BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel (Part 3)

This is a transcript of the third part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel


As a lot of you might have known last year we had an arena PvP demo on the floor. This year, playable. We have team deathmatch.

We’ve got a lot of awesome feedback from the community from last year’s showing at the arena, and one of the dominant forms of feedback that we’ve got was that sitting around and waiting while my friends kill each other really isn’t fun, so we’re introducing team deathmatch.

Team Deathmatch really solves that problem. You die, you’re back in three seconds. You’re back in the fight, fighting, able to play with your character more, able to explore more.

There’s no intimidation factor in team deathmatch either. Am I going to let my arena team down coming in with this crazy magic wizard build that only spawns mirror images and that’s all I do? No.

It’s totally cool. Deathmatch the game is a ten-minute game. Two teams, Red and Blue. The team with the most kills wins.

There’s definitely no skill swapping during games, and no item swapping during games.

They want this to be a skilled tactical understanding, so I need to know — hey that barbarian has been stunning the heck out of me the entire time, I need to know that the whole ten-minutes of the game so I can effectively deal with that again and respond.

Last year we only had 3v3. Now we have 4v4. 4v4 is way more fun for responsiveness, and the interactivity.

You’re definitely going to be using your PvP character. There was some confusion, but you’ll be leveling up to 60.

Taking your character or wizard or witch doctor and getting him in front, bringing him in and play it on the showroom floor. You’re our community. We make games for you.

We love your feedback. It’s fantastic. Thank you very much.

Auction House

Wilson: I’m going to talk about the Auction House. I hope you like the UI because there’s a lot of it coming at you.

Why we decided to do an Auction House is because trade is a big focus of the Diablo game. You get loot in the Diablo game and it’s a big deal. That loot is randomized.

The Diablo system is pretty unique in that everything that drops has got some kind of random element, even if it’s something you wear on your body.

Any monster could drop any item in the world. You don’t have to go to a particular monster and do that, but because of that, there’s low odds you get the exact thing you want.

Even if you get the exact thing, you want the chances that it has the best stats you could possibly get on the item is pretty much, it’s almost impossible and that’s really by design, because Diablo’s always been a social game in the sense that you play with and trade with other players, so trading is really the best way to get the best items in the game — and that has always been the case for all Diablo games.

We focus really heavily on the trading aspect. So given that, you think that the previous games had awesome systems for trading, and if you think that — you’d be wrong.

So, in Diablo II there were a bunch of ways to trade. Game interface, you could put items up and stick your item up and somebody else you say what have you got and hopefully I had something good you wanted.

You could throw items on the ground and pray, I wouldn’t recommend that. You could go up to the chat channels or forums, hoping someone is listening or has the thing you want, or wants to buy the thing you have.

It’s pretty inefficient and makes the chat channel not really very chatty; and then you could also go to third party websites, and buy things with real money, and that works fine except that maybe the transaction wouldn’t work, maybe you’d get ripped off, maybe someone would steal your account — so none of those were really great experiences and we felt we could do a lot better.

We focused on an Auction House because it’s a well-known convenient, secure, easy way for people to trade.

There’s things like the World of Warcraft Auction House, and there is eBay. People understand how it works, and how to interact with them.

So we made the decision to allow players to trade in Diablo III the same way that they traded in in Diablo II with gold or real money.

We’re going to let you pretty much trade almost anything in the auction, wearable items, gold, stackable components like crafting items, and things like that.

And this is one of the most important points, we want you to be able to participate for free if you go into the Real Money Auction House.

A lot of people have said to us — you know, I don’t necessarily have a problem with the real money or not. I don’t want to open up my wallet and give you a credit card.

That’s fine. You don’t have to. I’ll explain how. This is Timmy the Demon Hunter. Why is it named Timmy? Because it amuses me to name him Timmy. Timmy needs a new bow. Venomhusk. That would be nice.

That bow would be pretty awesome, got a lot of blue things on there, we like those. So he goes off in the world seeking fortune. Does he find it? Nope. Instead he finds this thing.

Wow, 566 DPS. Two-Hander, not for him. If he had a Barbarian, or a Barbarian friend that would be a good item, but we’ll pretend Timmy doesn’t have any friends, because he’s named his Demon Hunter Timmy, come on!

But he’s still happy, he’s got this awesome thing, but he wants his Venomhusk bow!

So he’s going to put this in the Auction House, and posts it up on the Real-Money Auction House.

The important thing is here he can do this for free, because every week we will allow people to have a small number of free listings. One of the reasons for that is that we want you to generate some income, and get a balance without actually having to spend any money.

So he puts his Overfiend in the Auction House, it sells, and bong … $7.50 in his account. He could have updated that to PayPal and made $7.50 playing Diablo which is pretty awesome or put it back into his balance and use that to buy things and post more auctions.

So Timmy is happy. He goes up, he finds his Venomhusk bow, five bucks. Bam, purchased. Sent to his character, and equipped. Check him out.

Auction House Features

So on top of being able to participate in that way, we’ll also add a lot of features. Some of you are in the beta, and managed to play with the gold option house, and you probably notice it’s not fully featured as we would like. So we are adding a bunch of new features. The first one is a smart search feature.

And basically what this does is it takes any character that you want, it will look at the character and say okay, you got, you seem to be a Barbarian who likes a lot of crit. So we’ll point you at items that do that. You can funnel the results and say these are all the items that I want, but I really want precision, or I really want Life Steal so show me the ones who have those aspect of them. Another thing we’ve done is we’re going to have an Advanced Search which is really a bigger version of the smart search.

It lets you basically just set all kinds of parameters, pretty much anything you could literally specify the exact item stats that you want to see and features like this are really important because the Diablo item system is not filled with a lot of names and items that are easy to search for. You’re going to really be searching more for stats.

Next, you can search for stackable items, gold, gems, crafting & dyes, tomes, books, almost everything that is worth selling we’ll be allowing you to sell in the Auction House.

Diablo – Final Game Tuning

Wyatt Cheng: Let’s talk about game tuning for a little while. We’re getting ready to finalize a lot of the game components, particularly the difficulty modes, the classes and the monsters. Could make a lot of improvement to the monsters.

We’re going to be talking a lot about changes that we’ve made since the beta, as well as changes we’ve made since last year’s BlizzCon.

For those of you who don’t know, a lot of the content for killing monsters in Diablo is based around Rares and Champions — they have magical properties like electrified, plague, teleporter, desecrater.

We’ve a couple of new aspects that we’ve put into the game over the last few weeks. One of those new ones is actually on display in the video over here called the Mortar.

We thought some of the monster abilities penalized more the melee players, than ranged. With Mortar, the monster has the ability to lob grenades over a minimum distance. If you’re a melee character, the grenades will literally fly over your head.

Passive Skills

A lot of focus is on making passives good. We had some feedback. Some of the passives are interesting and some aren’t interesting.

Here’s one of the new passes we’ve got for the Barbarian. One of the things about passives, they actually serve a number of purposes.

Some people want passives that support specific builds, some people want passives that introduce cool visual elements.

In this case, what we felt was important for a Barbarian to have a defensive build option and we also felt it might be instructional for players who aren’t sure if a Barbarian could be built in a tanky sort of way — so we have this passive named Nerves of Steel to help support that playstyle.

