Archive for the ‘Blizzard Corporate’ Category

Is This a Leaked Blizzard Product Slate and Schedule?

You can click the image above to get a larger view.

So this image comes to us courtesy of a post at MMO Champion who report is was posted at a Chinese game site called, and they offer the same warning that we’ll offer here, blockquoted so you can’t ignore it:

This document, even if it is real, is already outdated. It is very likely that it is not real at all. Even if it is real, Blizzard will never acknowledge it as such, and you should not – not now, not ever – go posting on the official forums claiming there’s a “timeline” according to this image and that you’re “wondering where XXXX title is.” Got it?

Now then, the slide itself, if it is real, likely comes from some internal presentation of product strategy, but I even have a difficult time believing that – most companies have a standard template for presentation slides, and this really isn’t it. Then again, it could be a template-stripped export, so who knows – anything is possible, and a lot of people are concluding that it is the real thing.

The timeline however, especially as it pertains to World of Warcraft isn’t anything special – the expansion schedule looks solid and makes sense. Based on this, we would be looking at a new WoW expansion every year and a half, give or take, and that jives with previous release schedules. I’m a little put off as to why Blizzard would have the timeline of the World of Warcraft Movie on their internal documentation for anything but planning – as far as I know, it’s Blizzard’s IP, but they’re not controlling the filming or production schedule.

I also have to say – I’m really interested in the “WOW/Mobile” inclusion there. Mobile? There’s no way to tell what they mean, but Blizzard has been pushing in the direction of mobile devices, but how far they’re planning to go we’ll have to wait and see.

“Titan,” which everyone is assuming is Blizzard’s so-called “Next Generation MMO,” is undoubtedly going to be pushed from that date, but the biggest thing I’m interested in is that Diablo 3 release date: I would be a very very happy boy if we saw Diablo 3 at the end of next year. Although I’ll be interested to see if Blizzard really does take the tack of releasing “expansions” to Diablo 3, the same way they’re stretching out StarCraft 2 content – which is also reflected on the slide.

What do you think? True or false? Real or fake? Or does it not matter at all?

Signed Cataclysm Poster Up on eBay!

All of the devs hard at work behind Cataclysm got together to sign this one-of-a-kind poster featuring Deathwing prominently in the center and their signatures in silver all around the perimeter of the poster. Why? So they could put it up on eBay, and donate the proceeds from the sale to Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, who take in homeless Retrievers, care for them, and try to find them new homes.

The auction has been up for a little while now but it still has 6 days to go, and the bidding is already up to $500 US with 17 bids on the poster at the time of this writing – it looks like the charity will get a sizable donation, but it’s not too late to toss your hat in the ring. Head over to eBay and bid now, and when you win make sure to get that bad boy framed and hung in a place of pride. Those devs do good work.

Lil’ Ragnaros and Moonkin Hatchling Available in the Blizzard Store!

Look into those eyes. You know you want one. You know you need him by your side while you traipse around the new Azeroth, keeping him safe from harm. And now you can have one! The Moonkin Hatchling and the Lil’ Ragnaros are both available in the Blizzard Store for $10 USD each.

Once you pay, you’ll get a little present to your account when you log in to the game with your new companion. Both are only available as digital downloads, and once you buy one you get the companion on all characters associated with your account, current or future.

Will you be picking up one of the new companions, or is ten bucks a little steep for an in-game pet? Let us know in the comments!

Elemental Invasion Portals will Stay Open

Word just came down today that the portals that the elementals have been rampaging through for the past couple of weeks will stay open until further notice, just in case you “need anything from in there.” Interesting. Here’s the word from Bashiok on the new official forums:

Due to your valiant efforts in protecting the key invasion cities, the four boss portals are now ‘permanently’ open. If you need anything from inside the portals, or maybe you dropped your keys in there, now is the time to go through and get them.

Initial reports from shaman in the area that were available at time of publishing suggest that this is hinting at something far more sinister. One such shaman, a one ‘Krunkmaster’ from Proudmoore was quoted as saying “This is hinting at something far more sinister.”


