Blizzard Entertainment revealed the fifth Diablo III class at Blizzcon 2010. The Demon Hunter is a ranger which uses two crossbows to lay siege to its enemies.
a group of fanatical warriors sworn to avenge their beloved ones killed before the rampage of the creatures of the Burning Hells.
The demon hunter doesn’t seem to use arrows in a conventional way. They hone the powers of the demons as a weapon, and are resistant to the corruption of their demonic energies. This mechanic might be similar to the Hellgate’s Cabalist in a way, but much better. Not certain if she needs to buy or loot ammo, but from what the cinematic showed the Demon Hunter used a demon teeth found in a villager’s corpse, and before your eyes the teeth grows a shaft to become into an arrow.
As you may see in the screenshots, the Demon Hunter has an ability that makes her crossbows shoot over 60 arrows at once from the other side of the screen as a cone attack blasting through anything in the direction she points at.
She channels this demon power through her crossbows as seen in the screenshot where she shoots a bolt of light that turns into a heavy-assault swirling red fire.
Another screenshot shows another AOE ability that resembles Fan of Knives.
Vault: She can jump a few yards backwards, similar to the WoW hunter’s disengage to escape several incoming monsters to cast a devastating ranged attack, and she’s seen jumping to kick and split doors open.
Bola Shot: This looks like the Argentinian Gaucho’s boleadora (balls), chinese meteor hammer, and also seen in Africa. The weapon consists of two balls with a string attaching both. When hurled by the Demon Hunter’s crossbows they entangle around a single target’s neck and explode. Seems like a good choice for bulky monsters.
Entangling Shot: You will see two scenes where she throws some sort of shadow-energy trueshot arrow that looks like a harpoon. This arrow has a chain and binds several monsters together by chains causing some white flashing explosion and lots of electricity in a large area of effect.
Another ability looks like a meteor of fire coming from the ceiling and smashing the ground in glorious fire causing an expansion wave that devastates all enemies around the demon hunter.
She throws some sort of grenade mechanism that semi-burrows on the ground. When monsters come within its range, the three grenades transform into three huge round jigsaw gadget traps which shred them to pieces.
A few years ago, I speculated Blizzard would make a Van Helsing-like class, and this simply outdoes Van Helsing in every possible way. I love this class and her gadgets. It’s effing amazing!
The concept art reveals she uses a corset and jeans in her un-armored form, but interestingly seems to wear leather, cloth and plate. The right-most model in the concept art shows her with only one crossbow and an assassin two-clawed glove on the right hand. The plate design looks pretty much like the Diablo II Paladin’s with golden cross insignias.
There is so much more we need to learn about this class, and Blizzard will be revealing more on the second day of Blizzcon, and throughout Twitter in upcoming weeks and months.
Blizzcon 2010 will start in a few hours, but you still have the chance to order the Virtual Ticket to watch 50 hours worth of HD video with 4 channels covering several panels, contests, and tournaments — including the closing concert by Tenacious D.
Hey, have you heard? BlizzCon 2010 begins tomorrow! 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 https://blizzcon.rayv.com.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin on Friday at 11 a.m. Pacific, and 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 accessing over 50 hours of BlizzCon coverage, including developer panels, the costume contest, the closing concert with Tenacious D, and more, you can still purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which also includes this year’s World of Warcraft pet and StarCraft II in-game items.
We’ll also be updating BlizzCon.com, 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.
Blizzplanet staff members: Miaari, Eldorian and Omacron are in California, or on their way there to report from BlizzCon 2010 with live feeds.
The Blizzcon panel Q&As allow us the chance to ask questions on behalf of our visitors. We are gathering your questions for Starcraft II, Diablo III, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm developers. At the top left you can see the Login and Register links to post in the comments, or you can email me at mdragon [a t] blizzplanet.com or eldorian [a t] blizzplanet.com with the subject: Blizzcon WoW or Blizzcon SC2 or Blizzcon D3.
The earlier you send your questions the better. However, we will try to gather “on-the-Go” questions during the panels. Let’s say you are watching the live stream or DIRECTV and come up with a good question based on what they are saying live — hurry up and shoot an email to us, and if we catch it in time for the Q&A, we will ask on your behalf.
Omacron is also taking questions for Christie Golden about World of Warcraft: The Shattering.
