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Blizzplanet @ Toy Fair 2012 – DC Unlimited World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 Action Figure Set and StarCraft Premium Series 1 Action Figure Set

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News, Toy Fair 2012 New York, World of Warcraft News

The DC Unlimited action figures can be found at the Diamond Comics Distributors booth # 4905. It has an open booth and a closed booth. In both, Toy Fair attendees will find the World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 and the StarCraft Premium Series 1 action figure sets.

The World of Warcraft Premium Series 4 set contains the Hallow’s End Nemesis: Headless Horseman (with a Sinister Squashling) and the Moonkin Wildmoon.

The StarCraft set contains Jim Raynor and Zeratul. All of these action figures are already on sale. Follow the links of each action figure name.

Share your thoughts at our vBulletin forums.

DC Unlimited Booth Gallery

DC Unlimited Booth Video

[In progress]

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Blizzplanet @ Toy Fair 2012 – Mega Bloks World of Warcraft

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Toy Fair 2012 New York, World of Warcraft News

During my visit to the Mega Bloks booth # 753, I found out some details all Toy Fair attendees should be aware of. It’s a closed booth. It’s very big inside, but it is a fortress with walls around the booth.

Talk to the ladies in the front desk, and request an appointment. They will write down your name, and provide you the time you can return for a one-on-one tour. Go check out other booths, and come back for your appointment.

As press, I was told to talk with Brendan Sera-Shriar (Mega Bloks Senior Community Manager) who could be found near the electric stair on the middle floor near the Javits Center entrance. There was the massive Mega Bloks Thrall seen at BlizzCon 2010 in all its glory. It’s massive. Like 8-10 feet tall. To its left is a big screen playing a video of the making of the Thrall statue from scratch. It took several hours to build it.

Brendan welcomed me nicely. He was very friendly, and you could feel through him how passionate he’s about working with Blizzard Entertainment. He’s a fan of the StarCraft and Warcraft video games, and told me he visits Blizzplanet. He sent me back to the Mega Bloks booth # 753, and an appointment was set.

At 1:00pm sharp, I was at their booth. Brendan walked me past the reinforced neosteel doors letting me walk into their domain where Mega Bloks vice president Andrew Sparkes showed me the well-guarded treasure. Now — what’s inside that nearly impenetrable fortress? You are going to be breath-taken. I was NOT PREPARED — to coin Illidan. I was expecting the Mega Bloks Thrall, the Mega Bloks Doomhammer or the Frostmourne.

Nope. None of those were there. On the back-right corner of their massive booth was a big table full of all kinds of World of Warcraft Mega Bloks figures. There were night elves, humans, orcs, Blood Elves, goblins, and several other races. I could see Deathwing, and Sindragosa. Horde Catapults, Alliance Ballistas, Wyverns, Gryphons. Goblin Trikes, Frostsaber mounts, Horde Zeppelins. Gyrocopters, and those weird-looking dwarf airplanes. The front gates of Orgrimmar, and the front gates of Stormwind (including the Valley of Heroes with the four statues, OMG!). Horde and Alliance flag standards. Arthas the Lich King. I clearly saw class figures too: in this cornucopia of Mega Bloks figures I saw a Warlock (with voidwalker), a human priest, and a shaman. I think I recall the representative say there was a tauren too. I also saw a wall with popular weapons: like the Ashbringer; axes, maces, staves, etc.

Near the massive table displaying all these figures was another display showcasing the small packaging boxes of individual sets, and bigger packaging sets. I have a feeling there will be some of you having a heart-stroke of pleasure. Yea, you-you, the one who loves to collect Mega Bloks type of merchandise.

Something Toy Fair attendees should know before entering Mega Bloks booth # 753 is that you are not allowed to take close-up photos. That’s why you see a widescreen view of this table. Attendees are not allowed to take photos of the packaging boxes. You can view them in person, though. Not all the artwork are final.

Visit the Mega Bloks Facebook. Make sure to participate in their Channel Your Inner Thrall contest for a chance at winning a custom-made life-sized Mega Bloks Doomhammer.

