Blizzplanet Review – Diablo III: Book of Tyrael

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

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-cover-full-sizeThe 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).

Book Materials

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.

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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.

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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.

Review

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.

Content List

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
Adria’s Origins
Adria’s Quest
Zoltun Kulle and the Black Soulstone
Conclusions

 

Part Two: The Fate of the Black Soulstone

Being Mortal
The Dissonance of the Angiris Council
Wisdom
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
Crusaders

 

Part Three: Miscellanea

A Timeline of Sanctuary

  • Pre-History – (Inarius)
  • Recorded History

Factions of Sanctuary

  • Amazons
  • Assassins
  • Barbarian Tribes
  • Council of Elders
  • The Coven
  • Crusaders
  • Druids
  • The Edyrem
  • Horadrim
  • Iron Wolves
  • Mage Clans
  • Necromancers
  • Paladins
  • Patriarchs (Ivgorod)
  • Rogues
  • Skatsim
  • Templar
  • The Temple of the Triune
  • The Thieves Guild
  • Trade Consortium
  • Zakarum

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.

 

Artists

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
  • ENrang
  • Riccardo Federici
  • Gino
  • 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

Credits

BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT

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.

INSIGHT EDITIONS

Raoul Goff (Publisher)
Chrissy Kwasnik (Art Director)
Vanessa Lopez (Executive Editor)
Anna Wan (Production Manager)
Elaine Ou (Editorial Assistant)

SPOILERS

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.

New York Comic Con 2013 – Blizzard Entertainment Book Signing Schedule

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment won’t have a Publishing Panel this year, but there’s still a significant presence at the New York Comic Con.

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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 Careers – Audio Producer

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

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.

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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.).

Responsibilities

  • 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.

Requirements

  • 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

Pluses

  • 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 Critical Hits Sale & Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft T-shirts

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

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

$9.99 Tees

A selection of all jinx t-shirts for $9.99 — among this batch are several Blizzard Licensed Products. I see some favorites there.

$14.99 Tees

This week I see several Diablo III T-shirts, one Horde T-shirt and two StarCraft II t-shirts for $14.99

BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Goodies

Written by Andy Go on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Blizzard Products News, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2013, BlizzPlanet Articles, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

BlizzCon goodies incoming! Not attending? Snag these in-game bonuses with a Virtual Ticket! Don’t forget to buy your tickets here: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/#goodies

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World of Warcraft Pet: Murkalot
StarCraft II Portrait & Decal: Tearin’ Stitches & Stitches’ Hook
Diablo III Banner: Mark of Death
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Card: Mystery Minion

For people wondering who Stitches is.. He is from Blizzard All-Stars.. Looks like Blizzard’s MOBA will be releasing soon.

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Funko POP Vinyl Figures – StarCraft II World of Warcraft Diablo III Pre-Orders

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

Funko released images of the painted version of the Funko POP! Vinyl figures based on StarCraft II, World of Warcraft and Diablo III. Follow the links to pre-order your copies. When I saw these my first impression was how much the painting stands out in comparison with other POP! Vinyl figures out there based on other franchises. They are gorgeous!!!

They are definitely made with the quality you might expect from a Blizzard Entertainment licensed product. Grab them all while you can. These measure 3 3/4-inches tall.

The Diablo III Tyrael & Diablo figures and the World of Warcraft Arthas figure will ship on November 2013. The Illidan figure ships on December 2013, and the StarCraft II Kerrigan and Jim Raynor figures are slated for February 2014.

Blizzard Games T-shirts Clearance – October 2013

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

Jinx alerts there are four popular Blizzard Licensed T-Shirts that are almost out of stock. Only a few T-shirt sizes remain in their inventory. Find out if yours is available still.

The “Flaming Hot” World of Warcraft Deathwing Premium T-Shirt costs only $9.99. There are only two sizes available: Small & 2XL.

The World of Warcraft Deathwing Rune T-shirt costs $12.50. Available sizes: Small & XL.

The Diablo III Skeleton King T-shirt costs $9.99. The available sizes: Small

The StarCraft II Random Race Premium T-shirt costs $14.99. The available sizes: Small, Large, XL & 2XL.

Click the images to visit the landing page to order yours.

