BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket provides full online streaming access, for a price

Shaun Prescott at

It so happens that most of the world is not close to Anaheim, California, so getting to Blizzcon can be a hassle. That doesn’t mean you can’t follow the proceedings though, because the internet exists. Not only can you watch everything that happens at Blizzcon live and in HD, but you can also watch people make rude remarks in the accompanying comment section.

BlizzCon 2014 dates and prices announced

Emanuel Maiberg at

Time to dust off that Kerrigan cosplay custom and maybe save some money. Blizzard just announced the dates and location for BlizzCon 2014, when tickets will go on sale, and for how much.

Blizzard MOBA renamed Heroes of the Storm

Ian Birnbaum at

Blizzard’s hotly anticipated multiplayer online battle arena game has been through a few iterations—first as Blizzard DOTA then as Blizzard All-Stars—but has now revealed its final form. Heroes of the Storm will be a crossover MOBA featuring characters from the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo franchises.

Blizzcon 2013 'virtual ticket' now on sale, grants HD stream access to the event

Phil Savage at

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.

Blizzcon 2013 tickets go on sale next Wednesday

T.J. Hafer at

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.

PC Gamer US Podcast #345 - Does PS4 Even Lift?

PC Gamer at

This week, Tyler, Omri, and roguish host/space cowboy T.J. discuss whether or not Sony's PS4 announcement is relevant to PC gamers. And if it is, how relevant is it, really? Also, Nvidia's GTX Titan card, the return of Blizzcon, Crysis 3, and BioShock Infinite.

Plus listener questions and playlists, on a short but sweet PC Gamer Podcast 345: Does PS4 Even Lift?

Our five favorite MMO meet-ups

Josh Augustine at

I spent hundreds of hours with my guildmates last year, chatting online while downing dragons, super-villains, and other big bads. But every now and then, it’s good for a team’s morale to drop the daggers, get out of the house, and just hang out with each other.

More and more MMOs are hosting annual conventions to help their players do just that. But it’s not just the games that make each convention different — the theme, style, and length all vary as well. We've attended and rated the biggest of them inside...

Behind-the-scenes with Songhammer, the epic band that rocked BlizzCon's music contest

Greg Henninger at

You might not have noticed, but there was another band (on top of the Foo Fighters and Blizzard's own Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain) worthy of your praise at BlizzCon last month: the almighty Songhammer. We sat down with the two gamers that formed the army of epic rock, wicked guitars, and WoW-centric lyrics that won third place in the Original Song Contest at this year's BlizzCon. Between bursts of guitar riffs and giant dragons breathing fire, they told us their tale and talked about some their top songs, like "We are the Horde" and "Armies of the Light."

Read on to learn more about this rocktastic duo and grab free MP3s of their premier songs at the end of the interview.

Blizzard on how the war for Pandaria will progress with post-launch patches

Tom Senior at

In the run up to World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion, the virgin land of Pandaria has been hidden beneath a magical mist for an age, untouched by the conflict between Horde and Alliance. When the expansion launches, war will hit the shores of the Panda nation, but not right away.

We caught up with Blizzard lead system designer, Greg Street, at Blizzcon to discuss how the war for Pandaria will pan out. He tells us that it will start out as a peaceful land, but become increasingly war torn with the addition of each post-release patch.

PC Gamer US Podcast #292: Prattlefield 3

PC Gamer at

The man. The myth. The legend. Chris Antista enters the wild world of the PC Gamer podcast, far from home and without a clue where he is (or, he's recording a podcast in the very same room where he did Talk Radar). Alongside Dan, Lucas, Gavin, and Greg, they'll traverse the misty plains of Battlefield 3 impressions, encountering singleplayer goofiness and multiplayer war stories. Then they'll trudge through the deserts of BlizzCon impressions, the sea of Truthiness and Falsity, and the Swamps of Torment, where Xbox games appear in the Playlist. It is, without a doubt, an epic venture.

PC Gamer US Podcast 292: Prattlefield 3

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria trailers show new dungeons

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have released videos of three of Mists of Pandaria's nine new dungeons. The word 'dungeon' is slightly misleading. These take place in huge jade palaces nestles among swathes of cherry-blossom. The fly-throughs give us a good idea of what Pandaria itself will be like, heavily influenced by far-eastern architecture and geography, but all shiny and WoWed up.

These dungeons are set on the new continent, which has been hidden beneath a mystical mist for centuries. The once peaceful isle is about to be torn apart. When the mists lift, the Alliance land on the Northern shore, the Horde land on the Southern shore, and they'll presumably have a great big fight in the middle. See more of the new continent in the other two videos, embedded below.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria video shows pandas pandering in Pandaria

Henry Winchester at

A bamboo curry’s worth of information on World of Warcraft’s panda-based race has hit the internet. In addition to Blizzard confirming details of the new animation system, an official website has launched and a video of the bears in action has leaked.

The video, sneakily shot by MMO-Champion, shows Pandaria’s starting area, as well as the impressive animations that bring the cuddly warriors to life. According to Blizzard art director, Chris Robinson, the Pandaren have ten times the facial bones as other races, making them more mobile and expressive. That's good news even if you're not planning to play as a panda. Blizzard say they'll be retro-fitting the tech to the old races, eventually.

