Exciting times are coming for Diablo III players. Today, Blizzard Entertainment sent invites to many people to join the Friends & Family beta testing of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. No NDA. Closed Beta is going to be announced in a few weeks at a not yet determined date.
Here is the original announcement.
In the past, participants in this particular phase of public testing usually only include friends and relatives of Blizzard employees. With Reaper of Souls, however, we’ve decided to buck that trend and extend invites to valued media contacts and key members of the Blizzard community. We’re also inviting 3,000 of our most active Diablo III players from around the world who’ve opted in for beta testing—something we’ve never done for any Friends and Family Beta test before!
Participants in the Reaper of Souls Friends and Family Beta are not required to abide by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). As a result, you may see coverage in the form of articles, videos, streams, and forum posts appear over the next few weeks regarding various features and changes in the expansion. When reviewing this coverage, please keep in mind that the Friends and Family Beta is still an early glimpse at Reaper of Souls, which means that all content is subject to change before release. We also encourage you to be mindful of story spoilers, as the Friends and Family Beta includes the entire expansion, excluding the final boss fight.
Reaper of Souls Closed Beta Coming Soon
Our Friends and Family Beta is just the first step of public testing, and by the end of the year we will be moving into Closed Beta. Since our Reaper of Souls Closed Beta test will also feature all content in the expansion (again, excluding the final boss fight), invitations will be extremely limited. However, we’ll continue handpicking community members to invite to the Closed Beta and bringing in additional players through opt-ins to ensure that all of our features like the Crusader, Mystic, and Adventure Mode get the testing they deserve.
If you’re interested in participating in the Reaper of Souls Closed Beta, please make sure you’ve opted-in for beta testing. You can do this by adjusting your Beta Profile Settings under the Account Management section of your Battle.net Account. Please note that opting in to the Reaper of Souls Closed Beta will not guarantee you access, but it will at least give you a chance at joining our beta test.
Public Test Region Access Also Coming Soon
Around the same time we begin our Reaper of Souls Closed Beta, we will also be launching our Public Test Region (PTR) for Patch 2.0.1! This patch will feature updates including Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, our new difficulty system, the addition of Clans and Communities, as well as balancing and tuning for all five Diablo III classes.
Anyone with the Battle.net Desktop App and Diablo III license will be able to participate in PTR testing. If don’t already have the Battle.net App, you can download and install it by clicking the button below.
We’ll have more information on how to access the Public Test Region when it launches. In the meantime, if you’d like more information on the Battle.net App, check out our FAQ and be sure to send us your feedback using the Battle.net App Open Beta Forum.
We’re incredibly excited about kicking off our public tests for Reaper of Souls, and look forward to collecting your feedback. The End of Days is coming!
Those who haven’t yet pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 to play Diablo III, which goes on sale in the next few minutes, should know of a bundle which includes a PlayStation 4 and a Kindle Fire HDX 7 (which could make a good Xmas gift for a family member or yourself). Free Delivery.
Other PlayStation 4 Offers:
Start Playing with Fire
The PlayStation 4 Greatness has arrived. This is the place for gamers with connected gaming, powerful graphics and speed, intelligent personalization, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features.
While the PS4 heralds in the next generation of consoles, Kindle Fire HDX does the same for tablets with improved visuals, a faster processor, and the revolutionary ‘Mayday’ button. Partner these together with the interactive Second Screen feature for a completely immersive entertainment experience.
- PlayStation 4 and Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers
- PS4 enables the greatest game developers in the world to unlock their creativity and push the boundaries of play
- Introducing the “Mayday” button – revolutionary, on-device tech support, exclusive to Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Connect for free to an Amazon expert 24×7, 365 days a year
- Exclusive 7″ HDX display (1920×1200), high pixel density (323 PPI), and perfect color accuracy (100% sRGB) for vivid, lifelike images that go beyond standard HD
- Immersive entertainment experience – see trivia and character backgrounds with X-Ray for Movies and TV, follow along with lyrics with new X-Ray for Music, fling videos to your TV with Second Screen, and more
This video was published a few minutes ago:
To celebrate the launch of the Blizzard Licensed Funko POP Vinyl figures based on Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft, Blizzplanet is giving away a few of these to fans.
If you wish to collect them all you may order them here:
Fill out all three options in the form below to enter as participant of this giveaway. Please only one entry per participant. I do check them one by one and will notice. Ends Tuesday, Nov 12 at 7pm EST.
Here is a glimpse into some of the Crusader’s skills and passive skills; and some of those abilities in action.
Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.
PlayStation®4 players can now experience the full adventure of Blizzard’s epic action RPG, Diablo® III, and the upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls™ . . . all from the comfort of their couch in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition! Take on the role of one of six powerful character classes— Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, or the all-new Crusader—and embark on a dark journey through Acts I-V to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient and sinister forces. With the new DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller and a custom-designed console interface, players will be outfitted with touch pad functionality and new social features as they engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and acquire items of incredible power.
