Blizzard has done it once again. Earlier this afternoon, Blizzard revealed the latest World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor for the crowds at BlizzCon. The new expansion raises the level cap to 100 and seeks to send players on a journey through the homelands of both Orcs and Draenei. This should be an excellent buffer against slowly-declining subscription numbers and will likely be more well-received than Mists of Pandaria.
Blizzard fans, hold on to your hats – while you're running to grab your seat, that is. The BlizzCon 2013 Opening Ceremony begins today at 11:00am PT (2:00pm ET). If you're not attending BlizzCon and don't have a Virtual Ticket, you can still view the ceremony as well as all of the Starcraft II, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone eSports action for free on the BlizzCon livestream page. Tournaments will run throughout the day, so be sure to check the convention schedule in order to catch your favorite teams and players compete.
Images courtesy of WoW Insider.
Heading to BlizzCon? Come party with us!
From 5PM to 11PM PT on Thursday, Nov. 7th, Wowhead is partnering with WoW Insider to host a party at the Anabella Hotel – directly next to BlizzCon. There will be awesome sponsors, tons of prizes, and plenty of well-known World of Warcraft faces including Blizzard staff and popular streamers. We've even got GUNNAR hosting a photobooth with Azeroth-inspired weapons!
BlizzCon is next week and Wowhead's teaming up with WoW Insider to throw a huge party the night before. From 5pm to 11pm Pacific on Thursday, November 7th, they'll be partying at the Anabella hotel right next to BlizzCon and anyone in the area can attend. They've got awesome sponsors, lots of prizes, a bunch of well-known people from the World of Warcraft community including some Blizzard staff and popular streamers, and even a photobooth for attendees looking to get a picture taken with some weapons from Azeroth.
I know what some of you are saying: "That sounds great and all, but I didn't get a BlizzCon ticket this year." Thanks to Blizzard's generosity, 16 lucky Wowhead and Hearthhead fans will get the chance to attend this year's show.
This November Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is slated to make its next-generation console debut on the Playstation 4 at BlizzCon 2013. BlizzCon is Blizzard Entertainment's annual expo covering just about everything Blizzard related. The demo will be playable for the full two day duration of the event spanning from November 8th-9th.
This week Blizzard finally released the event schedule for this year's BlizzCon in Anaheim, CA. From opening ceremony at 10AM on Friday, November 8th to the closing concert on at 6:30PM on November 9th, every panel, tournament and contest is outlined for in-person and Virtual Ticket attendees to plan out their two days. A floor map was also included with the new schedules, so those going to the show can figure out which panels they'll have to run across the convention center to catch and where they can play Heroes of the Storm while waiting for the next one.
In light of yesterdays' news that BlizzCon 2012 would not be taking place, Blizzard did drop one golden drop of hope: the world famous BlizzCon eSports scene would not suffer as a result. To prove this, Blizzard jointly announced with their sad BlizzCon news that they would be hosting the 2012 Battle.net World Championship Event later this year in Asia. With a large prize pool and the high-quality shindigs Blizzard is known for hosting, this could be an important stepping stone in the eSports industry.
Just yesterday, TeamLiquid sat down with Ilja Rotelli, Global Director of Community & eSports at Blizzard, where they got to discussing some of the big plans Blizzard had with their 2012 Battle.net World Championship. Of particular interest was the fact that Blizzard doesn't want the tournament to revolve around an immense prize pool; instead, they want to focus on delivering a high quality competition that players will want to participate in for prestige and recognition. This doesn't mean, of course, that Blizzard is taking a step back in its cash rewards, but it does indicate a shift of focus toward creating a more serious industry.
Ilja Rotelli also had some choice words for eSports competitors Riot Games and Valve, both of which have placed a large amount of prize money into their tournaments. When asked if Blizzard's eSports philosophy differed from Riot or Valve, he noted that their approach to eSports relies on what he calls "stunts," where he notes that they are "trying to achieve . . . a lot of media attention while asserting yourself in the industry." Meanwhile, Ilja argues that Blizzard is taking a more grassroots approach to building eSports as an industry, and he's hoping to not tarnish that vision by making the entire focus on big cash prizes.
It's a great read and Ilja Rotelli is very honest in the interview, so head over to TeamLiquid and take a read!
Blizzard finally has set a date for it annual fan convention. Mark your calendar for Oct. 22-23 and be prepared for updates and panels on StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft. They probably have a new biombshell announcement planned as well.
Since 2005, tens of thousands of gamer fans have flocked to southern California each year (with the exception of 2006) to take part in BlizzCon; Blizzard's celebration of its complete IP lineup. The first convention took place on October 28, 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, and it's remained there ever since. About 8000 people were in attendance; a fairly substantial turn-out when you consider that no one knew exactly what to expect.
By the end of the weekend though, fans were thrilled with what they had finally found: a convention for gamers, by gamers. Technically, BlizzCon is similar to a trade expo in some functions, but Blizzard knew from the get-go that it wanted to offer its fans something other than the stuffy, industry-only direction in which tradeshows were headed. One weekend out of the year, Blizzard wanted to throw a massive party disguised as an expo, where its fans could gather and celebrate the entire array of the Blizzard franchise—including the Warcraft RTS series, StarCraft, Diablo…and of course, World of Warcraft.
For those of you lucky enough to score tickets to this year's convention (Aug. 21 and 22), ZAM has you covered, in this preview guide to BlizzCon 2009. You'll find a round-up of this year's highlights, along with some sage advice gleaned from attendees of years past. And if you weren't able to purchase tickets this year (along with seemingly everyone else who tried), don't worry! We'll give you all the info you need to consider the live "virtual pay-per-view" service being offered this year—which also entitles you to receive the same "Grunty the Murloc Marine" in-game vanity pet in this year's swag bags.