Blizzcon 2011: Diablo III Cinematic – The Black Soulstone

The Diablo III cinematic is awesome. As Deckard Cain’s niece, Leah, struggles to make sense of her uncle’s mysterious and disturbing notations, she bears witness to a dark vision. Azmodan, Lord of Sin, towers over the fragile young woman, swearing his armies of the burning Hells shall pour forth into Sanctuary, ravishing the world and all hope of resistance.

This cinematic game footage offers but a glimpse into the gritty, evolving story of Diablo III.

Blizzcon 2011: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Revealed

Fourth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game reintroduces the mysterious pandaren race to Azeroth

ANAHEIM, Calif. — October 21, 2011 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft®, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Unveiled to a sold-out crowd at the company’s BlizzCon® gaming festival, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria™ lifts the fog of mystery surrounding a long-lost continent that has been newly rediscovered following the events of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm™. The new expansion reintroduces the elusive pandaren, originally seen in Blizzard’s real-time strategy game Warcraft® III, as a playable race and adds a brand-new player class: the martial-arts-focused Monk. While exploring the mysteries of an exotic new land and advancing to the new level cap of 90, players will experience a range of new content and game features, including new quests and dungeons, group scenarios and “challenge” modes, pet battles, and more.

“Players have been asking to see the pandaren in World of Warcraft since the game’s launch, and we’re excited to finally be able to give them a proper re-introduction to Azeroth,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “In addition to the new playable race and class, Mists of Pandaria contains a huge amount of new content, and we’re looking forward to sharing more information about all of it at BlizzCon and beyond.”

In the upcoming expansion, players will be able to explore the long-lost continent of Pandaria, which has remained hidden from the world since the sundering of Azeroth over ten thousand years ago. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm played out in World of Warcraft’s third expansion, Pandaria’s heroes are emerging from their land’s lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains to choose sides in the escalating war between the Alliance and the Horde and to share the extraordinary secrets of their ancient martial arts. As tensions between the factions near a breaking point following the discovery of this new world, players will be called upon to explore Pandaria’s exotic expanses, make contact with its strange indigenous creatures, and unlock the world-changing secrets that have been hiding in the mists for millennia.

New features coming in the game’s fourth expansion include:

  • New Playable Race — Pandaren: Adventure through Azeroth as World of Warcraft’s first neutral race and decide whether to side with the Alliance or the Horde.
  • New Playable Class — Monk: Unlock the secrets of pandaren martial arts and do battle as a damage dealer, healer, or tank.
  • Level Cap Increased to 90: Learn potent new spells and abilities while exploring uncharted zones and taking on challenging new content.
  • New Zones: Explore the lush Jade Forest, treacherous Kun-Lai Summit, and other exotic areas of Pandaria designed for high-level characters, and uncover the mystery of the Wandering Isle.
  • Scenarios: Join up with some friends to achieve a common goal, such as mounting a defense against invading monsters, in a flexible new type of PvE challenge.
  • Dungeon “Challenge” Modes: Master the ultimate five-player time trial to earn prestige rewards in a new dungeon mode that will put your resolve and coordination to the test.
  • Pet Battles: Challenge other players’ companion pets with your own collection in a new tactical mini-game, and find out who’s king or queen of the pint-sized battlefield.
  • New Talent System: Customize your character to suit your play style with the newly overhauled and improved talent system.

Launched in November 2004, World of Warcraft is the world’s most popular MMORPG. The game’s third expansion, Cataclysm, sold more than 3.3 million copies within its first 24 hours of availability, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time, and went on to sell more than 4.7 million copies in its first month.* World of Warcraft is available in nine different languages — with a tenth, Brazilian Portuguese, slated for release this year — and is played in North America, Latin America, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, mainland China, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

For more information on World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, visit Blizzard Entertainment’s official website at To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions — more information on available career opportunities at Blizzard can be found at

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

Chris Metzen announced the next World of Warcraft expansion: Mists of Pandaria. The Pandaren will be a new playable race located in the continent of Pandaria. The Horde and the Alliance will go all out war in this expansion.

“To contextualize what you are about to see, the war thats coming between the alliance and horde, picture it as a storm in the horizon. the land that you are about to adventure is more like the calm before the storm.

This expansion set is set in a place that has been lost to time for close to 10k years. Its a land of balance harmony and beauty until we arrive with all our hate, violence and factional conflict. The War that is coming for the World of Warcraft will be fought in this gentle place.

The curious race we’re are going to meet will just teach us a thing or two about who we are and why we fight.”


  • New Race: The Pandaren
  • The new playable class: the Monk
  • New Continent: Pandaria
  • New Pandaren Starting Zone: The Wandering Isle
  • Level Cap increased to 90
  • Challenge Mode Dungeons
  • PvE Scenarios
  • Pet Battle System
  • New Talent System

Cory Stockston said flying mounts in Pandaria will be available at level 90. As with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the developers feel that players should be able to enjoy the environments and quest progression that way better.