Details

Mega Bloks World of Warcraft: Fans can bring the incredibly immersive story of World of Warcraft to life with highly-detailed customizable figurines, dragons, vehicles, battle-scenes & more with the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft collection coming in Fall 2012 (age 8+). Mega Bloks World of Warcraft is the exclusive construction toy collection based on the world’s leading MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game).

“We are thrilled to team up with world leading brands such as World of Warcraft, Halo and Power Rangers,” said Vic Bertrand, Chief Innovation Officer of MEGA Brands. “We hope that building fans and collectors alike will appreciate the authenticity in our playsets that continue to offer endless possibilities to build, collect, customize and display.”
For more information on Mega Bloks Boys and Collectors products, please visit MEGA Brands at the American International Toy Fair, booth # 753 or http://www.megabrands.com.

Toy Fair: Mega Bloks Gallery

Toy Fair: Mega Bloks Booth Video

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Blizzplanet @ Toy Fair 2012 – USAopoly Monopoly: World of Warcraft and RISK: StarCraft

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News, Toy Fair 2012 New York, World of Warcraft News

Blizzard Entertainment recently announced their partnership with USAopoly, developers of the upcoming Monopoly®: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft®. I managed to blow the cover a couple days earlier as you might have seen in WoW Insider. (Mea Culpa)

Video camera in hand my first target to visit at the Toy Fair 2012 New York today was the USAopoly booth # 2822.

To my detriment, the USAopoly booth is a closed expo. You can’t walk in and view at your leisure. You will be guided by a representative like a one-on-one tour where you will be able to ask questions or hear the representative explain the board games’ concept. Take notes, folks. Attendees can talk to the lady at the front desk. She will either provide you an appointment, or you can wait outside. They have two tables with chairs and two TVs to wait for the next available representative to tour you through their products.

Jeanette presented me before one of the product representatives — Adam Sblendorio (USAopoly Art Director) — who filled me in on all I had to know about the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® and RISK®: StarCraft®.

MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft®

First question I threw his way and something you should know when you visit the closed booth: You can’t take photos or video.

That said, I witnessed before me the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game in all its glory. It was spread open on a table, and I could see its packaging box nearby standing on a display. Back in the 80s when I was a kid — and that was a long time ago — the MONOPOLY games were made of cardboard, and they used to wear off after a while and break in half over time. The MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game is glued on a strong rubber mat material about 1/4 thick. That tells you this product will be long-lasting, and worth its price.

The product I saw before me was astonishing. It’s built with great materials. The World of Warcraft artwork simply makes you drool. Something the representative wanted me to tell you guys is that the entire artwork of the board was developed by Blizzard Entertainment: that is — the board game artwork (each individual square, and the artwork at the center of the board), the cards, and the pieces are designed by the Blizzard Art Team. The only thing that can not be changed in the board game are the four corners which are part of the MONOPOLY brand.

I could see several Azeroth locations in each of the squares of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game. The ones I can remember are: Stormwind, Ironforge, Dark Portal, Icecrown, Twilight Highlands, Gnomeregan, Tanaris, Un’Goro Crater, Silithus, Nagrand, Terokkar Forest, Shadowmoon Valley and other areas of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms and Outland — just to name a few. There will be one or two elements from Mists of Pandaria in this board. One I know of is one of the pieces which fans will be able to vote on.

Something the director of marketing Jeanette Best wanted me to emphasize to our visitors is that [You] the fan will decide which of the ten options for the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft pieces will be the final pieces to ship with this board game. You can vote via Facebook here.

I really look forward to show you photos of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft® board game when we are able to review it around May 2012 or Summer 2012. Once you look the artwork on this board, you will fall in love with it as I did.

RISK®: StarCraft®

I have never played RISK before, but I’m certain this board game is going to be very popular among StarCraft fans. There’s actually dozens of StarCraft RISK UMS maps in Battle.net. Seeing RISK: StarCraft will make many an old-school StarCraft player wish to give this board game a try.

The representative could only show me the box art. The product is still in development, and even the box shown at the USAopoly booth might change a bit as it’s not final. Next to the display where I saw the RISK®: StarCraft® box, was a open board game of RISK: Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition. It has several pieces, and cards.

