Category Archives: BlizzCon 2009
Fri, Sep 18, 2009 | 02:24 BST
All the exclusive, convention-only Murloc plushies in the world can’t recoup the cost of cramming 20,000 frothing fans into the Anaheim Convention Center, it seems. During the 2009 Austin GDC, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce explained that – while certainly an excellent marketing opportunity – BlizzCon does quite a number on Blizzard’s wallet.
“BlizzCon is operated at a substantial loss for the company,” said Pearce. “It’s a huge marketing opportunity, so that’s the benefit we get out of that. But in terms of any kind of financial gain, it actually is a loss for us.”
As to how many arms and legs the company pays each year, Pearce wouldn’t say.
Fear not for BlizzCon, though. The jolly blue gaming giant loves its fans, and treats the massive gathering as “an operating expense.”
Fri, Aug 28, 2009 | 16:17 BST
During BlizzCon, Paul Sams, chief operating officer for Blizzard, sat down with IncGamers and talked a bit about how the company has changed over the years, especially with marketing.
“When I think about what we have in store, what we have done, and how big BlizzCon has become, let alone our products – I mean, World of Warcraft has over 11 million subscribers so the marketing and the types of marketing we do have expanded to try and support that.
“With licensing, I always joke with our team that it’s the snacking in between the meals. We don’t put out our videogames that often, we are very focused on making sure that they’re great when they come out so it takes a long time. Because we only put out one or so a year, those licensed products are the snack between the meals so that people who are really geeked up about Blizzard and these franchises have a way to kind of feed that hunger.”
The full interview is posted below the break.
Mon, Aug 24, 2009 | 08:46 BST
The news never sleeps. Thankfully, neither do Nathan, Steph and Johnny. BlizzCon 2009 brought a huge amount of new detail on Blizzard’s portfolio over the weekend, including the announcement of a new Diablo III class and a brand new upcoming WoW pack in Cataclysm.
You could try to get everything from the “internet”. That would be stupid. Because it’s all here.
- BlizzCon 09 Press Panel: No charging for WoW mods, Blizzard iPhone games, more
- BlizzCon 09: Blizzard uses StarCraft II map maker to create third-person RPG, shmup, Super Zerg
- BlizzCon 09: Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer to play Kerrigan in StarCraft II
- BlizzCon 09: Diablo III Q&A panel
- Race changes coming to WoW
- A new hero class in WoW: Cataclysm? Don’t count on it
- BlizzCon 09: Release date for Diablo III yet to be announced, says Blizzard
- BlizzCon 09: Diablo III trailers featuring the Monk
- StarCraft II to support premium player-created maps
- Cataclysm Panel: Guild advancement system detailed, new race/class combos, Raganaros returning
- BlizzCon 09: Cataclysm and StarCraft II only titles for 2010 [UPDATE]
- BlizzCon 09: Cataclysm zones revealed, detailed
- BlizzCon 09: Diablo III in-game screens show off Monk class
- Blizzcon 09: Debut WoW Cataclysm trailer is live
- Blizzcon 09: First screenshots of WoW: Cataclysm
- BlizzCon 09: And here’s the WoW Catacysm logo
- BlizzCon 09: Goblins playable race in next WoW expansion
- BlizzCon O.C.: New World of Warcraft expansion announced, called Cataclysm
- Monk revealed as fourth Diablo III class [Update]
- BlizzCon 2009 Opening Ceremony liveblog
Sun, Aug 23, 2009 | 03:31 BST
We just got back from a press-only BlizzCon panel, wherein all questions were answered. Blizzard spilled its guts, and we recorded every excruciating detail. See all the carnage below:
- Guild housing probably isn’t coming to WoW. It was talked about for both Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, but Blizzard has relegated it to the backburner for now.
- Blizzard is “very interested” in the iPhone, but currently has “no plans” to develop games for Apple’s tiny marvel.