Some of our other passives, this one is based on the Witch Doctor — Fetish Sychophants, it summons one of the little Fetish Helpers to fight along your side, and this happens every time you cast a physical skills such as Poisoned Dart, or Plague of Toads. That’s a 3% chance on cast to summon it. That’s a popular one internally as well.

Another passive is Combination Strike. If you guys remember the Spirit Generators, this is a monk skill. The passives, we call them combo skills. Combo Skills and Spirit Generators are kinda interchangeable. In this case, if you use multiple different spirit generators together you get a DPS increase. The more spirit generators you combine together, the larger the increase.


This is an interesting thing that’s come up over the last few months as we’ve been tuning passives. The situation where you have too much synergy, it can actually be bad, so the example that we have on the board up on the powerpoint is Counterattack. Whenever you dodge, you automatically damage your attacker.

Sixth Sense gives you increased chance to dodge; and Evasive, which gives you increased chance of dodge every time you critical strike. Each one of these passives is pretty cool on its own.

When you put them all together, we felt like it was actually taking away build diversity rather than increasing it.

As soon as you took one passive, you have a synergistic advantage for taking a second one, and then a third one.

If we give you three passives to choose from out of 15, we’re actually pigeonholding players rather than allowing them to explore, so we’ve been seeking out these sort of overly synergistic passives, and removing them.

Barbarian Tuning

For those of you who played a Barbarian in the beta, Barbarian feels like it’s in a pretty good place, fun, visceral, doing a lot of things we want him to do.

A couple of specific areas we wanted to target, one is Fury generation. He has a few Fury generator skills and we felt the small spammable generators weren’t paying off as well as the big generators.

For example, players were using Leap attack, Ground Stomp, and War Cry, and skipping some of the three Fury generators like Cleave, Frenzy and Bash. So we kind of adjusted those numbers a little bit, tried to provide a better balance there.

Another area we’ve been looking at is Survivability. You didn’t see it so much during the level 1-12 game, but as you started getting into the higher difficulties: Nightmare, Hell, Inferno — we really found Barbarian were having trouble staying in melee range.

The Barbarians need be in melee range to do damage, but without survivability they just weren’t able to do that. We’ve been looking at the Barbarian survivability, the passives earlier on, and their base stats, and we’re looking to make Barbarians a little tougher overall.

Wizard Tuning

The Wizard also in a good place. For those of you who have been following along, we have a set of skills called academic skills. Renamed those to Signature skills. The same idea basically as you level up, the skills become cheaper. Eventually they become free. We like how that’s playing out. Overall, the Wizard is feeling pretty good.

One of the things is a concern for us, whether or not it’s worthwhile to use signature spells when you’re out of Arcane Power, and whether or not it’s worth using a non-signature spell.

So, we’ve been squeaking those numbers to make sure they have a different reason to use different spells. And finally, one of the major changes we’ve been making is all of the Wizard and Witch Doctor spells have been converted over to do percent weapon damage.

A major reason for this, we really felt that the casters needed to value their weapon more. People were finding weapons, and looking at it saying: “Well, I don’t know, I don’t really care about the stats on my character. My skills don’t use it.”

One of the questions we get all the time is: should my Wizard just use a giant two-handed mace? I don’t want to hold a two-handed mace. In addition to be based on weapon damage, we also use the weapon speed to determine casting speed. If you use a wand or a fast dagger, you’ll actually cast faster as well.

Witch Doctor

One of the questions we also get a lot, in the beta, is mana. The mana seems to be unlimited. In the beta that’s absolutely true. Mana is the only resource that’s returning from Diablo II. So what we’re doing with it is we’re providing multiple mechanisms for the Witch Doctor to recover mana.

In this case, one of those would be passive skills. There are a number of passives that have to do with mana regeneration. There’s also runes for mana regeneration.

BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel (Part 2)

This is a transcript of the second part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel.

The Jeweler

The next thing I want to talk is The Jeweler. The guy is a little shady, but if you have anything gem related, he’s the guy to go to.

So what can he do? He can combine your gems. In the game you have like 14 different ranks of gems. Gems can be put in sockets of your items, and they imbue extra properties.

You want more experience, you can put a ruby in your helm socket, and that gives you plus X percent experience for every kill you make.

The more powerful ones, of course, have to be found and are allowed to be combined — so you have to level him up to get access to those.

He can also add sockets to items. This is great, like say I’m playing, and like I’m really loving Precision and Frenzy kicking butt that way, and I got this item and it has tons of Fury regeneration on it, but I need Precision, so I add a socket to it at the Jeweler, and I can put the gem in there which has the Plus X Precision attribute.

He removes gems from items. This is pretty cool. Let me give you an example here. Leveling up hit level 60 having that experience gem in your helm the entire time, but you’re level 60 now and don’t need the experience.

You go to the Jeweler, and have him take the gem out, put the Plus 20% Life in there, because in Inferno, you’re going to need it, and then you can send that experience gem to your alt character and then that will help him level up faster.

Speaking of leveling up, the Jeweler also levels up. As he level ups he gains the ability to combine more powerful gems and higher ranks. He also uses Pages of Training to level up. You have to pick and choose which ones you want to focus on.

The Blacksmith

Fortunately, they’re account based so, you know, level up Barbarian level 60, and focus on the Blacksmith the entire time.

The Demon Hunter level in and jump in and right there and then the bar of the Blacksmith is already like level 10 and you’re Mythic and you can level her up separately.

Talking about the Blacksmith, we spoke a lot about him already. He can forge items and craft things for you. Boy what we haven’t spoken about. He can craft Legendary and Unique set items for you.

These are things you’d usually find in normal difficulties. Here he’s like making a Sanity’s Edge, just a Legendary two-handed mighty weapon. This comes in a plan you found when you were killing a monster, took the plan to your Blacksmith, and you can make that item again, and again, and again.

He can also make the unique set item. Now this is a normal difficulty unique set. You’re going to find this in the world when playing normal.

The tricky thing about Diablo is that these items can draw from anything. You can take one and just farm that for your set, so we figured, hey, let’s make it easier for you guys and once you get the plan you can then craft every item in this set to get the set bonus.

So here I’ve crafted a Pauldron, the shoulder pieces and the Seething Rage, the one-handed sword.

I crafted those, so I can wear those and get the set bonus. Way easier. In Inferno, you’re going to be arming unique sets.

As you’re progressing through the game you can get a cool factor out of the things.

Auction House

How does the Diablo III Item Life Cycle look with those added features?

When an item is born it can come from a vendor.

It can also come from crafting or from the Auction House. What do I do with it? I can wear it. Definitely going to wear it. If I buy it off the Auction House.

When I’m done with it, I can sell it. That gives me gold for repairs, or for crafting and forging more gear.

I can salvage it and sell those salvaged components on the Auction House.

I can use them to enhance my existing items. I can put it on the Auction House directly and make gold, make real life money. Who doesn’t like that? Or I can trade it.

I can help twink my characters or give it to my friends. It’s not my style. What’s an example of that. Say I’m playing through the game and I get a drop. I don’t need it. It’s not an upgrade. I decided to salvage it. Salvage it into some components I’ve put for sell on the Auction House.

