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Posts with tag blizzcon-2011

Breakfast Topic: Do you like a little sci-fi in your fantasy?

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There were things about Burning Crusade that I really, really loved. Shattered planets in the sky, and ethereals running around ... it was not the same old fantasy thing. But as we talked to the community, certainly a lot of folks around the office were just like "I don't know man, I just wanna have gnolls and kobolds and run around in a pretty forest -- that's what fantasy is to me." -- Chris Metzen, BlizzCon 2011 Lore and Story Q&A
I have read a metric ton of books in my lifetime -- I've always been a reader. When I was in elementary school, I started out with the classics, books that were on various best of all time lists. When I got to middle school, that's when I really started to home in on sci-fi and fantasy books. There was always something incredibly intriguing about science fiction, and fantasy was just a fantastic romp into things that by all rights simply don't exist and never will.

But my favorite books were the ones that managed to seamlessly blend that fantasy feel with the futuristic feel of science fiction. It's not easy to take those two concepts and mesh them together, but I always loved finding an author who could pull it off. When Blizzard announced The Burning Crusade, I had no idea really what an expansion was -- when I learned it was a continuation of the story, I was delighted. When I discovered it was going to take place on another planet, I was intrigued. And the more I heard about The Burning Crusade, the more excited I was, because it seemed like this fantasy-grounded Warcraft universe I'd so fallen in love with was making that jump to the mesh of sci-fi and fantasy that I adore.

The Burning Crusade still ranks as my favorite expansion largely for that reason. I loved the gorgeously alien world and bizarre technology and how it clicked in with what Warcraft was all about. So I was a little disappointed at Chris Metzen's statement during the Lore and Story Q&A at BlizzCon last year, and I wondered just how many people have a defined version of what fantasy is? What science fiction is? How many love seeing the two collide like I do?

So I'm throwing the question out to you guys: Do you like a little sci-fi in your fantasy? Does the thought of axe-wielding barbarians fighting epic battles in space appeal? Or do you prefer your fantasy and science fiction separate, your Warcraft alien-free?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Bashiok on BlizzCon: "It makes sense to focus our efforts"

In case you hadn't already heard, there won't be a BlizzCon 2012. While I personally have never gone, many of the staffers here have and are sad pandas that they won't get to this year, as I gather are a lot of you as well. Our friend Bashiok answered a forum thread on the news with the reasoning behind it.

Bashiok - No Blizzcon
Yeah it's a bit disappointing because we all really do enjoy being able to 'open the doors' so to speak. But, it is an enormous effort by all employees, including our game designers and artists, not to mention customer support and quality assurance, PR, our business departments, and *hot breath on fingernails & shirt rub* Community & eSports to make a BlizzCon happen. In a year when we're working to release multiple titles (knock on wood) it makes sense to focus our efforts. Also with multiple game releases we just wonder if we'd be at a point with any of them where we'd have anything really big or new or cool to talk about.

We didn't have a BlizzCon in 2006 either, and at that time we were really strong on the idea that BlizzCon isn't really supposed to be and doesn't have to be an annual event. Of course then we have it for five straight years in a row... which obviously built some expectation.

Personally I always enjoy seeing the excitement, the rushing crowds, hearing the clicking of mice on the demo stations, and waiting in agony as the seconds countdown to an announcement and then the waves of emotion from the crowd that follow it. But thinking about our year and what we're trying to get done already without a BlizzCon, and having to think pretty hard about what we'd have to announce or demo, it just makes sense to me not to have one.

Here's to the Battle.net World Championship, it's going to be awesome, and to a bigger and better BlizzCon in 2013.


So there you have it. With multiple titles aimed for release this year, not only would it be a lot of work to also run a convention, but then the convention wouldn't have much to show, since all the titles would have been released beforehand. While this is sad news, it does definitely make me think we're going to be running around Pandaria (and freeing Sanctuary, and dealing with the Zerg) well before the middle of this year.

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

StarCraft vs. Warcraft: What is the WoW community missing?

For the past year or so, I've been living a double life. To some, I am a skilled and tenacious night elf priestess, adventuring through Azeroth at the charge of the Holy Light, healing the injured and saving the incompetent. To others, however, I am but a lowly brood mother, commanding a swarming, parasitic army with occasional success against my enemies across the Koprulu sector. Don't follow me? Basically, I've just been playing a lot of StarCraft 2 whenever I'm not raiding.

