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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Review

Reaper of Souls may have taken Blizzard two years to develop and release, but it comes like a bat out of hell to get you straight into the action. This, along with the recent “Loot 2.0” patch that is available to all make Diablo III the game we’ve wanted all along.

…continue reading » Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Review


Blizzard plays “Release Hearthstone!” Card to bring the game out of Beta


Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, its free-to-play digital card game is now fully released and no longer in beta.

…continue reading » Blizzard plays “Release Hearthstone!” Card to bring the game out of Beta


BlizzCon 2013 Tickets Go On Sale April 24th and 27th


Get ready for a storm of epic proportions! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that tickets for its seventh BlizzCon gaming convention will go on sale in two batches on April 24 and April 27. In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County will go on sale May 1.

Set to tear through the Anaheim Convention Center this November 8 and 9, BlizzCon is a thundering celebration of all things Warcraft®Diablo®, and StarCraft®. The annual-ish two-day community gathering features in-depth discussion panels with Blizzard developers, hands-on play time with the latest Blizzard games, and tons of other exciting events and activities. As announced earlier this week, BlizzCon 2013 will also host the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals—a high-stakes showdown where the top pro players in the world will battle for the right to be crowned StarCraft II World Champion.

“We love having the opportunity to hang out with our players at BlizzCon, and it’s always awesome to see the greatest gaming community on earth swarm Anaheim,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to delivering two full days of gaming, activities, and other entertainment, and we can’t wait to show some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on.”

Tickets to attend the convention will be priced at $175 USD each and will be available for purchase from the official BlizzCon website (www.blizzcon.com) in two separate batches. The first batch goes on sale Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Pacific time, and the second batch goes on sale Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, which include admission to BlizzCon, will be priced at $500 USD each, with proceeds going to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (http://www.choc.org). Taking place the evening of November 7, this exclusive event offers guests an opportunity to /eat, /drink, and /lol with Blizzard game developers, community managers, and other folks from Blizzard before the show. Approximately 200 tickets to the benefit dinner will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Pacific timethrough www.blizzcon.com.

Gamers from the far reaches of Azeroth, the Koprulu sector, or Sanctuary looking to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home will once again have the option to order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multi-channel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

As BlizzCon draws closer, more information about the show will be posted at www.blizzcon.com. To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at jobs.blizzard.com.


Diablo III FREE Starter Edition Now Available

The demonically-besieged world of Sanctuary needs heroes. Now you can join in the apocalyptic battle for FREE via the all-new Diablo®  III Starter Edition.  Available exclusively via Battle.net®, the Starter Edition allows you to fight your way up to the Skeleton King boss in Act I, and advance all the way to level 13, without having to purchase a copy of Diablo III.

…continue reading » Diablo III FREE Starter Edition Now Available


World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria releases on September 25th

Land, ho! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion set for the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, will be available in stores and online starting from September 25, 2012. Upon the expansion’s release, intrepid explorers of the Alliance and the Horde will be able to set foot upon the shores of the long-lost continent of Pandaria and embark on a perilous journey to uncover its ancient mysteries.

Mists of Pandaria will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh at a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD. The expansion will also be available digitally directly from Blizzard’s World of Warcraft website (www.WorldofWarcraft.com), also priced at $39.99 USD.

A special Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items will be available exclusively in retail stores for a suggested retail price of $79.99 USD. In addition, for the first time, World of Warcraft players have the option to purchase a special Digital Deluxe version of the expansion containing the in-game bonus items from the Collector’s Edition. The Digital Deluxe version is available to download directly from Blizzard viawww.WorldofWarcraft.com for $59.99 USD. Players who purchase the standard edition digitally or at retail will have the option to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version at any time (for as long as the standalone Digital Deluxe version remains available) for an additional $20 USD.

Presales for the standard digital and Digital Deluxe versions of Mists of Pandaria are now live. Players who would like to purchase either version and be ready to play the moment the expansion launches can do so now by visiting www.WorldofWarcraft.com. The expansion content will automatically be digitally delivered to pre-purchasers via World of Warcraft’s streaming launcher prior to the release of Mists of Pandaria. Players who would like to preorder the standard box or the retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition can do so by visiting their local retailer.

Mists of Pandaria contains the biggest variety of new content we’ve ever created for a World of Warcraft expansion, with features that will appeal to new players, veterans, and everyone in between,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’ve received a lot of great feedback from players during our most extensive beta test yet, and we hope they enjoy exploring everything Pandaria has to offer when the expansion comes out in September.”