Someone buys that, win, rock and roll. I need some gold. I keep playing for a while, and next week I go and look at the Auction House and see a wicked one-handed axe perfect for me.

Decided to buy that from the Auction House. I didn’t know that was actually crafted from the same salvage that I sold on the Auction House a week earlier.

That’s a life cycle, and that just makes me happy.

Of course, we have awesome art, item artwork that we just wanted to show off.

It didn’t fit in anywhere else, but these are some of the items you’re going to be playing with.

Foo Fighters to Rock the House at BlizzCon 2011

IRVINE, Calif. — September 28, 2011 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Foo Fighters will headline the closing concert of this year’s sold-out BlizzCon®, taking place October 21-22 at the Anaheim Convention Center. While tickets to the convention are currently sold out, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event (including Foo Fighters’ performance) globally over the Internet and also on DIRECTV® in the United States.

Over the course of their 16-year career, the Foo Fighters have sold tens of millions of records, won half a dozen Grammy awards, and raised countless voices in singalongs of iconic anthems like “Everlong,” “My Hero,” “Learn to Fly”, “All My Life,” “Best of You,” and “The Pretender.” Foo Fighters’ BlizzCon debut marks founder Dave Grohl’s triumphant return to the convention after playing drums for Tenacious D in last year’s show, and comes during an international arena, stadium, and festival tour promoting their seventh album, the international #1 record Wasting Light.

Opening up the concert will be The Artist Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, who are returning to BlizzCon following a two-year interstellar tour through the Koprulu sector. Blizzard’s in-house metal band will amp up the crowd with an earth-shaking set of both familiar and brand-new songs drawn from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes before turning the stage over to Foo Fighters for the main event.

“There’s no better way to cap off two days of gaming entertainment than by blowing the roof off the convention center with an awesome rock concert,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Everyone attending BlizzCon and watching from home can look forward to ending the show with a bang when Foo Fighters bring the house down.”

“We’re pretty sure that in the future, music historians will look back at BlizzCon 2011 as the unquestionable pinnacle of Foo Fighters’ long and illustrious career,” said Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters founder and frontman. “We look forward to living up to that prediction by bringing the Horde and Alliance together to rock the hell out of Anaheim next month.”

BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will have an array of activities, including discussion panels, competitive and casual tournaments, contests, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, and more. Viewers at home can order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket for $39.99 USD, available around the world as a multi-channel Internet stream with over 50 hours of coverage (pricing and availability may vary by region), and also via DIRECTV in the United States. Visit for more details and ordering information.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft® as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warrior

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warrior talent trees.

Level 15

Hope the Warriors are all back with their beer by now. So the first tier is the Charge tier.

The first thing I have to explain about what we did with Charge is, we thought it was kind of lame both Juggernaut and Warbringer were the same talent, but let you use Charge in combat.

So now Charge can now be used in any combat by any warrior. So you choose Juggernaut if you want to Charge a lot. It has a lower cooldown on the Charge.

Double Time lets you Charge twice in a row before it infers a cooldown, so you can charge once and charge again if you missed your target or changed your mind.

Warbringer puts a five second root at the end of your charge.

Level 30

Level 30 is about survival. We put Enraged Regeneration in here. Warrior has a lot of defensive cooldowns, so we thought we could make Enrage a little bit more powerful if we made it a talent, and make you choose it instead of the other two.

Second Wind with also combined with Blood Craze so that — it’s when you take a stun or immobilize effect or you just take some damage you can regenerate some health and rage.

Then we liked the idea of Impending Victory, but it never really was as cool as we thought it could be. So this basically turn Victory Rush into a full rotation ability. It adds a rage cost and a cooldown you can use at any time.

Level 45

Level 45 is a crowd control here. Throwdown is your basic stun. Piercing Howl is a big AOE ensnare, or Cripple — think the autoattack hits and Rend ticks playing Hamstring without you actually doing it.

But now you can only choose one. What are you going to do?

Level 60

Level 60 is about silencing those annoying casters. This is the existing Gag Order where you Pummel and Heroic for a silence.

Rude Interruption is a fun talent. It’s a DPSing increase, but it’s so minimal and situational that we aren’t too worried about every Warrior out there taking it.

— between teeth Ghostcrawler jokingly murmurs: “The Shaman will probably interrupt it before you get to it anyway.”

(crowd laughs)

And Disrupting Shout is a new idea its an AOE interrupt, not something we’ve done before. Interrupt a whole group at once with this shout.

Level 75

So level 75 is about a little bit of having fun with burst and resource management.

Deadly Calm we decided to make just focused on the Heroic Strike or Cleave. It’s pretty much what it’s most useful for. It gives you three free Heroic Strikes or Cleaves.

Death Wish enrages you which is important for warriors to do more damage. Lets Fury Warriors use Raging Blow and it also increases your rage generation during that time.

And Bull Rush is a new idea, whenever you charge or intervene it enrages you. Another way to get enrage on demand.

Maybe you will see those warriors moving around the battlefield. Get fun things to do by looking at this and one of the Charge talents on the first tier.

Level 90

And last, but certainly not least, Shockwave and Bladestorm can be done by any warrior — and if you need something really powerful to compete with that — so we went back and looked at Warcraft III and said that Avatar sounds like a fun ability to give to warriors.

In this case, it’s not just themed as a defensive cooldown, but increases your damage dealt. It gives you excess rage and makes you immune to movement impairing effects.

One of those things that we really like about this tier is if you look at it with Warcraft III in mind, see the Blademaster, the Tauren Chieftain and Mountain King together you decided which one you want to be.

(round of applauses)

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Warlock

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Warlock talent trees.

Level 15

We’re going to see a lot of healing and a lot of survivability in here. You’ll want to emphasize that a little bit as kinda push the differences between the Mage and Warlock a little further apart in the design space.

So start right off in different ways to get health. Dark Regeneration just click to get some of your health back. It takes a little bit of time to build up here, so it’s not an instant burst of healing.

Soul Leech lets your Shadowbolt, Incinerate and Malefic Grasp (oh, what is that?) heal you.

And Harvest of Life drains life from a target and other targets in the area. You can see in the blue text of the tooltip Empowered Channel.

This is a cool thing we’re trying with the way the Warlock channels. If you cast the channel again before it’s finished it increases the duration so is rather than sitting there and channeling the whole time, you channel, channel, channel and then you have a nice long duration spell.

Level 30

Here three different ways to control the bad guys. You can have an AOE fear, or an AOE stun, or you can have Mortal Coil.

A new design on Death Coil. Not about doing damage, but it’s about making them run away, and healing yourself.

Level 45

Level 45 is about Survivability. Hour of Twilight returns some health back when you get hurt, it’s a passive, not like the previous generation one.

Soul Link shares damage with your pet, but your demon has to be alive.

And Sacrificial Pact is the kind of existing Voidwalker ability. Your pet sacrifices itself, but also makes you immune to damage for a short period of time.

Level 60

Level 60 has three ways to heal yourself or avoid damage.

Bloodstone is an instant heal. Spell Drain is cast on yourself, and the next single target attack spell that hits you, heals you for half the damage it would have dealt instead.

