diablo-3-cinematic-sneak-peak-1 black soulstone

Awesome Sauce … Diablo III Cinematic Sneak Peek

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News, Featured Stories

Blizzard Entertainment has unleashed a never-seen-before Pre-BlizzCon image teaser of the Diablo III Cinematic!

“Peer not into the shadows of the Hells …”

“… for there is always something peering back.”

“Man’s pleasures give way to pain. His truths are buried in the shroud of lies. It is this time when Hell shall reign. While all of man dies.” – From the Guhawj Cave Inscriptions in Kehjistan, inked in blood by an unknown author.

To quote Tychus Findlay: “Sweet Mother of Mercy.” Leah better have a few tricks up her sleeve, or have a good set of legs to run like Speedy Gonzalez. That’s some fugly demon bastard. For some reason it reminds me the Butcher. Check out the Diablo Facebook and don’t forget to click “Like”. Ata’boy!

After the defeat of the three brothers: Diablo, Mephisto and Baal — centuries before Diablo I — Azmodan and Bellial have been at a Civil War in the Burning Hells. Connecting the dots, this cinematic teaser image might suggest Leah found this foul demon while investigating the hole on the ground left by the meteor, which swallowed her uncle Cain. It’s likely the meteor that fell from the sky upon the cathedral of Tristram might really be Belial. A few weeks ago, I posted a Diablo III beta screenshot where Deckard Cain hints Belial has come to Sanctuary.

In Diablo III beta, Deckard Cain clearly says: “The Horadric Scrolls spoke of the dead rising and the Lord of Lies. The Prophecy of the End Days says that at the end of all things, the first sign shall appear in the Heavens!”

Has the Civil War finally ended? Was Azmodan the victor? For those who haven’t read much into the Diablo lore, the civil war begun because the three brothers had set their sight on the Nephalem (the children of the renegade angels and demons inhabiting Sanctuary), instead of focusing the hordes of demons on their eternal conflict against the High Heavens and the Angiris Council.

With the three brothers off the chess board, Azmodan and Belial fought each other to claim reign over the Burning Hells. Once the victor take command of the Burning Hells, it’s assumed he will unleash an invasion upon the sacred lands of the High Heavens.

It’s speculated Azmodan exiled Belial into Sanctuary, thus — the meteor falling through the sky. Or was it Belial the victor, and Azmodan the fallen one? Only time will tell.

To taste a bit of lore, read The Dark Exile story from the original Diablo Game Manual.

For a full injection of the Diablo Universe lore — pre-order the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain — narrated from the point of view of Deckard Cain.

We recently posted photos, videos and sneak peek of Diablo III: Book of Cain during our visit to the New York Comic Con.

sons-of-the-storm-blizzcon-2010

BlizzCon 2011: Sons of the Storm Signing Schedule

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

The Sons of the Storm artist René “Flipping-Awesome” of Twincruiser let out to the four winds the complete BlizzCon 2011 signing schedule for each member of the Sons of the Storm.

Make sure to bring your books, and other products. Otherwise, raid the On-Site BlizzCon Store early prior to the signing schedule.

FRIDAY, OCT 21

12:00pm

  • Arnold Tsang (Character Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
  • Justin Kunz (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): Traditional Painting
  • Nick Carver (3D Artist, Unannounced Game): Zbrush Sculpting

1:30pm

  • Levi Peterffy (Matte Painting Artist, Cinematics): Digital Painting
  • Mongsub Song (Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Traditional Drawing
  • Alvaro Buendia (Modeling Artist, Cinematics): Zbrush Sculpting

3:00pm

  • Ben Thompson (Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
  • Mark Gibbons (aka Red Knuckle — Artist, World of Warcraft): Traditional Drawing
  • Jimmy Lo (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

4:30 p.m.

  • Luke Mancini (Associate Artist, StarCraft II): Digital Painting
  • Samwise Didier (Art Director, StarCraft II): Traditional Drawing
  • Jesse Brophy (3D Artist, StarCraft II): Zbrush Sculpting

SATURDAY, OCT 22

11:00 a.m.

  • Oliver Chipping (3D Artist, Diablo III): Digital Painting
  • Trent Kaniuga (Concept Artist, Diablo III): Traditional Painting
  • Paul Warzecha (Character Artist, Diablo III): Zbrush Sculpting

12:30 p.m.

  • Glenn Rane (Art Director, Creative Development): Digital Painting
  • Alex Horley (Artist, Contractor): Traditional Drawing
  • Rob Sevilla (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

2:00 p.m.

  • John Polidora (Artist, Creative Development): Digital Painting
  • Peet Cooper (Senior Artist, Diablo III): Traditional Drawing
  • Jon McConnell (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

3:30 p.m.

  • Peter Lee (Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
  • Samwise Didier (Art Director, StarCraft II): Traditional Drawing
  • Sam Yang (3D Artist, StarCraft II): Zbrush Sculpting

Sons of the Storm

In no particular order: Sam Didier (Samwise), Chris Metzen (Thundergod), René Koiter (Twincruiser), Travis Thammer (Thammer), Glenn Rane (Raneman), Peter Lee (Drawgoon), Mark Gibbons (Red Knuckle), and Wei Wang (Glowei).

Sons of the Storm Crew

blizzcon-2011-virtual-ticket

BlizzCon 2011: Ask the Artists

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment is now gathering questions to ask the Artists of every discipline for the Blizzcon Artists panel’s live Q&A.

At this year’s BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you’re attending the event or watching from home, we’re giving you an opportunity on the forums to ask a question of the artists. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away here: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/forum/topic/3341766856#1

If selected, your inquiry will be read and answered live from the Artist Stage at BlizzCon!

Disciplines

Digital Painting

Traditional Drawing

Traditional Painting

Zbrush Sculpting

3DMAX Sculpting

Categories

Character/Enemy Concepts

Character Modeling/Textures

Cinematic Matte Painting

Cinematic Modeling/Textures

Environment Concepts

Environment Modeling/Textures

Publishing Art (Book/Magazine Covers)

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Art

blizzcon-2011-writer-contest

2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest Ends October 15th

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Fans have until October 15th to submit their entries to the 2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest. Simply write a short story based on the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, or Diablo® universe containing 2,500- to 7,500-word (only in English) and submit it here.

    Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the 2011 Blizzard® Global Writing Contest!

    You sit at your typewriter, hands frozen in fear by the sound of crumpling paper from the darkness behind you. Shadows of broken quills encroach on your sight’s periphery but slither out of view when you turn toward them. Summoning your courage, you lash out at the apparitions before they fade, only to awaken in a cold sweat with pencils and pens gripped tight in your clenched fists. You know what this dream foretells: the 2011 Global Writing Contest is upon us!

