- 20:13: The Necromancer is coming to Diablo 3 in 2017!
- 20:11: Two new zones coming to Reaper of Souls.
- 20:07: The Diablo patch will be on the PTR next week!
- 20:07: Diablo is being recreated in Diablo 3. The Darkening of Tristram will send you back into the cathedral, facing four main bosses from the original game. Will be available to all current characters. Many secrets to discover!
- 20:02: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is coming in December
- 19:55: Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is the next Hearthstone expansion!
- 19:54: Hearthstone is getting a new expansion, sending players to Gadgetzan.
- 19:53: Nov 15 to Jan 4th, Nexus Challenge is live. Team up with one or more friends to unlock free rewards in Heroes and Overwatch. 15 games for Oni Genji skin, Zarya Hero. 30 games grant four additional heroes, 30 day stim pack, and more!
- 19:48: Varian and Ragnaros heroes are coming to Heroes of the Storm! Varian is a multiclass hero, becoming a Warrior or Assassin depending on the talents you select. Ragnaros has a Molten Core trait that takes over any fort, standing or not, and become gigantic. You become the raid boss, defending against an enemy siege or bolstering your push. Varian comes out the week of November 15th with Ragnaros following in December.
- 19:41: Heroes of the Storm is getting a new brawl, Blackheart's Revenge. In this brawl, only one team has a core. You defend it or sail the seas to blow it up. Coming November 15th.
- 19:33: Overwatch League is a new eSports initiative forming regional teams, team owners, baseline salaries, benefits for players. Coming in 2017.
- 19:30: A Heroes of the Dorm documentary releases next week to the world and tomorrow at BlizzCon.
- 19:26: Blizzard is opening out SC2 to AI researchers around the world. Releasing an API to allow people to build code that will play SC2.
- 19:25: Oriol Vinyals from the DeepMind team is here to talk about AI
- 19:22: The rest of the SC2 missions are coming out this year.
- 19:21: Sombra, Arcade mode, and more are coming to the PTR next week. Oasis map is coming in December.
- 19:21: New game modes are coming to Overwatch.
- 19:21: Eco Point Antarctica is one of the upcoming Overwatch maps, for the new Arena, 1v1, and 3v3 game modes.
- 19:21: Sombra will be the next hero in Overwatch, playable at BlizzCon!
- 19:15: Sombra has taken over the ceremony!
- 19:11: The new Make a Wish pet is a Fel Kitty named Mischief!
- 19:10: Allen Adham is rejoining Blizzard!
- 19:04: Mike Morhaime is taking the stage
BlizzCon is the biggest Blizzard party of the year, packed with in-depth developer panels, intense esports tournaments, the legendary Friday night contests, and what’s sure to be an epic finale from Weird Al.
The Virtual Ticket lets you watch the action online, live and in high definition. You’ll also be able to watch most of the concert in on-demand videos that will be available within a few days after the show, although some portions may be edited or unavailable. For the best experience, be sure to watch it live!
Check out the press release for more information on this year’s closing concert featuring Weird Al. And get ready for an evening of mandatory fun—we’ll see you at the show!
Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…
But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.
My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged.
It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked.
The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together.
I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then:
Creativity is relational.
Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person.
For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too).
In short, I’ve had the time of my life.
I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens.
It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product.
You build a TRIBE…that can build anything.
A family of craftsmen.
That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as a leader all these years.
To my Blizzard brothers and sisters…I wish I had the words.
Everything just sounds…trite.
All I can think of is…
You helped me believe in myself and achieve every one of my wildest dreams.
I am forever grateful to you.
I love you all with everything I’ve got.
And to all of you out there in Blizzard’s vast gaming community—those of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and all of you around the world I’ve only heard about—thank you.
Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft.
With that said, I’ll try to get down to the point, here. I’ve come to a turn in the road. A new, far quieter chapter in my life looms ahead.
I am retiring.
Hangin’ up my guns.
Takin’ the last gryphon out of Stormwind.
You get the picture.
Crazy, I know.
It’s a massive change for me, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It’s ironic given the fact that things have never been better or more energized at Blizzard. Just this year alone has been incredible.
The launch of Overwatch.
The Warcraft feature film.
I’ve never been more proud of Blizzard and the quality of its products than I am now. It’s remarkable that even after all these years we can still reach new heights and take the world for an amazing ride. I believe Blizzard’s future is brighter than ever.
I won’t lie—it’s going to be really hard stepping away from these worlds that I love. But I’m content that I’m leaving them in the hands of the most passionate, talented, and dedicated craftsmen ever assembled.