Nether Ward transforms your Twilight Ward into Nether Ward. We combine a holy shadow ward into one. You have your ward up and another ward replaces your Twilight Ward and makes you reduce damage to that school you get hit by for 12 sec.

Level 75

Level 75 is about your pet, and you can do three different things here.

Grimoire of Supremacy basically replaces your demon with a more powerful demon. This is a permanent passive. If you take this, you can have a Shivan or an Abyssal as your pet instead of the current run-of-the-mill warlock pet.

All of these are more powerful. They are slightly more powerful versions of their current abilities.

Grimoire of Service is a 30 sec cooldown that lets you have two pets out at the same time.

And then Grimoire of Sacrifice is something else we’ve heard a lot is we never really liked the idea of the Destruction warlock that gets rid of the imp, and then doesn’t have a pet the rest of the time.

But players would tell us, you know — “I really liked that mechanic. Is there any way to bringing it back?”

So we thought, if the pet wasn’t gone permanently, that could be a cool thing. We really like the feel like the Hunter really cares about his bear and his rabbit (rabbit?) — err, his tiger — (jokingly Ghostcrawler says: Make rabbits tameable pets) — whatever.

But the demon, the warlock doens’t care about the demon. The demon is a tool for the warlock. If it makes sense to kill the demon to burst your DPS for a little time, the warlock will probably take that trade.

Level 90

And then level 90 is themed around demons. Not your demons, but really more powerful demons from Warcraft lore. All of these do some pretty crazy, crazy things.

Archimonde’s Vengeance let’s you curse an enemy which will also take damage you do to that enemy.

Kil’jaeden’s Cunning lets you cast while moving. Straight up! Doubles the cast time, or the period of the spell that you’re casting while you’re moving.

And Illidan’s Guile lets you do a little bit of splash damage to other enemies in the area with your three main nukes there.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Shaman

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Shaman talent trees.

Level 15

Now Frozen Power now makes your Frost Shock root in ice.

Earthgrab Totem roots enemies around the totem for 5 sec, and slow down movement by 50%.

Repulsion Totem which repels target from getting close to you.

Level 30

Level 30 is about Survivability. The existing Nature Guardian, which heals you when you get hurt. Stone Bulwark is a new totem that you drop down and puts a shield on you. Remember, there’s no buff totems anymore, so you can choose which of the totems we have now out here.

And then Astral Shift will actually like shift you into another phase so that you take less damage while you are out there.

Level 45

Let me explain Improved Ghost Wolf. We’ll give the Ghost Wolf form to every Shaman, and then flip them around. If you want the freedom wolf you take the talent along with the instant wolf.

Windwalk Totem will brand all your group with immunity to movement imparing effects while it’s out.

The Tranquil Mind Totem is the same effect as Aura Mastery. In this case, rather than reducing push back, it makes you immune to spellcast interruption and silence effects while it’s up.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. We’ve a new healing totem. It’s kind of a little tranquility for the Shaman.

Ancestral Guidance has a chance of copying a heal to another target, or when you deal damage, or heal, you can heal another target.

And Fortifying Waters is a little bit of damage reduction for Healing Rain.

Level 75

Level 75 is about burst for the most part. The key part of Elemental Mastery is — don’t worry so much about activating the next Lightning Bolt or whatever. It’s pretty much a self-Bloodlust.

Nature Swiftness is the activated version to give you a fast spell. It has a little bit of passive haste as well.

And then the Echo of the Elements, you can imagine this as your own personal Dragon Wrath. It has a chance to clone a damage or healing spell.

Level 90

Level 90 is what we’ll call here a high concept tier. These are all about doing crazy things to your totems.

Elemental Harmony lets you have multiple totems of the same kind.

Totemic Restoration if you replace or destroy a totem, it reduces its cooldown. Say you drop one of your raid cooldown totems, and you see someone else puts down power barrier, then you can pull that totem back up and drop another totem and then your other totem will be available pretty quickly. (note: no clue what he said here)

And then Totemic Projection lets you move your totems — and the cool thing is that you aren’t just moving them close to you. You can decide and throw it over there instead.

(Room breaks into applauses)

I love this tier. It’s three superpowerful things, and it feels very exciting. You decided which you want, and mix up over time.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Rogue

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Rogue talent trees.

Level 15

I like how the Rogue benefits from this new model.

Lot of the cool stuff that tended to be in Subtlety is now spread out. You should read all of these tooltips.

These are pretty powerful talents all tied into Stealth.

Nightstalker – you move faster while stealthed.

Subterfuge – your stealth doesn’t break for three seconds, which has a lot of ramifications if you’re a Rogue.

And Shadow Focus which is your stealth abilities are free (they cost no energy).

Obviously you can’t take both of those together or you would be broken, and that’s kind of what we really like about the talent system.

Level 30

Level 30 is about control and survivability. The existing Deathly Throw with a nice movement speed debuff on it as well.

The way Nerve Strike works is that if you Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot someone it also debuffs their damage dealt for a period of time.

Obviously, the target must be susceptible to Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot.

And then the existent Combat Readiness where you can kinda build up resistance to someone that’s trying to beat your face in.

Level 45

Level 45 is about staying alive. Cheat Death is up against a new type of poison. We are trying to introduce new types of Rogue poisons.

Leeching Poison – as you beat on someone it will heal you for a little bit of the damage dealt.

And Improved Recuperate, I’m sure Rogues are very familiar with.

Level 60

Level 60. Here’s your Shadow Step as promised, but … you have to choose it or Preparation.

We went ahead and put the Preparation in here, too, so you get all the abilities listed.

Burst of Speed is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a sprint on no cooldown at a cost of energy.

Level 75

Level 75, we have Deadly Brew – whenever you wound, or mind-numb a target you also apply Crippling Poison to the target.

Paralytic Poison will let you paralize someone. You have to hit them a few times before you get enough stacks to paralyze them.

And then Dirty Tricks let’s you Gauge and Blind won’t break from damage coming from Poison and Bleed effects. You can try to debuff a little bit, and then Gauge and Blind them and they’ll take damage.

Level 90

And see what we did here. You can have any ability you want, from any of the bottom talent trees as Rogue.

Shadow Dance is pretty much the existing Shadow Dance. The Killing Spree and Vendetta are fairly different. Let me talk about those.

This new Killing Spree, the way it works is you can press the button multiple times, and every time gives you a teleport. We hope this is a little less disorienting than the current dance all over.

You push it once you blink. You push it another time you’ll go somewhere else, and you can do it as many times as you feel like it within a five-second window.

Vendetta, the real key here is that bottom part of Vengeful Strikes, once you have a Vendetta target, you can use the Vengeful Strikes ability — it has a 30 yard range and generates a combo point.

Pretty nice for Rogues who have trouble with target switching or movement.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Paladin

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Paladin talent trees.

Level 15

At the top is a tier that’s about movement. I know it sounds pretty crazy for a Paladin. We totally redesigned Speed of Light, and now think of it as a Sprint that does self-healing while you are sprinting.

It’s up against a modified Long Arm of the Law. Whenever you judge, you get a speed movement and we don’t think we need to have a minimum range requirement there anymore.

