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Blizzcon 2009









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X-Play Fall Specials: BlizzCon Tonight at 6:30 PM!

This fall, X-Play takes you to the biggest gaming events in the world, and brings you exclusive, inside previews and information about the most highly-anticipated game titles before their release. We’re covering BlizzCon, Halo: ODST, Pax 2009, Modern Warfare 2, Tokyo Game Show 2009 and much more.

Don't miss any of X-Play's fall specials.  Next up is BlizzCon, which premieres tonight at 6:30PM ET. Get the scoop on the newest World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Starcraft 2 news straight from the source.

And then, make sure you stay with us through the fall, as X-Play brings the world of gaming home to you. Here's the schedule.

To get ready for tonight, check out G4tv.com's BlizzCon coverage here.









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X-Play Fall Specials: BlizzCon Friday, Sept. 4th @ 6:30 PM


This fall, X-Play takes you to the biggest gaming events in the world, and brings you exclusive, inside previews and information about the most highly-anticipated game titles before their release. We’re covering BlizzCon, Halo: ODST, Pax 2009, Modern Warfare 2, Tokyo Game Show 2009 and much more.

Don't miss any of X-Play's fall specials.  Next up is BlizzCon, which will premiere Friday, September 4th at 6:30PM ET. Get the scoop on the newest World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Starcraft 2 news straight from the source.

And then, make sure you stay with us through the fall, as X-Play brings the world of gaming home to you. Here's the schedule.

  • PAX 2009 - September 8 & 9
  • Halo: ODST - September 10
  • Brutal Legend - October 1
  • Tokyo Game Show 2009 - October 6, 7 & 8

In the meantime, check out G4tv.com's BlizzCon coverage here.

 

Earlier in the month I wrote about Razer (best known for its gaming mice) making a line of StarCraft II messenger bags. I got my hands on the first of these bags -- the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Ghost model, which was available at BlizzCon 2009. I previously wrote about the Zerg bag, which will be available to the public at a later date. For now, enjoy these photos of my excess (and awesome) baggage.

When you're done, leave a comment (please) and let me know what you think of the bag. Would you proudly wear it in public? Or is it too "gamer" for you? Personally, I'm thinking of flying to Seoul just to show the bag off -- the chicks at the Internet cafes will totally dig it.

Read More »

It's that time of year again. Yes, the late summer brings high temperatures, back-to-school sales, and the annual nerd pilgrimage to the Anaheim Convention Center for Blizzcon. This year the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, was revealed; which includes two new races, flying mounts, a world-wide event changing the landscapes for all of Azeroth, and a level-cap raise to 85. Yeah, it's that awesome. So let our guest correspondent Morgan Web get the answer you want direct from the source, and check out the spectacle that was Blizzcon 2009!

The MMO Report: Blizzcon 09 Special »



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  • News
    (1)
  • Previews
  • Review
  • Videos
    (2)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

X-Play Fall Specials: Gamescom

This fall, X-Play takes you to the biggest gaming events in the world, and brings you exclusive, inside previews and information about the most highly-anticipated game titles before their release. We’re covering BlizzCon, Halo: ODST, Pax 2009, Modern Warfare 2, Tokyo Game Show 2009 and much more.

Don't miss any of X-Play's fall specials.  It all gets started as X-Play presents Gamescom 2009, starting Monday, August 31st at 6:30PM. Catch a preview of Mass Effect 2, Castlevania, Star Wars: The Old Republic and a hands-on demo of Dirt 2.

And then, make sure you stay with us through the fall, as X-Play brings the world of gaming home to you. Here's the schedule.

  • BlizzCon - September 4
  • PAX 2009 - September 8 & 9
  • Halo: ODST - September 10
  • Brutal Legend - October 1
  • Tokyo Game Show 2009 - October 6, 7 & 8

In the meantime, check out G4tv.com's Gamescom coverage here.

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Battle.net 2.0 StarCraft II

Blizzard Entertainment formally announced its plans for Battle.net 2.0 at BlizzCon 2009 along with the features the company hopes to include at and after the release of StarCraft II, which will be the first game to run the updated service. The service will remain free and integrate with World of WarCraft and future Blizzard games.

