Blizzplanet has updated the BlizzCon countdown web application in anticipation of this year’s event. If you already have this saved on your phone then you don’t need to do anything as the countdown should have already updated. If you don’t have it, follow these steps on your phone and get excited for BlizzCon! This is designed to be used on your iOS or Android mobile phone.
2.If you are on iOS a button should popup with instructions. If it doesn’t, tap the Arrow button on the bottom bar of Safari. If you are on Android it varies from device to device but look for an Add Bookmark to Home screen option.
3. Tap Add to Home Screen
4. Choose a Name and hit Add.
You will now have a nice BlizzCon icon on your phone’s home screen.
Update: April Fools’ Day – April 1, 2014
However, a real Yrel short-story may be in the works
— Micky Neilson (@MickyNeilson) April 2, 2014
I’ve been waiting quite a while for the NDA to wear off on this. I am proud to announce, in a BlizzPlanet Exclusive, the next World of Warcraft novel, World of Warcraft: Yrel: Heart of Draenor! Just as World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde had a writer new to the Warcraft franchise behind it, so will Heart of Dreanor: the famous Tara Gilesbie!
In the press details I was given by Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer for Blizzard Entertainment, he explained this novel will bridge the gap between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor by giving readers a look into one of the expansion’s lead characters, Yrel. The story will chronicle Yrel’s journey from a simple priestess at Karabor, to her witnessing the formation of the Iron Horde, ultimately leading to her first encounter with the player character (done similarly in Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War).
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Ms. Gilesbie,” Micky said in regards to the upcoming novel. He also mentioned we may be seeing a forbidden romance in Yrel’s adventures which will heavily affect her role in Warlords of Draenor.
He also clarified that, following another of Shadow of the Horde‘s traditions, Heart of Draenor will be a darker and more mature fare than most Warcraft novels. Due to this, I’ve had to censor the excerpt provided later on in the article slightly for the BlizzPlanet readership.
“We’ve seen how massively popular the pairing of Jaina and Kalecgos was in Tides of War, and Thrall and Aggra presented in-game is still considered one of our best works here at Blizzard. So it was natural to have another unique and well written romance. I wont’ say who catches Yrel’s eye, but I’ll give you a hint: his dad’s the leader of the Iron Horde.”
Just imagine the conflict that’s going to come from that! It looks like Yrel won’t just be Warcraft’s Joan of Arc, but perhaps their Romeo and Julliet as well?
As for our newest Warcraft author, Tara Gilesbie is a world renowned writer who, like many in today’s age, got her start on the internet. She is best known for her novella My Immortal, a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead-style take on the popular Harry Potter series of books; which chronicles Harry’s adventures through the eyes of a mentally challenged vampire student attending Hogwarts. Originally published for free, the full work can be read here if you want to get a taste of Gilesbie’s unique writing style before Heart of Draenor is out.
While I could not reach Tara herself, I was given this quote from her: “I m sooooo eksited to work on dis story! Fangz (geddit becuz Im Goffik) Blizzurd for givin me the change to work with u guys1″
I was also given a very short excerpt from Yrel: Heart of Draenor, detailing a scene between Yrel and her forbidden lover. As this is a spoiler, I’ll leave it under the read-more.
A new Pandaria faction story has been uploaded the official World of Warcraft site, this time focusing on everyone’s favorite farming, Harvest Moon-esque pandaren, the Tillers!
“The Untamed Valley” was written by Robert Brooks, who has also authored “Death from Above”, and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls story “The End of her Journey”. Writing about simple farmers may appear a far cry from Brooks’ earlier focus on giant Old God worshiping insects and demon-slaying, light-blessed warriors, but to bring out a cliche, appearances can be deceiving.
Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm Overview panel. Your panelists are: Dustin Browder (game director), Alan Dabiri (lead software engineer), Sam Didier (art director), and Chris Sigaty (production director).
Browder: Hello BlizzCon. This is kind of a dream panel for me here. These are all the guys that I hang out in the office with all the time. We play board games together, we play “Dungeons and Dragons” together, so I get a chance to come up on the stage and talk about the game we have been working on for the last couple of the years is an absolute blast. We got Alan Dabiri, lead software engineer, we have got, Samwise Didier here art director, and we got Chris Sigaty, production director.
Alright, we are gonna talk to a little bit about what we are working on for “Heroes of the Storm”. So Heroes of the Storm is a lot of different things. It is a big game, we have been working on for a long time, but I am gonna try to boil it down to some sort of key points for you guys.
It’s about getting these Blizzard heroes into the game. It’s about trying to create an environment, where we can bring all of the heroes from all of our worlds, into one single amazing game.
It’s about fun with friends, and this seems kind of obvious, I guess; but it’s about playing with your buddies. This is a team game. We want to focus it on team work, and working together as a group and it’s about these battlegrounds, these new ways to play games of this genre. New challenges, new strategies and new tactics. And of course, for us it’s about paying homage …read more
Source: Blizzplanet Heroes
Many StarCraft II novels by Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Nate Kenyon, Tracy Hickman, Graham McNeil are available on Kindle for only $1.99. These can also be read via Kindle Cloud (Adobe Flash Player) on your PC/Mac by login into your Amazon account. Here’s how to buy and access your novel on your internet browser: […] …read more
Source: Blizzplanet StarCraft II
Greetings everyone, my name is Andy “Pandy” Go, I am very happy and thrilled that I am now part of the Blizzplanet Team. I have always been a loyal fan to Blizzplanet ever since the website started back in 2003. I have always been a huge Blizzard fan from Starcraft to Diablo to Warcaft and now Hearthstone.
