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Posts with tag gamescom

Warlords of Draenor: Final boss revealed

In his interview with at this year's Gamescom, Tom Chilton has revealed the identity of the final boss for Warlords of Draenor. Watch the embedded video to hear it from Chilton himself (this spoiler begins at 11:00), or click on to read about it behind the cut. You ready for some spoilers? Okay!

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard opens dedicated gamescom page

Coming this August, gamescom 2014 will continue the tradition of one of the biggest and most important video game conventions in the world. And this year, Blizzard plans on letting even people who don't get to travel to Cologne (it's in Germany) keep track of what they're up to at this massive con, with a dedicated web page for their presence, including livestreaming coverage. It's an interesting move for Blizzard, and an understandable one - gamescom is, on the whole, a big deal and it's likely that they'll be putting a lot of effort into their presentations there, so why not let people from outside the con get a look as well? It's just good PR.

This year's gamescom runs from August 13th to August 17th in Cologne, Germany. Dare we hope for a release date for Warlords of Draenor by then? Yes. Yes, we dare to hope for that. Maybe the cinematic? Why not? I'm from Rhode Island and I say release it all! Sorry, got excited, referenced Starship Troopers. it won't happen again.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Warlords of Draenor

What race needs new character models the most?

Breakfast Topic What race needs new character models the most
Over the weekend at Gamescom, Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton revealed that new character models for the older races are currently in development and are about 25% done. Chilton also added that he wasn't sure if all the new models would be launched at the same time, or if Blizzard would opt to release them over several patches as they are completed. I'm in favor of the latter myself, though I can see that resulting in an unbearable amount of QQ from players whose characters didn't initially receive model updates.

The whole thing makes me wonder which races are likely to get updated first. It's possible the developers will go after the most popular races first (humans and blood elves) since that will appease the largest number of people. It's also just as possible they'll work in order of which races need new models the most. That raises the question though, which race is in the most dire need of a character model update?

If I had to pick one I'd probably go with dwarf, specifically the female dwarf because so few people play it. Granted, I don't think female dwarves necessarily suffer from the worst looking model, but they're somehow still one of the least popular choices among players. That alone makes me feel like the model needs some time and attention to not only update it, but to broaden its appeal somewhat. Mind you, female dwarves don't need to have the same appeal as blood elves or humans, but they certainly should have more than they currently do.

Which race do you think needs a character model update the most? Tell us why.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Item Squish extremely likely for WoW's next expansion

Item Squish very likely for WoW's next expansion
Gamescom is drawing to a close, and with it a flurry of developer interviews have been taking place. One which happened just a couple of hours ago was a raiding-specific round table with Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton. One of the questions asked related to the much-debated item squish, and whether we would see it in WoW 6.0. Tom and Cory responded as follows:
TC: "If we don't do the item squish it's going to require a lot of re-engineering of our combat code to actually support bigger numbers. We're getting really close to the point where the code can't..."
CS: "Yeah, the code can't compile the numbers"
TC: "Yeah it can't compile the numbers, so we are testing the item squish internally with the expansion, and I think a good time to launch it would be right before the next expansion so people are already used to it by the time the expansion launches. So, that's the current plan, but we'll see how it works out. I hope we can."
Of course that isn't a firm confirmation, there have been many changes, certainly ones of this magnitude, that have gone into internal testing and not ever made it live. This is no cast iron guarantee. But, the devs mention how their combat code is nearing the point where it can't actually handle the big numbers, and it seems that a full expansion of item level escalation would do nothing to help with this issue. So an item squish certainly seems extremely likely for the next expansion.

Filed under: News items

Gamescom 2013: Blizzard's booth schedule

Gamescom 2013 Blizzard's booth schedule
Blizzard has just published their schedule for the booth at Gamescom 2013, in Cologne, Germany. The EU team did a great job last year of packing the booth activities with fun stuff to keep up an impressively constant schedule, and it seems they're taking the exact same approach this year. The schedule runs from Thursday 22 August through Sunday 25 August, and highlights include developer signing sessions, live drawing sessions, live raids, concerts, as well as show matches.

There's also a daily presentation on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which will be playable at Gamescom for the first time in Europe (apart from when several fansites including WoW Insider got their hands on it in May).

I'll be at Gamescom, along with several others, and from last year, one thing I really enjoyed watching was the quiz! It's on twice daily, and it's great to see fellow gamers /flexing their brainpower. If you want to see the full schedule, head over to the official Blizzard Gamescom site.

