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Diablo III: Reapers of Souls – Necromancer NPC Confirmed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Vaeflare and Grimiku confirmed in the official Diablo III forums there will be a known Necromancer NPC in the expansion. There are few Necromancers that can actually be a reference here for someone we are familiar with.

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

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Speculation

  • Nameless Necromancer: This is the playable Diablo II Necromancer. To my knowledge none of the Diablo II playable classes had a name. However, the nameless Barbarian in Diablo III is the same we met as a playable character in Diablo II. We got to meet the original heroes of Diablo I in Diablo II actually. The Rogue in Diablo I (member of the Sisters of the Sightless Eye) was actually Blood Raven in Diablo II (Act I). The Warrior in Diablo I turned out to be The Dark Wanderer (aka Leoric’s son: Aidan) in Diablo II. Lastly, the Sorcerer in Diablo I turned out to be The Summoner in Diablo II (Act II, The Arcane Sanctuary). Thus, it might be possible for the Diablo II Necromancer to make a cameo in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

  • Zayl the Necromancer is a well-known necromancer who has never been in-game. He has appeared in Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by Richard A. Knaak.

  • Kara Nightshadow is another well-known necromancer from the pages of Diablo: Legacy of Blood (also reprinted in the Diablo Archive). She helped Norrec Vizharan (the mercenary treasure-hunter who found the armor of Bartuc the Warlord of Blood).

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Nate Kenyon needs a little push to decide what novel to write next

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News

Nate Kenyon wrote on twitter he is having a hard time to decide which novel to write next. Apparently he got his hands full with project offers. It is unknown if one of these are coming from Blizzard Entertainment, but in case that was so — “c-o-m-e–c-l-o-s-e-r …” — “How about we give him a little encouragement to go our way?”

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Let the armies of Blizzard lore scholars, fans, merchandise collectors, and novel-munching-zombies decide for him. Send him a tweet to encourage him to pick any Blizzard projects available.

Nate Kenyon was the novel writer of Diablo III: The Order (the new Horadrim) and StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres.

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Diablo III (PS3) Pre-Order Bonus Offer Expires September 3

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

The Diablo III (PlayStation 3) pre-order bonus offer ends September 3, 2013. The Pre-order bonus includes the “Infernal Helm” in-game item with +Experience Bonus, and an Amazon-exclusive digital wallpaper.

The Diablo III (PlayStation 3) goes on sale this upcoming September 2, thus make arrangements really quick to benefit from this special bonus offer.

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GamesCom 2013 interview – Josh Mosqueira talks about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Return of Pandemonium Fortress & Necromancers

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Featured Stories, GamesCom 2013

Blizzard Entertainment scheduled Blizzplanet, Millenium.org, InDiablo and GamersOrigin to sit together with Josh Mosqueira to interview him about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Blizzplanet correspondent Arthur Lorenz (known as Handclaw) was there to participate in this private round of questions with the press.

  • The Crusader was originally going to be a Darker Paladin, but later the class took a life of its own into something different.
  • Bloodmarch is an area outside Westmarch where the Black Soulstone was meant to be buried.
  • The Pandemonium Fortress — where the Worldstone had rested for milennia — will be revisited in this expansion.
  • The Necromancers are not too happy with Malthael the Archangel of Wisdom Death upsetting the balance by raising the dead.
  • No new Follower/Companion, but they have extra lore background, new features, and side-quests.
  • The developers see how well the Hellfire Ring (obtained through the Infernal machine event) has been received by the players, and they are currently experimenting with account-bound items to extend that experience.

BlizzCon New Class Speculation

The developers didn’t want to spoil too much about the Necromancers topic (asked by Handclaw); but it is obvious there is more than meet the eye. One of the developers mentioned the Necromancers are all about balance, and what Malthael is doing at Westmarch definitely affects the balance.

In an MTV interview with Jay Wilson a few years ago (August 5, 2008), he mentioned the Necromancer:

Wilson: I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”

 

It might be possible to see Necromancer NPC or a Necromancer class. The Crusader might or not be the only class for this expansion. They just want to keep some big surprises for BlizzCon. Another possibility is that the ripples of damage upon the balance wrought by Malthael might be like a kick on the wasp’s nest for the Necromancer. Maybe the second expansion will place the Necromancers in a bigger role than before considering the Diablo: The Sin War and Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow Lore.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we could see Zayl the Necromancer and Kara Nightshadow (Diablo: Legacy of Blood) — both from Richard A. Knaak’s novels. Note: Legacy of Blood and Kingdom of Shadow are reprinted in the Diablo Archive (752 pages).

UPDATE: A fan linked to this article, and got a blue response:

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

GamesCom 2013 Interview

In this GamesCom 2013 interview, the developers also talk about Nephalem Runs and Loot 2.0. Bare with us — GamesCom is the biggest gaming convention in the world. The recording is noisy. You might need to adjust the sound volume.

Why the Crusader, and where did the inspiration for the Crusader come from?

For a few reasons. We had an idea of having a sort of very heavy armored character, so we explored that for a while and we thought of the angle of make it a sort of a dark paladin sort of class and that idea took a life of its own and we went very far with it, and it became something really different at this point. So, way we describe it is a warmachine-made man, what if a modern armored division tank was an evil warrior? So we came up with this idea of a mid-ranged melee character, he wears heavy armor, he crushes his enemies, he has a big heavy flail and he has a shield which is as much a weapon as it is a defense mechanism. In addition he has a lot of holy wrath based damage, that he does, so he has some ranged abilities, too. So it‘s a neat mix of ranged and melee and he has become very different from the paladin at this point. He has become the Crusader.

 

We already know that you are going to patch Loot 2.0 before the expansion gets released. Are you considering to add any other features like the Paragon 2.0, and such before the expansion is ready?

Yea, we are considering all of the features, and tinker out which is more appropriate. Anything that is broadly systemic like that tends to be added in the game anyway. There is no reason for us not to give it up free. Probably a lot of more stuff will be free before the expansion goes live.

 

Will there be any new companions or any new content for the Templar or the Scoundrel?

There is a lot of new content for the old companions. We didn’t add a new companion. We have this idea that more is not better. Better is better. It’s how we say it. We figured we did not do enough to make the existing companions deep — we had a lot of grand plans for them in the first game; We are giving them a lot of more stories, they are actually getting side-quests — in Act V as well. So they are getting richer back stories. You get to meet, for example, the Scoundrel’s brother.

That’s new. No one knows about that yet. That’s our official leak for today’s interview.

 

Can you explain Nephalem Trials?

