BlizzCon 2016 Arrives this Week

BlizzCon 2016 starts this Friday, November 4. There are massive expectations on the Diablo front at BlizzCon this year, due to the BlizzCon 2016 Goodie Bag. Unless it was a strong coincidence, the Diablo III dice that came with the Goodie Bag was accidentally or intentionally misprinted so that the side that says “1” actually said: 1, 1, 4 — instead of 1, 1, 1 on of those sides (personally, I’m leaning on “intentionally”). The significance of 1, 1, 4 is that it stands for a massive hidden clue: 11 / 4 — aka November 4, which is the day when BlizzCon 2016 starts. Hints of a Diablo announcement? Could it be Diablo IV? Or a new Diablo III expansion?

Regardless of the outcome, if you aren’t attending BlizzCon nor watching the livestream, Blizzplanet will have you covered. As every year, you will find transcripts of the entire panel and images as seen in our BlizzCon archive.

Our reporter, DPerschonok will be attending for two pre-scheduled interviews as well. Stay tuned.

If you aren’t attending BlizzCon this year, you should definitely order the BlizzCon 2016 Livestream Virtual Ticket to watch it on your internet browser.

BlizzCon 2016

BlizzCon 2016 Features

Join the celebration of Blizzard Entertainment’s 25th anniversary with two days of games, esports, developer panels, and a closing concert featuring “Weird Al” Yankovic

IRVINE, Calif. — BlizzCon® 2016, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival, returns Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California ! This year’s sold-out show marks the 10th BlizzCon celebration and commemorates Blizzard’s 25th anniversary, and gamers around the world can be part of the fun with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket—available to order now at www.blizzcon.com.

This year’s BlizzCon features a variety of events and activities, including developer discussion panels, epic esports tournaments, incredible community-created movies, art, and costumes, and a performance by legendary Grammy -winning pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic.

“We can’t wait to celebrate 25 years of Blizzard games with everyone at this year’s BlizzCon,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “We’ll have world-class esports action throughout the weekend, the latest news to share about our games, and fellow geek Weird Al joining us for a concert during the closing ceremony. We’re excited to meet up with our friends and fellow gamers from across the globe.”

This year’s BlizzCon will be jam-packed with epic events and activities from beginning to end, including:

Opening Ceremony

Join us Friday at 11 a.m. PDT as the BlizzCon festivities kick off with the opening ceremony. Hear updates on Blizzard’s development plans, and catch it online free at www.blizzcon.com.

 

Blizzard Esports Global Finals

BlizzCon Opening Week has come to a close, but that was just the beginning—now it’s time for the finalists to battle it out for the Championships! Starting Friday morning, tune in for the final rounds of the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship, the Overwatch™ World Cup , the Hearthstone® World Championship, the StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Finals, and the Heroes of the Storm™ Fall Championship! This year, esports aficionados everywhere can watch the Blizzard esports championships for free on Twitch (www.twitch.tv/blizzcon), on MLG.tv (www.majorleaguegaming.com/blizzcon), and on www.blizzcon.com. Visit www.blizzcon.com/esports for more information.

 

Community Contests

Starting Friday at 6 p.m. , join us for a crazy night of community contests—including the Costume Contest, Art Contest, Talent Contest, and Movie Contest—hosted by comedian Thomas Middleditch from HBO’s Silicon Valley .

 

Developer Panels

Go behind-the-scenes with your favorite Blizzard games in developer panels throughout both days of the show. You can be among the first to learn about upcoming content for Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and Diablo® III, and join the celebration of two major milestones with Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary Panel and Diablo ‘s 20th Anniversary Panel . Take a peek at the complete schedule at www.blizzcon.com/schedule.

 

On-Site Activities and BlizzCon Sponsor Booths

Everyone attending in person can explore a variety of events and activities, including the Hearthstone Tavern and the Darkmoon Faire on the third floor of the convention center. This year’s Darkmoon Faire features the Community Amphitheater , the Voice Actor Stage, the Creative Collective Stage, and more.

BlizzCon wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the event’s sponsors, who help provide hardware, peripherals, and other support for the show. Attendees are invited to visit our partners’ booths around the show floor for prizes, contests, and giveaways, including:

  • ASUS: Play Find-the-Robot in VR or play games to win great ASUS, Intel, and Newegg prizes from the ROG vending machine, including motherboard/CPU combos, SSDs, and gaming laptops.