I hope to provide you all the in-depth information and latest news of all Blizzard Games, and mainly Hearthstone.
Hi readers and welcome to my first editorial type article. With the release of Patch 5.4’s trailer (see it here if you haven’t already), the debate on whether or not Blizzard is biased towards the Horde in content development has risen again. Its a subject that really came to a head with the release of Cataclysm, enough so that Blizzard actually had Dave Kosak make a blog post, “Dev Watercooler: Faction Favoritism“. It was very negatively received, and in fact was seen by many as further proof there was faction bias favoring the Horde enough to be detrimental to the Alliance among Blizzard’s developers. So, does this faction favoritism really exist? Is Blizzard ignoring half their playerbase because they can’t muster the effort to to create content for a faction they don’t like? Or is this all overblown outcry from WoW’s notoriously unpleaseable fanbase?
Hello, my name is Ian Bates, more commonly known as the Red Shirt Guy, and I am happy to say I am now Blizzplanet’s newest contributor! In the coming days, weeks, months etc I hope to provide a variety of, perhaps not news but “flavor” articles for the site. You can expect lots of speculative ideas on future content, as I love imagining expansions, zones, where the game could go. I’m also planning on doing an article about the current “faction bias” issue that has reemerged with patch 5.3.
I hope you will enjoy these future articles and that they will help make Blizzplanet a fun read for all fans of Blizzard’s products.
Popular cosplayer and Cryptozoic ambassador Christina Sims has joined the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Community Manager Team to take care of the Hearthstone forums and other geeky tasks CMs usually do.
Phenteo: Hello Hearthlings!
I am very excited to announce our new member of our Community team, Zeriyah. Zeriyah is extremely talented and really loves TCGs/CCGs. She’s really excited to be here and very eager to work with all of you in the community!
Zeriyah will be the voice for the players to the devs and she’ll be the one who can take information from the devs and relay it back to you. For those of you who use Twitter, you can find her at @CM_Zeriyah http://www.twitter.com/CM_Zeriyah
As Zeriyah will be taking over the reins of the community, I’m going to be going back to focus on all of our games again! I’ll still be around and poke my head in once in a while. If any of you would like to say hi feel free to ping me on Twitter too! @CM_Phenteo http://www.twitter.com/CM_Phenteo
Zeriyah: Hello Hearthlings! I’m happy to be a part of the Blizzard community team. I look forward to talking with all of you as we build this amazing new community. — source: Hearthstone General Forums
The Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft game developer now shares the new Blizzard Timeline detailing the 20-year history of Blizzard Entertainment. It covers nearly every major event, beginning in 1991 – when Mike Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Allen Adham founded Silicon & Synapse, the company that would become Blizzard all the way to the present day.
It’s a very thrilling compilation for those who have been old-school players for over a decade, and an informative place for newcomers to learn more about their favorite game developer.
Ghostcrawler published a new Dev Watercooler article titled: The Role of Role. It focuses on the role changes to be introduced in Mists of Pandaria. The press event will provide tons of information about the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion. There are still many features not revealed by the developers at BlizzCon. They only showed what was ready to share at the time.
A monsoon is coming. We will soon inundate you with Mists of Pandaria information, starting with the upcoming media event and everything that follows. It’s going to be a very exciting time for World of Warcraft, and we are all super impatient for it to happen.
But… we’re not quite there yet. I want to make that clear upfront, because this blog isn’t directly Mists of Pandaria related. You won’t find any announcements here, just a philosophical discussion that you may or may not find interesting. If you’re looking for thrilling announcements, you know what I’m going to say: Soon™.
Blizzard Entertainment invited Blizzplanet to the Mists of Pandaria press event to be held through March 13-15th. We are taking questions from Blizzplanet visitors exclusively about Mists of Pandaria.
1. I invite everyone to please read the Mists of Pandaria BlizzCon Panel Transcript Archive. Once you read and digest all the panels feel free to elaborate your questions internally.
2. Submit your questions at our new vBulletin forum.
Note: Many thanks for your continuous support ordering Blizzard licensed products through Blizzplanet. This made possible to acquire a vBulletin license, and the upcoming Eldorian’s trip to Blizzard. Thank you.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Press Kit
This section gathers all the material Blizzard Entertainment provided Blizzplanet network manager Eldorian at the BlizzCon 2011 Press Room.
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Revealed
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – Fact Sheet
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria – FAQ
- BlizzCon 2011 Press Screenshots
World of Warcraft: Intro to Mists of Pandaria
Browse through the Transcript Archive of each panel.
- Pet Battle System
- Continent of Pandaria
- Creatures of Pandaria
- Pandaria Zones Preview
- Pandaren Race Features
- Continent of Pandaria Preview
- PvE Scenarios, PvE Battlegrounds & Challenge Mode Dungeons
- Dungeon Battlegrounds, Arenas & Major Class Changes
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Class Talent Panel
Dungeons & Raids Panel
Not sure if Blizzard will ever release video games for the PS Vita, but Gamestop alerted me the PlayStation Vita Limited Edition will be released next week, on February 15, 2012. The other versions will be available on February 22nd.
There are four models to choose from:
PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle ( available one week early, 2/15/12)
- Front and back multitouch screens, motion sensors and Six Axis sensors
- Catch every detail with the PlayStation Vita system’s stunning, multitouch 5-inch OLED display
- Feel the full-on intensity of First Person Shooters with Dual Analog Sticks
- Take on your friends – or the whole world â€” anywhere, anytime with Wi-Fi or alwayson 3G
- Blur the lines between entertainment and reality with breakthrough features such as front and back touch, motion sensors and augmented reality.
