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BlizzCon 2010 News Roundup

By Jason Bechdel -

Day One

  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be released December 7 2010, however that’s not the exciting news. Instead players will be pleased to discover that for the first time ever they will be able to pre-order the expansion directly from the Blizzard store, download much of the DVD content in advance, which equates to being able to play the second, or if you are truly hardcore, the millisecond that the servers go live.
  • Thanks largely in part to the stunning success of the Pandaren Monk which helped to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Blizzard will be offering up a new charity pet; the Moonkin Hatchling. Expected to make its debut in November this new pet will allow players to add another awesome addition to their pet collection while feeling good about themselves at the same time.
  • Finally the suspense is over and Blizzard has announced the Fifth and final playable class for Diablo III,  the Demon Hunter, which seems to be vaguely reminiscent of the Amazon, except much darker and with the potential to be much cooler. Also unveiled was the game’s player vs. player combat system which is more advanced than anything seen in any Diablo game before.
  • To say that StarCraft II has been embraced by Blizzard’s fan base is an understatement to say the least, with more than 91 million StarCraft ranked matches having taken place on Battle.net since release. Perhaps to thank StarCraft fans everywhere for their continued enthusiasm the StarCraft development team has been hard at work creating four new custom games including; StaJeweled, Aiur Chef, Left 2 Die, and Blizzard DOTA.These new games are scheduled to be released for free sometime in the not so distant future.\
  • At possibly the most anticipated StarCraft II exhibition match of the day SlayerS_BoxeR took on Fruit Dealer. Both considered legends  in their own right, the Starcraft battle that would ensue was really anyone’s game. The showdown was a spectacular sight and no player seemed able to keep the upper hand. Evemtually one of these amazing players had to fall with Fruit Dealer emerging as the victor. To see replays of all the amazing Tournaments at BlizzCon visit the tournaments page on Blizzard’s website.
  • The first exciting day of BlizzCon wrapped up as Jay Mohr appeared to host the contest stage show. 25,000 in prizes were given away in five separate contents (Fan Art, Original Song, Movie, Dance, and Costume). Although there was tough competition this year several of the entries stood out above the rest. The winners of each of the contests are as follows:


Original Song
First Place: “The Queen of Blades”by Shaer Behrooznia
Second Place: “Requiem for Arthas”by Hao-Wei Huang
Third Place: “For the Swarm”by Nicholas Stephen Tomassetti

Movie
First Place: “The Rocket of Love”by Jeffery Cuiper
Second Place: “Mafioso Swing”by Johan Vagstedt
Third Place: “I Am Forsaken”by Kevin Lobine

Fan Art
First Place: “World of Whelpcraft”by Christina  Marie Yen
Second Place: “Starcraft Protoss v. Zerg”by Sangrok Lee
Third Place: “Warcraft Battle Scene”by Jun Huang

Dance
First Place: Dwarf Male dance by Chase Creekmur
Second Place: Dwarf Female dance performed by Tim Townley
Third Place: Goblin Female dance performed by Evonne Marvin

Costume Contest
First Place: Christina Estrada as a female Monk from Diablo III
Second Place: Armando Farfen Jr. as Illidan Stormrage
Third Place: Brenna Bozanic as “Ysera”

We here at Ten Ton Hammer would like to personally congratulate the winners and all who participated in the various contests for their hard work and creativity.


 

Day Two

  • Think your games are intense? Well they are nothing compared to the intensity found at the grand finals of the World of Warcraft, Warcraft III, and StarCraft II tournaments. Dreams were built and shattered, tempers flared, and even those with the calmest nerves threatened to crack. After some long and hard game play the winners finally began to emerge. Visit the BlizzCon tournament page to view the various brackets for each game and the winners for each.
  • At the Diablo III Crafting Sanctuary panel players discovered that in Diablo III instead of seeing the dreaded wall of text instructing you on what to do, Blizzard will be trying to enforce a more “Play, Don’t Tell” policy. Instead of a screen filled with text when players encounter a quest giver the NPC will instead follow the player until they arrive at the quest objective. Once there the NPC will impart only needed information upon the player, while the action continues. If this bit of news wasn’t exciting enough players will be pleased to discover that almost any and all ridiculously long storytelling that can be found in the game will be totally optional. Less talking and more killing? Yeah that sounds good no matter which way you look at it.
  • Also at the Diablo III Crafting Sanctuary panel the role of artisans was finally revealed. The three artisans are the mystic, jeweler, and blacksmith. Players who are familiar with World of Warcraft will find that these artisans are a bit like all WoW professions combined. The mystic can craft items of the magic sort and enchant and identify items, the blacksmith can add gem sockets, repair, and create armor and weapons, while the jeweler combines gems, de-sockets gems from items, and crafts rings and amulets.
  • At the StarCraft II Art panel the audience had the pleasure of viewing 70 plus pieces of art both silly and serious, including some pieces that will be found in Blizzard’s upcoming custom maps for Starcraft. Visit the StarCraft II Art Panel page to see some examples of the art displayed. As a final treat several pieces of concept art from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm were revealed leaving those of us not lucky enough to attend green with envy.
  • Not tobe outdone, the World of Warcraft Dungeons and Raids Panel also provided us with some exciting news. The days of searching endlessly for that one elusive dungeon quest are over. All key dungeon quest givers will now be found inside the dungeon’s entrance, making the lives of players everywhere just a little bit easier.
  • Those who attended the World of Warcraft Dungeons and Raids Panel also got several other treats including being permitted to have the first look at the all new raid coming in patch 4.1; the Firelands. Building on the storyline to save Hyjal players will be asked to adventure into the elemental plane of fire and take out seven bosses including Ragnaros who has apparently finally made it out of forgotten exile in the Molten Core. Also (finally) coming in 4.1 are enhanced dungeon and raid maps showing information for each boss in a zone, including 3D portraits, lore, loot, and boss abilities. No more will players who haven’t done their homework be franticly  trying to find boss information on the web. Instead they will be able to just view the needed information on their handy dandy map.
  • The last panel of the day was the BlizzCon Sound Panel, however, it was far from the least exciting. Those that stuck around for this event were presented with exclusive music directly from World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Also Alfred Music Publishing proudly announced several new product lines that would be based on Blizzard music leaving no doubt that the composers involved in creating the music for Blizzard games are true artists indeed. 
  • While the two days of BlizzCon would be difficult to top it certainly ended with a bang. At the closing concert Tenacious D took the stage and brought to a close what was an epic weekend leaving those in attendance to excitedly anticipate BlizzCon 2011.


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