The Digital Deluxe version of Mists of Pandaria includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following exclusive in-game bonus items:

– World of Warcraft In-Game Mount: Take to the skies of Azeroth astride the mystical Imperial Quilen flying mount.

– World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: Journey across Pandaria with the Lucky Quilen Cub at your side.

– StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits: Bring the Horde and Alliance rivalry to the far reaches of the Koprulu sector with exclusive Infested Orc and Night Elf Templar Battle.net portraits.

– Diablo III Banner Sigil and Accent: Display your status as a hero of Pandaria with the iconic markings of World of Warcraft’s newest playable race, the pandaren.

The Collector’s Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items, in addition to the in-game content from the Digital Deluxe version:

– Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray: Learn about the creation of Pandaria with this two-disc set featuring over an hour of commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.

– Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CDExperience 20 orchestral pieces from Mists of Pandaria.

– The Art of Mists of Pandaria BookExplore this 208-page hardcover tome featuring never-before-seen pieces from the expansion, from early concepts to final 3D renderings.

– Chen Stormstout Mouse PadEquip your desk with this special-edition mouse pad featuring the legendary pandaren brewmaster.

In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, warships of the Alliance and Horde clash off the coast of a long-lost continent, signaling the start of a new era of discovery and conquest in the history of Azeroth. As players storm the shores of this exotic new frontier and begin to explore its mysteries, they’ll encounter brave new allies, unearth ancient secrets, and play their part in reigniting the long-brewing conflict between the Horde and Alliance on a strange battlefield far from home.


Diablo III Review

By: Scott Ellison II


Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Available for: PC and Mac
Reviewed on: PC

Blizzard’s Battle.net issues have all been resolved by the time of this posting with several stability patches and constant up-time with minor maintenance.

The gates of hell have reopened, releasing the dark terrors across the lands after a 20-year absence. New Tristram is attacked first, by what the locals are calling “A Fallen Star”, reawakening the dead and causing them to rise from the grave and making it difficult for the citizens to deal with. Diablo’s return is looming over the land. New warriors rise up to answer the call.


Been in an endless dungeon all these years and don’t know what Diablo is? Well fear not, you really don’t need to know any of it because during installation, there is a text-based story for you to read that will catch you up. Outside of story elements, Diablo is the quintessential Action-RPG, the game that all other games emulate with their own twists. While that has been the comparison for the 10 years since Diablo II’s release – it is now a little less so with the changes Blizzard has made to streamline the experience to keep you in the fight rather than staring a skill trees and attribute numbers. This is a game that doesn’t rest on its laurels and decides to do something a bit more…modern.

“Okay so I click, right? And I press hotkeys to execute powers that use the mana pool? So what’s different then?” Well besides basic attacks utilizing the left and right mouse buttons, and the four hotkeys for unleashing devastating special attacks, spells, and buffs are Runes. Runes are modifiers to skills. As you level up, you’ll gain access to more powerful ones, improving on the previous – negating the need to keep using the current.


To say that Diablo III is anything but beautifully artistic, would be underselling the graphical nature of the game. Each of the four Acts in the game have a distinct look to them. Act I is dark and grim favoring on oranges and blues to set the deathly overtones. Act II moves to the desert under the searing, bright sun. Act III heads to the mountains dealing as night falls with heavy snow. Act IV, is a surprise I’ll leave to you. Each area is unique and beautifully rendered. There are some ugly textures with Act II looking to a town below as if it were a painted backdrop. Lack of traditional anti-aliasing shows off some less than stellar edges. But is a fantastically beautiful game that runs at 60fps with some interesting physics with decapitated demons.

Music takes a bit of a backseat as it takes a lot of the cues from Diablo II with some soft acoustic guitar strumming, but when the battles intensify you’ll get some bombastic orchestra driving your battle forward. Though the music is present, they aren’t there as much as you’d think and feel empty and desolate as you explore dank caves and dark dungeons.


Quests are lengthy, expansive, and detailed affairs. Though are almost meaningless as you always have only one quest at a time, and aren’t ever juggling more than one at a time. All the quests that come along are relate to or are supplemental in progressing the main story. A neat little side-adventure are instanced Events that are essentially quick quests that don’t appear on your quest log, but involve defending a treasure from onslaught of enemies. Once defeated, the treasure is yours to claim. These are some hair-raising events and are random each time.

It’s quite unfortunate that due to the way that Battle.net and Diablo III work eliminates the possibility of saving anywhere. No quick save and no hard save. The game checkpoints, but in places of its choosing and can be to your detriment where you leave off, because the place you quit the game at, may not be the place you return to due to the randomization of the game.