- Get into the biggest and best games – only on PlayStation Vita.
- Take on your friends – or the whole world – anywhere, anytime with always-on 3G and Wi-Fi
- Chat with others on the fly – in the midst of multiplayer action or while watching videos.
The Diablo III Demon Hunter Jacket is shipping already, and stocks seem high enough for you to catch one of your size. Don’t waste time. Make sure to benefit from the current 10% off promo code at checkout.
Type Promotion Code: LUVHERTZ
This offer expires at 11:59 PM PST on Monday, February 13, 2012, so don’t wait!
*can’t be combined with any other offers, sale prices, or discounts
Check out the T-shirts and Hoodies currently available:
- World of Warcraft Fall 2011 T-shirt Collection
- StarCraft II Summer 2011 T-shirts
- Diablo III T-shirts
Spend $40 in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III T-shirts and Hoodies (other brands too) and get 10% Off during checkout.
Type Promotion Code: LUVHERTZ
This offer expires at 11:59 PM PST on Monday, February 13, 2012, so don’t wait!
*can’t be combined with any other offers, sale prices, or discounts
- World of Warcraft Fall 2011 T-shirt Collection
- StarCraft II Summer 2011 T-shirts
- Diablo III T-shirts
Bashiok’s coffee maker pot went dry last night and decided to keep himself awake with a bombardment of questions from the community via Twitter.
Kultbot: So chat channels are still part of the game?
Bashiok: They’re in there right now. Unless people are expecting general open channels? We’ve consistently said we won’t have those.
witwix: Is there going to be as much incentive to sit around and MF for 14 hours at a time? Or is the end game plan more WoWesque?
Bashiok: It will be similar to D2, but emphasis is off boss runs and on exploring the world.
IamBGriffs: Any word when news about runes will be released?
Bashiok: We’re planning that out. Its in and working. Not too much longer.
Bargo_Gosu: Does this include the skill system?
Bashiok: Skill and rune systems are intrinsically linked.
Darth_caesar: Is there any bonus to pre-release bonus to pre-ordering the CE?
Bashiok: I’m not aware of any pre-order bonuses… We usually don’t do those.
Mrknify: how do i use the Diablo 3 forums ? it says I need a Wow account ? mine is frozen, and I have D2/D2_expansion?
Bashiok: You’ll need an active WoW sub, StarCraft II license, or DIII beta license.
iM_Bennotronica: What % will you guys take from real money action house?
Bashiok: That’s a good question, I actually don’t know. % is only on cash out though, or commodity/stackable item sales.
ReXimus128: Why did you guys remove scrolls of identification? Simplicity sake? Also, why can you change skills anywhere now?
Bashiok: We didn’t really feel like they added anything, except to take away inventory space.
Varastus21: I have a question about friends and chat in D3. Is it possible to add someone to a friends list? Also, is there a global chat?
Bashiok: Yes there’s multiple different types of friends lists. Global chat like you want to spam all your friends? no.
Millerjoeblue: any plans for any guild/clan features?
Bashiok: We’d love to offer some kind of support for social groups, but it’s on a wish list at the moment.
Chiefey68: Will xpacs increase level caps or just new content/items? Thanks for the outreach!
Bashiok: We’re still just working on the game, but our philosophy is that levels should match the content. If that answers your question.
SimonTupper: One of the reasons why Diablo 2 was such a succes was that it was getting better over the years, will diablo 3 follow that pattern?
Bashiok: We’re fully designing and planning for Diablo III to be supported long into the future.
Efren1776: Any idea when more beta invites will go out?
Bashiok: We don’t really plan it out like that, it’s more a symptom of seeing how many people are playing and seeing if need more.
andrespdr: Any plans for contests for beta keys for people outside the states? (Latinamerica)
Bashiok: Yup, but I’ll let them tell you about it.
OldIronBlood: will we be seeing any runestones or gems in beta?
Bashiok: Extremely unlikely. The point of the beta is to test the service, patcher, launcher, and hardware compatibility.
hashstep: In the game guide some weapons have a range of values for min and max dmg (2-3)-(4-5) dmg for ex. Can the values be non-integers?
Bashiok: Nah, whole numbers is sexier.
CaptRaven: could you elaborate a bit more on why exactly Blizzard thinks that a general open chat channel like in D2 or SC1 is a bad idea?
Bashiok: The good is minuscule compared to the bad, and we have to actually support these things…
Doriide: How does crafting work?
Bashiok: It’s a bit complex to describe in 140 characters. You already read the artisan section on the website?
jeremysnow2: My wife wants to know how much sleep everyone at Blizzard is averaging trying to get this game out to demanding people like me…
Bashiok: Hah! It’s a lot of long hours and weekend work days, and has been for a while… but we have fun.
Regardless_: Could you tell us how the legendary weapons are coming along and if they will be in the beta?
Bashiok: Quite well. I don’t think we drop any more until later in Act 1. Probably not.
Efren1776: as somone who hasn’t played the first 2 will it be easy to understand the story of this one?
Bashiok: No matter what it’s going to be a fun story. If you’ve played the others you’ll get something extra, if not, you’ll seek it out.
eclittlejohn: Does the current list of items on the D3 website give all the items we can expect to see on release? Are there going to be more?
Bashiok: No, no, no, the website has very few items. We’ll update it when we get close to release.
Sarfazar: How close to the date of release should we expect the Diablo III, beta to run?