- Why only bump the level cap up to 85? Duh, because the game ends once people hit level 100, right? Wrong. WoW’s not ending any time soon, and certainly not when the level cap reaches 100.
- Blizzard mentioned that, conceptually, a WoW expansion that didn’t raise the level cap would certainly be possible. Instead, it could, for example, focus on unlocking hero class versions of current classes — or something like that.
- Blizzard does not plan to allow players to charge for WoW mods. “Why mess with a good thing?” was the basis of their reasoning.
- Though Worgen and Goblin starter areas were demoed at BlizzCon, players began at level 6. So, what lies behind the veil of secrecy that is levels 1-5? For the Worgen, it’s the process of becoming a Worgen. That’s right — you start as a human. The early goings for Goblins, meanwhile, simply were too early in development to be shown.
- The WoW movie’s script isn’t finished yet. However, WoW production director J. Allen Brack said that the movie will be “like Lord of the Rings” in that it’ll be a treat for fans, but accessible to people who can’t tell a Worgen from a Murloc.
- WoW: Cataclysm will alter Azeroth’s landscape “instantly” when the expansion comes out. The roll out of content will not be gradual, because Deathwing’s going to cut through the place like a knife through butter.
So there you go. We flipped BlizzCon over, shook it, and spilt the crumbs in your open hands. Hope you enjoyed our coverage.
Sun, Aug 23, 2009 | 09:21 BST
If you thought Blizzard’s decision to let players to charge for created maps was the straw that broke the zergling’s back, you might want to reconsider.
During BlizzCon’s StarCraft II gameplay panel, Blizzard showed off three custom maps that a few developers had whipped up in their free time. One was a third-person action-RPG, another was an old-school, top-down Galaga-style space shooter, and the third featured a custom-made mega-Zerg. Custom user interfaces and things of the like were used.
Why is this important? Because, using what is allegedly the vanilla map-making toolset, it’s fairly easy to leap into other genres and design enemies and levels that fit your particular game.
Also, because the mega-Zerg used a shockwave attack to kill, like, three hundred zerglings at once. It was wicked.
In theory, then, this toolset could certainly be used to design maps — or even full games — packed with at least four or five dollars-worth of fun. Or that’s the hope, anyway. And, of course, there will still be free maps. What’s not to like?
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 23:20 BST
Straight out of Blizzard’s voice actor panel at BlizzCon, we’ve just found out that Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer will be playing Sarah Kerrigan in StarCraft II.
Helfer, who played the seductive Number Six on Battlestar, will be voicing Kerrigan in her creepy, twisted Queen of Blades form, and in flashbacks as good ol’ non-genocide-bent Sarah.
Also of note, Helfer described herself as a “videogame virgin.” However, talking about the game, she really seemed to know her stuff, and her enthusiasm was obvious.
BlizzCon rolls on. Stick with us for more.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 22:47 BST
Blizzard held a Q&A panel with the developers for Diablo III at BlizzCon, and BigDownload has the highlights for you, which we have posted below.
- While the team is not talking about Player Vs Player gameplay in Diablo III at the moment they did say they want to avoid the “go hostile at any time” type of gameplay that was a part of the first two games in the series. The feeling is that kind of gameplay ruins the co-op modes.
- The new Battle.net system will allow for a more sophisticated matchmaking system for Diablo III.
- The designers do have plans for more variety in quests in the new game.
- The dev team have some long term plans for the Diablo universe’s Paladins but they would not go into details (sorry, no word if it will be a playable character)
- They also want to support players who play the game “hardcore”
- There are no plans to support user interface add-ons.
- The gold system in Diablo III is planned to be improved and changed compared to Diablo III in terms of their use to buy items.
- Randomly generated items are at the heart of the Diablo universe, according to the dev team. Unique items may have some different properties in Diablo III but will still be prominent.
- Waypoints are returning and will be similar to Diablo II. However, teleporters may not be coming back. However the designers are looking for other ways to reduce travel time. For example dungeons now have exits rather than having parties go all the way down and then be forced to go all the way back up the way they came.