The representative told me Blizzard Entertainment wants these licensed board games to be easy to understand and accessible to everyone in the family. The RISK®: StarCraft® is developed to be like classic RISK. The Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition is too complex and customized for that license for example. Making the RISK®: StarCraft® like classic RISK, makes it so even your grandmother will understand the rules.

To give you an idea, here is a photo of the Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition as seen in the USAopoly website.

The RISK®: StarCraft® board game can be played by 2-6 players. There will be two heroes per race — including Kerrigan the Queen of Blades and Jim Raynor. I asked, and there won’t be elements of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in this board considering the expansion is not yet out. However, it’s based on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.

These products will be on sale on May 2012. Blizzplanet will have the opportunity to review this product, and Jeanette will be in contact about giveaway copies for our visitors. Stay tuned.

Note: Those who die to see the Epic Weapons Doomhammer LARP Replica — USAopoly is showing off one right on top of the MONOPOLY: World of Warcraft board game.

Share your thoughts about these products in our vBulletin forums.

Blizzplanet: Toy Fair 2012 USAopoly Booth Video

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The Art of Blizzard by Insight Editions

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2011, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

THE ART OF BLIZZARD is a new product slated for September 2012 which collects over 300 pieces of art from Blizzard Entertainment’s different art style teams: concept artists, cinematics, 3D modelers, etc.

This 304-page book appears listed in the Insight Editions Complete Catalog given to me at their 2011 New York Comic Con booth. Check out our video at the bottom of the page. I browse the pages of the catalog to show the ART OF BLIZZARD entry and its illustration samples — video available in 1080p HD and lower resolutions.

Keep an eye on Blizzplanet for new details. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for any breaking news.

Overview

No company has impacted videogames and global pop culture quite like Blizzard Entertainment. From its humble beginnings as a console game publisher in 1991 to breakout franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and World of Warcraft, Blizzard has created stunning worlds of science fiction and fantasy. The company’s distinctive gameplay and storytelling styles have captivated an international fan base in the tens of millions whose passion cannot be quelled.

Twenty years after opening its doors Blizzard boasts the largest massively multiplayer online gaming universe, and is the standout leader in creatively driven game development. An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard celebrates the studio’s genesis by examining the astonishing talents behind these games and showcasing more than three hundred pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches.

Packed with illustrations that cover everything from creature design to the breathtaking work of the Blizzard Cinematics Team, The Art of Blizzard is the ultimate gift to gamers worldwide.

Details

Publication Date: September 2012
Publisher: Insight Editions LLC
Format: Hardcover , 304pp
Dimensions: 9 1/4″ x 12 3/4″
Price: $ 50.00
ISBN-13: 9781608870271
ISBN: 1608870278

 

 

Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

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Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2011, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

The 2011 New York Comic Con was celebrated at the Jacobs & Javits Center through October 13-16. Gear on hand, I landed at the event on Saturday and visited the Insight Editions booth in search of details of the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain.

From there I headed to the Simon & Schuster, Inc. / Premiere Collectible booths to find out if there were any upcoming novels in the horizon. There was no exhibition or posters of upcoming products, but they stock up their tables with all the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III tie-in novels, and continuously played all Blizzard Entertainment cinematics on a screen monitor to catch the attention of bystanders.

Nate Kenyon signed copies of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres at the Premiere Collectibles booth.

The Legendary Pictures booth exhibited the prop items used in their films. No details of the Warcraft film surfaced when I asked a representative, nor will there be updates at BlizzCon.

The DC Comics and Diamond Distributors booths were mostly focused on The New 52 and the Batman: Arkham City video game this year. The booths were crowded, but unless I missed checking every corner of the booth space for the first time I didn’t see any World of Warcraft or StarCraft comic books and action figures.

Finally, the ESL Intel Extreme Masters tournament took place at the New York Comic Con with StarCraft II matches.

Check out the photos and videos taken at each booth.

New York Comic Con 2011: ESL Intel Extreme Masters – GosuGatored vs reis Video

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in New York Comic Con 2011, StarCraft 2 News

While exploring the Artist Alley, I heard the word “StarCraft II” and headed toward the huge screen at the Intel section. The ESL Intel Extreme Masters 2011/12 Season Global Challenge New York was in da house. I couldn’t believe how many people were there watching the event.

