Blizzard Announces 2012 Battle.net World Championship Event

Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the 2012 Battle.net World Championship, a major global eSports event featuring some of the best pro-gaming competition in the world. Slated to take place in Asia toward the end of 2012, the Battle.net World Championship will host this year’s StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments.
Blizzard gamers and eSports fans from around the world will be invited to attend and witness some of the most skilled pro players on the planet battle it out for cash and glory.

We’re excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We’re also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible.
In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.

More details about the 2012 Battle.net World Championship and BlizzCon 2013, including specific dates and locations, will be coming in the months ahead.

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Next Blizzcon Pushed to 2013

By Sean McQuillan

Citing a jam-packed schedule, with the release of Diablo III and Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, a Blizzard rep has stated that they will be cancelling the 2012 Blizzcon. As an avid fan of Blizzard’s entire portfolio this is sad news. I loved attending Blizzcon, and it has an atmosphere unlike any other. I’ll be right there back in line for 2013, and at least this will give me some time to get lost in some Diablo III.

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Source: Beefjack

Diablo 3 Beta Diary: The Demon Hunter

By Angie Quidim

 Just like any die hard Diablo fan, I was ecstatic to receive my beta key.  The first thing I wanted to do was try out the demon hunter.  At long last I can sink my teeth into what was to be the new character that would make waves in the Diablo Universe!

I had this expectation that the demon hunter would be a crossbow weilding badass and let me tell you I was sorely mistaken.  This is not the easiest class to play.

First off, the demon hunter is a hybrid class with traits from the Rogue, the Amazon and the Assassin from the Hellfire expansion.  This class is all about ranged dps and limited melee fighting.  In fact, I would discourage up close and personal contact unless you absolutely have to.  This character class will find themselves overwhelmed quite easily. Instead of the typical mana and health stats, Demon Hunters also have Discipline and Hatred.  Most of your offensive attacks utilize hatred and your discipline attacks (traps and evasive manuvers) fuel off your Discipline meter. 

As a fledgling demon hunter you start off with the basic active skills ; leve 1 traps (caltrops) and a one projectile attack (hungerining arrow which is a guided rebounding missle!) . You have active skills and then passive traits (just like in Warcraft).  Each time you level up you get something; whether its another slot to have more active skills or unlock another offensive or discipline skill.  At this point it seems completely random as I am level 10 and the next skill I can unlock is at 11,  and the next one after that is 14.  With the passive skills you get one every 10 levels (10, 20, and so on). These passive skills can vary in traits.  The first passive skill unlock gives you choice between regaining health or allows you to increase damage on one target.

 

This class needs to be played with a bit of strategy and thought,  as you can’t just bolt through a door and shoot the living crap out of stuff. If you time it right you can get bonuses for technical kills and massive kills (ala Devil May Cry).  You will need to pay attention to what you equip your character with including the traits that the magic weapons enhance.  As of now I have only seen grey items (crap), white items (commons), and blue items (magic common).  I have yet to see one of the famed green items or even gems or runes.

Playing the campaign as the Demon Hunter give some great backstory on the class; how they are chosen, their order and their mission.  I look forward to more character development as the beta goes on. 

More to come as I level up my Demon Hunter Callisto!

 

Diablo III to arrive in early 2012

Source: Battle.Net

We commonly use the term “soon” when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we’re working to reach a target, we’re not going to compromise and launch a game before it’s ready. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we’re announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012.

While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.

The upside of today’s announcement is that we will be running the beta test longer than we initially planned, which will allow us to invite more of you who have opted in.

For those taking on the Diableard challenge, we salute you — and now fear for your well-being and personal hygiene. We hereby issue an official reprieve to all Diableard participants, including Blizzard employees, if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face. We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.

Thank you everyone for your support and anticipation for Diablo III. We’re still moving ahead at full pace, and we’ll be keeping you fully informed of any news and developments here at Diablo3.com, including the specific release date when the time comes, so stay tuned.

-Mike Morhaime

 

BLIZZCON 2011 ANNOUNCED

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for its sixth BlizzCon® gaming convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, 2011. BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® universes.