Bashiok: That’s a good question. I don’t think we exactly know. Pretty close.
IReesesCupI: Do you guys plan to have expansion for Diablo 3 still? If so would it be a class/content or just content. Etc.
Bashiok: We think it makes sense, but we’re focusing on releasing the game first.
pliers1: Is there going to be a pre-release download, so people can start playing as soon as servers go up? Including people on annual pass.
Bashiok: We plan to have a digital download people can grab so they’re ready to go right at midnight.
digitahlemotion: Aside from being able to slow down to enjoy the lore, are there any drawbacks (in regards to the story) to playing solo vs co-op?
Bashiok: We hope not, we’ve worked really hard to try to ensure co-op is nothing but bonuses and awesomeness.
Procrastajason: is the retail release of the game the entirety of the content we’ll see for a while or will there be content patches ala WoW?
Bashiok: Well, WoW is a subscription game. We’ll have patches. New items, probably. New zones or bosses? Probably not.
WilliamCairns1: With you taking out the scrolls do you have any plans to put them back in maybe as like purchasable pet like in WoW maybe?
Bashiok: We didn’t remove them so we could charge people for them later, if that’s your question.
SamuEllmer: Will there be official midnight launch events globally? (and if so, could you make it to London’s?)
Bashiok: We tend to have midnight launch events, no announcements until we know when the game will launch.
Ryallcowling: Do I need to pay any tax on my monthly paypal earnings from the sale of in game items? Any other options than paypal?
Bashiok: I believe that’s between you and the IRS? PayPal is what we’re focusing on for NA and some other regions.
Wasted_Panda: Will the colorblind mode be implemented during beta?
Bashiok: Do we need one? Would appreciate feedback in a forum thread if there’s specific issues.
MrPaNtsONhEad: I like the changes to skillswap with cooldown BUT why is there a cooldown when you are in town?
Bashiok: It’s a rough first implementation. It was wrangled in very shortly before the patch went out.
leftupseven: In a party, if people are skipping loot barrels and side rooms, do you lose xp for staying back and exploring?
Bashiok: You need to be within range (screen and a half or so) to be counted for drops or experience.
EldacarJS: Is there going to be a monster in the game named Bashiok? Also will Rakanishu and Bishbosh be returning?
Bashiok: Yes. Well… I don’t know. Those guys are dead…
verylemonade: Why the massive disparities in starting armor for some of the classes for male/female? EX: Sorcerer/ess.
Bashiok: Likely one was revised and the other wasn’t. (bug) A bug report or other written feedback would help.
Br0ckHamill: with pets been taken out of the game is there any plans of the use of the models or will they just return to wild life in game?
Bashiok: I believe they’ll be freeze-dried until later.
EmperorDoomwolf: Is it possible you can make the CE wings dyeable? I know they’re an inventory item. It would just be cool!!!
Bashiok: No, they’re the single amazingly cool color they already are.
Kennigit: How many times have you played through the campaign?
Bashiok: From start to finish with one character? :X never…
LadyFoxette: Do you recommend I go back and play the first two games (+expansion), or does Diablo 3’s story stand well enough on its own?
Bashiok: I think you can find some good story recaps (if anyone has link pls share) that it’d be pretty easy to catch yourself up.
Darkcoro: Is a melee Wizard still viable with the new stat system etc? Was very interested to try that ^_^
dethbox: Max players per game. 4 or 8?
arkeus: Is it possible we will see a return of the Amulet feature in an expansion?
Bashiok: Anything is possible. That kind of secondary item-based stat augmentation is real cool though. Perfect for later on.
SnailCraft: How big is the game in comparison to D2?
Bashiok: I dont know. Around the same I suspect.
Regardless_: Do you get to influence the game design at all outside of being the CM? If so, what did you help with?
Bashiok: I complain all the time but I’m usually wrong. All the good stuff comes from the community.
Sn0wcatcher: Can paypal unsupported countries use the rmah ? Is blizzard usiing any other web-based payment besides paypal?
Bashiok: I believe we’ll be providing more info about regional options once they’re ready. To be honest I don’t know specifics.
mikesacco: forum feedback still says DH feels less powerful than other classes; perception or real thing? any plans?
Bashiok: Overall we agree. Next patch (?) there will be a number of class changes.
Sarfazar: Is it possible to post gold/real money on the auction house to be bought with real money/gold respectively.
Bashiok: You can put up gold to be bought with currency, yes.
jaredgaut: any word on a new Blizzcast?
Bashiok: The delay kinda threw us off. We’ll get back on track…
Mikeregan7: When does beta testing end?
Bashiok: sometime before release.
digitahlemotion: Are the Pre-Orders for Diablo 3 CE by Walmart, Gamestop, etc legit?
Bashiok: I would assume so. I’m not sure how those work, I’d guess they have to work off a unit estimate?
AlexVanDijkNews: Any ETA on news about the EU beta? Will the EU beta be the final phase/part of testing?
Bashiok: Not yet. No.
Land on sale for development: 7,240 M (almost two acres) located in Ocean View street at Miradero, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico 00623. Price: $199,990
Enough land to build many houses, or a big Inn for tourists. View to the Caribbean Sea at a distance, and to the mountains. Water and electricity available.
Close to all the beaches in the area, restaurants of Joyuda Bay, the big city of Mayaguez and its university, Club Deportivo of Cabo Rojo (about ten minutes away), and Surfing in the beaches of Rincon, Puerto Rico (about ten miles away). Contact mdragon here for more details.