I can’t wait to see where Blizzard’s worlds go next—and to experience them first-hand like everyone else does. As a fan. As an adventurer. Right back to the start.
That’s just so cool…
The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.…
Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now.
And I’ve never been happier.
Peace out, y’all.
I love you all.
I’ll see you online.
The companies announced today that a major step in their ongoing collaboration will begin later this month with the integration of Facebook Login in Blizzard’s PC games. This will enable players to sign up for and log in to games such as World of Warcraft®, Heroes of the Storm®, Hearthstone®, Diablo® III, StarCraft® II, and Blizzard’s most recent blockbuster release, Overwatch®, using their Facebook accounts.
Adding Facebook Login will pave the way for new social functionality in Blizzard games while highlighting Facebook’s capabilities as a platform for sharing, viewing, and discussing AAA game content. As an example, Blizzard is in the process of incorporating Facebook’s Live API in order to create its own “Go Live” streaming functionality for its games. When this functionality is implemented, players will for the first time be able to livestream their Blizzard-gaming sessions directly to their Facebook timelines, and friends will be able to subscribe and be notified when new streams are available.
“Blizzard games are best when played with friends, so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other,” said Gio Hunt, executive vice president of corporate operations at Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
As part of the collaboration between the two companies, Blizzard recently hosted multiple livestreams via Facebook. The first series of streams centered on Heroes of the Dorm™, Blizzard’s collegiate tournament featuring its popular team-brawler Heroes of the Storm. Last week, Blizzard hosted a livestreamed launch event for Overwatch on Facebook.
“Blizzard has a passionate community of players, and an incredible track record for launching innovative and high-quality gaming experiences,” said Leo Olebe, global games partnerships director at Facebook. “Our collaboration on Overwatch demonstrates Facebook’s commitment to partnering with AAA game companies, while further empowering Blizzard gamers to connect and share the content they're most passionate about with the friends they play with around the world.”
In preparation for the Overwatch launch, Facebook worked with Blizzard on a comprehensive mix of Facebook and Instagram marketing solutions—including Carousel ads, Canvas, and Instagram Marquee. Using the platforms’ powerful targeting capabilities, Facebook helped Blizzard present the game to a broad set of gaming and entertainment audiences within Facebook’s and Instagram's global audiences of 1.65 billion and 400 million people respectively. On Facebook, more than 650 million people play games connected to Facebook every month across web, mobile, and console.
Summon your mounts, open up a portal, and set a course for Southern California for BlizzCon 2016! Blizzard’s tenth epic gaming convention and community celebration is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, 2016.
Group up with your fellow Blizzard gamers and get ready for two days of in-depth discussion panels with our developers, hands-on play time with our latest games, and intense esports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from around the world. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate 25 years of Blizzard games—and you, the players everywhere that have helped bring them to life.
BlizzCon 2016 Tickets
BlizzCon 2016 tickets will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. PT and Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m. PT through the online event ticketing service Universe, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpage for all the details.
We’re also planning a special pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner the evening of Thursday, November 3 in support of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where guests will have a chance to raise a glass and geek out with developers, artists, community team representatives, and other members of the Blizzard family. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. PT, priced at $750 each, and attendance will be limited—visit the Charity Ticket page for more information.
Virtual Ticket and Goody Bag – Coming Soon!
If you can’t make it to the show in person, don’t fret! You’ll be able to participate in our tenth BlizzCon from the comfort of your home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Once again this year, Virtual Ticket buyers will have the option to purchase a special BlizzCon Goody Bag filled with a cache of loot to mark the occasion (while supplies last). Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, programming info, and Goody Bag will be announced at a later date.Check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure to visit the Universe ticket page at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. We hope to see you there!
- Clean Design
- Complete objectives
- Get rewarded for those
- They like to avoid specific Map Rules and layouts.
- Determine the Map Mechanics first, and then do a design to support that.
- Sky Temple: the objective already creates that "teamfight" scenario for the developers.
- Tomb of the Spider Queen: objectives in lanes, split players. The map layout being really small incentivizes the teamfights.
- Mercenaries: they cause small conflicts in specific places of the map - make them interesting. Cause big impact by pushing lanes.
- Battleground where two Nexus Lords are fighting for control - tug of war and area control type of map.
- They wanted to create something really unique - all previous maps still have 2/3 lanes, mercenaries and a core.
- Devs asked themselves "do maps really need a core?"
- First layout of Towers of Doom did not have a Core - there were 5 forts, sort of circular float to it. The towns themselves were the map's mechanics. Whoever owned more towns first would get more points.
- It was a failed experiment - it was kinda anti-climatic. Intense at first, but with mostly non dramatic endings. Current maps have that epic feeling!