The Continent of Pandaria

  • 5 new level-up zones to explore: Kun-Lai Summit, Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Townlong Steppes, Valley of the Four Winds, The Jade Forest.
  • Single, unified continent
  • Influenced by Asian landscapes
  • AH, Bank and Central Questing Hub
  • No flying until max level

Creatures of Pandaria

  • Jinyu – fish-like race
  • Hozu – monkey-like race
  • Verming – Kobold-like race looking like rabbits
  • Mantid – insect race

The Jinyu is a fish-like race, one of the wisest in Pandaria. They stick their staff into the water to attune and listen to the land.

Lore of Pandaria

  • A long, storied history
  • Magicallly hidden since The Sundering
  • A new land to explore …

The Pandaren have been there hidden and undiscovered behind a magical mist for thousands of years, after The Sundering.

The Alliance and Horde both see the lands of Pandaria as a rich and unexploited lush land, a resources hub, and wish to use the full resources to fuel their war.

The Playable Pandaren Race starting zone is The Wandering Isle. What’s amazing about it is that the Isle is really a massive turtle. The Pandaren is the first neutral playable race. At level 10, the player decides whether to be Alliance or Horde.

The Wandering Isle

  • Pandaren start zone
  • It’s a turtle!
  • Story focused with simple mechanics
  • Cross faction, choose Horde/Alliance at level 10

The Hozu are a monkey-like race that can be found throughout Pandaria and some of the dungeons. The Verming are like Kobolds, but more rabbit-like. They use bizzare weapons such as knives and forks wrapped up around sticks instead of axes.

The mantid are not like the silithid, with a hive-mind. These are more intelligent and wear clothing. They play an important role in the expansion, and a dungeon is themed around them. They have lived close to the Pandaren for milennia, but separated by a wall. Now they are breaching this wall, and we help solve that problem.

The mogu were the original inhabitants of Pandaria before the Pandaren got there. They have wanted to recover their lands.

The Jade Forest

  • Point of entry for Alliance & Horde
  • Lush rainforests and stone spires
  • Meet the Hozu & Jinyu
  • The Sha
  • The Temple of the Jade Serpent (dungeon)

The Alliance sorta befriends the Hozu and the Horde befriends the Jinyu.

Valley of the Four Winds

  • Two zones for the price of one!
  • Pandaren farmlands
  • Coastal Jungle
  • Stormstout Brewery
  • The Mantid

This zone borders the wall, where the Mantid lives.

New Features

  • New Pandaren race
  • Able to chose Horde or Alliance at level 10
  • Pandaren classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior (No Warlock, Druid, Death Knight or Paladin)

Pandaren Racials

  • Epicurean – Increase the stat benefits from food by 100%
  • Gourmand – Cooking Skill increased by 15
  • Inner Peace – Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long
  • Bouncy – You take 50% less falling damage

Monk Class

  • Brewmaster – Tank
  • Mistweaver – Healer
  • Windwalker – Melee DPS
  • Not a hero class – Starts at first level
  • Very martial-arts based
  • Lot of monk-only animations

Monk Races

The Monk class is not a Pandaren-only class. Blizzard allows other races to be a Monk: Draenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Pandaren, Blood Elf, Tauren, Troll, Undead. The exception are the Worgen and the Goblin. Those two can’t be a monk.

Monk Equipment

  • They hit a lot with the hands and feet
  • But need weapons for some finishing moves: Staves and Fist Weapons, one-handed axes, maces and swords.
  • Off-hands for healers
  • Leather armor class (Agility or Intellect)

Monk Resources

  • Chi (energy) used for Jab and Roll
  • Jab generates Light and Dark force which are used for everything else, like finishing attacks.
  • No auto Attack!

    Mist of Pandaria Photo Gallery

  • Blizzcon 2011: Diablo III Box Revealed and Free to World of Warcraft players

    At 11:04am PDT, Mike Morhaime walked onstage to recap the 20th Anniversary of Blizzard Entertainment and the latest achievements such as World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and mentioned the upcoming Deathwing dungeon and the legendary Rogue dagger. There are 26,000 fans in attendance from all around the world, and over 60,000 Virtual tickets viewers.

    Diablo III will be free for World of Warcraft subscribers. Those who are new to World of Warcraft, and subscribe to 12-months commitment will get Diablo III free also at launch, and be able to download the game.

    With Deathwing’s shadow looming over Azeroth and the mortal realms of Sanctuary steeling for war against the forces of Diablo, the World of Warcraft Annual Pass has arrived to offer WoW subscribers a chance to participate in both apocalyptic conflicts… without breaking the bank.

    For a limited time only, players who make a 12-month subscription commitment to World of Warcraft through the WoW Annual Pass will receive the following epic rewards:

    • Diablo III FREE – Download the digital version via for free when the game launches early next year. This is the full game, not a trial edition.
    • Tyrael’s Charger WoW Flying Mount – Ride for the Archangel of Justice on all current and future characters on a single World of Warcraft account. Tyrael’s Charger will arrive via in-game mail with the upcoming launch of patch 4.3.
    • Access to the Next WoW Expansion Beta Test – Get a guaranteed spot in the beta test for the next World of Warcraft expansion (at a time to be announced in the future).