You’ll want to stay tuned to the World of Warcraft community site for the latest developments on this and other events.

Oh dear. Well, the bright side is that the fun will remain for anyone looking to get in on the action who wasn’t able to – bad news is…well..what is that “something sinister” referred to there? It could be nothing, or could we be looking at a world-wide epic invasion awesomeness death and destruction launch event? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Global Cataclysm Launch Events Announced!

If you live in Fountain Valley, California, or in Taipei, London, Toronto, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rotterdam, Stockholm, you’re in luck! Blizzard has scheduled a Cataclysm Launch Event at a store near you, so you can head over at midnight, meet some devs and game masters, pick up your copy of the game at midnight, and maybe get a little loot for your trouble.

For the rest of us though, we’ll just have to watch as our friends – especially our European ones, since they have so many, and after all, Ghostcrawler himself will be in London for the launch event there – revel in the event and report back to us about how awesome they are.

It’s possible there are more coming, so stay tuned to the Launch Event page for more if there is anything more, but if not, the rest of us will just have to have our own little launch event with our copies of the game and some booze.

The Cataclysm Beta is Officially Over

keyboard deathwing

Well folks, that’s that – it’s all over. The Cataclysm beta is finished, all said and done. Sayeth the Zarhym on the official forums:

We’re just about two weeks out from the official global launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm! And with that, the time has come to conclude the beta test. We will be shutting down our beta realms momentarily. We want to sincerely thank all of you for your dedication to testing, providing feedback, reporting bugs, and everything else you’ve done to help us make this expansion the best World of Warcraft title to date.

Stay tuned to our new community site ( for the latest news and updates as we get closer to release. We’ll see you in Cataclysm!

Yeah, the down-side to this is that they aren’t doing anything fun like a wide open beta or any huge world-ending event in Cataclysm, but…well…it is the Cataclysm after all. That should be world-ending enough, shouldn’t it?

If you didn’t get into the beta, no worries – you only have a week or so left before the fun comes to you!

Cataclysm Launch: No Rested Experience for Level 80s

Just in case you were wondering, all that rested experience your level-capped 80s have because they spend most of their time either in dungeons or in instances and raids? Wiped when Cataclysm officially launches. This sounds bigger than it is – Blizzard is just making sure that everyone has a level playing field to get from level 80 to 85, and the world first 85 won’t be because some random person leveled to 80 right after Wrath launched and has enough rested experience to carry them through the next five levels.

There’s no explicit word as to whether or not the rule applies to lower level characters as well, but it likely doesn’t, since those other lowbies can still use the rested experience to get to level 80, where they’ll probably find themselves suddenly out of it. We’ll see how Blizzard implements it though.

World of Warcraft’s 6th Anniversary – November 23, 2010

Next week, it’ll be six years since World of Warcraft hit store shelves, launching an empire that’s expanded across three expansion packs and over 12 million subscribers and growing. The game is still the defining title in the MMO genre, and it’s easy to forget that when the game launched there were questions over whether a subscription game could ever be popular, even if it was from a game developer with other successful titles under its belt like Blizzard.

The debate over subscription versus free-to-play seems to be a long ago echo in the past now, and there’s no doubt that even today MMOs copy the most successful elements of World of Warcraft to power their own titles and draw in subscribers or free-to-play players looking for an alternative experience. Even so, our beloved WoW wasn’t entirely original in its own right – it relied on tried and true methods of gameplay and mechanics, visuals, and techniques borrowed from the MMOs that went before it in order to become popular.

To celebrate, everyone who logs in gets a feat of strength achievement to celebrate the birthday – but if you didn’t play last year, where we all got the Baby Blizzard Bear for logging on for the 5th anniversary, you’re out of luck – there’ll be no anniversary pet this year! According to a blue post on the forums, Blizzard wants to reserve the pets for the special, significantly numbered anniversaries and occasions.

