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In this episode we take a look at some more Patch 4.1 goodies, why Ghostcrawler has stopped posting on the official forums, the latest Ask The Devs questions and answers, some cool new art & much more! ūüėÄ

Watch in HD! Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe!

‚ÄėRead More‚Äô for links!

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writing

2010 Global Writing Contest Winners!

Though the loss of life and limb was great, the ocular fortitude of¬†Blizzard’s judges allowed them to see the job through: the winners of the 2010 Global Writing Contest have been chosen. Many judges were felled by the 18 million words that made up this year’s competition, but whilst their souls are now forfeit to the contest’s patron deity, C’Thun, their sacrifices were not in vain. Behold, the victors!

Winner:

“Silver Hand, Ebon Blade” by Raphael Ahad

Finalists (In Alphabetical Order):

“Defiant” by Corwin D. Riddle
“Entombed” by Saif¬†Ansari
“Fresh” by Meghan O’Hara
“In the Blood” by Celine Taillefer
“Loose Ends” by Pedram¬†Javidpour
“Memories of the Future” by Michael D. O’Reilly
“The Wicked and the Righteous” by Marika Kermode

Honorable Mentions:

“ATLAS Rising: Shootout on the Supercarriers” by David Tsai
“Jackson’s Farewell” by Roderick Leeuwenhart
“The Maker’s Burden” by Walter Handloser
“Returning Gnome” by Richard Powell
“Spectre of the Past” by Craig E. Stalbaum
“The Case of the Scrivener’s Seal” by Michelle Millar

The winner of the 2010 Global Writing Contest will be invited to visit Blizzard Entertainment’s headquarters to meet and eat with Chris Metzen¬†and the rest of the creative development team. He will also receive his choice of a Frostmourne¬†sword or Diablo III barbarian statue. The seven finalists will each receive signed copies of the Diablo Archive, StarCraft¬†Archive, Warcraft Archive, and Warcraft: War of the Ancients Archivebooks.

There were a couple of complaints that most of the stories were in fact set in the WarCraft universes, but I guess that’s just the way of things. With all that said, the¬†winning entry, along with excerpts from the finalists, can now be found on the contest website. Check them out and enjoy the abundance of textual pleasure!

2010 Global Writing Contest Winners! – Official

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Contest Winner: Guardian of Accounts – February 2011

Another contest winner has been announced! The first winner in¬†Blizzard’s recurring contest, ‚ÄúThe Guardian of Accounts Art Contest‚ÄĚ, has been picked. Featuring quite the clever blueprints of a StarCraft II inspired anti account-theft trap, the submission by Markus from Germany managed to impress many and you can see it on your screens right now, quite intricate!

Congratulations, Markus, and good work!

As a reminder,¬†Blizzard just let us know that they will¬†continue picking one winner in ‚ÄúThe Guardian of Accounts Art Contest‚ÄĚ each month until January 2012. Each winner will receive a nifty iPad along with the fame, fortune and pleasure that comes from having others appreciate their work! I would love to enter something like this, I do however believe that nothing I enter would ever be as good as something like this, oh well…

See the full size image and all the details you’d need to enter below!

Contest Winner: Guardian of Accounts – February 2011 – Official

Memories of Blizzard Video Contest

The official contest rules, details and prizes for the Blizzard Entertainment 20th Anniversary Video Contest have been revealed! The prizes include an all expenses-paid trip to BlizzCon, keyboards, mice and headsets from Razer, Steelseries¬†and Creative Labs, drinking vessels from TavernCraft, action figures from DC Direct and even custom posters featuring your very own character from PrintWarCraft. That is quite a load of cool stuff and I really can’t wait to see what the fans come up with for this competition.

Ready to take on¬†this journey through time and space? Check out the official rules page for details and eligibility and if any of you watching this enter, be sure to let me know! ūüėÄ

Memories of Blizzard Video Contest – Official

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Demon Hunter Male

More On The Male Demon Hunter

So with the big reveal of the Male Demon Hunter out-of-the-way, Blizzard decided it was finally time to update their official site with the artwork, animations and a couple of screenshots¬†of this most badass of classes. On the site he¬†boasts a pair of pistol crossbows, a nice new outfit that is, to many fans happiness, quite a bit different from¬†the female version. But yes, while some say¬†that metro sexual¬†goatee and mustache¬†is slightly Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribean’ish, others are saying that it looks like a Necromancers bone armor and others yet can’t get over those boots. All I can say is that I’m glad we finally know what all the classes look like and, more importantly, know that all of them are in the game and working. (At least partially!) Last thing worth mention is that the¬†male Demon Hunter is also sporting two glowing orbs, as its female counterpart does.