Visit Blizzplanet several times through Friday Oct 22 and Saturday Oct 23 for juicy updates. Use the Blizzplanet RSS, twitter or Facebook icons located at the top-right to keep in touch if you are AFK.
Eldorian will make live twitter updates on the front page of Blizzplanet from the Blizzcon panels via a cool twitter addon.
Blizzcon 2010 is just a few hours from now, and both: the fans already in California and those at home should know a few links of information.
Those already arriving to California, you should check out the schedule and floor map. Taxi in Irvine (for emergencies). Some hotels have a van to pickup customers at no cost (contact your hotel).
The millions of fans all around the world can watch the internet live stream, and locals can order DIRECTV.
Expedia can be a good source to find hotels around Irvine. Below you can also take a look at restaurants and car rentals near the Anaheim Convention Center. Wish information on where to find something? Feel free to reach me at mdragon [a t] blizzplanet.com
Forbes >interviewed Blizzard Chief of Operations (COO) Paul Sams, who debunked rumors that BlizzCon 2010 would be the platform to reveal the Next-Gen MMO. A particular comment no doubt keeps the rumor mill engines going forth. The Next-Gen MMO now counts with 140 employees and development is at full speed.
“We have built a development team for that product from our top talent here and augmented it with some of the best and brightest from around the industry,” Sams says. “The product is something we think is going to re-design the way these types of games are looked at.”
In August, Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick suggested that the new MMO would not be based on existing franchises, in the company’s first-quarter conference call.
Sams dispelled rumors that the company would be saying anything new about the upcoming game at its BlizzCon videogame conference at the end of this month. “It’s not something we’re announcing at BlizzCon,” he says.
Blizzard Entertainment has selected the best Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty players to clash at the BlizzCon 2010 Starcraft II Invitational Tournament, and revealed the official roster to fill up the upper bracket matchups.
Matches begin on Friday, October 22 at 1:30 p.m. PDT in Hall B, where the best players will claim $45,000 in cash prizes.
StarCraft II Game Director Dustin Browder, Rob “Voice” Simpson, Sean “Day” Plott, Nick “Tasteless” Plott, and Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski will be shoutcasting throughout the tournament, thus expect a lot of “Terrible, Terrible Damage”.
On Friday at 7:30 pm PDT, there will be an exhibition match between StarCraft: Brood War legend SlayerS_`BoxeR` and recent TG-Intel GSL Season1 champion Fruit Dealer (aka Cool) taking place at the RTS Tournament Stage.
Blizzard revealed the BlizzChat schedule to be held at BlizzCon 2010.
Our primary motivator when hosting each BlizzCon is to provide an epic atmosphere for members of the community to meet up and share their common passion for Blizzard games. In keeping with that tradition, at this year’s BlizzCon we’ll be facilitating the first-ever BlizzChat: Community Live!
Attendees will be given a venue to discuss a number of focused topics pertaining to the Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft universes and gameplay. If you’re coming to BlizzCon at the Anaheim Convention Center this October 22 and 23, be sure to check out the schedule below. Don’t miss the opportunity to share your thoughts on a wide array of subjects with fellow gaming enthusiasts.
BlizzChat: Community Live!
Meet up with fellow Blizzard gamers face-to-face to discuss various topics of interest! BlizzChat will take place in meeting rooms 201A and 201B, located on the second floor of the Convention Center near the top of the escalators.
Friday, October 22:
Meeting Room 201A
World of Warcraft: Achievements – Noon to 12:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: Guild Leaders – 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: UI Development – 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: Dungeons and Raids – 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: PvP Battlegrounds – 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: PvP Arenas – 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Meeting Room 201B
SCII: Achievements – Noon to 12:50 p.m.
SCII: Map Developers – 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
SCII: Multiplayer and eSports – 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Diablo III: Gear and Items – 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Diablo III: Gameplay and Systems – 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Diablo III: PvP – 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Saturday, October 23:
Meeting Room 201A
World of Warcraft: Leveling/Quests – 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
World of Warcraft: Classes – Noon to 12:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft Professions: Crafting and Gathering – 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: Lore and Story – 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: Role Playing – 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
World of Warcraft: TCG – 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Blizzard Cinematics – 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Meeting Room 201B
SCII: Race Strategy – 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
SCII: Lore and Story – Noon to 12:50 p.m.
