GamesCom 2018 Blizzard Entertainment Schedule

The GamesCom 2018 Blizzard Entertainment Schedule App is available via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store (iOS).

The Blizzard booth may be found at Hall 7 for those who wish to try some playable content (including: Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth).

Blizzard announced the following — “Overwatch: New Content Reveal on Wednesday at 11:15 CEST.” Will it be a new Hero? New Maps? New Arcade Maps? New Skins? New Cinematic? Single-player mode? Two or more of those?

The official GamesCom 2018 Blizzard website went live today with a countdown for the LIVESTREAM.

Sylvanas Windrunner’s Fate, Discussion and Predictions

Battle for Azeroth is officially live! While we explore Kul Tiras and Zandalar, further the war campaign, and recruit new allied races, the question of what fate has in store for the Horde’s Warchief hangs in the air. After how the Burning of Teldrassil turned out, the discussion over Sylvanas and what’s become of the Horde under her rule has been, to pardon the pun, heated. I won’t dwell on the controversy much because the discussion quickly became vitriolic towards Blizzard’s writers (especially Christie Golden) in a way that was far too similar to the worst portions of the Star Wars fandom. Instead let’s look at the story itself and where I think it might be taking Sylvanas.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Live

The World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth expansion is now live starting August 14. Start with the Battle for Lordaeron if you haven’t, and travel to Kul Tiras (Alliance) or Zandalar (Horde) to begin your journey in search of new Allies and Azerite.

The Horde and the Alliance march to war as the new expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game launches around the world

Starting today, players can champion their faction’s cause on new frontiers, seek critical war resources in Island Expeditions, and more as they embark on an epic campaign of war

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 13, 2018– The tensions between the Horde and the Alliance have reached the breaking point, and the entire world of Azeroth is now consumed in the fires of war. Battle for Azeroth, the seventh expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft®, is now live!

Today’s launch signals the start ofa new era of all-out warfare between the Alliance and the Horde, as players around the globe set out on a vital mission to ensure that Azeroth’s future belongs to their faction. Defenders of the Alliance are called to the kingdom of Kul Tiras, ancestral home of Jaina Proudmoore, to enlist the aid of their legendary navy, while champions of the Horde must seek allies in the distant empire of Zandalar, home of the ancient Zandalari trolls. As part of the campaign ahead, heroes will clash for critical resources in myriad Island Expeditions; draw upon the strength of Azerite, lifeblood of the planet, to unlock new powers using the Heart of Azeroth artifact; prepare for a massive confrontation on the Warfront of Stromgarde; recruit new Allied Races to bolster their faction’s cause; and much more.

Battle for Azeroth builds upon nearly 25 years of faction rivalry, history, and pride to challenge World of Warcraft players with the question of what it truly means to be a member of the Alliance or the Horde,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion is loaded with new content and features that draw upon that core conflict, but today’s launch is just the beginning—we’re excited for players to experience everything we have planned as the Battle for Azeroth unfolds.”

Battle for Azeroth – Standard, Digital Deluxe, and Collector’s Editions

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is available in physical and digital standard editions (SRP $49.99) as well as a Digital Deluxe Edition (SRP $69.99). The latter contains an arsenal of in-game bonuses for a variety of Blizzard games, including the Seabraid Stallion mountn (Alliance), Gilded Ravasaur mount (Horde), and Tottle the Baby Tortollan pet for World of Warcraft; an “Azeroth Is Burning” card back for Hearthstone®; a Primal Flamesaber mount in Heroes of the Storm®; Horde and Alliance sprays for StarCraft® II; and a collection of faction-themed cosmetic loot for Overwatch®.

Battle for Azeroth is also available in a retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition (SRP $99.99). In addition to the in-game items from the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Collector’s Edition contains a cache of faction-themed loot, including a collectible Horde and Alliance Double-Sided Mark of Allegiance; a limited-edition hardback of the novellas ElegyandA Good War,featuring exclusive artwork; and a Battle for Azeroth digital soundtrack. For additional details, visit https://worldofwarcraft.com/battle-for-azeroth.