I got there on Saturday around 3:00pm to witness a match between GosuGatored and reis. Before their match, the host interviewed them. Check out the video I captured below — available in 1080p HD, and lower resolutions.

The second bootleg video shows the match between GosuGatored vs reis after the interview shown above. It lasts around 16 minutes and a half. Video available in 720p HD, and lower resolutions.

Photo Gallery

 

 

Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

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New York Comic Con 2011: Legendary Pictures Booth

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in New York Comic Con 2011, World of Warcraft News

The Legendary Pictures booth had some props used in the film displayed inside a crystal box including the eyeglasses of Clark Kent, the Kryptonite, and Man of Steel newspaper shown in Superman Returns, the Batsuit costume and the Batmobile used in The Dark Knight, the monkey animatronic, Teddy’s finger and Baby Carlos used in The Hangover II film, the Spartan sword and the Immortal mask from “300”, and the Nite Owl mask used in The Watchmen.

I talked to the gentleman explaining in the video that these props were used in the Legendary Pictures films. He wasn’t able to spill the beans on anything about the upcoming World of Warcraft film, and confirmed there won’t be any announcements made at BlizzCon 2011 to his knowledge.

The DC Comics booth didn’t have any World of Warcraft or StarCraft II action figure, nor the graphic novels, neither the Diamond Distributor booth. Hopefully, we’ll see some of these at BlizzCon 2011.

 

 

Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

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New York Comic Con 2011: Diablo III: Book of Cain

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2011

First thing I did when I entered the New York Comic Con with my Press badge was to visit the Insight Editions booth # 1939. The Diablo III: Book of Cain poster was hanging on the booth’s wall for everyone to see.

There the booth staff provided me the Insight Editions Complete Catalog to take home. The catalog offered me some of the artists who contributed exclusive art for Diablo III: Book of Cain.

Artists

  • Brom (Blizzard Entertainment Artist)
  • Mark Gibbons (aka Red Knuckle, Blizzard Entertainment Artist)
  • Jim Gurney
  • John Howe
  • Alan Lee
  • Iain McCaig
  • Jean-Baptiste Monge
  • Adrian Smith
  • Petar Meseldzija

Gerald Brom (Brom) is a commercial artist who has done illustrations for Diablo III and World of Warcraft. In the film scene he’s provided art for Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Ghosts of Mars, Scooby Doo, Van Helsing.

Mark Gibbons (Red Knuckle) is a veteran artist who worked for Welsh kid’s TV, Games Workshop, Eidos Interactive, Lead Artist at Sony’s Cambridge Studio, and currently a Senior Artist at Blizzard Entertainment.

ScorchHellfire, in the comments section, pointed out a mind-blowing detail about two of the artists behind the artwork of Diablo III: Book of Cain.

John Howe and Alan Lee were both Conceptual Designers in the film trilogy … (gasp and awe) Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings (2001), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

Jim Gurney is the artist and author of Dinotopia, and a recurring illustrator for the National Geographic Magazine. His bios says: “He specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations. He is also a dedicated plein air (outdoor) painter and sketcher, believing that making studies directly from observation fuels his imagination. His most recent book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (2010) was Amazon’s #1 bestselling book on painting for over 52 weeks.”

Iain McCaig is an internationally recognized and award winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today. He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One—The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two—Attack of the Clones, and: Star Wars Episode Three—Revenge of the Sith (He designed Queen Amidala and Darth Maul), and he shares credits for Terminator II and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Jean-Baptiste Monge is a French fantasy author and illustrator who won the 10th edition of the International Science-Fiction Festival’s 2009 Art & fact Award. The award was given to him by … Jim Gurney (Dinotopia). Hello there!

Adrian Smith is a well-known British artist among video gamers. He is credited for his illustrations for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k, Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Forge, Kryomek Games, The Black Library, and Magic: The Gathering cards.

Petar Meseldzija is a Serbian fantasy and comic book artist and illustrator who began his career in 1981, publishing the comic strip “Krampi” in the Stripoteka, one of the best known comic magazines in the country. He worked in the European version of the Tarzan comic book, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Grimm Press), Children of the Lamp series, and worked for Scholastic Corporation.

Looks like Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions hired the top guns of the industry to develop the best-quality product possible for the very demanding Diablo III fans.