    The Prophecy of the Unblinking Eye portends of a time when writing contest judges, mad with ocular fortitude from judging the 2009 and 2010 Global Writing Contests, would brazenly unleash the powers of the Ocunomicon. Seeking rituals to infuse themselves with the twisted souls of fel ocularians, they look to wield powers not meant for this or any other contest. But the sacrifices of semicolon keys and left-handed quills have only just begun, their Inkwells of Despair not yet depleted—there is time yet to save this contest!

    Is your prose pulchritudinous enough to save this contest from eldritch powers that no eye should possess? If so, submit a 2,500- to 7,500-word short story written in English and set in the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, or Diablo® universe by October 15th, 2011, and earn your chance to visit the Blizzard headquarters and meet the writers and staff behind the lore of Blizzard’s games and books. (And probably save the world, too!*)

    See below for details about prizes and frequently asked questions. You can also check out the official rules for more information.

    (*World saving not guaranteed.)

    Award Categories

    Grand Prize: The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Blizzard’s headquarters in Southern California, where you’ll meet and eat with the Blizzard writing staff. In addition, you’ll receive a Doomhammer™ hammer by Epic Weapons and copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team.

    Runners-up: Seven runners-up will each receive copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team.

    FAQ

    Q: My story is too long or too short. Is that a problem?
    A: No story may be shorter than 2,500 words or longer than 7,500 words. Most word processors have a “word count” feature that can tell you your story’s length. To avoid disqualification, we encourage all entrants to ensure that their stories’ word counts are within the acceptable range.

    Q: English is not my native language. Is that an issue?
    A: No, as long as the story is well written and grammatically sound. If you’re unsure of your abilities in the English language, we encourage you to find someone with knowledge of English grammar to copy edit your story.

    Q: So if I’m a native English speaker, I’m in the clear?
    A: Maybe, but we highly encourage all entrants to copy edit their stories just the same. Although you can do this yourself, it’s recommended that you ask for help from someone you know who is well-versed in the rules of the English language.

    Q: Does my entry have to have a title? Can I just call it “Untitled”?
    A: Every story must have a title. And, no, “Untitled,” “No Name,” or other variations on that theme do not count as a title.

    Q: My story is more of a poem or free-flowing parade of thought. Is that okay?
    A: This is a contest for short fictional stories; poems or non-structured entries are extremely unlikely to win. Check out the 2009 and 2010 winners for guidance.

    Q: My entry is more of a moment-by-moment account of what my character does in-game. Is that okay?
    A: We’re looking for complete literary works of short fiction based on the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo franchise. Accounts of in-game events or works that detail game mechanics are not literary fiction. Again, we highly encourage you to take a look at the 2009 and 2010 winners for guidance.

    Q: I’d like to add some stylistic touches like a nice font or a radical background image. Any ideas?
    A: We urge you to stay away from these sorts of artistic elements altogether. Your primary focus should be on making your text as easy to read as possible, so we advise you to stick with plain fonts and white backgrounds.

    Q: Are .PDF, .RTF, or other file formats accepted this year? What if I mail you a musty tome?
    A: We require that all submissions be in .DOC format. If you do not have Microsoft Word, there are a number of free utilities that can convert a text file into .DOC format. Musty tomes will not be accepted as valid contest entries, but may be used to keep our judges pacified.

    Q: What’s an ocularian?
    A: That is not seen which can eternal spy, for in strange aeons even sight may lie.

blizzcon-2011-app-1

Official BlizzCon 2011 Guide Mobile App

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment released the BlizzCon 2011 Guide Mobile App for everyone who will attend BlizzCon this year, and (why not?) to those who purchased the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket (Online Livestream / DirecTV).

You can follow specific panel/events and set up alerts to inform you when a panel is about to start.

    The BlizzCon 2011 Guide mobile app, available for iPhone® and iPod touch®, is a fast and easy way to help you make the most of your BlizzCon experience. With it, you can:

    Plan your day – Review the details of the official events taking place at BlizzCon, and then add the ones you’d like to attend to your calendar. You can sort your events by day, time, game series, and more.

    Catch your favorite events – Set alerts for any event on your calendar to make sure you get to it on time.

    Chart a path – Zoom in on the exhibit hall floor with a complete map of BlizzCon. Use it to quickly find the location of a panel, meet up with your friends, or just figure out where you’d like to go next.

blizzcon-2011-gameplay-and-auction-house-panel-39

BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel (Part 3)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News

This is a transcript of the third part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel

PvP

As a lot of you might have known last year we had an arena PvP demo on the floor. This year, playable. We have team deathmatch.

We’ve got a lot of awesome feedback from the community from last year’s showing at the arena, and one of the dominant forms of feedback that we’ve got was that sitting around and waiting while my friends kill each other really isn’t fun, so we’re introducing team deathmatch.

Team Deathmatch really solves that problem. You die, you’re back in three seconds. You’re back in the fight, fighting, able to play with your character more, able to explore more.

There’s no intimidation factor in team deathmatch either. Am I going to let my arena team down coming in with this crazy magic wizard build that only spawns mirror images and that’s all I do? No.

It’s totally cool. Deathmatch the game is a ten-minute game. Two teams, Red and Blue. The team with the most kills wins.

There’s definitely no skill swapping during games, and no item swapping during games.

They want this to be a skilled tactical understanding, so I need to know — hey that barbarian has been stunning the heck out of me the entire time, I need to know that the whole ten-minutes of the game so I can effectively deal with that again and respond.

Last year we only had 3v3. Now we have 4v4. 4v4 is way more fun for responsiveness, and the interactivity.

You’re definitely going to be using your PvP character. There was some confusion, but you’ll be leveling up to 60.

Taking your character or wizard or witch doctor and getting him in front, bringing him in and play it on the showroom floor. You’re our community. We make games for you.

We love your feedback. It’s fantastic. Thank you very much.

Auction House

Wilson: I’m going to talk about the Auction House. I hope you like the UI because there’s a lot of it coming at you.

Why we decided to do an Auction House is because trade is a big focus of the Diablo game. You get loot in the Diablo game and it’s a big deal. That loot is randomized.

The Diablo system is pretty unique in that everything that drops has got some kind of random element, even if it’s something you wear on your body.

Any monster could drop any item in the world. You don’t have to go to a particular monster and do that, but because of that, there’s low odds you get the exact thing you want.

Even if you get the exact thing, you want the chances that it has the best stats you could possibly get on the item is pretty much, it’s almost impossible and that’s really by design, because Diablo’s always been a social game in the sense that you play with and trade with other players, so trading is really the best way to get the best items in the game — and that has always been the case for all Diablo games.

We focus really heavily on the trading aspect. So given that, you think that the previous games had awesome systems for trading, and if you think that — you’d be wrong.