“We look forward to holding another exciting BlizzCon this year, filled with some great entertainment and competition, as well as the latest news about Blizzard games,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “BlizzCon is built from the ground up with our community in mind — we’re pleased to be able to host an event where players can come together to have fun and celebrate their passion for gaming.” 

In addition to serving as a gathering place for Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will offer attendees a chance to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
  • More activities and attractions to be announced

The previous BlizzCon was held in Anaheim in October 2010. Tickets to the event sold out in minutes, and some of the highlights included the unveiling of Diablo III‘s fifth and final playable character class, the demon hunter, and an epic closing concert featuring Tenacious D.

Further details about BlizzCon 2011, including ticket availability and pricing, will be announced on the official Blizzard website, www.blizzard.com, as the event draws closer.

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.

Official StarCraft II custom games now live on Battle.net!

Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, and Left 2 Die, three new Blizzard-made custom games for StarCraft II, are now available<http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/2058906#blog> for beta testing on Battle.net. While these custom games are still under development and we don’t yet have a release date to share, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to test them out and give feedback before they’re officially released. Simply log into StarCraft II, and navigate to the custom game area to find these new custom games.

To help get you started, here’s a quick summary of each custom game as well as some basic instructions on how to play.

Aiur Chef

Category: Collection/Cooking

Mode: Free For All

Players: Up to 8

Inspired by a popular television cooking show in the United States and Japan, Aiur Chef is a light-hearted free-for-all game. As in the TV show, each round of Aiur Chef features a theme ingredient and three succulent recipes that play upon its unique flavor. Before you can master these themed dishes, though, you’ll first need to scout across the map and collect a variety of tasty ingredients (including the theme ingredient).

Each recipe has its own set of required ingredients, listed in the recipe menu in the upper-left of your screen, which can be picked up off the ground or acquired by killing specific creatures. Don’t get too greedy when loading up on ingredients, though — inventory space is limited, so you’ll want to focus on collecting ingredients for one recipe at a time.

Once you’ve collected the proper ingredients, you’ll need to return to the kitchen in the center of the map and use the Beacon to prepare your dish.

Each dish created using the theme ingredient will award you points based on the complexity of the recipe. Some dishes even award special one-time use abilities like Hearthstove, which allows you to quickly port back to the Beacon, and Decoy, which places a fake theme ingredient on the ground for other players to scavenge. Take advantage of these abilities whenever possible, as they could provide the competitive edge you need to outcook your opponents.

The player with the most points at the end of three rounds will be named Executor Chef, culinary guru of the entire Koprulu Sector. With such a prestigious title on the line, expect some fierce competition… and get those psi blades ready!

StarJeweled

 Category: Puzzle/Strategy

Mode: Solo vs. A.I., Co-op vs. A.I., Player vs. Player

Players: Up to 4 (1v1, 1v1 A.I., 1v2 A.I., 1v2, 2v2, 2v2 A.I., etc.) StarJeweled is effectively a mash-up of StarCraft and your favorite

match-3 puzzle game. The game focuses on matching groups of jewels according to color and strategically selecting StarCraft II units to overcome an opponent’s forces and destroy their base. StarJeweled can be played several ways, including cooperatively against the A.I. or competitively against other players.

Each successfully matched jewel combination provides a burst of energy; the larger the jewel combo, the bigger the energy burst. This energy can be spent to train a variety of StarCraft II units, including zealots, banshees, and ultralisks, which will help you eliminate your opponent’s defenses. You can also use energy to cast spells that heal friendly targets and do damage to enemy units. To activate a unit or spell once you’ve gained enough energy, simply click on the corresponding icon located beneath the jewel board.

Since the goal of StarJeweled is to destroy your opponent’s base while protecting your own, you’ll want to choose which units you purchase carefully. StarJeweled is not just about matching as many jewels as possible, but also managing your energy efficiently and understanding how the units in the game counter each other. If you’re unfamiliar with all the units’ strengths and weaknesses, each unit’s tooltip (which you’ll see by hovering over its icon) includes a list of what it’s strong against and what it’s weak against. Use this knowledge to use your advantage, and pay attention to what units your opponent is building.

