Sons of the Storm – Pandamonium X-Mas

The Panda King Samwise Didier posted a few personal artwork in Facebook, and some new pieces from his fellowship.

The Sons of the Storm website is celebrating its 9th Anniversary and it also updated new artwork. Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

Some of these pieces of art have been used for promotionals like the 2012 World Championship (Shangai), World of Warcraft: Quest for Pandaria, Insight Editions’ The Art of Blizzard Entertainment Book, Diablo – Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise, Mists of Pandaria Box, The Art of Mists of Pandaria Book, and various Mists of Pandaria concept art.

Sons of the Storm Crew

WETA On Crowning Glory for 20 Years Blizzard Veterans

WETA posted photos of the making of the Crown of Glory award designed by Nick Carpenter for the veteran Blizzard Entertainment employees who have worked at the company for 20 years.

As an afterthought, WETA posted a letter by Blizzard Entertainment VP of Art and Cinematic Development Nick Carpenter explaining the initial concept and design process for the development of the Crown of Glory. Here’s just an excerpt:

Nick Carpenter: Coming up with a design for our 20-year service award was no ordinary task. It had to be truly epic and make the recipient feel that he or she was part of something special and rare in our industry. Considering that we award 5-year employees with a sword, and 10-year employees with a shield, a badass crown felt like the right thing to do.

We wanted it to draw from all of our games without being specific to any one of them. It had to stand on its own while still feeling true to what Blizzard is all about. So what we ultimately arrived at, after more than a year of off-and-on concept runs with an army of artists from around the company, was a design that has a touch of the Lich King’s helmet, a bit of Imperius’s armor, some of King Terenas’s crown, and a hint of protoss curves for good measure.


Furthermore, to the naysayers who think the Warcraft film is vaporware — you should know that the featured film is still coming. Blizzplanet found on Twitter that WETA is definitely going to be involved in the Warcraft featured film.

For a quick background on the New Zealand-based company, WETA manufactured the weapons, armor and/or vehicles for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and James Cameron’s Avatar.


Blizzard Entertainment unveiled this crown last week during the Blizzard Holiday Party. (View photos)

Blizzplanet Gaming News: Sandy Hook School Shootings and Video Games Violence

Blizzplanet host Chris “The Bearded Gamer” Arnone discusses a very serious topic this week concerning the Sandy Hook School incident and its link to video games violence.

CNN reported Adam Lanza played StarCraft II, and implied this video game and others were linked to his violent behavior. Watch the videocast.

These are the topics discussed in this week’s show:

World of Warcraft

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

  • HOTS introduces a new Training Mode to fight a progressively harder AI
  • After HOTS release (March 12), Blizzard will prepare to launch Blizzard All-Stars Beta

Other News

Keyboard Confessional

  • Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings and Video Games Violence

Blizzplanet Gaming: The Bearded Gamer Returns

Chris “The Bearded Gamer” Arnone and the M Productions cameraman have returned from well-deserved vacations. The Blizzplanet Gaming videocast’s Blizzard Weekly News has now a new format. The new show will report World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III weekly news. Of course, anything concerning Blizzard All-Stars, Next-Gen MMO Titan and whatever Project Blackstone turns out to be.

Launch the video by clicking this image.

In this show Chris talk about the following topics:

WoW news

New Pet to purchase – the Cinder Kitten
Mounts are 50% off (ended already)
Patch 5.1 releases

Sc2 news

Battl.ent World Championships
MLG Fall Championship
Heart of the Swarm gets a release date

Diablo news

Patch 1.0.6 and patch 1.0.7
PvP Blog Delayed
Diablo statue now on sale at Sideshow Collectibles


Project Blackstone URL purchase by Blizzard

Keyboard Confessional (we need to find a new name):
What are your thoughts on making StarCraft 2 multiplayer Free to Play?

Kansas City Fans: Google Fiber Expanding from Jan-Mar 2013

Google has scheduled five new locations in Kansas City to get Google Fiber installed through January – March 2013. For this to happen, if you live within the locations mentioned below you must sign up and spread the word with all your neighbors to build a fiberhood.

What’s Google Fiber? One Gigabit downloads. One Gigabit Uploads. 100 times faster than your current Cable or DSL broadband speeds.

If you live in one of these fiberhoods and want Google Fiber, you must select your service plan by your deadline, listed below. Google will start installing Fiber in your area shortly after the date listed.

See the Google Map here.

  • Piper Schools — choose your plan by January 31, 2013
  • Delaware Ridge — choose your plan by February 14, 2013
  • Painted Hills — choose your plan by February 28, 2013
  • Open Door — choose your plan by February 28, 2013
  • Arrowhead — choose your plan by March 7, 2013

You can go to to select any of the available plans: Gigabit + TV Plan, Gigabit Internet Plan or the Free Internet Plan.

Blizzard Holiday Party 2012: Nick Carpenter Designs 20th Anniversary Award

The Blizzard Community Managers, Public Relations and developers are having a great evening as a family at the Blizzard Holiday Party.