Diablo III: Classes – 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Diablo III: Lore and Story – 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Warcraft I, II, III, and Expansions – 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
StarCraft and Expansion – 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Diablo I, II, and Expansions – 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
“The Nordrassil-EU server superstar Morfar known for his weekly Friday/Saturday request shows has goals to expand the Nordrassil Radio station into Blizzcon and covering all the hot topics that will be dicsussed.
Our Friday show’s by Keybound and DJ Morfar will cover the news that’s fresh out of the event.
The Nordrassil Radio will have the participation of Paragon (# 1 guild in the world), DJ Stayven (Ensidia) to cover all PvE discussion that goes on at Blizzcon On Saturday
“To make this work, we need a huge help from the World of Warcraft community to get the word out that we’ll be bringing coverage on these events for gamers that are unfortunate enough not to be attending, as well as playing great music and taking requests so we can give personal shout-outs for tracks that are personal to the requester” — said Luke Brown (Nordrassil Radio).
After BlizzCon, Nordrassil Radio is aiming to broadcast audio coverage from the biggest digital festival: Dreamhack Winter 2010 at Section A of the LAN area through November 25-28 2010 (Elmia – Jönköping, Sweden).
IRVINE, Calif., Oct 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — 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, begins on Friday, October 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Attendees of the sold-out show will be able to play the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment(R) games as well as speak with developers in discussion panels, witness live top-tier tournament competition, participate in a wide range of activities, and meet with fellow gamers and friends.
Jay Mohr has returned to act as master of ceremonies for the community contests taking place on Friday, including the popular dance and costume competitions, and the show will close on 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 will be performing an earth-shattering set at BlizzCon that includes the debut of new, soon-to-be-legendary songs.
Anyone unable to attend BlizzCon can still purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, featuring more than 50 hours of live HD coverage as well as the exclusive BlizzCon 2010 World of Warcraft(R) in-game pet and StarCraft II in-game items. This package is available globally via Internet stream and also through DIRECTV(R) satellite television service in the United States (free Internet stream included with DIRECTV Pay Per View event purchases). Limited streaming coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and certain BlizzCon tournaments will be available via the Internet for free. Visit the official BlizzCon website, www.blizzcon.com, for more information.
“We look forward to providing a truly entertaining and informative convention experience to all attendees, as well as those joining 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 the help of Tenacious D, we’re sure this year’s show will be one the audience will never forget.”
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 platinum-level sponsors are ASUS, DIRECTV, Intel, and NVIDIA; the gold-level sponsors are Antec, Razer, Western Digital, SteelSeries, and Vasco.
Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, demo reels, art portfolios, or business cards, as the global staffing team will be on hand to accept materials and discuss any job-related questions.
Blizzcon ticket barcodes are now available for printing (if you choose to use your printer) from the Blizzard Store account page. It speeds up your entry to the Anaheim Convention Center. Personnel will scan your ticket barcode and you can pick up your goody bag when and where directed. Give your luv-love to Bashiok here.
If you have not yet received an email with your ticket barcodes, you can now view and print your BlizzCon ticket by:
1. Ticket purchaser logs in to their account at https://www.blizzard.com/store
2. Then visit https://www.battle.net/account/management/orders.html
3. Select the order entry containing the BlizzCon tickets purchased
4. Click on View/Edit Attendee Details button
5. Below each ticket a PRINT TICKET button is now available
This will bring you to a printable ticket page which includes that ticket’s barcode. It’s important to bring this barcode with you as it will expedite your badge pickup once you’re at the event.
For those that have already received emails with barcodes this page has the same information as the email, and isn’t necessary to view or reprint them if you already have.
Yesterday, October 12, Blizzard Entertainment’s artists (Sons of the Storm) updated the website with a post titled: “BlizzCon 2010 Imminent” to announce they will be signing all type of merchandise on Saturday, October 23 through 10AM – 11AM at the developer signing area. The artists will also draw sketches to giveaway.
It’s an awesome opportunity to meet the best among the best artists from the best game studios, and to give them some love and comments on how much you admire their work. Take some photos and send them our way. Eldorian is gonna be in line at this signing schedule, a gosu Blizzard merchandise collector himself.
Blizzcon attendees may also find New York Times Bestselling author Richard A. Knaak at the Simon & Schuster booth — check out his schedule. He will be signing copies of the four times Locus Magazine national bestselling winner World of Warcraft: Stormrage.