For more details, visit http://www.diablo3.com/console
- The complete adventures of Act I-V, which takes players from the besieged town of New Tristram to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress
- Six powerful character classes to choose from: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and the all-new Crusader
- Newly designed loot system and offline gameplay mode designed to take advantage of the fast-paced action of the console platform
- Hardcore mode for players who seek the thrill of constant peril that comes with the possibility of permanent death for their character
- Direct character control and new DUALSHOCK®4 functionality such as color-coded player indicators for same-screen coop and touch pad shortcuts to keep players in the action
- Seamless cooperative play featuring four-player online co-op and four-player local co-op games
- PlayStation® Network support, which will allow you to connect with friends, send game invitations, and access voice chat
- All the new and exciting features coming with Reaper of Souls™:
- Customize your hero’s appearance and augment your items’ power with a new artisan, the Mystic
- Battle a new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes
- Never stop exploring with Adventure Mode, where all waypoints are unlocked—the world is your battlefield
- Engage in Nephalem Rifts, formerly known as Loot Runs, to test your mettle in 10-20 minute dungeons consisting of randomized areas, monsters, and bosses
- Take on Bounties for fun and rewarding objective-based challenges
Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.
The following screenshots show several gameplay Crusader abilities and new monsters, Enchanting UI, Nephalem Rifts & Rift Guardian bosses.
In addition, a few Reaper of Souls new locations such as the Westmarch Chapel, Bloodmarsh, and the Pandemonium Fortress and their respective monsters.
Check out far more on the Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2013 Coverage page — screenshots, videos, interviews and panel transcripts.
Blizzard Entertainment provided the press a brief gameplay video featuring the monk battling it out against the Siegebreaker, Halls of Agony, the High Heavens, Southern Highlands, and other areas of Sanctuary.
The Siegebreaker part shows how some of the new features work. Loads of demons rush at players right in the middle of the Siegebreaker event, upping the difficulty a few notches.
New Game Mode: Adventure — Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot! You can adjust difficulty.
The video shows a new Waypoint map that allows you to see all of Act I waypoints as a map. Some of the locations, for example, Caverns of Araneae or Halls of Agony Level 3 will display a blue question mark which denotes a Bounty quest which lets you earn bonus reward which includes Experience (XP) and Gold.
The example reward shown was 340,000 Experience and 136,000 Gold.
A Nephalem Obelisk may be found next to Cain’s House. It allows the entry to Nephalem Rift events.
The video below also shows Clan Channel Information, News, Roster and Settings UI. Each Clan member can be given a rank or privilege setting.
The new game systems: The Mystic Enchanting UI and Transmogrification and the updated Paragon System.
What is Reaper of Souls?
Reaper of Souls™ is the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III—a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
What is the story of Reaper of Souls?
Following the defeat of the Prime Evil by the Nephalem in Diablo III, the mortal realm of Sanctuary should have entered an age of hope and prosperity. Instead, this event has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, one more sinister than any demon.
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, the ancient artifact containing the essence of the Prime Evil. It is now up to the Nephalem to track down Malthael and thwart his plans, a journey that will take them through the legendary city of Westmarch, across the fetid swamps of the Blood Marsh, and into the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress.
More after the break…
The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power whose malevolent purpose has yet to be revealed. Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. Should this dark power be unleashed upon the world, the results would be catastrophic.
Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield, this new playable class charges into battle wielding a range of cruel and punishing weapons and employing powerful battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds might and versatility to any party of adventurers.
For more details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls
- Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players through the legendary city of Westmarch to the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress
- Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of power
- The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard
- New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes
- Redesigned loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades
- Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries
- Customize your hero’s appearance and augment your items’ power with a new artisan, the Mystic
- Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability
- Battle a new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes
- Never stop exploring with Adventure Mode, where all waypoints are unlocked so players can do battle in any setting
- Engage in Loot Runs to test your mettle in 10-20 minute dungeons consisting of randomized areas, monsters, and bosses
- Take on Bounties for fun and rewarding objective-based challenges
- Connect with your allies like never before with all-new updates to Diablo III’s social system, including Clans and Groups
Blizzard Entertainment released new concept art of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Among this collection of images are landscapes of the Pandemonium Fortress, the Crusader, and Malthael’s minions.
Blizzplanet writers Danny Perschonok (Naka), Red Shirt Guy and Montoya had a blast on Thursday meeting staff members of other fansites and podcasts; the Blizzard developers and Community Managers during the Blizzard Community Mixer.
Alex Afrasiabi and Red Shirt Guy got together for a well-deserved lore discussion.
Daniel Montoya and Diablo III director Josh Mosqueira.
More photos over at Danny Perschonok’s gallery.
The Activision Blizzard Third Quarter Financial conference call took place on November 6th, 2013 at 1:30pm PDT.
Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said: “Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share.
Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digi tal revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue. This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round.”
Kotick added, “We recently released new titles in two of the most popular franchises in entertainment, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders SWAP Force. We are thrilled by the quality of those games and we are excited to show what we can do with them on next-generation consoles in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of a beta launch for our first major free-to-play game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
However, we continue to believe that the fourth quarter this year presents a unique and challenging landscape due to increased competition and uncertainties surrounding the console transition.
We are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges successfully, particularly in light of the recent completion of our transaction with Vivendi and the focus and flexibility provided by our return to independence.”
- As of September 30, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 7.6 million subscribers.
- In North America, Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm® was the #1 PC game for the first nine months of 2013.
Morhaime: Q3 was an eventful quarter for Blizzard. We launched our first console game in many years with Diablo III. We also announced an expansion pack for Diablo III — Reaper of Souls.
Additionally, beta testing for Hearthstone kicked off and we released significant content update for World of Warcraft.
All of this activity has netted out to a strong quarter where we ended higher in net revenue and operating income versus Q2 mostly due to the Diablo III console launch on September.
Revenues and income were down year over year — as expected — due to the successful launch of Mists of Pandaria and the ongoing sales of Diablo III during the same quarter last year.