Blizzard Announces Tol Barad: New World PVP Zone

If you love your world PVP and just can’t get enough of it, Blizzard’s latest zone addition to Cataclysm will tickle you – if you’re in the beta, you may already have had an opportunity to take a look! Blizzard announced Tol Barad with an official preview at the new community site today, complete with details about how the new zone will function and some clues into how we’ll see world PVP in the expansion when it lands:

n island off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms, Tol Barad is a historic land now sought-after by the leaders of the Horde and the Alliance. Its strategic, isolated location makes it an ideal stronghold from which to conduct military strikes. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a battle will be waged to seize control of this prized territory. Should you triumph, unique rewards await you.

Okay, I’m intrigued, do go on:

Similar to Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will serve as an open world PvP zone, although there is also a hub on Tol Barad Peninsula for both factions to complete daily quests. Reachable by portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, or via a level-85 mage teleport or portal, Tol Barad will accept up to 80 players per faction to engage in brutal combat across the island’s surface. Unlike Wintergrasp, Tol Barad will not have Tenacity buffs. Instead, the queue system will attempt to match each side at a 1-to-1 ratio. Battles will take place every two hours and thirty minutes, giving the offensive faction a chance to claim territory.

Tol Barad will feature capture-point gameplay. There are three keeps and three towers for the defending side to hold. When destroyed by the attackers, each tower will add five minutes to the standard fifteen-minute battle timer. In order to win, though, all three keeps must be captured and controlled by the attackers. If these keeps cannot be taken by the attacking forces, the defending faction will claim victory in Tol Barad. Similar to Eye of the Storm, Tol Barad determines whether a keep has been captured by the number of players from each side in the immediate area. There is, however, a new twist: each time a member of your faction is killed in the immediate vicinity of a keep, a slider bar will move slightly in favor of the opposing faction. So not only does the size of each force in the area determine who controls each keep, but losing allies during the contesting process determines control as well.

In order to destroy the defenders’ towers, attackers will have access to an all-new type of war machine: Abandoned Siege Engines. Six of these Siege Engines will be placed around the map, and these vehicles can be used to bombard the towers. In contrast to the Siege Engines of Wintergrasp, these machines cannot attack players or buildings while the vehicles are being driven. Instead, players must drive them within range of a tower and jump out, allowing the vehicle to transform into an automated cannon that can lay siege to the tower. The Abandoned Siege Engine will continue to damage the closest tower in range until the machine is destroyed by opposing forces.

Sounds pretty good to me: Wintergrasp was such an incredible success in Wrath of the Lich King that it makes sense that we’d see a similar zone in Cataclysm – and I’m not being sarcastic there, for those of you who are all too familiar with living on servers that have a 3:1 faction ratio.

For factions that win Tol Barad, there’ll be access to special quests, rewards, and gear – similar to Wintergrasp again, but I’m definitely interested in the gameplay, and definitely the look of the zone. What do you think, is it just Wintergrasp done over again, or are you looking forward to a whole island at war? Let us know in the comments!

Blizzard Unveils New World of Warcraft Community Site

Blizzard unveiled the new World of Warcraft Community Site yesterday, which completely revamps the interface, updates the look specifically for Cataclysm, and among other things completely revamps the forums and the software that back-ends them.

The new community site looks cleaner and is definitely more up to date and interactive, includes more features and links to featured news, is easier to link to, and all in all performs much better than the old site. The site has a blog embedded on the front page with links to news that you can get from the front page and link around the Web more easily.

Perhaps most notably though are the changes to the forums. Take a look here:

The new forum layout is definitely different, but it’s much more well spaced and has a number of hover-over features that allow you to see recent posts in a specific thread and visual cues to let you know if the thread is active or has been posted in recently.

All of these new previews herald the eventual lock and removal of the old forums and the decommissioning of the old community site. Don’t worry, change may be difficult, but I don’t think you’ll miss the old site very much when you see the new one.

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