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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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 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.
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.”
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 — 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.
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.
The way it works is if a target dies with your diseases on it, you can target that corpse and blow it up.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Battle.net 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 Battle.net 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.
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!
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.
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 Battle.net, Murkablo and the StarCraft II gift will be automatically attached to the Battle.net 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.
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.
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.
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 battle.net 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).
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:
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.
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 (www.blizzcon.com) 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 www.blizzcon.com.
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 www.blizzcon.com.
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 www.blizzard.com/jobs.
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.
This year, however, strange things are happening. According to the Anaheim Convention Center, Blizzard has acquired the entire facility.
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).
The now legendary Red Shirt Guy is a WoW player who told Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi during the Blizzcon 2010 Warcraft Quests & Lore Panel he had finished reading World of Warcraft: The Shattering by Christie Golden, and noticed the novel talks about the Ironforge’s New Council of Three composed of Muradin Bronzebeard, Moira Bronzebeard and Falstad Wildhammer. This council formed after King Magni’s sad fate turning to crystal after messing with a Ulduar relic.
Falstad was a character from the novel Warcraft: Day of the Dragon (2001) who helped Rhonin and Veressa. He survived and appeared in-game in World of Warcraft as Thane of Aerie Peak. He’s been an NPC through vanilla to Wrath of the Lich King expansion, but mysteriously he disappeared from Aerie Peak in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta.
The Red Shirt Guy brought this up and added in Cataclysm beta the developers added Kurdran Wildhammer as part of the Council of Three instead of Falstad Wildhammer (as the novel The Shattering mentioned).
Chris Metzen pondered: “Isn’t Falstad dead? From Day of the Dragon.”
The Developers responded they will fix this. Barely two weeks after BlizzCon 2010, the developers replaced Kurdran with Falstad Wildhammer in beta patch 13245. In addition, as a nod to this loyal Warcraft lore fan, the developers added a new NPC to the left of Falstad Wildhammer at the Ironforge throne room. The NPC is tagged as Wildhammer Fact Checker and wears a red shirt. A reference to the now famous Red Shirt Guy. By the way, he is well known in the warcraft lore fans community — hailing from ScrollsofLore.com Forums. He’s known as InsaneGuyofDoom.
After some feedback from certain trolls of the community, InsaneGuyofDoom (The Red Shirt Guy) responded with his own YouTube video:
G4TV cornered Jay Wilson at BlizzCon 2010 to discuss Diablo III gameplay mechanics and the Talisman which serves as a repository of Charms in order to solve Diablo II’s clutter of charms in the inventory. In Diablo III, charms won’t take inventory space. They are deposited into the Talisman’s slots.
Game Trailers interviewed Christian Lichtner (Diablo III Art Director) and Jason Bender (Diablo III Systems Designer) about the Demon Hunter’s ranged skills. You can find Blizzplanet’s BlizzCon 2010 Coverage here.
Blizzplanet staff members Eldorian, Miaari and Omacron attended BlizzCon 2010 to bring our loyal visitors exclusive coverage of Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty content revealed at the event, and one-on-one interviews with the developers. Beneath you may find links to our coverage.
Rob Pardo was busy teasing the press at BlizzCon 2010 concerning the upcoming Blizzard Next-Gen MMO. Does he do it masterfully.
While no one’s Jedi trick worked to make him spill the beans, according to VG247, his lips opened to say we shouldn’t expect a game reveal until at least 2012. Ok-ok. It sounds like so far away, but in reality if you check out your calendar we are already scratching the beginning of November, and just a couple months away from 2011.
It’s been now two years and a half since that special moment when Mike Morhaime announced Diablo III in Paris during the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. I was there (thanks, Blizzard). Now we know all the five classes, and look forward to Diablo III Beta (which is sooner than you may think).
Before you know it, Blizzard will announce the Next-Gen MMO — and we can count on Rob Pardo, Paul Sams and Mike Morhaime to remind us, hint us, tease us, and enamore us with this new game, through their building expectations and awareness around it. In prelude to its official announcement.
Spawning straight from Blizzcon 2010, Gametrailers also got a five minutes video interview with Mike Morhaime — Blizzard Entertainment president — where he said:
“We’re working on a second MMO. We’re thinking of it as sort of Next-Generation MMO. It’s not a sequel to World of Warcraft. We want to do something a bit different. We’re not trying to replace World of Warcraft.
We think World of Warcraft can continue to co-exist with the new MMO. Some people might prefer the new one, some people might still prefer to keep playing World of Warcraft.
I think after doing World of Warcraft for the first time, we are so much smarter now. We have a lot of expertise that we didn’t have before, and I think we also want to sort of, you know, every massive multiplayer doesn’t have to be similar to the ones that exist today. We think that we can go in different directions, and still have a great massively multiplayer experience. We want to experiment with what that might look like.”