Each edition of Battle for Azeroth also includes a level-110 character boost so players can immediately head to the front lines and fight for their faction’s cause. In addition, new players interested in joining the fray for the first time with this expansion can do so simply by purchasing Battle for Azeroth and subscribing to World of Warcraft, which unlocks full access to the original game and all previous expansions.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Features

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth includes new content and features that put heroes’ fortitude and faction dedication to the test. Over the course of this expansion, players will be called upon to:

  • Explore Two Fabled Kingdoms: As a champion of the Horde, travel to the empire of Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.

  • Recruit Allied Races: Take a new form for your adventures as several new playable Allied Races, each with unique racial abilities. Earn the favor of the Dark Iron dwarves, Mag’har orcs, Highmountain tauren, Void elves, and others to create a new character of that race and add their strength to your faction.

  • Plunder the Islands of the Great Sea: Set out on Island Expeditions and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.

  • Prepare to Charge the Stromgarde Warfront: Get ready to fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new mode inspired by classic Warcraft real-time strategy–game battles.

  • Infuse Your Armor with Titanic Might: Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Burning Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.

  • Battle to Level 120: Trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead, and more as you quest through 10 new levels—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.

To learn more about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, visit the expansion’s official website at www.worldofwarcraft.com/battle-for-azeroth.

Players upgrading from World of Warcraft Starter Edition must wait for trial restrictions to be removed (up to 72 hours) before using character boost.

PAX West 2018 – Ion Hazzikostas Keynote Storytime

PAX West sent out a newsletter to inform that World of Warcraft® Game Director Ion Hazzikostas will deliver a PAX West 2018 Keynote titled “Storytime”

SEATTLE – Aug. 13, 2018 – Ion Hazzikostas, the game director of Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, will deliver the opening “Storytime” keynote at PAX West 2018, taking place at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA on Aug 31.

Known by the nickname “Watcher” among the WoW® community, Hazzikostas joined Blizzard in 2008, leaving behind a career in law to become a designer on Blizzard’s popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game. His first responsibilities included designing raid encounters, balancing classes, and maintaining the achievement system for the 2008 expansion Wrath of the Lich King®, and he ultimately leveled up to become game director in 2016. Hazzikostas is currently helming the development of the Battle for Azeroth™ expansion, which releases Aug. 14.

“There really are two worlds – one before World of Warcraft, and one after,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Penny Arcade and PAX. “I can’t wait to hear Ion Hazzikostas share some stories from the early days of WoW all the way up to the release of Battle for Azeroth.”

Third BlizzCon 2018 Ticket Sale

Blizzard Entertainment announced a third round of BlizzCon 2018 ticket sales will begin on August 18. This might be your last opportunity to get ahold of tickets to attend the event. From the Diablo III teaser video released today, I’m pretty sure many fans are glad more tickets are gonna be available. Who knows what might be announced, eh?

Hoping to attend BlizzCon in person this year but didn’t manage to snag a ticket during the first two sales? You’re in luck—we’re thrilled to announce a third ticket sale, scheduled for Saturday, August 18 at 10 a.m. PDT.

GET TICKETS

This third ticket sale will once again be hosted by Universe.com, and tickets are priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). This sale will work just like our previous two—check out the BlizzCon Ticket page and Badge Information page for all the details.

Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming convention and community celebration returns to the Anaheim Convention Center on November 2 and 3 for a weekend full of hands-on gaming, in-depth developer panels, incredible esports competition, and more.

Virtual Ticket – Coming Soon!

If you can’t make it to the show in person, you’ll still have a chance to join the celebration from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which will provide live streaming coverage to viewers around the world. Stay tuned for more details.

Check out the BlizzCon Event Info page for lots more information on prepping for the show and the upcoming ticket sales.

And look for more information on the events and activities at BlizzCon as the show approaches. We’ll see you in November!