  • Corsair: Snap a pic in the prop-filled Overwatch photo booth, take a selfie with a community star, or enter to win a shirt, poster, or even a custom Warcraft-modded Crystal 460X RGB Case PC.

  • Newegg : Catch fun informational sessions on PC building, get some esports coaching, or enter to win a VR-ready computer system.

  • NVIDIA: Check out Blizzard games running on GeForce GTX 10 series GPUs, a Google Tilt Brush VR experience, signing opportunities with esports and community personalities, and lots of prizes.

  • Razer: Visit the Razer booth for the chance to win a Blade gaming laptop, Overwatch products, and more.

  • Rosewill: Stop by for exclusive giveaways, ranging from RGB gaming keyboards and Overwatch-themed collectibles to a custom Widowmaker-themed Cullinan case.

  • T-Mobile: Visit the Un-carrier Lounge to charge your device, stop by the GIF photo booth to pose with an Overwatch hero, and watch the Overwatch World Cup live stream. Everyone’s invited to vote for the tournament MVP using #TMobileMVP and the player’s BattleTag™ on Twitter.

 

Although BlizzCon tickets have sold out, viewers can still join the excitement from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket ( $39.99 ), which offers comprehensive live online coverage of both days of the event—including the community contests on Friday evening and Weird Al’s performance at the closing ceremony, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Virtual Ticket holders will also receive a treasure trove of in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and StarCraft II.

Attendees and Virtual Ticket viewers alike can download the BlizzCon Guide Mobile App, available free for Android and iOS devices, and use it to plan their day, map a route through the convention center, and even watch live streams.

 

NYCC 2016: The Walking Dead Season 7 Negan Outcome Trailer

It’s Negan whack-a-mole time! Not directly related to Diablo, but heck … it’s Zombies! AMC revealed the latest The Walking Dead Season 7 trailer which presents the outcome of Negan killing a member of Rick’s team. The person killed is not spoiled in the trailer, but Rick is pretty pissed and shocked. He threatens he will kill Negan. Not today. Not tomorrow. But he will kill Negan.

 

BlizzCon 2016 Goodie Bag: Diablo IV Announcement Conspiracy

The internet is abuzz with a Diablo IV Announcement Conspiracy. Blizzard Entertainment shipped the BlizzCon 2016 goodie bag a few days ago by delivery mail to various stream influencers. One item in particular has opened a can of worms triggering a conspiracy theory that Blizzard Entertainment is hinting a Diablo IV announcement is to happen at BlizzCon.

YouTube influencer Rhykker published a video explaining the conspiracy. Thanks to Handclaw for the news tip.

Diablo IV Announcement Conspiracy

The goodie bag includes a d20 dice set, but it is a very awkward one with a printing error. Or is it really a printing error?

1. When a normal dice lands, each of the sides always have the same number: 1/1/1 or 2/2/2, etc. However, the dice in the Goodie Bag says 1/1/4 instead of 1/1/1.

diablo-iv-conspiracy-2

2. Rhykker states that 1/1/4 could stand for 11/4 (aka November 4) which is the date BlizzCon 2016 starts.

3. The sack where the dice come in, has a D on a decorated cross with 4-limbs (aka D4, Diablo IV).

diablo-iv-conspiracy-1

Are the clues nonsense? Are they hints planted by Blizzard to tease the heck (no pun intended) of us?

 

 

Diablo III Patch 2.4.2 Overview

Diablo III Patch 2.4.2 will introduce Torment 11-13, Onscreen UI on/off toggle for screenshots, new items for the new Torment levels, and better items from Adventure Modes and Nephalem Rifts.

Our next patch is coming soon! Read on to learn about the new difficulty levels, new and updated items, Adventure Mode updates, and UI changes you’ll see in Patch 2.4.2.

 

New Difficulty Levels

With new power comes a desire to test your strength. If you’ve sharpened your weapons on Torment X and are ready for new challenges, you’ll be happy to hear we’ve added Torment XI–XIII difficulties to the game, and filled them with progressively better loot—so get out there and wreck face, nephalem!

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New and Updated Items

As with previous patches, Patch 2.4.2 brings updates to many Legendary and Set Items and also adds a few new items and Legendary powers. Here are some of the items we’ve updated, and don’t forget to check out our PTR patch notes for all the details.

