BlizzCon 2008 Livestream Petition

Aston from Hungarian Starcraft 2 Blog Starcraft2.hu informed me of their online petition to Blizzard requesting a live stream of the BlizzCon 2008 event. The petition is nearing a thousand signatures already.

To:  Blizzard Entertainment (USA, California)

We would like to ask Blizzard Entertainment (USA, California) to make us live video streaming for the event named BlizzCon 2008, because everyone in the USA can see it on TV, but in Europe, there is no such opportunity.

Live video streaming was available on the event World Wide Invitational 2008 and Blizzard showed us, they can make an enjoyable live stream for us, so please make it again for us on the next big event: BlizzCon 2008.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Wrath of the Lich King - Storm Peaks Screenshots

I have been exploring all morning through Northrend. Here is the first wave of screenshots and videos. The Storm Peaks have beautiful Titan architechture all over the place. The Caverns of Time: The Culling recreates dialogues from the Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos Human Campaign where Prince Arthas disbands the Order of the Silver Hand after accusing Uther the Lightbringer of treason. Chromie asks you to help Prince Arthas in the culling of Stratholme while she investigates the Infinite Dragonflight hideout.

Post a Comment.

WotLK Beta - New Build 8820 Released

10:15pm EST: Patch is now downloading. It is 667MB file size bringing build 8788 up to 3.0.1.8820. Level cap increased to 80.

Jeff “Kaplan” Tigole: The level cap will be 80. Storm Peaks will be available. Icecrown is still unavailable.

We’ll also make the following dungeons available:

  • Halls of Lightning
  • Halls of Stone
  • Caverns of Time: Stratholme
  • The Occulus
  • Utgarde Pinnacle
  • Heroic: The Nexus (No attunement necessary—just get level 80)

Gundrak and Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom almost made this patch but there were a few issues which held them back. Also, we sped up the leveling curve from 70-80. We’re still dialing in the leveling speed so feedback is appreciated.

Premades will be available at a later date and on a different server.

UNDOCUMENTED CHANGES (Source)

Mage
– Mage frostbolt is now back to normal size

Warrior
– Unbreakable Armor cooldown reduced from 2 min to 1, now increases str by 10%.
– Shield Break removed, new ability appears to be NYI
– Titan’s Grip hass been bumped down one tier and is only 1 point now. And no speed penalty it appears. So it’s been buffed.

Paladin
– Paladin Concentration Aura: All party or raid members within 30yrds lose 35% less casting or channeling time when damaged.
– Judgements no longer do any damage (bugged)

Druid
– Rampage heavily reworked – now causes you to give a 5% crit buff to nearby party members on crit.
– Ferocious Bite damage slightly increased.
– Swipe now hits 4 targets.
– Savage Roar now increases attack power 40% and lasts 14/19/24/29/34 sec depending on how many combo points you have up. (Previously 35% attack power and 9/12/15/18/21 sec)
– Feral Charge (Cat) now makes you jump through the air towards your target much faster than before.

Death Knight Changes: (will add as I find more)

– Some or all death knights now have a green diseased “glow”
– Death Knight: Death Grip removed
– Blood Aura changed – All affected party/raid members are healed for 1% of the damage they deal.
– Anti-Magic Zone has a new icon.
– Death Strike buffed, now heals even without diseases if it is a killing blow.
– Frost Strike RP cost reduced to 40.
– Runic Power Mastery now increases max RP by 10 per rank
– Wandering Plague (DK Unholy talent) now gives a chance equal to your crit chance to cause aoe damage and cause double damage from the disease.
– Icy Touch damage buffed by ~15%, Frost Fever duration reduced.
– Frost Aura back to magic resistance
– Heart Strike has a new icon.
– Summon Gargoyle’s cooldown reduced from 5 to 3 minutes.
– Unholy Aura buffed but no longer stacks with similar effects.
– New animation and graphic for chains of ice.
– Changing prescence does not seem to give you the buff for your prescence, although you do receive the intended effect.
– Death Knight can learn new aura that allows water walking by freezing its path. Works while mounting.
– Having a temporary pet ghoul seems to be listed under your portrait ala Shaman totem instead of a buff now.
-Looks as if bloodworms got nerfed again, to only 9% proc at maxed talent.
-Icy Touch has a new debuff icon. (not sure what was bad about the last one.)
-Plague Strike’s debuff is now called “Blood Plague” and has a different debuff icon.
Windfury and other shaman self-weapon buffs can no longer be applied to any of our weapons. (bug?)

