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Filed under: BlizzCon

StarCraft II world championships to be held in Anaheim Convention Center Arena

BlizzCon is expanding into new territory this year. While the StarCraft II tournaments have historically taken place in the convention hall, the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals will now be held in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. All BlizzCon ticket holders will have access to the tournament, but Blizzard will also be selling approximately 1,000 additional tickets for the finals at a price of $25 each (plus a $2.37 service fee). Note: those additional tickets do not grant access to BlizzCon, but only the Loge and Terrace balcony sections of the Arena.

The tickets will go on sale via Eventbrite beginning October 7. If you're interested, we highly recommend Blizzard's event FAQ which includes additional details about ticketing.

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2014 in-game goodies sneak peek

Last week, we had our first glimpse at Grommloc, the BlizzCon 2014 in-game pet. Today, Blizzard has revealed the remaining in-game rewards.
  • Hearthstone Blizzard Entertainment-themed card back. The design incorporates elements from the compass inlaid around the infamous orc statue.
  • StarCraft II New portraits and a Heroes of the Storm-themed decal. One portrait depicts Hierarch Artanis. The other is yet to be unveiled.
  • Diablo III Warlords of Draenor-themed weapon transmogrifications. Each class will receive its own weapon, but only the demon hunter, barbarian, and monk are displayed. Kargath's bladefist and Blackhand's hammer are easily recognizable in the image. Only available for Windows/Mac version of the game.
  • Heroes of the Storm Nexus Mount and Nexus Brawler portrait
The official BlizzCon site has a more detailed image of each than you see in the header above. It being BlizzCon and all, we can't help but wildly speculate a little: given the protoss theme of the StarCraft portrait, and the fact that one of the portraits is still veiled in mystery, could we finally see a Legacy of the Void announcement? Nearly three years passed between the launch of Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. Half of that time has passed since Heart of the Swarm's release, which would make this pretty good timing for an announcement -- though certainly not a release date.

Filed under: BlizzCon

All hail Grommloc

If you were wondering what the BlizzCon 2014 pet was going to be, wonder no more, for it is Grommloc, the mightiest of murlocs. Announced via the official World of Warcraft twitter, this little guy will be available for those of us who get to attend BlizzCon this year, as well as those of us who purchase the Virtual Ticket. Personally, I find his little Gorehowl so freaking cute I can't damn well stand it. I hope he yells We will never mrrghlgrlrble slaves at some point, I really do.

Oh, man, we need a lil' Pit Lord pet now for Grommloc to whack with his axe. Tiny murloc Mannoroth! You have to make this happen, Blizz.

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon and the expansion after Warlords

The Queue has received a number of questions about expansion timing, and while we have no answers, it is a situation we find interesting. Warlords of Draenor launches the week after BlizzCon 2014. In recent months, Blizzard has been reiterating their goal of releasing the next expansion more quickly. More specifically, Tom Chilton has mentioned in recent interviews that Warlords of Draenor may have only two total raid tiers, with the next expansion landing a year or a year-and-a-half after Warlords. For the sake of discussion, let's assume Blizzard will actually accomplish their timeline goals in this development cycle.

If Warlords does have two raid tiers that last six months each, the next expansion releasing one year after Warlords, could we be in for a surprise at this year's BlizzCon? Announcing the expansion to follow Warlords before it has even launched doesn't make much sense -- marketing wouldn't want to undercut themselves. It simply wouldn't make sense to hype the next-next big thing before the next big thing has even hit the shelves. If BlizzCon 2014 did not announce an expansion on this timeline, however, when would it be announced?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

BlizzCon tickets beginning to arrive by email

If you were one of the lucky few to snag a ticket to this year's BlizzCon, you should keep an eye on your mailbox because tickets are being sent out. (If you weren't one of the lucky few, you can still pick up a virtual ticket, though!) This year's ticketing process looks to be much like last year's: you'll need to print out your ticket and have it and a photo ID in order to get your badge. Badge pick-up is at the Anaheim Convention Center -- and if you show up on Thursday, the line shouldn't be hard to spot. Pick-up hours are Thursday, November 6 from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, from 8 am to 10 pm.

