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BlizzCon virtual ticket now on sale

Unable to attend BlizzCon 2011 in the flesh this fall? No problem. The BlizzCon virtual ticket for this year has just gone on sale for $39.99. The virtual ticket provides streaming access to all convention panels, the Saturday night contests and to-be-announced concert, exclusive interviews, and more. Your $39.99 also nets you the BlizzCon 2011 exclusive pet. You and I both know that when it comes down to it, that's all you really care about.

If you've purchased the virtual ticket before and weren't happy with the product, fear not: The online offerings of the virtual ticket have been much improved over the years. In 2009, the DirecTV coverage was shoddy all around, leaving viewers in the dark about half of the panels of the convention. In 2010, the multichannel coverage of all of the panels, the ability to go back and rewatch panels later or fill in gaps you missed earlier in the weekend, as well as the interviews with Blizzard that you can't see anywhere else really made your $39.99 worth it. It wasn't unusual for BlizzCon attendees in Anaheim to watch the panels from the comfort of their hotel rooms via online stream, only venturing out for evening parties and meetups (such as our own!). If you can't physically attend BlizzCon 2011 (or even if you can), it's money well spent. Give it another chance.

For the full details of the virtual ticket, head over to Blizzard's official blog post on Battle.net.

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010 virtual ticket on sale

For those unable to attend BlizzCon in Anaheim, California this upcoming October, DIRECTV will once again be broadcasting it all (mostly) live online for $39.95 USD. The virtual ticket has just gone on sale this evening so make sure you don't miss out. For you pet/mount collectors out there, this virtual ticket will get you the exclusive in-game item that BlizzCon attendees will be receiving (though we don't even know what it is yet).

Last year one of the major complaints about the online stream was the fact that many panels were delayed or possibly not even shown at all due to having only one stream available for many panels happening simultaneously, but it looks like they have a solution for that in place this year. According to the RayV page describing the virtual ticket, coverage has been expanded to four online channels offering 50+ hours of BlizzCon programming with complete coverage of panels, tournaments and announcements plus DIRECTV's own exclusive interviews. Hopefully that means you can watch the events as they unfold rather than watching them on a delay or not at all.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Reminder: Last chance for BlizzCon 2010 tickets tomorrow, June 5

Did you miss out on purchasing tickets last Wednesday evening on June 2? Don't worry! You still have a shot at getting tickets for BlizzCon, which will be taking place October 22-23 in Anaheim, California! This is just a reminder that the next round of ticket sales will be available tomorrow, June 5 at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT. Remember, you can only purchase a maximum of five tickets per household. Jay Mohr will be hosting BlizzCon again this year. Ticket prices are $150 each and they will sell out quickly! Make sure you're online and ready to go at the Blizzard Store or the BlizzCon website in the morning.

If you can't score tickets, the DirecTV Pay Per View event might help satisfy your hunger for the Blizzard event. It's only $39.95 and you get access to the multi-channel internet stream. If you've purchased the internet stream, you can switch between a variety of channels to watch different areas of BlizzCon. In other words, you get watch the events you care about more than others!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Reminder: BlizzCon 2010 tickets on sale tomorrow, June 2

A reminder to those planning on purchasing BlizzCon 2010 tickets: The first round of sales for tickets will be tomorrow, June 2 at 7:00 p.m. PDT/10:00 p.m. EDT. BlizzCon 2010 will be taking place Oct. 22-23 in Anaheim, California.

Tickets are $150 each. For those unable to get tickets during tomorrow's window, there will be a second round of sales on Saturday, June 5 at 10:00 a.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. EDT. There is a five-ticket limit per household.

For those unable to attend the convention proper, the DirecTV Pay Per View event will return in 2010 for $39.95, as well as the multi-channel internet stream of the event. For the first time, anyone who purchases the internet stream will be able to switch freely between multiple channels of coverage dedicated to different areas of BlizzCon, meaning viewers can tune in to the sections they're most interested in, rather than what they're stuck with.