Other:

-Zul’Drak now has it’s very own music
-The Violet Hold now requires a key to allow entry
– Antonidas has a Statue now at the Antonidas memorial in Dalaran.
– The cupcake/pie vendor in Dalaran has changed titles again to

and now sells pies and cakes.
– Big statue near the flight master in Dalaran
– New Blacksmith recipes in Dalaran
– New Grand Master Engineering recipes including Porta-Mailbox
– Thunder Capacitor has a new icon. its damage has been buffed up to 1181 – 1371. It also appears to be broken, the charges won’t stack past 1.
– Badges of Justice no longer appear in your bank or bag. You can find them under Miscelaneous tab.
-The quest: “The Jig Is Up” to kill Jonah Sterling has been fixed, and is very easy to solo.
-The flight path map now looks like an actual blank continent instead of a huuuge mini-map.
-No female taunka yet. At least not in Camp Winterhoof.
– New Howling Fjord music? Definitely hearing music i’ve never heard before, while questing outside of Camp Winterhoof, before all I heard was the damn braveheart music over and over, this new one is more melodic.
– The emote /cower will keep your character cowering until he moves now, instead of a very brief cower emote the character would perform pre-patch.
– Upon right-clicking any player’s portrait, you now are given the option to “set focus” as an option at the top.
– The addon “Autoprofit” works again, you can once again sell all your junk in one click. Woohoo!
-Some have reported that Badges of Justice have been taken out of player inventory, and added to the token menu, other players seem to not have full access to the token menu yet.
-Enemy cast bars now work correctly.
-Upon running back to your corpse when dieing, your corpse is not marked with a gray slab or a brown coffin anymore, but a red flag with a yellow ‘!’ on it.
-Barber Shops work as intended now.
-Paladins seem to be complaining that their abilities aren’t effectively damaging, tanking, or healing anything. Not sure what’s different there.
-The Kalu’ak (walrus people) have been given voices, and their disposition is…. fishy.
– There are Silver Covenant NPC’s at the outpost in Crystalsong along with a non-functional flight master
– You can no longer inspect a member of the opposing force. No more checking on Allies to see what specc they are if you are the Horde.
– Malmortis quest is fixed
– Mounting in major cities is now fixed
– Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning are now in Storm Peaks, no more teleporter at Violet Citadel in Dalaran
– Talbuk graphics fixed

9pm EST: All beta testers should know that the beta servers are currently down.  Blizzard is about to unleash a new build.  From what could be watched in the Gamona interview video at Leipzig today, rumor is the level cap will be risen to 80.  More details or confirmation once servers are back up. Make sure to visit Blizzplanet for any updates.—read more.

Gradina: We will be taking down the Beta realms at 2:30PM Pacific time today August 21th 2008 to update to the latest build.

We expect this process to take from six to eight hours.

Thank you for your patience!

Leipzig 2008 GC - Diablo 3 Roundup

Krawall.de got ahold of new Diablo 3 Media at the Leipzig 2008 Games Convention held in Germany. The new screenshots show both concept art and gameplay. Some of the gameplay screenshots show the Witch Doctor unit in action within a dungeon using his pets and spells to obliterate its enemies from a safe distance.

Check the images at Krawall.de. Share your comments here.

IGN cornered Jay Wilson at the 2008 Leipzig GC today to continue discussion on the Art direction, and Health Potions system. What everyone saw at the Invitationals gameplay video is merely the first levels of the game, which are meant to be colorful. We will see darker and grittier scenes as we delve deeper into the world of Sanctuary… giving a psychological sense that things will get worse and worse as we advance through the game.

Read the interview at IGN. Share your comments here.

A crafting system is also in the works, though it won’t be anything like Diablo II’s Horadric Cube combinations. “I don’t know if I can think of a comparison,” said Wilson. “I think that system is a pretty cool and different kind of system from anything that we’ve had before.”

Jay Wilson was interviewed by Eurogamer at the 2008 Leipzig GC today, where he explains his background before joining the Diablo 3 team. He was an avid Blizzard player just like you back in the days. He remembers seeing the Diablo 1 advertisements on the back of the Warcraft II manual. He played Diablo 1, and 2 and Lord of Destruction expansion.

Other games he has played are Zelda and God of War, and from them he has learned that a boss shouldn’t be all this all powerful big health, one-shot hit type of monster that deals tons of damage and requires you to spam healing pots.

Fans have been wondering for the past weeks how in hell – no pun intended – people is gonna heal during a boss encounter with no health potions or health orbs around …

Jay Wilson reveals his vision for the future of the next action-dripping Diablo 3 game’s boss mechanics … you won’t be fighting a lonely boss. You will fight a boss and a horde of mobs. The boss and the mobs won’t do crazy damage, but lower your health at different paces. They are designed to do that with different abilities—however, these mobs that help the boss engage you are there to supply you with health orbs to continue battling the boss.

Now people … that’s what I call genious. It is gonna be challenging, yes, hard. Yet entertaining and possible by using skills and tactics. And the best reward is you won’t get carpal tunnel or have to port back to town to replenish health pots. Read the full interview. Post your comments here.