We are, give and take, a week away from BlizzCon 2010, the convention that celebrates all of our pretty properties. Fire it up with Deathwing, creep and conquer with Kerrigan and raise your horns for the big D…Diablo of course! Although Tenacious D would be an appropriate second choice at the closing concert.
But what is BlizzCon without the Sons of the Storm on board and representin’? We’ve got a one-hour signing session lined up on Saturday, 10AM to 11AM at the developer signing area. So be there early with whatever you want us to soil with our signatures. Also three of our own, Samwise, Raneman and Red Knuckle are going to do live sketching and painting demos at the artists’s stage. If you want to procure the secrets of the Storm, this is your chance.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass to Entertain a Sold-Out Crowd During Closing Ceremony of Blizzard Entertainment’s Epic Gaming Festival
IRVINE, Calif., Oct 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the greatest band in the world*, Tenacious D, will perform at the closing concert during this year’s sold-out BlizzCon. Taking place October 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center, BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft game universes. While tickets to the convention are currently sold out, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of event coverage (including Tenacious D’s performance) globally over the Internet and also on DIRECTV in the United States.
Tenacious D is made up of musical visionaries Jack Black and Kyle Gass. After forming in 1994, the duo rose to rock god-dom following the release of the HBO cult-hit series Tenacious D: The Greatest Band on Earth. Since then, Tenacious D has released two albums and a pair of live DVDs, sold out arenas around the world, and starred in their own feature-length movie, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. At the BlizzCon closing ceremony on October 23, the band will perform an earth-shattering set that includes the debut of new, soon-to-be-legendary songs.
“The best way to wrap up two days of epic entertainment is with an epic rock concert–and few bands fit the bill like Tenacious D,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to a great show and can’t wait to see what Jack and Kyle have in store for everyone attending BlizzCon and watching from home.”
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 $39.95 USD, available as a multi-channel Internet stream around the world (pricing and availability may vary by region) and also via DIRECTV in the United States . Visit www.blizzcon.com 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 www.blizzard.com/jobs. As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at www.blizzcon.com.
Blizzard will announce the winners of the 2010 Global Writing Contest this upcoming Monday, October 18th.
2010 Global Writing Contest – Announcement of Announcement!
During today’s daily feeding/washing ritual, the handlers for the 2010 Global Writing Contest judges were able to coax them into revealing – between the constant wailing and gnashing of eyelids – that the list of winners for the 2010 Global Writing Contest will be finished on Monday, October 18th. Until then, you are allowed to slow down your hammering the Refresh button to once every other second.
Blizzard invites filmmakers and artists to participate in the Blizzcon 2010 Cataclysm Art & Video Contests.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will soon be upon us, and the denizens of Azeroth must be prepared! We’re reaching out to the World of Warcraft community’s talented filmmakers, artists, and graphic designers to help spread the word by entering two brand new contests.
If your talents lie in creating original artwork or graphic design, then perhaps you’d like to whip up an epic advertisement or public service announcement for the besieged denizens of Azeroth. You can learn more about the Cataclysm Print Ad Contest here: https://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/cataclysm-print/
Whether you chose to enter either or both of these contests, please be sure to read the rules for full details and eligibility.
Blizzard Entertainment has released three images of the Diablo III gear set samples for the male Witch Doctor, female Wizard and female Barbarian. More images will be revealed on each Tuesday and Thursday leading up toward BlizzCon via the official Diablo III Twitter and Facebook.
Richard A. Knaak is a special guest at BlizzCon 2010 where he will sign copies of World of Warcraft: Stormrage, and other novels at the Simon & Schuster booth. You will find him there both days through October 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Hint: Last year the publisher was giving away copies. You never know. Just come by and say hi. Oh, and bring your novels and manga with you, or get them at the BlizzCon store.
World of Warcraft: Stormrage
Before BlizzCon, you can catch Richard A. Knaak and Christie Golden at the Mysterious Galaxy store in San Diego on October 20th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Richard will be there signing copies of World of Warcraft: Stormrage and the DRAGONREALM Omnibuses.
Christie Golden will be signing copies of World of Warcraft: The Shattering.
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302
San Diego, CA 92111
Richard A. Knaak informs the Essential Warcraft: The Sunwell Collection (Tokyopop) featuring the original manga trilogy will also include the four short stories of Trag Highmountain (from the pages of Warcraft Legends Vol. 1-4). Both features were penciled by artist Jae-Hwan Kim. The collection can be ordered here.