    You can pay for the WoW Annual Pass on a monthly basis at $14.99 per month or according to the billing plan of your choice. To participate, you must be 18 or older, have a valid credit card, and have registered a full version of World of Warcraft on or before October 18, 2011.

    Sign up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass here, and then keep an eye on the World of Warcraft community site or the Diablo III community site for future announcements regarding the launch dates of these bonuses.

    For more information on this offer, including eligibility requirements and details on how the World of Warcraft Annual Pass applies to players who plan to purchase the Diablo III: Collector’s Edition, please read the full FAQ.

    BlizzCon 2011: Pre-Show Coverage

    — This thread will be updated often —

    10:28pm PDT: The Pre-Show Coverage will start in the BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket livestream in a few minutes.

    10:29pm PDT: Eldorian reports a Pandaren T-shirt is available at the BlizzCon store. Mists of Pandaria vibe? He’s trying to get a photo.

    10:40pm PDT: The livestream confirms a new World of Warcraft expansion. Kat Hunter seems to hint the new expansion might be playable today. We’ll see if that’s true.

    10:45pm PST: Adrianne Curry reporting for DirecTV livestream, she will be interviewing cosplay fans.

    Opening Ceremony about to start.

    BlizzCon 2011: Blizzard Licensed Products Booths Photos

    Check out photos of the following booths: SteelSeries, Epic Weapons, JINX, Insight Editions, Mega Bloks, and more. Note: This post will be updated often.

    Insight Editions

    The Art of Blizzard final cover seems to be displayed in one of the photos(11-22.jpg).

    Mega Bloks


    BlizzCon 2011: Cosplay Photos

    Eldorian captured photos of some of the fans disguised as their favorite Blizzard game character or NPC found at BlizzCon 2011.

    That Marine suit looks awesome. Wonder how he is able to walk with that bulky thing. Spirit of Redemption. A Warden (Maiev). Scarlet Monastery boss. That green-lady? I’d love to get kerploded by that sweet-looking Baneling.

    BlizzCon Opening Ceremony and Tournaments – Free Live Streams

    BlizzCon 2011 begins tomorrow, and you’ll be able to watch the opening ceremony and the action on the World of Warcraft and RTS tournament stages streaming for free at DIRECTV subscribers in the U.S. can also catch the opening ceremony for free on the Audience Network. Pre-show coverage begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific, and the opening ceremony is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.. Tournaments run throughout both days of the show — check out the BlizzCon schedule for details.

    If you’re interested in watching these in high-def and getting over 50 hours of BlizzCon coverage, including developer panels, the costume contest, the closing concert with Foo Fighters, and more, you can still purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which also includes this year’s World of Warcraft pet and to-be-revealed StarCraft II in-game gift. The Virtual Ticket also lets you watch on-demand replays of any coverage you might have missed.

    We’ll be updating, our Twitter feeds, and our Facebook pages with news, photos, and more from the show, so we’ve got you covered pretty much anywhere you go. See you at BlizzCon!

    NVIDIA Graphics to Gear Up the Gaming Experience at BlizzCon 2011

    GeForce GTX GPUs Powering Demo Rigs Throughout Show; NVIDIA Workshops to Help Users Gear Up their PCs for the Ultimate in Gaming Performance

    SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Oct. 20, 2011— NVIDIA is pulling out all the stops this week at BlizzCon 2011 to help attendees get the ultimate PC gaming experience when playing the latest Blizzard titles.

    Just about everywhere you look at BlizzCon (Oct. 21-22, Anaheim, CA) you’ll find NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX GPU-equipped PCs powering your favorite Blizzard games. From the NVIDIA booth (Booth #308 – Hall C) to the GeForce LAN to demo systems covering the show floor, NVIDIA is providing more than 1,000 GeForce GTX graphics cards to demonstrate the unparalleled experience of playing Blizzard games on a GeForce GTX-equipped PC.

    In addition, Tom Peterson, director of technical marketing for GeForce, and Ryan Shrout, editor-in-chief of PC Perspective, will provide informative demos throughout the show. They’ll also host for hands-on workshops to teach gamers how to optimize game settings and gear up their rigs for the best performance and playability for World of WarCraft and StarCraft II.

    Here are just a few NVIDIA Blizzcon activities you’ll not want to miss:

    • Stop by the NVIDIA LAN area in Hall C to play World of WarCraft and StarCraft II, featuring NVIDIA 3D Vision™ and Surround technologies.
    • Learn how to gear up your PC with NVIDIA tech talks featuring Ryan Shrout from PC Perspective.
    • Get the inside scoop on winning StarCraft II techniques at Q&A panel featuring top shout-caster and game expert, Husky.
    • Step up to the DIY challenge, hosted by build and power up PC in record time for prizes.
    • Visit the NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ photo booth to get your picture taken in 3D with your favorite Blizzard game characters.

    To keep up on all the up-to-the-minute happenings at BlizzCon on your mobile device, download the free BlizzCon 2011 Guide mobile from iTunes® and the Android™ Market.