So, in Diablo II there were a bunch of ways to trade. Game interface, you could put items up and stick your item up and somebody else you say what have you got and hopefully I had something good you wanted.

You could throw items on the ground and pray, I wouldn’t recommend that. You could go up to the chat channels or forums, hoping someone is listening or has the thing you want, or wants to buy the thing you have.

It’s pretty inefficient and makes the chat channel not really very chatty; and then you could also go to third party websites, and buy things with real money, and that works fine except that maybe the transaction wouldn’t work, maybe you’d get ripped off, maybe someone would steal your account — so none of those were really great experiences and we felt we could do a lot better.

We focused on an Auction House because it’s a well-known convenient, secure, easy way for people to trade.

There’s things like the World of Warcraft Auction House, and there is eBay. People understand how it works, and how to interact with them.

So we made the decision to allow players to trade in Diablo III the same way that they traded in in Diablo II with gold or real money.

We’re going to let you pretty much trade almost anything in the auction, wearable items, gold, stackable components like crafting items, and things like that.

And this is one of the most important points, we want you to be able to participate for free if you go into the Real Money Auction House.

A lot of people have said to us — you know, I don’t necessarily have a problem with the real money or not. I don’t want to open up my wallet and give you a credit card.

That’s fine. You don’t have to. I’ll explain how. This is Timmy the Demon Hunter. Why is it named Timmy? Because it amuses me to name him Timmy. Timmy needs a new bow. Venomhusk. That would be nice.

That bow would be pretty awesome, got a lot of blue things on there, we like those. So he goes off in the world seeking fortune. Does he find it? Nope. Instead he finds this thing.

Wow, 566 DPS. Two-Hander, not for him. If he had a Barbarian, or a Barbarian friend that would be a good item, but we’ll pretend Timmy doesn’t have any friends, because he’s named his Demon Hunter Timmy, come on!

But he’s still happy, he’s got this awesome thing, but he wants his Venomhusk bow!

So he’s going to put this in the Auction House, and posts it up on the Real-Money Auction House.

The important thing is here he can do this for free, because every week we will allow people to have a small number of free listings. One of the reasons for that is that we want you to generate some income, and get a balance without actually having to spend any money.

So he puts his Overfiend in the Auction House, it sells, and bong … $7.50 in his account. He could have updated that to PayPal and made $7.50 playing Diablo which is pretty awesome or put it back into his balance and use that to buy things and post more auctions.

So Timmy is happy. He goes up, he finds his Venomhusk bow, five bucks. Bam, purchased. Sent to his character, and equipped. Check him out.

Auction House Features

So on top of being able to participate in that way, we’ll also add a lot of features. Some of you are in the beta, and managed to play with the gold option house, and you probably notice it’s not fully featured as we would like. So we are adding a bunch of new features. The first one is a smart search feature.

And basically what this does is it takes any character that you want, it will look at the character and say okay, you got, you seem to be a Barbarian who likes a lot of crit. So we’ll point you at items that do that. You can funnel the results and say these are all the items that I want, but I really want precision, or I really want Life Steal so show me the ones who have those aspect of them. Another thing we’ve done is we’re going to have an Advanced Search which is really a bigger version of the smart search.

It lets you basically just set all kinds of parameters, pretty much anything you could literally specify the exact item stats that you want to see and features like this are really important because the Diablo item system is not filled with a lot of names and items that are easy to search for. You’re going to really be searching more for stats.

Next, you can search for stackable items, gold, gems, crafting & dyes, tomes, books, almost everything that is worth selling we’ll be allowing you to sell in the Auction House.

Diablo – Final Game Tuning

Wyatt Cheng: Let’s talk about game tuning for a little while. We’re getting ready to finalize a lot of the game components, particularly the difficulty modes, the classes and the monsters. Could make a lot of improvement to the monsters.

We’re going to be talking a lot about changes that we’ve made since the beta, as well as changes we’ve made since last year’s BlizzCon.

For those of you who don’t know, a lot of the content for killing monsters in Diablo is based around Rares and Champions — they have magical properties like electrified, plague, teleporter, desecrater.

We’ve a couple of new aspects that we’ve put into the game over the last few weeks. One of those new ones is actually on display in the video over here called the Mortar.

We thought some of the monster abilities penalized more the melee players, than ranged. With Mortar, the monster has the ability to lob grenades over a minimum distance. If you’re a melee character, the grenades will literally fly over your head.

Passive Skills

A lot of focus is on making passives good. We had some feedback. Some of the passives are interesting and some aren’t interesting.

Here’s one of the new passes we’ve got for the Barbarian. One of the things about passives, they actually serve a number of purposes.

Some people want passives that support specific builds, some people want passives that introduce cool visual elements.

In this case, what we felt was important for a Barbarian to have a defensive build option and we also felt it might be instructional for players who aren’t sure if a Barbarian could be built in a tanky sort of way — so we have this passive named Nerves of Steel to help support that playstyle.

Some of our other passives, this one is based on the Witch Doctor — Fetish Sychophants, it summons one of the little Fetish Helpers to fight along your side, and this happens every time you cast a physical skills such as Poisoned Dart, or Plague of Toads. That’s a 3% chance on cast to summon it. That’s a popular one internally as well.

Another passive is Combination Strike. If you guys remember the Spirit Generators, this is a monk skill. The passives, we call them combo skills. Combo Skills and Spirit Generators are kinda interchangeable. In this case, if you use multiple different spirit generators together you get a DPS increase. The more spirit generators you combine together, the larger the increase.

Synergy

This is an interesting thing that’s come up over the last few months as we’ve been tuning passives. The situation where you have too much synergy, it can actually be bad, so the example that we have on the board up on the powerpoint is Counterattack. Whenever you dodge, you automatically damage your attacker.

Sixth Sense gives you increased chance to dodge; and Evasive, which gives you increased chance of dodge every time you critical strike. Each one of these passives is pretty cool on its own.

When you put them all together, we felt like it was actually taking away build diversity rather than increasing it.

As soon as you took one passive, you have a synergistic advantage for taking a second one, and then a third one.

If we give you three passives to choose from out of 15, we’re actually pigeonholding players rather than allowing them to explore, so we’ve been seeking out these sort of overly synergistic passives, and removing them.

Barbarian Tuning

For those of you who played a Barbarian in the beta, Barbarian feels like it’s in a pretty good place, fun, visceral, doing a lot of things we want him to do.

A couple of specific areas we wanted to target, one is Fury generation. He has a few Fury generator skills and we felt the small spammable generators weren’t paying off as well as the big generators.

For example, players were using Leap attack, Ground Stomp, and War Cry, and skipping some of the three Fury generators like Cleave, Frenzy and Bash. So we kind of adjusted those numbers a little bit, tried to provide a better balance there.