To wrap up, the World of Warcraft: Stormrage novel was featured as a four-time Locus Bestseller in the September issue. Stormrage is currently # 3 in the bestseller listing.
Blizzard released the BlizzCon 2010 schedule of events and panels. You can now map your favorite Cataclysm, Diablo III and Starcraft II panels to organize your personal calendar to maximize your two-days experience.
Blizzcon 2010 will take place on October 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
We’ve just posted the schedule of events and panel descriptions for BlizzCon 2010, taking place Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23. Check out the pages now for a breakdown of the events taking place on the main stage, developer panel stage, and two tournament stages throughout the show.
If you’re not attending the show, the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket allows viewers at home to switch between coverage of all four stages in HD via a multi-channel Internet stream. Orders include this year’s BlizzCon World of Warcraft pet and StarCraft II in-game items, and if you order by October 10, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a special, 48-hour online sale to purchase select BlizzCon merchandise before the show.
Update 5:30pm EST: I reached Blizzard Entertainment and this is the official response. Our IncGamers main website is echoing the same official response:
Blizzard Entertainment has not announced any details about the next BlizzCon. We recommend that players refrain from making any BlizzCon-related travel plans at this time.
Update 4:44pm EST: Within a few minutes, the page no longer exists. It has been removed. I took video of my monitor to show you the page, and what happened after I reloaded the page. Will put the video up sometime later.
Original Story 4:22pm EST: The Anaheim Convention Center in California has been the official stage in the past years for the Blizzard Entertainment mega-convention known as Blizzcon. Last year the Anaheim Convention Center welcomed over 25,000 players who traveled from all around the world to meet the Blizzard Entertainment developers, play Starcraft II and Diablo III demos, and to hear what the new World of Warcraft expansion [Cataclysm] was all about.
A few months ago, there was a massive response to the rumor that BlizzCon 2010 would take place at Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention Center quickly responded it had been a misunderstanding and the page should never have gone online, as it was a placeholder that was never confirmed or secured by Blizzard Entertainment.
Eldorian (Blizzplanet) has discovered something of interest. The Anaheim Convention Center had not shown any schedules for Blizzcon on its official website up to this point. Now the website currently lists Blizzcon to happen on October 22-23, 2010.
This however, might not be a final date so don’t jump on your horses with this to book flight and hotel reservations just yet. We will have to wait for an official response from Blizzard Entertainment. There is a chance this is another placeholder or automatic renewal that shouldn’t have appeared online. There’s no guarantee that a BlizzCon might be held this year. However, there’s still one more Diablo III Class to be unveiled. There’s no better place to announce this new class than at BlizzCon or at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals. None of these events have been confirmed or announced by Blizzard Entertainment as of the time of this post.
Starcraft II might be in beta by the time BlizzCon takes place, and the showcasing of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm’s latest demo is a no brainer. Could there be an announcement of the Next-Gen MMO or the new IP this BlizzCon?
Blizzplanet and other fansites listed under their Blizzard Fansites Program (see USA or Europe — Blizzplanet is listed there) have direct contact with the Community Managers, Public Relations and some developers. So we get the scoop pretty fast on things whether we contacting them or they sending us flash news.
I want to alert all of our visitors to halt any flight or hotel arrangements provoked by the rumor that BlizzCon would take place at Las Vegas. It has been confirmed to be a rumor.
Blizzard Entertainment has not provided any details on the next BlizzCon, so you should leave all your planning for the moment Blizzard makes an official announcement either at the Blizzard.com or BlizzCon.com websites.
It would be very saddening to see thousands of players spending in arrangements for something that hasn’t been confirmed or announced officially. This year over 20,000 Blizzcon tickets were sold in less than 30 seconds.
“If you didn’t make it into the queue in those 30 seconds, you didn’t get a ticket.” — said Mike Morhaime a few months ago. For that matter, rumors like this could be devastating pushing thousands of people to arrange flight and hotel right away or to cancel, ever seen how much you get charged for cancelling? ouch.
It’s unclear if there was an approach; if the Las Vegas convention administrators accidentally leaked too early — you know dates can change at any time specially rushed this early; or if it was a publicity stunt. Whatever happened here, just ignore it. Blizzard might have other plans for location or date, and it would be too risky to make reservations this early under those nebulous terms. Blizzard always gives fans a four months window in advance to make arrangements after they make the official announcement.
