BlizzCon 2011


Diablo 3 Gameplay Preview »


It's been a long wait for Diablo 3, but the release date is creeping closer every day. Adam Sessler got the chance to talk with art director Christian Lichtner at BlizzCon 2011 about the game's final tweaks to prepare for the release. Turns out the sun does shine in Diablo.

Blizzard DOTA: The Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Blizzard's StarCraft 2 Mod

The StarCraft 2 mod Blizzard DOTA was unveiled a year ago at Blizzcon 2010 to mixed reviews and has since been revamped in to a fresh and fast-paced product with the same amount of care that is standard of Blizzard titles. If you want to know about the updated Blizzard DOTA then stay a while and listen, as we're about to break down the top ten things you need to know about the new and improved version of the StarCraft 2 mod that was on display at this year's Blizzcon.

1. Stats are broken down in to three types

Blizzard thought that the amount of stats within the original Blizzard DOTA were a bit unintuitive so they've removed unnecessary math stats like armor and attack speed and replaced them with just three stats: health, damage, and mastery. Health is of course how many hit points your hero has, damage is how hard your Hero will hit others, and each rank of mastery gives your Hero 10% cooldown reduction and 10% more mana. 

2. Simplified items

With simplified stats comes simplified items. Blizzard has completely removed the "recipe" aspect of Dota items and replaced the entire system with just one page of available items. In Blizzard DOTA, your character only has access to four items rather than the standard six, and most of the items can be upgraded twice to increase their power.

Blizzard has also introduced tomes that when used will increase one of your Hero's three main stats. There are also items called Artifacts that can't be upgraded, like the Cloak of Flames, that damages enemies around you based on your max health.

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Blizzcon Tickets Go On Sale May 21 and May 25

Yesterday, we reported on some unseemly, ungentlemanly remarks made in a video broadcast at Blizzcon 2011. Without re-hashing the whole schlemiel, basically, a musician at the show, "Corpsegrinder," showed off a video of himself ranting about the Alliance, and throwing in common slurs against homosexuals. Blizzard is very sorry this happened.

In a mea-culpa letter to blog Gay Gamer, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime took full responsibility for the video showing (and everything else at Blizzcon), and basically said he was very, very sorry. I've re-posted the entire letter under the "Read More" tag.

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 Blizzcon comes but once a year, and of course Casey Schriener and The MMO Report would never miss it. This year we got the announcement of the next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria. This new installment will introduce a new continent, a new race, a new class, an overhaul of the talents system, and tons of other goodies. But Blizzcon isn't just about gaming news, it's about having fun with your fellow nerds. Check out The MMO Report's Blizzcon 2011 special to get all the info on Mists of Pandaria and see just how much fun Casey got to have on the show floor. See you next year!

The MMO Report: Blizzcon 2011 Special »

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G4 At BlizzCon 2011 October 21-22!

While everyone here at G4 had a very nice Blizzcon, enjoying very elaborate costumes, cool tournaments, concerts and the general good fellowship of fellow gamers at the show, a performance by "band" Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain and a video shown to close out Blizzcon 2011 had a decidedly different, sinister vibe.

The video shown toward the ending of the show is remarkable in its offensiveness and stupididy. In it, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, member of the band Cannibal Corpse as well as Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain, has some choice words for The Alliance, describing the World of Warcraft faction with dripping anger and slurs against homosexuals.

While the curses were bleeped at Blizzcon, the video still offended members of the Alliance, gay people, and anyone who has a functioning human brain. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a guy named "Corpsegrinder" is offensive and stupid, but still, click the cut for the entirely NSFW video.

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Feedback 101 is now in session! We have a special treat for you this week on Feedback. 343's Frank O'Connor stopped by to chat with us about Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Blair Herter, Jessica Chobot and Casey Schriener rounded out the rest of your expert panel.

The focus of this week's show was Blizzcon 2011. Casey was on the show floor and has the inside scoop on WoW: Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3 and more. Please turn to page 46 for more on Blizzcon.

But wait, there's more news! The Feedback team also talked about the latest additions to the 3DS and a new survey suggesting more people are buying DLC than last year.

Tune in next week for coverage on both Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3.

Feedback -- 343's Frank O'Connor Talks Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary And Blizzcon 2011 Coverage »

The AUDIO MP3 of this episode of FEEDBACK is available here: Right-click and Save.

You learned a lot didn't you. Why don't you share your experience with the class in the comment section.

Special shout out to Astro for those swanky headphones.

In honor of BlizzCon 2011, we invited some of the top cosplayers on earth to come in and show off their intricate, Blizzard-inspired costumes and props. These BlizzCon 2011 costumes were worn by the great Jo-Jo Chen (as Tyrael's Secret) and her pals. Jo-Jo met up with Lisa McKeever's geeky burlesque group Aspects of Awesome, and we were there to capture the magic on high-def video. Tyrande Whisperwind (Camille) and a Diablo 3 Monk (Christina, last year's costume contest winner) are just two of the lovely cosplayers presented.

Remember, this is an exhibition, not a competition; feel free to pick favorites, but please, no wagering.

The Costumes of BlizzCon 2011 With Jo-Jo & Friends »

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Mists of Pandaria Overview: What You Need To Know About The New World Of Warcraft Expansion

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expansion coming to the smash MMO hit World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment. As you may have guessed, the expansion focuses primarily around the long lost Pandaren race and their continent of Pandaria. At BlizzCon 2011, we got to learn everything you need to know about the new  WoW expansion.

First off, the beautiful, serene continent of Pandaria contains five colossal new zones across a single unified continent. Pandaria is influenced by Asian landscapes with jade forests and luscious locales. These areas will be very large but not allow flying until you hit the new max level of 90 in order to improve the core questing experience.