Another area we’ve been looking at is Survivability. You didn’t see it so much during the level 1-12 game, but as you started getting into the higher difficulties: Nightmare, Hell, Inferno — we really found Barbarian were having trouble staying in melee range.

The Barbarians need be in melee range to do damage, but without survivability they just weren’t able to do that. We’ve been looking at the Barbarian survivability, the passives earlier on, and their base stats, and we’re looking to make Barbarians a little tougher overall.

Wizard Tuning

The Wizard also in a good place. For those of you who have been following along, we have a set of skills called academic skills. Renamed those to Signature skills. The same idea basically as you level up, the skills become cheaper. Eventually they become free. We like how that’s playing out. Overall, the Wizard is feeling pretty good.

One of the things is a concern for us, whether or not it’s worthwhile to use signature spells when you’re out of Arcane Power, and whether or not it’s worth using a non-signature spell.

So, we’ve been squeaking those numbers to make sure they have a different reason to use different spells. And finally, one of the major changes we’ve been making is all of the Wizard and Witch Doctor spells have been converted over to do percent weapon damage.

A major reason for this, we really felt that the casters needed to value their weapon more. People were finding weapons, and looking at it saying: “Well, I don’t know, I don’t really care about the stats on my character. My skills don’t use it.”

One of the questions we get all the time is: should my Wizard just use a giant two-handed mace? I don’t want to hold a two-handed mace. In addition to be based on weapon damage, we also use the weapon speed to determine casting speed. If you use a wand or a fast dagger, you’ll actually cast faster as well.

Witch Doctor

One of the questions we also get a lot, in the beta, is mana. The mana seems to be unlimited. In the beta that’s absolutely true. Mana is the only resource that’s returning from Diablo II. So what we’re doing with it is we’re providing multiple mechanisms for the Witch Doctor to recover mana.

In this case, one of those would be passive skills. There are a number of passives that have to do with mana regeneration. There’s also runes for mana regeneration.

blizzcon-2011-gameplay-and-auction-house-panel-27

BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel (Part 2)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News

This is a transcript of the second part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel.

The Jeweler

The next thing I want to talk is The Jeweler. The guy is a little shady, but if you have anything gem related, he’s the guy to go to.

So what can he do? He can combine your gems. In the game you have like 14 different ranks of gems. Gems can be put in sockets of your items, and they imbue extra properties.

You want more experience, you can put a ruby in your helm socket, and that gives you plus X percent experience for every kill you make.

The more powerful ones, of course, have to be found and are allowed to be combined — so you have to level him up to get access to those.

He can also add sockets to items. This is great, like say I’m playing, and like I’m really loving Precision and Frenzy kicking butt that way, and I got this item and it has tons of Fury regeneration on it, but I need Precision, so I add a socket to it at the Jeweler, and I can put the gem in there which has the Plus X Precision attribute.

He removes gems from items. This is pretty cool. Let me give you an example here. Leveling up hit level 60 having that experience gem in your helm the entire time, but you’re level 60 now and don’t need the experience.

You go to the Jeweler, and have him take the gem out, put the Plus 20% Life in there, because in Inferno, you’re going to need it, and then you can send that experience gem to your alt character and then that will help him level up faster.

Speaking of leveling up, the Jeweler also levels up. As he level ups he gains the ability to combine more powerful gems and higher ranks. He also uses Pages of Training to level up. You have to pick and choose which ones you want to focus on.

The Blacksmith

Fortunately, they’re account based so, you know, level up Barbarian level 60, and focus on the Blacksmith the entire time.

The Demon Hunter level in and jump in and right there and then the bar of the Blacksmith is already like level 10 and you’re Mythic and you can level her up separately.

Talking about the Blacksmith, we spoke a lot about him already. He can forge items and craft things for you. Boy what we haven’t spoken about. He can craft Legendary and Unique set items for you.

These are things you’d usually find in normal difficulties. Here he’s like making a Sanity’s Edge, just a Legendary two-handed mighty weapon. This comes in a plan you found when you were killing a monster, took the plan to your Blacksmith, and you can make that item again, and again, and again.

He can also make the unique set item. Now this is a normal difficulty unique set. You’re going to find this in the world when playing normal.

The tricky thing about Diablo is that these items can draw from anything. You can take one and just farm that for your set, so we figured, hey, let’s make it easier for you guys and once you get the plan you can then craft every item in this set to get the set bonus.

So here I’ve crafted a Pauldron, the shoulder pieces and the Seething Rage, the one-handed sword.

I crafted those, so I can wear those and get the set bonus. Way easier. In Inferno, you’re going to be arming unique sets.

As you’re progressing through the game you can get a cool factor out of the things.

Auction House

How does the Diablo III Item Life Cycle look with those added features?

When an item is born it can come from a vendor.

It can also come from crafting or from the Auction House. What do I do with it? I can wear it. Definitely going to wear it. If I buy it off the Auction House.

When I’m done with it, I can sell it. That gives me gold for repairs, or for crafting and forging more gear.

I can salvage it and sell those salvaged components on the Auction House.

I can use them to enhance my existing items. I can put it on the Auction House directly and make gold, make real life money. Who doesn’t like that? Or I can trade it.

I can help twink my characters or give it to my friends. It’s not my style. What’s an example of that. Say I’m playing through the game and I get a drop. I don’t need it. It’s not an upgrade. I decided to salvage it. Salvage it into some components I’ve put for sell on the Auction House.

Someone buys that, win, rock and roll. I need some gold. I keep playing for a while, and next week I go and look at the Auction House and see a wicked one-handed axe perfect for me.

Decided to buy that from the Auction House. I didn’t know that was actually crafted from the same salvage that I sold on the Auction House a week earlier.

That’s a life cycle, and that just makes me happy.

Of course, we have awesome art, item artwork that we just wanted to show off.

It didn’t fit in anywhere else, but these are some of the items you’re going to be playing with.

foo-fighters-blizzcon-2011

Foo Fighters to Rock the House at BlizzCon 2011

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

IRVINE, Calif. — September 28, 2011 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Foo Fighters will headline the closing concert of this year’s sold-out BlizzCon®, taking place October 21-22 at the Anaheim Convention Center. While tickets to the convention are currently sold out, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event (including Foo Fighters’ performance) globally over the Internet and also on DIRECTV® in the United States.

Over the course of their 16-year career, the Foo Fighters have sold tens of millions of records, won half a dozen Grammy awards, and raised countless voices in singalongs of iconic anthems like “Everlong,” “My Hero,” “Learn to Fly”, “All My Life,” “Best of You,” and “The Pretender.” Foo Fighters’ BlizzCon debut marks founder Dave Grohl’s triumphant return to the convention after playing drums for Tenacious D in last year’s show, and comes during an international arena, stadium, and festival tour promoting their seventh album, the international #1 record Wasting Light.