The major features of note and their purposes:

  • A "Real ID" system, tying CD-keys to specific accounts. This is being done to prevent "smurfing" where skilled players create new accounts to play against less experienced players in the matchmaking system.
  • A tiered ladder system, with levels of play for multiple skill levels. Players will be placed into different tiers on the ladder after playing enough games for the system to determine his or her skill level. Ladder seasons will play out for each tier, making ladder play applicable for all players, not just for skilled gamers.
  • Custom game publishing and filtering. Want to play something other than Defense of the Ancients? StarCraft II will allow map makers to "publish" their maps to a database, giving them control over their work and allowing users to search and download maps without having to join games. Premium maps can be offered for a cost with some of the revenue going to the author(s).

The first two planned features are major for keeping players that would otherwise grow tired of losing online. Blizzard's Rob Pardo explained during the presentation of B.net 2.0 that the goal with the tier system is to give every player the chance at winning 50 percent of their games by matching them up with opponents of similar skill levels. Combined with the Real ID system to prevent smurfing, this should ensure that the competition is fair and yields worthwhile games for every player. WarCraft III's auto-matchmaking system was actually fairly good at finding matches, but was plagued by smurfing.

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Blizzard Discusses (Well, Teases) Its Plan For Returning To Consoles

Everyone wants Blizzard to make a console game. The studio hasn't touched consoles since StarCraft: Ghost was canned and despite off and on rumors that various platform holders were courting Blizzard to release a version of World of Warcraft, nothing's come of it. At BlizzCon 2009, however, Blizzard started deliberately hinting in interviews it's moving towards a console project.

"I can tell you that philosophically, the company is interested in consoles," said Battle.net project director Greg Canessa to Shacknews. "Many of us are console gamers. We all have Xbox Live gamertags, and we all play Xbox at home, and so we love Xbox. And we love Sony and other platforms as well. We have a great deal of respect for them."

Canessa said if Blizzard embarked on a console project, it wouldn't want to spend a bunch of time retooling a computer game -- it should naturally fit. The hot rumor around BlizzCon, perpetuated by Blizzard employees in interviews, was  Diablo III could make the jump onto a game pad. Another issue, Blizzard told Shacknews, is bringing the Battle.net experience onto consoles, too.

"How that would work, the details, I have no idea," said Canessa. "Couldn't tell you today. [pause] I actually do have an idea, but I can't talk about it. [laughs]"

Source


Blizzard Could Deliver Two Games In 2010, Not Necessarily Diablo III

After getting some hands-on time with Diablo III, including the recently revealed Monk class, I was able to sit down with game director Jay Wilson to talk about the Monk, itemization & player economies, and why you probably won’t be doing endless boss runs in the end game of Diablo III.

G4: In your vision for Diablo III, is the endgame going to be a lot like Diablo II, where players are doing Pindle runs and just repeating the same content over and over or will it explore a greater variety of content?

Jay Wilson, Diablo III Game Director: It’s definitely better if the players explore more of the game. It will be a lot more fun for them, but players will gravitate toward the route that is fastest for what they want. Even if that route makes them crazy… even if that route is not fun at all. It’s not their fault. It’s our fault as designers. It’s our job to make sure that the path of least resistance is also the path of most fun.

We do have specific systems planned for the late game and our goal for those systems is to make sure that players are experiencing as much of the content over again as possible.

The best example of where we feel we do this well in our other games, in World of WarCraft, is the quest system, which really gets you to move all over the world and do lots and lots of different things. The basic, core actions of the game are very repetitive. It’s not that they’re not fun, but the boredom with anything comes with repeating the same thing in the same way. If you could repeat the same thing in a different way it stays interesting a lot longer and that’s definitely going to be a goal for us.

Read the full interview for more on Diablo III.


You may think you know what to expect from Blizzard's recently announce expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, but until you read G4tv.com's Brian Leahy's first impressions of the game from the show floor at BlizzCon 2009, then you don't really know what you think you know. In this preview, Brian takes a look at two of the game's new races: the Horde’s Goblins and the Alliance’s Worgens, and what he found may surprise you.

"The racial abilities of the Goblins are also humorous, but useful. The first allows the player to launch themselves forward with a jetpack, jumping a long distance. I’m curious as to what areas in the current game will now be reachable with this racial ability. The second uses rockets to throw an instant direct-damage spell at a targeted enemy. The most useful racial for the end game might be the Goblin’s ability to call in a 'Pack Hobgoblin' giving the player access to his or her bank for one minute. If only there was one for Auction House access…"

What? You didn't think I'd give away the best bit in this post, did you? For the really good stuff, you'll have to check out Brian's full preview.