Illustration Samples

Another interesting bit I found out in this catalog will be welcomed by international Diablo III fans. An eBook version of Diablo III: Book of Cain seems to be in plans for $9.99 — the ISBN for the eBook version is: 978-1-60887-082-0 … doesn’t show up yet on search engines.

There are two small images from interior pages which show the Diablo character entry and the Angiris Council. The image on the Angiris Council seems to show a massive temple with the front having the sculpted face of an unknown angel. The Temple is located in The Silver City.

The images are very high resolution, but without an amplifying lens, it’s very difficult to read. The text is so tiny. I managed to zoom in with my HD video camera and Photoshop CS4.

Excerpt

Deckard Cain: DIABLO, THE LORD OF TERROR, is the most powerful of the three Prime Evils, despite being the youngest of the brothers. The other two being Mephisto and Baal.

In his previous incarnations on Sanctuary, Diablo has possessed a human vessel and transformed the host body. These humanoid forms have a number of features in common: a pointed chin, sharp teeth that protrude from bony gums, and a pair of horns that curve upward.

His true form could be vastly different. In the lore of the ages, it is said that Diablo takes the form of his viewer’s greatest fear. According to one source, he once terrified himself with his own reflection.

Some sources make reference to an almost insectoid or reptilian true form for Diablo, with overlapping plates or scales of skin and a deadly tail or tentacle.

More contemporary reports theorize that the lord has been affected permanently by the time he has spent in Sanctuary, his forehead scarred by an enduring gash where the Soulstone was embedded.

Diablo III: Book of Cain – Description

In Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo and Diablo II, the recurring character of Deckard Cain delivered quests, accompanied the brave adventurer, and, as the last of the Horadrim, provided a link to the greater history of the world of Sanctuary. Ever mysterious during these appearances, Cain hinted at a larger story, providing snippets of it in his notebook.

Diablo III: Book of Cain is Cain’s formal record of this greater tale — a dissertation on the lore of the Diablo universe, told by one who has witnessed and participated in some of the epic events that make up the eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.

Designed as an “in-world” artifact from the Diablo universe, Diablo III: Book of Cain includes Cain’s revealing meditations, as well as dozens of sketches and color artworks by Brom, Mark Gibbons, Jim Gurney, John Howe, Alan Lee, Iain McCaig, Jean-Baptist Monge, and Adrian Smith depicting the angelic and demonic beings who wage constant war with one another.

Known for blockbuster hits including world of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and numerous Game of the Year awards.

Diablo III: Book of Cain (Hardcover) 7 1/4″ x 10″ – 160 pages.

If you loved the preview, “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest flash updates on Diablo III: Book of Cain. I requested preview images to Insight Editions back on July, and a week ago again to a Blizzard Entertainment representative.

NYCC – Insight Editions Booth

This short video shows the Diablo III: Book of Cain displayed at the Insight Editions Booth # 1939 in New York Comic Con — October 13-16, 2011. Remember to pick the video resolution — available in 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD.

Insight Editions Complete Catalog – Diablo III: Book of Cain

This video shows me browsing the Insight Editions Complete Catalog at page 8 where the publisher describes the book, two illustrations, and plans for a eBook version. Remember to pick the video resolution — available in 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD and 1080p HD.

 

UPDATE: An 8-page preview is now available.

Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

 

Nate Kenyon (Left) and Blizzplanet's Medievaldragon (Right) at New York Comic Con 2011

New York Comic Con 2011: Blizzplanet @ Nate Kenyon Book Signing

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, New York Comic Con 2011, StarCraft 2 News

I attended the New York Comic Con 2011 today, Saturday around noon, to check out what new books might be in the horizon from Simon & Schuster, Inc. (Gallery Books and Pocket Books).

I found displayed on their booth table all the latest StarCraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo books for sale, and the posters hanging on the walls. I love how the publisher supports Blizzard Entertainment. Oh, and how forget the big screen playing StarCraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematics on a loop. As soon as anyone walks through the alley anyone hears and recognizes it — they have to stop and check out the booth and all it has to offer.

I recommend going to the Simon & Schuster booth # 2612 tomorrow Sunday to grab your copy in person, and to talk with the staff.