    Also, for the complete schedule of NVIDIA events at BlizzCon, please visit our BlizzCon web page ( For more information about BlizzCon 2011, please visit:

    Also, for the complete schedule of NVIDIA events at BlizzCon, please visit our BlizzCon web page ( For more information about BlizzCon 2011, please visit:

    BlizzCon 2011: BlizzCon Goodie Bag Photos

    Eldorian took photos of the BlizzCon 2011 Goodie Swag Bag, and it comes packed with a lot of cool things such as the Diablo III Mini Tyrael Collector’s Statue and the Mega Bloks Thrall, BlizzCon 2011 Special Edition Authenticator, a raffle ticket to bring to the Antec booth in Hall C for a chance at winning a Gaming PC from Antec with a custom case skin of Archangel Tyrael, a discount on the next SteelSeries purchase, a Wanted: Hogger Poster, Cryptozoic promotional Hogger Hero Reward, BlizzCon Anaheim Convention Center Map poster, BlizzCon Schedule of Events, Murkdiablo / StarCraft II (Classified) scratch code card, and other stuff.

      BlizzCon 2011 is just around the corner! Attendees are starting to pick up their badges and goody bags this afternoon — including the cards to redeem for this year’s World of Warcraft in-game pet and top-secret StarCraft II in-game gifts — so we wanted to give you a heads up about when to expect this year’s items to show up in-game.

      Murkablo, this year’s World of Warcraft in-game pet, will be available in-game on Thursday, October 20.

      The StarCraft II portrait and decal will be available in next StarCraft II patch (patch 1.4.2), estimated to be released in early November.

      Attendees who picked up their goody bags can redeem the codes from their cards now, and the pet, portrait, and decal will automatically appear in the games attached to their account at the times above. People who bought the Virtual Ticket will automatically receive their gifts at these times, too.

      Head to the official BlizzCon forums to join the discussion:

    BlizzCon 2011: Badge Pick Up Day Video

    Eldorian uploaded a video of the Anaheim Convention Center’s exterior. At 1:00pm PDT, Fans are arriving to pick up their BlizzCon badge prior to the event. The excitement begins.

    Eldorian has secured interviews with SteelSeries, Mega Bloks, Richard A. Knaak, Christie Golden, and Nate Kenyon.

    I instructed him to check out the Insight Editions booth — they are giving away signed artwork by Brom used for the Diablo III: Book of Cain.

    Fans are welcome to submit questions … ASAP, to forward questions about each of these Blizzard licensed products. Let’s the questions begin folks.

    BlizzCon 2011: Blizzplanet Staff Eldorian Arrives to California

    Eldorian landed at the Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, Oct 20 around 2:30pm.

    Apparently, he rented a car and stopped by the In-and-Out Burger restaurant where he always eats at whenever he travels to California. It’s close to the airport. Who ain’t hungry after a long flight?

    On his way to the hotel, he stopped by Galco’s Old World Grocery (Map) to stock up on Twinkies, and other stuff. It’s going to be a long weekend, and if he gets buff food for his WoW character before a Firelands raid, he needs some kickass junk food to keep his brain optimal through the bosses he’s gonna meet up at BlizzCon. Those bosses will certainly cast brain-numbing imagery and mind-control onstage.

    Finally, after arriving to the hotel, he went for a walk to see the Anaheim Convention Center before heading to the Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park to have some deserved fun.

    Tomorrow in the morning, Eldorian will join dozens of souls from different fansites to aboard a bus en route to Blizzard Entertainment Studios (Irvine, CA) for the Fansites Summit, and a cool tour through the facility. Thank you, Blizzard! Have fun, Eldorian.

    I left him a message with some of the To-Do reminders which includes SteelSeries, Epic Weapons, Insight Editions, Lore Panel, to name a few.

    I will stay home watching the livestream to post BlizzCon news, videos and photos. Eldorian will provide me the FTP details to access the press server once he gets ahold of the info. Stay tuned to Blizzplanet starting today Thursday. Second on the To-Do list is the Swag Bag photos.

    Eldorian’s Map Tracker

    View Larger Map

    BlizzCon 2011: Insight Editions to Unveil Diablo III: Book of Cain

    Insight Editions will unveil the Diablo III: Book of Cain to BlizzCon attendees. You can find Insight Editions on the west side of Hall B at Booth B207.

    BlizzCon Attendees who come by the Insight Editions booth will find out more about the book, and be able to win a piece of art commissioned for the Diablo III: Book of Cain and signed by artist Brom.

    Jinx and Epic Weapons are next to their booth — don’t forget to check them out too.

    Epic Weapons will unveil the Doomhammer Replica, and J!NX will have the Tyrael Hoodie most likely.

    For reference check out our recent articles on those topics:

    Update: Nice sneak peek to behold. The Book of Cain contains continuity from Richard A. Knaak’s The Sin War Trilogy. Those wondering who Kalan is, this is the name Uldyssian’s brother Mendeln is known as after the events of the Sin War. Mendeln (Kalan) became the founder of the Necromancers, and among the very few who kept his memories after the Angiris Council wiped the memories of humanity at the end of the Sin War.

    One of the images reveals that Inarius originally stole the Worldstone from the Pandemonium Fortress. Through unknown means, Inarius used the worldstone to open a dimensional pocket to create Sanctuary within, thus cloaking Sanctuary from the sight of the Eternal Conflict.