All the collection of T-shirts of each of the Blizzard game franchises may be accessed here:

world-of-warcraft-deathwings-premium-tee-2944p_81c_2m world-of-warcraft-deathwing-rune-t-shirt-2409p_0c_2m

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Blizzard Employee-Exclusive Diablo III Treasure Goblin Statue on eBay

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

A Blizzard-employee exclusive Diablo III Treasure Goblin statue has made its way into eBay. The seller listed several photos. One of them shows this piece is the number 350 out of 4200 copies made.

Update: Found a second Diablo III Treasure Goblin statue with a “Buy Now” option of $229. These seem to be popping kinda often out of the woods.

      Individually numbered out of 4,200 made. Sample pic of bottom pulled from images. This item is sealed and never been opened. Box in MINT condition!

      Statue is made of SOLID METAL with the highest of detail

      Christmas Gift for Blizzard Staff – Diablo III Treasure Goblin Statue

      Nick Carpenter, the Art and vice president of Blizzard Entertainment tell us that all the staff in the company would get special gift for Christmas, Diablo III Treasure Goblin Statue. This item is ONLY available and given out the Blizzard employees over the 2012 Holiday Season.

      The statue was sculpt by former McFarlane Toys sculptor Brian Fay (currently Blizzard Entertainment Sculpting Lead), and sculptor/owner of Claymator Studios. Brian Fay recently sculpts the Sideshow Collectibles World of Warcraft Arthas Statue.

      The statue comes with 2 different heads you can use–traditional goblin and a goblin wearing a santa hat. It is approx 10″ tall and is made of metal.

Nate Kenyon Signing at Pandemonium Books in Boston – October 2

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

Nate Kenyon invites Diablo III and StarCraft II fans to come to Pandemonium Books in Boston on October 2 at 7:00 p.m. Bring your copies of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres and Diablo III: The Order and greet-and-meet the author. Reach him on twitter in advance at @NateKenyon

Nate Kenyon is coming to Pandemonium Books to read a few pages and to sign his latest thriller: Day One: A Novel.

The Pandemonium Books store is found at:

Pandemonium Books (MAP)
4 Pleasant St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
United States

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New York Comic Con 2013 – Diablo III: Book of Tyrael Book Signing Schedule

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2013

Insight Editions announced Micky Neilson, Joseph Lacroix and Doug Gregory will sign copies of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael at the New York Comic Con this upcoming October 12th. Visit Insight Editions at Booth 1564. I’ll be there to share photos and video with our visitors.

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-cover-full-sizeInsight Editions: We’re very excited to announce that Diablo III: Book of Tyrael (Pub. Date: October 29) will be signed at NYCC on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 a.m. in our booth! Join Doug A. Gregory from art direction, illustrator Joseph Lacroix, and Blizzard lead story developer Micky Neilson.

Nate Kenyon Finished the Diablo III: Storm of Light Novel

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

New York Times bestselling author Nate Kenyon released a newsletter to announce his latest non-Blizzard related novel titled “DAY ONE“, and mentioned he just finished writing Diablo III: Storm of Light.

Nate Kenyon posted a video explaining his latest novel DAY ONE. While it is not Blizzard related, it gives you an idea of the level of story-telling he’s capable of, and why you shouldn’t miss Diablo III: The Order, StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres and the upcoming Diablo III: Storm of Light.

Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon – Pre-orders Open

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

The Diablo III: Storm of Light pre-order page has opened.

You may learn more details of this novel here.

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Diablo III: Storm of Light

The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.

Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind…

Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before the Heavens fall to ruin?

 

GamesCom 2013 – Joseph Lacroix interview – Diablo III: Book of Tyrael

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Blizzplanet Interviews, Diablo 3 News, GamesCom 2013, Interviews

During his attendance to GamesCom 2013 representing Blizzplanet, Arthur Lorenz “Handclaw” interviewed french artist Joseph Lacroix to ask questions about the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice and the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.

Diablo: Sword of Justice is a story about Jacob of Staalbreak a child that became the avatar of Justice in Sanctuary when he donned Tyrael’s sword. At least three characters from this graphic novel are confirmed to reappear in the upcoming Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon.

Diablo III: Book of Tyrael is the sequel to Diablo III: Book of Cain. To learn more about Diablo III: Book of Tyrael watch our SDCC Blizzard Publishing Panel videos.

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The View Whoopi Goldberg Plays Diablo III

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Josh Mosqueira tweeted a link to a video of “The View” TV show where the hosts discuss the violence in video games such as GTA V where teens can roleplay as criminals shooting cops and hookers.

