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Spiritual Guidance: What few shadow priest highlights BlizzCon 2010 could scrape together

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Even weeks when your shadowy messiah, Fox Van Allen, is nursing one heck of a headache -- along with, presumably, everyone else who's still suffering from the non-stop party atmosphere of BlizzCon 2010.

Let's start by saying that BlizzCon 2010 was an absolute blast. I met most of the WoW Insider crew, got to smell Mike Sacco's hair yet again, got some amazing swag and got to eat at Jack in the Box no less than five times. The best part, though, was probably meeting Orkchop (pictured above with WoW Insider's moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, who can only aspire to be as amazing as Orkchop). The dude is an internet celebrity. For real.

But enough about how awesome Orkchop is. Let's talk shadow priests, and how awesome they are.

Now, I'm not good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just come out with it: BlizzCon 2010 was pretty disappointing in terms of World of Warcraft-related content. The biggest news out of the convention was the new loading screen for Cataclysm. Really. That was the big news. Seriously. And it's just a palette-shifted version of the Sindragosa loading screen.

Despite the lack of earth-shattering news, I made sure to take note of all the shadow priest action. There wasn't a heck of a lot of it, but what little ground was covered was hugely important to the future of the spec. The good, the bad and the non-answers -- we'll go over it all after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

IgroMir 2009: Cataclysm panel recaps

I touched on Blizzard's presence at IgroMir 2009, sort of the Russian E3, a bit previously, specifically about J. Allen Brack's panel regarding guild progression and leveling in Cataclysm. Of course, I had to Google-translate the panel from Russian (nyet, I do not know Russian, comrades), and not everything Blizzard-related from the whole convention was in the recaps I read.

Thankfully, Blizzard themselves have released their own recaps of the Cataclysm panel. In his talk, Brack discussed rated battlegrounds, Tol Barad (briefly), and guild progression. It turns out that I was pretty thorough in the guild leveling post, but here's the stuff I didn't cover:
  • Rated Battlegrounds will be an alternative way to gain Arena points for those who prefer large-scale PVP.
  • Your personal rating gain for a win will vary depending on the specific Battleground.
  • There'll be featured Battlegrounds each week with bonus rating gain for wins.
  • You will not lose points or rating for a Battleground loss.
  • Arena points can be used to purchase pets, mounts, vanity items, and perhaps best of all, the old honor system PVP titles like Grand Marshal.
  • Tol Barad will provide bonus daily quests and instances for the faction that wins the battle for the zone, somewhat like, as Brack put it, a cross between the Isle of Quel'Danas and Lake Wintergrasp.

You can check out our previous IgroMir post here, or read Blizzard's official recap on their IgroMir site.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

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.

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Pocket Books releases signing schedule for BlizzCon

Our friends at Blizzplanet have posted the official Pocket Books signing schedule for BlizzCon -- both Richard Knaak and Christie Golden will be live in attendance and signing throughout the weekend, and you can find the full schedule after the break. Both Knaak and Golden have written popular Warcraft novels, so bring your copies and you might walk away with them signed.

As far as I know, this is the first sign of a schedule we've seen for the convention. Blizzard usually does announce a schedule of panels and events a few days ahead of time (and of course, when you get your packet there at the door, there's a program with the full schedule inside), but they usually cut it pretty close. As of this writing, eight days until showtime, there is no official schedule yet posted on the site.

But this will give you at least one thing to plan on seeing (and we can tell you for sure that Friday morning will be the official keynote, with Saturday evening being the Ozzy show, if the way they've done it in the past is any indication). And as long as you're making a schedule up, don't forget to stop by our meetup on Thursday night -- not only will we have WoW.com staffers live in attendance, but there will be door prizes galore. More info on that soon.

Schedule after the jump.

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.