 

PAX West 2018 Schedule: Battle for Azeroth: A Competitor’s History of WoW

The PAX West 2018 schedule is now available. However, Blizzard Entertainment doesn’t show up in any of the panels. In 2016, we had a World of Warcraft interview about Patch 7.1 Return of Karazhan, and in 2015 we had a Heroes of the Storm interview about the 3 heroes announcement: Chen, Azmodan, and Anub’arak.

So it is a bit shocking not to see Blizzard in the schedule, but they usually make a schedule announcement within two weeks prior to the event. Follow us for updates @Blizzplanetcom.

Nevertheless, a historian named Anthony R. Palumbi (from the Chicago Review Press) is holding a panel titled Battle for Azeroth: A Competitor’s History of WoW on Monday September 3 at 10:30am PDT at the Wyvern Theatre.

Browse through the PAX West Schedule to print your calendar, or download the PAX West app via Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Battle for Azeroth: A Competitor’s History of WoW

World of Warcraft’s newest expansion brings long-simmering tensions between the Alliance and Horde to a boiling point! With player-versus-player combat more central to WoW’s design than ever before, historian Tony Palumbi explores fourteen years of competitive strife through the eyes of the players who fought those battles. From the hilarious futility of Tarren Mill to white-knuckle standoffs in Warsong Gulch and the Arena’s golden age, we celebrate WoW and the spirit of competition!

Panelists: Anthony R Palumbi (Author / Historian, Chicago Review Press)

 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX Pre-Orders Open

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX is now available for pre-order. This is a very unique and expensive CPU at $1799 and ships next week on August 13, 2018.

The Amazon Store Card allows to pay with no interest if you pay the whole price within 12 months. That’s $149.92 per month. Careful though. If not paid in 12 months, the penalty is that you get charged the interests for all 12 months. Always read the fine print.

Why is this CPU a big deal to PC enthusiasts and video gamers? The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX is the world-first 32-core 64-thread desktop processor running at 3.0 GHz base and 4.2 GHz Max Boost. It requires a AMD SocketTR4 X399 motherboard. If you play CPU intense video games, or render 3D graphics or edit music in your computer — this is the motherlode of CPUs at the moment.

The CPU features:

Quad-Channel DDR4 ECC support
65 PCIe Gen3 Lanes
80MB Cache Memory
Total L1 Cache 3MB
Total L2 Cache 16MB
CMOS: 12nm
Unlocked: Yes
Max Temps: 68C
Default TDP/TDP: 250W
Thermal Solution Not included

This 2nd Gen Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processor will work on future-proof X399 motherboards with a simple BIOS update. The X399 motherboards out there ready for this benemoth CPU are the:

Activision Blizzard Q2 2018 Earnings Call Transcript

The Activision Blizzard Q2 2018 took place today Aug 2 to recap the financial earnings, and status of recently published game expansions or upcoming ones.

  • The Overwatch League Grand Finals was the culmination of a successful inaugural season of celebrating our players, attracting invaluable team owners and partners, and delivering premium viewing experiences. We’ve recently announced the first set of season-two team sales, welcoming new team owners to the league with more to come.

  • The Overwatch League held its Grand Finals event at Barclays Center in New York on June 27-28. The Grand Finals had a sold-out live audience and millions of global viewers watched on TV networks and streaming platforms. The hard-to-reach 18-to-34 demographic made up approximately 70% of the global audience.

  • World of Warcraft momentum remains high ahead of the upcoming expansion, Battle for Azeroth, which is seeing strong pre-orders.

  • Blizzard is building on the excitement around the Overwatch League with more eSports events and a continuous stream of content for the game in the second half of this year, including seasonal events, maps, heroes, and new cosmetic items.

  • Pre-purchases for the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, The Boomsday Project, are tracking ahead of any prior expansion at the same point in time pre-release.

SDCC 2018 Blizzard Entertainment Panel Schedule

The SDCC 2018 Blizzard Entertainment panel schedule is available. You can find Blizzard at booth 140. The event will be held at the San Diego Convention Center throughout July 19-22.

There is a Blizzard Publishing panel with potentially two reveals, an Art of Hearthstone panel, a Behind-the-Scenes of the latest Overwatch Hero panel, and a Comic Book Editorial panel (with representatives of 4 comics companies, including Blizzard).