Eurogamer: I guess this is where the influences you’ve mentioned from enemy design in Zelda and World of Warcraft come into play…

Jay Wilson: Or God of War. Games like that are some of my favourite games. It would be far more interesting if we could have a boss monster that wasn’t just a giant sack of health that deals out ridiculous damage. We’ve got monsters that drop health at percentages of their damage, we also sometimes spawn monsters that are just there basically to drop health. Even there: if you have a boss that just walks around and hits you, and a bunch of smaller monsters that continually spawn and generate health, that’s already a far more interesting fight than you ever got in Diablo. And that’s just the bear minimum of what we can do.

Gamespy asked Jay Wilson from Leipzig GC how random generation dungeons is so hard and unsuccessful sometimes in other companies and not for Blizzard. PvP gameplay is another topic discussed in this interview. At this point, PvP is merely in brainstorm-ideas mode, and not fully worked on. From what Wilson answered, it is obvious they wish to change how PvP worked in Diablo II, and make it more suitable for every player without the exploits associated with it that usually discourages players from playing again. Can you say, Gankers no more?

Other topic discussed was Diablo 3’s financial model, whether it would be free-gameplay, subscription model or micro-transactions model. Read the three-pages interview. Post your comments here.

Blizzplanet WWI Card Contest Winners

Blizzplanet moved recently to a new server on a different hosting company.  This was informed to me in a very short notice, so most people might probably not be able to see this until regional DNS servers are updated. Apologies for the downtime. If you are experiencing problems to access Blizzplanet in your browser, but not elsewhere, hit ctrl + F5 (Windows Users) to force-refresh cache and cookies. That might help.

Here is a preliminar list of winners of a Tyrael pet code and a Wrath of the Lich King beta code. Some may be missing if they didn’t provide a character name.

LarryNC
Maarja – Sylvanas(EU)
Savinia – Arygos
Kitanis – Malfurion
Elyseon – Nordrassil (EU)
Zarzen – Blackhand
Attackecho
Erevion – Earthen Ring
Gurtogg_Bloodboil
Taurk – Draenor
Lyquidface – Warsong
berge383
Ivanu – Kul’Tiras
Phizz – Emerald Dream
Hotpockets – Area 52
Oliviera – Gilneas
Altepa – Zul’jin
blackfox

Diablofans.com - WWI Card Contest

I posted over at Diablofans.com a new WWI Card Contest for the Diablo Community.  Those who haven’t won one of these Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals cards may participate for an extra chance to become parent foster of a Tyrael Pet and lucky winner of a Wrath of the Lich King beta key code. The Diablofans contest ends on August 25th at 11:59pm EST/-5GMT, so hurry up!

Leipzig 2008: Starcraft MMO A Possibility

Starcraft MMO would be difficult, but not impossible. All it would take is the Starcraft 2 team deciding what game to work with after Starcraft 2. Read the interview at VideoGamers.

The StarCraft universe is really rich, and it’s got a lot of cool stuff in it that could be leveraged for any number of different genres. A big factor would be what the development teams want to work on. When the StarCraft II team is done with StarCraft II, a factor is what they want to work on next, because the development teams plays a big role in deciding what they’re going to do. So if there was a development team that was really passionate about leveraging the StarCraft universe for a different genre then that’s something we would seriously consider.

Via Bluesnews.

Leipzig 2008 - Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic Unleashed!

Blizzard unleashed today at 7am EST / 1pm Germany Time the awaited Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic at the 2008 Leipzig GC Event. The opening cinematic is narrated by no less than King Terenas’s voice from the past in the ears of Arthas proclaiming him his heir and future king. Arthas aims Frostmourne toward the ice and a giant Frost Wyrm arises and sets flights down a cliff as waves and waves of Undead look in awe at the power of their King. The level of realism in Blizzard cinematics have grown a notch. It simply rocks!

IGN has an interview with J. Allen Brack who confirms Wrath of the Lich King beta testing has hit its middle stage basically.  Most of the content there is to test has been tested. Very soon Blizzard will be increasing the level cap from 77 to 80. And that means very soon …!  Once the last three levels and two remaining zones are opened for testing, all that needs to be done is tuning up the classes and some dungeons.

Right now the Mage, Warrior and Warlock are under tune-up exploration. The mage as is at level 80 has been found too powerful with its 51 point doing twice the intended damage output. Blizzard is still figuring out why that is happening. Read the IGN interview with J. Allan Brack.

You can watch a video interview with J. Allen Brack and Tom Chilton at GetBuffed and the video interview at our old-german-buddies Gamona.

Starcraft 2 Single-Player Screenshots & System Specs Revealed

StarcraftWire.net got their hands on an AMD Graphics documentation that reveals never before seen screenshots o fStarcraft 2 Single-Player, as well as the Computer System Specifications. Blizzard has confirmed them, and it shows how close AMD and Blizzard have gotten since the official partnership announcement made a few weeks ago.

