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Posts with tag blizzcon-wow

BlizzCon 2009: An interview with Vasco


Vasco, the digital security company that makes authenticators for Blizzard, has actually been at BlizzCon for a few years now (last year, they gave away yo-yos, and this year, they were responsible for all of those blue glowsticks floating around). But this is the first year we decided to stop by their booth and chat with them, and it's a good thing we did: Will LaSala, Director of Services, gave us a lot of good insight into how Vasco's relationship with Blizzard came about, just what the system behind the Authenticator looks like, and how the mobile authenticator app fits into all of this.

He was kind enough to give us a short interview, and you can read it right after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Ranking, Features, BlizzCon, Hardware

BlizzCon 2009: Noobz on display



Noobz are a series of blank figures created in the form of armored Terrans from Starcraft. For the festivities at BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard put on display a special treat regarding these little Noobz. Two hundred and fifty Noobz figures had been passed out to Blizzard employees several months ago. The employees were encouraged to paint and decorate the Noobz for themselves. At BlizzCon, the best of the painted figures were put on display.

I hope to get my hands on one of the blank Noobz soon. I didn't pick one up at BlizzCon, since my bags were already packed from taking so much other swag home. I think the idea of decorating one of these is awfully fun, and I totally salute Blizzard for promoting the idea.

I especially think it's awesome that they featured the artwork of their general employees in this way. It really helps build a sense of community, and they should be commended for that. Besides, the employees who created the figures in our gallery below showed off a lot of talent, and I thought the Noobz were a lot of fun to see. Check it out yourself!


Gallery: Noobz

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Ed Fries of Figureprints

FigurePrints was at BlizzCon again this year, and we stopped by their booth to say hi to our friend Ed Fries -- his company has been making virtual World of Warcraft characters into real-life 3D figurines for a couple of years now. Since the last time we'd spoken, FigurePrints had not only raised their prices, but we'd unveiled their new FigurePets series right here on WoW.com.

Fries gave us a few more things to unveil in this exclusive interview, including the fact that FigurePets will have another series get released next month, and that they're planning to offer some new options to players who want to print characters out but don't have the time to go find their favorite armor. Additionally, we asked him about the price raise, and what the company planned to do about people who really wanted to immortalize their figures but didn't really want to spend all that money.

Additionally, we've got a short video after the break showing one of their employees manually removing some of the powder from a newly printed figurine in the booth at BlizzCon. It doesn't have much explanation of what he's doing (for more on the process, you can see last year's BlizzCon interview), but you can see inside the printer and what it's like to create these figures.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, BlizzCon, Fan art, Hardware

BlizzCon 2009: Hands-on with Creative's World of Warcraft headset


When they stopped by the WoW.com meetup last Thursday before BlizzCon, Creative not only brought along a prototype of their upcoming World of Warcraft headset to show some readers in attendance, but they invited us by their booth at the show to hold it in our hands and see just what those lighted glyphs on the earcups were like. We happily obliged, and as a result, we're also happy to bring you the first look (along with some exclusive prototype photos) at what Creative's new headset will be.

Keep in mind that they're still in the prototype stage right now: Creative's Ryan Schlieper told me that the way it works is that they make a mold and a prototype first (which is what we held -- not a fully working version, but a 1:1 model with the exact weight and size of the final version), and then make 1000 of those in a fully working version to test. If those 1000 work and are right, then they go on to production, and if not, then they go back to the mold and start over again. Schlieper says they're in the prototype stage right now, and once testing is done (including Blizzard's approval), then they'll roll out the final headsets. So how did this prototype look and feel? Hit the galleries below to see pictures both on the floor and of Creative's 3D designs, and check after the break for our very first impressions.



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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, BlizzCon, Hardware

BlizzCon 2009: Hands-on with Razer's Naga MMO mouse


We posted last week that Razer had released an MMO mouse fittingly called the Naga (technically after the Sanskrit word for "snake," but c'mon, who plays WoW and doesn't know what Naga really means, right?), and when we did that, we mentioned it would be usable on the floor at BlizzCon. Sure enough, when we ran into the hall (hey, had to get to the store before those plush murlocs sold out) in Anaheim, there it was. We sat down with Travis Wannlund, community manager for the mouse and accessory company, for a quick demo and hands-on.

