BlizzCon® Virtual Ticket allows viewers at home to watch sold-out show, including closing concert featuring Foo Fighters, on October 21-22
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2011, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day festival celebrating the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® game universes and their global player communities, begins on Friday, October 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The sold-out show features a wide range of events and activities, including discussion panels with developers of Blizzard Entertainment games; intense eSports competition featuring top pro gamers from around the world; costume and dance contests hosted by comedian Jay Mohr; and an epic rock concert headlined by the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Foo Fighters.
While tickets to BlizzCon sold out in seconds, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of comprehensive live HD coverage of the event (including Foo Fighters’ performance) across four channels globally over the Internet. Those who order a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive World of Warcraft® in-game pet, the fearsome-ish Murkablo, as well as a yet-to-be-revealed StarCraft® II in-game gift. DIRECTV® customers in the United States can also order BlizzCon 2011 as a Pay Per View event and receive a Virtual Ticket for free. Limited streaming coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and certain BlizzCon tournaments will be available via the Internet for free. More information on the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/live-stream/
“Every BlizzCon, we look forward to meeting up with our players and sharing the latest news about our games with the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve put together a great lineup of events this year, capped off with an awesome Foo Fighters show, and we can’t wait to provide attendees and everyone joining us from home with an unforgettable weekend.”
Previous BlizzCons have featured a variety of exciting events and announcements, including the unveiling of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm™, the first-ever public hands-on with Diablo III, and epic rock performances by Ozzy Osbourne and Tenacious D.
This week, Blizzard Entertainment also launched a series of special charity auctions giving game enthusiasts a unique chance to own a piece of World of Warcraft history — original Hewlett Packard® ProLiant server blades that once housed hundreds of different realms across North America and Europe. The net proceeds from the auction will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Interested buyers can find more information on the auction schedule as well as a detailed FAQ at www.ebay.com/blizzard
BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s sponsors, who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more. This year’s sponsors are Intel, NVIDIA, ASUS, LG Electronics, Antec, SteelSeries, DIRECTV, Razer, and VASCO Data Security.
Anyone attending BlizzCon who is interested in pursuing career opportunities at Blizzard Entertainment should bring their resumes, portfolios, or business cards. Members of different Blizzard teams will be on hand to review materials and discuss any job-related questions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at http://jobs.blizzard.com or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@BlizzardCareers
Blizzard Entertainment has unleashed a never-seen-before Pre-BlizzCon image teaser of the Diablo III Cinematic!
“Peer not into the shadows of the Hells …”
“… for there is always something peering back.”
“Man’s pleasures give way to pain. His truths are buried in the shroud of lies. It is this time when Hell shall reign. While all of man dies.” – From the Guhawj Cave Inscriptions in Kehjistan, inked in blood by an unknown author.
To quote Tychus Findlay: “Sweet Mother of Mercy.” Leah better have a few tricks up her sleeve, or have a good set of legs to run like Speedy Gonzalez. That’s some fugly demon bastard. For some reason it reminds me the Butcher. Check out the Diablo Facebook and don’t forget to click “Like”. Ata’boy!
After the defeat of the three brothers: Diablo, Mephisto and Baal — centuries before Diablo I — Azmodan and Bellial have been at a Civil War in the Burning Hells. Connecting the dots, this cinematic teaser image might suggest Leah found this foul demon while investigating the hole on the ground left by the meteor, which swallowed her uncle Cain. It’s likely the meteor that fell from the sky upon the cathedral of Tristram might really be Belial. A few weeks ago, I posted a Diablo III beta screenshot where Deckard Cain hints Belial has come to Sanctuary.
In Diablo III beta, Deckard Cain clearly says: “The Horadric Scrolls spoke of the dead rising and the Lord of Lies. The Prophecy of the End Days says that at the end of all things, the first sign shall appear in the Heavens!”