The expansion will also feature a new race: the Pandaren. Pandarens are a cute, cuddly panda-like race that inhabit the new world of Pandaria. They are also the first neutral race for World of Warcraft. By neutral, I mean that once they reach level 10 they can choose whether they want to permanently become a member of the Horde or the Alliance. Their racial traits are rather hilarious, granting them increased stats from consuming food, enhanced cooking skills, a rested experience bonus that is twice as long as other races, 50% less fall damage, and a cool Quaking Palm attack where you put enemies to sleep for 3 seconds.

Mists is also bringing a new class to World of Warcraft: the Monk! The Monk is intended as a melee martial-arts based class, and will start at level one as it is not a hero class like the Death Knight. The three different styles of Monks will be Brewmaster (tank), Mistweaver (healer), and Windwalker (melee DPS). Every race but goblins and worgens can be monks, and there are many monk-only animations.

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Diablo 3 Auction House and Gameplay Panel From Blizzcon

Diablo 3 has a lot of gameplay changes that different from the past games in the series, and plenty of changes that have been brought about by feedback they've been receiving from the beta. One of the best parts about Blizzcon is listening to the developers explain their games in great detail, often going into detail beyond what you'd ever see in a typical press release, or even be able to pick up in a gameplay session.

Here, directly from Jay Wilson and the development team comes a lot of gameplay details from Diablo 3.

How To Earn Achievements

  • Play-through Progression: The farther you play into the campaign, the more achievements you'll get.
  • Extreme Behavior: If you get a level 60 hardcore character, that's extreme. You get these for doing things that are tough in the game.
  • Absurd Shenanigans: There was a group of Germans who ran all the way through Diablo 2 without any armor. That's absurd. Beating a boss by punching it in the face and wielding no weapons is equally absurd.

Keep reading for more!

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Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swam - Campaign and Lore Facts You Need To Know

BlizzCon 2011 brought us the Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Campaign Story and Lore panel, providing us with plenty of news about the upcoming expansion to the popular RTS game. Chris Metzen: SVP, Story & Franchise Development was joined onstage by Matt Morris: Lead Level Designer, and Brian Kindregan: Lead Writer. They talked about things in both the lore of the game, and level design elements that will affect gameplay, so come check out the secrets!

We checked out Heart of the Swarm earlier this year, and some of these facts were in the writeup from our Blizzard campus visit. But, there's also plenty of new stuff in here, so swarm on in and check it out.

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The Cosplay Girls of BlizzCon 2011 Sizzle Video »

It's Blizzcon time again, people, and we're kicking off Blizzcon 2011 in grand style, with over 20 photo galleries of Blizzard cosplay. Ace cosplay mistress Jo-Jo Chen and Lisa McKeever's burlesque group Aspects of Awesome (with their pimp, Mario) gathered their costumed pals for a Blizzard cosplay costume party that will keep you happy for a long, long time. Think of it as an epic-drop of photo-loot. Check out the video above and the photo galleries of cosplayers below the "Read More" tag... more as they become available!

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Diablo 3 Collector's Edition Revealed -- Will Weigh 3,000 Ibs But Will Be Worth It

We didn't get a release date but we did get details about Diablo 3's Collector's Edition. If you buy this special edition you'll get an epic ton of loot. If you're a Diablo player, that's exactly what you want.

Here's what the Diablo 3's Collector's Edition comes with.

  • Exclusive artbook with the art of Diablo 3
  • Behind-the-scenes dvd and blu-ray two-dsic set
  • 4 GB Soulstone usb drive
  • Diablo's skull
  • Diablo 3 for PC/Mac
  • And more!

According to Blizzard's president Mike Morhaime speaking at Blizzcon, the Diablo 3 Collector's Edition is "going to weigh 3000 pounds but be worth it."

Are you going to buy it?

If you played Diablo 3's beta you're famillar with the character of Leah. She is the star of the dramatic cinematic video from that debuted at Blizzcon 2011 called "Black Soulstone." In it Leah, who is looking for her uncle, is greeted by a not-so friendly demon. Let's call him Diablo why don't we?

"You thought you were so clever. That you'd out wit us all. One by one our brotheren fell into your trap. but not me. I defy you. I know the black soulstone is the key and it shall be mine. 

Diablo 3 "Black Soulstone" Cinematic Trailer »

Key elements were taken out of this video to prevent any spoilers but from what I gather, that guy with the glowing eyes wants the black soulstone.

 Panderan Race Announced For World Of Warcarft Expansion Mists Of Pandaria

A new playable race will be added to the next WoW expansion Mists Of Pandaria: The Pandaren. This will be the first playable race since Cataclysm added Worgens and Goblins. Unlike previous expansions, this one adds only one playable race, the neutral Pandaren, meaning both Horde and Alliance can play as the adorable/deadly bears. This would be the first time a playable race would be accessible to both sides.

A new class has been added for the Pandaren: The Monk. You'll be able to unlock the secrets of martial arts as a damage dealer, healer, or tank.

World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria Announced

Moments ago at Blizzcon 2011, Blizzard announced the new expansion for World of Warcraft. It will be called World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and features new a continent, a new playable race, a new class and a higher level cap.

Christopher Vincent Metzen, Blizzard's senior VP of story and development, kicked off the announcement, describing Pandaria like this:  "If War is a storm on the horizon, this land is the calm before the storm. Set in a place lost in time for close to 10,000 years, a land of balance, harmony, balance and hope, that is until we arrive, with all of our hate, our violence and our unending factional conflict."

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