Whoopi Goldberg comes out and says that’s why she prefers to play Diablo III because all she kills is demons and monsters.

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Diablo III (PC) Auction House Removal Announced

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Josh Mosqueira (Game Director) and John Hight (Production Director) appeared on video to announce the Auction House and Real Money Auction House will be shutdown on March 18, 2014.

Team 3 wants to preserve the integrity of Diablo III which is to kill monsters and to be rewarded in-game with the best items.

This was something that could be seen coming considering the PlayStation 3 version lacks an Auction House and when Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was announced at GamesCom — Loot 2.0 gave a glimpse of things to come.

There are many questions about this decision no doubt. Will there be a way to trade items Diablo II style or else?

Will the third-party market thrive or will Blizzard implement ways to prevent it?

The removal of the Auction House and Loot 2.0 will definitely change and redefine the Diablo III experience for many players. Check out our GamesCom 2013 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls panel videos.

Speculation

During the video, John Hight says a cryptic message: “We’ll be giving you more information down the road, but for now we want you to know that both the real money auction house and the gold auction house will be shut down on March 18, 2014. That should give you plenty of time to settle your affairs and be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House.

If we decompile that sentence, it is hiding something. It implies something. How can you be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House if the Auction House is still operational until that date? Does that make any sense?

The way I read it is … that very soon Blizzard Entertainment will deploy a patch with Loot 2.0, and other systems while keeping the Auction House operational until March 18 — so that players get used to not using the Auction House because they will be getting even better rewards with Loot 2.0.

That’s what makes sense to me in that sentence. During our GamesCom 2013 interview with Josh Mosqueira and Kevin Martens — they revealed these systems will be released in a patch for free for the core Diablo III game, before Reaper of Souls goes live.

    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?

    Josh: 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.

     

To add more depth to my speculation, just a couple of weeks ago, Josh Mosqueira teased in Twitter the following:

Josh: Release day!!! Welcome to Hell console players… stay a while and button mash. Fret not PC loyalists, lots of surprises inbound… soon.

 

I don’t know about you, but conspiracy theories should be popping everywhere. According to John Hight you will have time to settle your affairs and be ready to play Diablo III without the Auction House. And two weeks ago Josh mentions lots of surprises for PC players soon. To me this sounds like Loot 2.0 is going live very soon. Likely shortly after BlizzCon (November 8-9).

That would give players a taste of the new systems, and feel less compelled to use the Auction House which might have a slow death until March 18th.

What do you think? Will Loot 2.0 be with us long before March 18th? Do you welcome the removal of the AH?

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Blizzplanet – Diablo III (PS3) Launch Event in México City

Written by ARQfred on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

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Yesterday, Wednesday, September 11th, Blizzard Entertainment Latin America held a special Diablo III (PS3) Launch Event in Mexico City, and of course, BlizzPlanet Latino (es.blizzplanet.com) was there. This article was written originally in spanish and it can be read here — in our es.Blizzplanet Latin America site.

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Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in BlizzCon 2013, Diablo 3 News, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Next-Gen MMO, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

blizzcon-2013-virtual-tickets-banner

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

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.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 
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Free Diablo III Xbox 360 & PS3 Demo Available

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Blizzard Entertainment has launched a Free-to-Try Diablo III demo for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players. The Xbox 360 link is broken at the moment. Try later.

Xbox 360 download | PlayStation 3 Download

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This demo allows console users to play all Act I up to the Skeleton King. They tailored a Console Demo FAQ too.

Diablo III Console Demo FAQ

The Diablo III Console Demo provides players the ability to try out a limited version of Diablo III for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Players on the Console Demo have the following restrictions:

  • Cannot progress past the Skeleton King in Act I
  • Access to the Barbarian and Wizard classes only
  • Level 9 cap
  • Co-op games available only with other Console Demo PS3 or Xbox 360 players
  • Matchmaking not available for Public Games

How do I get the Diablo III demo for PS3 or Xbox 360?

The Diablo III demo can be downloaded directly to your console from PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE, or remotely from the PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE websites. If you choose to install remotely, the Diablo III demo will begin downloading the next time you log in to your PSN or Xbox LIVE account on your console hardware.

To download the Diablo III demo for PlayStation 3, click here. To download the Diablo III demo for Xbox 360, click here.