The idea for the Nephalem Trials takes a lot of inspiration from the Jar of Souls event from Act I. We wondered how to create this kind of micro-challenges to help us survey the pace of gameplay, the idea is that when you explore the world you come across a Nephalem portal, you jump into one of these Nephalem Trials. There are many different variations — one of the classic ones — you end up fighting waves and waves of enemies and you have a time limit. Depending how well, how many monsters you kill within the time limit you will be rewarded with a number of resplendant chests. So it’s a cool way to add a challenge to the game and add some variety.

Storywise, players met some of the Nephalem spirits that have been left behind in the world of Sanctuary, in the first game. At certain point, all humans were Nephalem. All humans had powers. The first generations of humans ever born had that. Eventually, they lost their powers, and as they were losing it, the leaders left behind guardian spirits for if in the future the Nephalem arose again, they could get guidance. These are the spirits that help you run these trials.

 

The new expansion adds a new Act with a new story, How much gameplay time takes to play through the whole story?

We haven’t finished the Act yet. We are not done making it yet. So it’s hard to say exactly how long it is, but I think more than ever, the game doesn’t end when you kill Malthael and defeat him. The replayability has been quitely expanded. Loot Runs is the first time we are talking about here at GamesCom.

Loot Runs is just one of the systems by the way, and the way that it works is extensively random dungeons. We take every single tile that is in the game, including all the new exterior ones are now randomized in Act V. We combined those in about 15-minute long dungeons at multiple levels with a variety of monsters.

With this monsters you need to work together, you need to change your tactics, very dense populated. Random boss fights and random loot. We take the promise of Diablo’s randomness, make that within a 15-minute chunks to add more end-game gameplay.

 

Almost all items we saw in this expansions are account-bound. Is this because of enchanting or is there another reason for that?

That’s something that we are experimenting with. The Hellfire Ring is something we believe responded really well. So we are seeing how to extend that system. We hope to hear some feedback from players here at GamesCom.

You get better items, but it’s your better items.

 

What variation of environments are we going to see in the expansion — we have seen some like Westmarch, Bloodmarch — what can we expect?

We were just sorta teasing some of the zones, but we can’t mention them. So I’ll cover the Bloodmarch.

The Bloodmarsh is an area outside of the city of Westmarch. It’s a very cool area, it’s one of our more fun and dangerous looking zones we have in the game.

Actually you see some of it in the opening cinematic, where the Black Soulstone is buried. Where Archangel Malthael comes and steal it from Tyrael. It’s underneath the Bloodmarch, and it does exist in the game right now.

The other area you will be exploring is the Pandemonion Fortress. It’s sort of the heart of creation, and that’s going to be a really great counterpoint to the more gothic feeling of Westmarch. The players will really love the journey from Westmarch to the Bloodmarch to the Pandemonium.

It’s a place where the angels and demons have fought over forever.

 

A lot of people are missing the darker side of Diablo II in Diablo III. Is the expansion going to be darker?

Dark side. I mean, Diablo III opens with a zombie apocalypse. It’s the end of the world, and meteors falling, and the armies of Hell are coming. Explain dark side.

For many years now we have really wanted to do a city tileset. A random city. So it all works with the same Diablo randomness, but still feels like a real city.

We actually tried to do that for a while, in Diablo III’s development, but we put it aside. As soon as we began work on the expansion, that was the first thing we tackled. So apart from the fact that it was a city, we didn’t know whether we wanted to do Westmarch years ago; and Death as the villain, has sort of made it definitely very grim and dark. That was heavy and gothic anyway before Death arrived and invaded it.

It’s a marshal city. It’s founded by the Paladin order when they were on their first grand crusade bringing their Zakarum faith to the west with fire and a sword.

It was founded by Rakkis. The soldiers of Bastion’s Keep are actually from the city of Westmarch. So we knew that we wanted to do Westmarch for a while, and not in response to anything in particular from Diablo III.

It’s not a reaction, but more than anything else an opportunity for us. When we started thinking about the expansion, they wanted Westmarch, another wanted the Crusader. When the team came across the idea of really focusing on Malthael the Angel of Death kinda rocked everything together and really allowed us to deliver — not just a gothic setting — but sub-apocalyptic and anti-apocalyptic that’s happening. It helps put everything together. The complete package.

The whole expansion is not the same color scheme. It’s not the same heavy gothic feel either. We just mentioned two of the other zones, and variety is a very important part of the game. It’s about replayability.

For us gothic doesn’t necessarily mean just round, black and gray. Gothic is more about the feel.

 

Are you going to make improvements to the Battle.net?

We are working on a lot of improvements. We didn’t announced any one yet. We are still working on them, and want to know a little more about — be sure — before we can talk about them, but there is a number of improvements to Battle.net and social services coming.

 

Given the theme of the new expansion, with Malthael being the Angel of Death, will we meet any Necromancer? … because it sounds like it would fit quite a little.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but … (at unison) MAYBE! **MAYBE!!!***

Obviously, bad things are happening. There’s a lot of death, and I think the necromancers are drawn to death.

Necromancers are about balance. If the army of death are taking over the world, that’s not balance anymore; and they need to do something about it.

 

Regarding the cinematic, Tyrael is hiding the Black Soulstone with the Horadrim. Are we going to know more about the Horadrim?

Yea, before the expansion ships, you are going to know more about the Horadrim. Tyrael has refound the Horadrim order. So they are a new Horadrim. The character that you meet at the beginning of the demo, he is a new Horadrim character that we spent a lot of time getting to know as well. So the Horadrim has been reborn. Cain passed that mantle down to Leah, and then we all know what happened with her. So, that didn’t work. Right? — the Kevin Marten yells: “SPOILERS!!!”

Josh Mosqueira says: “I didn’t specifically say what happened to Leah.”

Kevin Martens responds: “Oh shit!”

Josh Mosqueira finishes: “She’s not taking over the Horadrim. Let’s just say that.”

 

Note: That was a bit confusing. Are they considering Leah’s fate at the end of Diablo III a spoiler, or are they fooling around because Leah is coming back from the … death. Coughs … Malthael is rising the dead. Or because the Necromancers bring her back? Hard to decipher their code-talk.

Special thanks to Arthur Lorenz aka Handclaw (Blizzplanet contributor) who interviewed the Diablo III team at GamesCom, and thanks to the Blizzard US/EU PR teams.

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Fact Sheet

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

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 is 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. As a nigh unstoppable force of armored destruction, the Crusader adds strength and versatility to any party of adventurers.