Access map through maps.Google.com using the address of “calle Ocean View, Miradero, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico”. (Map)
Attractive value of this land on sale
The Club Deportivo of Cabo Rojo is famous for hosting the annual Blue Marlin International Fishing Tournament with the biggest participation of yachts throughout the Caribbean Sea. Club members have access to the Marina.
The Club Deportivo also hosts the annual Deportivo Golf Open Tournament. It contains four Tennis courts, and exclusive restaurants for club members.
Learn more about the Club Deportivo del Oeste.
Google Map below:
This is the opportunity to get the right gift for a friend or family member for Christmas or earlier. Black Friday is coming and prices go down ridiculously.
Get World of Warcraft vanilla, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm for only $80.00 (That’s 20 bucks each). Order the World of Warcraft Bundle and save $20.
The other offer is the StarCraft II Bundle. Get StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and pick your favorite Battle Chest: either the StarCraft or Warcraft III Battle Chest.
Simply follow step by step the instructions to apply the Black Friday offer to your cart at checkout.
Scream Queen horror film actress Michele Morrow continues to sway more zombies from the Lich King’s grasp to join her cause in the Michele Morrow as Lady Sylvanas Facebook page.
The fanboy Facebook page has reached 5,000 Likes from fans like you who want the actress to take the role of Lady Sylvanas in the upcoming Warcraft film directed by Sam Raimi and produced by Legendary Pictures.
Michele is giving away a Two-month World of Warcraft game card signed by her.
Our Army has reached 5k. THANK YOU EVERYONE for all your support. In honor of this achievement, I am giving away this signed two month WoW game card to someone that leaves a comment on my Official Website, or the FACEBOOK post. The winner will be random and announced one week from today: November 19th. 10k… here we come.
Michele Morrow recently made YouTube TradeChat’s Top 10 Hottest Chicks who play World of Warcraft List. The video has over 100,000 views.
Bookmark Michele Morrow’s Official website to follow her latest press news and blog.
Michele attended BlizzCon 2011 and was interviewed by the WoW Insider/WoW Head/Gamebreaker.tv BlizzCon Fans Meetup show (at minute 1:23)
**Rendition image by 3D artist Jarjara, retouched by Medievaldragon.
SteelSeries played catch with Blizzplanet and threw us a fast-ball special. Patiently and eagearly, I have been checking downstairs at reception to see if the shipped goodies had arrived. SteelSeries had told me the box was on its way the day the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse and the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset were out on sale.
The reception had removed the paper to verify which rooms had mail and I was already leaving when out of the corner of my eye I saw a logo. It took my brain a few seconds to post-process once the window was out of view. I then back-paddled to check out whatever my eye caught. There it was. It was on the counter table standing tall on its side, a huge box with the SteelSeries logo.
Immediately, I told the receptionist that was for me. I took the box home, and started to unpack the contents.
My ego deflated when I saw the large box was half empty. I don’t know which thought won in my head: “Why ship it in such a large box to have it half empty?”, or “Zomg, they could have added some extra ones to fill up the other half (grins)”; but don’t listen to this troll’s back-of-my-mind arguments. All those nonsense thoughts evaporated, and my ego inflated at a dangerous rate when I looked at the bottom of the box …
SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse Unboxing
All the photos you will see in this page are taken by me at the moment of unboxing this product. The SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse and the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Headset boxes were there staring back at me.
The box is made of hard cardboard to protect the content. It can be used later to store your eSport Professional Mouse, and fits easily in a backpack. Imagine taking this box out of your backpack in front of your friends. Their jaw will drop definitely. You can’t deny you love to do that. You, evil you.
1. Optimal comfort with an ambidextrous shape and size, making it versatile for all types of gamer grips.
2. 7 ergonomically placed programmable buttons.
3. World’s most durable switches – guaranteed lifespan of 10 million clicks.
4. Programmable Diablo III®-themed illumination options.
5. Durable, double-braided nylon cord with a gold-plated USB connection.
6. Quick and effortless remapping of mouse buttons with Drag & Drop, pre-defined game actions/functions/skills as well as illumination settings. All of which are easily configured in an intuitive Diablo III®-themed driver available for Windows and Mac OS X users.
As I attempted to open the box, I noticed the front of the box actually opens up like a book to show the interior letting you see the mouse covered by a plastic, and on the left side of the inner-book-cover is an artwork of Tyrael. I was dumbfounded. How did the cover didn’t come out loose whenever I kept moving the box around to see the back and side? Took me a bit to figure it out. It keeps itself closed because the packaging designer added a magnet for flavor which keeps it tight closed.
The text is localized in the same four languages: “The fast-paced action of Diablo III requires quick response times and a weapon that will withstand the fury of the Prime Evils. Co-designed with the creators of Diablo III, the SteelSeries Diablo III mouse is built to aid you in your quest against the forces of the Burning Hells. An ambidextrous shape, a comfortable grip, and oversized pressure points all help ensure a smooth glide for quick movements. The SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse has been engineered and designed to survive and conquer the relentless punishment of the Burning Hells, with a guaranteed lifespan of 10 million clicks — 3x more than an average mouse.
Prepare for victory.”
Inside the box, you will find a re-sealable bag with the Quick Start Guide, a folded catalog containing several Blizzard Licensed Products, and SteelSeries products; and a SteelSeries sticker.
