SDCC 2009 – Diablo III Overthrown

Sideshow Collectibles showcased the fully-painted Diablo III Overthrown Diorama at the San Diego Comic Con 2009.  It was displayed at booth # 1929 on Podium 4.  It is absolutely awesome.  I can see a lot of hardcore fans with the wide-pockets investing their hard-sweat cash to collect this breath-taking sculpture.  I simply hope they create a series of them for each of the five Diablo III classes.

Diablo III Unburied Fan-made Sculpture Wins Marin County Fair Competition

Jason Babler recently submitted his Diablo III Unburied sculpture to the Marin County Fair 2009—event that took place at San Rafael, California through July 1-5th—and became the winner of the Creatures and Models Competitive Exhibit. He is very excited, and surprised since the sculpture wasn’t finished. For comparison’s sake, visit the official Diablo 3 website and check out the Bestiary page: The Unburied—which displays a concept art and an animation.

The Creatures and Models Competitive Exhibit was judged by Kerner Optical (a new studios born from former employess of George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic, or ILM).  Now how awesome is that to have your Diablo III fan-made sculpture be chosen as the winner by this studios?

Kerner Optical is credited for their work on Indiana Jones 4, Wall-E, Transformers 2, Terminator Salvation, Spiderwick Chronicles, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Jarhead, The Island, War of the Worlds, Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Van Helsing, Starship Troopers, Deep Impact, and so many more it would take forever to add here.

Congratulations to Jason, and we share his flattering experience to be chosen by such a professional and worldwide-known studios.

   

Jason Babler is currently working on a Diablo III Fallen Shaman sculpture. We will keep track of his updates for you. Here is a sneak peek.

BlizzCon 2009 – Christie Golden and Richard A. Knaak Signing

I forgot to mention I interviewed Christie Golden at the Book Revue in Huntington, New York back on June 13.  The video interview covered a few questions such as her thoughts on making it into the New York Bestselling Hardcover twice for World of Warcraft: Arthas; and various questions about Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight.  I voluntarily submitted the video to Blizzard, to make sure everything is alright, and they will get back to me.  Once that happens, the video interview will be public. Stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you missed them, I released some of the videos where Christie reads pages from World of Warcraft: Arthas to the attendees at the Book Revue. I’m sure many of you will appreciate listening to her.

After the interview, I asked Christie Golden if she is scheduled to attend Blizzcon 2009.  She confirmed she is going to be there, so make sure to bring your books and mangas from both authors to be signed, and take photos.  Jaime from Simon & Schuster, Inc. (Pocket Books) and her husband came all the way to Huntington to meet Christie and gave her and me a copy of Starcraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight.  Really cute, eh?  She also confirmed to be going to Blizzcon, and we agreed to meet there.

Richard A. Knaak wrote a lengthy newsletter confirming his attendance to Blizzcon 2009 and letting fans know which booths to find him at.  He also reveals the schedule for some of his upcoming Warcraft and Diablo pocket books.  Actually, the Diablo release is the trade paperback (TPB) titled Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy Archive.  Fans have been expecting this TPB for ages, and now it is been announced to hit bookstores on December.

The coming months bring a lot of activity and so there will be updates in the future, but here is what is going on:

First and foremost, LEGENDS OF THE DRAGONREALM will be out in just over a month!  Go to https://www.richardaknaak.com to see both the cover and some very nice comments about the book from R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, Glen Cook, & Ed Greenwood!  At 708 pages and with the first ever map of the series—- two pages yet—- this is a terrific way to begin or return to my series, which has been published in many languages and is still going strong!

Second, I will be appearing at the following conventions—- Blizzcon in Anaheim from Aug. 21-22 and Dragoncon in Atlanta Sep. 4-6!  Look for me at the Pocket or Tokyopop Booth at the former and on panels (tba) or near the Larry Smith Bookseller Booth at the latter!  I hope to show off a copy of LEGENDS at Blizzcon and we will definitely be getting copies for Dragoncon!

