The Red Shirt Guy’s BlizzCon 2014 Predictions

BlizzCon 2014 is nearly upon us and, as with every year, speculation about the convention’s announcements have run wild. Here are my predictions for what we shall see announced this year.

Things I’m Very Sure Of:

Hearthstone expansion, it’s been teased to fan sites over the past weeks and the Hearthstone website posted a strange article hinting at new features. From these various teasers, I’m fairly certain the Hearthstone expansion will be mechanical themed in terms of the new cards added, and will have a spectator mode and a new gameplay mode, “speed rounds,” in which each player is given only fifteen seconds for their turns.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void reveal. Blizzard released several StarCraft II sound files over the past few days which are titled respectively “See” “…you…” “…at…” with the last one uploaded only 11 hours ago as of this writing. Yes, technically LoV can’t be “revealed” as we’ve known about it since before StarCraft II even launched, but this would be the first public look at the expansion, similar to Heart of the Swarm‘s reveal trailer several BlizzCons ago.

Warlords of Draenor patch content. Jeremy Feasel mentioned on Twitter that they will be showcasing some new pet battle information, which means, even if it’s just pet content, there will be information about 6.1 and beyond. My personal guess would be a showcase of Tanaan Jungle, perhaps discussion on how the patch cycle will work as they have been rather vague in past interviews, and if they’re ready, a preview of the updated blood elf models.

Things I’m Not as Sure Of:

Overwatch. Blizzard has filed 7 trademarks for this recently, one months ago and the others over these last two weeks. Considering all the different trademarks I’d hazard to say Overwatch is a new IP, and possibly the “big announcement” that Blizzard employees have been alluding to on Twitter. As for what it is, I’d theorize it’s the setting and lore made for the canceled Titan project put into a non-MMO game of some type, but it’s just a guess with no real evidence backing it up.

Heroes of the Storm beta announcement. Nothing for HOTS has been teased the way Hearthstone has, but with the “final phase of the technical alpha” having started a little while ago, now would be the perfect time to announce when HOTS will enter its beta test. I’d also expect some new heroes and possibly new maps to be shown off as well.

Eye of Azshara is fake. Yes, someone would have had to spend $299 and commit a crime to get that trademark up if it’s not genuine, but at this point things aren’t looking to be in EoA’s favor. It hasn’t been filed in any other country, whereas Warlords of Draenor was quickly trademarked in other regions after its discovery. I would certainly like it to be genuine, I might even make a series of posts about what I would want to see in a hypothetical Azshara expansion, but at this point I doubt it has anything to do with this year’s BlizzCon. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one.

 

Blizzard’s new-found focus on storytelling is a step in the right direction for World of Warcraft

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“Gameplay first.”

The first thing you see upon Blizzard Entertainment’s mission statement webpage is this statement, standing firmly as the first of “eight core values” that serves as the code for game development within this massive company.

It’s no secret that Blizzard has always prioritized gameplay over other elements in their video games. This core value of “gameplay first” is what’s lead the studio to being seen as a titan within the video game industry. The immersive world and fluid combat of World of Warcraft; the gameplay improvements and tweaks brought upon Diablo 3 with Reaper of Souls; the near perfect RTS elements of Starcraft; all of these worlds that have been crafted by Blizzard offer fantastic experiences in gameplay as a whole.

Despite all these obvious positives in Blizzard’s video games, what elements have they overlooked? In this case, and for this piece, there’s one element that to the opinion of several fans have always been lacking severely: Storytelling.

2014 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

As you may know, it’s almost halloween, therefore World Of Warcraft has now begun Pumpkin Carving Contest.

They will choose five people to win great prizes.

2014 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

The Halloween season has finally arrived, and we’re ready to cut straight to the heart of the holiday. If you’re dying to pick up a knife and hack, gash, slash, and jab at something, then you might be excited to hear that as of October 14, Blizzard’s 2014 Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest has officially begun! Unleash your magical axes, psi blades, chitinous claws, and other creative cutlery to carve up Blizzard-themed jack-o’-lanterns of epic awesomeness. If you’re unclear as to what epic awesomeness looks like in the flesh, you can check out previous pumpkins for some inspiration..

We’ll choose five of the grandest Cucurbita to earn one (1) Hallow’s End Nemesis: The Headless Horseman Action Figure. Don’t delay; start carving right away! The twelfth annual pumpkin carving contest ends on October 29, so be sure to check out the contest page for rules and eligibility and get straight to slicing.