Still, being heavily invested in WoW and StarCraft has really felt like living two lives at times, especially when you consider how dramatically different they both are. And I'm not talking about the gameplay; obviously one would expect an MMORPG and an RTS to be incomparable. What I mean is that that the culture and community that surrounds these two games are distinctively different, despite the fact that the games share some of their playerbase with one another. You'd think that one game community would be pretty similar to the next, but they're not.

The whole thing has left me with a lot of questions to turn over in my mind. Is it possible that the WoW and StarCraft communities could learn from the other? Seven years in, is it even possible for the WoW community to change in any significant way at this point? And if so, is there something missing in the WoW community? To explore the idea further, I started making a list of all the things I thought the StarCraft community had that the WoW community was lacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: BlizzCon cause and effect for death knights in patch 4.3

darkmoon arena
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

So the past few weeks have actually been pretty exciting for death knights. We saw a lot of new info come out of BlizzCon, including getting a couple long-standing questions answered with new updates to the patch 4.3 PTR. Today, we'll cover the basics of what we discussed with the devs at BlizzCon and see what fruit those discussions have borne on the PTR itself.

Bloody questions

One of the first questions asked at the Class Q&A on BlizzCon 2011 day two was more of a laundry list of blood death knight grievances, such as our issues with spike damage and with avoidance working against mastery. While we have gotten a good bit of dev love on the forums on these beefs, it was actually pretty nice to see it answered candidly on stage, if only to see a dev give an on-the-spot, straight-up answer.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Win a Mega Bloks Thrall figure from WoW Insider

Visitors to BlizzCon 2011 got an exclusive lil' Thrall figure courtesy of Mega Bloks, and if you didn't make it to the con, then you might not ever get this particular mini-World-Shaman -- that is, of course, unless you get one from WoW Insider! We happen to have five Thrall figures to give away to lucky readers. For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on this post by Friday, Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

There are a few rules, of course! You can only enter once, and make sure you have a valid email address attached to your profile, since that's how we'll get hold of you if you win. Only legal residents of the 50 United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) can enter, and you have to be 18 years of age or older. See the complete official rules for details.

Filed under: Contests, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: Grandpappy Frostheim & the Mad Elf

This video was Frostheim's entry into the BlizzCon 2011 machinima contest; it's the story of Grandpappy Frostheim & The Mad Elf. It was created using some epic footage from WHU's guild events and the dialogue even includes the vocal talents of WoW Insider favorite, Michele Morrow.

While this parable boils down to a single lesson, allow me to assure you that lesson is very real. Don't touch a Dwarf's beer. With Pandaren brewmasters soon to join the world of Azeroth, I expect Dwarves will welcome their hop-soaked brethren into the strictures of beer love. Put the two halves together and a properly fermented beverage will soar to new heights of sacredness. So mind what Frostheim tells you, or the might of the Dwarven armies might soon be on your own doorstep.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Post-BlizzCon 2011 Store sale starts Nov. 11

BlizzCon 2011 ... remember that?

It was that time when Fogs of Black and White Bears was announced, or something like that. There was also this meetup where a bunch of people got together and drank and hung out while talking about WoW at the Anabella. That was cool.

What is also cool (in the way of cold, hard retail steel shelves)? The BlizzCon 2011 Store! And now, you'll get an opportunity to order from it again starting at 10 a.m. PST on Friday, Nov. 11, ending at 10 a.m. PST on Friday, Nov. 18.

To order from the BlizzCon Store, you must have purchased a DirecTV ticket, been subscribed to the live stream, or be the purchasing Battle.net account for actual BlizzCon tickets. The full blue post below details the sales.


Miss out on picking up that special piece of commemorative BlizzCon loot? Beginning Friday, November 11 (rescheduled from the originally announced date of November 4), we're making select items from the BlizzCon 2011 store available once more to those who joined us for the show in person or via the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket.

Beginning November 11 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time through November 18 at 10 a.m. PT, BlizzCon 2011 ticket holders*, Virtual Ticket buyers, and DIRECTV viewers who ordered the BlizzCon 2011 Pay Per View event will be able to purchase select BlizzCon 2011 store merchandise online (while supplies last). To participate, simply log in to the online Blizzard Store using the Battle.net account associated with your BlizzCon ticket or Virtual Ticket during the sale times listed above. DIRECTV viewers can use the Battle.net account on which you redeemed your BlizzCon Virtual Ticket code.

*Please note: For those who attended BlizzCon in person, only the Battle.net account associated with the ticket purchased will have access to BlizzCon 2011 merchandise during this online sale. You can view this information in the ticket buyer's Order History.