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, BlizzCon

Blizzard headed back to PAX this year

Can't make it to BlizzCon but still want to check out Blizzard's latest offerings? Blizzard has appeared on the list of sponsors for Penny Arcade's PAX convention, which takes place later this year on September 4-6, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. PAX is a great time and a ton of fun -- I went a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. In addition to a terrific lineup of geeky musicians and demo panels from game developers, they always have a nice open floor full of the latest games to check out and play. And since PAX will be going down after BlizzCon (which takes place in two weeks), if you go, you'll likely have a chance to check out whatever Blizzard wants to put on display, be that Starcraft II or Diablo 3, or, you know... anything else they might announce.

Plus, tickets to PAX are cheaper and even easier to get than BlizzCon tickets anyway, not to mention that you'll be seeing way more games and companies than just Blizzard. In fact, why am I going to BlizzCon again? I'd almost rather go to PAX this year. I'd love to see Freezepop!

Oh, right, I can't miss our legendary meetup (wait until you guys see the giveaways we have planned!). But even if you're going to Penny Arcade's show because you can't make it to Blizzard's convention, stay tuned here to WoW.com -- we'll make you feel like you're there anyway.

Filed under: Items, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Blizzard fills out the BlizzCon site

We covered the ticket FAQ for BlizzCon a few days ago, but there is more news up on Blizzard's official site about the event we all want to attend later this year. They've got an early list of developer panels to browse through, and there are sessions planned, as you'd expect, for Diablo III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft (though there aren't any surprises -- if they are going to do a "next expansion" demo panel, obviously we won't know until we look in the programs that weekend). Zarhym has also posted links to the usual contests, tournaments, and information on how to order up the DirecTV coverage.

Unfortunately, it's all pretty rote -- these are basically skeleton pages from what Blizzard did last year, and there's no actual information specific to BlizzCon '09: what the DirecTV purchase might get you, or any new events coming up. But if you haven't been to BlizzCon before, these pages will start giving you some idea of what you'll find there, from the lore and art panels (hint: any panel called "lore" usually has Chris Metzen being extremely entertaining, and any panel with "PvP" in the title will involve people asking question after question to the devs about why one class -- usually Paladins -- is over- or underpowered) to the ongoing competitions you'll see around the event all weekend.

And heck, if you have been to BlizzCon before, maybe these scant notes on what is happening will get you even more excited. Ticket sales begin next weekend -- good luck to everyone trying to buy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Contests, BlizzCon

DirecTV replay still available, showing tomorrow

Reader Stephen dropped us a note to let us know that if you missed the DirecTV stream of BlizzCon the first time around, you've got another chance tomorrow: they're going to show the whole thing again starting tomorrow morning. Seems pretty meh to us -- from what we heard, the stream wasn't all that great. And what you missed in terms of official panel information, you can get right from us here on the site. Anybody hear otherwise? Is this worth watching at all?

Of course, even if it's not, there is still one reason to order it, and that is of course the BlizzCon bear. Apparently people who purchase this replay will still get a code good for an ingame bear, and given that the bear and the Starcraft II code from the convention is going for as high as $200 already on eBay, shelling out $40 for just the code might be worth it to you.

And you'll pick up 16 hours of high-quality video along with it -- who wouldn't want to see Ghostcrawler in HD, right?

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCon Roundup: Day 1


Whew. What a dizzying first day that was, wasn't it? Ok, well, I wouldn't know myself since I'm halfway across the world, but judging from the conference hangovers my colleagues have got, it's safe to say it was one whirlwind of an opening. If you weren't here yesterday to watch -- er, read -- the play-by-play, here's a quick recap of BlizzCon '08 Day One:
  • Our tenacious guys at BlizzCon liveblogged the opening ceremonies, although nothing really spectacular happened here other than the announcement of the Wizard, a hot new class for Diablo III. It was mostly trailers, recaps, and a reminder for everyone that something historic will happen in November. And it's not the elections.
  • Mike gave us all a preview of the people milling about in costume earlier in the day, but that was just a preview for the totally phenomenal costume contest this year. While past years have been pretty cool, this year's crop blew all the past ones out of the water. You'll have to check out the gallery for yourself to see what I mean. Can you imagine a turtle mount? Yes. A turtle mount.
  • Krystalle snapped quite a bunch of shots from the convention floor just to give everyone an idea of how BlizzCon feels. Looking through the general floor gallery, it almost felt like I was there. Minus the trademark convention smell, I presume, and the sad inability to purchase any of the cool swag.
  • The first World of Warcraft panel of the day dealt with the game's UI. It's pretty cool and was a proper teaser for the even cooler things that would pop up later in the day. Our man Alex did the liveblogging duties for this one. Itemrack will have to wait, unfortunately. More stuff from yesterday after the jump!