SteelSeries Product Catalog
On display are the following SteelSeries Blizzard Licensed Products:
- SteelSeries Zboard Gaming Keyboard-Starcraft II Edition
- SteelSeries QcK Starcraft II Gaming Mouse Pad-Marine Edition
- SteelSeries QcK Starcraft II Gaming Mouse Pad-Marauder Edition
- SteelSeries QcK Starcraft II Gaming Mouse Pad-Tychus Findlay Edition
- SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard-World of Warcraft Cataclysm Edition
- SteelSeries World of Warcraft Legendary MMO Gaming Mouse
- SteelSeries QcK Limited-Edition Wrath of the Lich King Fragmat
- SteelSeries QcK World of Warcraft Cataclysm Gaming Mouse Pad-Deathwing Edition
Ambidextrous: The majority of mice I have purchased in the past have had an ergonomic shape designed for right-hands, and usually small in size for my big hand. As you have read, the Diablo III Mouse has an ambidextrous design, so It’s taking me a bit to get used to this big mouse.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are many players who use the left hand to play, and this mouse does justice to both. SteelSeries doesn’t discriminate or penalize one or the other. Ambidextrous for the win. You win.
Comfortability: The Diablo III Mouse is comfortable. It takes a while, and a bit of use to get used to it. I have been using it for a while, and my hand and wrist don’t feel exhausted. I also have to say that the SteelSeries QcK Diablo III Gaming Mouse Pad makes the Diablo III Mouse slide back and forth smoothly and precisely.
That not only comes handy with video games such as Diablo III, but for your day-to-day applications like Adobe Photoshop CS.
Durability: As soon as SteelSeries announced the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse a few months ago, around the Summer, I have to be honest … I fell in love with it.
I have a story about my consumption of mice over the past decade. In the initial years, when I had a Mac G4 Tower, and later the HP Pavillion I used to spend a bit over $20.00 in mice. Usually Logitech Mice. Some of them with several programmable buttons. I grew intensely fed up of those. Gamers are a special breed of computer users. We multi-task between gaming, and fragging the heck out of players in Half-Life, Doom, Team Fortress, and other FPS/Deathmatch games; chatting on AOL, YIM, MSN, GTalk, ICQ; browsing soundtracks; viewing Marvel/DC comics Online, and working on our favorite flavor of software applications.
Bottomline, we punish the mice like no one else. Soon or later, my Logitech mice became unresponsive and ended up in the trash can. After 2005, a year and a half into World of Warcraft — I was in the 2004 beta in case you wonder — I ended up giving up on Logitech and consequently on any company who ever sold a Mouse over $10.00. That’s right. All of them. These past six years I haven’t consumed anything but cheap mice ranging $2.99 – 8.99. Different companies. It didn’t matter to me.
The reason? Mice Durability. As a gamer the mice are punished so, that I end up replacing my mice once or twice a year. It doesn’t matter if the mice are 2.99 or $69.99 … all of them have the same flaw: the thin cord. That’s all this story leads to. The thin cord. As gamers, we keep moving the mice all around the place. Sooner or later, the bending that thin cord back and forth will cause the interior cabling to wear off and break.
Have you experienced this? When the mice stops working and the laser goes off. You play around with the cable inch by inch and suddenly the laser turns on. That’s the thin cable bending at a certain point causing the internal cable to stop communicating with the mouse. There goes your expensive mice. Straight into the trash can.
Going back to when SteelSeries announced the SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse, I fell in love straight there. Upon close inspection of the photo what caused me to jaw-drop was the cabling. It looked like a cobra. A thick cable shielding protecting the inside from the rigorous mistreatment and punishment we gamers give mice.
I really need to smack this one at your face again, even if it’s there in the Mice specs I posted above. Read and sing along with me folks: “Durable, double-braided nylon cord with a gold-plated USB connection.”
Mozzart and Beethoven come short against SteelSeries. That single sentence there is music to my ears. This is what I have been waiting for for a decade to make me come out of my self-exiled retirement from Professional Mice. I might end up buying another one at some point for my elder parent, who’s also a gamer. She also wasted about a couple of mice a year.
I am not able to give you the experience of touching this cable, but the SteelSeries description gives you an idea of what to expect from this product. It’s a solid cable. If you attempt to bend the cord, you will notice a very strong and solid opposition to do so. You can’t harm it unless you really try hard. Period.
Another bonus. After I removed my cheap mouse, I compared the length of its cable against the Diablo III Mouse. I jaw-dropped. The Diablo III Mouse’s cord is a full feet longer. You heard it: “12-inches longer” than your average mouse cord. The Diablo III Mouse’s cord-length is 2 meters (6.5 Feet).
Aesthetics: It’s Diablo III-themed. Heck, do you need another reason to love its looks? The mouse-wheel is wider than anything I have ever seen — and trust me, at a rate of nigh two mice a year for a decade I have seen my share of mice (over 20).
The outer-layer of the wheel has a rubber with the shape of scales. Think of Deathwing-like spinal cord scales. Perfect for scrolling and traction against your fingertip. Many of those cheap mice I used to have kept sliding and skipping with their awful or lack of traction.
I’m having problems with the buttons on the right side of the Diablo III mouse. As I wrote this article, I kept accidentally pushing the side button with the fourth finger (right-hand). I had programmed it to hit the “4” keyboard button. Thus, the SteelSeries Engine macro would type “4” while I typed this article. Then I realized … this is an ambidextrous mouse. Decided to clear the macro for that button, and it hasn’t given me further issues. My fingers are kinda long and big, so no blame there.