IRVINE, CA, Oct 26, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX News Network) — BlizzCon(R) 2010, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival celebrating the Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) game universes and their global player communities, kicked off Friday, October 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Attendees of the sold-out show played the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment(R) games, spoke with developers in discussion panels, witnessed live top-tier tournament competition, and met with fellow gamers and friends.
Jay Mohr returned to act as master of ceremonies for the community contests on Friday, including the popular dance and costume competitions, and the show closed Saturday evening with an epic concert featuring the duo that has been hailed by its own members as the greatest band in the world, Tenacious D — otherwise known as Jack Black and Kyle Gass. The band performed an earth-shattering set that included the debut of new and soon-to-be-legendary songs.
“We are proud to have hosted a truly entertaining and informative convention experience to all this year’s attendees, as well as those who joined us remotely from around the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “BlizzCon offers a great opportunity for us to meet our players and share the latest news about Blizzard games with them, and with a little help from Tenacious D, we’re sure this year’s show was one the audience will never forget.”
BlizzCon would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s sponsors, who provided demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more. This year’s platinum-level sponsors were ASUS, DIRECTV, Intel, and NVIDIA; the gold-level sponsors were Antec, Razer, Western Digital, SteelSeries, and Vasco.
For many months, fans of the Diablo III community had wondered what the fifth playable class could be. Some were pretty close, some were off, and some hit the nail … well, partially. Not long ago, Flux and Eldorian kept telling me their guess was the fifth class would be a ranged class like the hunter.
A year and a half later, the Demon Hunter was revealed at BlizzCon 2010. We were pretty close with our guesses, but the Diablo III Team decided to make this ranged fifth class with a twist: so far we haven’t seen the Demon Hunter with a bow, and while the crossbows have gun handles, they aren’t exactly pew-pew guns. Some of her devices are pretty cool like the Bola Shot, Fan of Knives, Grenades, Spike Trap, Molten Arrow, Multi-Shot, and the Entangling Shot.
It’s definitely not your normal Hunter archetype. It was designed with several ideas in mind with Sci-Fi and Fantasy pop culture references.
During a Diablo III panel, Jay Wilson acknowledged the idea of the Demon Hunter class came from Van Helsing, Star Wars and MacGyver.
Where did the idea for the Demon Hunter come from?
Jay Wilson: It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that we chose a ranged-weapon class as the fifth class; however we didn’t want to do something completely predictable. We liked the idea of a bounty hunter or a monster-hunter—someone who was a little bit more sinister and an aggressor—and so we came up with a character whose sole focus was, “I hate demons.” She’s had horrible things happen to her. She’s lost family, lost loved ones, and has dedicated her live to eradicating as many demons as she can by any means possible. As a character, she’s walked a lot of dark roads to gain the knowledge she needs to overcome her enemy.
With the demon hunter we found inspiration in characters like Van Helsing, Boba Fett, and even MacGyver. The demon hunter is very focused on conventional, man-made weaponry and gadgets. She dual-wields crossbows, and where one class might shoot of a magical fireball, the demon hunter would buy a device in the lower markets of Caldeum that would allow her to trap the essence of a demon and then release that essence in an explosive blast, not unlike a hand grenade. She has no qualms about using her enemies against themselves, dabbling in dark magic, and generally doing whatever it takes to destroy demons wherever they live.
Here is Blizzplanet’s round up on Blizzcon 2010 Diablo III Demon Hunter.
Blizzard Entertainment unveiled and shared with the press guests a 20 minutes gameplay video of the Diablo III Demon Hunter class in different scenes. This is really where you can appreciate every single ability of the Shadow Hunter through different areas of the dungeon against various types of enemies, undertake some missions, and find what looks like one of the merchant companions via a quest.
Later on, you can see the Shadow Hunter accompanied by a Witch doctor and Barbarian players against monsters and a boss. Here’s where you can see some differences in the spells graphics hinting at runes at work: electric charge, frost, and poison traits in addition to the original abilities.
Blizzard gave press guests seven new Diablo III PvP Screenshots not found in the official website in addition to the three screenshots recently released.
PvP (short for ‘player versus player’ combat) has had a storied history in the Diablo series. For Diablo III, we’ve decided to take it in a new direction to ensure that it’s deep, organized, frantic, and fun.
Diablo III’s PvP battles are fought in arenas spread out across the world of Sanctuary. These arenas aren’t random — they’re all unique, designed with differing amounts of terrain and cover. You participate in PvP using the character of your choice, with access to all of the gear and skills you’ve accumulated playing the game in single-player or cooperative mode.
You’ll learn many of the fundamentals of PvP (like how to avoid attacks or target specific foes) by playing the single-player game, but PvP differs in that it isn’t an ideal venue for gathering new weapons and armor. Your rewards for shedding blood in the arena are purer than that: bragging rights, the joy of sending friends old and new to their swift and inglorious deaths, and points that represent how far you’ve progressed on the path to fame and glory.