You'll also get a code to claim your virtual goodies this year, but Blizzard says nothing is available until a rather generic "later date."

See you at BlizzCon, everyone!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon Virtual Ticket on sale now

BlizzCon is only a couple of months away and the Virtual Ticket is now available for purchase. The price of the virtual pass is $39.99 and grants access to a livestream of the developer panels, exclusive interviews, live contests hosted by Chris Hardwick, the closing ceremony, and various in-game items. Additionally, you'll be able to participate in the limited-time BlizzCon merchandise sale on the Blizzard store, most of which is generally only available at the convention itself.

You can acquire your virtual pass via the Blizzard Store. If you have any questions, refer to the virtual pass FAQ on Battle.net.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Five days to qualify for the North American Arena Tournament

Arena PvP
The deadline is fast approaching for those PvP enthusiasts who wish to take part in the North American Arena Tournament. This competition will determine who goes on to represent North America in the WoW Arena World Championship at BlizzCon 2014. To qualify, teams must have an individual 3v3 Arena rating of at least 2,500 on the live realms by 10:00 am PDT on Monday, August 25th. The tournament itself will use a double-elimination format to determine the top three teams from North America, who will then move on to the competition at BlizzCon. The total purse for this year's event is an impressive US$250,000, with a winners' share of US$120,000. Not bad at all! Good luck to all those who are working to qualify!

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon

The 2014 North American WoW arena tournament

Arena qualifying tree
BlizzCon 2014 is on the horizon, getting steadily closer every day, and thus so is the 2014 World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championship. If you're a player on the North American servers--which include North America, Oceania, parts of Southeast Asia, and South America--your chance to qualify for the tournament is coming up in the next few weeks. In order to be eligible for the North American Arena Tournament your 3v3 team must have a minimum rating of 2500 by August 25, 2014. The tournament will be a double-elimination with teams competing in a best of five match format. At the end of the tournament, the top three teams from North America will be invited to BlizzCon to compete against five additional teams from around the world for the championship title.

Think you have what it takes to compete at BlizzCon for a piece of the $250,000 purse? Time to get your teams ready and push for that 2500 rating by August 25th. Good luck to all the competitors!

Filed under: Events, PvP, BlizzCon

Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?

Okay, I'm sure with a headline like "Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?" you're already thinking this is it. Rossi has finally snapped. But hear me out for a second. We've had BlizzCons since 2005, before The Burning Crusade was even released. While they haven't happened every year (there was no BlizzCon 2006 and no BlizzCon 2012) it's been fairly regular since its introduction. Last year, Warlords of Draenor was previewed at BlizzCon 2013 - for many of us it's the source of pretty much every opinion we have on the expansion.

That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.

But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Warlords of Draenor

The BlizzCon Meeting Stone is no more

Last year's BlizzCon introduced a real-world version of the Meeting Stone to provide a central place on the show floor to arrange meetups and find your friends. But while basking in the presence of a giant, Meeting Stone was pretty fantastic, the dark, noisy convention floor wasn't a great place to have conversations. This year, Blizzard is nixing the Meeting Stone idea altogether and encouraging attendees to set up their own meetups when and where they like.

On one hand, you're freed from the tyranny of organized meetups... but on the other hand, this year's BlizzCon won't have any central meeting space to find your friends. You'll still be able to find members of the community team at the Community Booth and you can arrange your own meetups (if you're into that kind of thing) on the BlizzCon Meet-up forum.

But the worst part of this news is that the Meeting Stone itself isn't slated to be on the show floor. How are we ever going to summon everyone without it?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2014 Talent Contest now open for submissions

The sign-up page for the BlizzCon 2014 Talent Contest is now open and taking entries. For the Talent Contest, entries should be a 2-minute video of a Blizzard-themed performance. This year, Blizzard has obtained the rights to several different songs that can be used during the performances, either as a backing track, or even as a Blizzard-themed derivative version -- in other words, parody tracks using the approved songs are completely fine. The full list is available on the official announcement post.