And then there’s a very different Pursuit of Justice which gives you a 10% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Fist of Justice replaces Hammer of Justice — but it’s a very short cooldown so you can just go around and being the stun guy.

We wanted to make Repentance available to any paladin, but wanted to make it really hard choice because we put a much improved Seal of Justice that does a really legit snare.

Level 45

Level 45 is a survival tier. Hopefully that will be a hard choice for the Protection Paladin, but there’s good stuff here for the other specs as well. Blessed Life is the modification of the current talent that gives you Holy Power when you take direct damage.

Sacred Shield is the automatic defense mechanism when you get brought down low in health, and Ardent Defender is the active one. If you want to be active take Ardent Defender. If you don’t want to worry about so many buttons, take Sacred Shield.

Level 60

Level 60 is a healing tier. A very redesigned selfless healer, all about Flash of Light. One of the things we did was give Flash of Light to all Paladins, but Holy Light and Divine Light are Holy only.

We figured if the other two Paladin specs really wanted to cast a heal they would have to cast a fast heal. So it’s based on Flash of Light.

Eternal Glory is an existing talent. It gives you a chance not to use Holy Power in your heal. Word of Glory is the single target and then think of Holy Shield as an absorption version of Word of Glory.

Not everyone can have a shield, but if you want it, there’s one right here.

Level 75

Level 75 is about Utility. Veneration is a new idea where if you put down a consecration, your allies on the consecration will be immune to movement impairing effects for a limited time.

Acts of Sacrifice is an existent talent that lets you cleanse a movement impairing effect on yourself, and reduces the cooldown of your Hand abilities a little bit.

And then Clemency is a way to immediately finish the cooldown of your Hand abilities so you can cast it again.

Level 90

Finally, Level 90 is a really exciting tier about cooldowns. The common complaints we get are cooldowns are cool, but Paladins have a little too many of them. So here’s the way to pick the way you want to do it. I’m gonna go through these real quick.

Holy Avenger, when you have Guardian of Ancient Kings out, your abilities don’t cost Holy Power.

Sanctified Wrath varies depending on your spec. For Holy, you can holy shock with no cooldown. For Protection, you can judge with no cooldown, and for Retribution you can use Hammer of Wrath as you can today.

We also have Divine Purpose in here. It’s a fun talent for some Retribution Paladins, but others get frustrated by the OMG. Here’s a way to get Holy Power — it’s not so tied to a cooldown. Sometimes you will have more Holy Power than others.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Mage

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Mage talent trees.

Mage is a great example of a class that works well with this talent system because historically we have had a lot of the most fun abilities for crowd control, and survivability, utility and frost — and we had trouble increasing the damage because they had so much utility and put it throughout the talent tree and let frost do different types of damage.

In this brave new world, arcane blast is arcane only, fireball is fire only, and frost is frost only. I know that’s crazy, right?

Level 15

So level 15 is a very chilly tier. We’ve the existing Ring of Frost which probably wins the award for the most level of junk.

It goes against Cone of Cold, and this is the improved version. It also freezes.

The new way of freezing, Frostjaw, silences and freezes the target.

Level 30

These are all abilities that help Mages survive and get away. Greater Invisibility is an upgrade to Invisibility. It doesn’t really replace Invisibility, it just makes your invisibility more powerful, but they key is it removes up to two dots.

The existing Cauterize only fire had access to before, and then Cold Snap one of your most powerful control and escape mechanisms.

Level 45

Level 45 tier is about Movement. Presence of Mind lets you get a fast spell off to get it instantly. It’s up against Scorch now. This is improved Scorch. This can only be kept by moving, but you don’t have Scorch to let you pick this talent.

If you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re moving a lot you can take Scorch here, and Scorch as you move around. This Arcane Flows is a variant on that where it lets you cast the next two spells while moving. So it’s like a cooldown you pop, then while you’re moving you can cast two spells. You get to choose between Scorch or Arcane Flows.

As I mentioned here, we want to make sure that Scorch is the no-brainer choice for Fire mages. We’re not going to have to worry about how Fire mage buff all their fire damage, so of course, they’re going to take Scorch.

We want these to be attractive to any of the three specs.

Level 60

Level 60 is another kind of escape and control tier. We have Mana Shield here but it has a damage absorption sort of thing. When your Mana Shield is destroyed it does a knockback. Up against Blazing Speed which lets you move faster for a period of time, and then Ice Barrier.

Level 75

This is a fun tier. Polymorph is a signature Mage spell, and as with other classes’ spells, we wanted to do something that was focused on this spell.

With Sickly Polymorph targets regenerate health slower. You can polymorph mobs that is pretty injured and and they won’t regenerate health quickly.

Heavy Polymorph does a stun to the target, and Double Polymorph does it on two targets at once.

We really wanted these to be like game-changers, and we wanted you to see a mage doing like a double polymorph. Like … “What’s going on, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Level 90

And crowd control at level 90, this is great at crowd control. Here you can have Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath. Both which do a little bit of damage as well, and then, Slow.

Talents Window

There’s the full mage tree.

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Hunter

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Hunter talent trees.

Level 15

The top Hunter tier is about arrows and ammunition. This is something we kinda flirted with a few times, and we think it’s a great place to deliver it.

You can have three different types of ammunition just by choosing a talent. The Frozen Arrows does the kind of thing that frost usually does in our game.

The Arcane Arrows restore focus, and the Venom Tipped Arrows leave a dot. It depends on what situation you’re in. If you are into PvP Arcane Arrows and Venom Tipped Arrows would be attractive.

Level 30

Level 30 is a crowd control tier. Silencing Shot and Wyvern Sting, pretty much the ability we had. Intimidation Shot is now here, and we went ahead and changed Beast Master’s Level 10 ability to Kill Command which always kind of made sense.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about how you want to use Disengage. Every Hunter will have something cool that happens when they Disengage and they choose it here.

You can buff your movement speed and you can buff your avoidance or you can heal yourself after a Disengage.

Hunters often ask for self-heal and here you can get a good one.

Level 60

Here’s one about survivability being slippery, or perhaps, being tanky. Crouching Tiger — the existing talent that can improve your disengage and deterrants.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces the damage you can take outright, and this is a more powerful version of your Spirit Bond that lets you and your pet heal as long as your pet is still alive.

Level 75

Level 75 is about resources in three different ways. You have two clickies over which gives you focus, you and your pet, readiness — which finishes the cooldown durabilities and thrill of the hunt which is a passive ability to get some focus back.

So here’s one of those opportunities. Some players really like active control and some players would rather not have another button on their bar, and they’re happy to have it happen over time, even if it means a little bit more R&D for them.

Level 90

And one thing we haven’t seen a lot yet in the Hunter trees are traps. So level 90 is all about the traps.

Flash Freeze no longer has a cooldown. Black Ice is an interesting one. It increases the movement speed of your Ice Trap, but it also increases your move speed when you walk over the trap.

And then Transmorph Trap, it turns the target into a beast. They are not very powerful as long as they’re a beast. One other thing I wanted to mention about Hunter is what happens to the pet talent?

The way we think we’re going to handle that is let Hunters choose any of the three speccs for any pet: Ferocity, Tenacity or Cunning.