For further details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

GAME FEATURES

  • The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk, and Demon Hunter

  • Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of power

  • Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress

  • Two new game modes: Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials provide fun and rewarding objective-based challenges

  • Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability

  • Newly designed loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades

  • Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries

  • New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes

  • A new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes

PUBLISHER: Blizzard Entertainment
DEVELOPER: Blizzard Entertainment
GENRE: Action RPG
PLATFORMS: PC
RELEASE DATE: To Be Announced

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Concept Art

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

The concept art of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls show new monsters serving Malthael including the Seraph, the Wraith, and the Brute. Among the images you will find a few iterative concept artworks of Malthael, a Horadrim, and a scene titled “Tomb of Rakkis”.

Now this Tomb of Rakkis is definitely interesting in a few ways. Rakkis was the king that brought civilization to Westmarch, and brought the Zakarum religion to the region.

The Diablo III: Book of Cain says the following about Rakkis.


Westmarch

Founded by Rakkis, Westmarch was named in honor of the Zakarum warlord’s great crusade and marks the farthest western point of his conquest.

Rakkis was loved by the peoples of the west and did much to bring civilization to the surrounding lands, including the building of roads and churches and necessary infrastructure for the burgeoning territories there. In time, Rakkis’ heir Korsikk, continued his father’s rule and built Westmarch into a bastion of the Zakarum faith.

Ever wary of attack from the northern barbarians, Korsikk founded the impregnable Bastion’s Keep to safeguard all that his father had thought to build.

In the present day, Westmarch is a kingdom that thrives on commerce and maritime trade. Influence from the Zakarum faith has waned of late, and Westmarch is now a forward-looking civilization. Indeed, one might say that it remains one of the healthiest, most vibrant kingdoms left in our troubled world.

 

Now the thing is — Malthael, is now known as the Archangel of Death. He has arrived to Westmarch to begin there his purge of Sanctuary — as he sees humanity as the biggest faction of demonspawn. Malthael is bringing the dead back to life to serve as his minions in the purge of Sanctuary.

The concept art of the Tomb of Rakkis evokes an intriguing question. Will players fight a resurrected Rakkis as an enemy dungeon boss?

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GamesCom 2013 – Crusader Class Skills and Runes

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

We have sneak peek screenshots of the Crusader class’ skills and runes.

Primary Skills

  • Punish
  • Scourge: Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Scourge your enemies, surrounding them in threads of hallowed power. The threads cut and bleed enemies they attack to, and will seek out new enemies to latch onto and punish.

  • Justice
  • Slash

Secondary Skills

Blessed Shield: Cost 25 Wrath. Hurl a celestial shield through the air, smashing it into enemies and ricocheting it between them. Requires Shield.

The Fist of the Heavens doesn’t have a description but one of the screenshots below shows one of its runes, Well of Retribution: Create a well of holy lightning at the target location that will electrocute nearby enemies.

Other secondary skills include: Blessed Hammer, Shield Bash, and Sweep Attack.

Passive Skills

  • Indestructible
  • Wrathful
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Against All Odds
  • Finery
  • Heavenly Strength
  • Holy Cause
  • Vigilant
  • Long Arm of the Law
  • Stand Your Ground
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GamesCom 2013 – Paragon 2.0 Loot 2.0 Loot Runs Nephalem Trials patch before Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ships

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, GamesCom 2013

Grimiku posted on the official forum some core features announced at the GamesCom Blizzard Press Event during the unveiling of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls are meant to be launched in a patch before Reaper of Souls goes on sale.

It hasn’t been determined exactly how long before the expansion hit stores, but definitely great news for those who prefer to wait before buying the expansion.

We want to implement a lot of the new systems and features in a pre-expansion patch for free. That should include Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, Loot Runs, and Nephalem Trials. For now, you’ll need to purchase the expansion to play as the Crusader, explore Act V, unlock the Mystic, and level up to 70. These details may change as development moves along, but we want some of the core gameplay improvements to be available for everyone. — source

 

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GamesCom 2013 – Blizzard Press Event Video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Featured Stories, GamesCom 2013

Blizzplanet staff member Arthur “Handclaw” Lorenz attended GamesCom 2013 to witness the Blizzard Entertainment press panel held on Wednesday, August 21 at 11:30am CEST.

Arthur saw history unfold as Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the new expansion titled Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The videos below contain the whole press panel. Check out the new Crusader class, Westmarch vistas and great features to be introduced in the expansion: level cap increased to 70, Unlimited Paragon Levels, Nephalem Trials, the Mystic, end-game Loot Runs, Improved Loot 2.0, a new Act, and much more.

Visit the official Diablo III: Reaper of Souls website.

Video # 1

Video # 2

Video # 3

Nephalem Trials

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Press Release – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Unveiled

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Featured Stories, GDC 2013

Blizzard Entertainment deployed a press release to go in detail about the new expansion titled Diablo III: Reaper of Souls which introduces a new class: The Crusader, and a whole new Act featuring the new villain: Malthael, the Archangel of Wisdom Death.

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Upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time playable at gamescom

“Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all . . .”

COLOGNE, Germany—August 21, 2013 – 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 is yet to be revealed. Announced today at gamescom, Diablo® III: Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to 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 after the events depicted at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. It now falls to the players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world.

Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Driven by a centuries-long quest to cleanse the corruption blighting their beloved Zakarum faith, Crusaders are warriors of righteousness who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class in Reaper of Souls uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.

“From the beginning, Diablo has always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Souls explores the darker notes of that conflict,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options. We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls, and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

In addition to taking the story of Diablo III from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress in Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players continuing on with their existing Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Monk characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.

The expansion also accentuates the key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments to explore; epic new quests; horrific new monsters to defeat; and substantial updates to the loot experience, enabling players to further customize their characters with new and improved multilevel Legendary items, new Blacksmith and Jeweler item-crafting options, and more.

Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even *more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes—Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials—are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is playable on the show floor at gamescom, and Blizzard will be revealing further details about the expansion at BlizzCon and beyond as development progresses. For further information related to today’s announcement and all the latest news about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

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.

 
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GamesCom 2013: Blizzard Press Event – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Revealed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Featured Stories, GamesCom 2013

Blizzard Entertainment revealed the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion trailer at GamesCom during a press event held at 11:30am CEST.

The Crusader is a new mid-range melee class wielding a longsword and a shield. The class is based on the Diablo II Paladin. The demonstration shows a Death Maiden in the Cathedral of the Zakarum.

The Angel of Wisdom Malthael plays a big role in the story as a villain. He will command dead angels as the Archangel of Death to punish Sanctuary and the remaining demons of the Burning Hells.