 

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Debut Trailer »


 

Blizzard’s eagerly awaited Diablo III gets more drool worthy every time it’s on display, a fact that our own Brian Leahy is all too familiar with, and sadly found out all over again during BlizzCon 2009. Mr. Leahy managed to grab some hands-on time with the game, and sends back this report, which features plenty of great details about the game's mechanics, presentation and design, as well as a solid introduction to the newly revealed Monk class.

“I quickly got a quest to eliminate a cult that had taken over a city and moved deeper into the desert through from the cliffs. Enemies swarmed from off-screen and on top of the cliffs and were quickly dispatched with my dual-wielded maces, one doing fire and the other doing cold damage. The first items dropped and I was hooked all over again.”

If you think that sounds cool, then you definitely need to check out Brian’s full preview here. If you don't think that sounds cool, then we can no longer be friends.

Diablo III BlizzCon 2009 Monk Gameplay Trailer »



If you've been under a Blizzard media blackout for some reason over the weekend, then you might of missed the awesome, new Diablo III Monk trailers that spawned out of BlizzCon 2009. Here they are below for the few of you left to see them.

If you like your dungeon crawling up close and personal, then the Monk might be for you. Hit the jump for the actual gameplay trailer.

Diablo III BlizzCon 2009 Monk Reveal Cinematic Trailer »


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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Debut Trailer »


 

After much rumor mongering, the latest World of Warcraft expansion pack is finally official. Titled Cataclysm, Blizzard is promising some pretty major changes to the World of Warcraft landscape. The once-defeated dragon Deathwing has risen from the ashes and wrecked destruction upon the world, fundamentally changing the environment gamers have come to known and love permanently.

Brian Leahy broke the news earlier today when it was announced at BlizzCon 2009, but Blizzard's press release has some more details on the new features in Cataclysm:

  • Two New Playable Races: Adventure as the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
  • Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 85 and earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to customize characters.
  • Classic Zones Remade: Quest to level 60 as you never have before. Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been reforged by the cataclysm and updated with new quests and content.
  • Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from a whole new perspective.
  • Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
  • New High-Level Content: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great sunken city of Vashj'ir beneath the sea, and enjoy even more high-level raid content than in previous expansions.
  • New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
  • Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
  • New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.

What features are you most excited about?

Battle.net 2.0 Features Detailed At BlizzCon 2009

Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo revealed the planned features for Battle.net 2.0, which will launch in 2010 with StarCraft II and be incorporated into World of WarCraft. The biggest change is the introduction of what Blizzard is calling "Real ID" that should eliminate "smurfing" accounts and ensure better matchmaking. Games will be tied to a specific account much like Steam or other digital distribution services. Battle.net 2.0 will be free, however.

Pardo believes that the new matchmaking system is more powerful than Microsoft's TrueSkill and when paired with Real ID, it should help players of all skill levels get into games that they have a chance to win. On this point, the ladder system has been improved to take player skill into account. After a player completes around 10 games, they will be placed into a skill tier. Within each skill tier, the player is matched up with 99 other players in 100 player divisions. The focus of the season is on competing with these 99 other players with tournaments taking place at the end of each season between division leaders.

As a dashboard, Battle.net 2.0 is always on and will allow for cross-game/cross-realm chat and players will be able to see which friends are online while in singleplayer. There aren't any groundbreaking features here, but it brings Battle.net up to Steam's level and will help World of WarCraft players transition into StarCraft II.

StarCraft II will also support a Marketplace, which will not be available at launch, but added later. This is where custom map makers can offer up their maps for free or for a small fee, taking in part of the revenue. Pardo compared it to Apple's iPhone App Store. Custom maps can also be published to the server so players can see what is available, comment and rate them, and download them without having to join games. Custom games can also be filtered so you can find custom maps that aren't DotA.

Battle.net 2.0 Image Gallery...


The world of Azeroth is shaken to it's very core as Blizzard debuts the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm trailer in all it's glory. Catch all the new features and gameplay additions all packed in premium Blizzard fashion.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Debut Trailer »


 

StarCraft II Logo

After the opening ceremony at BlizzCon 2009, CEO Mike Morhaime announced that the StarCraft II beta should start this year when questioned about the test.

The beta hinges on the launch of the new Battle.net, which is set to be revealed later today at BlizzCon.

Whether or not the beta will hit this year is anybody's guess, but the fact that Blizzard is showing off B.net 2.0 today is promising.

 

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