Photos started to flood Twitter. The bestest one was something Nick Carpenter had teased earlier he would share during the event.

All Blizzard Entertainment Employees get a special award for every 5 years of service as employees. Blizzard Entertainment executive art director Nick Carpenter unveiled the 20th Year Anniversary Award to be given to all Blizzard employees who reach 20 years of service with the company. Looks sick AWESOME. Update: Nick Carpenter designed this helm, and won’t get it until next year.

This 20th Anniversary Award looks like an amalgam of the ornamental motives on Diablo III Archangel Imperius’ helmet and chest.

This is a cool piece I bet many veteran Blizzard employees nearing their twentieth year will want to take home.

The Blizzard Holiday Party was a blast as seen in these photos. The Blizzard employees even loaded up courage onstage to participate in a Karaoke round. Among them was Diablo III community manager Bashiok who took the mic to sing. Either Bashiok is getting lots of women fans after this karaoke feat of strength, or else he won’t quit his job any time soon for a music career.

Chris Metzen, SVP of Creative Development, also sang onstage.

Employees had the choice to attend the party disguised as a hero or villain.

UPDATE Dec 26: WETA posted photos and a letter from Nick Carpenter to discuss the design process for this crown.



Jinx Blizzard T-shirts $7 Off on Select Items

Jinx announced a selection of items from their Diablo III, StarCraft II and World of Warcraft T-shirt stock is now $7 off.

Some are now priced $9.99 and some are now $14.99 while supplies last. No Deadline specified.

Perfect timing for the upcoming X-mas holiday gifts. Note: Some of these select items are either male-only or female-only. Some of them are both genders at $7 off. Make sure to double-check. Click the images below to reach the purchase page.

G-Star 2012: Amazing Blizzard Cosplay

Blizzard Korea just posted a video of cosplayers who attended G-Star 2012 in Busan, Korea. Among the cosplayers are Diablo III (Leah, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor), StarCraft II (Nova) and World of Warcraft (Chen Stormstout, Murlocs, Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, and Jaina Proudmoore).

Can’t decided on which was the best, but certainly enjoyed the Witch Doctor dancing PSY Gangnam Style — cracked me up!

Google Fiber Expanding More Into Kansas and Missouri

Starting today, Blizzplanet will be updating the technology channel with the latest Google Fiber news. Google Fiber is going to drastically change the face of the internet as we have known it in the past 24 years since the introduction of ADSL and Cable internet.

I think it’s important for gaming websites to talk about Google Fiber, to help make people aware of it, and to spread the word. It’s here to stay, and it’s growing and expanding.

Google Fiber has been growing at a steady pace in Kansas City bringing 1Gbps download/upload internet access to homes. That’s a blazing 75-100 times faster than Time Warner Cable’s best speeds for only $70 a month.

So far, Google Fiber is available in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Google plans to expand into:

  • Kansas City North, MO
  • Kansas City South, MO
  • Westwood, KS
  • Westwood Hills, KS
  • Mission Woods, KS

It’s unknown when the service will expand into big cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago.

Visit the Google Fiber website often to monitor new cities coming next, and to learn more about the service. Make sure to sign up when they are searching for testers, and to spread the word in your neighborhood for more and more people to join the fiberhood.

Don’t be left out.

This is the internet video gamers really need. The end of lag and latency. Blazing fast patch downloads.

    Google Fiber installations kick off today

    The title says it all! After months of building a brand new Fiber infrastructure, we’re excited to announce that today we’re officially starting to connect homes in Kansas City to Google Fiber.

    We’ve been working in a few homes over the last few weeks to make sure we can deliver a great experience, and along the way we’ve thought a lot about what “great” might mean. We want it to take the amount of time we (and you!) think it’s going to take. We want to be able to explain what we’re doing in easy to understand language, so it makes sense to you and it’s not just tech jargon! And of course we’re aiming for “one and done”—one visit, everything working when we leave your home.

    There are two stages to getting you connected. First, we’ll pull your Fiber from the street to the side of your house; we’ve already done this for several houses in Hanover Heights. Then we’ll get in touch with you to schedule the second stage, your in-home installation. We’ve put together a short video to help you understand what to expect.

    If you live in Hanover Heights and see a new box on the side of your house (and have gotten a Google Fiber sticky note on your door), look for an email or phone call from us in the next few days to schedule an appointment. When the installer arrives, he/she will ask you about where you want your devices and then get to work.

    We’ve found that the difference between dreading an installation and feeling like you had a good experience comes down to us caring about the details that matter the most to you. For example, we’ll show up when we’re supposed to—at the start of your appointment, not somewhere in the middle. We’ll clean up any mess; each installer carries a vacuum cleaner. And we’ll answer your questions and teach you about your devices—don’t be afraid to ask us questions, or to ask us to explain something again in simpler language.

    We think that these small details can make your installation efficient, helpful and memorable. And, if you have any ideas or suggestions that would make it even better, let us know!

    Posted by Alana Karen, Director, Service Delivery, Google Fiber (source)

Here’s a nice article by Business Insider explaining what Google Fiber is and offers you.

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