Your first runthrough of Diablo III will not be very challenging. There is a seemingly gradual increase in difficulty, but it certainly won’t upset you. Act I is clearly tutorial for you to level up and start building up your character for what’s to come. Act II is about testing that character build. Act III goes hard, fast and challenges you on your character build. Luckily, there is a constant feedback loop of rewards as you’re slaying monsters left and right to remove what would be tedium ad nauseum.

There are five character classes: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Each of the character classes are diverse and have special skills and abilities exclusive to the class. But no matter which you choose, they all are accessible and can solo the game without much interference. All characters are built the same in some basic ways – they all have an escape move, melee, and area-of-effect in some form or another. Though, once you dive in deeper to the customization that’s where the similarities end.


Of course with a game that has an “always-on” requirement, it is a must to have Co-op. The game supports up to 4 players at time, smaller than that of Diablo II. When you defeat monsters together, unique loot drops for you only – no stealing among party members. But it is easy to drop items for other party members or do a quick trade.

Blizzard Achievements are nothing new, but are now the third game Blizzard has made to include them – following World of Warcraft and StarCraft II. When you have the notifications turned on, you will be seeing consistent popups early on as you unlock achievements during progress and in the chat you’ll see the achievements friends are unlock. It’s never-ending stream of notifications you can thankfully turn off.


Diablo III is the pinnacle of Action RPGs, it’s a must-own game. However, if you have spotty internet or just don’t like the “always-on” requirement, this will be a huge frustration or turn off for you and your experience with the game. The server issues have been fixed, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues. It would be nice if Blizzard there was an “Offline Mode”. Though, once you get past the first few levels, you’ll be hooked and there are endless possibilities and playthroughs that await you as when you look up at the clock and see that it’s 3am but still want to keep going.


Retails for: $59.99, recommended purchase price: $59.99

A PC digital code of the game was provided by Blizzard Entertainment for Review purposes


Diablo III – Day 1 Experience

We were lucky to receive a review copy of Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment. In doing so, I stayed up until midnight for the launch of one of my and the world’s most anticipated games of all-time.

Typical error seen at sign-in for launch

Error 37

Unfortunately though, the launch was plagued by errors and massive amounts of players jumping online once the servers were flipped on at 12:01am Pacific Time. In trying to login with seemingly the rest of the world resulted in a myriad of error messages: Error 37, 300008, and 3005. Blizzard has compiled a list of all the error messages seen, what they mean, and how to fix them – depending.

While I waited, I began watching Twitter and Facebook and saw the complaints pouring it, forums were filling up pages every minute and you still couldn’t login. Around 12:30am I was able to get authenticated At 1:22am I was finally able to get in proper. Of course I was displeased at staying up and doing a bunch of clicking that wasn’t slaying monsters. It was really unfortunate this historic and monumental launch was marred by many connection issues. I did get to play until about 4am and was happy with my time as I didn’t get disconnected or lag out.

My character at the end of my time before going to bed

Playing Diablo III

Most of Act I is familiar territory for those like me who played the Beta. Nothing has changed there except the inclusion of achievements. I had a couple of friends online playing, but decidedly chose to play solo to not incur any unnecessary disconnects, issues, or lag. If you didn’t know, Diablo III uses an “always-on” DRM system that has left many fans angry. And the issues that were present all related to login to Battle.net and could have been avoided if singleplayer didn’t require it. Even when you’re playing the campaign solo, you have a latency to the server and could leave your game open for people to jump in.

As seen in the screenshots, I chose the close-range melee, one-man army known as The Barbarian. One of the easiest and powerful classes of the game. I was able to make my way past where the Beta ended and started to see some new areas for a change. Though, the game is designed for multiple playthroughs over increasing difficulties. You can even choose which quests to go back and replay rather than whole Acts. The cinematic interludes that cap the big quests are exciting to watch and almost unreal to believe you’re actually playing Diablo III.

As the night wore on, my energy drink expired it’s resource and I began to feel the energy fade. So I fought the last boss and it dropped some really powerful loot for my Barbarian to wield. A pair of enchanted sickles that did massive damage. I was satisfied, immediately feeling that through all the waiting and errors, it was worth it.

A rainbow of hope to fix server issues

Server Updates

All throughout the day today, Blizzard has been hard at work on fixing the issues that have hurt Battle.net and Diablo III. Repeatedly taking down the servers for maintenance, disgruntling even more people as they are being prevented from playing the game. But they are communicating as best they can to give time periods of how long the downtime will be.