And, of course, WoW.com will be bringing you live blogs of everything and complete event coverage.

For those planning to purchase tickets: This is your reminder. Make sure you're online and at the Blizzard Store or the official BlizzCon website tomorrow evening, play a few rounds of Failoc-alypse and hope your fingers are fast, because these tickets are sure to sell out within seconds.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Grunty the Murloc Marine arrives for DirecTV viewers



Memories of BlizzCon have started to fade over the last month, but today another reminder of the event pops up. If you watched it via DirectTV you should shortly be receiving an email letting you know that soon you too can have a Murloc Marine shadowing your character's every step. The email comes with a code and a URL to visit in order to redeem the little guy. Be careful of any phishing scams, the correct URL is http://www.blizzcon.com/pet. You must also have a Battle.net account in order to receive him.

Once you have entered you code and gone through the simple redemption process the next time you log on you will have an in-game mail from Master Handler Sylvester. This will contain your special delivery of a Heavy Murloc Egg and a thank you.

Grunty the Murloc Marine, we salute you. When it comes to murlocs, you are the best of the best of the best. Sir! With Honors.

Filed under: Odds and ends, News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon in the rearview

BlizzCon 2009 is behind us, and over on the forums, Irhabi has reached the conclusion that he won't be going next year. He says that with everything streaming out onto DirecTV and the Internet, and with no beta access included, and (what he thought was) a less than stellar performance by Ozzy Osbourne, he might as well stayed at home. I don't particularly share his opinion -- there are lots of great reasons to go to BlizzCon, from getting to try out the latest builds of Blizzard's upcoming games, to meeting vendors and other fans on the floor, to getting the chance to ask your own questions of the devs (and maybe even meet some of them at the various parties around Anaheim). If you're just bummed that BlizzCon was lame because you didn't get a beta key this year, maybe you should have wandered the show floor a little bit.

On the other side of it, the folks who bought the DirecTV stream at home are a little more split on the subject -- we twittered to get some responses, and they run the gamut from "yes, it was worth it with the pet," to "no, they should have covered WoW more" (not only did the feed cut off halfway through the contest on Friday night -- we later heard from DirecTV employees that they could only broadcast a certain number of hours over the weekend, and that's where they made the cut -- but they also skipped a few big WoW panels for Starcraft coverage on the main stage instead). And don't even get us started on Jo Garcia, lovely and well-meaning though she may be (though Jay Mohr doesn't deserve the crap he's getting -- he did a respectable job this year). Fortunately, there were lots of other outlets to get your WoW news from, and odds are that Grunty will soothe your pains from the $40 you might feel you've wasted.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm targeted for a 2010 release date


One small bit of rumor has been floating around the BlizzCon floor the last couple days: that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released in 2010. We hear these kind of rumors all the time, and don't give them very much credence. Whatever date is up on Game Stop (November 1st, 2010) or Amazon or wherever are just placeholder dates until they start to change or we hear from trusted sources that the dates are correct.

But this time, things are a little bit different.

WoW.com has been able to confirm that during a DirecTV interview, Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, revealed that Cataclysm is targeted for a 2010 release date.

Now a targeted release date should be clearly understood for what it is. It is a date that Blizzard wants to ship their game, nothing more, nothing less. It means that they have a plan and schedule to get the game ready by then. But as everyone knows, long term schedules can and do change. Please limit the QQ if we don't see Cataclysm next year.

Interesting news nonetheless!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009 DirecTV stream now active


As an FYI for all those who have ordered the service, the internet stream for the DirecTV broadcast from BlizzCon is working, although all you'll see for the moment is a looping series of advertisements for the feed itself (still scratching my head over why they feel the need to advertise a service you've already purchased, but oh well), a recap of BlizzCon 2008, and the Starcraft II, Diablo III, and Wrath of the Lich King trailers.