Archangel Malthael sees humanity as the largest group of demons, and wants to eradicate them. Tyrael and the new Horadrim wanted to hide the Black Soulstone deep beneath Sanctuary; but Archangel Malthael stole the Black Soulstone. (as seen in the cinematic below)

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The level cap has increased to level 70 and the expansion will introduce a new ACT.

The expansion will also focus on upgrades to the Paragon levels. New monsters include the Summoner of the Death, The Seraph and the Death Maiden. — fallen angels.

A new artisan will offer transmo services to change the appearance of your armor for that of another armor like in World of Warcraft.

Paragon levels will now be account-wide rather than individual characters. There is no cap to Paragon levels (Unlimited Paragon Levels). A return of an attribute system which uses Paragon points.

The Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is now playable at GamesCom where attendees can play as the Crusader class.

The new environment setting is gothic-medieval in nature in the lands of Westmarch.

Handclaw is at the press event taking video of the press event for Blizzplanet. The video will be available at a later time. Stay tuned. Additionally, Blizzard Entertainment scheduled an interview slot for Blizzplanet on Friday, August 23 with the Diablo III (PS3) team.

Further details of the Diablo III expansion will be revealed at BlizzCon this upcoming November 8-9th.

Malthael, the Angel of Death, has seized the Black Soulstone. It falls to the heroes of Sanctuary to stop him before he unleashes its dark power on the world. Today at gamescom, Blizzard Entertainment announced Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time. See the press release to learn more about this dark new chapter in the ongoing struggle between angels and demons over the fate of mankind.

 

The news is spreading so quick the hashtag Reaper of Souls have started trending on Twitter along with the hashtag Diablo 3.

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Videos

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III Expansion Trailer Confirmed

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

European websites are ablaze with rumors and excitement after the USK website (the equivalent of ESRB Rankings) for Europe has approved the Diablo III Expansion trailer tagged as “GamesCom Trailer”.

Blizzplanet correspondent Handclaw is currently at Cologne, Germany to take video of the press panel for our visitors and the Blizzard community in general.

Thanks to Cesar (Blizzplanet Español staff member) for the heads up.

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Jinx Diablo III Class T-shirts Pre-orders – Ship August 23

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News

Jinx has launched a pre-order page for a new series of T-shirts based on Diablo III. These have each class’s crest on the T-shirt’s front and two Diablo cartoons.

The new T-shirts will be on sale this upcoming Friday, August 23.

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GamesCom 2013 – Submit questions for the Diablo III Team

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

I’ll be gathering some questions for the Diablo III Team for an upcoming interview held at GamesCom next week. Please, submit any questions you have [exclusively] about the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III.

I am also gathering questions for Joseph Lacroix who we are interviewing at GamesCom. The questions can range about Diablo III: Sword of Justice but mostly focused on his artwork for the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.

Sort of time sensitive. The comments below allow you to login with twitter, facebook, google plus, open ID, Disqus. Otherwise, email your questions at medievaldragon at blizzplanet

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Diablo III Website Teases Reaper of Souls — Diablo III Expansion Title?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

According to “MMO-Champion” Blizzard Entertainment opened a new page on the official Diablo III Battle.net website. The teaser page has the following words:

”DEATH, AT LAST, SHALL SPREAD ITS WINGS OVER ALL.” — Book of Tyrael

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The last part of that message is a reference to the Insight Editions Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is a sequel to the Diablo III: Book of Cain.

The quote in uppercaps have been ringing my ears for hours, and now I know why. I have indeed read that sentence before. It is part of a longer paragraph.

That sentence on the official Diablo III is part of the “Prophecy of the End Days”.

… And, at the End of Days, Wisdom shall be lost
as Justice falls upon the world of men.
Valor shall turn to Wrath-
and all Hope will be swallowed by Despair.
Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all-
as Fate lies shattered forever.

 

Two of the references are now ironed out. Now the URL where the new Diablo III page is is named “Reaper of Souls”.

This one truly baffles me. None of the Prime or Lesser evils had this name or title. All of their souls are currently stuck inside the Black Soulstone. If this “Reaper of Souls” was to be the title of the Diablo III expansion, then it is referring to an entity — one that hasn’t been known by that name in Diablo I, Diablo II nor Diablo III by that name. Just take a look at any wiki sites out there, and nothing comes up remotely close to that name.

The name “Reaper of Souls” means “one who collects, harvest or gathers souls”. Definitely catches one’s attention, but no one we know from lore. However, I do have one suspect.

Up until now, the Prime Evils had been imprisoned in Sanctuary for ages. Belial and Azmodan were reigning the Burning Hells in the Prime Evils’ absence. Those who haven’t read the novel yet, I recommend you do immediately.


Paperback

Digital eBook

The eBook contains all three books listed above. Can be read on Kindle and PC/Mac via internet browser.

 

So my point is, if the spirit of three Prime Evils and the four lesser evils are all imprisoned within the Black Soulstone … then … who is keeping tabs on their prisoners down there in the Burning Hells?

There is one prisoner in the Burning Hells who have been unaccounted for since the Sin War. Those who haven’t read Richard A. Knaak’s novel (2007), the origin of Sanctuary was revealed in that novel.

Basically, Archangel Inarius tired of the Eternal Conflict decided to steal the Worldstone. The Worldstone was actually right there at the Pandemonium Fortress, but somehow Inarius calibrated the Worldstone to sort of warp into a pocket dimension making the Worldstone invisible to everyone’s eye even when it was sitting at the same spot.

In this warp of reality so to speak, Sanctuary was created — cloaked from view by either the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.

Archangel Inarius and other archangels approached other rogue demons who were also tired of the Eternal Conflict. Basically, angel and demon alike united to live in peace in Sanctuary. Inarius and the daughter of Mephisto: Lilith fell in love. Everyone got a party, bees and flowers … all that — and the first children were born. The humans are descendants of the Nephalem.

Without going through the whole storyline, at the end of the Sin War, Uldyssian defeated Archangel Inarius. The Angiris Council was about to judge Inarius, but Mephisto played a good one. He offered a deal to the Angiris Council, but in exchange they wanted a prize.

The prize was … Archangel Inarius. The founder of Sanctuary. He’s been tortured ever since somewhere in the depths of the Burning Hells.

Archangel Inarius is imprisoned in the Chamber of Mirrors, bound by chains and hooks, and his eyelids ripped to torture him with the perpetual sight of his own appearance in the mirrors.

As someone who was given as a prize to Mephisto, Inarius should be pretty pissed off at the Angiris Council. The children of the nephalem — his own blood — turned on him and defeated him. Reason enough to hate Sanctuary. For milennia he’s been mocked, and tortured by the Prime Evils and later by Azmodan — last who reign over the Burning Hells. But now … Who is now Inarius’ jailor? Is he free?