You can have a bear and you can just choose which one you want to — if you want them to do the damage role or the tanking role.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Druid

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Druid talent trees.

Level 15

Some of the fun things to do with Druids is we try to have different tiers based on different themes of being a Druid.

Level 15 is all about Cat form. It doesn’t mean only the cat spec is interesting it’s just that this tier was themed around that way. Feline Swiftness is the movement ability we have now. Displacer Beast is a fun ability that let’s you kinda move in a random direction and get out of any kind of dots that are on you at the time.

And then Tireless Pursuit is basically a second dash. If you want to be the really mobile guy that gets around the battlefield you can do the Tireless Pursuit.

You’ll see a lot of the Druid abilities will say something like this ability activates X.

Rather than having to jump into Cat and hit Displacer Beast, if you are Moonkin and you hit Displacer Beast, you’ll go into Cat form automatically as part of that. (crowd cheers)

Level 30

Level 30 is kind of a healing tier. The Druids care about this, but because the Druids are a hybrid class we want the other specs to feel like they could do some healing as well even if it’s something they’re healing on themselves.

Nature’s Swiftness is your next healing instant. It’s pretty similar to what we have today.

Renewal is a big heal that you can throw on yourself. And then Cenarion Ward you designate a target, and put a shield on them, and they get healed when the shield gets broken.

Level 45

Level 45 Tier is a crowd control in here. Faerie Swarm is one of those spells that replaces Faerie Fire, and it’s more powerful than Faerie Fire because it does the snare as well.

Mass Entanglement is exactly what it sounds like. Root everything. And then we thought it’d be fun to put Typhoon in here. If you want to be a Bear with Typhoon, here’s your chance!

Level 60

Level 60 is a pretty cool tier. What we did in this case was we said let’s take something cool that different talent trees have and make it available to everyone.

Wild Charge is a new version of Feral Charge. If you take this talent you have a lot of different movement abilities. One for every form you can turn into.

If you are Bear, you get the Bear charge. If you are Moonkin, you get the Moonkin Charge.

The way Incarnation works is depending on your spec, it activates a super powerful version of your spec. If you like Tree of Life, this is where you get Tree of Life.

If you say: “You know, I want to be a Cat that turns into the super power cat version”, then you also pick this talent. There’s a super Boomkin and everything in there.

Finally, Force of Nature. It’s not just the three treants you know and love today, but these three treants do different things depending on your spec. I didn’t want to add the gigantic tooltip here. It works a little bit like Guardian of Ancient Kings depending on which of the four specs you are. Remember, there’s four druid specs now.

Level 75

Obviously, Level 75 — a Bear theme. Demoralizing Shout and Demoralizing Roar was one of those abilities we were not sure the game really needed.

They were kind of maintenance. We thought “Let’s get rid of them and focus the more interesting Thunder Clap”, and things like that so this is not too demoralizing like you have today. This does a group disorient.

Ursol’s Vortex, it can be used in any shapeshifting form, but it’s bear themed in that it pulls all enemies to you via a wind. Bear Hug is an interesting kind of stun where you’re a bear. You grab the enemy. They are stunned, but you have to keep stunning them. If you go away, then they are going to break out of stun.

Level 90

Level 90 — I mentioned before that we really wanted to remind players that the kit of the Druid is that you can do lots of different things. That’s what the Druid was originally about and we moved away from that so we could let players specialize a little bit.

So level 90, we give you a choice of how you want to be a shapeshifter. A lot of different things here. Heart of the Wild feels really powerful. It’s the one that says, even though I’m a balanced Druid, I still want to be a fairly good healer. Not as good a healer as the Resto Druids, but I’m willing to give up a talent point and be a pretty good healer.

The Feral spec, if you pick Heart of the Wild gives you the ability to have better armor and have little higher intellect, but you’re not going to be as powerful as the Druid that picks that spec. So Heart of the Wild is more about focusing on that.

Master Shapeshifter has to do with the actual shift itself. Every time you shift, you increase your damage and attack power which stacks up. So if you shift multiple times, you can build up this buff on yourself.

Disentanglement, when you shapeshift it removes roots and does a heal on you.

Talents Window

BlizzCon 2011: WoW Class Talent System Panel – Death Knight

As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Death Knight talent trees.

Level 15

Ghostcrawler: The first, Death Knight tier is all about diseases. Outbreak is a current ability, it’s up against Roiling Blood — which now works with Pestilence — and the return by popular demand of Corpse Explosion.

(crowd cheers)

The way it works is if a target dies with your diseases on it, you can target that corpse and blow it up.

Level 30

Next tier, we have three Survivability buttons. You can choose which one, the Lichborne, Anti-Magic Zone or Bone Shield.

We’re hoping the Blood Death Knight doesn’t just say “I have to have this because the other two can be pretty useful as well.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about movement and control. Death’s Advance, and Chilblains are current abilities that Death Knights are very familiar with.

And then we have a new ability called Asphyxiate. You lift your target off the ground and strangle them.

You’ll see what we do with some of these talents — if you get Asphixiate, it replaces Strangulate. It’s kind of an Improved Strangulate. You don’t get both of them, you just get the most awesome version.

Level 60

Alright. At level 60 you get a healing tier. Death Knights have always been about self-healing. Particularly, the tanks. So we still have Death Pact, Vampiric Blood in here, and a new ability named Death Siphon which does shadow damage and let’s you heal yourself a little bit based on the damage dealt.

Level 75

Level 75 is a little interesting too. We introduced the concept of Rune Empowerment in Cataclysm, with the idea that rotations didn’t feel too — we know you get to the point where you’re just hitting: “One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four” — so we introduced this to mix it up. Some players don’t care for the mechanic and they want a little more control.

You can make other criticisms about it, but it’s a great candidate to have as a talent.

If you like it, choose it. If not, you have other two choices. You have the Runic Corruption — which just increases the amount of runes you get back; or this really modified Blood Tap where now you can take a depleted rune, and turn it into a Death Rune.

Level 90

And now the final tier, level 90 is all about awesome crowd control. Gorefiend’s Grasp is a Death Grip.

Remorseless Winter is more like the Lich King’s ability himself. Kind of a replacement for Hungering Cold — but the instant nature, we didn’t think the cast time went over very well, so here, you can still do control, but it takes a little while to stack that five stack up and stun the target at the end.

And then finally, Desecrated Ground here. When you stand within the area of effect, you are immune to crowd control effects.

Automatically, three of these abilities do some amount of damage. We want them to apple to apple choices. So if you pick one you think you have to pick the other.

Talents Window

We’re going to build a Talent Calculator after this presentation. We’ll set something up on our website pretty soon where you can read all the tooltips you don’t have to furiously iPhone everything, but I’m sure you will anyway.

BlizzCon 2011: Sons of the Storm Signing Schedule

The Sons of the Storm will be signing Blizzard merchandise on Saturday, October 21 at BlizzCon 2001. Their website has been updated with recent artwork including the full face of King Varian Wrynn used as the World of Warcraft: Wolfheart front cover, the Thrall, Guardian of the Elements WoW TCG card, and the Diablo III Wizard artwork shown often as a poster in the background of interviews.