A game of StarJeweled consists of five rounds. Each round will continue until one player’s or team’s base is destroyed. Take out your opponent’s base in three out of the five rounds and you win!

Left 2 Die

Category: Survival and Siege

Mode: Co-op, Endless Night

Players: Up to 2

Left 2 Die is a cooperative take on the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign mission Outbreak that shifts between two phases: a night phase and a day phase.

At night, you and a teammate are tasked with protecting your base against waves of infested terrans. In order to survive, you’ll need to use defensive structures like bunkers and coordinate your defenses against the invading zerg armies. You’ll also want to watch out for special zerg units such as the Kaboomer and Stank that can perform unique and powerful abilities capable of overwhelming even the strongest front lines.

During the day, the attacks on your team’s base will cease, giving you and your teammate time to train additional units and take them out to destroy infested terran settlements scattered across the map. It’s also a good idea to continue building up defenses during the daytime so you can survive the merciless onslaught of zerg that swarm your base at night.

While the struggle to survive in Left 2 Die can be daunting, you and your teammate will have some help along the way. You can earn zerg Biomass by killing special zerg units and destroying infested buildings, and then use the collected Biomass at the Science Facility in your base to research new units and structures like medics, firebats, and perdition turrets. Both you and your teammate will receive these upgrades, which will aid you in your struggle against the zerg strain.

In order to achieve victory in Left 2 Die, you’ll need to eradicate all traces of the zerg virus. Work together to survive at night, assault and rebuild during the day, and use Biomass wisely for epic upgrades to win!

Endless Night: If you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, be sure to try out Left 2 Die’s Endless Night mode, essentially a “survival”

mode in which infested structures are invulnerable and daybreak never comes. You’ll have to fend off wave after wave of the infested, with each wave becoming increasingly more powerful. While defeat is inevitable, the challenge comes in seeing how long you can endure in the dark.

To play the beta versions of Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, or Left 2 Die, simply go to the Multiplayer tab in StarCraft II and look for the custom games window. A few of these games have more than one difficulty setting, so select the level of challenge that’s best for you. We hope you enjoy them, and we’re looking forward to hearing what you think.

See you on Battle.net!

Prepare…. The Reckoning Is At Hand.

By Angie Quidim

Tonight at midnight, millions of Blizzard fans will be lining up to pick up their copies of  World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.  This long awaited expansion tears the world of Azeroth a new one and makes everyone start over (that includes new mods and quests).  Blizzard has been hyping their redo of the Eastern Kingdom and Kalimdor since the release of Wrath of the Lich King.  Players are constantly coming and going and the main complaint was, “there is nothing new…. same old starting areas, same old characters, same old combinations.”

Blizzard’s heavy hand of destruction is Deathwing.  A huge mother*$&!(*% dragon that you probably see now on your login screen when you start the game.  For the Horde you get the pleasure of him perching atop Stormwind.  The Ancients (the elements) are at unrest and the world really has been torn up. In other situations you will see things that may surprise you.  The passage of time has really taken place.  You just don’t see the same old fishing pond near the Undercity.  New races include the Goblins for the Horde and the Worgen for the Alliance.  New towns have been set up for each; New Gilneas (past the Greymane wall) and the Goblin Slums in new Orgmimmar.  That means new mounts, new quests and a whole new lot of combinations.  The collector’s edition of  Cataclysm is pictured below with a ton of goodies (alot similar to the extras that came with WOTLK).

The land of Azeroth will open up to players young and old with flying mounts and new terrains.  There are numerious more flight paths and the grinding for levels isn’t as bad as it was.  The game has made a change to accomodate new players and getting high level gear is only a couple of dungeons away.  Justice Points will allow  Jolly Joe the Paladin access to Item levels 230 and above. 

Blizzard has also forseen from previous expansion releases that the servers will be flooded with anxious gamers.  Patches have been slowly released so that the impace and installation time on game release day won’t be as horrible.  I would recommend picking up your game and waiting a day or two to let the populations settle down.  Usually release night tends to be ridiculous and the queue times to get into servers are just insane.

Here is the intro to the game:

So saddle up and get ready for some intense MMORPG!