Next, if you plan to check out LEGENDS from the library, I encourage you to make certain that your library will actually be getting a copy.  Requesting is always helpful in how libraries decide which titles to order!  Special thanks to readers in Washington State and Minnesota who have already pushed the title there!

WARCRAFT fans!—- For those of you interested in my next novel, STORMRAGE, check out WARCRAFT LEGENDS VOL. 5 from Tokyopop for an exciting excerpt!  I’ve also written a story for the manga that will tie in with events to come…but you need to check out the manga to learn more!  smile  I’m hoping that there will be copies of the manga at Blizzcon!

Lastly, below is a current list of what is coming out and when:

9/1——LEGENDS OF THE DRAGONREALM (Pocket Books) ISBN-10: 1439107009/ISBN-13: 978-1439107003—- $18.00 Trade

9/1——WARCRAFT LEGENDS Vol. 5* (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 1427815267/ ISBN-13: 978-1427815262—- $10.99 Manga

*Features an excerpt from the major upcoming WORLD OF WARCRAFT novel—- STORMRAGE!

12/1——BEASTMASTER: MYTH (Pocket Books) w/SYLVIO TABET, original producer of the films and series ISBN-10: 1439144176/ISBN-13: 978-1439144176—- $16.00 Trade

12/1——DRAGONLANCE: THE GARGOYLE KING (WOTC) ISBN-10: 0786952385/ISBN-13: 978-0786952380—- $7.99 Mass Market

Tentative:

12/1——DIABLO: THE SIN WAR ARCHIVE (Pocket Books)

2010—- WARCRAFT: DRAGONS OF OUTLAND VOL. I – SHADOW WING (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 1427810265/ISBN-13: 978-1427810267—- $10.99 Manga

2010—- WARCRAFT: MAGE (Tokyopop) ISBN-10: 142781497X/ISBN-13: 978-1427814975

That’s all for now!  More details as they become available!

Sincerely,

Richard A. Knaak

Laguna Art Museum VIP Benefit Dinner, BlizzCon Ticket and More

World of Warcraft fans in the California area—and why not, international and national folks—will be delighted to hear of a special offer that might get you into Blizzcon if you missed out the ticket lottery.

From July 17 through 19, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to purchase tickets for the Laguna Art Museum

NVIDIA Announces BlizzCon 2009 All-Expenses Trip Contest

July 7, 2009 – Buy any qualifying NVIDIA GeForce graphics card between July 1, 2009 and August 1, 2009 and receive an entry code for a chance to win an all expenses paid trip to Blizzcon 2009 for you and a guest. The entire trip is valued up to $2400 USD!

But that’s not all. The same entry code is also good for one FREE digital download of the complete World of Warcraft Classic. This download includes a full install of the complete retail version of the game with unrestricted 30-day access to character classes, cities, quests, chat, and other features from World of Warcraft Classic.

Contest is open to all legal residents of the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Norway and India (excluding the state of Tamil Nadu) who have attained the age of majority under the laws of the country or state of residence as of the start of this promotion.

For complete contest details, rules and regulations, and additional information on how to enter through the mail without a qualifying product purchase, please visit: https://www.nzone.com/WoW. For additional information on Blizzcon 2009, please visit: https://www.blizzard.com/blizzcon.

The World of Warcraft bundle and code promotion will begin at 12:01 a.m. PST on July 1, 2009 and will end at 11:59:59 p.m. PST on August 1, 2009. All mail-in entries must be postmarked by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on July 15, 2009 AND received by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on August 1, 2009. Please refer to the full contest details at https://www.nzone.com/WoW.

SDCC 2009: Sideshow Collectibles Might Announce New Diorama

The San Diego Comic Con 2009 runs through Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 26.  You will find Sideshow Collectibles at Booth # 1929.  I am somewhat close with the Sideshow Collectibles representatives and keep in contact a few times throughout the year.  During a mini-Q&A I had with Sideshow Collectibles CEO Greg Anzalone and the Production Manager Brant Bridges, the latter said:

Brant: Yes, we are hoping to do more Blizzard products.  Nothing in the immediate future, but we do have some ambitions.