Blizzard is well known for not releasing products until they’re ready, and the purpose of the Beta was to stress test the network in preparation for this day. But I guess nothing could have prepared them even with an MMO launch and subsequent expansion packs under their belt. How did this happen? Well, now is not the time to be asking.

I suggest you be patient and allow Blizzard to do what they have to do to ensure a smooth playing experience for all involved. I know that it interrupts your game-time for a product that you paid for, but give them time to clean-up the mess. There are many years ahead of playing Diablo III to come.

Expect a review as soon as possible – “when it’s done”, if you will.


Diablo III Open Beta Starting Today

Blizzard Entertainment is pleased to announce the Diablo III open beta weekend, which offers open access to all players with a valid Battle.net account! Beginning this Friday everyone is invited to log in and help them put the game and servers through their paces in this three day stress test as we march toward the game’s release on May 15. You can begin downloading the Diablo III client right now.

From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you’ll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion.


What steps do I need to take?

• Log in or create a Battle.net account at http://www.battle.net

• Create your BattleTag, which is required to play Diablo III (What is BattleTag?)

• Download the game client, install, & play between 12:01 p.m. PDT April 20 and 10:00 a.m. PDT April 23

…continue reading » Diablo III Open Beta Starting Today


Diablo III unleashes hell on May 15th

The end is nigh! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Diablo III, the next chapter in its critically acclaimed action role-playing game series, will be unleashed from the Burning Hells on May 15.

Starting that day, gamers with a thirst for fast-paced action and adventure will be able to purchase Diablo III at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. In addition, gamers in the regions above as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil will be able to buy Diablo III digitally via Blizzard’s Battle.net® website.

Players in the listed Latin American countries and in Russia will be able to purchase Diablo III at local retail locations starting June 7. Digital availability for the Russian version of the game will also begin June 7. In addition to the English version, Diablo IIIwill be fully localized into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese.

Blizzard also kicked off global digital presales for Diablo III today. Would-be wizards, witch doctors, demon hunters, barbarians, and monks throughout the world should head to http://www.blizzard.com/games/d3/ now to reserve their digital copies.

“After many years of hard work by our development team and months of beta testing by hundreds of thousands of dedicated players around the world, we’re now in the homestretch,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to putting the final polish on Diablo III over the next two months and delivering the ultimate action-RPG experience to gamers worldwide starting on May 15.”


Diablo III will be available for Windows  XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh at a suggested price of $59.99 USD for both the retail DVD-ROM version and the digital version sold directly from Blizzard. A special alabaster-white Collector’s Edition, sold exclusively in retail stores at a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, will include the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, the Diablo III soundtrack CD, a 208-page Art of Diablo III book, and a 4 GB USB soulstone (including full versions of Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) and corresponding Diablo skull base, as well as exclusive in-game content for Diablo IIIWorld of Warcraft, and StarCraft II: Wings of LibertyDiablo III has received a Mature rating from the ESRB.

Annual Pass:

World of Warcraft players interested in getting Diablo III free are encouraged to join the more than 1 million players who have already signed up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass.* Through this promotion, with a 1-year commitment to World of Warcraft, players will receive a free digital copy of Diablo III  which they’ll be able to start playing immediately on May 15 — as well as an exclusive World of Warcraft in-game mount and access to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta test. This offer will no longer be available as of 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 1. Learn more at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/annualpass.


In Diablo III, players take on the role of one of five heroic characters — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter — and engage in pulse-pounding combat with endless legions of evil. As they undertake an epic quest to rid Sanctuary from the corrupting forces of the Burning Hells, players will explore diverse and perilous settings, grow in experience and ability, acquire artifacts of incredible power, and meet key characters who’ll join them in battle or aid them in other ways.


Diablo III was built from the ground up to leverage the full functionality of the Battle.net platform, which delivers powerful matchmaking and communication tools, allowing adventurers to seamlessly join forces for exciting cooperative play. Battle.net also provides a secure infrastructure for the Diablo III auction house, a feature-rich marketplace that Sanctuary’s heroes can use to trade their hard-earned treasures. Players will be able to buy and sell weapons, armor, and other valuable items in the auction house in exchange for in-game gold. Players will also have the option to receive real-world currency for auction house sales, which they can apply to their Battle.net Balance for the purchase of a variety of digital products through Battle.net, including Diablo III auction house items, or cash out through a third-party payment service such as PayPal in most regions. Further details related to the auction house will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on Diablo III, please visit the official website at http://www.diablo3.com. To set up a Battle.net account and to opt-in to Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available — visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.