We’re shy of a month away from the sixth BlizzCon in history. And once again, the Sons of the Storm will be there in full force! We will have a one-hour signing session on the second day of BlizzCon:

Saturday, 10AM to 11AM at the developer signing area

So if you would like to meet and greet…or get your sign on and your whine on (be warned Red Shirts!), then mark the date and be there on the dot. Lines tend to get crazy! Remember to double-check the signing schedule for any changes.

Also, be sure to swing by the Artists’ Stage where, among others, Samwise, Raneman and Red Knuckle will showcase their skills for all to see. Next to live sketching and painting demos, a whole army of Blizzard’s top 3D wizards and cinematic masters will give crash courses in modeling, texturing and making magic happen.

This will be a BlizzCon to remember!

BlizzCon Store Online Pre-Sale for Attendees Begins Today

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the virtual pre-sale of BlizzCon 2011 merchandise. Those who purchased a BlizzCon 2011 ticket can now purchase BlizzCon merchandise online. Don’t waste time and go buy. Remember there are long queues.

Have a ticket to BlizzCon 2011? Planning to purchase some souvenirs at the show? Between now and Tuesday, September 20 at 9:59 a.m. Pacific time, BlizzCon 2011 ticket holders attending the show in person are able to shop for items from the BlizzCon 2011 store (while supplies last) during our limited-time-only, online BlizzCon Pre-Sale. Items purchased through this sale will be shipped directly to your home, allowing you to avoid store lines at the show and giving you more time to take in the panels, tournaments, and other events at BlizzCon 2011.

To participate, simply log in to the online Blizzard Store using the account you provided when you purchased your BlizzCon 2011 tickets, and click the BlizzCon Sale button in the lower right-hand corner of your screen to browse this year’s selection. Please note that only ticket-holders who provided account info will have access to BlizzCon 2011 merchandise during this online sale — you can view this information in the ticket buyer’s Order History.

Shop BlizzCon now!

If you’re planning to purchase this year’s BlizzCon Virtual Ticket to watch BlizzCon from home, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in a second BlizzCon merchandise pre-sale September 23 through September 27. Check out our previous BlizzCon Pre-Sale blog post for more information.

Enjoy, and we look forward to seeing you at BlizzCon 2011!

BlizzCon 2011 Tickets Sweepstake by WoW Visa No Purchase Necessary

Blizzard Entertainment announced the World of Warcraft Visa: Get BlizzCon Tickets Giveaway. Only USA Residents. No purchase is necessary to participate.

The Prize is two BlizzCon 2011 tickets and an eye-popping $2,000 in Visa Gift Cards. The Sweepstakes ends on September 15th.

Hurry up and check out the giveaway page.

Note: What the …? Did they just match the exact Blizzplanet background color for the sweepstakes page? Coincidence? O_o

BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Pet Murkablo

Blizzard Entertainment presents the BlizzCon 2011 exclusive World of Warcraft Pet: Murkablo. Not coming to BlizzCon? You can still get this pet by ordering the Online Live Stream or the DirecTV pay-per-view.

BlizzCon 2011 World of Warcraft Pet: Meet Murkablo

An ill omen streaks across the sky over Azeroth’s Great Sea, heralding the arrival of this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft in-game companion: the fearsome-ish Murkablo, aquatic protégé of Diablo III’s eponymous Lord of Terror! Anyone who attends BlizzCon 2011 or purchases this year’s BlizzCon Virtual Ticket will receive a Murkablo to call their own, along with a yet-to-be-revealed StarCraft II in-game gift.

BlizzCon 2011 takes place on October 21 and 22 at the Anaheim Convention Center. If you order the Virtual Ticket Internet stream online through, Murkablo and the StarCraft II gift will be automatically attached to the account you use to make your purchase shortly after BlizzCon begins. DIRECTV customers who order the BlizzCon Pay Per View event will receive a code granting access to the Internet stream and the in-game gifts via email.

For further details or to order the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, check out the Virtual Ticket web page.

BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket Now On Sale

Blizzard Entertainment announced BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket is now on sale for $39.99. Unable to attend BlizzCon? Buy the Virtual Ticket to watch the livestream over the internet giving you access to several panels and tournaments. You can also get Pay-Per-View on TV.

Want to experience the panel discussions, tournaments, game-related announcements, and all the excitement of BlizzCon 2011 from the comfort of your own home? Then be sure to check out the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket!

The BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket is now available for purchase around the world for $39.99 USD (pricing may vary by region). Virtual Ticket coverage will be available as a multi-channel Internet stream and also via Pay-per-View on DIRECTV in the United States, granting viewers a front-row seat to all of the action on the show floor including exclusive interviews, demos, and more!

DIRECTV customers who order the Pay-per-View event will receive the multi-channel Internet stream at no extra charge, and those who order the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s to-be-announced BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft and StarCraft II in-game items.

Don’t miss out! To learn more about the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, head on over to our official BlizzCon 2011 Live Stream page.

BlizzCon 2011 Contests Registration Now Open


Blizzard Entertainment the registration to participate in all the contests to be held at BlizzCon 2011 is now open. Sign up for a chance at winning your favorite contest onstage. Spread the word and tell your family or friends.

The wait is over for those eager to share their stunning sketches, masterful machinimas and amazing arias for a chance at glory in this year’s BlizzCon contests. Head over to our Contest pages to submit your entry, and learn what kind of sweet loot you can win. Any questions should be directed to [email protected].

Don’t delay! The deadline for each contest is August 29.

Good luck to all of our contestants!

BlizzCon 2011 Tickets Batch 2 On May 24

The second batch of BlizzCon Tickets will be on sale on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:00pm (Pacific) / 10:00pm (New York). The ticket price is $175, but with the tax it goes up to $190 each. There is a limit of 4 tickets per account.

Make sure to login into your account twenty minutes prior to the sale, and start reloading the BlizzCon Tickets sale page.

Remember, if you don’t get into the queue within the first 30 seconds, chances are you won’t get a ticket.

There will be a third batch of BlizzCon Tickets, but that one will be for the exclusive BlizzCon Dinner with the developers and executives at a cost of $500 per ticket. Money will be donated by Blizzard to the Orange County Children’s Hospital. The BlizzCon Dinner tickets will be on sale Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) / 1:00pm (New York).

BlizzCon 2011 Batch 1 Tickets Sold Out

The BlizzCon 2011 Tickets became available for purchase today Saturday, May 21 at 10am PDT (1pm New York, -5GMT). Within mere seconds, I loaded the sale page just for observation sake, and got welcomed with a 12256 queue, Estimated time: 1 hour, and a live bar displaying 86% of BlizzCon Tickets stock left.

Some of those gamers who actually got a ticket discovered the $175 BlizzCon Ticket has a state tax which actually put the total up to $190.

BlizzCon has been a massive event for informative panels, community interaction, hands-on preview and gameplay of upcoming games and expansions, and let’s not forget a surprise concert at the end of the BlizzCon schedule. It’s hard to complain paying an extra 15 bucks for tax or the overall cost of attending BlizzCon when the experience and thrill makes up for it.

Everyone has their own opinion or point of view, regardless.

The next batch of BlizzCon tickets will be available on Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. (Pacific Time). The BlizzCon Dinner Tickets ($500 value) will be on sale Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time).