I’d have to speculate — if I was a novelist or a Creative team’s story writer — that either the leaderless demons free him to seek Inarius’ leadership, if Lilith is still around, she could safely go after her former lover’s rescue to together reap the vacuum of power left behind by the now absent evils. But if I wanted to go really big and stun everyone … I would make a “omg-I-didn’t-see-that-one-coming” and make Malthael (Archangel of Wisdom) be the one rescuing Archangel Inarius and siding with him in whatever agenda they come up with.

Another interesting thing to mention is that Inarius and Lilith’s son is … Rathma … the ancient nephalem who the Necromancers venerate. Reaper of Souls sounds very necromancer-ish too.

I could go on and on all day spinning speculations on the web of “Reaper of Souls”. Maybe none of this is related. What I do know is that Blizzard is announcing something at GamesCom.

Blizzplanet was invited to the press conference to be held on August 21, 2013. An old-buddie of mine, Handclaw, is going to this event to take video and photos. So please, make sure to check out Blizzplanet to find out more about the video.

Book of Tyrael

“then ultimately it is Tyrael who put this all together and comes as an inheritor of the story and we get his perspective on even more ancient events that might have seeded all these game events — and it really allowed us to round up the story in other parts of the history that umm (Chris Metzen makes sounds with his tongue and mouth**) weren’t directly relevant to the last game, umm , but umm maybe relevant some day …”

**Decoding Chris Metzen — Chris Metzen makes special effects sounds with his tongue and mouth, or moves his eyes into the roof for imaginary snipers — something he usually does when he wants to signal NDA is holding back his thoughts and looks for a way to subtly tease, hint or early leak a possible upcoming announcement in this case he meant Diablo III: Book of Tyrael will reveal new info relevant to the Diablo III expansion.

Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson talked about Book of Tyrael at the Blizzard Licensing Panel. A Blizzplanet correspondent was there to take video for the community. Watch the video segment where they talk about Book of Tyrael: http://youtu.be/32HPuRQbgnM?t=9m28s

On to that matter, it is extremely interesting that Joseph Lacroix will be signing at GamesCom — because he is one of the artists of Book of Tyrael which as per Metzen’s quote above is tied to info “relevant some day” — cough, Diablo III expansion.

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Blizzplanet Busca Escritores en Español

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Aunque he escrito en inglés estos pasados diez años, hablo español en mi casa todos los días. Por muchos años he deseado poder lanzar un sitio en español sobre los juegos de StarCraft, Diablo, y Warcraft. Se acerca una nueva etapa de Blizzplanet pronto, y espero poder recibir fanáticos que han visitado Blizzplanet por varios años como escritores para que puedan informar a fans como ustedes, y que puedan formar parte de una gran comunidad hispana de video juegos de Blizzard.

Esta es una posición voluntaria para aquellos que deseen la experiencia de escribir para un fansite líder de diez años, y tener acceso a juegos beta y otras oportunidades relacionadas a los juegos de Blizzard.

Si estas interesado en unirte a nuestra comunidad come escritor en el idioma español, envíame un mensaje electrónico a medievaldragon@blizzplanet(punto)com

Latinos viviendo en Europa, America Latina, Canada, Asia, Oceania o Estados Unidos son bienvenidos.

Déjame saber que juegos de Blizzard juegas y por el cual te gustaría dedicarte a escribir noticias.

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Win the Ultimate BlizzCon 2013 Giveaway & New Blizzard Game Hint? Speculation

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

UPDATE: Sunday, August 11 is the last day to submit your entry.

SteelSeries, J!NX and The League of S.T.E.A.M. have partnered to brew together a cool promotion that will send a lucky winner and a friend to BlizzCon 2013 (November 8-9th) free along with flight and hotel expenses covered. This contest only applies to North American residents: which includes United States, Canada and Quebec. The follow up winners will get SteelSeries and J!NX prizes.

Make sure to read my personal speculation about this strange and unholy partnership — there is something odd about this partnership that [might] or [not] be a hint of a new Blizzard game announcement. Don’t you love Blizzplanet’s speculations?

CHICAGO – July 29th, 2013 – With the return of BlizzCon this year to Anaheim, California, SteelSeries and our partners JINX and The League of S.T.E.A.M want to send YOU to the festivities in style. This once in a lifetime chance to be a part of gaming history is completely FREE to enter by visiting the contest landing page – http://steelseri.es/blizzcon. Sweepstake entries will be open from July 29th through August 11th to all North American residents.

The grand prize features two BlizzCon Show Passes, airfare and accommodations for you and a friend PLUS one custom costume by award winning costume designers The League of S.T.E.A.M! An additional $2500 in sponsored prizes will also be given away including World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mice and JINX gift cards!

To keep up to date with the latest happenings of all the companies that made this giveaway possible, please visit the following websites.

The Contest runs from July 29th, 2013 to August 11th, 2013.

Current SteelSeries promotional offers here.

 

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Speculation-Mode On

I’m sorry to Blizzard Entertainment, but I will shield up with the first amendment of the United States Constitution: Freedom of Speech. Of course, I’ll eat back my words silently if I misfire … oops!

I have seen several promotions and giveaways from licensed partners for several years, but I find the League of S.T.E.A.M to be a very strange partner which is not directly a Blizzard Licensed Partner.

I do know the BlizzCon 2013 Costume Contest sign ups begin on August 5 (approximately) as published recently at the official BlizzCon website. The League of S.T.E.A.M will create a costume for the Ultimate BlizzCon 2013 Giveaway announced in this press release.

I was curious about this League of S.T.E.A.M, and searched online for their website. After reading through their About page, this is what they say:

The League of S.T.E.A.M. is not your average performance group

Our talented group of inventors and actors take the audience back to a time of scientific adventure; a common ground between the paranormal and the Pythagorean. We are monster hunters from the Victorian era. From up on the stage to mingling the crowd, our members engage the audience with proton packs capable of firing blasts of “steam,” zombie manservants on chain-leads, net guns and titillating electro-shock packs and ethereal glowing ghosts. Every piece of machinery is meticulously designed, detailed, and fully functional, from the steam cannon to the extendable “Punchy Fist”. The League travels with an archive of past adventures, preserved and documented for the ambient pleasure of the viewer, featuring exotic specimens and chilling relics from the ancient Orient. Audiences for this extravagant experience continue to grow. The League of S.T.E.A.M. is one of the fastest-growing entertainment groups of its kind, and our series of filmed exploits has ensured us a popularity that fills our events to capacity.