Bashiok has been rolling with Diablo III questions and answers on the forums after the Blizzcon 2009 wave of revelations.
The Diablo III Team is concerned with some spell animations, blood and explosions in 4-player scenarios where the screens simply gets crowded with stuff that gets in the way. In short visibility of monsters and other players gets affected.
Bashiok: The spell animations, blood, explosions, and everything else going on can create what Jay mentioned a few times as “soup”. An indistinguishable mess. It’s really only an issue during four player games and even then, to be honest, I personally think it’s all far more readable than it was in Diablo II. But, it’s an ongoing concern and something we’re going to have to continue to work at to make sure you can tell what’s going on.
For the second point, development time, there is a lot going on – a lot of areas, creatures, and dungeons created that no one has seen yet and probably won’t see until the game is released. But dev time is certainly always something on people’s minds. We’re constantly refining our tools and processes, and the team just naturally gets better and faster at creating content as they go. I don’t think it’s anything for the community at large to concern themselves with, let the producers sweat it.
The Monk class is not the same from the Sierra’s Diablo II: Hellfire expansion—and that expansion is not considered canon or part of the Diablo II lore:
Bashiok: It’s not a recognized part of the Diablo franchise, and to be honest it is so much so not recognized, that when people asked about returning classes in the Q&A’s and in some of the press interviews the Hellfire expansion just wasn’t in anyone’s minds. Plus, it isn’t the same class. We aren’t taking an old class and updating it. The monk from Hellfire, and in fact the story and content of Hellfire, doesn’t exist as far as game lore and story is concerned going into Diablo III. They happen to share a name, the same as all of the other monk classes that have existed in all other RPG’s since the beginning of time. It doesn’t mean they’re related kit/story/flavor wise.
A fan asked if the demon fighting the Monk in the trailer was Belial, and surpise-surprise … it is a Morlu Caster. Those into lore and reading novels know that Morlu is a race mentioned in Diablo: The Sin War trilogy. They are reanimated warriors. They don’t look human, but they are armored humanoids wearing ram skull helmets. They served Lucion the Primus, son of Mephisto, and could be found in the depths of the Temple of the Triune fighting each other nonstop, dying and reanimating back to life constantly. It is very cool to see Morlu show up in Diablo III. It means the Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy has much more importance in the Diablo III storyline than previously revealed.
Bashiok: The demonic enemy shown in the Monk trailer is a morlu caster, not Belial.
Bashiok wants feedback about shrine buffs and magicfind:
Bashiok: There is indeed currently magicfind (MF) on items in Diablo III, as well as a temporary shrine buff. I think though it’s a system we’re just sort of dipping our toes into for the moment.
I don’t think it’s accurate to say or even guess that the inclusion of MF means the system will mirror that of Diablo II. We could easily set rules for affix combination, requirement, frequency, and strength to control how and where MF appears in the game.
We may decide that MF as a stat is a fun alternative and building sets purely to that end, similar to Diablo II, is what we want to do. Or, we could say that it should just be a fun affix and not something you could stack to meaningful amounts.
Putting things like MF, additional XP, additional gold, speed increase, etc. on items now and having them in the demo is really just begging for discussion so please do give some feedback.
The Monk’s Seven-sided Strike ability costed half-mana in the demo, so expect various changes to this ability throughout development.
Bashiok: I’ll jump in real quick and just say that this ability in the demo cost a little less than half your mana pool, so you’re able to “spam” it exactly twice in a row if starting with full mana.
Many fans were concerned about the quality of the Monk Class Trailer shown at Blizzcon 2009. Bashiok clears up everything there is to know about it.
Bashiok: Well … yeah, the class announcement trailers are done using nothing but in-game assets. They’re essentially Diablo III machinima if you want to classify it. And they’re effing amazing. Obviously they’re not the pre-rendered cinematics, but if anyone is even confused about that… then that’s pretty cool too actually.
Bashiok can you confirm the presence of in-game cutscenes or does that steal from the game as the previous character dialogues as seen in the first gameplay video and that have since been removed?
The reason why those close-up character dialogues with the animated portraits were removed was because it took you away from your character and the game. So I’d be really surprised if we had in-game cinematics, but … never say never.