Filed under: BlizzCon

Ghostcrawler introduces you to the Pandaren monk

Mists of Pandaria is bringing us the new monk class as well as the new Pandaren race, finally making its way to World of Warcraft after years of speculation and wondering. Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's own internal look at the wheelings, dealings, and development processes of the company, pulled Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street aside and asked him a bunch of questions about the Pandaren, monks, and the newest expansion.

Ghostcrawler discusses the motivations behind the Pandaren and how they differ from the other races of Azeroth, how the monk class came about and was decided upon, and what monk players outside the Pandaren race will have in store for them when they travel the world. One of the more interesting pieces of information is how player character monks who choose to start as a race other than Pandaren will still have a heavy Pandaria-inspired kit and experience, since it is the Pandaren that bring the monk class to both the Horde and the Alliance. Of course, we have extra confirmation that DPS and tank monks will be sporting agility leather gear, and the healer archetype will don intellect-based leather gear.

I don't believe that I am alone in this observation, but Blizzard has been out and about like crazy talking about the Pandaren and the monk class nonstop. Personally, I'm loving it. The more, the better. Over the years, Blizzard has gone from a very secretive company to pulling back many of the curtains for players and fans alike, with peeks into the development process and getting out ahead of the speculation machine. It's learned a lot from The Burning Crusade and Wrath days. Hit the jump for the full interview with Greg Street.

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Filed under: Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Why you might like Blizzard DOTA

Fans of Defense of the Ancients, the immensely popular Warcraft III mod that spawned an entirely new genre of gaming, are already conditioned to love Blizzard DOTA. I got to play it this week at BlizzCon 2011 and had a great time getting into the very familiar world. However, many Blizzard fans are not DOTA enthusiasts or even privy to the genre itself. WoW players may not really understand what this Blizzard offering is about or even why they should be interested. Warcraft fan-favorite characters Thrall and Arthas are making appearance in Blizzard DOTA, which means gamers who have ever wanted to pit these monolithic figures against other Blizzard staple characters will get the chance. Here's what you need to know about Blizzard DOTA and why you just might like playing as one of your favorite WoW personalities.

Defense of the Ancients was originally a Warcraft III mod that became so incredibly popular that it spawned the genre know known as MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) or ARTS (action real-time strategy), depending on who you ask. The game consists of three paths that connect two bases with destructible buildings and towers along the path routes. Waves of minions or creeps, NPC characters that spawn endlessly from both bases, meet in the middle of these lanes to do battle. You control a powerful hero who levels up, gains skills and abilities, and can purchase items from a shop. Your goal is to fight these minions and enemy players, destroy the enemy towers and buildings, and win the game.

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Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: Outbreak Lordaeron

Outbreak Lordaeron snagged second place in the BlizzCon 2011 machinima contest. You can see why the movie did well within the first few seconds. The voice acting and graphics are amazing; the action is well choreographed and fluid. Jeffrey Cuiper created the machinima, and the music was performed by Walid Feghali. Voice acting was provided by Jesse Cox, Matt Greenburg, Jesse O'Connor, and Rawrbug.

Daniel Whitcomb pointed out immediately that Outbreak Lordaeron is a parody of Left4Dead. I admit that I didn't recognize it. Even without understanding that video game reference, it's impossible not to get the obvious reference to traditional zombie horror. Four survivors must fight their way through the undead horde. The survivors' only hope is to use their wits, energy, and simple weapons to struggle toward freedom.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Scattered Shots: BlizzCon hunter info roundup

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.

BlizzCon this year was a very hunter Blizzcon indeed, filled with big announcements not just about the game in general but about the direction the hunter class is headed. The biggest news shouted around hunter circles was of course the fact that minimum range is finally being removed from the game.

This was one of the biggest points in the hunter class design feedback threads, and it's a nice indication that Blizzard is indeed paying attention to what the community has to say. (Either that, or the developers also just thought it needed to go, and it's a crazy, random happenstance that it coincides with community feedback.)

Join me after the cut as we round up all of the hunter news that came out of BlizzCon, very possibly including some news that you haven't heard from just following the BlizzCon coverage. We're going to focus just on the hunter-specific news rather than wider game-related news.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret talent preview for Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned retribution paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or compliments!

This year marked my very first BlizzCon, so naturally I camped nearly every WoW class and talent panel I could manage. With bated breath and a semi-charged smartphone, I sat ready to transcribe my thoughts on any and all retribution tidbits that flowed forth like honey from the developers' proverbial beehive. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how much faith you have in the ret community to produce cogent questions), there weren't many big revelations related to our spec at any of the Q&As. There remains, however, one relevant topic that we can discuss, and that is the revamped talent system coming with Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Paladin, BlizzCon, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

First Mists of Pandaria developer chat Thursday

Missed BlizzCon this year? Went, but didn't get a chance to ask a question? Well, here's your chance! Community Manager Zarhym has announced that the first Mists of Pandaria developer chat will be held at 5 p.m. PDT this Thursday, Oct. 27.