Now on the most obvious aesthetics, who doesn’t love to see that Diablo III Logo illumination humming on and off. Watch my video in the dark to see the Diablo III logo illumination (Note: Lower your sound. Loud music. Switch video quality to 720HD, and click the fullscreen button to see the programmable buttons UI)
Gameplay: I might update this review later to offer in-depth feedback. So far I programmed the two buttons on the left-side of the Diablo III Mouse to activate macros. I don’t really have to type a macro perse. All I do is choose the button in the SteelSeries Engine UI, and press the button I wish to program that button with. In this case, the button “1” and “2” on my keyboard correspond to the Diablo III Beta spell bar.
It felt fantastic to be able to cast Electrocute with the left-button using my index finger, Wave of Force with the right-button using my middle finger, and suddenly shoot an Arcane Orb and Shock Pulse with my thumb finger.
Noise: A fan asked me about the noise made by all the clicking in a click-intensive game like Diablo III, concerned about his wife. I used a Logitech Mouse (my parent’s), a cheap Orange mouse, and the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse to test clicking. Curiously, the Logitech mouse barely made any clicking noise. However, the thin cord of the Logitech means the mouse won’t have a long lifespan with Diablo III. The double-braided nylon cord in the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse, thus a longer lifespan, alone makes it a better investment.
SteelSeries needs to work a bit on click-noise design to counter Logitech, but to be fair the SteelSeries Diablo III mouse was designed in such a way, that most of the sound decibels from clicking seem to be cancelled out. The noise is mostly internal. The cheaper mouse had a more aggressive external clicking noise. Here’s an MP3 sound recording (WMA here) of the cheap mouse vs the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse. It was recorded with the SteelSeries Diablo III Headset’s built-in extendable microphone.
- Frames per Second: 12000
- Inches per Second: 150
- Counts per Inch: 100-5700
- Acceleration: 30 G
- Sensor Data Path: True 16-bit
- Lift Distance: ~2 mm
- Buttons: 8
- Cable: 2 m / 6.5 Ft (braided)
SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse Drivers
The Quick Start Guide seen in one of the photos only has two readable pages, so no need to brainstorm and read lots of pages. Most of the pages are localizations in other languages.
To get started, once you removed the mouse from the packaging, connect the USB connector into an available USB port in the back or front of your PC or Mac computer / laptop.
The mouse will be operational right away after Windows auto-installs a basic driver. However, you must go to http://www.steelseries.com/downloads
Your browser might prompt a frame stopping the redirection. Click the OK button if your browser does that to redirect to the appropriate Download page. Otherwise go to the website manually and hover your mouse over the “Support” link at the top of the page, and select “Downloads”.
A list of images will show up detailing each product. Somewhere around the middle you will see the Diablo III Mouse image. Click it, and below it a small frame will appear showing you two different drivers for your mouse: Mac or PC. Make sure to download the correct driver.
The driver is around 28MB, and it might take around five minutes to download depending your internet connection speed.
Locate and run the installer and follow the instructions.
Mouse Settings Interface
Once done, the SteelSeries Engine driver tray icon will appear at the bottom-right of your screen (on Windows OS).
Clicking the Open SteelSeries Engine will popup the interface (UI). Choose open image in a new tab to see the original size.
The Statistics tab keeps record of how many times you have clicked each individual button. So far, I have clicked the left button 29483 times. The right button: 2196 times. You can set a timer by pressing the start button to start recording how many clicks you perform in a specific timeframe.
I definitely look forward to get a second SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mouse. It’s been two days using it for gaming and day-to-day tasks. It looks badass, and provides a firm grip.
This device has returned my faith in professional peripherals. The cord looks like it’s going to last me several years, which in turn protects your investment. A mouse costing $69.99 should last longer than a cheap mouse. The mice cord and its durability marks the difference between a cheap mouse and a professional mouse. SteelSeries got the formula right with the Diablo III Mouse.
Next up, Blizzplanet will review the Diablo III Headset on Tuesday, and giveaway a SteelSeries QcK Diablo III Mousepad. Stay tuned.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced the new feature: StarCraft II region linking will take effect on July 18 to match with the start of Season 3. The merging of the following communities: North America and Latino America, Europe and Russia, Korea and Taiwan — will become three stronger communities. That means faster queues, and a bigger pool for ladder climbing.
Blizzard provided a FAQ to explain the new feature and how it might affect you.
We’re pleased to announce StarCraft II region linking, an exciting upcoming change that will connect a number of StarCraft II communities around the world for multiplayer matchmaking and communication purposes. In conjunction with the start of Season 3, we’ll be linking the European and Russian StarCraft II communities together; North America and Latin America will also be linked together, as will Korea and Taiwan.
Region linking will benefit players in the connected regions in a number of ways. First and foremost, a linked community means a larger pool of players to improve our automated matchmaker. Whether you’re an elite Grandmaster or a Bronze-league all-star, more players in the mix means that we’ll be able to find you a matchup more quickly and more accurately. Players will also get access to a broader range of custom map games, which in turn means wider audiences for mapmakers. Those of you who have friends in the linked region will also be able to add them to your Battle.net friends lists once the region linking is complete.
For the vast majority of players, the process will be seamless. Just log in, play, and say hello to all of your new friends (with a sneaky drop in their mineral line). For more information about region linking, check out the FAQ.
Blizzard Entertainment recently released Patch 4.1 and the Rise of the Zandalari Trailer is available.
In addition, the Blizzard Insider newsletter has reached fans’ emails. It contains an interview with Scott Mercer where he explains how The Rise of the Zandalari came about as the central theme of Patch 4.1’s major content.
- How did Rise of the Zandalari come about?