TragoulCoils_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg PotionOfChaos_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg Scarbringer_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg KhassettsCordOfRighteousness_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg GazingDemise_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg InvigoratingGemstone_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg Starfire_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg GirdleOfGiants_D3_LightboxThumb_JP.jpg

 

User Interface Updates

Finally, we have a few changes to the user interface. Those who enjoy taking screenshots will soon have a hotkey that hides the in-game UI for cleaner shots. We’re also adding unique pylon minimap icons to Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts, and a unique icon for the Menagerist Treasure Goblin.

Patch242-FirstLook-UIHide-Animated-v02_D3_JP.gif

Adventure Mode Changes

We’re also sweetening Adventure Mode rewards, starting with Nephalem Rifts. You’re now guaranteed a Greater Rift Key when completing any Rift, with a chance to get a second (or even a third) key as you increase the game’s difficulty. We’ve also adjusted drop rates for Infernal Machines, with a 100% drop chance in Torment IV, and an increasing chance for a second machine to drop as you go up in difficulty.

 

New challenges and updated items await you once the patch arrives! We can’t wait to see what builds you’ll create and the stories you’ll have to share when Season 7 arrives. Are you ready? Let us know what you’re most excited about, feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments, and GL HF! — source

 

Free Worldwide Shipping on Diablo III Apparel

You may now order Diablo III t-shirts and get FREE shipping worldwide until Wednesday July 13/2016 at 11:59 pm by adding coupon code: PRIMETIME during checkout.

Though, Diablo is the only Blizzard Licensed Product you can still type OVERWATCH, WARCRAFT or STARCRAFT in the search field for unofficial T-shirt designs made by fans. Visit the website here.

diablo-iii-t-shirts-desgin-by-humans

Diablo III game director Josh Mosqueira Leaves Blizzard

josh-mosqueiraAfter 5 years, Josh Mosqueira announced in Twitter he is leaving Blizzard Entertainment. His role as game director led to a successful launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls introducing many key features that brought back players to Sanctuary, as well as the Diablo III Ultimate Edition for PS4 and Xbox One.

 

Blizzard Entertainment might likely fill the game director role internally promoting a developer from other game to direct Diablo III, but they are also looking externally as seen in one of the job postings for an unannounced Diablo III expansion:

Game Director, Unannounced Project

Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a game director with outstanding communications skills, proven experience in creative direction, strong ability in system design, and a stellar track record of shipping AAA games to lead the Diablo series into the future.

Responsibilities

  • Be the vision holder for the franchise, setting the creative goals for the team.
  • Direct game design while successfully partnering with the production director to deliver and maintain an epic gaming experience. 
  • Discuss games with the player community via press announcements, forum posts, interviews, and public appearances. 
  • Maintain an awareness of global player behavior and customs to ensure that design decisions are relevant for international regions.
  • Coach and guide creative team members toward achieving their career goals.
  • Establish and maintain a creative environment, resolve personnel challenges, motivate qualified developers, and foster a culture of success.

 

Requirements

  • Knowledgeable and passionate about Diablo games
  • A minimum of 5 years’ directing video game development
  • Shipped multiple AAA products as a game director or creative director
  • Outstanding communications and relationship-building skills.
  • Recognized ability to guide and inspire large development teams.
  • Able to work well in a team environment and communicate effectively with all development disciplines: programming, art, design, sound, and production 
  • Exhibited ability to coach and mentor employees at all levels of an organization 
  • Great sense for what makes a game fun to play.
  • Unrelenting self-motivation and initiative 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience 

 

Pluses

  • Experience developing online games, action games, and / or role-playing games 
  • International game experience 
  • Higher educational degree

 

 

A new Garwulf’s Corner book is available for pre-order

Robert B. Marks is publishing a new collection book of Garwulf’s Corner which gathers all his articles at The Escapist (since 2015) related to video games, pop xulruew, and other topics. The book is slated to ship on October 2016, but pre-orders are available now.

garwulfs-corner-2016An Odyssey into Video Games and Pop Culture: The Collected Garwulf’s Corner from The Escapist and More
By Robert B. Marks

INSIGHTFUL BOOK MARKS THE RETURN OF ONE OF THE FIRST VIDEO GAMES COMMENTATORS TO THE WORLD OF POP CULTURE.