    Gallery Books will release the hardcover compiling the trilogy this upcoming December 2011, add it to your wishlist and pre-order Diablo: The Sin War Archive.

    Order your copy of Diablo III: Book of Cain while supplies last.

    BlizzCon 2011: Diablo III Mini-Tyrael Revealed

    Note: I have seen this before as a leak, but I don’t know if this has been officially announced yet on the BlizzCon front page, so here we go. If it hasn’t been posted, it will be posted soon.

    Blizzard Entertainment updated the official BlizzCon website with a sneak peek into the BlizzCon Swag Bag: Mini-Tyrael.

      As a memento of your journey to the realm of Anaheim to join us for BlizzCon 2011, we’re pleased to present travelers with a museum-quality maquette of Mini Tyrael. We trust that this keepsake will help you feel safer on Sanctuary’s longest and darkest nights.

      Designed by the Blizzard cinematics team in conjunction with Sideshow Collectibles, Mini Tyrael captures all of the power of Diablo III’s Archangel of Justice in a much more compact – but no less glorious – form.

      Each meticulously crafted Mini Tyrael piece comes complete with a stamped base and is ready for display on your archive shelves. This figure is a limited-edition, exclusive gift for BlizzCon 2011 attendees, created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Diablo series and the upcoming release of Diablo III, and it will never be reproduced for commercial sale.

    BlizzCon 2011: SteelSeries Diablo III Giveaway

    SteelSeries launched a stealthy giveaway of juicy prizes for those who have a Facebook account. I suggest you participate to widen your chances to get a SteelSeries Diablo III product from them. Widen, you say? …. (Grins and cackles) … Check Blizzplanet very … VERY soon to find out.

    In the meantime, participate in *this* giveaway. Simply type at the SteelSeries Facebook what Diablo III class you’re digging – and why. 5 winners of a bundle each, will be announced tomorrow.

    SteelSeries: Hype hype. We’re at BlizzCon this weekend. For the sake of excitement, we’re Diablo III-ifying some of you guys with a J!NX tee, a SteelSeries QcK Barbarian Edition mousepad and a Diablo Archive novel collection. To enter, let us know what Diablo III class you’re digging – and why. 5 winners of a bundle each, will be announced tomorrow. 🙂

    BlizzCon 2011: Badge Pickup on Thursday

    Blizzard Entertainment will open the gates of Anaheim Convention Center (Hall E) to let attendees grab their BlizzCon badge a day earlier, on Thursday, October 20th.

      BlizzCon is almost here! If you’re attending this year’s show, you can pick up your badges beginning Thursday, October 20 at 4 p.m. at General Attendee Pickup, located in Hall E of the Anaheim Convention Center. Please remember to bring the printed bar code you were emailed (also available in the ticket purchaser’s account order history), along with valid photo ID that matches the name on the confirmation email. Registration hours are:

      Thursday, October 20 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
      Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
      Location: General Attendee Pickup, Hall E, Anaheim Convention Center

      If for some reason you did not receive your bar code or forgot to bring it with you, please visit the on-site Solutions Desk in Hall E with your photo ID for assistance. Visit the badge info page for more details. See you at the show!

      BlizzCon attendees have questions. We have answers. This year, if you’re at BlizzCon, you can come ask us anything you like at the Ask Blizzard booth.

      Community Managers Nethaera, Bashiok, Zarhym, Lylirra, Daxxarri, and Kaivax stand ready to meet you in Hall C of the Anaheim Convention Center on October 21 and 22. Just look for the “Ask Blizzard” sign near the StarCraft II play area, and don’t be shy! Panelists only have time for a limited number of questions, but our community managers will be available all day, both days, to field your inquiries.

      Do you have a question for Ask Blizzard, but can’t make it to the booth? Let everyone know in the comments below.

    BlizzCon 2011: Blizzard Publishing and Writers Panel on Friday Oct 21

    The Blizzard Creative Team will hold a panel to talk about the storytelling of all three franchises. The book writers: Christie Golden, Richard A. Knaak and Nate Kenyon will be there too. If lore is your passion, then hop in and visit the panel to meet the lore makers.

      Ever wonder what it takes to bring your favorite Blizzard comics, novels, and short stories to life? Then be sure to check out the “Blizzard Publishing: So What’s The Story?” panel.

      Led by some of Blizzard’s most experienced storytellers and best-selling authors, this panel will delve into the philosophies and processes embraced by Blizzard’s publishing team. You’ll also get to learn more about the future of Blizzard publishing, upcoming products, and more!

      So, who are the panelists?

      Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development
      Micky Neilson, Publishing Lead
      James Waugh, Senior Story Developer
      Cameron Dayton, Publishing Developer

      Sean Copeland, Historian

      New York Times best-selling authors Christie Golden and Richard A. Knaak and award-winning author Nate Kenyon will also be in attendance to share their stories and field your questions during the open Q&A.

      “Blizzard Publishing: So What’s The Story?” starts at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, October 21, on the Panel stage in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center. For those attending from home through the BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket, tune your TVs or streams to the Panel Stage.