Going into more specific details with World of Warcraft, we’re very pleased with the response to Siege of Orgrimmar — the massive content update we released in September. This update included a huge new raid dungeon with major story elements, as well as a new area to explore and features that improved the game’s accessibility.
Flexible rates now allow groups of variable size to participate in the end-game raiding dungeons. Meanwhile, the Proving Grounds feature trains players to improve their play in specific roles, preparing them to participate in end-game content. Player response to the content has been good, and we saw increased engagement that has contributed to maintaining relatively stable subscribership quarter-over-quarter. We’ll continue to invest heavily in World of Warcraft to deliver frequent, high-quality content to our players.
Moving on to Diablo III, we are pleased with the response to the games launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Lifetime sell-through of the game across all platforms has reached over 14 million copies, and reviews have been very positive about how the game plays on console. Much of the praise has been centered on changes we made to the loot system and our decision to keep the auction house off of the console platform. Players and critics alike have noted that these changes have resulted in a more fun and satisfying game experience. That reaction factored in our decision to remove the auction house from the PC version of Diablo III effective next March, which players have also responded very positively to.
We’re building upon those design philosophies for loot and incorporating them into Reaper of Souls, the Diablo III expansion pack — which is coming for PC and PS4 in 2014.
In addition to the new loot system, Reaper of Souls will include an additional player class, the Crusader, and more gameplay modes for the endgame to keep players engaged. The reaction to Reaper of Souls at Gamescom was very positive, and we are looking forward to revealing more about the game at BlizzCon.
It was also a busy quarter for Hearthstone, our free-to-play digital card game for PC and iPad based on the Warcraft universe. In Hearthstone, players build decks of cards that feature familiar spells and creatures from World of Warcraft, and battle against each other using the cards. Players can collect cards simply by playing or by purchasing digital packs. They can also purchase entries into a special competitive mode of play called The Arena in exchange for either in-game currency or a small fee.
We’ve seen a great response from the community with the closed beta test, which kicked off in August. Hearthstone quickly became one of the most popular streaming games on Twitch, and we have been expanding the beta test to encompass more regions and a wider group of players. We’re continuing to work on polishing the game as we drive towards open beta testing.
Rounding out our big announcements since the last call is the name change of Blizzard All-Stars to Heroes of the Storm, which is our take on free-to-play hero brawlers. We’ve done an extensive internal test on Heroes over the past several months, and as the game has evolved, we felt it was appropriate to change the name to something more fitting of the gameplay experience.
We’re looking forward to sharing more details about Heroes at BlizzCon, which is taking place this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is another sold-out show, with more than 20,000 attendees coming to Anaheim from more than 40 different countries.
Our global community will also follow along through DIRECTV, online pay-per-view on blizzcon.com and partner broadcast in other regions. We will be showcasing our biggest pipeline of games ever and showing our appreciation for our community through contests, meet-and-greets and of course, major eSports spectacles.
The World of Warcraft Arena invitational and the global grand finals of the StarCraft II World Championship Series will be taking place, along with an invitational tournament for Hearthstone, featuring popular community personalities.
All of us at Blizzard can’t wait to get back to BlizzCon and connect with our players. We hope you’ll join us there or follow along online with a virtual ticket available online at blizzcon.com.
We are looking forward to celebrating a shared passion of gaming with our players, hearing their feedback on our newest game content and taking that energy and knowledge back to work as we drive towards an exciting 2014 for Blizzard.
Blizzard Entertainment sent a press release to all Battle.net subscribers giving a round up of events to happen at BlizzCon, and the goodies obtained by purchasing the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket to watch the livestream.
IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival, makes a long-awaited return on Friday, November 8 , at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The sold-out show celebrates all things geek, featuring sneak peeks at what’s going on behind the scenes at Blizzard Entertainment .
This year’s BlizzCon includes discussion panels with Blizzard developers; community cosplayers; and Duncan Jones , director of the upcoming Warcraft® film. Also taking place are the StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Final and World of Warcraft® Arena Invitational, in which top pro gamers from around the world will be competing for cash prizes and ultimate glory. Jay Mohr is back this year to host the ever-popular community contests, and SoCal punk legends Blink-182 will be performing an epic rock concert to wrap up the show on Saturday night.
BlizzCon tickets once again sold out in seconds, but anyone can still attend the event from the comfort of their home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket. Viewers will receive over 60 hours of live HD coverage of the event (including Blink’s sure-to-be-wild performance) across five channels over the Internet. Virtual Ticket holders will also receive all the BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies:
- World of Warcraft in-game pet—the valiant Murkalot
- To-be-revealed Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ card
- BlizzCon-themed “Mark of Death” Diablo® III banner
- “Tearin’ Stitches” StarCraft II portrait and Stitches’ Hook decal
DIRECTV® customers in the United States can also order BlizzCon 2013 as a Pay Per View event and receive a free Virtual Ticket. In addition, the BlizzCon opening ceremony and eSports tournaments will be streamed free online at www.blizzcon.com. More info on the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/.
“We can’t wait to get back to BlizzCon and share details about our latest games with our most passionate players,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “It’s going to be a truly unforgettable weekend.”
BlizzCons of years past have featured an array of exciting panels, unveilings, and entertainment, including the world debuts of the latest World of Warcraft content, the first-ever public hands-on with StarCraft II and Diablo III, and epic rock performances by Foo Fighters and Tenacious D.
BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s partners, who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more. This year’s sponsors are Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA.