Some screenshots show the Bar inside the Hyperion battlecruiser where Jim Raynor goes to relief his alcoholic addiction; and Tychus Findlay. We can see screenshots of the bar fully rendered, and pre-rendered clay-like 3D models. Check it out:

Starcraft 2 Q&A - Batch 43

As mentioned in previous conversations, the development team is working extremely hard on the single player campaign, which we will be talking in more detail about at a later time. In the meantime, questions will be ‘light’ over the next couple of batches, to give the Dev Team ample time to work on their latest design challenges. There are also many preparations being made for both the Games Convention coming up in Leipzig, as well as BlizzCon, to make sure the StarCraft II community definitely gets their feed of info. Nonetheless, in this batch we were able to talk a bit more with Dustin and our balance designer to look into the current Zerg versus Zerg match up towards the end of our Q&A. Enjoy!

As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!

—-StarCraft II Q&A Batch 43—-

1. What happens if a Nullifier targets a Colossus with the Anti-Gravity ability? (garmgarf battle.net)

When Anti-Gravity is used upon a Colossus, the Colossus will still be immobilized and lifted up, which will still allow it to be hit by units that can attack air targets. Colossi will not be able to shoot while under the effect of Anti-Gravity.

2. How many critters will there be available and will they have attack animations? (SatanicLaser battle.net)

There will be critters, but there have not been any detailed discussions yet about their attack animations. On that note, there is a possibility that BlizzCon panels may fill the community in a bit more on what type of critters there will be.

3. Can the Infestor infest any building, or only specific ones, such as Barracks or Gateways, if the Protoss can be infested? (Son_Of_Korhal Battle.net)

This is actually a mechanic they are currently testing quite a bit. It is undecided if the Infestor will be able to infest Protoss or Zerg buildings, as there are gameplay and lore reasons which support many different options. Either way, at the end of the day, the development team will choose an option that will be balanced and fun in terms of gameplay for multiplayer.

4. What units are currently undergoing major art changes? (starcraft2forum.org)

There are several artistic revisions every week, though the two newest units to get some artistic updates are the Nomad and the Stalker. The Terran Nomad is getting a complete artistic redesign from any versions the community has seen thus far. Furthermore, the Protoss Stalker is also being updated to look more similar to the concept art piece as seen here: https://starcraft2.com/art.xml?s=6

5. How do Zerg vs Zerg games play out in SC2? Is it still mostly a battle of mutalisks and zerglings or have the new units changed things around? Ideas (teamliquid.net)

ZvZ (Zerg vesus Zerg)matchup usually opens up in 2 different ways, Zerglings or Roaches. Aggressive players can use Zerglings mobility to take control of the early game, whereas going Roaches is more of a defensive strategy. Zergling vs. Roach relationship is such that for cost, Zerglings wins out in the open, Roaches win at chokes, but in mid/late games when numbers are greater, Roaches can stand up to or even beat Zerglings for cost out in the open. Hydralisks dont have much use in ZvZ early game, as they are more of an anti air unit in StarCraft II.

The tier 2 battle continues with Banelings that can dominate Zerglings, but with micro, Zerglings can actually come out ahead in Zergling vs. Baneling battles. Similarly, Lurkers counter Roaches for cost, but Roaches have the mobility advantage. Mutaliks counter Zerglings/Roaches since these units cant hit air. Whats different in StarCraft II is that Hydralisks counter Mutalisks extremely well, meaning something like Roach/Hydralisk combo can stand up to the classic Zergling/Mutalisk combo. Also, another great way to fight vs. mass Mutalisks is to tech to infestation pit (same tech level as the Spire), and make Corruptors or Infestors. Infestors have the disease ability that is great for fighting vs. units that clump really well such as the Mutalisk, and Corruptors are Zergs anti air air unit.

Due to the fast pace of the ZvZ game, most games dont end up in tier 3, but ultralisks, with their cleave attack, or swarm guardians that use swarms to soak up a lot of ground vs. ground damage are great options if the game does happen to go into tier 3.

Overall, StarCraft II has a variety of options even in a mirror match such as Zerg vs. Zerg. Players can use different unit compositions to counter the classic Zergling/Mutalisk strategy that is a still powerful but not the only option.

—-End of Transmission—-

Karune – RTS Community Manager
Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft Action Figures Series 4 Unveiled

DC Unlimited and Wildstorm have some juicy stuff heading your way very soon. First, let’s take a look at the solicitations for the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer# 3 issue due November 26.  Everyone should know WoW: Ashbringer# 1 is hitting newsstands on September 10th.

By issue# 3, Darion Mograine and the Argent Dawn make an appearance.

“Aided by the Argent Dawn, Darion will drive into the very heart of the Scourge stronghold. But will he find resolution or death?”