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Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

BlizzCon schedule and interactive map


BlizzCon 2008 begins this Friday October 10th and it looks like it's going to be a great time. Blizzard has posted the schedule for the two day event, as well as an interactive map of the convention.

On Friday there will be WoW relevant panels about the UI, classes, and artwork. On Saturday there will be panels about WoW PvP, raids & dungeons, a general Q&A session, and more class panels. The opening keynote is set to being at 11:00 a.m. PDT on Friday morning.

There are a lot of interesting attractions and events that'll be going on in addition to the slew of vendors that'll be there. There will be several large hands on gaming areas, a charity auction (hopefully some cool things will be presented – we'll be sure to let you know what's there when we find out), a developer signing, some archery, and Blizzard trivia.

WoW Insider will be covering the event in force. We'll be covering everything we can with live blogging, images and video from the floor, and several other great features. Lots more to come this week!

Read on after the break for a quick look at when all the WoW related events will be happening.

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Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

WoW Insider at Dragon*Con 2008!


Perhaps you were one of the myriad people who made it out to the WoW panels at Dragon*Con last year. Maybe you just heard of this raucous, geeky event and decided that since you can't make it to the West coast for BlizzCon, you'd check out Dragon*Con. Whatever your reason, we're heading back again this year along with our sister site Massively with a variety of World of Warcraft related panels for you to enjoy!

If you're heading to Hotlanta this weekend to take in all the awesome that is sure to be Dragon*Con 2008, we've prepared a handy guide to some of the MMOG track happenings that may be of interest. Join us after the break for a panel breakdown, or check out the full schedule on Massively for all things MMO going on at D*C 2008!

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Wrath of the Lich King

BlizzCon 2008 panel list revealed

Now that the scramble for tickets is over, it remains for the wounded and battered veterans of the battle against the Fail Murloc to gird themselves and march forward, looking for succor where they can get it.

Luckily, a list of panels for BlizzCon 2008 has been released, giving us something awesome to look forward to as we count down the days. For those of you who can't make it, be sure to check WoW Insider. We'll have liveblogs and notes from each WoW panel so you'll know exactly what was said and how it will affect your gameplaying experience. For the Diablo III and Starcraft II stuff, you'll be able to get the same treatment from our sister site, Joystiq.

Check after the break for a complete list of panel titles.

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Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Instances, Raiding, BlizzCon

BlizzCon site now live


The official site for BlizzCon 2008 is now up. The launch prefaces the ticket sales for the event, scheduled for August 11. If you're considering going to the Anaheim, CA event, you can check out the website for all the information you need from hotel & travel accommodations to the various panels throughout the weekend. World of Warcraft-related panels include discussions on class design, PvP, WoW art, dungeons & raids, and UI & mods.

The event, the first BlizzCon to be televised live, will also see the finals of the Global Arena tournament. Even if you're not interested in Arena PvP, there are a bunch of other contests you can participate in (or watch for your amusement), such as the ever-popular costume contest, dance contest, and even the machinima competition. Details aren't up on the site yet, but you can bug them on their FAQ about that.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: On schedule

We got our very first look at what may be the BlizzCon schedule yesterday, so whaddaya think? Are you excited to play Starcraft II? Are you planning to check out the tournaments, or are there any panels that catch your eye? I'm interested to see how they're going to fill a whole hour with Starcraft lore, although it is pretty complicated, I guess. And is there anything missing? They have two full sessions on classes planned, but I'm not sure that'll be enough to hold all the tears from the QQing-- hopefully they have a big ballroom.

And even if you aren't going, give us your reaction-- are you more bummed than ever that you're not making the trip, or are you glad you didn't waste your money?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, BlizzCon

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