granting him a special buff. Bashiok says if you get one of these buffs you should use them immediately upon any monsters around you. It lasts a minute or less. Some of these buffs may be skill amount bonus, damage bonus, and such.
We saw a new monster that can be a pain in the neck for how annoying it is. Bashiok assures it is easy to learn the mechanics after a while. The Dune Dervish is a very tall and thin monster. Once you aggro, he starts spinning and that’s bad for you.
While this happens, many other monsters attack you, including a Fallen Shaman who ranges you while you are dodging all the monsters and trying to get the heck out of the Dune Dervish’s way. The annoying part of this monster is that if you don’t kill him within the first three seconds, any spells you throw at him are reflected back at you, and that’s a no-good thing to happen with all the damage you are getting. Basically, you get owned. May be a good idea to have healing pots just in case. They are nasty.
We got to see some new witch doctor spells from the skill trees such as Fetish Army which allows you to summon 15 freaking Fetish guys—you know those little annoying tribemen from the jungle act in Diablo II. Parasite converts any mob into a zombie to fight for you. Gargantuan is a buffed up zombie dog, Grasp of Dead, Sacrifice, Mass Confusion, Spirit Barrage, and Horrify among others.
After the Diablo III demonstration, we separated into groups for Franchise specific tours. We walked throughout the World of Warcraft team offices.
Then we had lunch at the cafeteria with developers from each game who were open to questions.
From the Diablo III team Nate Bowden (Environment Artist), Dave Adams (Lead Level Designer), and Chris Haga (FX Artist).
From the WoW Team was Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) and Patrick Magruder (Lead Gameplay Programmer)
Here we got a lot of photos from today’s Blizzcon 2009 Fansite Summit. I got photos with Nethaera, Karune, Ghostcrawler, and Patrick Magruder (WoW Lead Gameplay Programmer).
5:41pm PDT: Seems I misunderstood Eldorian. Told him I would rather spend the next couple of hours updating you guys. I will start uploading stuff shortly, and writing up a summary of what went down over at the Blizzard campus.
5:30pm PDT: It’s been a fun day with all the fansites invited by Blizzard Entertainment. All those with press badges had the chance to visit the campus in Irvine. We witnessed a powerpoint presentation led by Bashiok and Karune.
Bashiok played Diablo 3 in a huge theather screen showing off the male wizard and the female witch doctor. I will have some short updates about it once I come from some commitments. Eldorian is waiting me right now at his room to hang out. There is a party organized by WoW.com where everyone seems to be heading to at the Annabelle Hotel.
I do have photos from the outdoors of Blizzard, and the cafeteria. We couldn’t take photos or record anything at the presentation sadly. However, it was very cool to see some Diablo 3 gameplay and some of the plans Blizzard has in store for fansites.
All fansites will have a official logo to place on the corner of the website … for example: Official Starcraft Fan Site. Same for WoW, Warcraft, Diablo 3 and the big interrogative which was not answered … Official Battle.net Fan Site. huh? Hmm …
So from what little bits we could get from the Blizzard folks something big about Battle.net will be announced between 3:30-4:30pm on Friday. The lack of WoW content in the presentation, and some master dodging of questions by Nethaera points by guess to a new expansion. Gosh, is it hard to get anything from Nethaera … lol. Such a tease.
Some bit that is unconfirmed by funnily answered when I asked if there would be a new Diablo 3 class reveal—there was a lot of dodging that question, but in murmur I heard a—- maaaaybe. So let’s see what tomorrow brings from Mike Morhaime at the presentation, and subsequent panels.
For now, Eldorian updated our Twitter with some stuff. I think he uploaded some photos of his Goody Bag.
Or so I thought. I will upload those when I get back.
Are you excited?
I will try to upload some of the images later tonight. Need to jet.