For more information about remote downloads, click here for PS3 or here Xbox 360.

Do I need a Battle.net account to play the Diablo III demo?

No, the Diablo III demo for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 does not require a Battle.net account to play. You will, however, need a basic PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE account, both of which can be created online for free.

To create a PSN account, click here. To create an Xbox LIVE account, click here.

How do I upgrade from the Console Demo to the full version of Diablo III?

To upgrade from the demo to the full version of Diablo III, you can purchase a physical copy of the Xbox 360 or PS3 version from your local retailer (you can find a partial list of retailers offering Diablo III console here). Alternatively, you can buy Diablo III digitally for the PS3 from the PlayStation Store here, and then download the game to your PS3.

Diablo III is not yet available digitally on Xbox 360, but please keep an eye on www.diablo3.com for updates.

Will my progress during the Diablo III demo carry over to the full game, if I choose to upgrade?

Yes! Your Diablo III demo hero, quest progress, and items will remain intact in the full game.

What content is included in the Diablo III demo for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360?

The Diablo III demo allows you to fight your way through to the Skeleton King boss in Act I as the Barbarian or Wizard, and advance up to level 9. Please note that some content, including Brawling, as well Trophies (PS3) and Achievements (Xbox 360), has been disabled in the demo.

Will online play be supported in the Diablo III demo for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360?

Yes, you will be able to form parties over PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE with other demo players. Matchmaking between the demo and full-game versions, as well as the ability to join Public Games, are not supported.

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Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Novel Tie-in

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

Blizzard Entertainment has revealed more details of Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon. The novel tie-in bridges the events of Diablo III and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

To make it even more exciting, it ties with what fans will find in the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. That’s not enough? Gee, how about mixing Jacob and Shanar from the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel into the novel? That’s an awesome lore cocktail of geekiness.

Nate Kenyon debuted writing for Blizzard Entertainment with Diablo III: The Order and StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres

Check out more about Diablo: Storm of Light at the following Blizzard Entertainment web page.

Continuity

  • Jacob of Staalbreak, Shanar the Wizard and Gynvir the Barbarian hail from the pages of the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel by writer Aaron Williams & artist Joseph Lacroix.

  • Zayl the Necromancer can be found in the pages of Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak.

  • Mikulov the monk hails from the pages of Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon


Diablo: Storm of Light

The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.

Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind…

Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before the Heavens fall to ruin?

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Sideshow Collectibles Diablo Polystone Statue Gets New Light System Update

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

The shipping date for the Sideshow Collectibles Diablo Polystone Statue is drawing near — Expected to ship November 2013. Sideshow has updated the statue with brand new lights which make the statue stand out even more than before when plugged to a power source. This Limited Edition consists of 2000 statues.

There are two pre-order options. The flat price is $349.99, with the Flex Payment Plan for as little as $105.00 and a non-refundable $35.00 to secure your copy.

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Product Description

Sideshow Collectibles is proud to bring you the Diablo statue, from Blizzard Entertainment’s hugely popular action RPG Diablo III. In a brilliant collaboration between the award-winning Sideshow Design and Development and Blizzard Cinematics teams, led by Sideshow Collectibles Creative Director Tom Gilliland and Blizzard Cinematics Creative Director Nick Carpenter, the Prime Evil’s chosen form comes to life, crafted in high quality polystone. The Diablo statue measures over 20 inches tall, hand painted and finished with painstaking attention to detail. Possess it now, before it possesses you.

Product Details

License: Diablo
Scale: Polystone Statue
Manufacturer: Sideshow Collectibles

Product Size: 21″ H (533.4mm) x 9″ W (228.6mm) x 12″ D (304.8mm)*

Product Weight: 11.00 lbs (4.99 kg)*
Dimensional Weight: TBD
Int’l Dim. Weight: TBD

Product Sku: 200219
UPC: 747720222113

Artists

Brian Fay (Sculpt), Dave Cortes (Sculpt), Blizzard Cinematics Team (Sculpt), Nick Carpenter (Creative Direction), Tom Gilliland (Creative Direction), Anthony Mestas (Paint), Rick Cantu (Paint).

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Josh Mosqueira Teases Diablo III PC Players – Surprises Inbound Soon

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Josh Mosqueira dropped a tease for Diablo III (PC) players via Twitter. Is Blizzard announcing new features that will make it to the game in an upcoming patch and that hasn’t been announced yet? Are we going to learn about those before BlizzCon or at BlizzCon? Or did he mean Reapers of Soul beta is close?

