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BlizzCon 2011: Badge Pickup on Thursday

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Blizzard Entertainment will open the gates of Anaheim Convention Center (Hall E) to let attendees grab their BlizzCon badge a day earlier, on Thursday, October 20th.

    BlizzCon is almost here! If you’re attending this year’s show, you can pick up your badges beginning Thursday, October 20 at 4 p.m. at General Attendee Pickup, located in Hall E of the Anaheim Convention Center. Please remember to bring the printed bar code you were emailed (also available in the ticket purchaser’s Battle.net account order history), along with valid photo ID that matches the name on the confirmation email. Registration hours are:

    Thursday, October 20 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Location: General Attendee Pickup, Hall E, Anaheim Convention Center

    If for some reason you did not receive your bar code or forgot to bring it with you, please visit the on-site Solutions Desk in Hall E with your photo ID for assistance. Visit the badge info page for more details. See you at the show!

    BlizzCon attendees have questions. We have answers. This year, if you’re at BlizzCon, you can come ask us anything you like at the Ask Blizzard booth.

    Community Managers Nethaera, Bashiok, Zarhym, Lylirra, Daxxarri, and Kaivax stand ready to meet you in Hall C of the Anaheim Convention Center on October 21 and 22. Just look for the “Ask Blizzard” sign near the StarCraft II play area, and don’t be shy! Panelists only have time for a limited number of questions, but our community managers will be available all day, both days, to field your inquiries.

    Do you have a question for Ask Blizzard, but can’t make it to the booth? Let everyone know in the comments below.

BlizzCon 2011: Blizzard Publishing and Writers Panel on Friday Oct 21

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The Blizzard Creative Team will hold a panel to talk about the storytelling of all three franchises. The book writers: Christie Golden, Richard A. Knaak and Nate Kenyon will be there too. If lore is your passion, then hop in and visit the panel to meet the lore makers.

    Ever wonder what it takes to bring your favorite Blizzard comics, novels, and short stories to life? Then be sure to check out the “Blizzard Publishing: So What’s The Story?” panel.

    Led by some of Blizzard’s most experienced storytellers and best-selling authors, this panel will delve into the philosophies and processes embraced by Blizzard’s publishing team. You’ll also get to learn more about the future of Blizzard publishing, upcoming products, and more!

    So, who are the panelists?

    Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development
    Micky Neilson, Publishing Lead
    James Waugh, Senior Story Developer
    Cameron Dayton, Publishing Developer

    Sean Copeland, Historian

    New York Times best-selling authors Christie Golden and Richard A. Knaak and award-winning author Nate Kenyon will also be in attendance to share their stories and field your questions during the open Q&A.

    “Blizzard Publishing: So What’s The Story?” starts at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, October 21, on the Panel stage in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center. For those attending from home through the BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket, tune your TVs or streams to the Panel Stage.

BlizzCon 2011: Mega Bloks On-Site Contests

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Are you one of over 25,000 BlizzCon attendees? You lucky sonova quillboar. Mega Bloks has a live contest at BlizzCon where players can take a photo alongside a massive 7-feet-tall Mega Bloks Thrall statue. Got one of those smartphones or iPhones and a twitter account? Then you can win some Mega Bloks phat lootz.

    Mega Bloks will be heading to BlizzCon and celebrating our heroic new partnership with Blizzard. As part of the festivities we will, in cooperation with BlizzCon, gifting attendees with an exclusive Shaman Thrall micro action figure, heralding the line’s release in 2012. We’ll also be unveiling the World of Warcraft toy line for the first time!

    But the fun doesn’t stop there.

    All Blizzcon attendees, Virtual Ticket holders, and DIRECTV participants will be given an exclusive purchase opportunity for for online sale, floor store and post-BlizzCon sale — a 1,736-piece Battlecruiser preview set (limited edition of 3,000 worldwide).

    But wait … There’s more!

    Are you coming to BlizzCon? If your are stop by our booth c-303 for a chance to win some great prizes!

    Capture your inner Thrall – Take your picture with a 7ft tall Thrall, tweet it, and win!

    How to enter

    Come by our booth at BlizzCon c-303 and take your picture with Thrall. Tweet your pic using #innerthrall and @MegaBloks. On October 22nd at 5pm PDT we will choose 1 random tweet as our GRAND winner!

    Prize – A surprise Mega Bloks prize pack

    Guess the number of bloks in Froustmourne @ BlizzCon and win!

    “Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit.”

    Come visit Mega Bloks at booth c-303 and you could win a one-of-a-kind Frostmourne made from Mega Bloks. All you have to do is guess the number of bloks (closest to the number wins).

    Plus check out some of Starcraft and WoW prototypes for our up coming line of authentic collectibles.

    See you there!

    Guess the number of bloks in Frostmourne – Guess how many bloks it took to build life size Frostmourne and win!

    Make sure to SIGNUP to get insider news on exclusive product previews and contests!

Official Press Release: BlizzCon 2011 Begins This Week

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BlizzCon® Virtual Ticket allows viewers at home to watch sold-out show, including closing concert featuring Foo Fighters, on October 21-22

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2011, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day festival celebrating the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® game universes and their global player communities, begins on Friday, October 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The sold-out show features a wide range of events and activities, including discussion panels with developers of Blizzard Entertainment games; intense eSports competition featuring top pro gamers from around the world; costume and dance contests hosted by comedian Jay Mohr; and an epic rock concert headlined by the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Foo Fighters.

While tickets to BlizzCon sold out in seconds, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of comprehensive live HD coverage of the event (including Foo Fighters’ performance) across four channels globally over the Internet. Those who order a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft® in-game pet, the fearsome-ish Murkablo, as well as a yet-to-be-revealed StarCraft® II in-game gift. DIRECTV® customers in the United States can also order BlizzCon 2011 as a Pay Per View event and receive a Virtual Ticket for free. Limited streaming coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and certain BlizzCon tournaments will be available via the Internet for free. More information on the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/live-stream/

“Every BlizzCon, we look forward to meeting up with our players and sharing the latest news about our games with the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve put together a great lineup of events this year, capped off with an awesome Foo Fighters show, and we can’t wait to provide attendees and everyone joining us from home with an unforgettable weekend.”

Previous BlizzCons have featured a variety of exciting events and announcements, including the unveiling of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm™, the first-ever public hands-on with Diablo III, and epic rock performances by Ozzy Osbourne and Tenacious D.

This week, Blizzard Entertainment also launched a series of special charity auctions giving game enthusiasts a unique chance to own a piece of World of Warcraft history — original Hewlett Packard® ProLiant server blades that once housed hundreds of different realms across North America and Europe. The net proceeds from the auction will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Interested buyers can find more information on the auction schedule as well as a detailed FAQ at www.ebay.com/blizzard

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, peripherals, and more. This year’s sponsors are Intel, NVIDIA, ASUS, LG Electronics, Antec, SteelSeries, DIRECTV, Razer, and VASCO Data Security.

Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, portfolios, or business cards. Members of different Blizzard teams will be on hand to review materials and discuss any job-related questions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at http://jobs.blizzard.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@BlizzardCareers

Awesome Sauce … Diablo III Cinematic Sneak Peek

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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.

BlizzCon 2011: Sons of the Storm Signing Schedule

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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: Ask the Artists

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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

2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest Ends October 15th

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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.

Official BlizzCon 2011 Guide Mobile App

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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.

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