Has the Civil War finally ended? Was Azmodan the victor? For those who haven’t read much into the Diablo lore, the civil war begun because the three brothers had set their sight on the Nephalem (the children of the renegade angels and demons inhabiting Sanctuary), instead of focusing the hordes of demons on their eternal conflict against the High Heavens and the Angiris Council.
With the three brothers off the chess board, Azmodan and Belial fought each other to claim reign over the Burning Hells. Once the victor take command of the Burning Hells, it’s assumed he will unleash an invasion upon the sacred lands of the High Heavens.
It’s speculated Azmodan exiled Belial into Sanctuary, thus — the meteor falling through the sky. Or was it Belial the victor, and Azmodan the fallen one? Only time will tell.
To taste a bit of lore, read The Dark Exile story from the original Diablo Game Manual.
For a full injection of the Diablo Universe lore — pre-order the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain — narrated from the point of view of Deckard Cain.
We recently posted photos, videos and sneak peek of Diablo III: Book of Cain during our visit to the New York Comic Con.
This is a transcript of the third part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel
As a lot of you might have known last year we had an arena PvP demo on the floor. This year, playable. We have team deathmatch.
We’ve got a lot of awesome feedback from the community from last year’s showing at the arena, and one of the dominant forms of feedback that we’ve got was that sitting around and waiting while my friends kill each other really isn’t fun, so we’re introducing team deathmatch.
Team Deathmatch really solves that problem. You die, you’re back in three seconds. You’re back in the fight, fighting, able to play with your character more, able to explore more.
There’s no intimidation factor in team deathmatch either. Am I going to let my arena team down coming in with this crazy magic wizard build that only spawns mirror images and that’s all I do? No.
It’s totally cool. Deathmatch the game is a ten-minute game. Two teams, Red and Blue. The team with the most kills wins.
There’s definitely no skill swapping during games, and no item swapping during games.
They want this to be a skilled tactical understanding, so I need to know — hey that barbarian has been stunning the heck out of me the entire time, I need to know that the whole ten-minutes of the game so I can effectively deal with that again and respond.
Last year we only had 3v3. Now we have 4v4. 4v4 is way more fun for responsiveness, and the interactivity.
You’re definitely going to be using your PvP character. There was some confusion, but you’ll be leveling up to 60.
Taking your character or wizard or witch doctor and getting him in front, bringing him in and play it on the showroom floor. You’re our community. We make games for you.
We love your feedback. It’s fantastic. Thank you very much.
Wilson: I’m going to talk about the Auction House. I hope you like the UI because there’s a lot of it coming at you.
Why we decided to do an Auction House is because trade is a big focus of the Diablo game. You get loot in the Diablo game and it’s a big deal. That loot is randomized.
The Diablo system is pretty unique in that everything that drops has got some kind of random element, even if it’s something you wear on your body.
Any monster could drop any item in the world. You don’t have to go to a particular monster and do that, but because of that, there’s low odds you get the exact thing you want.
Even if you get the exact thing, you want the chances that it has the best stats you could possibly get on the item is pretty much, it’s almost impossible and that’s really by design, because Diablo’s always been a social game in the sense that you play with and trade with other players, so trading is really the best way to get the best items in the game — and that has always been the case for all Diablo games.
We focus really heavily on the trading aspect. So given that, you think that the previous games had awesome systems for trading, and if you think that — you’d be wrong.
So, in Diablo II there were a bunch of ways to trade. Game interface, you could put items up and stick your item up and somebody else you say what have you got and hopefully I had something good you wanted.
You could throw items on the ground and pray, I wouldn’t recommend that. You could go up to the chat channels or forums, hoping someone is listening or has the thing you want, or wants to buy the thing you have.
It’s pretty inefficient and makes the chat channel not really very chatty; and then you could also go to third party websites, and buy things with real money, and that works fine except that maybe the transaction wouldn’t work, maybe you’d get ripped off, maybe someone would steal your account — so none of those were really great experiences and we felt we could do a lot better.
We focused on an Auction House because it’s a well-known convenient, secure, easy way for people to trade.