If you’re keen for more screenshots, artwork of just want to see that newly clad and animated bad boy in action, you can do so in the links below or over at the official site, Diablo3.com.

Diablo III Official Site

Male Demon Hunter Animation is Live РDiablo INC Gamers

Demon Hunter Extras

As a few extras, the guys and girls over at Diablo INC Gamers have been tallying the votes to see what the public things about this new, different from the female, look. Around 43 percent of the voters said that they loved the new look, which is a much better reaction than the one the concept art received. 36 percent of the voters said that the new, animated, version of the class was okay, but could be better. That said, the reactions are still a lot more positive, so that’s great! Check the polls and all the fans reactions out below, too, as I said, courtesy of Diablo INC Gamers. Diablofans¬†also has a few follow-up questions up concerning some of the more complex, or misunderstood, questions about skill trees and rune combinations¬†that were asked during their interview with Christian Litchner and Jason Bender. All of that and more can be found below. Enjoy!

Poll: The Male Demon Hunter’s Look РDiablo INC Gamers

Male Demon Hunter Follow-up РDiablofans

600k_1

Facebook Like Updates

Then third set of Diablo Facebook ‘like’ updates has been posted. As of typing this the Facebook¬†page is sitting on a pretty decent 615k ‘likes’ and going up fast! First up we got a look at another piece of concept art that was, sadly, also not new. The artwork, which is of an unnamed and unknown demon, was done by Josh Tallman, the Senior Concept Artist working on Diablo III. Diablofans and Diablo INC Gamers both report that we did in fact see this back in 2008, which is quite¬†a pity. To make up for it, though, we do have what has got to be one of my personal favourite screenshots to date. The shot is of a female monk wielding dual fist weapons interrupting a ritual being performed by Dark Vessels. What makes it so great is that, if you check the middle of the screenshot, where all the action is, you can see that one of the Dark Vessels has actually been cut clean in half by the monk, it is quite a sight. All that said, I would recommend you all check the full size screenshot out, you can do so below.

Diablo Fanpage РFacebook

The Diablo Facebook Ransom is Paid: Part III – Diablo INC Gamers

Third Batch of Screenshots and Art -Diablofans

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The next batch of content is no doubt just around the corner so keep checking back here for that! ūüėÄ

Zooming & Hardcore Deaths

In a few smalls which I will turn into, well, non-smalls, by talking about them here, we get a bit more information about zooming, or the lack-thereof, in Diablo III, aswell as death in hardcore¬†mode. I suppose neither of these are really new pieces of news, it does give us a little to think about. A fan recently asked how much, or how far in, we would be able to zoom in Diablo III, compared to Starcraft II. The answer provided by @Diablo was a pretty simple one, though – There‚Äôs no zoom feature planned beyond a slight perspective shift when engaged in conversations. How do you feel about this? I think the fact that they are locking the perspective of the game will probably give them a little more creative freedom with the environments, it will be easier to balance the skills and classes and, the chances are also good that it will help them keep the performance, and the monitoring of it, more stable. (As if you zoom out further the chances are you will lose performance)¬†Either way, it is interesting and I’d like to know how that ‘slight perspective change’ looks now, as we know the old side-view dialogue¬†system was removed.¬†Ultimately, I don’t see anyone really getting bent out of shape because of the lack of a zoom function, though!

Q: Zoom. How much will we be able to zoom in D3 compared to SC2? Рkiowa81
A: There’s no zoom feature planned beyond a slight perspective shift when engaged in conversations. Р@Diablo

Next up¬†a fan¬†asked about dying in hardcore mode, the mode I probably wouldn’t¬†set foot in¬†for quite some time after launch.¬†The fan asked a¬†pretty simple question and, well, received a pretty simple answer in response! The question was, what if your character is hardcore and dies. Can¬†it be resurrected by your teammates? The answer, you ask? Well we all know this one! Nope. In hardcore dead is dead. I know, I know, old news, but still, it is still just so scary to think about. For those that have already read the post, yes, I did in fact fix the typo of doom in the question. If you want to know what the real, slightly more entertaining question was,¬†you’re gonna have to check it out for yourself below!

Q: What if your character is hardcore and dies. Can he be redirected by your teammates? – koolgam3r
A: Nope. In hardcore dead is dead. Р@Diablo 

If you want to read more about these two smalls, and the guys over at Diablo INC Gamers thoughts on them, check the links below!