In that demo, we learned that Razer has actually developed their own WoW addon for the mouse's use, allowing you to map your abilities right into on-screen slots that correspond to the 3x4 touchpad of buttons on the thumb side. He also let us in on some of the design reasoning for the mouse itself, and what they've got in store for the device's future. Read on to learn more.

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Filed under: Items, Add-Ons, BlizzCon, Hardware

BlizzCon 2009: A look at the BlizzCon store



When the online BlizzCon store first became available, Adam Holisky pointed out that while there was a lot of unique swag being sold at BlizzCon, none of it seemed really amazing. At the time, I had agreed with him. I mean, plush murlocs are always awesome, but nothing I saw in the gallery really blew me away.

And then I saw the stuff in person. Isn't that always the way? Something about standing there, with those beautiful items lit up in their glittering case, called to me like the dork that I am. But, it's something that's hard to explain -- you have to see it yourself.

Check out the gallery below to see the items on sale at BlizzCon 2009. If I were pressed to pick my favorite, I'd probably go with the "Time is money, friend!" T-Shirt. It seemed like a neighborly way of welcoming the Horde's new friends: the Goblins.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: TSG wins WoW Arena Tournament World Championship


This year's World of Warcraft Arena Tournament Finals had an extremely good attendance despite some hiccups on the tournament stage, leaving the hosts cracking space-filling jokes until the teams were finally ready. Actually, this happened between every match, which was one of the few dampers in an otherwise decent tournament. The strong attendance at the Finals might also have something to do with the presence of a US/Canadian team, TSG, consisting of David Kovacs, Bennett Lynch, and Fabian Siffredi, otherwise known as Valrath, Veex, and Zilea, who ran a strong Death Knight, Warrior, Holy Paladin cleave comp all the way to a $75,000 purse. The last team to stand in their way was Shipit from Korea, consisting of Soonjae "Coilmaster" Cha, Jaemin "Tsukiyomi" Lee, and Janghwan "Kamiu" Bae with a Warrior, Hunter, Holy Paladin comp that never really posed a challenge for the new World Champions.

All throughout the Finals, TSG played extremely aggressively, bringing Shipit's Hunter, Tsukiyomi, to dangerously low health within the opening moments of every match. The Koreans faced an uphill battle coming from the consolation bracket, needing to defeat TSG twice in a best of five, but it was clear that the North American team's aggressive style and double melee comp were too much to handle.

The Korean contingent walked away with a respectable $30,000 and third place team x6tence from Europe took home $15,000. The awards were handed out by Blizzard's Tom Chilton, who described this year's Arena Tournament as "the best ever". We also saw the defeat of RMP -- as even Mage hero Orangemarmalade couldn't advance within the consolation bracket. It reaffirmed the power of Holy Paladin heals and Death Knights, however, in an environment that saw zero Shamans. It'll be exciting to see what 2010 holds as Cataclysm is likely to change the entire face of World of Warcraft PvP.
BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd! We've got all the latest news and information. At BlizzCon you can play the latest games, meet your guildmates, and ask the developers your questions. Plus, there's some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, BlizzCon, Arena

Grunty vs. Zergling battle video

When Eldacar wrote in to the tip line that Grunty and the Zergling pets fought when brought near each other, I immediately forced The Spousal Unit to help me test it. We made the above video, with The Spawn cheering us on. Grunty is the Murloc Marine pet that came with attending or streaming BlizzCon 2009. The Zergling was part of the original collector's edition of World of Warcraft.

Filed under: Fan stuff, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Sandeep Parikh


Sandeep Parikh has alternately charmed and creeped out fans of The Guild as Zaboo, the hapless love interest of Felicia Day's Codex. Ever since the very beginning of the series, he's made for some of the web show's most awkward, and not coincidentally, most funny moments.

And while the guy behind the character is definitely funny, he's also clued-in in a way that Zaboo isn't -- coming from an improv background, he knows how to put a scene together, and he's got a good amount of web video experience himself from producing, writing, and directing the popular (and very NSFW) Legend of Neil series.

We sat down at BlizzCon with Sandeep to talk about his work on both web series, including Felicia Day's secret blue streak, what you can do with alcohol and an old Nintendo system, and what's in store for his character in The Guild's upcoming season 3. Read on below.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: Entering a brave new world

Chris Metzen, speaking during the World of Warcraft preview panel, revealed that Cataclysm will introduce seven new zones, on top of revamping the old world. This revamp changes both the game mechanics (adding the ability to fly anywhere) and the lore, as old zones are forever changed, both geographically and territorially. These new zones are:
  • Gilneas
  • Twilight Highlands
  • Deepholm
  • The Lost Isles
  • Sunken City of Vashj'ir
  • Mount Hyjal
  • Uldum

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day, continued

That's the last money question that I have. You work with all of these actors, the first season it was like you were kind of the face of the show, and you were talking to everybody, and the other actors have kind of come up. And this BlizzCon I think is one of the first ones where people are really diving in and saying this person is my favorite, I really want to talk to Robin, I really want to talk to Jeff. You wrote the stuff, you even talked on the panel as well about how the actors are kind of taking over your characters. How has that been, in terms of how your actors are becoming the characters you're writing about?

As of the third season, I've written them hundreds of pages, at this point. So they've as actors really helped me define, it's kind of a metamorphosis. Every TV show, if you watch a pilot, a lot of characters change a lot, from the time they do that first pilot. For this one, the actors though, they bring so much to the table, Jeff and Sandeep do a lot of improv, and ad-lib a lot, they're adding a lot of ideas with their characters. At the same time, honestly, I've been pushing them forward as far as press and stuff and meeting fans and stuff, because I'm out there on the Internet a lot, I get sick of myself, honestly, I'm sure some of your readers are like, "I hate this girl."

[Laughs] No! They do have trolling tendencies.

Which is cool, they will, but that's cool, everybody doesn't have to love me. [laughs]

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Humor, Interviews, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day

At this point, Felicia Day probably doesn't even need an introduction -- she's likely the biggest celebrity to come out of the WoW community since Leroy Jenkins. Her webseries The Guild, about a group of MMO gamers very similar to the ones we play with every day, has been seen and loved all over the world, and Felicia herself is spotted all over television lately (yes, tipsters to this site, that is her in the Sears commercial, and we also heard during The Guild panel at BlizzCon last weekend that she'll be back on Dollhouse again soon).

We've followed her and her show since almost day one -- back before she was demoing Twitter on Xbox at E3 and winning Streamy awards, we've talked with her about what it's like to be a gamer and make a TV show that people said you couldn't make. She was kind enough to sit down with us at BlizzCon 2009 and chat with us again: you can read the exclusive interview after the break.

The Guild's third season actually starts tomorrow, on MSN and Xbox Live. There's a trailer due out on MSN today -- as soon as it releases, we'll embed it into this post. Thanks once again to Felicia for chatting with us, and we can't wait to see what's next.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Interviews, BlizzCon, Fan art

Officers' Quarters: Cataclysm will reshape guilds

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that my biggest pet peeve with WoW is how little support guilds have received from Blizzard over the years. As I've said before, guilds are the backbone of any MMO. They facilitate all the group content that developers spend millions to produce -- the content that keeps people interested in the game and separates an MMO from your average single-player experience.

Without officers who sacrifice time and energy to organize and lead their guilds, no MMO can succeed. I am, of course, biased, but I believe that officers deserve more support than they typically get from MMO developers, especially in WoW. Finally, Blizzard has unveiled plans to deliver not just an improved guild interface, but an entire leveling and achievement system for guilds, complete with talents.

In Cataclysm, the face of Azeroth is not the only thing that will be reshaped. Guilds will be completely different entities compared to what they are now, with much greater depth and interactivity. To fully understand how monumental these changes are for officers everywhere, let's first look at the history of WoW's guild improvements.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

BlizzCon 2009: The short version


For all those of you out there who don't have the time to slog through the 100+ articles we published on BlizzCon 2009, we've condensed the events of the past few days into the most important things you need to know:
If you'd like a more thorough look at how BlizzCon 2009 went, visit our round-ups on Day One and Day Two of the con for a more complete guide to our articles, galleries, and videos.

Filed under: Patches, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Features, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009 Insider Trader: Cataclysmic professions


Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Over the course of several BlizzCon panels, we've been treated to a preview of how professions will be changing in Cataclysm, the next expansion pack.

Pass through the break to learn all about:
  • The new title and level cap.
  • Revamped skill gains.
  • Archaeology, the new profession!
  • Reforging, a new dimension to crafting professions.
  • Hints about the future of Engineering, Fishing, and Gathering.
  • Information about things we wanted to see, but won't.

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Filed under: Fishing, Engineering, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Features, Insider Trader (Professions), BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Archaeology

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