We've gotten some reports from people that the stream seems buggy and that they've had some problems with logging in, so if you've ordered the service, I would recommend logging in early and keeping a tab up with the feed just in case. The main page for the DirecTV feed is here, so head over and make sure you've got everything in place. Don't forget that you need to press the Login button while entering your username and password; don't just hit enter! We'd guess the actual broadcast will begin shortly before the opening ceremonies at 11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST.

UPDATE: For those of you getting an "Account expired" message, Michael Sacco suggests refreshing the page several times and clearing out your cache/cookies if all else fails. Apparently that's worked for a lot of people -- try it and let us know.

2:02 PM EST: Stream is now live!


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon schedule posted

Blizzard has posted the schedule for this year's BlizzCon event, and there aren't too many surprises at all. We already expected to see most of the panels, so while there'll be the usual favorites like lore and art panels for each game, and two different World of Warcraft class panels (those are always fun, with devs confronted by players with class balance issues), there aren't any unexpected sessions popping up. They haven't revealed, say, a "new WoW expansion" panel, or a "next-gen MMO" panel.

That doesn't mean those won't happen -- it probably does mean we won't see demos for anything announced at Friday's keynote, as the schedule is pretty full already, but in the past when Blizzard has announced an expansion, for example, they usually spend a lot of time in the "Dungeons and Raids" panel talking about what they're doing with the new material. We'll have to see.

Finally, it appears, somewhat strangely, that the live DirecTV broadcast on Friday might actually cut off the end of the popular contests at the end of the day -- the broadcast ends at 8, and the contests end an hour later. Hopefully stream subscribers won't miss out on some of the fun. They won't have that problem on Saturday, as the broadcast runs all the way through Ozzy's concert. And of course, don't forget to add our meetup on your own schedule -- we're kicking things off on Thursday night. Sounds like fun!

Update: Blizzard has since retracted the schedule.
Update x2: Blizzard has posted a new schedule.


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.

Read more →

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: Did you order the BlizzCon live stream?

BlizzCon 2009 is just a few days away now, and unlike previous years, web and fansite coverage of the event might be a little thin (except here, we'll have 13 people at BlizzCon in one way or another). DirecTV has a bit of an embargo on audio/video coverage inside of the convention center, so there'll certainly be less live coverage of the panels and events this year in via that medium -- that is, unless you've subscribed to the live stream that Blizzard's offering with DirecTV. The service promises wide coverage, which hopefully includes all of the panels and the like.

Now, the draw for the stream for some people is, unsurprisingly, the fact that you get a non-combat pet for ordering it -- the same one you get in your goody bag at the actual event. A little piece of the big time, so to speak. Or maybe $40 is the right price for a non-combat pet (six to eight weeks later).

So, have you bought the live stream? Are you boycotting it because of DTV's monopoly on live coverage? If you did buy it, are you in it for the pet or the coverage? Do you just not care about it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

On-demand BlizzCon streaming will be available


Earlier today we went over some of the options for attending BlizzCon when you can't actually attend BlizzCon. Mainly this consists of the DirecTV-sponsered stream, which is $40 pay-per-view both on DirecTV and over the Internet (even if you're not a DirecTV customer). The BlizzCon tournaments will also be streamed for free.

Here's an additional perk on the Internet stream: if you can't be at your computer right when the events start, you can see it on-demand during and after the show (the Blizzard folks are calling it "rebroadcasting"). This might also be handy if (as a purely hypothetical example) someone needed to review footage to confirm the details of a breaking story for a certain blog that is going to have all the BlizzCon details as they happen.

In fact, ideally, they'd give us full DVR-like capabilities on the broadcast, although I recognize that there's a level of technology required to support that. Still, it would be nice.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Preparing for BlizzCon: Virtual attendance options


BlizzCon approaches! Preparing for BlizzCon is your regular source for tips on how best to prepare for Blizzard's gaming extravaganza. These helpful hints are particularly suited for convention rookies. But if you are a con veteran, we'd love to hear your advice and wisdom in the comments as well.