There’s things like the World of Warcraft Auction House, and there is eBay. People understand how it works, and how to interact with them.
So we made the decision to allow players to trade in Diablo III the same way that they traded in in Diablo II with gold or real money.
We’re going to let you pretty much trade almost anything in the auction, wearable items, gold, stackable components like crafting items, and things like that.
And this is one of the most important points, we want you to be able to participate for free if you go into the Real Money Auction House.
A lot of people have said to us — you know, I don’t necessarily have a problem with the real money or not. I don’t want to open up my wallet and give you a credit card.
That’s fine. You don’t have to. I’ll explain how. This is Timmy the Demon Hunter. Why is it named Timmy? Because it amuses me to name him Timmy. Timmy needs a new bow. Venomhusk. That would be nice.
That bow would be pretty awesome, got a lot of blue things on there, we like those. So he goes off in the world seeking fortune. Does he find it? Nope. Instead he finds this thing.
Wow, 566 DPS. Two-Hander, not for him. If he had a Barbarian, or a Barbarian friend that would be a good item, but we’ll pretend Timmy doesn’t have any friends, because he’s named his Demon Hunter Timmy, come on!
But he’s still happy, he’s got this awesome thing, but he wants his Venomhusk bow!
So he’s going to put this in the Auction House, and posts it up on the Real-Money Auction House.
The important thing is here he can do this for free, because every week we will allow people to have a small number of free listings. One of the reasons for that is that we want you to generate some income, and get a balance without actually having to spend any money.
So he puts his Overfiend in the Auction House, it sells, and bong … $7.50 in his account. He could have updated that to PayPal and made $7.50 playing Diablo which is pretty awesome or put it back into his balance and use that to buy things and post more auctions.
So Timmy is happy. He goes up, he finds his Venomhusk bow, five bucks. Bam, purchased. Sent to his character, and equipped. Check him out.
Auction House Features
So on top of being able to participate in that way, we’ll also add a lot of features. Some of you are in the beta, and managed to play with the gold option house, and you probably notice it’s not fully featured as we would like. So we are adding a bunch of new features. The first one is a smart search feature.
And basically what this does is it takes any character that you want, it will look at the character and say okay, you got, you seem to be a Barbarian who likes a lot of crit. So we’ll point you at items that do that. You can funnel the results and say these are all the items that I want, but I really want precision, or I really want Life Steal so show me the ones who have those aspect of them. Another thing we’ve done is we’re going to have an Advanced Search which is really a bigger version of the smart search.
It lets you basically just set all kinds of parameters, pretty much anything you could literally specify the exact item stats that you want to see and features like this are really important because the Diablo item system is not filled with a lot of names and items that are easy to search for. You’re going to really be searching more for stats.
Next, you can search for stackable items, gold, gems, crafting & dyes, tomes, books, almost everything that is worth selling we’ll be allowing you to sell in the Auction House.
Diablo – Final Game Tuning
Wyatt Cheng: Let’s talk about game tuning for a little while. We’re getting ready to finalize a lot of the game components, particularly the difficulty modes, the classes and the monsters. Could make a lot of improvement to the monsters.
We’re going to be talking a lot about changes that we’ve made since the beta, as well as changes we’ve made since last year’s BlizzCon.
For those of you who don’t know, a lot of the content for killing monsters in Diablo is based around Rares and Champions — they have magical properties like electrified, plague, teleporter, desecrater.
We’ve a couple of new aspects that we’ve put into the game over the last few weeks. One of those new ones is actually on display in the video over here called the Mortar.
We thought some of the monster abilities penalized more the melee players, than ranged. With Mortar, the monster has the ability to lob grenades over a minimum distance. If you’re a melee character, the grenades will literally fly over your head.
A lot of focus is on making passives good. We had some feedback. Some of the passives are interesting and some aren’t interesting.
Here’s one of the new passes we’ve got for the Barbarian. One of the things about passives, they actually serve a number of purposes.