Opening up the concert will be The Artist Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, who are returning to BlizzCon following a two-year interstellar tour through the Koprulu sector. Blizzard’s in-house metal band will amp up the crowd with an earth-shaking set of both familiar and brand-new songs drawn from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes before turning the stage over to Foo Fighters for the main event.

“There’s no better way to cap off two days of gaming entertainment than by blowing the roof off the convention center with an awesome rock concert,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Everyone attending BlizzCon and watching from home can look forward to ending the show with a bang when Foo Fighters bring the house down.”

“We’re pretty sure that in the future, music historians will look back at BlizzCon 2011 as the unquestionable pinnacle of Foo Fighters’ long and illustrious career,” said Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters founder and frontman. “We look forward to living up to that prediction by bringing the Horde and Alliance together to rock the hell out of Anaheim next month.”

BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will have an array of activities, including discussion panels, competitive and casual tournaments, contests, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, and more. Viewers at home can order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket for $39.99 USD, available around the world as a multi-channel Internet stream with over 50 hours of coverage (pricing and availability may vary by region), and also via DIRECTV in the United States. Visit www.blizzcon.com/live-stream/ for more details and ordering information.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft® as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs. As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com.

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-92

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warrior

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warrior talent trees.

Level 15

Hope the Warriors are all back with their beer by now. So the first tier is the Charge tier.

The first thing I have to explain about what we did with Charge is, we thought it was kind of lame both Juggernaut and Warbringer were the same talent, but let you use Charge in combat.

So now Charge can now be used in any combat by any warrior. So you choose Juggernaut if you want to Charge a lot. It has a lower cooldown on the Charge.

Double Time lets you Charge twice in a row before it infers a cooldown, so you can charge once and charge again if you missed your target or changed your mind.

Warbringer puts a five second root at the end of your charge.

Level 30

Level 30 is about survival. We put Enraged Regeneration in here. Warrior has a lot of defensive cooldowns, so we thought we could make Enrage a little bit more powerful if we made it a talent, and make you choose it instead of the other two.

Second Wind with also combined with Blood Craze so that — it’s when you take a stun or immobilize effect or you just take some damage you can regenerate some health and rage.

Then we liked the idea of Impending Victory, but it never really was as cool as we thought it could be. So this basically turn Victory Rush into a full rotation ability. It adds a rage cost and a cooldown you can use at any time.

Level 45

Level 45 is a crowd control here. Throwdown is your basic stun. Piercing Howl is a big AOE ensnare, or Cripple — think the autoattack hits and Rend ticks playing Hamstring without you actually doing it.

But now you can only choose one. What are you going to do?

Level 60

Level 60 is about silencing those annoying casters. This is the existing Gag Order where you Pummel and Heroic for a silence.

Rude Interruption is a fun talent. It’s a DPSing increase, but it’s so minimal and situational that we aren’t too worried about every Warrior out there taking it.

— between teeth Ghostcrawler jokingly murmurs: “The Shaman will probably interrupt it before you get to it anyway.”

(crowd laughs)

And Disrupting Shout is a new idea its an AOE interrupt, not something we’ve done before. Interrupt a whole group at once with this shout.

Level 75

So level 75 is about a little bit of having fun with burst and resource management.

Deadly Calm we decided to make just focused on the Heroic Strike or Cleave. It’s pretty much what it’s most useful for. It gives you three free Heroic Strikes or Cleaves.

Death Wish enrages you which is important for warriors to do more damage. Lets Fury Warriors use Raging Blow and it also increases your rage generation during that time.

And Bull Rush is a new idea, whenever you charge or intervene it enrages you. Another way to get enrage on demand.

Maybe you will see those warriors moving around the battlefield. Get fun things to do by looking at this and one of the Charge talents on the first tier.

Level 90

And last, but certainly not least, Shockwave and Bladestorm can be done by any warrior — and if you need something really powerful to compete with that — so we went back and looked at Warcraft III and said that Avatar sounds like a fun ability to give to warriors.

In this case, it’s not just themed as a defensive cooldown, but increases your damage dealt. It gives you excess rage and makes you immune to movement impairing effects.

One of those things that we really like about this tier is if you look at it with Warcraft III in mind, see the Blademaster, the Tauren Chieftain and Mountain King together you decided which one you want to be.

(round of applauses)

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-84

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warlock

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warlock talent trees.

Level 15

We’re going to see a lot of healing and a lot of survivability in here. You’ll want to emphasize that a little bit as kinda push the differences between the Mage and Warlock a little further apart in the design space.

So start right off in different ways to get health. Dark Regeneration just click to get some of your health back. It takes a little bit of time to build up here, so it’s not an instant burst of healing.

Soul Leech lets your Shadowbolt, Incinerate and Malefic Grasp (oh, what is that?) heal you.

And Harvest of Life drains life from a target and other targets in the area. You can see in the blue text of the tooltip Empowered Channel.

This is a cool thing we’re trying with the way the Warlock channels. If you cast the channel again before it’s finished it increases the duration so is rather than sitting there and channeling the whole time, you channel, channel, channel and then you have a nice long duration spell.

Level 30

Here three different ways to control the bad guys. You can have an AOE fear, or an AOE stun, or you can have Mortal Coil.

A new design on Death Coil. Not about doing damage, but it’s about making them run away, and healing yourself.

Level 45

Level 45 is about Survivability. Hour of Twilight returns some health back when you get hurt, it’s a passive, not like the previous generation one.

Soul Link shares damage with your pet, but your demon has to be alive.

And Sacrificial Pact is the kind of existing Voidwalker ability. Your pet sacrifices itself, but also makes you immune to damage for a short period of time.

Level 60

Level 60 has three ways to heal yourself or avoid damage.

Bloodstone is an instant heal. Spell Drain is cast on yourself, and the next single target attack spell that hits you, heals you for half the damage it would have dealt instead.

Nether Ward transforms your Twilight Ward into Nether Ward. We combine a holy shadow ward into one. You have your ward up and another ward replaces your Twilight Ward and makes you reduce damage to that school you get hit by for 12 sec.

Level 75

Level 75 is about your pet, and you can do three different things here.

Grimoire of Supremacy basically replaces your demon with a more powerful demon. This is a permanent passive. If you take this, you can have a Shivan or an Abyssal as your pet instead of the current run-of-the-mill warlock pet.

All of these are more powerful. They are slightly more powerful versions of their current abilities.

Grimoire of Service is a 30 sec cooldown that lets you have two pets out at the same time.

And then Grimoire of Sacrifice is something else we’ve heard a lot is we never really liked the idea of the Destruction warlock that gets rid of the imp, and then doesn’t have a pet the rest of the time.