Anyone attending BlizzCon who’s looking to join the ranks at Blizzard should bring their resumes, portfolios, or business cards. The Blizzard recruiting team will be on hand to review materials and discuss any job-related questions. More information on available Blizzard career opportunities can be found at http://jobs.blizzard.com, LinkedIn Blizzard Careers, and http://twitter.com/@blizzardcareers.
Blizzard Entertainment sent out a press release to reveal that Blink-182 will play music during the closing ceremony at BlizzCon 2013 on November 9th.
This concert will be aired via DirecTV and through the Virtual Ticket’s livestream. Visit the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket order page.
IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Thousands of gamers are about to come to a party and celebrate all the big things (and all the small things too) . . . and maybe even fall in love with a gnome at a rock show when legendary Southern California punk rock trio Blink-182 headlines the closing concert at Blizzard Entertainment’s sold-out BlizzCon® gaming convention, taking place November 8—9 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Acclaimed worldwide for their influential and groundbreaking pop-punk sound, Blink-182 has achieved massive critical and commercial success, with over 35 million albums sold. Their third album, Enema of the State, went quintuple platinum and catapulted the band into superstardom.
Unfortunately for fans of Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” video, Anaheim city ordinances strictly forbid the band from running naked through the streets around the convention center. BlizzCon attendees are kindly asked to adhere to the same policy.
“After two days of hard work watching games and playing games and talking about games, we can’t think of a better way to kick back and relax than to have your face melted by Blink-182,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “We’re thrilled to have such an awesome band helping us bring BlizzCon to an epic conclusion.”
“Nothing beats touring and playing in front of a live crowd,” said Tom DeLonge , Blink-182 guitarist and vocalist. “Our roots are in Southern California , so playing at BlizzCon will be like having a show in our own backyard—only with a couple thousand more orcs and elves in loincloths and bikini armor.”
BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. The show 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.
While tickets to the convention are no longer available, viewers at home can join the excitement by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which offers comprehensive live coverage of both days of the event, including Blink-182’s performance, via multi-channel HD Internet stream for $39.99 USD (pricing and availability may vary by region).
DIRECTV customers in the United States can order the BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes access to the Virtual Ticket online stream. Visit www.directv.com/blizzcon for more details.
With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply. As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com.
Blizzplanet is giving away a BlizzCon ticket courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment. We’d like to give this ticket to a lucky fan. This is a ticket only with no flight nor hotel accommodations.
Several fansites have similar giveaways (check them out at the bottom of the page). You should participate in as many of them as possible to increase your chances at winning one.
The winner must show a Photo ID at the Anaheim Convention Center’s entrance and the name in the Photo ID must match the winner’s full name.
That said, read the instructions to find out how to participate.
This giveaway ends on Saturday, November 2 at noon (EST / New York). The winner will be contacted shortly after. Please, respond within 48 hours.
Visit the www.BlizzCon.com website to see the panel schedule for November 8-9th.
If you were not a winner, don’t forget to order the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket which allows you to watch the livestream on your internet browser. VODs will be playable for two weeks. Or check details with DirecTV.
2. Fill the form below with accurate information (The selected winner’s full name, email and character name will be provided to Blizzard Entertainment to create the BlizzCon badge). Only one entry per participant allowed. Duplicates will disqualify the participant.
Other Blizzard Fansites – BlizzCon Ticket Giveaway
For everyone awaiting to play Diablo III on the PlayStation 4, while the PlayStation 4 is slated to ship on November 15th, the PlayStation 4 Dualshock 4 Wireless Controller is shipping now. and it is compatible with Diablo III (PS3). Follow the link to grabs yours ASAP. Only one Dualshock 4 controller comes with the PlayStation 4 Launch Edition. Diablo III supports up to four players on your couch.
The DualShock 4 is compatible with a number of current generation PlayStation 3 games. Grab a DualShock 4 and prepare for greatness before the release of the PlayStation 4. Supplies are limited. Better to grab it now while supplies last and before the console ships when everyone and their mama will be flooding local game shops.
Over 25,000 fans will have the opportunity to play Diablo III on the PlayStation 4 using the Dualshock 4 controller at BlizzCon in the Anaheim Convention Center this upcoming November 8-9.
- The feel, shape, and sensitivity of the dual analog sticks and trigger buttons have been improved to provide a greater sense of control.
- The new multi-touch and clickable touch pad on the face of the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller opens up worlds of new gameplay possibilities.
- The DualShock 4 Wireless Controller features a built-in speaker and stereo headset jack.
- The addition of the Share button makes utilizing the social capabilities of the PlayStation 4 as easy as the push of a button.
The DUALSHOCK 4 controller incorporates a new, highly sensitive six-axis sensor, as well as a touch pad located on the top of the controller, which offers gamers completely new ways to play and interact with games.
The feel, shape, and sensitivity of the dual analog sticks and trigger buttons have been improved to provide a greater sense of control, no matter what you play.
The new multi-touch and clickable touch pad on the face of the DualShock 4 wireless controller opens up worlds of new gameplay possibilities for both newcomers and veteran gamers.
The three LEDs inside the light bar can generate a rainbow of colors that work with the PlayStation camera to create immersive gaming experiences. It also allows developers who choose to utilize the functionality to enable easy player identification and screen adjustment functionalities when gamers play with friends in the same room.
The DualShock 4 wireless controller features a built-in speaker and stereo headset jack, putting several new audio options in the player’s hands.