World of Warcraft# 13 continues the epic story of Varian Wrynn the King of Stormwind. DC Comics confirmed this comic book will continue to be an ongoing comic book series after issue# 14. No worries.  It’s off to Theramore Island as our heroes must resolve the damage done by the evil usurper of the throne.  Issue# 13 on sale by November 19th with covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi.

From DC Unlimited hails the new World of Warcraft Action Figures Series 4 with a Succubus, Murloc, Tuskarr, Gnoll and a very exclusive Deluxe Action Figure of Lady Vashj !!! Series 4 will be available on April 1, 2009.

GNOLL WARLORD: GANGRIS RIVERPAW
MURLOC 2-PACK: FISH-EYE AND GIBBERGIL
SUCCUBUS DEMON: AMBERLASH
TUSKARR: TAVRU AKUA
LADY VASHJ DELUXE COLLECTOR FIGURE

WoWWiki Scavenger Hunt Contest - Win A WotLK Beta Key

George Pribul (WoWWiki admin/Wikia Gaming) informed Blizzplanet that WoWWiki is giving away Wrath of the Lich King beta keys and WoW pets!

The team at WoWWiki has created a unique scavenger hunt. Clopper Wizbang has lost all his WoWlympic gear, and can’t compete without it. Scattered throughout the wiki, are clues to aid you in your quest to discover the whereabouts of the missing equipment. Good hunting!

https://www.wowwiki.com/WoWWiki:WoWlympics

Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic @ Leipzig 2008

Blizzard Entertainment will unveil the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic at the Leipzig Game Conference in Germany on Thursday, August 21 at 1pm (German time). Starcraft II and Wrath of the Lich King will be available to fans who go to the Leipzig event to play hands-on both games. Diablo III sadly won’t be. Nevertheless, all three game IPs will have the spotlight with public Q&A panels.

Make sure to check out Kotaku for a live coverage of the event. [read more]

Bill Roper Shares Diablo III Thoughts

1UP cut a great World-Exclusive interview with Bill Roper, former Blizzard North Executive & Spokesman that we all love. In this 8-shocking pages interview he faces the fans for first time after the Flagship Studios crisis with the facts behind the dissolution of the game studios; and the fate of the Hellgate: London and Mythos IPs. We get to see the other side of the coin after Handbisoft’s claims that they had presented various offers that got rejected. Not everything was as colorful as Hanbitsoft painted it [And by Hanbitsoft, I mean T3].

This is a Blizzard fansite, so I am gonna try to stick to that. Below you have a couple of quotes from the interview. You can read other comments made by Bill Roper concerning the Diablo III art direction through page four and five. His opinion is valueable. Personally, myself, all the crew and fans wish Bill Roper the best in the immediate present and future. I know these are very hard times.  I held one of the first, if not the first,  Hellgate: London fansite interview with Bill Roper on August 27, 2005. And prior to that was surprised to get emailed by him for other personal matters.  I have always been a fan of him and his work. As such, it pains me as much and as close as it would a brother.

GFW: Have you thought about how you would feel if they get some team together and actually somehow cobble it into a game? Are you going to have mixed feelings—like you’re glad that somebody was finally able to put this baby out—or do you wish that it just got killed with you guys?
 
  BR: I think what I would really want to see is that there was some way where Travis [Baldree] and his guys were able to finish their game. It’s pretty different from, for example, how I feel about the Diablo III stuff. I’m excited to see Diablo III, because it’s a whole new thing. They’ve got a whole new direction on it. They have a few of the guys that worked at Blizzard North still around, but there’s a whole new team on it, and it’s like, OK, it’s their license, and they’re trying to really move the bar and do something different with the Diablo license. Yeah, I’m excited when I see what they’re coming up with.

GFW: What was your own gut reaction to the art direction?
 
BR: I just thought it was different. I think the thing I always liked about the Blizzard North and Blizzard HQ constructs is the fact that they were two very distinct groups. At Irvine, we had a way that we approached things—game development, art style, from color to character shapes, everything—that was very distinct from the guys at Blizzard North. I think that it made it pretty compelling when you bought the Diablo titles. You got something that was markedly different from what you got out of a WarCraft or StarCraft. I think now, because everything’s down there, you’re seeing the Irvine take on the Diablo universe. So it’s just the direction they’re going with the people they have and the mindset there. I always liked the fact that Diablo was very dark and Gothic and gritty and edgy, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with the direction they’ve gone. They just chose to go a different way.

I think the core Diablo fans are saying, “We really like the dark, edgy, gritty look of that game!” We had people impaled on spikes, for god’s sake. And now it’s kind of bright and airy and doesn’t quite feel the same. But I dunno. I look at it, and it’s got high production quality, and it looks like it’s going to be really fun to play. I think that wall of zombies is the coolest concept for a spell maybe ever. It’s not any different in terms of gameplay mechanics, but it’s so cleverly thought-out. I’m gonna raise a wall of undead! Oh my god, why didn’t we ever think of that! It’s genius! So I look forward to that. Again, it’s a take on something, even if it’s different. With Mythos, it’s a thing where…it’s mostly done, and you want the guys who were working on it, pouring their vision into it, their heart and soul into it, to be the ones who complete it. Short of somebody else being involved with the project, I don’t really see that happening.