From the point of view of Reapers of Souls, if Blizzard had plans to ship that game by June/July, taking in mind a beta testing lasts an approximate time-frame of six months, beta would start between December 2013 and January 2014.

If they targeted September 2014 (a year from now), beta would start around March 2014.

This is entirely a speculation. No dates have been announced for Reaper of Souls beta.

Just leaving that bowl of food for thought.

Release day!!! Welcome to Hell console players… stay a while and button mash. Fret not PC loyalists, lots of surprises inbound… soon.

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DIABLO® III NOW LIVE ON PS3™ AND XBOX 360®

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

Diablo III is now available on PS3 and Xbox 360 at a local store near you and in online stores worldwide. No auction House, offline play available, no Battle.net account required.

diablo-iii-consoles-285x285DIABLO® III NOW LIVE ON PS3™ AND XBOX 360®

The Lord of Terror unleashes hell in living rooms worldwide

IRVINE, Calif.—September 3, 2013—Today, the war over Sanctuary claims a legion of new souls. Blizzard Entertainment is pleased to announce that Diablo® III, the latest chapter in the legendary action–RPG series, is now available for the Sony PlayStation® 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360® throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Would-be heroes who seek to confront the Lord of Terror and take the fate of mankind into their own hands can purchase the PS3™ and Xbox 360 versions of Diablo III at retailers worldwide for a suggested retail price of $59.99. The PS3™ version of Diablo III is also available for purchase digitally via the PlayStation Network™. The Xbox 360 version of the game will be available via Xbox LIVE® starting October 4. Both console versions of Diablo III have been fully localized in English, German, French, Latin American Spanish, European Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese for multilingual demonic warfare.

The PS3™ and Xbox 360 versions of Diablo III have been custom-tailored for gamepad-driven action, with a dynamic camera perspective that puts your hero front and center, as well as an all-new user interface and an intuitive control system that make vanquishing evil feel like second nature on consoles. Players can take on the vile denizens of the Burning Hells alone or in a party of up to four via same-screen local cooperative play or online over PlayStation Network™ or Xbox LIVE®. In addition, the game supports parties composed of both local and online players. Once gamers experience the rush of Diablo III’s unique brand of hack-and-slash gameplay from the comfort of their couch, Sanctuary will never be the same.

“In bringing Diablo III to consoles, our main focus has been on making sure we deliver a really fun experience for up to four friends online or on the same couch,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “The game looks and plays great on PS3™ and Xbox 360, especially with the new direct-control elements and new interface. We know players will have a blast battling Diablo on their big-screen TVs.”

In Diablo III, players take on the role of one of five heroic characters—barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter—and embark on a perilous quest to save the world of Sanctuary from the corrupting forces of the Burning Hells. As players make their way from the demon-besieged town of New Tristram to the Diamond Gates of the High Heavens, they’ll engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, grow in experience and ability, acquire artifacts of incredible power, and meet key characters who’ll join them in battle or aid them along the way.

Diablo III was originally released for Windows® and Macintosh® PC on May 15, 2012 and within 24 hours became the fastest-selling PC game of all time. As of December 31, 2012, Diablo III had sold through more than 12 million copies worldwide.* To learn more about Diablo III, visit the official website at http://www.diablo3.com.

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.

PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.

*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

 

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Diablo: The Sin War Archive Coming February 1, 2014 – Pre-Orders Open

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News

The Simon & Schuster, Inc. Diablo the Sin War Archive pre-orders have begun. The archive by Richard A. Knaak is slated to ship on February 1, 2014. This archive of 784 pages contains the three books of the trilogy:

  • Birthright
  • Scales of the Serpent
  • The Veiled Prophet

It was a truly epic story revealing the very origins of Sanctuary through the eyes of Uldyssian, the first human to manifest the birthright powers of the Nephalem after milennia during the Sin War — about three thousand years before the first Diablo video game.

Description

diablo-the-sin-war-birthright-coverSince the beginning of time, the angelic forces of the High Heavens and the demonic hordes of the Burning Hells have been locked in an eternal conflict for the fate of all Creation. That struggle has now spilled over into Sanctuary — the world of men. Determined to win mankind over to their respective causes, the forces of good and evil wage a secret war for mortal souls. This is the tale of the Sin War — the conflict that would forever change the destiny of man.