A few weeks ago, when I asked Sideshow Collectibles if they were to unveil a new Diorama this year at the San Diego Comic Con, I got a very interesting response that might or not mean something is brewing in the house of ideas. (expensive ideas by the way, lol)

The answer was: “We can

Blizzard Entertainment – Project Hydra Rears Its ugly face again

Retrospect on Diablo III. Codename: Project Hydra

This thing has returned to bite me once more in the—err— where sun doesn’t shine.  The first time you probably heard about Project Hydra was when I posted here on Blizzplanet a rumor from a anonymous source that reached me via chat.  I usually don’t listen to hearsay, or anonymous “I have an uncle that works at Blizzard and told me … this and that”-kind of breaking news.  That’s why I go straight to the source myself, be it writers, editors, voice actors, music composers, or else.

However, this guy really made me wonder if it was or not fake—about two years ago.  Right before StarCraft II was officially announced, 1up.com had seen a Medusa codename on the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals itinerary (schedule sheet).  I posted about it on May 18, 2007 at 3pm EST, and twenty minutes later, this guy contacted me to let me know Medusa was the codename of Starcraft II and that it would be announced at Seoul during the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals—here is the archived post.  Few hours later, it happened. Starcraft II was announced, which made me wonder if the anonymous source wasn’t fake after all.  He also mentioned Project Hydra and Project South Seas.

On September 7, 2007, barely four months after I first posted about Project Hydra, TheInquirer posted to have heard codename Project Hydra at the GDC.

Last week, Kotaku was not allowed to take photos of three locations within Blizzard Entertainment’s Headquarter.  One of them had a sign titled … Project Hydra. Check out Kotaku’s article.

The

Diablo II Patch 1.13 hitting PTR Soon

Bashiok has finally revealed the reasons Diablo II patch 1.13 was delayed.  Basically, the Diablo II team resources were moved to work on an emergency contingency when the Warcraft III custom map exploit affected players with injected malware.  This is what Karune said on January 5, 2009:

Blizzard Quote:
Warcraft III Custom Map Security Warning
We have identified an exploit that could allow malicious software to be spread through Warcraft III maps. We have applied a temporary fix to address this issue when playing on Battle.net, and we are working on a patch to permanently address the issue when playing on a LAN or playing single-player custom maps.

In the meantime, we recommend that players avoid downloading maps from unofficial sources or websites they do not trust—be aware that corrupted maps may share the same name as other popular maps. If you encounter custom maps that no longer function or other issues related to this fix, please post details below.

As a reminder, this is a serious issue we are working on, and we want to make Battle.net the best online service for gaming as possible. Please only post in this thread if you have constructive feedback to add in regards to this Warcraft III exploit.

This was obviously a very critical exploit that needed action.  The Diablo II team really wanted to dispatch patch 1.13 to players back then, but reality-check things happen.  The good news is that the patch to fix Warcraft III custom map vulnerabilities is now on PTR. Once that PTR is over, the Diablo II team will be free to resume work on the final steps of Diablo II patch 1.13.  They were almost ready to launch within a two-week window.  That means patch 1.13 will be hitting PTR any time in the next few weeks folks.

We want all our fans and visitors to be alert on the news and to join Diablo II patch 1.13 PTR to submit feedback and bug reports to the developers.

You can read Bashiok’s long story after the break.

Blizzard Quote:
Many of you are wondering what’s up with the patch and the ladder reset. While I’ve sprinkled some information around, it’s about time it was all mashed up in one easy-to-read location.

The Story
Once upon a time our internal legacy development teams wanted to put some much needed love into Diablo II. Diablo II doesn’t have tournaments with millions of dollars swirling about them, so it generally took a back seat to the patch development time of our other legacy titles. But one day the planets aligned, and it was finally time to give the old girl a new coat of paint and break a bottle of champagne over her bow with the release of a patch. This went well. Meetings were held, the community was involved and polled, and an extremely long list of ideas and changes was created. That list was then cut down to changes felt to be either necessary changes, or easily implemented to ensure development time was efficient. This also went well.