Robinson said that “I want to stress as well that it's a massive undertaking to go back and do this. And to a lot of people it's something that won't be considered shiny new content.” Blizzard are also concerned about maintaining the "look and feel of the original models," and want to find a way of revamping the old races that won't put off players who have spent years with their characters.

Have your say: What do you think of World of Warcraft's new expansion?

Tom Senior at

At Blizzcon this year we caught a glimpse of the future of World of Warcraft, and it's full of kung-fu Panda monks. This time round there won't be a world-ending monster threatening to destroy Azeroth, only Pandas, and their lovely homelands of Pandaria. And a new Monk class. And new PVE scenarios. And a new poke-tastic pet battle system. Oh, and the talent system is being scrapped and rebuilt from the ground up.

One way or another, Mists of Pandaria is going to be quite something, but what do you think of it? Did the very mention of a race of pandas send you running for the 'cancel subscription' button, or do you dig the cuddly new race? If you're a lapsed subscriber, will Pandaria tempt you back into Azeroth? And what about all the other announcements at Blizzcon this year? Are you tempted by the WoW Annual Pass, and what do you think of Blizzard DOTA? And what about those new StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm units? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch the sensational Blizzcon 2011 StarCraft 2 Grand Final

Tom Senior at

It wasn't only the GSL finals that took place at Blizzcon 2011 this weekend. Blizzard threw a separate tournament with a $50,000 prize pot to take advantage of the wealth of top StarCraft 2 talent in California. It was a dramatic and close fought contest that resulted in one of the most spectacular StarCraft 2 finals ever. VG247 have spotted a video of that final game online. You'll find it embedded below. If you don't want to know who the finalists are, then read no further. If you want to see an incredible StarCraft 2 game played in front of thousands of rapt fans then you're in for a treat.

StarCraft 2 mod tool updates to let players create custom models, UI and cutscenes

Tom Senior at

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm won't just mean a massive shake-up for the StarCraft 2 esports scene, we'll be getting the Blizzard Arcade as well, a hub designed to show off the very best creations from the StarCraft 2 modding community. Blizzard plan to give modders more power with a suite of updates to the mod tools supplied with StarCraft 2.

Blizzard will release the full suite of art tools which will let designers export custom 3D models from popular 3D modelling software, 3DS Max. This will give modders the scope to create new buildings, units and tilesets, opening the doors to total conversions, and giving modders far more scope to create entirely new games within the StarCraft 2 engine.

Blizzard DOTA screenshots introduce Thrall, Arthas and Diablo 3's Witch Doctor

Tom Senior at

The Blizzard DOTA Panel that took place earlier today at Blizzcon 2011 dropped a ton of interesting info on the features that will set the free StarCraft 2 mod apart from competitors like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth and Dota 2. There was news of mounts, winnable boss monsters that live in the jungles between lanes, and the disposal of the traditional last hit method of earning experience. That's all well and good, but what does it actually look like? Find out in the many screenshots that have emerged from the conference today.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm trailer begins Kerrigan's quest for revenge

Tom Senior at

Kerrigan's lost the extra appendages and, apart from some weird hair, looks relatively human now. According to the Heart of the Swarm lore panel at Blizzcon 2011, she doesn't remember her time as leader of the Zerg swarm well, but has a good idea of the destruction that the swarm caused during her reign. Her thirst for consuming worlds has been replaced by a less megolamanic lust for revenge. She'll be at the centre of the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm single player campaign. See her in action on the Blizzcon StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm preview trailer above.

Diablo 3: twenty screenshots from Blizzcon 2011

Tom Senior at

Here are twenty new screenshots of Diablo 3 from Blizzcon, showing various denizens of the underworld being disintegrated by lightning bolts and powerful laser beams. There are a few different environments on show as well, from golden deserts to candle-lit crypts, daubed with arcane scribblings and infested with Azmodan's brutish legions. Not shown: vast, vast quantities of sweet loot. Click on each screenshot to see it full size.

Blizzard DOTA to be free with StarCraft 2 Starter Edition, mounts and boss monsters added

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have revealed some of the major changes they're making to the classic defence of the ancients format for Blizzard DOTA. They've mentioned mounts, major changes to the vital last-hit system, spectacular capturable boss monsters, and the steps they're taking to try and make Blizzard DOTA's battles faster and more friendly. They also confirmed that Blizzard DOTA will be added to the free StarCraft 2 Starter Edition.

Blizzard Arcade to arrive with StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

Tom Senior at

The Blizzard Arcade will arrive alongside the release of the StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Blizzard have just announced at a Blizzcon panel. The Arcade will act as a hub for user-made mods and games created using StarCraft 2's extensive mod tools. The Arcade will be available to everyone who owns StarCraft 2, not just Heart of the Swarm players.

Games available in the Blizzard Arcade will be free to begin with, but Blizzard plan to let mod makers charge for their games in future. The Arcade will be available from the front page, and take players to a central screen showing the most popular mods of the moment. A five star rating system and user reviews will help the best games rise to the top, and "what's hot" sections will give players quick access to the most popular games on the service. The mods will use StarCraft 2's matchmaking system to put players together.

The editor will also be improved, with debugging improvements, a cutscene editor, and custom UI editing tools.