A pioneer in video game commentary, Robert B. Marks was one of the first – if not the first – video games issues columnists in the English language, writing a column for Diabloii.net between 2000-2002. From March 2015 to March 2016 he returned with a new column in the pages of The Escapist to take a fresh new look at video games and pop culture.

This brand new collection includes all 29 installments of Garwulf’s Corner from the pages of The Escapist, covering issues ranging from outrage culture to diversity to the culture war over the Hugo Awards; a collection of previously unpublished installments including an examination of shared cinematic universes, an analysis of one of the most famous Twitter harassment criminal cases of all time, and the first two parts of “The Road to GamerGate,” a planned but abandoned 4-part series taking a historical look at the events of August 2014; and Garwulf Speaks, Robert B. Marks’ magazine experiment, with feature articles covering video game piracy to the history of the public climate change debate to the changing identity of the gamer – and short stories ranging from comedy to science fiction to horror.

An Odyssey into Video Games and Pop Culture also explores:

  • The effect modern outrage culture has had on the marketplace of ideas.
  • The controversy over video gaming’s first mass murder simulator.
  • The challenge of implementing diversity and avoiding the token character trap in
    storytelling.
  • The impact of harassment on video game development.
  • How we can set aside the polarization in modern pop culture and restore a true marketplace of ideas.

“This is a very exciting time to looking at pop culture – but it also feels much more like a ‘Thunderdome of ideas’ than a marketplace,” says Marks. “To be able to return as a columnist, to have the chance to help restore the marketplace of ideas we once had, to provide some perspective that is all-too-often missed in modern outrage culture – and, most of all, to have my readers meet me halfway in every single installment – was more than I could ever have hoped or dreamed.”

Robert B. Marks is an author, writer, editor, trained historian, and publisher. He is the author of Diablo Demonsbane, The EverQuest Companion, The Traveler on the Road of Legends, Garwulf’s Corner: An Odyssey into Diablo and the World Beyond the Video Game, and the co-author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Agora.

In his spare time, Robert makes mead, practices German Longsword, plays Magic: the Gathering, and very rarely (and very badly) plays the violin. He lives in the area of Kingston, Ontario, with his wife Johanna. Available on October 15, 2016 at bookstores and online, and now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

 

 

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Patch 1.14a deployed

Blizzard Entertainment deployed patch 1.14a for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction introducing a new OSX installer, and cheat/hack-detection improvements.

It’s been a long time coming, but today we’re releasing 1.14a for Diablo II.

This update focuses on system glitches introduced by modern operating systems. In related news, you can finally retire those old Mac PowerPCs. Included with the update is a shiny new installer for OSX.

We’ve also begun working to improve our cheat-detection and hack-prevention capabilities. There’s still work to be done, but we’re making improvements every day.

There is still a large Diablo II community around the world, and we thank you for continuing to play and slay with us. This journey starts by making Diablo II run on modern platforms, but it does not end there. See you in Sanctuary, adventurers.

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Patch 2.4.0 Now Live on PS4 and Xbox One

Patch 2.4.0 is now live for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This patch includes a variety of item and content updates, including (but not limited to):

New Zone: Greyhollow Island

The mysterious forested locale of Greyhollow Island is now open for exploration! Inhabited by new enemies and steeped in intrigue, brave the wilds and unravel the enigma behind the isle’s mysterious inhabitants. Be forewarned, however; the land itself is hungry for blood.

To learn more about Greyhollow Island, click here.

Expanded Areas: The Eternal Woods & Leoric’s Manor

The Sanctuary you know grows larger. Two existing zones are receiving new, fully explorable additions, featuring new bounties and events. Survive the hunting grounds of the fierce yeti in the Eternal Woods, a new branch of The Ruins of Sescheron zone. Leoric’s Manor becomes a bit grander beyond the collapsed stairwell in Act I, opening up the Royal Quarters for curious treasure hunters.

New Feature: Set Dungeons

Test your mettle against one of twenty-four custom designed set dungeons! Each dungeon features a pre-generated, static course designed entirely around a specific class set. Don all six pieces of your chosen set and visit Leoric’s Library to obtain a clue on where these hidden trials are located. Hunt down your dungeon of choice and master it to unlock exclusive cosmetic rewards for one, more, or for the truly dedicated, all of these challenges!