    BlizzCon 2011: Mega Bloks On-Site Contests

    Are you one of over 25,000 BlizzCon attendees? You lucky sonova quillboar. Mega Bloks has a live contest at BlizzCon where players can take a photo alongside a massive 7-feet-tall Mega Bloks Thrall statue. Got one of those smartphones or iPhones and a twitter account? Then you can win some Mega Bloks phat lootz.

      Mega Bloks will be heading to BlizzCon and celebrating our heroic new partnership with Blizzard. As part of the festivities we will, in cooperation with BlizzCon, gifting attendees with an exclusive Shaman Thrall micro action figure, heralding the line’s release in 2012. We’ll also be unveiling the World of Warcraft toy line for the first time!

      But the fun doesn’t stop there.

      All Blizzcon attendees, Virtual Ticket holders, and DIRECTV participants will be given an exclusive purchase opportunity for for online sale, floor store and post-BlizzCon sale — a 1,736-piece Battlecruiser preview set (limited edition of 3,000 worldwide).

      But wait … There’s more!

      Are you coming to BlizzCon? If your are stop by our booth c-303 for a chance to win some great prizes!

      Capture your inner Thrall – Take your picture with a 7ft tall Thrall, tweet it, and win!

      How to enter

      Come by our booth at BlizzCon c-303 and take your picture with Thrall. Tweet your pic using #innerthrall and @MegaBloks. On October 22nd at 5pm PDT we will choose 1 random tweet as our GRAND winner!

      Prize – A surprise Mega Bloks prize pack

      Guess the number of bloks in Froustmourne @ BlizzCon and win!

      “Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit.”

      Come visit Mega Bloks at booth c-303 and you could win a one-of-a-kind Frostmourne made from Mega Bloks. All you have to do is guess the number of bloks (closest to the number wins).

      Plus check out some of Starcraft and WoW prototypes for our up coming line of authentic collectibles.

      See you there!

      Guess the number of bloks in Frostmourne – Guess how many bloks it took to build life size Frostmourne and win!

      Make sure to SIGNUP to get insider news on exclusive product previews and contests!

    Official Press Release: BlizzCon 2011 Begins This Week

    BlizzCon® Virtual Ticket allows viewers at home to watch sold-out show, including closing concert featuring Foo Fighters, on October 21-22

    IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2011, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day festival celebrating the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® game universes and their global player communities, begins on Friday, October 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The sold-out show features a wide range of events and activities, including discussion panels with developers of Blizzard Entertainment games; intense eSports competition featuring top pro gamers from around the world; costume and dance contests hosted by comedian Jay Mohr; and an epic rock concert headlined by the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Foo Fighters.

    While tickets to BlizzCon sold out in seconds, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of comprehensive live HD coverage of the event (including Foo Fighters’ performance) across four channels globally over the Internet. Those who order a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft® in-game pet, the fearsome-ish Murkablo, as well as a yet-to-be-revealed StarCraft® II in-game gift. DIRECTV® customers in the United States can also order BlizzCon 2011 as a Pay Per View event and receive a Virtual Ticket for free. Limited streaming coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and certain BlizzCon tournaments will be available via the Internet for free. More information on the Virtual Ticket can be found at

    “Every BlizzCon, we look forward to meeting up with our players and sharing the latest news about our games with the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve put together a great lineup of events this year, capped off with an awesome Foo Fighters show, and we can’t wait to provide attendees and everyone joining us from home with an unforgettable weekend.”

    Previous BlizzCons have featured a variety of exciting events and announcements, including the unveiling of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm™, the first-ever public hands-on with Diablo III, and epic rock performances by Ozzy Osbourne and Tenacious D.

    This week, Blizzard Entertainment also launched a series of special charity auctions giving game enthusiasts a unique chance to own a piece of World of Warcraft history — original Hewlett Packard® ProLiant server blades that once housed hundreds of different realms across North America and Europe. The net proceeds from the auction will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Interested buyers can find more information on the auction schedule as well as a detailed FAQ at

    BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s sponsors, who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more. This year’s sponsors are Intel, NVIDIA, ASUS, LG Electronics, Antec, SteelSeries, DIRECTV, Razer, and VASCO Data Security.

    Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, portfolios, or business cards. Members of different Blizzard teams will be on hand to review materials and discuss any job-related questions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at or on Twitter at

    Awesome Sauce … Diablo III Cinematic Sneak Peek

    Blizzard Entertainment has unleashed a never-seen-before Pre-BlizzCon image teaser of the Diablo III Cinematic!

    “Peer not into the shadows of the Hells …”

    “… for there is always something peering back.”

    “Man’s pleasures give way to pain. His truths are buried in the shroud of lies. It is this time when Hell shall reign. While all of man dies.” – From the Guhawj Cave Inscriptions in Kehjistan, inked in blood by an unknown author.

    To quote Tychus Findlay: “Sweet Mother of Mercy.” Leah better have a few tricks up her sleeve, or have a good set of legs to run like Speedy Gonzalez. That’s some fugly demon bastard. For some reason it reminds me the Butcher. Check out the Diablo Facebook and don’t forget to click “Like”. Ata’boy!