 

Wait … this is a Steampunk-effing-League?!! I’m sorry, my geeky blood-pressure is going high at the moment. Don’t blame me for speculating, but what if this giveaway is subtly throwing hints about a new Blizzard Entertainment Steampunk-themed video game to be announced at BlizzCon 2013? Is that even feasible to imagine or a loooong-stretch?

Blizzard Entertainment is currently developing two MMOs: the Next-Gen MMO codenamed Titan and a unannounced MMO.

If this speculation doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. A Steampunk Blizzard game — would you play something that wicked sweet?

I might be totally wrong on this one, I admit. However, tell me straight to the face you won’t get excited after reading what the League of S.T.E.A.M is and after viewing their photos. I present to you … the League of S.T.E.A.M

Online gamers to pay tax for ingame earnings in Sweden

Written by poGDI on . Posted in Diablo 2 News, Diablo 3 News, eSports News

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The Swedish Tax Agency wants every Swedish gamer that earns money from online-gaming to pay tax for the money earned. There are a few games where you can earn money in-game for example Second Life and Diablo 3. The gamer needs to register all earned money from gaming to the tax agency; but this isn’t that easy since the gamer needs to know who the buyer is.

The criteria for the tax is that the seller is from Sweden and that he is a person that can pay taxes. This means that if the gamer is selling items on an online auction house, or something similar; he/she needs to find out who the seller is, and if the seller can pay tax, then report this.

There won’t be that many sellers reporting this income to The Swedish Tax Agency. This law seems pointless to me, would be nice to see a follow up on this from the tax office next year to see if there was actually anyone paying taxes for their earnings.

Source: Read the full standpoint in this matter. (Article in Swedish, use google translate to read it)

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BlizzCon Mobile Countdown Web App

Written by Naka on . Posted in BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzplanet is proud to announce its very own BlizzCon countdown web application for your mobile device. This is designed to be used on your iOS or Android mobile phone. Follow these steps on your phone and get excited for BlizzCon!

1. Browse to http://www.blizzplanet.com/blizzconcountdown/ or http://is.gd/blizzcon if you want a shorter URL to type in.

2.If you are on iOS a button should popup with instructions. If it doesn’t, tap the Arrow button on the bottom bar of Safari. If you are on Android it varies from device to device but look for an Add Bookmark to Home screen option.

3. Tap Add to Home Screen

4. Choose a Name and hit Add.

You will now have a nice BlizzCon icon on your phone’s home screen.

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GamesCom 2013 – Blizzplanet Wants Your Questions for Diablo III (PS3) Team

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Blizzard Entertainment has extended a press invite to Blizzplanet to attend the press event to be held at GamesCom on Wednesday, August 21. Arthur Lorenz (Handclaw) will record video of the panel to share with fans what happened there. Our most appreciative thanks to Blizzard’s US and Europe teams.

Diablo III (PS3) Interview

Blizzplanet has scheduled an interview with the Diablo III Team at GamesCom. Please, submit your questions about the Diablo III PlayStation 3. I recommend to watch the Penny Arcade | PvP Online video. The guys played Diablo III (PS3) from their couch for two hours — allowing fans to see a lot of the UI and game systems.

After watching that video you can submit any questions you may have to forward it through our scheduled GamesCom interview. Any news coming out on Wednesday, August 21 and 22 — feel free to submit questions those two days too based on the new GamesCom info.

The comments section at the bottom of this page is Livefyre. You can login using your Livefyre, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Linkedin or Open ID username and password to post a comment. Try a different internet browser if you encounter any problems submitting a comment. Alternatively, you may also email me at medievaldragon@blizzplanet

Special thanks to old-buddie Handclaw who is conducting the interview for Blizzplanet. I’m currently ironing out with Handclaw and third-party contacts to take video of the Blizzard press event panel. So please, stay tuned for any updates.

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Penny Arcade Presents: Diablo III Console (PS3)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Penny Arcade posted a 2 hour video showing off Diablo III on PlayStation 3 gameplay with a camera view on the players while they watch the TV screen, and discuss during gameplay everything they see and experience.

Those who have missed videos of the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III have now a lengthy video to fill in what’s new with the UI and gameplay mechanics.

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ATVI – Activision Blizzard 2013 Q2 Financial Results Conference Call

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

Activision Blizzard celebrated today their 2013 Second Quarter financial results conference call where Bob Kotick addressed their independence from Vivendi after purchasing their shares.

activision-blizzard-logoBobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are pleased with our second-quarter results, which confirm the preliminary results we released last week when we announced our transaction with Vivendi. The agreement we reached with Vivendi will make us an independent company and should deliver meaningful earnings per share accretion to our shareholders. Our solid performance across our franchises and strong digital sales, including continued significant growth this quarter in our Call of Duty® downloadable content business over the previous year, validate our belief that we will enter this new period of independence in a position to leverage the flexibility and focus that it provides.”

On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced that it reached an agreement under which the company will acquire approximately 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi, in exchange for approximately $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share acquired before taking into account any future benefit from these tax attributes. In a related transaction, ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle led by CEO Bobby Kotick and Activision Blizzard Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, will purchase approximately 172 million company shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. Following the completion of the transactions, which are expected to close by the end of September 2013, Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder, but will retain a stake of approximately 83 million shares, or approximately 12%.

 

Main Highlights

  • World of Warcraft subscribers: 7.7 Million
  • Next-Gen MMO Titan is likely to be a non-subscription based MMO
  • Titan staff was moved to World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Blizzard All-Stars

Transcript

The second quarter was a relatively quiet quarter when compared against last quarter, which included the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch; and Q2 2012 when we launched Diablo III. We’ve been making great progress on Diablo III console and Hearthstone along with other ongoing projects, which I’ll discuss shortly.

Starting off with World of Warcraft, we ended the quarter with about 7.7 million subscribers worldwide, with the declines split about evenly between East and West. The most recent content update in late May has had a positive impact on stabilizing the churn rate in both regions.

Our next major content update, “Siege of Orgrimmar” is currently in the public testing phase. This update includes a massive new raid dungeon and a new questing area, as well as some new features. Proving grounds is a way for players to learn the skills they need for in-game contents and flexible raids allows groups of varying sizes to enjoy in-game rating. This will make it easier for players to experience compelling in-game contents with their friends. In addition to sustaining engagement for existing players, we believe these features can help make the transition back to the game more compelling for returning players as well. We look forward to releasing this update in the coming weeks.