Moonkin Hatchling & Lil’ Ragnaros Now Available

two new World of Warcraft pets in the Blizzard Pet Store: Lil’ Ragnaros and the Mookin Hatchling!  Please check out the link below for more details!

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1223948

 

Moonkin Hatchling & Lil’ Ragnaros Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that the two recently revealed in-game pets, Lil’ Ragnaros and the Moonkin Hatchling, have now made their way to the Pet Store section of the online Blizzard Store at a price of $10 each.

Lil’ Ragnaros, the Tiniest Firelord

Ragnaros, the dread master of all fire elementals, will return in Cataclysm to avenge his defeat in Molten Core. And what better way to head into battle than with a miniature version of the firelord himself following at your beck and call? Lil’ Ragnaros, just like his full-scale namesake, burns with constant fury (not to mention flames that serve as a handy cooking fire) and comes equipped with the legendary hammer Sulfuras. And as a being of pure elemental fire, he has no need to walk from place to place — he just submerges into the magma below the world’s surface when you start walking and reemerges when you stop.

Moonkin Hatchling Charity Pet — For the Children!

The googly-eyed Moonkin Hatchling, which comes in unique Horde and Alliance versions, will occasionally plant flowers at your feet, and happily /dances with any willing partners. Like last year’s Pandaren Monk, the Moonkin Hatchling has a soft spot for helping children. For every Moonkin Hatchling adopted from now through December 31, 2010, Blizzard Entertainment will donate 50% of the $10 purchase price to the Make-A-Wish Foundation®.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT®: CATACLYSM™ OFFICIAL GLOBAL LAUNCH EVENTS

Blizzard Entertainment today announced several official launch events to celebrate the upcoming release of World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm, the highly anticipated third expansion for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Starting on the night of December 6, key retail partners in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the region of Taiwan will welcome gamers who want to be among the first to purchase and play Cataclysm. Members of the World of Warcraft development team will be on hand at each of the events to meet with players and sign their copies of the expansion.

In the US, the launch event will take place at the Fry’s Electronics located at 10800 Kalama River Avenue in Fountain Valley, Calif., starting at 9:00 p.m. PST on December 6. Gamers will enjoy an exciting evening of entertainment before the expansion goes on sale at midnight, including a dance contest showcasing players’ favorite moves from the game and featuring great prizes for the winning competitors. There will also be an exclusive live performance by The Artist Formerly Known As Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, Blizzard’s in-house and in-game band. For further details on each of the global launch events, visit www.blizzard.com/company/events/cataclysm-opening/. In addition to the official US launch event, other retail locations around the country will open at midnight to support gamers looking to pick up their copy of the expansion the moment it goes live. Please check with your local retailers for further details.

“After two years of development, we’re excited to now be just two weeks away from releasing our best World of Warcraft expansion yet,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Cataclysm will add a huge amount of new content to the game and change the face of Azeroth forever, and we can’t wait to celebrate this launch with players around the world.”

Attendees at the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm launch events will have the opportunity to purchase the standard edition of the expansion (suggested retail price $39.99) as well as the Collector’s Edition (suggested retail price $79.99), which contains the following bonus items in addition to the game disc:

  • An exclusive World of Warcraft: Cataclysm behind-the-scenes DVD including over an hour of developer interviews and commentaries
  • The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector’s Edition soundtrack CD
  • The Art of Cataclysm, a 176-page hardback book featuring never-before-seen artwork from the development process
  • Starter pack and exclusive cards for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
  • Exclusive in-game pet, Lil’ Deathwing
  • A special-edition World of Warcraft: Cataclysm mouse pad

 

The first two World of Warcraft expansions, The Burning Crusade® and Wrath of the Lich King®, each shattered PC-game sales records upon their release.* In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth will be forever altered by the return of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing. Players will explore once-familiar areas of the world that have now been reshaped by the devastation and filled with new adventures. In an effort to survive the planet-shattering cataclysm, two new playable races — worgen and goblins — will join the struggle between the Alliance and the Horde. As players journey to the new level cap of 85, they’ll discover newly revealed locations, acquire new levels of power, and come face to face with Deathwing in a battle to determine the fate of the world.