Why wasn’t there a female Monk in the demo?
Bashiok: There will be a female monk. Women can be monks as well in eastern religions, of which the monk draws the majority of his influence. We’re obviously putting a western spin on it though and making it something specific for Sanctuary. The female monk is still in the concepting stage, so we don’t have any final concepts to show.
Loved how Bashiok played around with the Zombie Dogs ability to catch on fire with firebombs or other Witch Doctor abilities to justify possible changes in the way the zombie dogs should benefit from extra damage. It might end up working like a paladin aura that can be switched on and off? Or maybe a buff casted by the Witch Doctor on his pets until they die? What do you think?
Bashiok: First thing’s first, the mongrel is now (or again) known as the Zombie Dog. It was the name that was used when the idea was first proposed and all the way through development. Calling it a mongrel was kind of confusing because everyone was so used to calling it a zombie dog for so long, no one remembered to call it a mongrel (dune thresher and fallen imp suffer from it as well to a degree). The name zombie dog doesn’t need to be lore-fied really. It describes the skill perfectly, so why not use it?
So anyway, right, the fire and poison/locust enhancements for the zombie dogs was removed. It was a cool idea but it just wasn’t really panning out to be anything meaningful. It was sort of confusing as to why you would be switching between fire and poison, was it to keep an additional DoT active, or maybe there would be tactical reasons for it? But it just wasn’t really jiving in a way that made sense for the rest of the game as it all came together more. It wasn’t shaping up to be a meaningful or fun decision to make on-the-fly. And if you didn’t happen to spec into the skills that would empower the mongrels in different ways, what then? You’re just constantly refreshing a fire DoT on them? To what end? It seemed more and more that a decision that was made at the base skill, either through spending points in another skill (passive potentially), or using particular runes to alter the zombie dogs, made the most sense.
I haven’t spoken to the designers about it, so I could be way out of line, but I think the potential for passives that affect all “summoned zombies” is definitely there as there are quite a bit more of them that exist now. The gargantuan, zombie charger, wall of zombies, grasp of the dead, and then the zombie dogs of course.
It’s not an issue of coming up with various ways the effects could work, it’s the issue of why is it interesting or fun to switch between the two? Why/when/how would I choose to set my dogs on fire versus poisoning them, and most importantly! could it be done accurately enough so that it actually makes a difference?
“Ok I’m a firebomb Witch Doctors.
Firebombing, firebombing… Oh sweet, my zombie dog lit on fire and is doing extra damage/trail of fire/etc etc
Firebombing, firebombing. Yup, he’s still on fire and doing all that stuff.
Still on fire.
Always on fire since I use firebomb so much.
… still on fire.
This might as well be a passive.”
Repeat the above for locust swarm.
“Ok I have firebomb AND locust swarm!
Firebombing, cool he’s on f… wait nope I accidentally hit him with locust swa… nope now he’s on fire agai… ok they need to stop getting in my way I want them to be on fire but they… ugh.
This should just be something I can choose/switch in a more meaningful way.”
Blizzard Entertainment is often criticized by a handful of fans. Usually the same group that is never satisfied with anything. Those who say that Blizzard likes to milk or cash on things and speculate and blame Activision. As a Fansite member who has been reporting news to the community for seven years, I can finally tell you a few things that might change your view.
If anything, things have changed for the better in the past recent years. I have never seen Blizzard so active with fansites since the release of World of Warcraft. I keep in contact with the CMs many times each month, and they reply my questions. Blizzard approves all the interview requests and provide exclusive screenshots more often. Have anyone wondered how do so many fansites get to go to Blizzcon and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals to bring you content and exclusive interviews with new info about the recently announced games?
Blizzard Entertainment cares a lot for their fansites and are truly kind with them. For example, I attended Blizzcon 2008 and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals 2008 (Paris) last year. This year I attended the Starcraft II Single Player press invitation and Blizzcon 2009.
Did you wonder at all how I manage to cover the expenses? All Blizzard. Flight, Hotel, Taxi, Breakfast, and other extras. They didn’t cover all those expenses just for me. Over 30 Fansites were invited in those four events within the last 12 months.
All so that fans learn new info about the games from other fans such as me, Maticus, Flux and Leord, and as a reward of sorts for all the work each loyal and dedicated fansite does to keep fans informed.