So you weren't able to get tickets either by purchasing or winning them (though there is still time to win). Do you still want to experience BlizzCon, but without the odor and sore feet? There are ways to view the event from the comfort of your own home, for a fee, of course:
  • DIRECTV is offering pay per view coverage for $39.95. There is also a special (that ends today) for if you are not a DIRECTV customer, but join up through Blizzard that offers the coverage for free.
  • There will also be internet streaming footage. The price is also $39.95 and you don't have to be a DIRECTV customer to sign up.
  • The tournaments will be streamed for the low, low price of free.
Of course, we'll be covering every drop of BlizzCon here on WoW.com, but if you want to watch any cataclysmic announcements with your very own eyes, these options will make you part of the virutal audience.
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 are some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Events, BlizzCon

Blizzard streaming BlizzCon tournaments for free, in HD


Blizzard has announced that they're streaming most of the tournaments at BlizzCon this year yet again -- even if you don't sign up to the DirecTV feed, you can still watch most of the Arena, Starcraft, and Warcraft III matchups online on the BlizzCon site. And this year, for the first time, you'll be able to watch them in full HD quality (assuming that your connection can hold up). There will be one full stream dedicated to Arena matches, and one stream split between Warcraft III and Starcraft tournament coverage.

And what you see should be some of the best players in the world -- all of the qualifiers from North America, Korea, Europe, and Taiwan will be in attendance to vy for the top spot and the $25,000 per-player prize. The stream will be running both days of BlizzCon, coming up in just a few weeks on August 21st and 22nd.

[via Starcraft.org]

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 are some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Arena

BlizzCon live stream order page up


Didn't get your tickets for BlizzCon? Planning to pick up the Internet stream instead, because you don't have DirecTV at home? Now's your chance -- the page has appeared to order up the official livestream in HD video straight from the conference. For $39.95, you get over 16 hours of video from the convention floor, as well as all the main stage presentations, tournament coverage, and even the Grunty the Murloc Space Marine pet. There's more answers over on their FAQ page if you have more questions.

The video streaming as a test on the page suggests that both Level 80 Tauren Chieftain will be playing and Jay Mohr will be hosting again, though that video is likely from last year, and not necessarily indicative of this year's show. It looks like the HQ stream will also require you to install the RayV player, while the lower quality stream will likely be available just through Flash. You can also keep in mind that though this is probably an excellent deal (especially if you want that pet -- I know many people will pick up the package for that code alone), there will be no shortage of information from BlizzCon for sure, as we'll have plenty to go around as well. But if you were planning on picking up the Internet stream, order on up.
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 are some great looking costumes.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Economy, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2009 ticket sales are done

BlizzCon 2009 tickets went on sale for the last time on Saturday at 10am PST, and were reported as sold out less than 30 minutes later. As expected, there were lots of disappointed Blizzard fans, but compared to the way things worked last year, this year's system was much more fair and much less frustrating. Unfortunately, you had to be quick -- while the sellout time was actually around 10:24, tickets really sold out in a matter of seconds, because if you clicked the buy button even 30 seconds to a minute after it went live, you were too far back in the queue to buy tickets at all. But even though it was a very small window of chance, it was at least a fair chance -- Blizzard's meter for tickets left on Saturday started at around 50%, which indicates that they split the two days of sales right down the middle. As long as you showed up and clicked at the right time, you had as much chance as anyone else. At least we got a great game out of it.

If you have tickets, enjoy the show (and don't forget: our meetup will be on Thursday night!). But if you don't, what now? The DirecTV stream will be available both via their service and on the Internet. And even if you don't jump in on that deal, we'll of course have plenty of up-to-date coverage, as will lots of folks in the community. And if you want to go a little black market, tickets will probably be available online in a few different places. We've already heard that Blizzard is starting to crack down on eBay, but certainly there are other places tickets will appear for sale. And as time goes on, we're sure people who were planning to go won't be able to make it, contests will be held in various places, and a few more tickets will free up.

So all hope may not be lost. But unless you want to call in a favor or pay a premium, BlizzCon tickets are sold. We say: the fourth weekend in August can't come soon enough.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

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