    After the defeat of the three brothers: Diablo, Mephisto and Baal — centuries before Diablo I — Azmodan and Bellial have been at a Civil War in the Burning Hells. Connecting the dots, this cinematic teaser image might suggest Leah found this foul demon while investigating the hole on the ground left by the meteor, which swallowed her uncle Cain. It’s likely the meteor that fell from the sky upon the cathedral of Tristram might really be Belial. A few weeks ago, I posted a Diablo III beta screenshot where Deckard Cain hints Belial has come to Sanctuary.

    In Diablo III beta, Deckard Cain clearly says: “The Horadric Scrolls spoke of the dead rising and the Lord of Lies. The Prophecy of the End Days says that at the end of all things, the first sign shall appear in the Heavens!”

    Has the Civil War finally ended? Was Azmodan the victor? For those who haven’t read much into the Diablo lore, the civil war begun because the three brothers had set their sight on the Nephalem (the children of the renegade angels and demons inhabiting Sanctuary), instead of focusing the hordes of demons on their eternal conflict against the High Heavens and the Angiris Council.

    With the three brothers off the chess board, Azmodan and Belial fought each other to claim reign over the Burning Hells. Once the victor take command of the Burning Hells, it’s assumed he will unleash an invasion upon the sacred lands of the High Heavens.

    It’s speculated Azmodan exiled Belial into Sanctuary, thus — the meteor falling through the sky. Or was it Belial the victor, and Azmodan the fallen one? Only time will tell.

    To taste a bit of lore, read The Dark Exile story from the original Diablo Game Manual.

    For a full injection of the Diablo Universe lore — pre-order the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain — narrated from the point of view of Deckard Cain.

    We recently posted photos, videos and sneak peek of Diablo III: Book of Cain during our visit to the New York Comic Con.

    BlizzCon 2011: Sons of the Storm Signing Schedule

    The Sons of the Storm artist René “Flipping-Awesome” of Twincruiser let out to the four winds the complete BlizzCon 2011 signing schedule for each member of the Sons of the Storm.

    Make sure to bring your books, and other products. Otherwise, raid the On-Site BlizzCon Store early prior to the signing schedule.

    FRIDAY, OCT 21


    • Arnold Tsang (Character Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
    • Justin Kunz (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): Traditional Painting
    • Nick Carver (3D Artist, Unannounced Game): Zbrush Sculpting


    • Levi Peterffy (Matte Painting Artist, Cinematics): Digital Painting
    • Mongsub Song (Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Traditional Drawing
    • Alvaro Buendia (Modeling Artist, Cinematics): Zbrush Sculpting


    • Ben Thompson (Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
    • Mark Gibbons (aka Red Knuckle — Artist, World of Warcraft): Traditional Drawing
    • Jimmy Lo (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

    4:30 p.m.

    • Luke Mancini (Associate Artist, StarCraft II): Digital Painting
    • Samwise Didier (Art Director, StarCraft II): Traditional Drawing
    • Jesse Brophy (3D Artist, StarCraft II): Zbrush Sculpting


    11:00 a.m.

    • Oliver Chipping (3D Artist, Diablo III): Digital Painting
    • Trent Kaniuga (Concept Artist, Diablo III): Traditional Painting
    • Paul Warzecha (Character Artist, Diablo III): Zbrush Sculpting

    12:30 p.m.

    • Glenn Rane (Art Director, Creative Development): Digital Painting
    • Alex Horley (Artist, Contractor): Traditional Drawing
    • Rob Sevilla (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

    2:00 p.m.

    • John Polidora (Artist, Creative Development): Digital Painting
    • Peet Cooper (Senior Artist, Diablo III): Traditional Drawing
    • Jon McConnell (3D Artist, World of Warcraft): 3D MAX Modeling

    3:30 p.m.

    • Peter Lee (Concept Artist, Unannounced Game): Digital Painting
    • Samwise Didier (Art Director, StarCraft II): Traditional Drawing
    • Sam Yang (3D Artist, StarCraft II): Zbrush Sculpting

    Sons of the Storm

    In no particular order: Sam Didier (Samwise), Chris Metzen (Thundergod), René Koiter (Twincruiser), Travis Thammer (Thammer), Glenn Rane (Raneman), Peter Lee (Drawgoon), Mark Gibbons (Red Knuckle), and Wei Wang (Glowei).

    Sons of the Storm Crew

    BlizzCon 2011: Ask the Artists

    Blizzard Entertainment is now gathering questions to ask the Artists of every discipline for the Blizzcon Artists panel’s live Q&A.

    At this year’s BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you’re attending the event or watching from home, we’re giving you an opportunity on the forums to ask a question of the artists. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away here:

    If selected, your inquiry will be read and answered live from the Artist Stage at BlizzCon!


    Digital Painting

    Traditional Drawing

    Traditional Painting

    Zbrush Sculpting

    3DMAX Sculpting


    Character/Enemy Concepts

    Character Modeling/Textures

    Cinematic Matte Painting

    Cinematic Modeling/Textures

    Environment Concepts

    Environment Modeling/Textures

    Publishing Art (Book/Magazine Covers)

    World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Art

    2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest Ends October 15th

    Blizzard Fans have until October 15th to submit their entries to the 2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest. Simply write a short story based on the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, or Diablo® universe containing 2,500- to 7,500-word (only in English) and submit it here.