- They went back to a more standard design - Towers of Doom has unique mercenaries however!
- Grave Golem - replaced by the Headless Horseman from World of Warcraft. Completely different mechanic - when you cap this mercenary, it shoots volleys of spirit energy towards the enemy bases.
- Altars - places on neutral positions along the battleground, a hybrid control territory on the map.
- They feel it's kinda boring playing on the same battleground over and over again, so it's all about creating unique and varied gameplay experiences.
- They wanted it to have the mood of a Dark City. Color is very important for that.
- Inside the structures they want "warm" colors to make the outside feel cold.
- Victorian like architecture, lots of dark iron and foreboding structures.
- Lots of textures in this map (ancient stones, dilapidated wood, rusty stuff). Ancient town feeling.
- Dark... but not depressing!
- Bell Towers (of Doom) > Necromancer Tower. When destroyed it will explode but will rebuild belonging to the opposite team.
- Town Structures - Armory Town / Farm Town / Blacksmith Town. Personality to each town.
- Devs are always trying to find new ways of making the game mode challenging and fun for players.
- Lots of them were super excited about a fighting arena mode for a while now.
- Great for players who want something completely different from Quick Match and Hero League.
- Random hero selection (from a pool of 3 - based on an archetype). Focus on fast-paced action around a single objective.
- Quick and easy to jump into.
- They wanted the mode to be even more action packed than the standard Heroes match, and even shorter.
- They wanted players to be able to form new creative strategies.
- They tried "all random" at first, but it didn't work. Players need some control and choice.
- 10x Hero Mode - randomly chosen by the matchmaker; gives everyone the same hero choice.
- A game with 10 Johannas in internal playtesting took 30~ minutes. That's why they added some rules to their team compositions.
- Heroes with very little damage cannot be chosen in this 10x mode (Medic, Johanna, Abathur).
- In other Arena matches, cannot roll more than 2 warriors or more than 2 supports.
- Players start at level 10 and do not level up. No talents as well, all they choose is the Heroics.
- Benefits: low learning curve when playing new Heroes (since they are all available). Focus on moment-to-moment action. No falling behind in power.
- Hero respawn timer is 15 seconds.
- Behind the scenes they're already adding new Arena battlegrounds, and expanding mechanics. Breaking even more rules.
- Garden Arena (daylight version) > Tournament grounds, to make it feel like a renaissance fair. Jousting arena with knights fighting each other.
- Spectators behave differently depending on how much action is happening. In a multi-kill they all cheer for you!
- Garden Arena (night version) > population winding down, sitting around a campfire.
- Garden Arena (underground) > glowing plants! Really claustrophobic, not man-made like the Haunted Mines.
- Temple Arenas (bizarre, oasis, desert).
- When we discover Aalleria and Turalyon in Legion, the way you view WoW will change. Amazing things in store.
- It is important to sell the fantasy behind races and classes in the game. Then they will support and customize races. They want to do sub-races, just not sure how to do it right yet. Going to continue to work on it.
- There are more and more groups that are cross servers, so the current guild structure doesn't meet their needs. A solution won't make it for launch, but some way to communicate with a cross-server group is something they are working on.
- The flying achievement will exist at launch, but you won't be able to complete it at launch. You can start progressing on it though.
- In Legion, there will be a short appearance by Bolvar Fordragon, likely at the Frozen Throne.
- The team has a wide array of class quests with the Artifacts, one for every spec. The team is focusing on class content in this expansion, but it will likely be artifact related rather than green fire quest.
- The team is looking at how tapping works in the outdoor world. Rather than one person hitting a mob and getting it, it would be nice if several people could tap it to get credit for quests and loot. No need to group with people you come across when questing. Open tapping will remain for larger NPCs like quest and world bosses.
- Launching expansions more quickly is still a goal. Not sure when they would get to one per year. Quality is more important than release dates.
- Tomb of Sargeras is just a monument.
- Guilds are very important to the social structure of the game. It would be ideal if you could be in multiple guilds at some point, one for PvP, one for Raids. Maybe a secondary guild system? Still in progress.
- No new battleground, focus is on the new PvP progression system.
- No plans to update old starting zones for Legion. There will be Legion invasions in the world, maybe one will take place there. Legion wants to invade Azeroth, aren't going to start with the Exodar.
- The Broken Isles version of Dalaran is upgraded, you will find out the secrets that are protecting it, they are big.
- The team wants to get around to resolving old stories from Cataclysm at some point.
- Keystone affixes are standardized globally for the week, so no need to try and find someone with one that is slightly easier.
- The new transmog system should help with the inventory space problem.