Share your comments with other Diablo Fans.

Lady Prestor No More in Wrath of the Lich King

The latest Wrath of the Lich King beta build 8788 made a very peculiar change that brings up many questions.  The Stormwind Keep throne room only displays Anduin Wrynn, and Fordragon.  Lady Prestor is no longer in there.  The Draenei emissary is still there. Lady Prestor was replaced by an Argent Healer. I visited the room at level 1.

A few weeks ago, I had showed video where the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn, Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar were at the Stormwind Harbor. This beta build removed them too.

BlizzCon Tickets Sold Out in 15 Minutes

OCRegister interviewed Shon Damron, Blizzard’s PR manager, who responded to various questions addressing the Blizzcon tickets online store meltdown.  What some fans wondered or theorized ended up being the truth.

Last year, BlizzCon 2007 sold out in three days at a pace of two tickets per minute.  This year, BlizzCon 2008 tickets sold out … in 15 minutes with thousands of connections per second pressing ctrl+F5 attempting to get through the cart process. Read the complete interview at the Orange County Register. Thanks, WoWInsider

Q: Can you, meaning Blizzard, be specific as to what technically happened and why do you think the system broke down? Was it outsourced?

Blizzard: The issues that people faced were due to an incredible rush to purchase tickets. Last year we sold about two tickets per minute, selling out in 72 hours, and this year, with 50% more tickets available, we sold out in a combined total of 15 minutes. This meant that thousands of people were trying to purchase tickets at the same time, so some people were not able to get all the way through the purchase process before the tickets had been sold out.

DC Comics Upcoming

DC Unlimited and Wildstorm have very special stuff to show World of Warcraft fans. If you are an avid fan of the Ashbringer, and an action figures collector—check back Blizzplanet on Monday. There some juicy stuff to look at. Guaranteed.

Blizzplanet’s Olympics Wrath of the Lich King Beta Contest Winners

It was no easy task to pick five winners out of so many really good submissions. Especially after narrowing them down to around fifteen. The topic of this contest was to take a screenshot of your character performing one of the sports mentioned in the 2008 Beijing Olympics website. For a look at all 67 submissions go here.

The winners to congratulate for getting a Wrath of the Lich King beta key:

1. Ragaya @ Antonidas
2. Landmine @ Garithos
3. Alienated @ Kael’Thas
4. Achrmaeiad @ Staghelm
5. Ayai @ Medivh

NOTE: Make sure to participate on the Blizzplanet WWI Card Contest which ends tomorrow August 16th at 11:59pm EST/-5GMT.

Blizzplanet might be holding another Wrath of the Lich King beta contest near Labor’s Day. Be alert for announcements.

Other fellow Blizzard fansites are also holding their own contests. Increase your chances to win a Wrath of the Lich King beta key. Check out Diablofans.com for a announcement of a Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals (WWI) Card contest.

Other fellow fansites:

Starcraft 2 Hands-On @ Leipzig - August 21-24th

Blizzard is showcasing Starcraft 2 and WoW: Wrath of the Lich King at the 2008 Leipzig Convention Center through August 21-24. If you want a shot at playing the game, and/or wish a job at Blizzard come to Leipzig.

Vaneras: We’re excited to be able to showcase some of Blizzard’s games at this year’s Games Convention in Leipzig from 21 to 24 August. We’ll be providing playable demos of StarCraft II(https://eu.starcraft2.com/) and Wrath of the Lich King(https://www.wow-europe.com/wrath/), running tournaments and quizzes and providing some extra excitement with a Live Raid.

Looking for a job at Blizzard? Our Game Masters will be at the booth ready to answer your questions about recruitment and working at Blizzard. Bring your CV along and talk to us about how you can start your career at Blizzard. https://eu.blizzard.com/en/jobs/index.html

We look forward to seeing you at the Games Convention, in Hall 5 at booth number D01!

Diablo 3 Media - Ruins of Ureh Confirmed

Blizzard has released new artwork, screenshots and wallpapers. As commented few weeks after WWI Paris, atrumentis had suggested the ruined city in the Diablo 3 Cinematic might be the Ruins of Ureh. The Wallpaper released today confirms it is indeed Ureh from Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow novel by Richard A. Knaak.

The screenshots show the lot of work the art team is putting into making outdoor scenarious look like a vivid and colorful 3D world right out of a museum painting. The second screenshot, in contrast, shows a darker atmosphere dungeon.

Download the Ureh Wallpaper in various sizes here.