Before I get into the other game updates, I want to say a few words about our unannounced project codenamed Titan. We’re in the process of selecting a new direction for the project and re-envisioning what we want the game to be. And while we can’t talk about the details yet, it is unlikely to be a subscription-based MMORPG. I also want to reiterate that there has not been an official announced or projected release date. What I can say is that the commitment to quality has always been at the core of Blizzard values. And we’ve gone through this type of iterative development process several times in the past on the way to creating genre-defining games. As we continue our assessment, we have shifted some of the resources from the team to our other franchises, including World of Warcraft and Blizzard All-Stars, which we believe will add immense value to those projects.

On the Diablo III side, we announced a September 3rd date for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions to the game. Our showing at E3 was a great opportunity to reinsure ourselves to the console gaming audience. The development team has done a lot of work to tailor Diablo III for a living room experience and these subtle changes have been very well-received by the press. We’ll be sharing more Diablo-related news at GamesCom later this month.

Moving on to StarCraft II. We just launched Heart of the Swarm in China a couple of weeks ago and in these early stages have seen a jump in concurrency in the region. In addition, our year-long StarCraft II World Championship Series is currently in its second season with the season finals taking place later this month at GamesCom in Germany.

We’ve also been putting a lot of focus on Blizzard All-Stars, our upcoming free-to-play online game. Action RTS games have become increasingly popular over the years. As we have in the past with games like World of Warcraft and the original Diablo, we’re looking to put our own spin on this genre and challenge some of the existing design paradigms. We’ve reached a significant internal milestone with Blizzard All-Stars going into wider internal testing and we’ll have more to say about the game later this year.

Rounding out our announced game projects is Hearthstone, our new free-to-play digital collectible card game. Hearthstone will launch initially on Windows and Mac PC followed by iPad soon after. We’ve made great progress polishing the game through internal testing and will be reaching the external test phase very soon. Our promotions in the last quarter, which included several live streamed game-play demos have generated great budge for the game since we revealed it at PAX East in March. Not only will this be our first game on iPad, it will also be the first time in a very long time that we have announced a game and launched it within the same year. This reflects the philosophy behind a small team of Blizzard veterans developing Hearthstone to create Blizzard-quality games on a smaller scale.

Looking ahead, we have BlizzCon coming up on November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The show will be a good one with the latest Blizzard news, hands-on with games and development and of course, the global finals for our StarCraft II World Championship Series. We hope to see you there or following along via the online stream or on DirecTV.

As we enter the back half of 2013, what we’re showing at Blizzard is a broadening of our gaming portfolio. Just 3 years ago, we had one active game. Moving into the rest of 2013 and beyond, we will have several active and vibrant games across 3 major franchises on multiple platforms and with different business models. We’ll continue to work hard on creating epic game experiences for our players and look forward to delivering those experiences in a variety of ways.

 

Q&A

Brian J. Pitz: With respect to the wild sub declines, I think last quarter was more Asia based, now it seems to be ramping up more on the West. Can you just give us a little more color there on the split?

Morhaime: Concerning subscription decline, in aggregate in Q2, we did see a smaller decline than we saw in Q1, and I think it’s very important to note the impact that our content updates have had since the most recent update, mid-May. We have seen a very positive impact on the churn rate, and that’s across both regions.

Brian J. Pitz: Got it. And just one more follow-up on WoW. There’s kind of been rumors in and out of the press on a potential movie set with the WoW theme. Any updates there?

Morhaime: I don’t have any updates other than to say that we are continuing to work with Legendary Pictures. Duncan Jones has been selected as the director, who has been actively working on a movie, and we continue to be very excited about it.

Colin A. Sebastian : In the scenario that WoW were to continue declining, I’m wondering whether your priority, ultimately, would be to protect profitability of the franchise or to continue spending on potential growth initiatives?

Morhaime: Our priority is to continue delivering great contents to our players. We feel the WoW continues to be the top most compelling, possibly multiplayer online role-playing game available, and we think it still has a very long life ahead of itself. We think that over time, we have seen players come and go and return to World of Warcraft, and we recognize that there’s a lot that we can do to make the experience of coming back to World of Warcraft and the transition back into the game and meeting up with your friends much easier than it currently. And so I think that’s a big opportunity for us.

 

Brian J. Pitz (Jefferies LLC, Research Division)
Colin A. Sebastian (Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division)

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GamesCom 2013 – Blizzard Entertainment Press Invitation For Special Diablo III Announcement

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Polygon reported that Blizzard Entertainment has issued an invitation to several gaming news networks to attend a press event at GamesCom on August 21 at 11:30 a.m. CEST (5:30 a.m. ET).

This press event is to make a special announcement concerning Diablo III.

”You are invited to join Blizzard Entertainment at a press conference on the first day of gamescom 2013. We’re making a special announcement that’s sure to capture the attention of the Heavens, Burning Hells and all the shadowed places that lie between.” — source

 

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Speculation-Mode On

It is Blizzplanet — what can I say? Speculation is inevitable with such an invitation tease. Polygon thinks the special announcement refers to the console port. It is a possibility. Yes, it is. Likely a new PS3 feature or PS3+PC/Mac feature that was not announced yet, but the tease might be something more. The way it entices “all the shadowed places that lie between” rings a bell to me and to everyone who read the Diablo: The Sin War trilogy (2006) novel by New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak.

Why is that? Because between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells there are other shadowy places … other unexplored worlds other than Sanctuary. Worlds that have been taken by the Prime Evils for milennia, and by the Angiris Council. Places that have been sieged by both factions. Captured and lost and regained for aeons.

I am not making this up. No. It is in the lore canon. If you haven’t taken the time to read Richard A. Knaak’s canon novel, you should now. Because if this GamesCom 2013 Press Invite is what I think it is — you may want to begin buffing up your lore of what’s coming … in the Diablo III expansion.

diablo-the-sin-war-birthright-cover“The gateway was nearly complete, and then the voices struck him from all directions. You cannot! You cannot! You cannot! At the same time, the gateway disintegrated despite his best efforts to keep it from doing so. Filled with an unaccustomed anger, he confronted the voices. This is my burden! This is my duty! You have no say in this, none of you! There was a moment of silence, and then, together, they responded, But we do … this goes beyond Sanctuary now. Beyond all of us who stand sentinel.

    The dragon grew wary. “How so? How can that be?”.

    Their words struck him as nothing else could. “Because the war is coming to Sanctuary, and if you interfere with what the Balance demands, it and all existence may be forfeit.”

They left him, then, all the others who stood guard as he did over their separate worlds, left him with the knowledge that it was his Sanctuary whose imminent fate might decide theirs. — source: Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy — if you have The Veiled Prophet pocketbook look for page 168.