Scott Mercer: Well, it’s always a good time for trolls! No, just kidding, there’s more to it than that. The idea first came up after the launch of 4.0 when we reintroduced 5-player versions of Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines. The classic dungeons ended up being a big hit with players, so we knew we wanted keep the momentum going by remaking more dungeons. Zul’Gurub was an obvious choice as it was a long-time player favorite, and many people were sad to see it go when Cataclysm launched. We started revamping it as soon as we could. Much later, when work on Zul’Gurub was nearing completion, we decided to add Zul’Aman to the lineup as well. The team felt Zul’Aman was one of our best raid dungeons of all time, but that it launched late in the Burning Crusade expansion cycle, so not that many players got a chance to experience it when it first came out. It was really the “hidden jewel” of Burning Crusade raiding. We’re hopeful that bringing it back as a 5-player Heroic will open it up and allow a much larger portion of the player base to try out the encounters.
Can you give us any indication of the how the major bosses and features of Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub will be updated for the patch?
Scott Mercer: Zul’Aman was ahead of its times in a lot of ways, and it actually adheres pretty closely to the encounter design philosophies we use today. For that reason, we didn’t feel the need to change the encounter mechanics too much aside from a few tweaks here and there needed to retune it for 5 players instead of 10 or 20. On the other hand, Zul’Gurub needed to change a lot to bring it in line with our current thinking on encounter design. For starters, we simplified the dungeon layout by closing off some of the wings with doors or fallen debris. This should make progression through the dungeon more streamlined and obvious. We’re also completely redoing the non-boss NPCs in the dungeon to make them easier to clear with a 5-player group. A lot of the Zul’Gurub boss lineup is changing as well, and players can even expect to see some new faces in the crowd.
Were there any specific challenges in taking a 10 or 20-player raid instance and revamping it for 5 players?
Scott Mercer: Knowing that there will only be five players at an encounter introduces some constraints that aren’t there for larger raid encounters. For example, you can’t use tank switching mechanics when you know that most 5-player groups are only going to have one tank. In the same vein, events that require a lot of crowd control aren’t going to work either; there just aren’t as many players available for crowd control as you would have in a 20-player raid. We also had to be careful to limit encounter mechanics that could potentially disrupt or lock down the healer. These kinds of mechanics tend to be much more devastating in 5-player groups, mostly because there are no other healers available to pick up the slack. Of course, I’m not saying players aren’t going to see any disruptive mechanics at all, I’m just saying we had to use them much more carefully than we would with larger raid encounters.
You discussed how several of the encounter mechanics are changing for the revamp. Can you give us any specific examples?
Scott Mercer: Sure, take Akil’Zon, the eagle boss in Zul’Aman. He used to interrupt players by launching them straight into the air, which could be devastating in a 5-player encounter if he chooses the healer or the tank, so we changed this mechanic slightly. Now his summoned eagles pick players up and try to fly off with them instead. The player that gets picked up can still act and cast normally, even while being carried away. So the group just has to make sure the eagle dies before it carries the player away. This works better, because the eagle mechanic still creates a sense of urgency without completely disrupting the targeted player.
Let’s talk phat loot! What kinds of rewards can players expect from the new versions of Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman?
Scott Mercer: The bosses drop epic quality item level 353 loot, which we hope will help players gear up for Cataclysm raiding. We also reworked the Edge of Madness event as an optional boss encounter which requires the archaeology profession to activate. At a certain point, an archaeologist can release one of four randomly chosen troll spirits, each with unique loot. We’re also releasing new versions of the special mounts that used to be found in Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub. Players who successfully complete a timed run of Zul’Aman can get the new version of the war bear. Anyone who has the old version of a mount can still get the new version. Also — though this isn’t really part of the dungeon itself — we’re adding a new mini-raptor pet for people who do the Stranglethorn Vale lead-in quests. Oh, and of course, Mojo the toad can still be found in Zul’Aman.
Going forward, can we expect more raid dungeons from past expansions and patches to be revamped as 5-player Heroic dungeons?
Scott Mercer: We definitely want to, but there are a few technical limitations we will have to solve first, especially with some of the older dungeons. That said, we know players like the classic dungeons and we’re open to updating just about any instance that has memorable encounters, especially if the dungeon as a whole meshes well with our current philosophy of encounter design. Several dungeons in particular keep coming up as potential candidates for 5-player Heroics. I’ve heard Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance discussed a few times. We also think it would be cool to revamp Blackrock Spire and Blackrock Depths given their obvious tie-ins for the storyline of Cataclysm. Nothing’s been ruled out yet, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see which ideas rise to the surface and we move further into Cataclysm.
Finally, you should read a new entry to the Leader Short Stories section by creative writer Brian Kindreagan. Learn more about Vol’jin: The Judgment.
Entertainment Earth has announced several World of Warcraft Series Action Figure Sets are now back in stock. Feel free to browse the available products, and order right away. They are in stock while supplies last.
The World of Warcraft Series 6 Set Set contains 3 Action Figures: Sylvanas Windrunner, King Magni Bronzebeard and Goblin Tinker Gibzz Sparklighter.
The World of Warcraft Series 7 Set contains 3 Action Figures: Human Paladin Judge Malthred, Orc Rogue Garona Halforcen and Worgen Spy Garm Whitefang
The World of Warcraft Premium Series 2 Set contains: Orc Warchief Thrall and Gnome Warlock Valdremar with voidwalker Voyd.
World of Warcraft Series 5 Set contains: King Varian Wrynn, Night Elf Hunter Althena Moonbreeze, and Scourge Ghoul Rottingham.
Check out the World of Warcraft Action Figure Store for additional products.
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