Rhonin and Veressa in Wrath of the Lich King Beta 8788

A new patch was released yesterday at 3:00pm PDT, notching up to build 8788. The file size was around 127mb making changes to some classes, adding new weapons to the Zul’Drak amphiteather quest, new models to Dalaran, bug fixes, and more.

The new Icecrown Glacier map was added.

Rhonin and Veressa Windrunner were added to the Violet Citadel in Dalaran along with Archmage Modera and Archmage Aethas Sunreaver.  Rhonin, Veressa and Modera were characters from Warcraft: Day of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak. Rhonin and Veressa have also been characters in War of the Ancients Trilogy and the upcoming World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon (December 2008) which introduces the Malygos/Mages War backstory for the status quo in Northrend (Wrath of the Lich King expansion).

 

While exploring the Dalaran Sewer for any changes in this new build, something caught my attention.  From afar I could see name tags, but whatever it was … it was too small. So I had to check it out. I cracked laughing: an easter egg.  Some lab flasks, a rat, and four sewer turtles …

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

NOTE: Olympics Beta Contest Winners will be announced tonight near midnight EST/-5GMT.  It’s not gonna be easy to pick five winners. I have seen them all, and picked a list of candidates.  Need to narrow it down to five.

Mike Morhaime Apologizes for BlizzCon Tickets Issues

Blizzard Gamers,

On behalf of everyone at Blizzard, I want to apologize for the challenges and frustrations you experienced while trying to purchase BlizzCon tickets on Monday and Tuesday. BlizzCon is about the positive experiences you all have had with Blizzard games. As a result of this week’s events, the excitement that many of you felt about the show has turned into dissatisfaction and disappointment.

Due to these circumstances, we’ve reevaluated our convention hall space and come up with some solutions that will allow us to offer 3,000 more tickets for sale. We know this will not be enough to satisfy the very high level of demand for tickets this year, but we want to ensure that BlizzCon remains a great experience for those of you who are able to attend. To avoid the issues many of you faced this week, we’ll be selling these 3,000 via a lottery. We’ll post further details once our plans are finalized. Please note that the lottery will only be open to those with an active Blizzard Account as of 9:00 PM PDT on August 12, the time that the “Sold Out” notice was posted.

I, and everyone else at Blizzard, share the frustration and disappointment that many of you have expressed as a result of this process. We’ll do what it takes to avoid this type of situation in the future.
 
Sincerely,
Mike Morhaime

Tranq Shot Changes in Wrath of the Lich King

The frenzy and enrage terms as we have known since the Molten Core days will drastically change, with the addition of Berserker stage in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Read carefully to understand the differences between the three and how emotes and tranq shot functionality will be changed and/or affect events. (Source)

Daelo: Ok, here’s the breakdown for Northrend.

Enrage
Creatures that used to “Frenzy” like Magmadar, Gluth, Princess Huhuran, Halazzi, etc. now “Enrage” instead. Tranquilizing Shot has been changed to dispel Enrage effects, and the wording on all those spells and associated emotes has been changed to reflect the name change to Enrage.

Frenzy
Creatures that used to “Enrage”, now “Frenzy” instead. This is the type of effect that typically happened at low health or some other combat trigger. Examples of this would be all the Blackrock Orcs in Redridge, Jan’alai’s low health/timed increase in damage, Maexxna at low health, etc. These effects are not dispellable, you are meant to deal with the increased damage as part of the fight.

Berserk
Many of our boss encounters have timers where if you do not defeat the encounter within the allotted time, the boss will suddenly do RADICALLY more damage. Players are not intended to be able to deal with the damage dealt by a Berserk boss, and a wipe should be around the corner. We try not to use the “Berserk” term for nothing else but these kinds of timers.

Daelo
Lead Encounter Designer

BlizzCon Tickets Sold Out

8/13: Tickets to BlizzCon 2008 are now sold out. We’d like to thank everyone once again for their overwhelming interest in this year’s show. If you were unable to secure tickets, please keep in mind that DIRECTV will be broadcasting BlizzCon live from the Anaheim Convention Center on October 11 and 12. In the meantime, keep an eye on the BlizzCon 2008 website for updates on panels, exhibits, events, and more. We look forward to meeting some of you at the show!

8/12: Nethaera: The bulk of the BlizzCon tickets we had available were sold out within minutes of ticket sales going live again this afternoon. We have a small reserve of tickets left—to make these available to some of you who might not have had a chance to purchase yet, we will be releasing the remaining reserve tickets for sale tonight, August 12, at 8:00 PM PDT. We appreciate the enthusiasm everyone has shown, and wish we were able to accommodate even more attendees at this year’s BlizzCon.—Source.