 

New Stormwind Easter Egg: Warlords of Draenor Beta

While exploring Stormwind to check for further updates on the odd new portal, I discovered a smaller addition. An “Easter Egg” involving an new NPC named “Archmage Nakada <Master of Spells>” giving a Harry Potter-esque magic lesson to some “Junior Mages”.

Upon further research, I think this might be a tribute to Blizzard’s former Senior Software Engineer, Ron Nakada, who passed away this April. If so, it’s a very touching tribute. They easily could have just made another NPC, but his students and interactions with the player character will make Nakada a far more memorable addition to Stormwind.

Blizzard Service Awards Unlocked

Did you ever dreamed of working for Blizzard and thought what with the satisfaction and the pleasure to create awesome stuff you could received back for all the hard work done? If you are good enough, one day maybe you will received one of the many present that Blizzard gives to their employees after years of work.

From a stein after 2 years of work, you can achieved after 20 (yeah.. maybe it’s a long time but as life is) a magnificent helm!

Blizzard Service Awards Unlocked

The Service Award ceremonies are an important Blizzard tradition that began in 1996. These ceremonies recognize the dedication and commitment demonstrated by those who help Blizzard create the most epic entertainment experiences…ever. Check out our newly updated service awards page, which now features the two-year stein, new five-year swords, fifteen-year rings, and the twenty-year helm!

Want your chance to earn such amazing loot? Get a job at Blizzard Entertainment and start leveling up. Check out our Career Opportunities.

 

 

Azeroth Choppers winner unveiled!

What do you think about the winner and the loser?

What are they going to do with the losing team bike? Are they gonna throw it away? We don’t know. Even the Game Masters speculates on what they are doing with it.

It is confirmed that atleast 1 bike is going to be put into Warlords of Draenor. As soon as we see it, we will post it!

5’th July 2014, the winner of Azeroth Choppers was unveiled. If you want to see who won, watch the video. (My favorite won)

Here is Episode 8. Enjoy!

The votes have been cast and the results are tallied. In the final episode of Azeroth Choppers, the teams come together at Blizzard HQ to find out which bike is destined for digital glory. Will it be Alliance? Their faction outnumbers the Horde in-game. Or will the thunder of the Horde’s war cry be loud enough to seal their victory?

Watch the final episode of Azeroth Choppers now!

– The World of Warcraft Team

 

Azeroth Choppers: Winner unveil tomorrow + Episode 8 this week!

Hello. Paul Jr recently wrote on his twitter account/facebook that unveiling of the winning choppers of warcraft, will be unveiled tomorrow. The Vote-polls closed yesterday, and it´s now up to Blizzard to count all votes, and announce the winner of the Azeroth Choppers. Who will win? Horde or Alliance? It have been a close lead between both choppers, and it was up to the fans to vote their favorite, and the one that will get an FREE-ingame input to the game. Rumors has it that both choppers will get put into the game, although the losing chopper will have a price or discount in Blizz Store. SO far we don´t know yet, but if they made two choppers, why don´t put both in-game? At least, Paul Jr is ready and pumped up by the response and the journey, and is excited to unveil the winner! Also, Episode 8 of Azeroth Choppers go live on thursday June 5th.

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We will have more information about the event once Blizzard gives official news, Stay Tuned!

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Are you excited for Warlords of Draenor? Fear not, Blizzard will announce news very soon!

HORDE BIAS! A Red Shirt Guy Editorial on the “Faction Bias” Arguments

Orgrimmar

Hi readers and welcome to my first editorial type article. With the release of Patch 5.4’s trailer (see it here if you haven’t already), the debate on whether or not Blizzard is biased towards the Horde in content development has risen again. Its a subject that really came to a head with the release of Cataclysm, enough so that Blizzard actually had Dave Kosak make a blog post, “Dev Watercooler: Faction Favoritism“. It was very negatively received, and in fact was seen by many as further proof there was faction bias favoring the Horde enough to be detrimental to the Alliance among Blizzard’s developers. So, does this faction favoritism really exist? Is Blizzard ignoring half their playerbase because they can’t muster the effort to to create content for a faction they don’t like? Or is this all overblown outcry from WoW’s notoriously unpleaseable fanbase?

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