Some people want passives that support specific builds, some people want passives that introduce cool visual elements.
In this case, what we felt was important for a Barbarian to have a defensive build option and we also felt it might be instructional for players who aren’t sure if a Barbarian could be built in a tanky sort of way — so we have this passive named Nerves of Steel to help support that playstyle.
Some of our other passives, this one is based on the Witch Doctor — Fetish Sychophants, it summons one of the little Fetish Helpers to fight along your side, and this happens every time you cast a physical skills such as Poisoned Dart, or Plague of Toads. That’s a 3% chance on cast to summon it. That’s a popular one internally as well.
Another passive is Combination Strike. If you guys remember the Spirit Generators, this is a monk skill. The passives, we call them combo skills. Combo Skills and Spirit Generators are kinda interchangeable. In this case, if you use multiple different spirit generators together you get a DPS increase. The more spirit generators you combine together, the larger the increase.
This is an interesting thing that’s come up over the last few months as we’ve been tuning passives. The situation where you have too much synergy, it can actually be bad, so the example that we have on the board up on the powerpoint is Counterattack. Whenever you dodge, you automatically damage your attacker.
Sixth Sense gives you increased chance to dodge; and Evasive, which gives you increased chance of dodge every time you critical strike. Each one of these passives is pretty cool on its own.
When you put them all together, we felt like it was actually taking away build diversity rather than increasing it.
As soon as you took one passive, you have a synergistic advantage for taking a second one, and then a third one.
If we give you three passives to choose from out of 15, we’re actually pigeonholding players rather than allowing them to explore, so we’ve been seeking out these sort of overly synergistic passives, and removing them.
For those of you who played a Barbarian in the beta, Barbarian feels like it’s in a pretty good place, fun, visceral, doing a lot of things we want him to do.
A couple of specific areas we wanted to target, one is Fury generation. He has a few Fury generator skills and we felt the small spammable generators weren’t paying off as well as the big generators.
For example, players were using Leap attack, Ground Stomp, and War Cry, and skipping some of the three Fury generators like Cleave, Frenzy and Bash. So we kind of adjusted those numbers a little bit, tried to provide a better balance there.
Another area we’ve been looking at is Survivability. You didn’t see it so much during the level 1-12 game, but as you started getting into the higher difficulties: Nightmare, Hell, Inferno — we really found Barbarian were having trouble staying in melee range.
The Barbarians need be in melee range to do damage, but without survivability they just weren’t able to do that. We’ve been looking at the Barbarian survivability, the passives earlier on, and their base stats, and we’re looking to make Barbarians a little tougher overall.
The Wizard also in a good place. For those of you who have been following along, we have a set of skills called academic skills. Renamed those to Signature skills. The same idea basically as you level up, the skills become cheaper. Eventually they become free. We like how that’s playing out. Overall, the Wizard is feeling pretty good.
One of the things is a concern for us, whether or not it’s worthwhile to use signature spells when you’re out of Arcane Power, and whether or not it’s worth using a non-signature spell.
So, we’ve been squeaking those numbers to make sure they have a different reason to use different spells. And finally, one of the major changes we’ve been making is all of the Wizard and Witch Doctor spells have been converted over to do percent weapon damage.
A major reason for this, we really felt that the casters needed to value their weapon more. People were finding weapons, and looking at it saying: “Well, I don’t know, I don’t really care about the stats on my character. My skills don’t use it.”
One of the questions we get all the time is: should my Wizard just use a giant two-handed mace? I don’t want to hold a two-handed mace. In addition to be based on weapon damage, we also use the weapon speed to determine casting speed. If you use a wand or a fast dagger, you’ll actually cast faster as well.
One of the questions we also get a lot, in the beta, is mana. The mana seems to be unlimited. In the beta that’s absolutely true. Mana is the only resource that’s returning from Diablo II. So what we’re doing with it is we’re providing multiple mechanisms for the Witch Doctor to recover mana.