But players would tell us, you know — “I really liked that mechanic. Is there any way to bringing it back?”

So we thought, if the pet wasn’t gone permanently, that could be a cool thing. We really like the feel like the Hunter really cares about his bear and his rabbit (rabbit?) — err, his tiger — (jokingly Ghostcrawler says: Make rabbits tameable pets) — whatever.

But the demon, the warlock doens’t care about the demon. The demon is a tool for the warlock. If it makes sense to kill the demon to burst your DPS for a little time, the warlock will probably take that trade.

Level 90

And then level 90 is themed around demons. Not your demons, but really more powerful demons from Warcraft lore. All of these do some pretty crazy, crazy things.

Archimonde’s Vengeance let’s you curse an enemy which will also take damage you do to that enemy.

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning lets you cast while moving. Straight up! Doubles the cast time, or the period of the spell that you’re casting while you’re moving.

And Illidan’s Guile lets you do a little bit of splash damage to other enemies in the area with your three main nukes there.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-76

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Shaman

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Shaman talent trees.

Level 15

Now Frozen Power now makes your Frost Shock root in ice.

Earthgrab Totem roots enemies around the totem for 5 sec, and slow down movement by 50%.

Repulsion Totem which repels target from getting close to you.

Level 30

Level 30 is about Survivability. The existing Nature Guardian, which heals you when you get hurt. Stone Bulwark is a new totem that you drop down and puts a shield on you. Remember, there’s no buff totems anymore, so you can choose which of the totems we have now out here.

And then Astral Shift will actually like shift you into another phase so that you take less damage while you are out there.

Level 45

Let me explain Improved Ghost Wolf. We’ll give the Ghost Wolf form to every Shaman, and then flip them around. If you want the freedom wolf you take the talent along with the instant wolf.

Windwalk Totem will brand all your group with immunity to movement imparing effects while it’s out.

The Tranquil Mind Totem is the same effect as Aura Mastery. In this case, rather than reducing push back, it makes you immune to spellcast interruption and silence effects while it’s up.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. We’ve a new healing totem. It’s kind of a little tranquility for the Shaman.

Ancestral Guidance has a chance of copying a heal to another target, or when you deal damage, or heal, you can heal another target.

And Fortifying Waters is a little bit of damage reduction for Healing Rain.

Level 75

Level 75 is about burst for the most part. The key part of Elemental Mastery is — don’t worry so much about activating the next Lightning Bolt or whatever. It’s pretty much a self-Bloodlust.

Nature Swiftness is the activated version to give you a fast spell. It has a little bit of passive haste as well.

And then the Echo of the Elements, you can imagine this as your own personal Dragon Wrath. It has a chance to clone a damage or healing spell.

Level 90

Level 90 is what we’ll call here a high concept tier. These are all about doing crazy things to your totems.

Elemental Harmony lets you have multiple totems of the same kind.

Totemic Restoration if you replace or destroy a totem, it reduces its cooldown. Say you drop one of your raid cooldown totems, and you see someone else puts down power barrier, then you can pull that totem back up and drop another totem and then your other totem will be available pretty quickly. (note: no clue what he said here)

And then Totemic Projection lets you move your totems — and the cool thing is that you aren’t just moving them close to you. You can decide and throw it over there instead.

(Room breaks into applauses)

I love this tier. It’s three superpowerful things, and it feels very exciting. You decided which you want, and mix up over time.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-68

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Rogue

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Rogue talent trees.

Level 15

I like how the Rogue benefits from this new model.

Lot of the cool stuff that tended to be in Subtlety is now spread out. You should read all of these tooltips.

These are pretty powerful talents all tied into Stealth.

Nightstalker – you move faster while stealthed.

Subterfuge – your stealth doesn’t break for three seconds, which has a lot of ramifications if you’re a Rogue.

And Shadow Focus which is your stealth abilities are free (they cost no energy).

Obviously you can’t take both of those together or you would be broken, and that’s kind of what we really like about the talent system.

Level 30

Level 30 is about control and survivability. The existing Deathly Throw with a nice movement speed debuff on it as well.

The way Nerve Strike works is that if you Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot someone it also debuffs their damage dealt for a period of time.

Obviously, the target must be susceptible to Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot.

And then the existent Combat Readiness where you can kinda build up resistance to someone that’s trying to beat your face in.

Level 45

Level 45 is about staying alive. Cheat Death is up against a new type of poison. We are trying to introduce new types of Rogue poisons.

Leeching Poison – as you beat on someone it will heal you for a little bit of the damage dealt.

And Improved Recuperate, I’m sure Rogues are very familiar with.

Level 60

Level 60. Here’s your Shadow Step as promised, but … you have to choose it or Preparation.

We went ahead and put the Preparation in here, too, so you get all the abilities listed.

Burst of Speed is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a sprint on no cooldown at a cost of energy.

Level 75

Level 75, we have Deadly Brew – whenever you wound, or mind-numb a target you also apply Crippling Poison to the target.

Paralytic Poison will let you paralize someone. You have to hit them a few times before you get enough stacks to paralyze them.

And then Dirty Tricks let’s you Gauge and Blind won’t break from damage coming from Poison and Bleed effects. You can try to debuff a little bit, and then Gauge and Blind them and they’ll take damage.

Level 90

And see what we did here. You can have any ability you want, from any of the bottom talent trees as Rogue.

Shadow Dance is pretty much the existing Shadow Dance. The Killing Spree and Vendetta are fairly different. Let me talk about those.

This new Killing Spree, the way it works is you can press the button multiple times, and every time gives you a teleport. We hope this is a little less disorienting than the current dance all over.

You push it once you blink. You push it another time you’ll go somewhere else, and you can do it as many times as you feel like it within a five-second window.

Vendetta, the real key here is that bottom part of Vengeful Strikes, once you have a Vendetta target, you can use the Vengeful Strikes ability — it has a 30 yard range and generates a combo point.

Pretty nice for Rogues who have trouble with target switching or movement.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-51

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Paladin

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Paladin talent trees.

Level 15

At the top is a tier that’s about movement. I know it sounds pretty crazy for a Paladin. We totally redesigned Speed of Light, and now think of it as a Sprint that does self-healing while you are sprinting.

It’s up against a modified Long Arm of the Law. Whenever you judge, you get a speed movement and we don’t think we need to have a minimum range requirement there anymore.

And then there’s a very different Pursuit of Justice which gives you a 10% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Fist of Justice replaces Hammer of Justice — but it’s a very short cooldown so you can just go around and being the stun guy.

We wanted to make Repentance available to any paladin, but wanted to make it really hard choice because we put a much improved Seal of Justice that does a really legit snare.