The addition of the Share button makes utilizing the social capabilities of the PlayStation 4 system as easy as the push of a button. Upload gameplay videos and screenshots of your greatest accomplishments or live-stream your gameplay sessions through popular Internet streaming services, all without disturbing the game in progress.
- External Dimensions: Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
- Weight: Approx. 210g (tentative)
- Keys / Switches: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button
- Touch Pad: 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
- Motion Sensor: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
- Other Features: Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker
- Ports: USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack
- Wireless communication: Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR
- Type: Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery
- Voltage: DC3.7V (tentative)
- Capacity: 1000mAh (tentative)
We asked a few questions about the Insight Editions’ Diablo III: Book of Tyrael which is currently available at a bookstore near you and online.
I also recently posted photos of the booksigning of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael held at the 2013 New York Comic Con where I met Joseph Lacroix (DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice artist) and Doug Alexander (Senior Art Editor in Creative Development at Blizzard Entertainment).
Note: Added a transcript at the below the video embed. The interview lasted about 24 minutes. (Added Sub-titles to the video through YouTube CC/Closed Captions)
This is Medievaldragon from Blizzplanet. We’re here to interview Micky Neilson and Matt Burns about Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. We also have Montoya from Blizzplanet.
(Everyone says Hi)
Let’s start with the first question here.
MD: Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions published Diablo III: Book of Cain as a primer to Diablo III mythos. Where does Diablo III: Book of Tyrael fit in Blizzard’s grand design? What is the purpose?
Neilson: There was a lot of reasons for doing Book of Tyrael. Probably the main reason was — because we did Book of Cain and we came up with a ton of amazing content, and all kinds of great ideas and everything else, and backstory and characters and all this juicy stuff, and then we figured — you know, ok — we’ve a certain number of pages to be able to tell up this ending and we just didn’t have enough room for everything.
So the biggest thing for Book of Tyrael was — Ok, we’ve got all this amazing information that we want to share with people. Let’s do it in a follow up book and let’s see what other opportunities we have to convey this information. So that was one of the big ones; and then of course, tying into upcoming game content and having something that’s going to serve us to bridge to the next expansion — you know — that was also a big consideration. Matt do you want to add to that? (More after the break)
I’ll interview Micky Neilson in a few days over the phone. If you read my review of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, and read the List of Content — or you purchased the book and read it already and you have this questions itching in the back of your mind, please feel free to submit your question.
I’ll add it to my roster of questions for this upcoming interview. Our comment system is Livefyre, which allows you to post a comment using your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, OpenID username and password. Otherwise, send me an email or reach me via Twitter at @Blizzplanetcom or our Facebook page.
Order your copy of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.
Blizzard Entertainment just posted the entire BlizzCon 2013 Schedule which reveals Duncan Jones will be a panelist along with Chris Metzen and Rob Pardo to discuss details of the upcoming Warcraft Film by Legendary Pictures, Atlas Entertainment and NBCUniversal.
Warcraft Movie Presentation
Saturday November 8 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Please join the Warcraft movie director, Duncan Jones, along with key Blizzard developers as they discuss the thrilling collaborative process of translating Azeroth’s game world to the big screen.
Panel includes: Duncan Jones (Director), Chris Metzen (Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development) and Rob pardo (Chief Creative Officer)
The BlizzCon 2013 Floor Map shows all the playable video games: Hearthstone, Diablo III (PS4), World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The big absent stage is StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
On Friday, November 8 — Blizzard will likely announce the new World of Warcraft expansion through the panel titled “World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues” scheduled at 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM PST.
Danny Perschonok (Naka) informed me Blizzard Entertainment has launched the new Heroes of the Storm website with a video by CarBot Animations. Blizzard Entertainment has renamed Blizzard All-Stars to “Heroes of the Storm”.
Yep, we’ve changed it again.
Set aside whatever you think you knew about Blizzard All-Stars, and get ready for what’s brewing at this year’s BlizzCon (Nov. 8-9, 2013).
Many thanks to Jon Burton of Carbot Animations for his work. You can find much more of Jon’s talented craft over at his YouTube channel here
A few days ago, when the trademark “Heroes of the Storm” appeared in the United States Patents & Trademarks website, I posted an article listing all the possible uses for this trademark. One of them was a possible rename of Blizzard All-Stars as pointed out by a fan.
Activision Blizzard announced they will broadcast the Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results after the close of the market on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Coincidence? BlizzCon 2013 takes place on November 8-9. Will Mike Morhaime have a few spoilers to share?
Personally, that would be a great move considering some people might want to watch the BlizzCon DirecTV or Livestream. Not all these conferences yield juicy announcements, but some have proven to provide approximate launch dates for beta testing.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )
- ATV Q2 2013 – August 1, 2013
- ATVI Q4 2012 – February 7, 2013
- ATVI Q3 2012 – November 7.2012
- ATVI Q2 2012 – August 5.2012 – Heart of the Swarm to launch first half 2012 & WCS (November 17-18) Shanghai, China
- ATVI Q1 2012 – May 9.2012 – New arcade system & Hearth of the Swarm beta approx dates
- ATVI Q4 2011 – February 8.2012 – Morhaime announced Diablo III would release on Q2 2012 & Mists of Pandaria press invite on March 19.