In addition, senior writer Andrew Robinson is among the panelists of the Simulated Worlds: Writing for Virtual Reality and Games panel. Christie Golden will be talking (I assume) about the World of Warcraft: Before the Storm novel at the “What’s New from Del Rey Books?” panel.

Check out the SDCC Convention map (PDF).

12pmBehind the Cards: The Art of Blizzard's Hearthstone

Ben Thompson (art director), Hadidjah Chamberlain (senior FX artist), Jomaro Kindred (senior concept artist), and Matt Dixon (illustrator) offer a deep dive into the world of card creation for Blizzard Entertainment’s hit digital card game Hearthstone. Surprise and delight await as panelists walk attendees through a Boomsday card's development from initial concept sketches to final card art.

Thursday July 19, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 5AB
4:45pmCrafting Story for Video Games

Writers and narrative designers from some of your favorite games and franchises discuss the craft of making successful interactive stories. Panelists Leah Hoyer (Telltale Games), George Krstic (Blizzard), Ryan Verniere (Riot), and Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn) will share tips and behind-the-scenes stories from their careers, as well as offer solid advice to anyone waning to make their own interactive stories or make game writing their career.

Thursday July 19, 2018 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Room 6BCF
11amThe Comic Book Editorial Panel 2018

Joe Illidge (Verge Entertainment), Barbara Randall Kesel (CrossGen), Matt Hawkins (Image/Top Cow), Jasmine Amiri (Lion Forge), and Shannon Eric Denton (Blizzard) discuss the ins and outs of submitting and breaking in with a comic book publisher. Moderated by Vince Hernandez (Aspen Comics).

Friday July 20, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 9
3:15pmBehind the Scenes of Overwatch's Newest Hero

Overwatch developers Michael Chu (lead writer), Arnold Tsang (assistant art director), Geoff Goodman (lead hero designer), and Geoffrey Garnett (senior sound designer) present a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of developing the story, art, and gameplay kit for Overwatch's newest hero. Learn more about Overwatch hero design and participate in Q&A with the developers after the panel.

Friday July 20, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Room 6BCF
3:30pmChapters and Panels: Blizzard Publishing

See how Blizzard's many worlds are crafted into compelling art and narrative through an array of books and comics. Some of the industry's best authors discuss how they bring to life compelling stories that expand and widen the universe of Blizzard's games, told through the lens of some of gaming's most unique characters. Panelists will highlight recent releases, hint at what may be yet to come, and perhaps unveil a surprise or two. Moderated by Blizzard Publishing senior editor Cate Gary. Panelists include Christie Golden, Jody Houser, Mark Evanier, Steve Danuser, and Marv Wolfman.

Saturday July 21, 2018 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room 5AB
7pmWhat's New from Del Rey Books?

Adventure, science fiction, fantasy, and fairy tales-the publisher of some of these genres' best and brightest stars is here to talk about what's next on the horizon from DelRey Books. Authors Katherine Arden (The Winternight trilogy), Pierce Brown (Red Rising series), Delilah S. Dawson (Kill the Farm Boy), Christie Golden (World of Warcraft: Before the Storm), Kevin Hearne (Kill the Farm Boy), Sylvain Neuvel (The Themis Files), and Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver) discuss their new and upcoming books with moderator Tricia Narwani (Del Rey editorial director).

Saturday July 21, 2018 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 9
4:00pmSimulated Worlds: Writing for Virtual Reality and Games

Writers for games and virtual reality talk about the industry's next big paradigm shift. What's different about writing for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)? How does new technology shape more traditional games, and how does it impact the way players interact with story? Game writers and industry professionals discuss the potential pitfalls and challenges of new leaps in technology, as well as the potential for new narratives moving forward. Discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Callan (senior writer, Survios), with panelists James Iliff (chief creative officer, Survios), Andrew Robinson (senior writer, Blizzard), and Shawn Kittelsen (writer/head of narrative, Injustice 2).

Sunday July 22, 2018 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 28DE

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