      Blizzard Entertainment is proud to present the 2011 Blizzard® Global Writing Contest!

      You sit at your typewriter, hands frozen in fear by the sound of crumpling paper from the darkness behind you. Shadows of broken quills encroach on your sight’s periphery but slither out of view when you turn toward them. Summoning your courage, you lash out at the apparitions before they fade, only to awaken in a cold sweat with pencils and pens gripped tight in your clenched fists. You know what this dream foretells: the 2011 Global Writing Contest is upon us!

      The Prophecy of the Unblinking Eye portends of a time when writing contest judges, mad with ocular fortitude from judging the 2009 and 2010 Global Writing Contests, would brazenly unleash the powers of the Ocunomicon. Seeking rituals to infuse themselves with the twisted souls of fel ocularians, they look to wield powers not meant for this or any other contest. But the sacrifices of semicolon keys and left-handed quills have only just begun, their Inkwells of Despair not yet depleted—there is time yet to save this contest!

      Is your prose pulchritudinous enough to save this contest from eldritch powers that no eye should possess? If so, submit a 2,500- to 7,500-word short story written in English and set in the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, or Diablo® universe by October 15th, 2011, and earn your chance to visit the Blizzard headquarters and meet the writers and staff behind the lore of Blizzard’s games and books. (And probably save the world, too!*)

      See below for details about prizes and frequently asked questions. You can also check out the official rules for more information.

      (*World saving not guaranteed.)

      Award Categories

      Grand Prize: The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Blizzard’s headquarters in Southern California, where you’ll meet and eat with the Blizzard writing staff. In addition, you’ll receive a Doomhammer™ hammer by Epic Weapons and copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team.

      Runners-up: Seven runners-up will each receive copies of the StarCraft Archive, the Diablo Archive, the Warcraft Archive, the Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archive, and World of Warcraft: Chronicles of War. All books will be signed by Chris Metzen, their respective cover artists, and the Creative Development Publishing team.


      Q: My story is too long or too short. Is that a problem?
      A: No story may be shorter than 2,500 words or longer than 7,500 words. Most word processors have a “word count” feature that can tell you your story’s length. To avoid disqualification, we encourage all entrants to ensure that their stories’ word counts are within the acceptable range.

      Q: English is not my native language. Is that an issue?
      A: No, as long as the story is well written and grammatically sound. If you’re unsure of your abilities in the English language, we encourage you to find someone with knowledge of English grammar to copy edit your story.

      Q: So if I’m a native English speaker, I’m in the clear?
      A: Maybe, but we highly encourage all entrants to copy edit their stories just the same. Although you can do this yourself, it’s recommended that you ask for help from someone you know who is well-versed in the rules of the English language.

      Q: Does my entry have to have a title? Can I just call it “Untitled”?
      A: Every story must have a title. And, no, “Untitled,” “No Name,” or other variations on that theme do not count as a title.

      Q: My story is more of a poem or free-flowing parade of thought. Is that okay?
      A: This is a contest for short fictional stories; poems or non-structured entries are extremely unlikely to win. Check out the 2009 and 2010 winners for guidance.

      Q: My entry is more of a moment-by-moment account of what my character does in-game. Is that okay?
      A: We’re looking for complete literary works of short fiction based on the Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo franchise. Accounts of in-game events or works that detail game mechanics are not literary fiction. Again, we highly encourage you to take a look at the 2009 and 2010 winners for guidance.

      Q: I’d like to add some stylistic touches like a nice font or a radical background image. Any ideas?
      A: We urge you to stay away from these sorts of artistic elements altogether. Your primary focus should be on making your text as easy to read as possible, so we advise you to stick with plain fonts and white backgrounds.

      Q: Are .PDF, .RTF, or other file formats accepted this year? What if I mail you a musty tome?
      A: We require that all submissions be in .DOC format. If you do not have Microsoft Word, there are a number of free utilities that can convert a text file into .DOC format. Musty tomes will not be accepted as valid contest entries, but may be used to keep our judges pacified.

      Q: What’s an ocularian?
      A: That is not seen which can eternal spy, for in strange aeons even sight may lie.

    Official BlizzCon 2011 Guide Mobile App

    Blizzard Entertainment released the BlizzCon 2011 Guide Mobile App for everyone who will attend BlizzCon this year, and (why not?) to those who purchased the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket (Online Livestream / DirecTV).

    You can follow specific panel/events and set up alerts to inform you when a panel is about to start.

      The BlizzCon 2011 Guide mobile app, available for iPhone® and iPod touch®, is a fast and easy way to help you make the most of your BlizzCon experience. With it, you can:

      Plan your day – Review the details of the official events taking place at BlizzCon, and then add the ones you’d like to attend to your calendar. You can sort your events by day, time, game series, and more.

      Catch your favorite events – Set alerts for any event on your calendar to make sure you get to it on time.

      Chart a path – Zoom in on the exhibit hall floor with a complete map of BlizzCon. Use it to quickly find the location of a panel, meet up with your friends, or just figure out where you’d like to go next.

    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

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