- ATVI Q2 2011 – August 3.2011 – Morhaime reveals Diablo III Beta
- ATVI Q1 2011 – May 9.2011 – Morhaime announced internal Diablo III testing and BlizzCon ticket sale
- ATVI Q4 2010 – Feb 9.2011 – No news. More of a Status update
- ATVI Q3 2010 – Nov 4.2010 – No news. More of a Status update
- ATVI Q4 2009 – Feb 10, 2010– Morhaime announces StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Mid-2010 release, WoW: Cataclysm, Auction House iPhone app, Windrider/Gryphon Pet
- ATVI Q4 2009 – Feb 10.2010 – Morhaime announces StarCraft II Beta
An ex-Blizzard Entertainment developer reached me out to tip me about the sale of several StarCraft II goodies acquired as employee-exclusive gifts. I was able to confirm the identity as the name appears in the StarCraft II credits.
Some of these items are rare, and some are commonly found on eBay. Most of these can be acquired directly by texting the ex-developer by phone. The employee-exclusive goodies will be placed on eBay in a few days (I’ll update once the ex-developer provides the links).
In the meantime, here is a sneak peek into some of the items currently available for sale.
The Dethling was a BlizzCon 2010 Exclusive item included in the Swag bag given to the event attendees. The ex-developer has two available for $60 each.
BlizzCon 2010|2011 Pet Cards
These are BlizzCon 2010 and 2011 exclusive pet cards which contain a scratch redeem code which enables a Battle.net account to obtain a Deathy (a murloc with a jaw and features of Deathwing) and Grunty (World of Warcraft space marine companion pet) — there are two cards on sale each for $85; and another two cards with the Murkablo (World of Warcraft companion pet) and the Panda Space Marine (StarCraft II avatar). I’m not certain if these will be on sale or if they will be placed in the upcoming auction instead. Text just in case.
Circle of Honor Limited Edition Stein
This stein is given exclusively to employees. This one seems to be given to those who have worked at Blizzard for two years. It is sealed in its box (unopened). On sale for $250.
Diablo III Collector’s Edition
There are two factory-sealed copies on sale for $150. The Collector’s Edition includes the Fetish Shaman (World of Warcraft companion pet), the Tyrael wings (Diablo III character cosmetic wings); and three exclusive StarCraft II avatars (Diablo III-themed). It also contains the Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction inside a USB-flash drive shaped like the soulstone which can be inserted in a Diablo skull souvenir, the Behind-the-Scenes DVD, Soundtrack DVD, and other goodies.
Kwurky Green Egg Murloc Plush
This is a rare Blizzcon 2009 exclusive plush toy. There is one available for $120.
StarCraft II Chips
While there are some of these showing up on eBay from time to time, the one the ex-developer is selling is the Employee-Exclusive version, and thus a rare item. This below is the complete Blizzard chip set + the full set of the StarCraft II chips. On sale for $200.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition
The factory-sealed StarCraft II Collector’s Edition includes the Mini Thor (World of Warcraft companion pet), three StarCraft II exclusive avatars, an exclusive-version of the Thor unit within StarCraft II, a DC Comics StarCraft comics # 0, the Art of StarCraft II book, the Behind-the-Scenes DVD, Soundtrack and other goodies. On sale for $250.
Not all items have images, but these can be purchased directly without eBay listing by contacting the ex-employee directly.
How about a sealed Employee staff-exclusive shirt (Size: Large)? Only $50.
Employee platform services button up 2012 shirt (sealed) – $120
One-year Subscription World of Warcraft cards x3 for only $75 each. Buying these directly on Battle.net would cost about $84.86 (with Tax included). You save about $9.86 (depending what U.S. State you live at. Tax Example provided: New York)
Upcoming eBay Auction
I’ll update fans in the front page and at the Blizzplanet Facebook and Twitter pages when these become available on eBay. If you don’t follow Blizzplanet social network pages do so now. I was told these will be uploaded soon. These are for the hardcore fans out there with the passion to collect extremely rare Blizzard employee-exclusive memorabilia.
The Thor and Vulture original artwork was painted by artist Jack Luke Mancini. The auction will start with $300 for this limited exclusive piece.
The StarCraft II Kerrigan Queen of Blades original artwork was used as the front cover of the Starcraft: Queen of Blades by Aaron Rosenberg. This 22″ x 42″ original artwork by Glenn Rane will be in auction starting at $12,000.
This one of a kind original Brian Huang Starcraft II Concept Art Hydralisk will be in auction for $2,200.
Sideshow Collectibles only made 5100 copies of the Kerrigan Queen of Blades Bust Statue. So far there have been only four of these statues showing up on eBay by ex-employees and sold for about $900. This one is sealed in its box and it will be auctioned for $750.
Stay tuned to Blizzplanet to find out when these last four items hit eBay. All other items mentioned are available directly with the ex-employee (no-eBay) by texting (310) 801-7802.
The ex-employee is willing to show photos of pay stubs and the employee plaque for verification and authenticity purposes. Prices are also negotiable.
I arrived to the New York Comic Con in Manhattan about 10:45am before the scheduled book signing at the Insight Editions booth (#1564). The place was packed with thousands of fans and I wasn’t even inside the Javits Center yet. I bypassed most of the horde of people outside the building by walking along the street to the farthest entry point (which is closer to the Exhibition Hall). Still took me about 15 minutes to get inside just to enter into yet another traffic jam of people walking the aisles. Not so easy with a Rollator Walker.
The Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is now on sale at the New York Comic Con (booth #1564) and local bookstores. I grabbed my copy from the Insight Editions booth at the New York Comic Con for $28.
Diablo III: Book of Tyrael was written by Matt Burns (Associate Publishing Developer, Blizzard Entertainment).