I was planning to stick around for a couple of hours, but a head honcho at Simon & Schuster’s booth told me Nate Kenyon would be there Saturday at 5:30pm EDT. I was surprised he recognized me on the fly. I didn’t even have to introduce myself — “You are from Blizzplanet”. I hadn’t been in contact with him, so he didn’t know I was coming. He remembers me from two years ago when I interviewed Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at 2009 New York Comic Con.

Eldorian interviewed by phone the Stoker Award Finalist and Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers member Nate Kenyon a few weeks ago to talk about his latest book inspired in a Blizzard Entertainment video game … StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres. I provided the questions — some gathered from the lore community, and some of mine after I read the copy provided by Simon & Schuster a few weeks prior to its launch.

You can read my review of StarCraft: Ghost Spectres here.

Knowing Nate Kenyon would be there at New York Comic Con, I decided to stay to meet Nate Kenyon in person, and to take some screenshots at the Premiere Collectibles booth (# 2617) — in front of Simon & Schuster, Inc.’s booth (# 2612).

This guy is short of awesome in person. We spoke for a while about his StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres work. It took him about three months of deep research of the StarCraft universe. He had a lot of communication with the Blizzard Creative Team to flesh out their guideline for this story Blizzard wanted to share with StarCraft fans.

Nate Kenyon read previous StarCraft novels — including those by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden, and the StarCraft mangas (StarCraft: Frontline and StarCraft: Ghost Academy). He confessed he also read some of the StarCraft Wiki out there, but he’s aware not everything in the wiki is accurate, so whenever he found something of interest in his research he would contact Blizzard Entertainment to double-check for accuracy and to get some extra details on that.

After I was done talking about StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres, I was starting a question — and before I could even say three words he filled in what I was going to ask. He’s a mind-reader too: Diablo.

Nate Kenyon is writing a new Diablo book for Blizzard Entertainment. This is the first Diablo book to be in development since 2007 when Richard A. Knaak finished the Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy with book 3: The Veiled Prophet. It’s been four years of hiatus with no new novels except for the Diablo Archive which collects several previous books in a single tome of 752 pages.

Nate Kenyon told me his upcoming Diablo novel’s timeline is somewhere between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III. Due to his contract terms — think of a NDA — he’s not able to talk in-depth about it yet, but he managed to provide that bit of info — and that we should expect his novel somewhere within Q1 2012 — sorta in between March and I’d add and speculate possibly up to the Summer because it’s hard to predict when Diablo III will ship, if there might be delays, or if the novel will hit bookstores a month or longer before or after Diablo III ships.

For now the plan is somewhere around March 2012. The new Diablo novel is still Untitled, but you can Pre-Order it already in the following formats: Hardcover, Kindle device, or the Kindle PC app — you know you can’t refuse to pre-order it. It’s a Diablo novel, and it is a Diablo III tie-in. /ends hypnotic suggestion

I have to thank Simon & Schuster for their continuous cooperation and support over the past years to help us inform our visitors. The Premiere Collectibles staff, including Josh Smallbone (Premiere Collectibles Vice President), were very polite too. I also have to thank the Producer and the Host of the ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters — 2011 / 2012 Season Global Challenge New York. The ESL organizers were very supportive with Blizzard Entertainment and their partner Premiere Collectibles by allowing Nate Kenyon to tell the StarCraft II audience at New York Comic Con to walk by the Premiere Collectibles booth to attend Nate Kenyon’s book signing session. Visit, Watch and Read the ESL Intel Extreme Masters website for the Season Global Challenge New York Tournament results.


Check out below the photos, and videos of my visit to the Simon & Schuster, In.c Booth # 2612. You might find some interesting stuff.

Simon & Schuster Booth Photos

In this photos you can see Nate Kenyon signing copies of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres, and a quick view at the Premiere Collectibles and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Booths. Remember you can pick different resolutions depending your internet connection speed: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD.


 

 

Simon & Schuster Booth Videos

The videos show the Premiere Collectibles and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Booths. The latter was displaying the Blizzard Entertainment cinematics on an LG Monitor.