When you participate in ranked games (fights that pit two opposing teams of players against each other in ‘best of’ matches), you’ll earn points for advancement based on kills, accomplished objectives, wins, and other factors. Points lead to multiplayer achievements, titles, and more. Our system is focused on encouraging furious combat and multiplayer progression, not stringent competitive rankings, so you’ll earn points after every match and Battle.net matchmaking will pit you against similarly skilled opponents.
We’re also looking into other PvP game types that exist outside the ranking system, like 1-on-1 duels and mutually chosen team battles (for example, you and your friends could divide into two teams for an arena showdown). We’ll have more information on the availability of these game types in the future.
Our aim for Diablo III’s PvP is to set you up with dangerous, exciting gladiatorial matches, let you battle it out with other players at your own pace, and allow you to proudly display your rewards. We’ve added a robust system to remove the obstructions that may have kept you out of the action, so that you can focus on what really matters: answering the age-old question of ‘who would win in a fight’ — with a gauntlet to the face.
Blizzard Entertainment issued an official Diablo III FAQ in our Press CD to address certain concerns of the community.
What is Diablo III?
We’re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power.
Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level.
Which characters will be in Diablo III?
Players will create a male or female hero from one of five distinct classes — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter — each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing players to create unique characters brimming with power.
What can you say about the different classes?
Returning from Diablo II, the dual-wielding barbarian is one of the stoic guardians of Mount Arreat. Retooled with powerful new abilities and moves, this plate-wearing savage wields ferocious weapons to annihilate the demonic forces threatening the world of Sanctuary.
The fearsome witch doctor hails from the terrifying Tribe of the Five Hills of the legendary umbaru race. The witch doctor is equipped with spells and alchemical powers; can summon mongrels, locust swarms, and zombie armies; and hurls fiery concoctions to annihilate any demon foolish enough to trifle with the powers of the umbaru.
The wizard is a wielder of the elements and a master manipulator of time, who combats the hordes of the Burning Hells by launching environment-shattering lightning bolts, channeling explosive arcane energies, and creating pockets of space outside of the normal flow of time.
The monk is a skilled warrior of unparalleled dexterity. Armed with speed, holy fervor, and a quest for physical and spiritual perfection, the monk becomes a deadly apparition in the heat of battle, moving faster than the eye can follow to strike down enemies with a barrage of lightning-fast blows.
The demon hunter has a sole purpose in life: to track down and destroy every last demonic being that dares to threaten humanity. Lithe and notoriously deadly with a pair of dual crossbows, the demon hunter brings an entire arsenal of arcane gadgets and mystical traps to the battlefields of Sanctuary.
How did the new demon hunter character class come about?
When we set out to create the fifth class, we knew we wanted to add another ranged character to the game. However, we also wanted to create a class that was more sinister than the typical ranger archetype. In the end, we came up with a character who has a personal vendetta against the demons and who will stop at nothing to eradicate every last trace of evil in Sanctuary.
While the demon hunter primarily uses traditional ranged weaponry such as bows, crossbows, or even dual-wielded one-handed crossbows, the class is also incredibly proficient with gadgetry, traps, and deadly grenades. The demon hunter has dedicated an entire lifetime to training to destroy demons, and few can rival her skill.
What is the story of Diablo III?
The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells — and were fortunate enough to survive — went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.
Will Diablo III be running on a new engine?
Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects and physics systems allow for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation, and enable players to lay waste to the minions of the Burning Hells in spectacular ways.
Will Diablo still have randomized events?
Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by adding random scripted events and encounters throughout the game, creating a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, and dynamic encounters.
What can you tell us about Battle.net?
Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative play even more fun. We’ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.
How will PvP be implemented in Diablo III?
While Diablo III is designed primarily for cooperative multiplayer, we are building in support for competitive player-vs.-player gameplay as well. We’re focusing on team-based PvP in an arena setting, and we are being careful to avoid PvP features that can easily lead to griefing, such as the ability to go hostile at will. We also plan to integrate Battle.net’s matchmaking system, a progression-based ranking system, and more.
When will Diablo III be released?
It’s too early to estimate Diablo III’s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players. We’re aiming to release Diablo III on both Mac and Windows simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We’ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.
What will Diablo III be rated?
The Diablo III rating will be determined by the ratings boards in each region. We still have a good amount of work to do content-wise, so we’re not quite ready to submit the game for ratings yet.
Will players interact with any familiar faces or places in Diablo III?
Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games, and they’ll also be exploring new areas of Sanctuary. Players will also encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games including Deckard Cain.
What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We’ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.
What are the system requirements for Diablo III?
We’ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.