Filed under: Blizzard

Gamescom Raid Q&A with the Devs: Nerfs, the raid finder and more

Gamescom Raid and Dungeons Q&A with the Devs
You may have spotted Monday's post on how to design a raid, which was the first half of the Gamescom 2012 Raids and Dungeons round table with Ion Hazzikostas and John Lagrave. The second half of the Round Table was a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked, shedding light on some hot issues as well as simply providing a little more insight into the Blizzard Encounter Design Team's creative processes.

Again, these aren't verbatim quotations from Ion and John, as I simply can't write that fast, but the overall statements are accurate representations of their responses.

Are there any encounters Blizzard have had to alter or leave out due to technical constraints?

There was a boss leading up to the Lich King who you had to heal (Valithria Dreamwalker), and that was a huge challenge for their existing technology. If you think about it, Ion explained, up to that point, every healing spell in the game was designed to be cast on a friendly target, that is to say, a player. So the devs were faced with the task of reworking every healing spell in the game. They didn't want players to only be able to use certain spells on her, as that would have been bad, so they redid every healing spell. The technical team changed the game's design so that the boss basically became a raid team member. Ion and John explained that it's all about working out creative ways to implement the designers' ideas.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

How do you make a raid?

How do you make a Raid
Over at this year's Gamescom, I was lucky enough to be among a small group invited to a Blizzard round table on Raids and Dungeons, where we sat down with Blizzard's Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Game Producer John Lagrave. These two high-end content creators opened the round table by talking the audience through the process of how the Blizzard team goes about making a raid and the trials and tribulations they encounter along the way.

This was fascinating to listen to, so I thought I'd share the insights with WoW Insider readers. This is not verbatim quoting throughout, as I simply can't write that fast, but it covers the raid-making process as they described it.

How do you make a raid?

You start with the lore. Ion and John talked us through the process of making the Firelands raid, so they began from a set of conditions. As Ion put it, "We consider what the idea is. What is this raid going to be about?" So they sit down with the encounter design team as well as the game producers in a meeting room and talk it out.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: When do you expect patch 5.0.4?

Hating the other guys
We know that Mists of Pandaria is coming out Sept. 25, because they told us that's when it's coming out. But when's the pre-expansion patch? We know it won't be as early as patch 4.0.1 was, because that came out on Oct. 12, almost two months before Cataclysm on Dec. 7, 2010. (It would have had to come out this week to have a chance of being that early.) But patch 3.0.2 came out on Oct. 14, 2008, and Wrath of the Lich King released the next month on Nov. 13, 2008. And Patch 2.0.1 launched on Dec. 5, 2006, which was a little over a month before The Burning Crusade launched.

This leads me to speculate that the pre-expansion patch will go live the week after Gamescom, so the week of Aug. 19. That Tuesday will be the 21st, which fits in with the general one-month-before-expansion launch window of BC and Wrath. It also makes sense because it gives them time to debut the cinematic at Gamescom and then patch it to use the following week. Of course, I'm just speculating, and am keen to hear your thoughts. Whenever we get the patch, it'll be a pretty big game changer as new talents and abilities, a fourth druid spec, and new stat caps as well as several changes to how established talents and abilities work (and some being gone entirely) and active mitigation tanking.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard to host Community Round Table at gamescom 2012

Blizzard to host Community Round Table at Gamescom 2012
So, have you ever wanted to sit down with the people from Blizzard and tell them exactly what you think about their games? Well, here's your chance. Blizzard is hosting a series of Community Round Table events at this year's gamescom, covering everything from their involvement with e-sports to an artist workshop and focusing on the community and how it interacts with Blizzard.

If you want to take part, you're invited to email in and sign up, although demand is expected to be high and not everyone who signs up will be able to participate. You can sign up using the email links provided below, or head over to the official site for more details. I'd personally love to get to go to one of the MoP Features and Expectations panels.

Ulvareth - Community Round Table Meetings at gamescom 2012

At Blizzard, we believe that "Every Voice Matters." To that end, we'd like to extend an invitation to our community to join us at gamescom 2012 for round table meetings with members of the Blizzard Community team, where we'll sit down and talk about our games.

In these meetings, you'll be able to give direct feedback on certain topics, discuss these topics with us and other players, and get our views on points that matter to our community.

We're anticipating a huge demand for seats at these meetings, so unfortunately it won't be possible to accommodate everyone. Therefore, if you'd like to take part, you should apply by sending us an email in English. You can do so by clicking the link that corresponds to the meeting you'd like to attend, below. Please be sure to include the following details about yourself:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • How long you've been playing our games
  • What you'll contribute to the discussion

If you've written game guides, run an unofficial fan site or podcast, streamed your games, or engaged in any other way with the community, please mention it! While these are not requirements to attend one of the meetings, they would definitely be a plus. We're looking to gather a diverse group for each meeting – one that reflects the diversity of the Blizzard gaming community itself.

