Blizzcon may be over, but you can still enjoy the show vicariously, through this gallery of photos. See towering statues of the heroes and villains of Blizzard's sprawling lore, triumphant champions enjoying their ultimate victories, and thousands of fans, soaking up the news and culture surrounding World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.
As you may have noticed, Blizzard are coincidentally at this weekend's gigantic Blizzcon event, where they've so far shown off lots of very exciting stuff involving orcs, demons, aliens and - most exciting of all - playing cards. They also pooh-poohed any idea of World of Warcraft going free-to-play any time soon, with the quite concrete exclamation that WoW "wasn't designed as a free-to-play game".
The sight of a room full of treasure goblins has certainly done enough to stir up the old loot frenzy, for me, at least, but I'm one of those (possibly crazy) people who put a lot of time into Diablo 3, and have enjoyed it in spite of the auction house and its other well-documented online issues. By this time next year that auction house will be long gone and we'll likely have a new act and class to play with, as well as the adventure mode that randomly generates 15-20 minute dungeons and populates them with denizens from every act.
You can see that very mode teased in one of two new Reaper of Souls videos, fresh out of Blizzcon, which also hint at clan features, bounties and "Nephalem Rifts" full of hordes and bosses to be squished and looted dry. Also featured: SMITING, courtesy of the new Crusader class.
Heroes of the Storm - that's Blizzard's Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo-mashing MOBA, remember - has had its guts spilled out on stage at Blizzcon this weekend. That's another way of saying that lots of details were revealed about it, along with a cinematic trailer, a "gameplay sneak peek", a developer interview, and screenshots out the wazoo. You can now sign up for the beta on battle.net - more details after the break.
The frog looks worried for a reason. Blizzard's alarmingly moreish free-to-play virtual collectible card-battling game, Hearthstone, will consume untold man and frog hours when it goes into open beta next month. Blizzard's Chief Creative Chap Rob Pardo made the announcement at Blizzcon, which also hosted a Blizzard "fireside chat" containing a few interesting tidbits about the closed beta, and their plans for Hearthstone next year.
If you were hoping to go Blizzcon 2013, well, you're a bit late. The annual event, which kicks off on November 8th, sold out within seconds of its tickets going on sale. For those missing out, though, Blizzard have announced a "virtual ticket", letting you enjoy the sights and sounds of their mammoth convention, without having to endure the smells. Purchase of the pass grants access to two exclusive HD streams, covering both days of the show.
Blizzard's annual fan convention, Blizzcon, is November 8 and 9 this year. As you might expect for a gathering focused on such monoliths of PC gaming as Starcraft and Warcraft, tickets tend to go pretty fast, so if you're looking to join in the scramble, you should know that tickets go on sale next Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Pacific. A second batch will become available Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Pacific. The cost this year is $175 per person.
2012: The Year Without a Blizzcon. It was also the year I was finally ready to attend, which made the absence of Blizzard's annual blow-out all the more poignant. But at last, we've been told that the life-sized-Thrall-statue-shaped hole in our hearts will be filled once again on November 8 and 9 in Anaheim.
Blizzard have announced that their massive annual convention won't be happening this year. Instead, they'll be devoting more time to finishing their many projects. "In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013," Blizzard say in a statement on Battle.net, mentioning that they're currently "heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible."