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Posts with tag blizzard-entertainment

Heroes of the Storm Developer Q&A highlights

Yesterday, Senior Community Development Manager Kevin Johnson sat down with Game Director Dustin Browder and Senior 3D artist Phil Gonzales to answer the community's questions on Blizzard's upcoming Hero Brawler. They covered several key topics, and provided some nuggets of new information. If you'd like to watch the interview in full, you can check out the video on WoW Insider.

But let's go through and summarize the key points they covered. This isn't in the order it happened in the video, because it seemed more logical to categorize it by topic.

Overall Design and Philosophy
  • It is going to be free-to-play!
  • Beta is not ready yet, they're working to get it out as soon as they can. There isn't an exact date yet. Internal testing is ongoing.
  • One of the biggest defining qualities for Heroes is the importance of the different maps. This is something that separates it from other MOBAs, you'll want to take different heroes and different strategies and so on. Also, there's heroes with extensive lore behind them, that's a hugely important element, and they aren't afraid to challenge any aspect of the design to make it fun.

Read more →

Filed under: Heroes of the Storm

Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational first rounds online

The Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitational was a rousing success at BlizzCon 2013, and now you can view the first-round videos online. Hearthstone's official Youtube channel has just posted videos of all four of the first rounds of the Innkeeper's Invitational -- the semi-finals and finals are of course still available on BlizzCon's official website, or over at Twitch, for those interested in seeing the tournament from beginning to end.

The first four matches feature Day[9] vs. Reckful, Hafu vs. Kripparrian, Trump vs. Husky, and Noxious vs. Artosis. Hearthstone may not be out just yet, but even in beta, the game has managed to capture the attention and devotion of those in the beta. With open beta not too far away, hopefully the enthusiasm for this entertaining little card game will continue -- and hopefully we'll see a second Innkeeper's Invitational at the next BlizzCon. For coverage of all of the first-round games, visit Hearthstone's official Youtube channel -- and if you'd like more information on the players involved, you can check out the cards each player was packing for the tournament on Hearthstone's official blog.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Happy birthday to WoW

Old Ragnaros
As Anne pointed out in today's Queue, we are wishing the inimitable Chris Metzen a happy birthday today, and it's a pleasant coincidence that Blizzard is also wishing WoW its official happy birthday today, as well. Nine years is a long time for any one game to be going strong--though, of course, we could probably argue that WoW isn't a single mere game, it's a conglomeration of all its marvelous patches, expansions, tweaks, and adjustments from over the years.

Blizzard's official happy birthday announcement focuses on the strength of the WoW community, and I feel that whether or not you're entirely pleased with the direction the game is taking at the moment, the WoW community is definitely something that inspires and humbles. We're all just people, and we're not always perfect, but over the last nine years WoW has certainly had an enormous impact on the lives of its many players, myself included. World of Warcraft has catalyzed a complete transformation of my career and has formed the initial glue for some of the most cherished friendships of my life. Earlier this year I was at the wedding of two of my best friends, who met each other through WoW. What an amazing gift this game has been to my life, and to the lives of many others. Thank you Blizzard, from the bottom of my heart, and happy birthday, World of Warcraft.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard to make appearance at DreamHack Winter 2013

Blizzard Entertainment will be making an appearance at DreamHack Winter 2013 in Jönköping, Sweden -- and it's just been announced that Warlords of Draenor will as well. DreamHack is the world's largest digital festival and holds the official world record as the world's largest LAN party, promising an exciting time for Europeans attending the event and also an opportunity to play and see Warlords of Draenor, the new WoW expansion, firsthand. Along with Warlords, those attending will also be able to play both Hearthstone and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

In addition, Blizzard will have several Hearthstone-themed contests for those attending, including a sound-a-like contest, a card-crafting contest, and a contest that will have players finding clues and building decks out of seven secret cards in order to challenge the Hearthstone crew. If that weren't enough, the European Community team will be on-hand to say hello, chat, mingle, and maybe even settle down to play some Diablo III.

If you missed out on BlizzCon, this is the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse and some hands-on-time with the next expansion. DreamHack Winter 2013 takes place November 28 - December 1, 2013. For more information on the festival, as well as tickets and scheduling, be sure to check out DreamHack's official site.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest making a return

Are you a college or university art student with a passion for World of Warcraft? Good news -- the Blizzard Student Art Contest is about to make a return. Blizzard Entertainment's university relations team, along with the World of Warcraft development team, are looking for original artwork or animations that would work within the World of Warcraft universe. The contest itself doesn't officially begin until December, but hopeful artists may want to begin work on their projects now, just to make sure you've got plenty of time to submit your absolute best work.