In terms of printing materials, this book has the typical Blizzard-quality standards and what you would expect from an Insight Editions book. It’s awesome. The front cover’s Sword and ornaments artwork is embossed — giving you that special visual and tactile feeling. The lower part of the book is wrapped by a cover jacket.
Now I think this book kind of went a few notches up in terms of detail in comparison with Book of Cain and other similar Blizzard licensed products. If you take a look at the outer side of the pages which run along the width of the book in Book of Cain — you will notice the pages’ border were truncated to mimic ancient scrolls. Diablo III: Book of Tyrael lacks this, but instead the pages’ border is painted in gold. It’s crazy. You can even see the light reflect off the golden surface. The photo doesn’t even catch half of how it really looks like.
In the interior of the book, all pages have this wash-out material that gives you a feeling this is an old manuscript. It’s rare to find a page that has no artwork.
Finally, at the back of the book is some sort of envelope glued to the cardboard. The center has a seal one can detach to open the envelope. Within is “The Red Tree of Khanduras” listing Deckard Cain, Archbishop Lazarus, Prince Albrecht, King Leoric, Queen Asylla, Prince Aidan, Leah and Adria.
When you unfold the poster it is kinda huge. It has an artwork of a big tree. The roots seem to entangle The Black Soulstone. The branches have images of all the characters mentioned above concerning “The Red Tree of Khanduras”.
On the other side of the poster, it shows the same characters in their final fate: Queen Asylla decapitated, Leah as Diablo the Prime Evil, Aidan as the Dark Wanderer, King Leoric as the Skeleton King, Adria holding the Black Soulstone, Albrecht as Diablo, Lazarus and Cain death.
Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is written from the point of view of Tyrael. However, Tyrael attached writings from Deckard Cain’s Journal and Leah’s Journal to pass the wisdom down to his new Horadrim, and future generations. It is not written as a novel, but more as a compendium of notes.
There is no index page or content list. The entirety of the book is a roleplay from the point of view of the Diablo III characters. An exception is the credits page.
Diablo III fans should definitely get their hands on this book. There are many elements from the upcoming Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion; and probably the expansion after that.
I have never seen such an extensive collection of lore about Adria the Witch. Adria’s past prior to her arrival to Tristram is written by Leah, and her story after arriving to Tristram is from Deckard Cain’s notes. Tyrael got Leah’s notes from Bastion’s Keep.
Some of the lore comes from Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon.
Tyrael shares his experience as mortal in his charge as the new Wisdom. Charge that’s short-lived as Imperius doesn’t acknowledge him and ignores his warnings about the Black Soulstone.
Tyrael is confused with all the raw emotions coursing through his mortal body. Fear to fail his duty as Wisdom. Emotional insecurities assaulting him.
The book reveals why Tyrael decided to steal the Black Soulstone from the Angiris Council, and why Westmarch as its burial ground. The story of Adria the Witch, the Founding and Ruin of Westmarch, and lore about the Crusaders can be found in the book, too. Take this book as a prelude to Diablo III: Reaper of Souls; and as a primer for the upcoming novel Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon which hits bookstores on February 2014.
There is no index/contet list, so I’ll simply list the sections found throughout Book of Tyrael:
Introduction – This is a letter from Tyrael to the New Horadrim.
Part One: Adria
The Witch of Tristram
Zoltun Kulle and the Black Soulstone
Part Two: The Fate of the Black Soulstone
The Dissonance of the Angiris Council
The New Horadrim
Rakkis and the Founding of Westmarch – Prelude to Conquest
Campaigns Against Ivgorod and the Barbarians
The Creation of Westmarch
The Lost Ruins of Westmarch
Part Three: Miscellanea
A Timeline of Sanctuary
- Pre-History – (Inarius)
- Recorded History
Factions of Sanctuary
- Barbarian Tribes
- Council of Elders
- The Coven
- The Edyrem
- Iron Wolves
- Mage Clans
- Patriarchs (Ivgorod)
- The Temple of the Triune
- The Thieves Guild
- Trade Consortium
Figures of Interest — this is a long section with brief descriptions of several humans, demons and angels throughout history. Some only mentioned in the novels and the comic book.
Some of the artists behind all the artwork in Diablo III: Book of Tyrael were the same from Book of Cain, while others seem to be new.
- The Black Frog
- Nicolas Delort
- Riccardo Federici
- John Howe
- Joseph Lacroix
- Iain McCaig
- Jon McConnell
- Petar Meseldzija
- Jean-Baptiste Monje
- Glenn Rane (Cover)
- Ruan Jia
- Dan Hee Ryu
- Adrian Smith
- Yang Qi
- Bin Zhang
- Zhang Lu
Matt Burns (Writer)
Doug Alexander (Creative Direction, Layout and Design)
Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, and Brian Kindreagan (Additional Story Development)
Victor Lee (Additional Art)
Josh Horst, Kyle Williams, Skye Chandler (Producers)
Cate Gary (Editor)
Justin Parker (Lore)
Jerry Chu (Licensing)
Special thanks to: Christian Lichtner, John Polidora, David Lomeli, Benjamin Zhang, Peter C. Lee, Leonard Boyarsky, Michael Chu, Valerie Watrous, Evelyn Fredericksen, Sean Copeland, Leanne Huynh, Audrey Vicenzi, and Joseph Lacroix.