Blizzard removed the Blizzcon 2009 event schedule posted earlier this morning, and has replaced it with a more comprehensive updated schedule—this one looks like the final one that is usually printed and given to fans within the Goodie Bag. This is what Nethaera said:
|The actual schedule is yet to be posted up. Please do not panic. Your sunglasses are designed to protect you from seeing that which may cause said panic. Make sure to pack your towel and your babel fish.|
Another water-based joke? Hmm. I won’t say anything since people lately say I look too much into things, or “stretch”. Thanks, Handclaw.
IRVINE, Calif., Aug 18, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE)—Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival, BlizzCon(R) 2009, begins on Friday, August 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The convention celebrates Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) game universes and the communities of players surrounding them. Attendees of the sold-out show will be able to play the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment(R) games as well as speak with developers in discussion panels, participate in tournaments and contests, and meet with fellow gamers and friends.
The show will close on Saturday evening with an epic concert featuring the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment’s own Warcraft-themed metal band Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain will be performing, and Jay Mohr has returned to act as the master of ceremonies for the community contests taking place on Friday.
Those unable to attend are still able to purchase a “virtual ticket” to the show, featuring more than 18 hours of live coverage as well as the exclusive BlizzCon 2009 World of Warcraft in-game pet. This package is available both via Internet stream in over 100 countries and in HD through DIRECTV(R) satellite television service. Visit the official BlizzCon website, http://www.blizzcon.com, for more information on the virtual ticket, or to read daily coverage of the show’s highlights.
“With each BlizzCon, we strive to offer a truly unforgettable weekend of entertainment for every attendee, as well as those joining us from home,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to meeting players and sharing the latest news about Blizzard games with them, and we appreciate the contributions of our partners in helping us make this year’s show our biggest and best yet.”
BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s sponsors, who provide demo station hardware and peripherals, contest prizes, and more. This year’s platinum-level sponsors are ASUS, DIRECTV, Intel, Mountain Dew, NVIDIA, and Razer; the gold-level sponsors are Cisco, Dell, Kingston, SteelSeries, and Vasco.
Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, demo reels, art portfolios, or business cards, as the global staffing team will be on hand to accept materials and discuss any job-related questions.
Blizzard Entertainment has released the Blizzcon 2009 schedule for Friday and Saturday plus a WoW-style Floor Map of the Anaheim Convention Center where you can spot which Stages are for Diablo 3, Starcraft II and World of Warcraft.
On this page you’ll find the locations and times for the major events that will take place during the convention, such as hands-on gaming, tournaments, contests, and of course the developer panels where Blizzard’s game designers talk about the many aspects of making a great game.
Do you have a Blizzcon ticket and decided not to go to the Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner? They now have a new discount offer for those who already have a BlizzCon ticket. Not only can you talk to developers during this dinner, you get an exclusive signed Blizzard Art to take home. If you do want a Blizzcon ticket visit the previous offer here.
|Already have your BlizzCon 2009 ticket?|
Now you can join us the eve of BlizzCon for the Blizzard/Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner and have the chance to meet and mingle with Blizzard executives!
Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner
Hi, I am Medievaldragon. I had the opportunity to visit the Blizzard Entertainment Headquarters to play the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player campaign. I barely played through six missions, but I can tell you it was an AWESOME experience from a lore nerd point of view.
After hours playing the game, I asked Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s senior vice-president of Creative Design many questions about the single player and its relevance with the printed media such as the novels, manga and comic book. Here is our interview coverage with Chris Metzen.
Special thanks to Chris Metzen, Shon Damron, CW, Karune and Bob Colayco for inviting me to this single player press event. And to Troglodyte from StarcraftWire.net for compiling the transcript.
Blizzard has announced three of the items available in the Blizzcon 2009 Goodie Bag: The Jim Raynor Noobz Vinyl Toy, the Blizzcon 2009 card (which includes a beta key code and Grunty Murloc in-game pet code); and a new Starcraft II-themed Blizzard Authenticator.
Blizzard revealed three new Noobz Vynil Toys that may be purchased at the Anaheim Convention Center by the Blizzard Store.