Semi-Finalists in the Talent Contest will receive $500. Four Finalist acts will be chosen and provided with airfare, tickets and hotel accommodations to BlizzCon 2014, where they will perform their acts for the judges, who will then decide the winners. The Fourth Place winner will receive $800, Third Place will receive $1,250, Second Place will receive $2,000, and First Place will receive a whopping $3,000. But if you want to throw your hat in the ring, you better get moving -- all entries must be received by 11:59PM PDT on August 5.

As a reminder, those looking to enter the Blizzcon 2014 Art and Movie contests only have a few days left to enter -- submissions will be closed on July 7. Good luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Contests, BlizzCon

BlizzCon costume contest sign-ups open

It's official, BlizzCon 2014's costume contest has opened up its sign-ups. Just like the earlier opening of sign-ups for the Art and Movie contests, there are some interesting prizes here - the top prize is $3500, or $2500 and a 'tribute' in an upcoming Blizzard product. What does that mean?

A tribute could include taking the form of having an NPC, weapon, etc. named after the first place winner.


In addition to that there's $2250 for second place finish, $1500 for third place, $1000 for fourth, and a $250 for secondary winners. Considering how much time and effort people put into their costumes, it's nice to see the possibility of a few people at least getting a little compensation for that. If you're interested in entering this year, head to the official site now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon, Arts and Crafts

BlizzCon 2014 Art and Movie contest submissions now open

If you're an artist or a movie maker with a penchant for all things Blizzard, now's your chance to show off your talents and win some prizes. The Art and Movie contests for BlizzCon 2014 are now officially taking submissions, and there's a sweet list of prizes to be had. For the BlizzCon Movie Contest, third place will receive $850, second place will receive $1,300, and first place will receive $2,000 and an Oswald Statue. Prizes for the BlizzCon Art Contest are $700 for third place, $1,000 for second place, and $1,500 to the first place winner ... but that's not all. Each winner for both the Art and Movie contests will also receive either a ticket to BlizzCon 2014, or an additional $175 cash.

Keep in mind that the submissions for these contests don't necessarily have to be Warcraft related -- you can take your inspiration for your artwork or film from any of the Blizzard franchises. But if you want to enter, you might want to get a move on -- the deadline for submissions is 11:59PM PST on July 7. For more information, official rules, and submission guidelines, head to the official site.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

How to update your BlizzCon badge information

June 6th is the last day you'll be able to change the name attached to any BlizzCon tickets you've bought -- which is important, because the name on the badge needs to match the photo ID of whoever picks it up. So if you've bought tickets for guildmates or friends, but haven't updated your information, it's important to do so before it's too late. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple:
  1. Log on to Eventbrite. (If you didn't already have an Eventbrite account, it should have been created for you during checkout. Just log on using the email address you used to buy the tickets.)
  2. Select BlizzCon under Current Orders at the top of the page. (If you regularly buy tickets through Eventbrite, you may need to click All Orders to see BlizzCon on the list.)
  3. If the information listed isn't correct, click Edit details and then enter the correct information. Each attendee needs a first name, last name, and email address listed.
  4. Click Save -- you're done!
Nearer to the show, each attendee will get an email with a barcode they'll have to bring to BlizzCon to pick up their ticket -- so be sure to print out your barcode and have a photo ID!

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon Benefit Dinner tickets on sale tomorrow

If you've missed getting BlizzCon tickets so far, you've got one last chance: on Wednesday at 7PM Pacific tickets to this year's Benefit Dinner will go on sale. Though they're pricer than the usual ticket -- $750 each -- these get you into BlizzCon as well as a pre-BlizzCon dinner with Blizzard staff and developers. While this isn't the budget-buyer's way to BlizzCon, these tickets do benefit Blizzard's favorite charity, the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

So if you want to lend a helping hand for the kids at CHOC -- and get to enjoy BlizzCon -- head over to the Eventbrite tickets page tomorrow at 7PM sharp. Good luck, ticket-buyers!

Filed under: BlizzCon

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