Level 45

Level 45 is a survival tier. Hopefully that will be a hard choice for the Protection Paladin, but there’s good stuff here for the other specs as well. Blessed Life is the modification of the current talent that gives you Holy Power when you take direct damage.

Sacred Shield is the automatic defense mechanism when you get brought down low in health, and Ardent Defender is the active one. If you want to be active take Ardent Defender. If you don’t want to worry about so many buttons, take Sacred Shield.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. A very redesigned selfless healer, all about Flash of Light. One of the things we did was give Flash of Light to all Paladins, but Holy Light and Divine Light are Holy only.

We figured if the other two Paladin specs really wanted to cast a heal they would have to cast a fast heal. So it’s based on Flash of Light.

Eternal Glory is an existing talent. It gives you a chance not to use Holy Power in your heal. Word of Glory is the single target and then think of Holy Shield as an absorption version of Word of Glory.

Not everyone can have a shield, but if you want it, there’s one right here.

Level 75

Level 75 is about Utility. Veneration is a new idea where if you put down a consecration, your allies on the consecration will be immune to movement impairing effects for a limited time.

Acts of Sacrifice is an existent talent that lets you cleanse a movement impairing effect on yourself, and reduces the cooldown of your Hand abilities a little bit.

And then Clemency is a way to immediately finish the cooldown of your Hand abilities so you can cast it again.

Level 90

Finally, Level 90 is a really exciting tier about cooldowns. The common complaints we get are cooldowns are cool, but Paladins have a little too many of them. So here’s the way to pick the way you want to do it. I’m gonna go through these real quick.

Holy Avenger, when you have Guardian of Ancient Kings out, your abilities don’t cost Holy Power.

Sanctified Wrath varies depending on your spec. For Holy, you can holy shock with no cooldown. For Protection, you can judge with no cooldown, and for Retribution you can use Hammer of Wrath as you can today.

We also have Divine Purpose in here. It’s a fun talent for some Retribution Paladins, but others get frustrated by the OMG. Here’s a way to get Holy Power — it’s not so tied to a cooldown. Sometimes you will have more Holy Power than others.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-44

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Mage

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Mage talent trees.

Mage is a great example of a class that works well with this talent system because historically we have had a lot of the most fun abilities for crowd control, and survivability, utility and frost — and we had trouble increasing the damage because they had so much utility and put it throughout the talent tree and let frost do different types of damage.

In this brave new world, arcane blast is arcane only, fireball is fire only, and frost is frost only. I know that’s crazy, right?

Level 15

So level 15 is a very chilly tier. We’ve the existing Ring of Frost which probably wins the award for the most level of junk.

It goes against Cone of Cold, and this is the improved version. It also freezes.

The new way of freezing, Frostjaw, silences and freezes the target.

Level 30

These are all abilities that help Mages survive and get away. Greater Invisibility is an upgrade to Invisibility. It doesn’t really replace Invisibility, it just makes your invisibility more powerful, but they key is it removes up to two dots.

The existing Cauterize only fire had access to before, and then Cold Snap one of your most powerful control and escape mechanisms.

Level 45

Level 45 tier is about Movement. Presence of Mind lets you get a fast spell off to get it instantly. It’s up against Scorch now. This is improved Scorch. This can only be kept by moving, but you don’t have Scorch to let you pick this talent.

If you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re moving a lot you can take Scorch here, and Scorch as you move around. This Arcane Flows is a variant on that where it lets you cast the next two spells while moving. So it’s like a cooldown you pop, then while you’re moving you can cast two spells. You get to choose between Scorch or Arcane Flows.

As I mentioned here, we want to make sure that Scorch is the no-brainer choice for Fire mages. We’re not going to have to worry about how Fire mage buff all their fire damage, so of course, they’re going to take Scorch.

We want these to be attractive to any of the three specs.

Level 60

Level 60 is another kind of escape and control tier. We have Mana Shield here but it has a damage absorption sort of thing. When your Mana Shield is destroyed it does a knockback. Up against Blazing Speed which lets you move faster for a period of time, and then Ice Barrier.

Level 75

This is a fun tier. Polymorph is a signature Mage spell, and as with other classes’ spells, we wanted to do something that was focused on this spell.

With Sickly Polymorph targets regenerate health slower. You can polymorph mobs that is pretty injured and and they won’t regenerate health quickly.

Heavy Polymorph does a stun to the target, and Double Polymorph does it on two targets at once.

We really wanted these to be like game-changers, and we wanted you to see a mage doing like a double polymorph. Like … “What’s going on, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Level 90

And crowd control at level 90, this is great at crowd control. Here you can have Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath. Both which do a little bit of damage as well, and then, Slow.

Talents Window

There’s the full mage tree.

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-36

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Hunter

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Hunter talent trees.

Level 15

The top Hunter tier is about arrows and ammunition. This is something we kinda flirted with a few times, and we think it’s a great place to deliver it.

You can have three different types of ammunition just by choosing a talent. The Frozen Arrows does the kind of thing that frost usually does in our game.

The Arcane Arrows restore focus, and the Venom Tipped Arrows leave a dot. It depends on what situation you’re in. If you are into PvP Arcane Arrows and Venom Tipped Arrows would be attractive.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Silencing Shot and Wyvern Sting, pretty much the ability we had. Intimidation Shot is now here, and we went ahead and changed Beast Master’s Level 10 ability to Kill Command which always kind of made sense.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about how you want to use Disengage. Every Hunter will have something cool that happens when they Disengage and they choose it here.

You can buff your movement speed and you can buff your avoidance or you can heal yourself after a Disengage.

Hunters often ask for self-heal and here you can get a good one.

Level 60

Here’s one about survivability being slippery, or perhaps, being tanky. Crouching Tiger — the existing talent that can improve your disengage and deterrants.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces the damage you can take outright, and this is a more powerful version of your Spirit Bond that lets you and your pet heal as long as your pet is still alive.

Level 75

Level 75 is about resources in three different ways. You have two clickies over which gives you focus, you and your pet, readiness — which finishes the cooldown durabilities and thrill of the hunt which is a passive ability to get some focus back.

So here’s one of those opportunities. Some players really like active control and some players would rather not have another button on their bar, and they’re happy to have it happen over time, even if it means a little bit more R&D for them.

Level 90

And one thing we haven’t seen a lot yet in the Hunter trees are traps. So level 90 is all about the traps.

Flash Freeze no longer has a cooldown. Black Ice is an interesting one. It increases the movement speed of your Ice Trap, but it also increases your move speed when you walk over the trap.

And then Transmorph Trap, it turns the target into a beast. They are not very powerful as long as they’re a beast. One other thing I wanted to mention about Hunter is what happens to the pet talent?

The way we think we’re going to handle that is let Hunters choose any of the three speccs for any pet: Ferocity, Tenacity or Cunning.