Raoul Goff (Publisher)
Chrissy Kwasnik (Art Director)
Vanessa Lopez (Executive Editor)
Anna Wan (Production Manager)
Elaine Ou (Editorial Assistant)
The Coven is actually a remnant of what was once known as the Triune (the ancient religion seen in Diablo: The Sin War trilogy)
Adria was born in Kingsport — curiously, the southern port of Westmarch — where Reaper of Souls takes place.
Adria’s father was Sevrin — a powerful merchant in Kingsport, who strangled his wife in a fit of rage.
Adria possibly killed her own father some time later when an unusual fire burned their home. She fled north to the Westmarch capital. Joined a group of witches. Turns out Adria and Maghda met there in their youth. Years later, both witches joined the Coven and took control of the group after killing its leaders.
Adria later departed the Coven after a schism with her partner — around the time of the Darknening of Tristram.
On one of Cain’s notes, he acknowledges after taking Leah as child with him, he began to research about Adria. He decided to keep what he learned a secret, and hid the truth to Leah.
I’m surprised this book has a long timeline similar to Warcraft’s. Also most of these Leah’s notes dating Diablo III (Caldeum and Bastion Keep) are written in 1285 Anno Kehjistani. Some notes are denoted as “1st day of (what seems like a month)”. Examples: Ratham, Kathon, Ostara.
Short descriptions of each important human, angel and demon throughout history (alive and deceased).
Zoltun Kulle was from the Ennead mage clan — group which delved into transmutation and enchantment magics.
The Black Soulstone was a profane simulacrum of the three soulstones Tyrael gave the Horadrim years ago.
Now we have another name of the first Horadrim group: Jered Cain, Tal Rasha, Zoltun Kulle and Iben Fahd. The latter was among the few survivors who attempted to defeat Zoltun in his lair.
The first part was Adria and Zoltun Kulle. The third part is from the point of view of Tyrael. He expresses how he feels as a human. How he felt as an Angel and how he viewed the flaws of the Angiris Council.
“I deliberately took on the form of a mortal, sacrificing my angelic essence, in response to the Council’s continued inaction. In doing so, I hoped to set an example to the Heavens — to prove that laws can be bent for a greater good.”
Tyrael left the Heavens after Diablo the Prime Evil was defeated. He couldn’t bear the angels’ judgment — who blamed him for the countless deaths of angels. I think this is the first time we ever hear how angels are born. Tyrael mentions before he left back to Sanctuary he witnessed the Lightsong — the creation of new angels. The angels tune their essences into the Crystal Arch in synch. The harmony of this “sound” and “light” creates new angels.
Blizzard Entertainment won’t have a Publishing Panel this year, but there’s still a significant presence at the New York Comic Con.
Thursday, October 10
There will be a giveaway of 50 copies of Starcraft II: Flashpoint by Christie Golden and 150 World of Warcraft bookmarks at the Simon & Schuster booth #1828
Blizzard Entertainment Recruiter Val Maun (@Azuriel) has been searching for an Audio Producer for several weeks. If any Blizzplanet visitor is looking for a job in this field, or if you know a friend/family or a friend-of-a-friend who is — do some networking to pass the word. Submit a resume here.
Blizzard Entertainment’s audio team is seeking an experienced producer to support voice over (VO) and casting production for all of our franchises. In this role you are charged with continuously improving the quality of our VO and its pipeline in both a local and global aspect. Your primary responsibility will be managing the VO and casting schedule for all of Blizzard’s IPs. This includes planning and coordinating all VO and casting and ADR requests, as well as writing contract requests, interacting with talent and supporting all needs of the VO and casting director. Superior organizational and communication skills are a must as you’ll be collaborating with multiple development and support teams throughout the company (e.g., cinematics, PR, web, creative development, community, all our game teams, etc.).
- Collaborate with the casting and voice over director and the audio production team to create and maintain project schedules.
- Help refine the voice over development pipeline to increase production efficiency and quality.
- Communicate status of voice over content, assets, tools, and features to audio production director and all franchise production directors regularly.
- Supply monthly status updates to audio production director and all franchise production directors.
- Coordinate efforts with internal group including cinematics, PR, web, creative development, community, and game teams.
- Coordinate choir sessions, managing casting for internal modeling needs, and organizing any talent or union related negotiations.
- A minimum of 3 years’ product development experience on AAA titles
- Able to accurately and efficiently manage a large volume of audio tasks
- Able to coordinate with a large number of external contractors including studio resources and actors
- Comfortable dealing with a large amount of legal contracts and talent paperwork
- Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent oral and written English communication skills
- Self-motivated with an ability to work under tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment
- Willing and able to travel as needed on short notice
- Able to work independently, and / or within a team
- Computer literate and familiar with MS Office products
- Passion for video games
- Good knowledge of voice over and casting pipeline in video games
- Knowledge of standard and practices relating to union titled video games
- Knowledge of Blizzard and its games
- Working knowledge of employing external audio vendors, such as recording studios and payroll companies
- Working knowledge of audio tools and programs, such as Pro Tools
- Working knowledge of audio, graphic, and movie file types and applications
Jinx added some Blizzard licensed products to the CRITICAL HIT sale with 25% off the regular price. The items will be replaced next week, so grab them right away while supplies last.
CRITICAL HIT Sale
- World of Warcraft Alliance Track Jacket
- Diablo III Mistress of Pain Socks
- World of Warcraft Alliance Leather Wallet
A selection of all jinx t-shirts for $9.99 — among this batch are several Blizzard Licensed Products. I see some favorites there.
This week I see several Diablo III T-shirts, one Horde T-shirt and two StarCraft II t-shirts for $14.99