- Titan's Grip for Fury warriors is not dead. Artifact is too small, will be sized up. Holding 2 x 2H is a cool distinctive thing.
- Legion will get into the details of multi Legion vs singular Legion.
- One more character slot is coming in Legion.
- No new scenarios in Legion that you queue for, but lessons learned from MoP scenarios used to create scenarios that are part of the leveling and questing experience.
- You can pre-order, buy the collector's edition, and contact customer service to get the difference.
- The team doesn't want the Artifact to be a blocker for playing multiple specs. There are lots of catch-up mechanisms in place to help you bring 2nd or 3rd weapons up to speed with your main one, as well as people who took a break from the game. You will have to decide what weapon you will use your Relics on though.
- Legion will allow you to use all the specs, no longer limited to dual spec. No such thing as no spec anymore.
- Multistirke is just another form of crit, doesn't appear in many of the class fantasies.
- Versatility has a defensive component, useful for PvP, tanks, not a fantasy problem. Each stat should have a special identity and purpose. Do people hate Versatility because it is not strong enough or because of how it works?
- The team doesn't like account wide things, because the point of having an alt is playing the alt, but things should be a bit faster the second or third time you do it. More and more people want to play and maintain alts, so the team is aware of the need to make things faster when you play it again.
- Nothing like the AQ gate opening is coming. There will be the invasions around the world, taking server level participation. A large event would be nice, but it needs to be the right time and place.
- Karazhan will be relevant in Legion. The secrets we need to beat the Burning Legion are in Karazhan. Karazhan could be a 5 player dungeon in Patch 7.1.
- One of the Artifact quests will shed some light on what is going on in Tirisfal Glades.
- Wrathion may have some interest in Highmountain and Neltharion's lair. Don't expect him to look the way he did before.
- The team could make old world materials relevant again, but Legion is going to focus on new materials. Not sure you would enjoy old materials being relevant again.
- New lore is coming for Tauren, Forsaken, Worgen, maybe even something for Gnomes.
- Old Gods will play a role in Legion.
- Some of the huge raids the team made in the past were awesome, but they might be better if they were broken up. More smaller raids, different environments, part of the same tier.
- The team has tried to use non-linear layouts to make things faster for guilds that only raid a couple of nights a week that still want to progress.
- Reforging isn't coming back. It isn't needed anymore.
- You won't be using Artifacts forever, maybe display them on your mantle in a future expansion.
- Part of the coolness of older rewards is how rare and cool they are. If you were guaranteed to get something it wouldn't be as cool. There is a difference between mounts / pets and power items.
- Dance Studio - Still don't have the animation time for it.
- No plans for Vanilla realms. Lots of emotional desire for it, but when other MMOs tried it, it didn't work out. Lots of complexity, old code, old hardware, old data, old bugs. Players would expect things to be fixed.
- You can transmog other things to look like Artifacts, but you can transmog Artifacts to look like other things if you really don't like it.
- Alliance and Horde are coming together in your Class Hall to confront a common enemy.
- You will still have the language barrier in the Class Hall. You can see the other faction, but doesn't mean you can speak their language.
- Demon Hunters of either faction can speak Demonic to each other!
- OpenRaid is a great site, group finder has worked out well so far, team wants to continue to expand on it and social tools.
- No AU heroes at the start, after that TBD.
- Genn Greymane and some Gilneans will appear.
- Gear from strongboxes will be similar to gear you get out in the world, what you get based on ratings.
- We will see Gul'dan before the boss encounter, it is a big part of the storytelling.
- Mythic flex would be too hard to balance. It is challenging in lower difficulties now, would be much harder with Mythic and people trying to optimize group sizes.
- Mythic being 20 players is the right number, especially with another class on the way. It allows for certain designs that require a decent number of players. Maintaining a guild roster is a struggle no matter what the raid size is. Ideally they will make it easier to find players and for players to find guilds, rather than changing the raid size again.
- No new roles (tanking Warlock) for existing classes are planned in Legion. Legion is about enhancing the fantasy of the existing classes and roles.
- Legion Challenge Dungeons won't be part of the random matchmaking system. One person is putting their Keystone at risk. Guilds, social circles, and group finder will be where you find players. Having an unused keystone is a desired commodity. People will be lining up to use your Keystone on a Sunday, shouldn't be hard to find people.
- The team hates split raiding, high end guilds hate split raiding, but there isn't a good way to solve it yet. Forcing personal loot would solve it, but that isn't something that some players would enjoy. Open to suggestions.
- Nefarian will get an update for a Demon Hunter class call, maybe using double jumps.
- Melee got some new effects and animations in Legion, hopefully people will enjoy them.