New Feature: Empowered Rifts

Spend your gold to empower a Greater Rift, granting a fourth opportunity to upgrade a Legendary Gem. Gold costs vary based on the tier of Greater Rift level attempted, and bonus upgrades are granted only to those who successfully complete the rift, so spend wisely!

General

  • Players may now purchase additional stash space, up to 350 slots total
  • At level 70, +% Bonus Experience is reduced to 10% effectiveness
  • Death’s Breath now has a unique item color and have a beam effect for increased visibility

Item Updates

  • Several existing sets have received power redesigns or significant updates
    • Redesigned Sets
      • The Legacy of Raekor
      • Thorns of the Invoker
      • The Shadow’s Mantle
      • Monkey King’s Garb
      • Delsere’s Magnum Opus
      • Tal Rasha’s Elements
    • Updated Sets
      • Might of the Earth
      • Armor of Akkhan
      • Roland’s Legacy
      • Embodiment of the Marauder
      • Natalya’s Vengeance
      • Unhallowed Essence
      • Inna’s Mantra
      • Raiment of the Jade Harvester
      • Spirit of Arachyr
      • Firebird’s Finery
  • Added new Legendary items
  • A number of existing Legendary items have also been redesigned
    • Old versions of these Legendary items found previous to this patch will not be automatically updated with redesigned powers, and will need to be found again to benefit from these changes.

Skill Updates

  • Taunt now causes monsters to consistently attack you
  • All classes have received several skill updates

Nephalem Rift Updates

  • Medium and Large versions of most cave maps can no longer appear in Greater Rifts
  • Density has been increased in many cave maps
  • The amount of progression granted by progress orbs in Nephalem and Greater Rifts has been increased
  • The number of progression orbs dropped by Rare monsters has been increased from 3 to 4
  • The total amount of progress required to complete a rift has been increased
  • Several new tile sets based on the new zones introduced in Patch 2.3.0 and 2.4.0 have been added for Nephalem Rifts
  • New snow and forest themed monster population types have been added for Nephalem Rifts
  • Some Pylons have been slightly tweaked for balance

Adventure Mode Updates

  • A new recipe has been added to Kanai’s Cube
  • An arrow will now indicate the location of the Keywarden if you are in a zone where one is present
  • The names and descriptions of the Keywardens and the items they drop have been changed to correspond to the respective realms their machines open and the organs dropped in those realms
  • Bandit Shrines now have a unique appearance

Monsters

  • Experience granted by all monsters at level 70 has been increased
  • Monster health has been reduced in solo, 2, and 3-player Greater Rifts
  • Elites in Set Dungeons can now occasionally drop pieces of Set Dungeon lore
  • The tactics and animations of several enemies have been retuned
  • The tactics and animations of several Rift Guardians have been retuned
  • Rift Guardians will now teleport to a player if there is a very long walking distance between them
  • Starting at Torment VII, Rift Guardians now drop a guaranteed Forgotten Soul and have a chance, increased by difficulty level, to drop a second Forgotten Soul

User Interface

  • The user interface has received several quality of life updates
    • Skill buttons with active skills now glow
    • Skill buttons with time-limited buffs now show a timer bar
    • Skill buttons with stacked buffs now show the stack count in green
    • Revenge now plays an effect on the skill button when it is ready
    • A second row has been added to the buff bar for each player with space for up to 14 total buff icons
  • Very large floating numbers will now be abbreviated
    • An option has been added to disable this abbreviation
  • An effect has been added to the XP bar when players gain or lose bonus experience from Pools of Reflection

May all your adventures fare well, heroes. The armies of hell await you in the depths of Sanctuary and your bravery alone is all that holds them at bay.

To update your game, please make sure you are signed in to either your PlayStation Network or Xbox Live account. PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions are not required to access this newest update.

AMD Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta Driver for Windows Release Notes

Those with an AMD graphic card filling the driver compatibility criteria for Desktops and Mobility devices should download the AMD Catalyst 15.9.1 Beta Driver.

Resolved issues (of interest to Blizzard players):

  • [59474] Diablo 3 crashes in the Act 2 Desolate Sands area of the game
  • [59081] The AMD Catalyst Control Center ‘update’ option fails to download the latest driver
  • [58485] Anti Aliasing settings not being retained after changes are applied
  • [77609] A video memory leak can occur when browser and other windows are resized

Download over at the AMD website.