However, this cover of expenses is only done for only one member per fansite. We arrive two days before Blizzcon to attend on Thursday the Fansites Summit held at the Blizzard Entertaiment campus by the Theater Room.
In there we get to see the latest build of Starcraft II and Diablo III gameplay in a wall-sized screen before fans get to play that at Blizzcon giving us a heads up to write about that night. We coordinate and synchronize what all fansites will have access to from Blizzard.
Blizzard will spear-head social integration and quick mass information not only with Twitter, but through Battle.net 2.0. As you can see in our 15 screenshots of Battle.net 2.0 features, the Social/Friends List feature is awesome, and will help guilds and clans communicate more efficiently.
Blizzard will provide all their registered fansites a new circular icon designed by them to distinguish our fansites’s front page:
Official Starcraft II Fan Site
Official Diablo III Fan Site
Official World of Warcraft Fan Site
Official Warcraft Fan Site
The one that intrigued all fansite members present at the Blizzard Entertainment’s Theater Room was the … Official Battle.net Fan Site. Bashiok nor Karune gave an explanation of what this new icon means. What could justify the creation of a Official Battle.net Fan Site rather than a game-specific Fan Site? To be honest everyone is befuddled.
Does Blizzard still have more juice to share with fans about Battle.net? More features and secrets to be unearthed? I can only say we are very-VERY excited. Now I am understanding why Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty won’t ship on 2009.
Starcraft II is ready to ship in time. It is Battle.net 2.0 what is delaying the release of Starcraft II, because the game is meant to ship with Battle.net 2.0. With what little I have said here, and the hint of an Official Battle.net Fan Site Program—I am convinced the wait will be worth it. And if Fansites are excited, you guys should be too.
Nethaera (WoW CM), Bashiok (Diablo III CM) and Karune (Starcraft II CM) directed the Fansites Summit and encouraged all fansite representatives attending the event to contact them to ask questions, and to submit Q&As from our own communities for developers on a one-on-one basis.
We were told that not only will developers of each game interact with fans in live Q&As over Twitter, but that fansites will also have the opportunity to interact with the developers privately through Live Press Q&As.
To those minorities (coughs, trolls) bashing Blizzard Entertainment and accusing it of milking the franchises, I am sorry to say: “You are wrong”. We are paying for quality products. In my interview with Chris Metzen back on July 20, 2009 during the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Single Player Press Invitation, he confirms why Starcraft II is sold as three separate episodes.
They have been working on stories for Starcraft II for nearly a decade. It came down to a point that it was hard to cram all the lore and stories into a single product without discarding stuff. The decision to span the game into three episodes happened far before Activision and VUGames merged into Activision Blizzard.
“The trick to StarCraft II now being in these three installments is that there was a lot to play with in the first place. We had 10 years worth of expectations and stories we wanted to chase and arcs of these characters that we wanted to explore”—said Metzen. “So we came packing with a lot of ideas, and the idea of separating each of these chapters into their own boxed product essentially allows us to really round out each race
Pocket Books invited me to witness their Blizzcon 2009 book signing event on Saturday at 4pm where Jaime Costas and her husband raffled 40 copies of the World of Warcraft: Arthas Collector’s Edition. I brought my video camera and captured most of the event. There was a large amount of fans awaiting to win one of those, but also to get their own merchandise signed by Christie Golden. I could see some World of Warcraft: Arthas (Normal Edition) and Starcraft: The Dark Templar trilogy brought by fans to be signed by the author. The place was crowded with fans that were excited to meet her.
If you recognize a friend in the two videos, let them know the link to this page. It’s available to all attendees as a memento. I was glad to be there. I realized I haven’t taken photos of myself with the authors in all the events I have been attending. This time I had the chance to take a photo with all the publishers and book writers. I have been in contact with all of them quite often. It feels like family already. Watch video # 1 below, and video # 2 here.
We attended the Blizzcon 2009 Diablo III Heroes & Monsters Panel at Hall C which described the process of developing various monsters and their unique and special abilities. We divided the videos into four parts.
Richard A. Knaak revealed a few details about the upcoming Pocket Books novel titled World of Warcraft: Stormrage (on sale February 23, 2010). Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson said in our interview back on February that this book would deal with the Nightmare in the Emerald Dream and Malfurion Stormrage. Will we get to see some tie-in with the events behind Cataclysm?