- There isn’t any technology to support things like changing the environments in Diablo III but they might put it in if it benefits the game.
- All monsters have a chance to drop items for any player in the game.
- Even though the game is fairly easy to play already, Blizzard does plan to make Diablo III easy to get into for any all new players.
- Blizzard is still not commenting if crafting of items will be in Diablo III
- Since environments in the game are randomly generated there will not be a map editor released for third party mod makers.
- Blizzard is still not commenting on whether Diablo himself will appear in Diablo III (but come on; his name is in the title).
- Some of the classic sound effects from previous Diablo games will appear in the third title.
Nathan is at the event now. Be sure to check in periodically to see what he has found out.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 20:47 BST
Is your WoW character starting to look uncomfortable in its own skin? Has your orc warrior’s odd penchant for mooing and grazing about relegated him to the loony bin? Well, Blizzard’s got a solution for you.
During its WoW Q&A panel earlier today, Blizzard announced that race changes will be coming to WoW. The feature was always planned to go live after faction changes had been taken care of.
So then, consider that Q thoroughly A-ed.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 20:35 BST
When asked about the possibility of a new hero class during today’s WoW Q&A panel at BlizzCon, the developer was fairly blunt. Odds are, the panelists said, Cataclysm won’t add another member to what’s currently a Death Knight-only club.
Blizzard’s reasoning was thus: WoW isn’t racing to include “40 or 50 classes,” and would rather focus on fine-tuning a small number of unique, versatile classes. So for now, Death Knight remains the newest kid on the block.
Granted, the panelists’ statement wasn’t quite definitive, but with how often the word “probably” was tossed about, we’re certainly not getting our hopes up for a new hero class any time soon.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 19:08 BST
Yesterday, there were two different time-frames -of sorts- revealed for Diablo III.
We contacted Blizzard to get some clarification on this, and were told by a company spokesperson that: “We haven’t announced a release date for Diablo III.”
It all started when Geoff Keighely tweeted that StarCraft II and the new WoW expansion, Cataclysm were to be the only Blizzard titles coming in 2010.
Then, Ripten reported that it had overheard Blizzard bossman Mike Mohaime telling DirecTV that the game was to be released this year.
While Blizzard’s response does not really clarify when between now and 2011 we can expect the game, at least we know that more than likely it will not happen this year — unless Baboon Demons sprout wings and start flying.
More through the link.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 15:39 BST
BlizzCon 09 started yesterday, and one of the reveals was the new playable class of the Monk for Diablo III.
New environments with the borderlands and an evil-infested desert zone were also revealed.
Five different videos for the new goodies were released by GameTrailers and Rock, Paper, Shotgun has all of ‘em posted.
Go watch and enjoy.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 00:35 BST
During its Battle.net BlizzCon panel, Blizzard announced that StarCraft II will allow players to put price tags on their created maps. Creators will, of course, see some cash for their hard work, but Blizzard didn’t give an exact percentage.
The hope is that this will encourage players to form small dev teams and craft complex maps — or even new gametypes. So whereas before, the cost outweighed any potential rewards these intrepid souls might reap, now they’ve got a real cash-money incentive.
If you’re afraid Blizzard just tossed a “You must have this much disposable income to play” sign in front of StarCraft II’s multiplayer, don’t panic. Blizzard compared its new storefront to the iPhone App Store in terms of how it’s hoping the distribution of free and premium content will emerge.
More as it comes.
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 | 23:48 BST
We just finished up at the BlizzCon WoW: Cataclysm panel and our news nets are full to bursting with wriggling tidbits. And you know what that means: info-dump, go!
- The expansion’s adding multiple new advancement systems. First up, the Guild Advancement System allows guilds to level all the way to 20 by doing normal activities like daily quests and raids. Corresponding guild talent trees lead to cheaper repairs, mass raid resurrections, and things of the like.