 

There is a eBook version that contains all three novels for Kindle, PC internet browsers (Cloud Reader) and other mobile apps.

Now — why do I come to the conclusion that Blizzard Entertainment might or not announce the Diablo III expansion at GamesCom when “you” the fans are 100% certain such a Diablo III expansion announcement will be done at BlizzCon 2013 or a future BlizzCon?

I will give you a very subtle and straight to the liver hint … was Diablo III unveiled and announced at BlizzCon? Hell, no! (No pun intended)

Diablo III was announced at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris, France.

Thus, hopefully now I have weakened your 100% resolve that a Diablo III expansion CAN’T be announced outside BlizzCon, and instead lured you into my web of blatant and impossibly sweet speculation.

GamesCom is the biggesst gaming convention in the world. If Blizzard had plans to showcase a Diablo III demo at BlizzCon, then GamesCom is the best place to announce the Diablo III expansion — to drive all the world’s press to talk about the expansion. Everyone and their cat would be, thus, keeping an eye to the BlizzCon 2013 DirecTV livestream.

Now this Polygon news that Blizzard Entertainment is inviting gaming news outlets to this GamesCom press event was posted on July 31, 2013 (yesterday). Nick Carpenter tweeted on July 30 the following:

Nick Carpenter: “We just wrapped another amazing cinematic. Can’t wait to show the world!”

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Wait … cinematic tweet, and press invite emailed out to gaming news outlets within a few hours. Not everything that looks golden is gold, but gee ain’t that a tease? Sounds like the Diablo III expansion [might] be announced along with a cinematic teaser to leave fans itching until more info comes out at BlizzCon. Exactly what happened at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) and four months later BlizzCon 2008 hit us with waves of info.

But don’t trust this minion’s word for it. It’s mean of me to weave you tight into my speculation web, and then let you down, but that’s how speculations work. It’s a binary capricious thing. One and Zero. It becomes true and happinness, and euphoria reigns you; or it slaps you in the face (false).

Whether the speculation is true or not, simply enjoy what Blizzard Entertainment has in store for all fans across the world. They don’t hold a press event invite for giggles. Something really awesome is coming, folks.

Update: After thorough thinking, there is also another possible “shadowy places” reference. Blizzard All-Stars contains characters from Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo games.

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Diablo III Patch 1.0.8a – v.1.0.8.16603

Written by poGDI on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

hotfixesBlizzard released a small update on the 1.0.8a patch where they changed smaller issues with the Barbarian and the UI. The biggest visual update in the patch will be in the real money auction house where you can buy stack of  10 million gold instead of 1 million.

Here is the complete list of changes made in the 1.0.8a – v.1.0.8.16603 patch:

General

  • Made improvements to address “rubberbanding” issues encountered when using movement-based abilities like Tempest Rush, Strafe, and Whirlwind

Auction House

  • The stack size of gold on the real-money auction house has been increased again to 10 million (up from 1 million)

Classes

  • Barbarian
    • Passive Skills
      • Inspiring Presence
        • Will once again be displayed under Life per Second on the character sheet

User Interface

  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue introduced in Patch 1.0.8 that prevented Item Label Display preferences from being saved

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue introduced in Patch 1.0.8 causing dungeon exits to sometimes be placed in abnormally close proximity to the entrance
  • Fixed an issue introduced in Patch 1.0.8 that prevented players with Starter Edition accounts from being upgraded when playing in an IGR

 
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Blizzard Announces Appearance at GamesCom 2013

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

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Blizzard Entertainment announced their attendance to the 2013 GamesCom in Cologne, Germany through August 21-25.

Now this is kinda awesome in a few ways. This event takes place less than three months before BlizzCon (November 8-9).

Just a few days ago, San Diego Comic Con attendees had the opportunity to play Diablo III (PS3). GamesCom attendees are likely going to play the latest build just prior to the game shipping (September 3).

However, GamesCom might have a few surprises that could breath-take fans.

For example, Blizzard revealed the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Opening Cinematic at GamesCom 2012 (August 15-19).

GamesCom 2011 spawned Diablo III screenshots, Diablo III Interviews, Diablo III Inferno-Mode, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm single-player screenshots, World of Warcraft Patch 4.3 details and even Blizzard DOTA info (now Blizzard All-Stars).

Something to note is that Diablo III Beta started a month later on September 20, 2011.

In the 2010 GamesCom, Blizzard invited key press journalists to discuss a secret feature of Diablo III with Jay Wilson.

Speculation

It isn’t Blizzplanet unless I wrap up with a round of speculations. As you can see, based on past precedents, this 2013 GamesCom might have a few surprises under Blizzard’s sleeve. Could Duncan Jones and Thomas Tull make a surprise appearance to reveal more about the Warcraft film? Hearthstone Opening Cinematic? Hearthstone demo stations|screenshots|gameplay video|interviews? Blizzard All-Stars tease? Only time will tell.

Thanks, Kuangtu

Blizzard Entertainment will be at gamescom 2013, the world’s biggest games convention, taking place August 21-25. Join us there for the latest news on our games, great entertainment, and fantastic competitions with great prizes!
We’ll be at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany to meet players from across Europe and the world and give everyone a chance to play our latest games. All kinds of entertainment will also be on offer to visitors to the Blizzard booth (B40 in Hall 7): show matches, live music, quizzes, competitions and much more.

You can find out more about this incredible games show, including how to attend, here.

Making a welcome return to gamescom will be our celebrated costume and dance contests. Always wanted to appear on stage as a witch doctor, a pandaren monk, or a Protoss Zealot? Or are you brave enough to show off your goblin, night elf or tauren dance moves? This is your big chance! In the coming days we’ll have signups ready so you can reserve your place in the contests, but for now you can already start stitching, welding and practicing.

Stand by for more contest information, prizes, a full schedule, and details on what you can play, see and watch with Blizzard at gamescom 2013! — source

 
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Activision Blizzard Second Quarter 2013 Financial Results Conference Announced

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Diablo 3 News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Activision Blizzard announced the upcoming Second Quarter 2013 Financial results will take place on August 1, 2013.

activision-blizzard-logoSANTA MONICA, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) intends to release its second quarter 2013 results after the close of the market on Thursday, August 1, 2013 . In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the Internet.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )

To listen to the call, please log onto:

http://investor.activision.com/events.cfm

Or dial:

U.S. and Canada : 888-339-3466

International: 719-325-2309

Passcode: 3585535

Anyone planning to dial in to the call should RSVP to Pam Beaver at:

E-mail: PBeaver@activision.com

 

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Previous Activision Blizzard Conference Call Transcripts