You can have a bear and you can just choose which one you want to — if you want them to do the damage role or the tanking role.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-35

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Druid

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Druid talent trees.

Level 15

Some of the fun things to do with Druids is we try to have different tiers based on different themes of being a Druid.

Level 15 is all about Cat form. It doesn’t mean only the cat spec is interesting it’s just that this tier was themed around that way. Feline Swiftness is the movement ability we have now. Displacer Beast is a fun ability that let’s you kinda move in a random direction and get out of any kind of dots that are on you at the time.

And then Tireless Pursuit is basically a second dash. If you want to be the really mobile guy that gets around the battlefield you can do the Tireless Pursuit.

You’ll see a lot of the Druid abilities will say something like this ability activates X.

Rather than having to jump into Cat and hit Displacer Beast, if you are Moonkin and you hit Displacer Beast, you’ll go into Cat form automatically as part of that. (crowd cheers)

Level 30

Level 30 is kind of a healing tier. The Druids care about this, but because the Druids are a hybrid class we want the other specs to feel like they could do some healing as well even if it’s something they’re healing on themselves.

Nature’s Swiftness is your next healing instant. It’s pretty similar to what we have today.

Renewal is a big heal that you can throw on yourself. And then Cenarion Ward you designate a target, and put a shield on them, and they get healed when the shield gets broken.

Level 45

Level 45 Tier is a crowd control in here. Faerie Swarm is one of those spells that replaces Faerie Fire, and it’s more powerful than Faerie Fire because it does the snare as well.

Mass Entanglement is exactly what it sounds like. Root everything. And then we thought it’d be fun to put Typhoon in here. If you want to be a Bear with Typhoon, here’s your chance!

Level 60

Level 60 is a pretty cool tier. What we did in this case was we said let’s take something cool that different talent trees have and make it available to everyone.

Wild Charge is a new version of Feral Charge. If you take this talent you have a lot of different movement abilities. One for every form you can turn into.

If you are Bear, you get the Bear charge. If you are Moonkin, you get the Moonkin Charge.

The way Incarnation works is depending on your spec, it activates a super powerful version of your spec. If you like Tree of Life, this is where you get Tree of Life.

If you say: “You know, I want to be a Cat that turns into the super power cat version”, then you also pick this talent. There’s a super Boomkin and everything in there.

Finally, Force of Nature. It’s not just the three treants you know and love today, but these three treants do different things depending on your spec. I didn’t want to add the gigantic tooltip here. It works a little bit like Guardian of Ancient Kings depending on which of the four specs you are. Remember, there’s four druid specs now.

Level 75

Obviously, Level 75 — a Bear theme. Demoralizing Shout and Demoralizing Roar was one of those abilities we were not sure the game really needed.

They were kind of maintenance. We thought “Let’s get rid of them and focus the more interesting Thunder Clap”, and things like that so this is not too demoralizing like you have today. This does a group disorient.

Ursol’s Vortex, it can be used in any shapeshifting form, but it’s bear themed in that it pulls all enemies to you via a wind. Bear Hug is an interesting kind of stun where you’re a bear. You grab the enemy. They are stunned, but you have to keep stunning them. If you go away, then they are going to break out of stun.

Level 90

Level 90 — I mentioned before that we really wanted to remind players that the kit of the Druid is that you can do lots of different things. That’s what the Druid was originally about and we moved away from that so we could let players specialize a little bit.

So level 90, we give you a choice of how you want to be a shapeshifter. A lot of different things here. Heart of the Wild feels really powerful. It’s the one that says, even though I’m a balanced Druid, I still want to be a fairly good healer. Not as good a healer as the Resto Druids, but I’m willing to give up a talent point and be a pretty good healer.

The Feral spec, if you pick Heart of the Wild gives you the ability to have better armor and have little higher intellect, but you’re not going to be as powerful as the Druid that picks that spec. So Heart of the Wild is more about focusing on that.

Master Shapeshifter has to do with the actual shift itself. Every time you shift, you increase your damage and attack power which stacks up. So if you shift multiple times, you can build up this buff on yourself.

Disentanglement, when you shapeshift it removes roots and does a heal on you.

Talents Window

blizzcon-2011-talent-system-panel-23a

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Death Knight

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2011, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Death Knight talent trees.

Level 15

Ghostcrawler: The first, Death Knight tier is all about diseases. Outbreak is a current ability, it’s up against Roiling Blood — which now works with Pestilence — and the return by popular demand of Corpse Explosion.

(crowd cheers)

The way it works is if a target dies with your diseases on it, you can target that corpse and blow it up.

Level 30

Next tier, we have three Survivability buttons. You can choose which one, the Lichborne, Anti-Magic Zone or Bone Shield.

We’re hoping the Blood Death Knight doesn’t just say “I have to have this because the other two can be pretty useful as well.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about movement and control. Death’s Advance, and Chilblains are current abilities that Death Knights are very familiar with.

And then we have a new ability called Asphyxiate. You lift your target off the ground and strangle them.

You’ll see what we do with some of these talents — if you get Asphixiate, it replaces Strangulate. It’s kind of an Improved Strangulate. You don’t get both of them, you just get the most awesome version.

Level 60

Alright. At level 60 you get a healing tier. Death Knights have always been about self-healing. Particularly, the tanks. So we still have Death Pact, Vampiric Blood in here, and a new ability named Death Siphon which does shadow damage and let’s you heal yourself a little bit based on the damage dealt.

Level 75

Level 75 is a little interesting too. We introduced the concept of Rune Empowerment in Cataclysm, with the idea that rotations didn’t feel too — we know you get to the point where you’re just hitting: “One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four” — so we introduced this to mix it up. Some players don’t care for the mechanic and they want a little more control.

You can make other criticisms about it, but it’s a great candidate to have as a talent.

If you like it, choose it. If not, you have other two choices. You have the Runic Corruption — which just increases the amount of runes you get back; or this really modified Blood Tap where now you can take a depleted rune, and turn it into a Death Rune.

Level 90

And now the final tier, level 90 is all about awesome crowd control. Gorefiend’s Grasp is a Death Grip.

Remorseless Winter is more like the Lich King’s ability himself. Kind of a replacement for Hungering Cold — but the instant nature, we didn’t think the cast time went over very well, so here, you can still do control, but it takes a little while to stack that five stack up and stun the target at the end.

And then finally, Desecrated Ground here. When you stand within the area of effect, you are immune to crowd control effects.

Automatically, three of these abilities do some amount of damage. We want them to apple to apple choices. So if you pick one you think you have to pick the other.

Talents Window

We’re going to build a Talent Calculator after this presentation. We’ll set something up on our website pretty soon where you can read all the tooltips you don’t have to furiously iPhone everything, but I’m sure you will anyway.