Please apply only if you're sure you'll be able to make it to the event in Cologne, Germany. It would be a shame to see an empty seat when someone else would have loved to fill it. Please be aware that travel to and entry into gamescom are entirely your own responsibility. Information on tickets can be found on the event's official site.

Round table meetings scheduled to take place at gamescom 2012:

Blizzard & eSports – 16.08.2012 – 10:00
Warcraft Experience – 16.08.2012 – 14:30
Artist Workshop – 17.08.2012 – 11:00 Please note: Only apply if you are an art student or art enthusiast!
Community Initiatives Ideas – 17.08.2012 – 11:00
Organising your eSports Tournament – 17.08.2012 – 16:00
MoP Features & Expectations – 18.08.2012 – 14:15
Community Initiatives Ideas – 19.08.2012 – 10:00
MoP Features & Expectations – 19.08.2012 – 14:00
SC II Voice of the players – 19.08.2012 – 15:00

Please be sure that the subject line of your email matches the meeting you would like to attend.

If you are interested in participating make sure to apply until Sunday, August 12. All selected applicants will be contacted via email one day before the start of gamescom.

For more information on Blizzard's activity at gamescom, visit our dedicated site. Good luck, and see you at gamescom 2012!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items

MoP cinematic debuts at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 16

Blizzard posted a bit of clarification on the exact time the MoP cinematic will finally be revealed.

The blog posts says that the cinematic will debut at 14:00 (2:00 p.m.) on Thursday, Aug. 16 in Cologne, Germany (which is where gamescom is). According to this handy-dandy time zone converter, that means that the cinematic will debut states side at 8:00 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, Aug. 16 (7:00 a.m. Central, 6:00 a.m. Mountain, and 5:00 a.m. Pacific).

So while we'll certainly be up bringing it to you as soon as we get a feed of it, you can just roll over out of bed and take a look when you wake up in the morning. Just be sure to get us something from the McDonald's breakfast menu in return, please.

Hopefully, the cinematic comes with a release date (or ideally, that release date will be announced sooner).

If anything more develops, we'll let you know!

Don't miss the world premiere of the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria opening cinematic at gamescom 2012! The latest creation from Blizzard's cinematics team will be shown in both English and German on giant screens at our booth in Halle 6.1 (B21).

The opening cinematic will debut at 14:00 on Thursday, August 16, the first fully public day of gamescom. This much-anticipated unveiling will be accompanied by a performance from MANAO - Drums of China – the all-female Chinese drumming group that opened and closed the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A signing session with Blizzard developers will immediately follow the premiere.

Remember that from August 15-19, our booth will also be showcasing World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and Diablo III, as well as our famous dance and costume contests, and many other activities.

Visit our Activities page for details, and be sure to check back here soon for more on what we have in store for you at gamescom!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Reminder: Blizzard premieres Mists of Pandaria cinematic at gamescom

Reminder Blizzard premieres the Mists of Pandaria cinematic at GamesCom
Since Blizzard was kind enough to remind us, we'll do the same for you -- the company is attending gamescom, one of the world's largest interactive entertainment trade shows, and they'll be premiering the Mists of Pandaria cinematic there. More Blizzard stuff will be on hand too, like the latest multiplayer build of Heart of the Swarm -- but we imagine the cinematic is the stuff you guys really care about.

Speaking of, I wonder what'll be in the cinematic. There's no overarching villain for the launch game this time, so it's unlikely we'll get the Bad Guy Monologuing like the past few cinematics. Could this be the moment of triumph for the gnome race, its moment in the cinematic spotlight?


Gamescom is August 15 through 19 in Cologne, Germany.

Blizzard Games at gamescom
You'll find our costume and dance contests, eSports action, live raids, and all-around excitement at the Blizzard Entertainment booth at gamescom 2012. But perhaps best of all, you'll be able to try out our newest games for yourselves!

Don't miss your chance to explore the ancient realm of Pandaria with the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta build, vanquish your enemies in the latest StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer build, or battle the legions of the Burning Hells in Diablo III!

Experience the games first-hand at the Blizzard booth in Halle 6.1 (B21) at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, August 15 to 19. Be sure to check back here in the coming weeks for more information and a full schedule of activities!