 

 

Premiere Collectibles Booth Videos

 

 

Blizzplanet: 2011 New York Comic Con Coverage

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GamesCom 2011 – StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm [Screenshots]

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in GamesCom 2011, StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard Entertainment released several screenshots of the Evolution Chamber UI which allows you to upgrade your units in between each mission. Kaldir and Char scenarios and critters. Some of the mission objectives are shown.

The Char and Kaldir missions have the same title, which makes me think the War for the Brood title refers to a chapter within the Heart of the Swarm campaign.  The mission in Char sets players to liberate the Zerg Homeworld from a renegade Queen named Za’gara. With the defeat of the Queen of Blades, and her loss of powers, Za’gara wishes to claim control of the Swarm.

Kerrigan won’t be alone in this crusade to regain control of the Zerg. Former allies who served her when she was the Queen of Blades will assist her: Abathur and Izsha.

Players must race through Char to capture several Baneling eggs left behind by the Queen of Blades, before Za’gara takes control of them. That mission will introduce an area of Char not seen before. Lands of acid pools which give the Banelings their explosive chemical traits.

Among the first missions, surely to be in the Heart of the Swarm beta test, is a visit to planet Kaldir — an icy planet with unbearable cold temperatures and chilling wind storms. The mission in Kaldir is titled: Silence their Cries.

Kerrigan and her swarm travel to Kaldir to reclaim the Na’fash Brood, sent there by her long ago to possibly experiment evolution traits against freezing conditions — not a bad place to hide from enemies. Or so it seemed.

The Protoss have a settlement down there.

Kaldir is where players will have to challenge themselves to survive the Flash Freeze, which is the equivalent to the lava rising mechanics in planet Redstone III, but in a different and chilling kind of way.

The native fauna is said to play a role in this Kaldir mission. They look like furry beasts off a Star Wars environment. It’s unknown how these beasts will be of importance to the Zerg. Players can also recover other Zerg units fallen to the Flash Freeze by freeing them from their icy prisons.

The Evolution Chamber

In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm the Evolution Chamber room is the equivalent to Wings of Liberty’s Hyperion Engineer Room.

The Hyperion has Rory Swann. The Evoluntiojn Chamber has Kerrigan’s ally: Abathur. While this creature is new to the series, he served the Queen of Blades before Heart of the Swarm.

The Evolution Chamber offers several upgrades for units as seen in some of the screenshots revealed by Blizzard Entertainment.

In the Engineering Room, you could click the console to see the units available, and you could see in the background some of the unit models. The background would add a new unit as you progressed randomly from mission to mission acquiring new units.

In Heart of the Swarm, the unit selection screen is updated as well, and players can see the unit models.  It seems there will be a few mutations or sub-species among base units.  For example, the Zergling can evolve into Banelings in Wings of Liberty, and continue to do so in Heart of the Swarm. However, now players can evolve into other variants such as the Swarmling.  One of the screenshots shows another variation called Raptors.

Baneling

Centrifugal Hooks: Baneling move speed increased by 25%. This mutation allows the Baneling to curl into a ball, and adds a row of flexing hooks to the Baneling’s carapace. This allows the Baneling to roll effortlessly along the terrain, increasing move speed. — requires Mutagen x 1

Other upgrades and cost requirement in the screenshot: Viscous Discarge (1), Rupture (2), and Evolve Baneling (2)

Zergling

Swarmling: Swarmlings perform an additional embryo split while gestating in the egg sac. This mutation provides three Swarmlings for the same Mineral cost as two Zerglings.

  • Rapid Genesis: This modification enables the cells of gestating Zerglings to reproduce at unprecedented speeds. This allows a full set of Zerglings to be birthed in the space of less than 1 second. (Zerglings train instantly)Other upgrades and cost requirement in the screenshot: Metabolic Boost (1), Posthumous Mitosis (1) and Rapid Genesis (2).

Roach

Upgrades: Chininous Plating (1), Bile Ducts (1), Organic Carapace (2) and Evolve Roach (2).

Select Battle Focus

Kerrigan is able to change her Battle Focus between missions. The UI shows Kerrigan’s unit model onscreen surrounded by four trees with five unlockable abilities per tree which can be accessed as players progress through missions.

The two initial trees available are the Spec Ops and the Corruption.

One of the screenshots shows the following Spec Ops tree ability:

Psionic Shadow: Kerrigan creates a Psionic Shadow of herself that deals half damage. Duration: 60 sec, Cooldown: 30 sec, Energy: 50.