- There are seven new zones in Cataclysm. They are Mount Hyjal, The Lost Isles, Gilneas, Uldum, the Sunken City of Vashj’ir, Twighlight Highlands, and Deepholm.
- Both classes have racial abilities that are sure to send seasoned WoW-players into nerdrage-fueled tizzies. The Worgen have darkflight, a sprinting ability, while Goblins get a rocket belt that can propel them forward or fire rockets at their foes.
- New race/class combos are coming. We saw a Tauren Paladin (“Holy cow!”), a gnome priest, and a dwarf shaman.
- Unlike previous expansions, Cataclysm won’t feature new talent trees. However, you will be able to advance along the Path of the Titans, which splits into many separate branches — all of which can be accessed by any class. So, in theory, a priest and, say, a rogue could end up with some of the same skills. The Path of the Titans is heavily tied to the game’s new secondary profession: archaeology.
- Ragnaros is back, and he’s pissed. This time, the colossal flame elemental is attempting to exact his vengeance through deforestation, which — unless you’re Captain Planet or an RP-ing Tauren — probably won’t get you too hot under the collar. However, ol’ Raggy’s aiming for the World Tree, which is kind of a big deal in WoW lore. You’ll be able to douse the fiery ne’er do well for the (1000 and) second time in a Cataclysm dungeon called Firelands.
Check out more of our Cataclysm coverage here.
Sat, Aug 22, 2009 | 14:38 BST
What an opening day!
A brand new WoW expansion known as Cataclysm revealed. That will please the fans for a good couple of weeks once released.
But wait! Is the impossible possible? Diablo III on consoles? Better yet, a release this year? “IMPOSSIBLE!” we hear you cry.
Still, if you have missed anything from day one of BC, here’s a round-up. The most important are in bold.
Surely… naaa, it cant be… can it?
- BlizzCon 2009 Opening Ceremony liveblog
- Monk revealed as fourth Diablo III class [Update]
- New World of Warcraft expansion announced, called Cataclysm
- Goblins playable race in next WoW expansion
- And here’s the WoW Catacysm logo
- First screenshots of WoW: Cataclysm
- Debut WoW Cataclysm trailer is live
- Diablo III in-game screens show off Monk class
- Cataclysm zones revealed, detailed
- Cataclysm and StarCraft II only titles for 2010 [UPDATE]
- Diablo III “not ruled out for consoles”
- StarCraft II to support premium player-created maps
- StarCraft II to utilize a save game Cloud
- Cataclysm Panel: Guild advancement system/a> detailed, new race/class combos, Raganaros returning
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 | 22:52 BST
Update: Ripten is reporting that Mike Morhaime has told DirecTV that, while he won’t give a specific date, Diablo III will be released this year.
Okay, now that sounds a lot better than 2011. Shockingly better. Unexpectedly better. Dreamland better.
Still, we will have Nathan poke around for more to be sure. It sounds too good to be true, honestly.
Original Story: Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has confirmed to Geoff Keighly and Kate Hunter that the just-revealed World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm and StarCraft II are only titles the company expects to release in 2010.
So where does this leave Diablo III? Apparently, not in 2010 as expected.
We will have Nathan corner a Blizzard person and get more on this. Make him threaten bodily harm if need be – or at least a heavy tickling.
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 | 22:40 BST
The new World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, was revealed today as you are well aware.
Good thing because the new zones for the expansion have been revealed and detailed as well.
There will be several, apparently, and starting zones Gilneas (Worgen-Alliance) and The Lost Isles (Goblins-Horde) will be level 1-15.
Also, every zone in Azeroth has changes made to it in some form. Some cosmetic, some with monster level changes, and flying mount support all around and even some underwater mounts.
Looks like the Horde has also taken Southshore, ending the battle with the Alliance tucking their tails between their legs.
FOR THE HORDE!
Loads more over on Shack, with pictures of the new zones.
Fri, Aug 21, 2009 | 22:04 BST
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Well, what do you think?