This year, Blizzard has upped the ante and added new categories to the contest. Artists can create Environment Art, Character Art, Weapon Art, or Animation -- either a battle scene or flavor animation. Check out the winners from the previous two years for inspiration if you'd like -- and take a look at our interview with one of the previoius winners, Peter K. Lee, whose Darkmoon Carousel design actually made it into the game! Winners of the contest will get some amazing prizes, including a three-month mentorship by a member of the World of Warcraft art team, a one year game subscription, and more. Check out the official announcement page for more information, and for updates on the contest as it becomes available, join the official Blizzard Careers group on LinkedIn. Good luck to all who enter!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

New Christie Golden novel on the way

Amidst all the BlizzCon excitement yesterday, author Christie Golden decided to drop an interesting bit of information on Twitter -- she's working on a new novel. Not just any novel, but a WoW novel that ties in with the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Obviously no title or plot information has been released, but since Golden has written several novels with expansion lead-in titles, it stands to reason this novel will hopefully form some kind of bridge between Mists and Warlords.

With titles like Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde, The Shattering, and Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects under her belt, Golden is also incredibly familiar with the history of the orcish race. While we don't know how much this novel will feature any of the key players in Warlords, it's safe to say that this is going to be a pretty amazing read. Hopefully we'll see more information regarding this mysterious new title soon.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Blizzard announces 2013 Pumpkin Carving Contest winners

Blizzard announces 2013 Pumpkin Contest winners
The winners from this year's Pumpkin Carving Contest have been chosen and announced! Five winners were chosen to receive a copy of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. In addition, another twenty pumpkins were chosen as Honorable Mentions and displayed on the site for all to see. The winners this year include a couple of stunning Diablo III entries as well as some World of Warcraft entries, including the gorgeous cloud serpent pumpkin we mentioned yesterday.

All pumpkins are available for viewing on the official announcement of winners. Included among the honorable mentions are a pretty stunning version of the Ashes of A'lar, a gorgeous portrait of Sylvanas, an incredibly detailed picture of Diablo, and many more. Check out the gallery for some pretty awe-inspiring examples of pumpkin carving expertise, and congratulations to all the winners!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

BlizzCon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone

Blizzcon 2013 schedule app now available for Android, iPhone
Wondering how to keep all of the events and panels at Blizzcon 2013 straight? Or just how to get around that incredibly large convention center? There's an app for that -- the BlizzCon schedule app, first released for BlizzCon 2011, has been updated for this year's festivities. Both the iPhone and Android versions have received snazzy new updates with an all new map of the convention center as well as this year's schedule of events and panels.

But that's not all! This year's update has also added new features and social media integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so you can share your experience as you experience it. In addition, the mobile app will also have access to all the free BlizzCon video streams, so you can watch all the action, even if you're not present for it in person. And the best part? The app is completely free. The app for BlizzCon 2011 was tremendously handy to have while wandering the convention center -- if you're attending BlizzCon 2013, I highly recommend picking up the updated version for easy access to maps and schedules while you're on the go.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
Have you ever heard of Blackthorne? Originally released in 1994 for the SNES, this classic platformer was the one of the first titles to be released under the name Blizzard Entertainment. And now, it appears as though the game can be had for free. Head to your Battle.net account, and hit the Download Game Clients page, under the Games & Codes tab. At the bottom is a new section titled Classic Games, and Blackthorne can be downloaded for Windows absolutely free.

So what is Blackthorne? Long ago on the planet Tuul, the people of the world were divided into two kingdoms -- the good Androth, and the not-so-good Ka'dra'suul. To make a long story short, the Ka'dra'suul were eventually transformed into monsters, and one of them decided to seize power and try to take over Androth. Enter Kyle -- the son of King Vlaros, ruler of Androth. King Vlaros decides to send Kyle to Earth in order to save his life. Twenty years later, Kyle is all grown up, a military mercenary, and discovers his unusual heritage through a series of strange dreams.

Blizzard classic Blackthorne now available for free download
And then Kyle happily returns to Tuul to kick some butt and save his people while working his way through a series of typical platform levels and puzzles and blowing away his enemies with a giant pump-action shotgun. Look, it may not be the most elegant of stories, but it was a really fun SNES title back in the day. The free download version has not been updated, and lives on in its raw pixel and MIDI glory, just in time for a bit of Halloween nostalgia. If you've ever wanted to get your hands on this title, go grab the free download and immerse yourself in the 90's for a few hours. I'll be over here, playing my childhood and keeping an eye out just in case Lost Vikings happens to pop up, too.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Mists of Pandaria on sale for $19.99 at Amazon, Gamestop

Get Mists of Pandaria on sale for $1999
Could you use a second copy of Mists of Pandaria? Do you know a friend who can? Right now, the latest World of Warcraft expansion is on sale at both Amazon and Gamestop for $19.99 -- not a bad price at all for the newest iteration of the game. And if you pick up the latest version of World of Warcraft on the Blizzard Store, the $20 program now includes the Cataclysm expansion. That nets you all expansions for $40, which is a pretty good deal as far as holiday gifts for gamer friends go.