Diablo III Job Openings

Do you have a passion for Blizzard Games, specially Diablo III, and the skills required for the following job openings? Feel free to read the job specs and submit your resume at resumes@blizzard.com

Senior Software Engineer (Diablo 3)
Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a senior software engineer to join its Diablo III team. The ideal applicant will have experience developing and optimizing a wide variety of game systems. For more information on this position please check out the posting.

Software Engineer, Tools (Diablo 3)
Blizzard Entertainment is currently seeking a software engineer to join its Diablo III team. The ideal applicant will be proficient in developing powerful toolsets primarily for art pipelines, but also for code, design, and audio pipelines. For more information on this position, please check out the posting.

Lead In-Game Support Representative (Austin, Texas) (WoW)
Blizzard Entertainment is looking for experienced customer service professionals to serve as lead in-game support representatives for our massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. For more information, check out the job posting.

Starcraft 2 at AMD Cinema 2.0 Event

Bob Colayco told Joystiq, yesterday at the AMD Cinema 2.0 event in New York, why it took so long for Blizzard Entertainment to develop Starcraft 2. The answer is simple. If Blizzard was to bring Starcraft 2 from Sprites to 3D engines like the competition, it had to be with a bang—and for that Blizzard awaited until the technology and tools were available. Second, you will expereince hundreds of vehicles clashing on the battlefiend with awesome special effects.

I don’t know if you have ever heard of AMD Cinema 2.0 before, or if you even know what it is capable of doing. The most important question here to ponder besides why it took Starcraft 2 so long to develop, is why was Blizzard at this event in the first place. Only because they were invited as partners of AMD?  Or is Blizzard looking into this technology for future games—coughs, such as the unrevealed Next-Gen MMO or the World of Warcraft and Diablo Hollywood films?

AMD Cinema 2.0 is just plainly unbelievable and out of science fiction movies, except this is reality and this technology has been achieved by AMD. Imagine Blizzard developers having access to this … oh wait … they are AMD Partners! Everyone at unison … drool!!!

Read the AMD Cinema 2.0 Press Release below.

AMD and Blizzard Entertainment® Join Forces in Strategic Global Agreement

Collaboration Helps Ensure Rich Experience for World of Warcraft® Gamers Playing on New AMD ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 Series Graphics Cards

SUNNYVALE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Blizzard Entertainment® that will allow AMD to bundle Blizzard’s best games across all ATI Radeon™ graphics products, to deliver a superior gaming experience. As the exclusive graphics sponsor for BlizzCon™ 2008 in Anaheim, Oct. 10-11, AMD will treat gamers to the unparalleled graphics capabilities of the ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 series in all PCs for game play at BlizzCon™.

“Blizzard Entertainment is responsible for the hottest titles in PC gaming and AMD is excited to be working closely with one of the top development teams in the industry to deliver exceptional gaming experiences for players around the world,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products, AMD. “Gamers have a variety of choices when it comes to graphics cards, and those who choose ATI Radeon solutions can be confident their purchase will give them the visually rich, high-performance experience they expect.”

“Our collaboration with AMD is especially important to us because it provides us with early access to some of the latest graphics technology,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “Delivering a polished game experience is one of our top priorities, and this relationship helps us achieve that goal for Blizzard gamers who choose AMD graphics cards.”

AMD is committed to helping PC gamers around the world enjoy The Ultimate Visual Experience™. The collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment underscores the mission of its recently announced AMD GAME! initiative, which is dedicated to providing consumers the information they need to help them better understand gaming technology and thus purchase the right systems and components they need to best meet their high-definition gaming needs.

Mythos Project Director’s Diablo 3 Art Comments

Warcry interviewed FATE creator and former Flagship Studios Mythos Project Director Travis Baldree to discuss the whereabouts of the new gaming studio after the sundering of Flagship Studios. Travis Baldree partnered with Max Schaefer (Condor / Blizzard North and Flagship Studios co-founder) to create a new Studios: Runic Games.

This may not have much to do about Diablo 3, thus far, except Warcry tossed a catchy question at Travis Baldree, asking his opinion on the Art Direction of Diablo 3. This was his response.

Warcry: Just for fun, what do you think about the discussion swirling around the “tone and color” of Diablo 3?

Travis: Personally, I think what they’ve done with Diablo 3 is fantastic. It seems pretty obvious that the mandate was to make the game look like a concept painting brought to life, and I think they’ve succeeded pretty wildly. The contrast and use of color really works well for an Action-RPG, where there are hordes of monsters and spells, and separation of individual entities is required for satisfying play. I can’t wait to play it!

Blizzard is really second-to-none, and I have nothing but admiration for their work. I know a lot of people are lamenting what they see as a move away from the grim vibe of Diablo, but I think a lot of that gothic feel is really sold by a combination of sound, content and story, and the visceral nature of the game – and Blizzard certainly isn’t skimping on the visceral if the videos are any indication. I also feel strongly that there’s some pretty grim content they haven’t bothered to show everyone just yet.

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