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GamesCom 2011 – Blizzard DOTA at BlizzCon 2011

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in GamesCom 2011, StarCraft 2 News

StarCraft II Senior Game Designer Jonny Ebbert revealed at GamesCom 2011 today plans to launch the Blizzard DOTA mod around the same time Heart of the Swarm is released, according to Eurogamer.

After seeing so many great player-made maps based on Aeon of Strife and Defense of the Ancients, the designers felt inspired to create their own adaptation of these legendary StarCraft and Warcraft III custom mods using updated graphics, customized character models, and epic new environments.

Blizzard DOTA will be a 5-vs.-5 mini-game with a chess-board theme, featuring three lanes, two bases, creep-based farming, and an emphasis on protecting key structures. Players will get to choose among 12 iconic heroes from the Blizzard universe, including superstars like Kerrigan, Sylvanas, Jim Raynor, and Muradin Bronzebeard, each with his or her own unique abilities and tactics.

It’s important to note that all of these custom maps are still in their formative stages and do not yet have a release date. While BlizzCon attendees have a unique opportunity to check out early demos, these maps will continue to be tuned, polished, and possibly even augmented as the development process continues to ensure that they’re epic, balanced, and—most importantly—fun to play. — BlizzCon 2010, Source: Battle.net

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Diablo III Hahnentorburg Timelapse Video and Beta Key Contest

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Diablo III Beta, GamesCom 2011

Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the timelapse video of The Making of the Diablo Mural shown at Hahnentorburg Rudolfplatz. It is important to all GamesCom 2011 attendees to attend Hahnentorburg for a chance at a Diablo III beta key. Contest details at the bottom. Additionally, IGN UK nominated Diablo III for the IGN People’s Choice Award. You can vote for Diablo III here.

As part of Blizzard Entertainment’s presence at gamescom 2011, artist Manfred Stader has created a bespoke piece of Diablo III street art. The image depicts Diablo accompanied by demons bursting forth from the very streets of Cologne. What’s unique about the image, aside from the content, is that it has been designed to be viewed in full 3D perspective. As a result, it produces an unnerving glimpse into The Burning Hells themselves.

The artist began production of this very special piece on Monday August 15, situated at Hahnentorburg Rudolfplatz in central Cologne.

Don’t forget we have also organised a competition based on your photographs of this artwork — you can find details about that here.

Diablo’s Burning Hells contest: Win Access to the Beta for one of our Upcoming Games

Attention gamescom goers: a portal to Diablo’s Burning Hells has been sighted at Rudolfplatz in Cologne! To celebrate this terrifying development, Blizzard is giving those witnessing the event a chance to win access to the beta phase for one of our upcoming games.

If you are in Cologne and wish to participate, please follow these simple instructions:

  • Head over to Rudolfplatz, next to the Hahnentor. (map link).
  • Gather up the courage to stand on the brink of the portal and have a friend take a picture of you. Make sure you put on your bravest face to confront Diablo!
  • On Twitter, post a link to the image with the hashtag #D3GC11, and an “@reply” to our @Diablo account.

Members of the Blizzard community team will look over the posted pictures during the weeks following gamescom and pick the best ones. Please consider following the @Diablo account so Blizzard can get in touch with you via direct message in case you’re one of the lucky winners.

For all the details on the contest, please read the rules available here.

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GamesCom 2011 – Diablo III Console Now Serious

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

Diablo III Lead Designer Josh Mosqueira revealed at the press conference Blizzard Entertainment is actively searching for the best console developers in the industry. In short, that sounds like the studio is no longer researching if Diablo III console is viable. Now it’s serious business. It’s still not an official announcement, and it won’t affect the shipment of Diablo III for PC and Mac apparently. Nevertheless, this is definitely an open house invitation to all programmers, designers, and artists to submit video reels and resumes to Blizzard’s Diablo III Console Team.

“Today, we’re trying to build the best console team at Blizzard. We’re looking for programmers, designers, artists who think their dream job would be to bring Diablo to the console. Trust me, it is a dream job. All I can say is it’s going to be awesome. Stay tuned.” — Source: Eurogamer