Below are three images of the BlizzCon Ticket Sale page when it became available for orders:

BlizzCon 2011 Tickets Batch 1 Sales on May 21

Blizzard Entertainment will sell BlizzCon 2011 Tickets on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 am PDT (Pacific Time). Tickets are priced at $175. Make sure to load the page and get ready to reload the Tickets Sales Page, and act quickly because previous Blizzcons over 25,000 tickets were sold out within 30 seconds or less.

Mike Morhaime said last year if gamers didn’t queue in within 30 seconds they didn’t get a ticket.

If you aren’t lucky in securing a BlizzCon Ticket, don’t worry. Blizzard will sell another batch of BlizzCon tickets [listen well] on Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. (Pacific Time).

A third opportunity to get BlizzCon Tickets will come up on Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time), however, at a price of $500 for the exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Good for those wishing to donate to a non-profit cause, while having fun going to BlizzCon and meeting developers and executives at the dinner event.

There’s still a fourth way to get a BlizzCon ticket. However, these are free tickets. How? As always, Blizzard Entertainment provides tickets to select fansites and websites to giveaway. So keep your eyes open, and visit Blizzplanet for flash news details.

2011 BlizzCon Tickets Sales Date Announced

Blizzard Entertainment announced BlizzCon tickets will be on sale for $175 USD on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. PDT, and Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. PDT.

The Benefit Dinner Tickets will go on sale on May 28 at 10 a.m PDT for $500 USD (including Blizzcon admission). The Benefit Dinner Tickets will allow fans to meet Blizzard developers and executives.

BlizzCon Virtual Tickets and DIRECTV Pay-per-View will be available for $39.99 USD, but the purchase date will be announced at a later time.

For further details visit the official BlizzCon website.

BlizzCon(R) 2011 Tickets on Sale May 21 and May 25

Exclusive coverage of Blizzard Entertainment’s epic two-day gaming festival also available through multichannel Internet stream and DIRECTV

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that tickets for its sixth BlizzCon® gaming convention will go on sale in two batches on Saturday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 25 . In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County will go on sale Saturday, May 28 .

BlizzCon is a celebration of the global communities surrounding Blizzard’s Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® game universes. The event once again offers players a valid reason to skip work on a Friday when it returns to the Anaheim Convention Center this year on October 21 and 22. Gamers around the world will also have the option to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which offers comprehensive live coverage of the event streaming online and also on DIRECTV in the United States .

“We love being able to meet directly with our players, and since BlizzCon is one of the rare opportunities we get to do that, we always pack as much information and entertainment as we can into the show,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “This year will be no different — whether you’re with us in Anaheim or joining from home, be prepared for two days of Blizzard gaming and good times with the most passionate community in the world.”

In addition to serving as a mutual stomping ground for the different Blizzard communities, BlizzCon will feature an array of activities, including discussion panels, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, professional and casual tournaments, contests, and much more. Blizzard is looking forward to learning more about its own games from Red Shirt Guy if he can make it to the show again this year.

Tickets to the convention will be priced at $175 USD each and will be available for purchase from the official BlizzCon website ( in two separate batches on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. Pacific time and Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. Pacific time .

Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, which include admission to BlizzCon, will be priced at $500 USD each, with proceeds going to Children’s Hospital of Orange County . Taking place the evening of Thursday, October 20 , this exclusive event offers guests an opportunity to rub elbows and trade war stories with Blizzard game developers and other employees before the show. Approximately 200 tickets to the benefit dinner will be available for purchase beginning Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. Pacific time through

Gamers around the world will also have the option to purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket priced at $39.99 USD (pricing may vary by region). The Virtual Ticket grants access to comprehensive live HD coverage from the show floor on each day of the convention, including exclusive interviews, demos, and more. Virtual Ticket coverage will be available to viewers globally as a multichannel Internet stream and also via Pay-per-View on DIRECTV in the United States . DIRECTV customers who order the televised event will receive the multichannel Internet stream at no extra charge, allowing them to watch in the format of their choice. Those who order the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft® and StarCraft II in-game items (availability may vary by region), to be revealed at a later date. Limited streaming coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and certain BlizzCon tournaments will be available via the Internet for free.

As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show, including ordering and programming information for the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, will be announced at

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at

New Blizzard Game @ BlizzCon 2011?

In past years, Blizzard has rented the Anaheim Convention Center to celebrate their massive convention dubbed BlizzCon. It has been celebrated in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2011.

Blizzard Entertainment announced StarCraft II at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (Seoul), and few months later showcased some StarCraft II panels at BlizzCon 2007. In 2008, Some additional space was rented to fit World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Diablo III (fourth class: Wizard), and StarCraft II panels and features. (Hall A, B, C, D, & Meeting Rooms)

In 2009, the fourth Diablo III class was announced: the Monk. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was announced. StarCraft II demo was playable again.

In 2010, Blizzard had World of Warcraft: Cataclysm demo stations, Diablo III (fifth class: Demon Hunter), and StarCraft II panels.

Blizzcon 2010 Floormap

This year, however, strange things are happening. According to the Anaheim Convention Center, Blizzard has acquired the entire facility.

Ok …

The Entire Facility … now, why did the Anaheim Convention Center describe 2011 BlizzCon as having the “Entire Facility” rather than the usual [Halls A, B, C, D, & Meeting Rooms] description shown in previous years? Take a look at the Floor Map to see exactly what “Entire Facility” might suggest (i.e. areas Blizzard hasn’t used in the past). One space Blizzard has never used is the Arena to the east of the building and Hall E. The coloring scheme in the floor map describes the Arena as Exhibit space along with Halls A, B, C, and D.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to say “You are looking too much into it!”, or the center’s staff made a mistake. Regardless, this makes room to start some speculation mill rolling.

“What if Blizzard is preparing to make a new game announcement at BlizzCon 2011?”

They might be announcing the next World of Warcraft expansion (considering it takes nigh two years to go live), StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III Beta demo, and a brand-new game announcement. Is that too far-fetched? Maybe. Maybe not.

Could it be the Next-Gen MMO? StarCraft: Ghost? WarCraft IV? A new IP?

Note: Blizzard Entertainment has been hiring new developers the past three years for a Next-Gen MMO (careers page).

For the past three years, Rob Pardo has mentioned StarCraft: Ghost will resume development at some point in the future. StarCraft: Ghost development was postponed on March 24, 2006 with a press release notifying Blizzard would explore the possibility of resuming development of StarCraft: Ghost on Next-Gen Console platforms.

Jay Wilson once said to MTV that Diablo III would wrap up the three brothers storyline. There are plans for more Diablo universe beyond Diablo III. Diablo IV? Diablo III expansions? Or … World of Sanctuary MMO? For the naysayers, WarCraft III and World of Warcraft were in development simultaneously. Hold that thought. Now embrace it with a new light. W.o.r.l.d. of S.a.n.c.t.u.a.r.y. Has a nice tone to it.

Warcraft IV was debunked by Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) on December 2010 during an interview by Gamespot. However, StarCraft II was debunked several times since 2003, yet it was revealed it started development shortly after Warcraft III: Frozen Throne shipped (in July 1, 2003).


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