Speaking of which, this is also a really opportune and inexpensive way to get yourself set up for the newly revamped Recruit-A-Friend program that should be starting at some point hopefully in the near future. Remember, the new system will be rewarding tokens that can be traded in for a variety of different rewards, so it might just be worth snapping up the game now while it's still on sale. You can head to either Amazon or Gamestop to pick up your copy.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard announces 2013 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

Blizzard announces 2013 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest
Are you handy with the tools necessary to create a magical masterpiece of pumpkin art? Blizzard has just announced its annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest for 2013. Aspiring entrants need only carve a Blizzard-themed pumpkin from any of its licenses, including Warcraft, Diablo, or StarCraft, and then take a photo of said pumpkin to submit for entry. Pumpkins must be lit up by a candle or other light source, although you can also submit a photo of the unlit pumpkin if you wish.

Five winners will be chosen from all entries, and the winners will each receive a copy of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, the latest in Diablo lore compendiums. If you're not sure on just what kind of cool design to carve, you can always check out last year's winners for inspiration. Head to Blizzard's official contest page to submit your entry -- you have until October 29 to get it sent in. For more information, take a look at Blizzard's official rules for the contest. Good luck to all who enter -- I wonder if we'll see any Hearthstone-related entries!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Contests

Recruit-A-Friend updates on the way

RecruitAFriend updates on the way
Updates to the Recruit-A-Friend system are coming at some point in the future, and perhaps sooner than we'd expected. According to an announcement on the official blog, as of today the Recruit-A-Friend program has been temporarily shut down while Blizzard works on updating the program with new features and new rewards. At this point in time, there's no time frame for when the program will return other than somewhere in the future.

Those players that are currently linked via the Recruit-A-Friend system can rest easy -- although the ability to sign up for the program is temporarily unavailable, players that are currently using the program will be unaffected, and any rewards that have not been claimed will still be available when Recruit-A-Friend goes live again. As an additional note, the official announcement suggested that players participating in the upcoming program will have more rewards available to them.

The exact details on this tantalizing bit of information have yet to be released, but this is likely referencing the points made in the patch 5.4 Developer Round Table released last week. Along with multiple rewards, the new system will be accessible via in game interface, and reward a token instead of a mount. The token can then be redeemed for a variety of different rewards, and those reward might possibly include retired Recruit-A-Friend mounts as well, although that hasn't yet been confirmed. For now, we'll have to wait and see what the new system entails, and exactly when implementation will take place.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft Tribute by UDON now available

World of Warcraft Tribute by UDON now available
World of Warcraft Tribute, a 224-page monster of an art book by Blizzard Entertainment and UDON is now available for purchase. The book showcases Warcraft art by both Blizzard artists and Warcraft fans alike, featuring pieces by Samwise Didier and Arnold Tsang as well as a ton of other notable fan artists -- you may recall Blizzard's call for fan submissions earlier this year. Over 200 illustrations are featured in the deluxe softcover edition, all paying homage to World of Warcraft through gorgeous illustrations depicting some of the most notable characters and places in Azeroth.

You can order your copy of this gorgeous book on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble for $32.30 USD -- it would also make a great holiday gift for Warcraft fans as well. In addition, Blizzard has made new desktop wallpapers from several of the illustrations available for free on the website -- don't forget to check those out as well!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

The BlizzCon Artists' Stage wants your questions!

The BlizzCon Artists Stage wants your questions!
The Artists' Stage will once again be making a showing at BlizzCon, featuring presentations and live demonstrations by many of Blizzard's master artists throughout both days of BlizzCon. This year, they are looking for your questions for the artists and participants featured on stage. Those of you interested in quizzing Blizzard's artists can submit your questions on the official BlizzCon forums.

In addition to the request for questions, Blizzard has released a full schedule of events for the Artists' Stage. And for those that have found the Burdens of Shaohao miniseries a delight, Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson, Senior Art Editor Doug Gregory and Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin will be hosting The Making of The Burdens of Shaohao Friday evening at 6pm. For the full list of powerhouse artists that will be making appearances at the Artists' Stage, as well as the event schedule, check out the official BlizzCon website -- and don't forget to submit your questions while you're there!


Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Possible Blizzard trademark: "Heroes of the Storm"

Possible Blizzard trademark Heroes of the Storm
A potential new trademark for Blizzard Entertainment has been filed in New Zealand, according to posters over at MMO-Champion. The trademark, Heroes of the Storm, is currently listed as being under examination on the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand's official website. This means that the trademark has not been officially filed as of yet -- and given the back and forth about the legitimacy of the supposed trademark filed for "The Dark Below" that turned out to be a hoax, one should probably keep that in mind when discussing the possible legitimacy of this trademark.

However, the trademark is filed for computer game software, and we still haven't heard a peep as to just what the next expansion is going to be. Does Heroes of the Storm sound like the next Warcraft project? Or perhaps an upcoming expansion card set for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft? It certainly doesn't sound like a title for anything Diablo or StarCraft related, and Wrathion's made his fair share of references to fire raining from the sky, which sounds pretty stormy to me. While we don't have a definitive on whether or not this trademark will be approved and filed, it definitely gives us some more food for thought.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

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