Not long after, the alarm bells sounded. The patch was progressing quickly, and the release was potentially imminent. Early on it was decided, and somewhat of a no-brainer, that a ladder reset with coincide with the patch release. With the patch progressing well, a potential release of two weeks was estimated, and as always this is the exact amount of forewarning given to players and the community before a ladder reset. An announcement was made quickly and immediately to ensure a full two week notice was given. There are many reasons for this standard two-week notice, not the least of which is that most players don’t understand the meaning of ladder and non-ladder, and how a reset affects their characters. Following any reset our support departments are flooded with issues related to the change of their characters, so we attempt to inform beforehand and avoid any unnecessary confusion.

This was all well and good, the community was excited, and the developers were having fun and enjoying being able to work on Diablo II again. Then, as it tends to do, reality struck. (Warcraft III Custom Map Security Warning https://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=16888549346&sid=3000) Work had to be swiftly and immediately realigned and has and continues to be focused on addressing issues for a different title to resolve a very serious issue.

The Now –
The Warcraft III patch is now on the Public Test Realm (PTR) and testing is progressing. Once that patch is released work can shift back to Diablo II and the 1.13 patch, and we’ll be working to getting that patch up on its own PTR as soon as possible. This could be a matter of weeks. Once it’s up and in a testing state for all of you, it’s then going to be a matter of ensuring the features are good and it’s a solid patch. The more people we have testing the patch and providing valid feedback, the better the patch will be, and hopefully the quicker it will be released. So that’s my challenge to you. You’ve been waiting a long time, you want an awesome patch, you want a reset. To get all that, we need good solid testing and feedback, reproduction steps for bugs, detailed descriptions of issues or errors, etc. So once this goes live on the PTR, I expect some crazed-youruinedtheeconomy-testing.

Diablo III Announcement Anniversary – June 28

Today, June 28th, is the anniversary of the moment Mike Morhaime announced at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris, France that Diablo III was in development and presented Jay Wilson and his team.  Time really goes fast. I remember being there in front of the stage when Blizzard unveiled the Diablo III Cinematic and gameplay video onscreen.

We have seen the Diablo III Art Controversy, which died pretty fast.  We have seen the Witch Doctor and the Wizard Class, several updates on the Bestiary and lore at the official website.  Bashiok (Diablo III CM) has kept us informed throughout the year with some juicy details.  He’s done an awesome job thus far, and hope to continue to see him active in upcoming years.  We have seen Jay Wilson in various interviews after the announcement, and Diablo III feature in some of the BlizzCast podcasts.

About a year ago, before Diablo III was announced, Blizzplanet had run a teaser countdown. I was newsposter of the Diablo3.com website for a few months before the domain name was transferred to Blizzard Entertainment.  Many fans may remember my countdown to May 1st, 2008 which heralded the announcement that Diablo3.com domain name belonged now to Blizzard Entertainment.  A very-strong sign that Blizzard would announce Diablo III at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals.

Many gaming sites linked to Blizzplanet and Diablo3.com wondering what was the countdown mystery about.  David, I remember added the text: 

Diablo III Overthrown Limited Edition SOLD OUT

It is AMAZING !!! The Diablo III fans have gone insane and fell in love of the fully-painted Diablo III OVERTHROWN Statue.  The Limited Edition which includes the helmet has been surprisingly SOLD OUT across the board. It’s been only four days since it was unveiled.  This reminds me how fast BlizzCon tickets sold out these past two years.  There are very passionate fans out there, I tell ya.

The question is, will there be enough Overthrown Regular Edition to meet the demand?  Rush in and get one if you were hesitating dude, because they are going faster than hot bread in the morning on a busy bakery.  They are sweet !

Blizzard Quote:
We sold through our Sideshow Exclusive Diablo III OVERTHROWN Diorama during our June 18th re-launch of the painted piece, which was showcased in our weekly E-Newsletter, with an Edition Size soon to be announced! Please note that a Regular Edition of this piece, which comes WITHOUT the interchangeable helmeted head, is now available to pre-order Diablo III OVERTHROWN Statue while supplies last. There is also a Wait List open for the Exclusive.

Diablo III Overthrown Diorama

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