One important thing to note: This chat will use the CoverItLive system instead of Twitter, so you'll want to register an account prior to the chat if you intend to ask a question.

If you can't make the chat, don't worry -- your fearless WoW Insider writers will have a transcript and analysis ready shortly after the chat ends. See the full post below:

Developer Chat
This Thursday, October 27, we'll be hosting a one-hour live online developer Q&A with Lead Content Designer Cory "Mumper" Stockton and Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT. I'll be moderating the discussion to help facilitate a smooth and productive conversation. Given all the information revealed last weekend at BlizzCon 2011, we feel it's fitting for this chat to be focused on the next expansion, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

While we've held some developer "chats" in the past, we're going to be using CoverItLive for this event. We welcome anyone to join us for the chat, but in order to participate you'll want to visit the official CoverItLive website beforehand to create an account -- it only takes a few moments. The Q&A itself, however, will take place on the front page of our website with the CoverItLive platform embedded in a blog.

Once the chat goes live, all you have to do is log into the CoverItLive client embedded on our front page, ask any question relating to Mists of Pandaria, and read along as the developers field as many questions as they can. This will be a moderated chat, meaning your questions will only initially be seen by the developers. If selected, your question will be published for all to see, and an answer will be provided. We ask that you keep the questions as concise as possible and understand that we won't be able to get to all of them. We'll be choosing questions based on the information we can reasonably provide, and what kinds of answers we feel will be the most compelling for the entire audience. Questions can no longer be submitted once the chat ends, but you'll still be able to review a transcript of the questions and answers that were posted.

We'll be taking note of what works and what doesn't during this Thursday's chat, as we hope to make CoverItLive our standard tool for facilitating live developer Q&A sessions going forward. Join us this Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and let's all work to make this a successful discussion between players and developers!




Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Encrypted Text: Rogue news from BlizzCon 2011

blizzcon qa panel
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

I love BlizzCon. I am a long-time fan of each of Blizzard's Big Three games, and I am eagerly awaiting next year's triple release of Diablo 3 paired with the StarCraft and WoW expansions. Channeling my rogue reflexes, I conquered the BlizzCon ticket boss again this year, so I had the opportunity to visit BlizzCon in person. While in Anaheim, I tried out a Pandaren monk, crushed some cowards in a Diablo PVP match, and shredded a batch of zerglings before losing to so many banelings. To all of those who I met at the WoW Insider Reader Meetup and on the convention floor, it was great to meet you!

I have been collecting my notes on what we learned at BlizzCon about the future of rogues, but I am realizing that there's not much news. We're losing access to ranged weapons, but we will be able to simply throw our melee weapons with Throw and Fan of Knives. The revamp of the talent system affects everyone, and there's no use diving into the new trees since they're not even close to being finalized. Pandaren rogues will be available in Mists of Pandaria, but that's not really exciting information, is it?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The New York Times goes to BlizzCon

It's rare to see the mainstream media cover anything related to World of Warcraft with a generally approving tone, but no less prestigious an outlet than The New York Times reported on this year's BlizzCon quite favorably indeed. Seth Schiesel, in covering the convention, bypasses the media's usual narrative and notes that the big draw of an event like BlizzCon isn't what you'd expect. It's not the StarCraft 2 tournament with the big purse, the company's annual announcements, or even the closing concert. It's simply the chance to meet and enjoy your fellow gamers, whether you're a developer or a player.

I think Schiesel nails it here:

... the most powerful and important games are the persistent online dimensions like World of Warcraft and Eve Online. That is because they're not really about the games; they are about the relationships players form within them.

I'm surprised but gratified to see a reporter in a major media outlet who really gets it. Of note is also a comment by Rob Pardo (Blizzard's executive vice president for game design), who observes that Blizzard could easily fill larger venues than the Anaheim Convention Center (my suggestion: rent Wyoming) but prefers to keep the con local for the benefit of Blizzard employees who want to come.

I think it's safe to say that gamers are still working toward mainstream acceptance (possibly because people often don't consider things like Angry Birds and Farmville to be "true" gaming), and it's really nice not to see the usual caricature of the angry, antisocial nerd rearing its head.


Filed under: News items

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