In this case, one of those would be passive skills. There are a number of passives that have to do with mana regeneration. There’s also runes for mana regeneration.
This is a transcript of the second part of the Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel.
The next thing I want to talk is The Jeweler. The guy is a little shady, but if you have anything gem related, he’s the guy to go to.
So what can he do? He can combine your gems. In the game you have like 14 different ranks of gems. Gems can be put in sockets of your items, and they imbue extra properties.
You want more experience, you can put a ruby in your helm socket, and that gives you plus X percent experience for every kill you make.
The more powerful ones, of course, have to be found and are allowed to be combined — so you have to level him up to get access to those.
He can also add sockets to items. This is great, like say I’m playing, and like I’m really loving Precision and Frenzy kicking butt that way, and I got this item and it has tons of Fury regeneration on it, but I need Precision, so I add a socket to it at the Jeweler, and I can put the gem in there which has the Plus X Precision attribute.
He removes gems from items. This is pretty cool. Let me give you an example here. Leveling up hit level 60 having that experience gem in your helm the entire time, but you’re level 60 now and don’t need the experience.
You go to the Jeweler, and have him take the gem out, put the Plus 20% Life in there, because in Inferno, you’re going to need it, and then you can send that experience gem to your alt character and then that will help him level up faster.
Speaking of leveling up, the Jeweler also levels up. As he level ups he gains the ability to combine more powerful gems and higher ranks. He also uses Pages of Training to level up. You have to pick and choose which ones you want to focus on.
Fortunately, they’re account based so, you know, level up Barbarian level 60, and focus on the Blacksmith the entire time.
The Demon Hunter level in and jump in and right there and then the bar of the Blacksmith is already like level 10 and you’re Mythic and you can level her up separately.
Talking about the Blacksmith, we spoke a lot about him already. He can forge items and craft things for you. Boy what we haven’t spoken about. He can craft Legendary and Unique set items for you.
These are things you’d usually find in normal difficulties. Here he’s like making a Sanity’s Edge, just a Legendary two-handed mighty weapon. This comes in a plan you found when you were killing a monster, took the plan to your Blacksmith, and you can make that item again, and again, and again.
He can also make the unique set item. Now this is a normal difficulty unique set. You’re going to find this in the world when playing normal.
The tricky thing about Diablo is that these items can draw from anything. You can take one and just farm that for your set, so we figured, hey, let’s make it easier for you guys and once you get the plan you can then craft every item in this set to get the set bonus.
So here I’ve crafted a Pauldron, the shoulder pieces and the Seething Rage, the one-handed sword.
I crafted those, so I can wear those and get the set bonus. Way easier. In Inferno, you’re going to be arming unique sets.
As you’re progressing through the game you can get a cool factor out of the things.
How does the Diablo III Item Life Cycle look with those added features?
When an item is born it can come from a vendor.
It can also come from crafting or from the Auction House. What do I do with it? I can wear it. Definitely going to wear it. If I buy it off the Auction House.
When I’m done with it, I can sell it. That gives me gold for repairs, or for crafting and forging more gear.
I can salvage it and sell those salvaged components on the Auction House.
I can use them to enhance my existing items. I can put it on the Auction House directly and make gold, make real life money. Who doesn’t like that? Or I can trade it.
I can help twink my characters or give it to my friends. It’s not my style. What’s an example of that. Say I’m playing through the game and I get a drop. I don’t need it. It’s not an upgrade. I decided to salvage it. Salvage it into some components I’ve put for sell on the Auction House.
Someone buys that, win, rock and roll. I need some gold. I keep playing for a while, and next week I go and look at the Auction House and see a wicked one-handed axe perfect for me.
Decided to buy that from the Auction House. I didn’t know that was actually crafted from the same salvage that I sold on the Auction House a week earlier.
That’s a life cycle, and that just makes me happy.
Of course, we have awesome art, item artwork that we just wanted to show off.
It didn’t fit in anywhere else, but these are some of the items you’re going to be playing with.