@Diablo on Not-Zooming and Hardcore… something РDiablo INC Gamers

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Fan Art Watch

The next two Fan Art Watch posts are up over at Diablo INC Gamers and man, is there some impressive stuff to be seen. In Fan Art Watch # 76 we get a look at a piece by Ratzgoblin called Worldstone: An end is a new start. This piece shows off the Worldstone as it is being corrupted by Baal. Next up we have a piece by Freelancerart, which is definitely my personal favourite. This one is called Witch Doctor and, well, shows the witch doctor doing some of his crazy magic by a fire in the jungles of Kurast. Absolutely stunning. In Fan Art Watch #77 we take a look at a Diablo II themed pieces featuring the necromancer and his minions, quite humorous!

The guys over at Diablo INC Gamers, who do indeed keep posting these most amazing of pieces, say that if you¬†enjoy the fac art and¬†want to contribute to the growing community, be sure to¬†stop by the Fan Creations Forum. There are many artists that frequent¬†the forums, posting works in progress and¬†completed pieces¬†looking for feedback and conversation.¬†They stress that you absolutely don’t have to be¬†‘arty’ in any way¬†to join in. Sounds like a good deal to me and with art like this, who wouldn’t want to show some appreciation. Check both those fan art watch posts out below and enjoy!

Diablo Fan Art Watch #77: Weekend Necromancers – Diablo INC Gamers

Diablo Fan Art Watch #76: From the Worldstone Chamber to the Jungles of Kurast РDiablo INC Gamers

A Little Help Entering The Diablo III Beta

Need a little help entering the Diablo III beta? Well, Bashiok¬†has been pretty quiet as of late, but, he did reply to a question recently regarding how one goes about entering¬†Blizzard¬†Betas, or I guess, the Diablo Beta specifically. Bashiok¬†says that the most ‘consistent’ way is probably going to be just opting in through Battle.net, but, I will add that although that might be consistent, you are no doubt competing with 15 million others for a select few spots in the beta. Just make sure, if you do in fact have a Battle.net account, that you have created a beta profile and selected the Diablo¬†Universe as one you’d like to test for.¬†Lucky for us, though, that won’t be the only way to get in. The chances are good that there will be tons of websites offering keys in competitions or giveaways and things like the pre-order deals that some stores did for Starcraft¬†II. Diablo INC Gamers took this time to assure us that they will be compiling a page¬†for the Diablo III beta when the time comes that will include all the details we could ever need, with the aim of getting as many of¬†us into the test as possible. Now that really warms the heart.¬†So if you want to see¬†Bashiok’s full interactions or just want to read more¬†from Diablo INC Gamers, you can do so below!

How to Enter the Diablo III Beta – Diablo INC Gamers

Right, so the most consistent method is going to be to opt-in through Battle.net. There’s actually still a guide available for StarCraft II, and much of the info is still accurate for the process to opt-in for the Diablo III beta.

Aside from the normal opt-in there will undoubtedly be contests and promotions, such as the keys given away at BlizzCon. As we have info about additional ways you could potentially get a beta key we’ll of course let you know.

He pretty much just goes about saying that the same method we used to apply for the Starcraft II beta will apply for Diablo III.

PvP Balance In Diablo III

PvP. The PvP¬†in Diablo III is no doubt one of the biggest selling points of a game of this type and also no doubt one of the most difficult things to balance. Bashiok¬†made that pretty clear recently when jumping into a forum post to answer a few questions regarding what Blizzard are doing to balance the PvP, specifically for 1v1, by saying that PvP will be balanced, sure,¬†but not that¬†balanced. He pretty much just went on to tell the fact, who was quite adamant about getting answers, that they intend to get PvP¬†balanced, yes, but want it to be fun and have meaning to it. What was, to me at least, the best part of this entire conversation was that Bashiok¬†also said that PvP¬†balance is not an integral goal to releasing the game and not something that they are going to hold the game for. (If they did, it might never come out!) The fan persisted, though, and next up he said that the real issue, which Bashiok¬†was apparently dodging, was the whole¬†A > B > C > D > A thing where the game comes down to just selecting a class or¬†a spec that would work well against a different class or spec in order to win. Needless to say, Bashiok also shot that one down saying that he really doesn’t see it happening. Not with the amount of options out there, the breadth of customization and, well, the fun to be had!

So yes, there is a lot to think about when it comes to PvP balance, but really, will you be rolling a class and spec just because you think it will own in arena, just because you think it will counter a different class or spec? I doubt that. Well, not for quite some time at least. The chances are good players will play the classes they WANT to play, the classes they would enjoy playing, instead. Sure, later in the game’s lifespan issues like this may well arise, but hey, that’s what patching is for, right? ūüėÄ

If you want to read all about PvP balance and what Bashiok has to say about it, check the post linked below. Enjoy!