You can find more information on the Blizzard website.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria cinematic to debut at Gamescom 2012

Mists of Pandaria cinematic to debut at Gamescom 2012
One of my first memories of World of Warcraft is the opening cinematic, shown to me by my wife in an attempt to interest me in playing. And it worked. The cinematic was gorgeous and evocative and did an excellent job of selling me on the world, setting up its conflicts. Quite frankly, that cinematic almost got me to play a mage, because if you saw that dude in action throwing fireballs at infernals, you knew he meant business.

Each cinematic to follow has served as a standard bearer for the expansion in question, and whether or not you liked them as much (my favorite WoW cinematic is still the Wrath of the Lich King opening), you can't say they weren't visually amazing.

So I've been waiting and waiting for this news, and at last it's here: Blizzard is debuting the Mists of Pandaria cinematic at this year's Gamescom. That's right, it's going to debut Thursday, August 16. What does that mean for the idea of a late August launch date? Well, it makes me slightly more confident in it, that's for sure. If you're going to be at Gamescom anyway, you should definitely check this out. If, like me, you won't be, you can anxiously check every five minutes or so until it's posted somewhere online.

[Thanks Bob Borst for the tip!]

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Recap of Blizzard Entertainment at Gamescom 2011

Blizzard has returned from Cologne, Germany, and the Gamescom convention with tales of triumph, competition, and tons of patch 4.3 goodness for us World of Warcraft players. The community site's blog was updated with a big recap of all of Blizzard's events from the show, in case you missed any of the fun from the live streams. World of Warcraft was represented by top guilds For the Horde and Ensidia trouncing through the Firelands in live raids for Gamescom attendees, as well as the new patch 4.3 features Void Storage, Raid Finder, and transmogrification.

StarCraft 2 showcased some cool show matches between top players, and Diablo 3 had a big hands-on gaming area that, obviously, filled up quicker than humanly possible. Seriously, can't that game just come out already? Blizzard wrapped up its recap with familiar dance and costume contests, with winners earning a trip to BlizzCon in October. Check out the full recap at the World of Warcraft community site for an awesome video of the Diablo 3 street art from the show.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard

MMO Roundup: Gamescom, Gamescom, and more Gamescom

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? It's not all WoW, all the time! Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all of the other MMOs around -- past, present and future.

Massively's Gamescom coverage
Gamescom is one of Europe's largest gaming events of the year. More news comes out of that event than we could ever hope to sum up in MMO Roundup, but Massively has it all. Head over to Massively's Gamescom hub for all of the event's MMO news.
NCsoft announces new MMO: WildStar
Developed by Carbine studios, WildStar is a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid MMO of "high adventure" in which players "lay claim to a mysterious planet on the edge of known space" by playing as explorers, soldiers, scientists, or settlers. Hit Massively for concept art and the game's cinematic trailer.
Blizzard quashes speculation about a potential World of StarCraft
Just in case all of Blizzard's previous indications of a StarCraft MMO not being in our future wasn't enough, here's another verification from Blizzard senior VP Frank Pearce: Blizzard currently has no plans to adapt the StarCraft setting to an MMO.
Guild Wars 2 shows off 40 minutes of gameplay
On the Gamescom floor, ArenaNet's Chris Lye took time to walk through the full Guild Wars 2 demo for the event. During the tour, he shows us character customization, the Asura, and the Charr starting experience, capping it off with a giant dragon boss encounter.
Massively Speaking Episode 161
Massively Speaking, Massively's MMO podcast, is back this week to bring you all the latest MMO news with your hosts Shawn and Rubi. This time around, the focus is Gamescom 2011, which exploded with new game announcements, video trailers, and screenshots.
Massively's week in review
Don't let WoW Insider do all of the talking when it comes to Massively's best content of the week. The Massively staff themselves have picked out what they think is the best content their site has to offer, in their own weekly roundup.

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Blizzard looking for "meaningful difference" in expansion releases

World of Warcraft's expansion cycle is not the norm in the MMO genre. The Blizzard expansion cycle is a new boxed expansion every two years, on average. According to Gameinformer, which got to talk to Tom Chilton at the Gamescom show in Germany last week, Blizzard is on track for a more timely release schedule with World of Warcraft expansions.

Chilton told Gameinformer:
We've been able to do it in one sense, but not as much as I would like to in another sense. I would like for all patches to reliably have raid bosses. Our first Cataclysm patch didn't have raid bosses. From a raider's persepctive, it probably doesn't feel any faster than it did before. For us, where the biggest improvement is going to be in this cycle is in the actual expansion release. Traditionally we've only been able to do an expansion about every two years. We're really hoping to make a meaningful difference in that.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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