Three thousand years before the darkening of Tristram, Uldyssian, son of Diomedes, was a simple farmer from the village of Seram. Content with his quiet, idyllic life, Uldyssian is shocked as dark events rapidly unfold around him. Mistakenly blamed for the grisly murders of two traveling missionaries, Uldyssian is forced to flee his homeland and set out on a perilous quest to redeem his good name. To his horror, he has begun to manifest strange new powers — powers no mortal man has ever dreamed of. Now, Uldyssian must grapple with the energies building within him — lest they consume the last vestiges of his humanity.

Bent on destroying the evil cult of the Triune, Uldyssian does not yet suspect that Inarius — secret Prophet of the Cathedral of Light — has been subtly aiding his quest. Obsessed with restoring Sanctuary to its former glory, Inarius has been playing Uldyssian against the two great religions in a reckless attempt to topple them both. But another player has slipped back into the equation. The demon Lilith, once Inarius’s lover, seeks to use Uldyssian as her own pawn in a scheme to turn humans into an army of naphalem — godlike beings, more powerful than any angel or demon, who could overturn all Creation and elevate Lilith to supreme being.

The demon-backed Triune has fallen. All that now stands in Uldyssian’s path to freeing humanity is the Cathedral of Light and its charismatic leader the Prophet. But the Prophet is actually the renegade angel Inarius, who sees the world he created as his uncontested domain. Facing a cunning foe that would just as readily see Sanctuary destroyed than let it slip from his grasp, Uldyssian is blind to the others who would possess his world. Both the Burning Hells and the High Heavens now know of Sanctuary…and their warring hosts of demons and angels will stop at nothing to claim it.

An original tale of swords, sorcery, and timeless struggle based on the bestselling, award-winning M-rated computer game from Blizzard Entertainment. Intended for mature readers.

 

Speculation

It’s really good for Diablo III players who haven’t yet read The Sin War to read it in this Diablo the Sin War Archive. Back in January 2008, Blizzplanet interviewed Richard A. Knaak concerning Diablo: The Sin War, Birthright. That interview was the first sign that Diablo III was in development at least at a creative design stage:

Medievaldragon: How much of the book is creation of yours, and how involved is Chris Metzen behind the canon storyline of Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy? Do you think the ramifications of this book impact in the storyline of Diablo 3 the game?

Knaak: This is a pure collaboration between myself and Chris Metzen/Blizzard. All that is written is passed by him and the others there. This will be canon and has adjusted earlier info. The ramifications here will be used for any future project … and I ain’t writing for a dead game. I am not writing for a dead world … but a world with dead. ‘nuff said!

 

This novel was the first time Malthael was ever mentioned, along with the Angiris Council angels. That tells you some of what we will see in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls may have been designed long ago with The Sin War novel as the fountain from where most plots in Diablo III and its expansions spin around.

During our recent GamesCom 2013 interview with Josh Mosqueira and Kevin Martens, they mentioned Diablo III: Reaper of Souls will take us to Westmarch, Bloodmarch and the Pandemonium Fortress.

None of the plot of what players will be doing at Pandemoinum Fortress was revealed, but if you remember, in Diablo II players go into the Pandemonium Fortress where Tyrael provides three quests that lead you into the Burning Hells. The first quest deals with “The Fallen Angel” Izual in the outskirts of the Burning Hell.

There might be other motives for Malthael to wish to bring the Black Soulstone with all Prime Evils and Lesser evils contained within to the Pandemonium Fortress.

Either Malthael is going there to transfer the spirits of the Evils into the Worldstone — considering Diablo had some weird secret plan by tainting the Crystal Arch (part of Anu). The Worldstone is also known as Anu’s eye. Hint-hint. The evils were parts that spawned from Tathamet the dragon. This story is from Diablo III: Book of Cain. What if the goal is to unite all the elements of Tathamet into the Worldstone to take over creation?

Or what if the visit to the Pandemonium Fortress is to enter the Burning Hells? What if Malthael’s goal is to rescue Angel Inarius to reset creation? That could fit well with the next expansion featuring Angel Inarius as the next villain.

Coincidence? Around the time this Diablo: The Sin War Archive ships, is also coming out a brand-new Diablo III novel titled Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon.

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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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