Blue on PvP Balance – Diablo INC Gamers

Diablo 3 Smalls

 

Diablo III Smalls:

Diablo Cosplay Updates – Diablo INC Gamers

The Diablo Chronicles: Socketables РDiablofans

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Starcraft_2_Comic_by_genjihlClick for full size!

Hilarious comic from one of the winners of the most recent Blizzard Comic Contest!¬†There’s some great stuff to be seen on his¬†DeviantArt, check that out here.

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Blizzard Comic Contest

Blizzard Comic Contest

The Blizzard Comic Contest has been announced! If you think your comics are exciting, entertaining or just plain hilarious enough to stand and bang with the rest of them,¬†then you had better¬†get them sent in right now.¬†There are some great prizes up for grabs and let’s face it, drawing comics could be pretty fun!¬† So even if you’re not the best artist out there you could still give this one a go and make it stick with a bit of humor. See the full announcement below!

If you’ve ever read the Sunday morning funny pages, then you already know what to do. Make a comic that will split our sides (a little artistic skill doesn’t hurt either…) and you may be among one of three winners chosen every other month.

We’ll display the winners proudly on our websites and send their creators a good-as-cash gift card. We’re opening the contest up to all Blizzard Entertainment franchises, so you can now create a fun, silly, or interesting comic based on the themes and characters from the Warcraft, Diablo, or Starcraft universes to enter.

Check out the rules for more information.

Winners are chosen and posted every other month.

  • First place: $250 Visa Gift Card
  • Second place: $150 Visa Gift Card
  • Third place: $100 Visa Gift Card

Blizzard Entertainment

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12 Million

World of Warcraft Reaches 12 Million Subscribers

World of Warcraft has finally hit the 12 million mark. The MMO powerhouse sat on around 11 Million for quite some time but it’s finally made the jump and hit that big 12. I think it’s pretty much to be expected that something like this would happen now, as¬†Wrath of the Lich King¬†launches in China and¬†on the brink of¬† The Shattering. With Cataclysm just around the corner and the new talent change patch looming I guess now is as good a time as any to get back into the game and forfeit your soul to Blizzard Entertainment. There’s a really big chance that they will be telling us about their 15 million subscribers soon, too. YOu heard it here first! You can read the full official announcement below!

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft¬ģ, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 12 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of World of Warcraft‚Äôs second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King¬ģ, and also as global anticipation continues to mount for the December 7 release of the game’s third expansion, Cataclysm‚ĄĘ.
Blizzard Entertainment

WORLD OF WARCRAFT¬ģ SUBSCRIBER BASE REACHES 12 MILLION WORLDWIDE

Battle.net Authenticator Changes

As part of their constant efforts to improve the security and stability of our Battle.net accounts and all our precious games on them, Blizzard have once again made a couple of small improvements. The biggest change is probably the fact that Battle.net Authenticators¬†can now only be used on one World of Warcraft at a time. Another small change that is not in the official announcement is that you can now restrict guild ranks to people using Authenticators. So that means you won’t have¬†any more¬†pesky hackers robbing your hard-earned guild bank. Interesting stuff, read more about that below!

To help keep Battle.net accounts as secure as possible, we’ve recently changed how Battle.net authenticators can be used. Going forward, Battle.net authenticators can now only be associated with one Battle.net account at a time. No changes are being made to how many game licenses a single Battle.net account can support. You can still have multiple World of Warcraft accounts under a single Battle.net account, for instance, and all game licenses linked with a Battle.net account will still be protected if an authenticator is in use.

Those of you who currently have more than one Battle.net account associated with a single authenticator will be able to maintain your existing setup without needing to do anything. This change will only affect new authenticator attachments. But, if at some point you decide to detach the authenticator from any of your Battle.net accounts for any reason, you won’t be able to reattach it if it’s already associated with another Battle.net account.

For more information on the Battle.net authenticator and mobile authenticator application (available for free with many mobile carriers), please visit http://us.blizzard.com/support/article/blizzardauth
Blizzard Entertainment (Source)

ss195Daniel S√°nchez Arranz (Spain)

New Fan Art

I really do have to mention it when there’s some shiny new fan art to check out. It’s just that good! The official Blizzard fan art section has been updated! There, I said it. You should definitely check it out to see some of the amazing new works sent in by fans. You can find the links below!

Blizzard EU Fan Art

Blizzard US Fan Art

48 Hour BlizzCon Pre-Sale

Blizzard has announced that they are going to be having a 48-hour pre-sale of all the items that will be available for purchase at BlizzCon this year. So that means if you are a ticket holder you can head on over to the Blizzard store between 10am on October 9 and 9:59am on October 11 (Pacific Time). Yes, that is right now. This deal does apply to virtual ticket holders, too, so if you got one of those you can head on over to the store as well! Enjoy ūüėÄ

Heading to BlizzCon¬†2010? Planning to purchase some souvenirs at the show? From October 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific time until October 11 at 9:59 a.m., BlizzCon¬†2010 ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase select BlizzCon 2010 store merchandise online (while supplies last). Items purchased through this sale will be shipped directly to your home, giving you more time to take in the panels, tournaments, and other events at the show. To participate, log in to the online Blizzard Store¬†during the sale hours using the Battle.net account provided when you purchased your BlizzCon 2010 ticket (viewable in the buyer’s Order History), and head to the More Products¬†section. A second 48-hour sale for BlizzCon Virtual Ticket purchasers will be taking place beginning October 13 — place your order by October 10 to participate.
Blizzard Entertainment

Cataclysm Add Contest

Design A Cataclysm Advert And Win!

Interesting!¬†So whether you specialize in video or print, Blizzard¬†has something for you. Create an advert for World of¬†Warcraft Cataclysm between now and November 23 and you could stand a chance at winning some of the¬†most amazing prizes I’ve ever seen.¬†While they don’t mention if these advertisements are actually set to be used for the launch of Cataclysm, they are still definitely making it worth our while entering. So if you think you got what it takes to make a really cool and obviously gripping advert you’d better check the links below and see what needs to be done! Good luck to everyone entering!

Cataclysm YouTube Commercial Contest – Blizzard Entertainment

Cataclysm Print Ad Contest РBlizzard Entertainment

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Cataclysmic Changes Tuesday

Some interesting news this week! There was a quick hotfix (about 10 megs) applied to the Cataclysm Beta Servers and it seems like I can once again log in! I will try get some of my own coverage done soon, but till then, this news will have to do!

Current Zone Status РUpdated

The incredibly long list of zones that are currently either being worked on, open for testing or still totally in need of a remake has been updated! For a beta tester that is actually testing the zones, this list is invaluable. It in you can find links to all the areas respective threads on the forums. For non-beta testers, you can at least see how things are coming along and how many zones have yet to be completed!

New And Updated Zone Status List

Wowhead Cataclysm

Wowhead Haiku Contest

The incredibly funny and extremely fun Wowhead¬†Haiku Contest is still underway. There are a couple of days left before it’s finished and if you want a chance at a beta key I really don’t see a reason not to at least try to¬†enter! They are on Day 6 of 10 at the moment. Head on over to Wowhead¬†to either vote or submit an entry now!

PowerAura BlizzardThanks to MMO-Champion for the pic! Click it to take you to their post.

Blizzard’s Power Auras – Updated¬†

Blizzard’s PowerAura-esque¬†addition to the game has been updated! There are now textures for all the spells/abilities’ icons¬†that pop up when you have to press their corresponding¬†key’s. You can all the new icons above courtesy of MMO-Champion. It’s really cool that they have this built-in¬†now and I can’t wait to see what other addons are going to be poached¬†and shoved into Cataclysm.

Wrath of the Lich King Launches in Mainland China August 31

Wrath of the Lich King is set to launch in china on August the 31st. Yes, they have been playing Burning Crusade till now. It’s pretty sad for them that they had to wait all this time to get their hands on Wrath. But I guess that’s how it goes. If you want to read more about the poor Chinese gamers and their struggles be sure to check the official press release out here.

Cataclysm Mounts Preview at MMO-Champion

MMO-Champion¬†is giving the mounts of Cataclysm a bit of love. They so say, as you can see below, that it’s¬† not a complete list, not by a longshot. Mounts are mounts though and more than a few giddy WoW fanboys and girls would jump at the chance to lay their eyes on these precious beasts! MMO-Champion¬†already has a few achievement mounts up along with a few from Uldum. I guess you gotta keep checking back there for more of those!

This is not a complete list of all the mounts added to the game with Cataclysm, I’ll do that a little later when most of them are added to the game.

Blizzard Art Show Taiwan

Blizzard’s Game Aesthetics Exhibition Held in Taiwan

Blizzard’s what? That’s what I thought too, don’t worry. It’s basically just an art show featuring all of Blizzards latest and greatest creations. Apparently more than 700 artworks from Blizzard’s¬†Diablo, Starcraft¬†and Warcraft Universes are on show at the exhibition. I would sooo love to see that! You can read more about that over at Kotaku or 178.com.

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