Blizzard announces Diablo III for PS3 and PS4 with partnership of Sony


The biggest surprise of Sony’s PlayStation 4 event wasn’t even the PlayStation 4. Blizzard has just announced a strategic partnership with Sony, beginning with a port of Diablo 3 to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 game consoles. After years of only supporting PCs, the company behind World of WarCraft is dipping its toe back in the waters of the game console. The game has been updated for console controllers, and will have a four-player co-op mode.

“Many of you are probably wondering why an old-school PC game developer is crashing the Sony party tonight,” said Blizzard’s Chris Metzen on the Sony stage, explaining that the company now has a “strategic partnership” with Sony to “take over the world.” The company has a “deep desire to get back into the mix” of console gaming, and though the company’s only announcing a port of Diablo III for today, it sounds like a clear hint that more Blizzard games will come to console in future.

Blizzard’s Build Big, Win Big Mega Bloks contest Winners announced

The winners for Blizzard’s Build Big, Win Big contest from Mega Bloks have now been announced on the official website. While there could only be one Grand Prize winner, the contest result showed off ten third prize winners, and five second prize winners as well. The Grand Prize winner, Bradley Tingstad, gets to celebrate with one year of WoW and a gigantic pile of prizes, including copies of all five World of Warcraft Collector’s Editions. That’s one heck of a prize!

The contest, announced late last year, asked enterprising builders to combine their World of Warcraft Mega Bloks sets into new combinations. The winning entries did just that, some with astonishing results, and all with a display of imagination and creativity.

Blizzard’s post on the official website has photos of the Grand Prize entry — a remarkably adept replica of a goblin shredder — as well as the second place winners. For photos of the third prize winners, as well as more images of the winning entries, you can head to the official Build, Big, Win Big! Facebook app.

Blizzard looking into revamping the macro system

macro system

Macros are one of the key things that allow complex raiding and PvP. They’re essential for maximizing DPS and for preparing for those specific situations in PvE and PvP. It’s rare that a top player will come along that doesn’t have a complicated set of macros.

That said, the system is relatively old, and hasn’t been given much love in recent years. While new commands are added now and then, the system itself screams of 2004. There’s been lots of advances in not only the way we play the game, but in how players could program the macro functions themselves. Upgrading this system is a topic often discussed, and apparently it’s on the minds of Blizzard as well. Taepsilum chimes in:

Taepsilum
Devs are looking into revamping the whole macro system at some point, meanwhile, simply increasing the number of slots would probably be good enough. They were having some discussions about doing just that but we still don’t have any concrete plans on the way, if anything changes we’ll let you know.

Don’t hold out your hopes for it happening anytime soon, but if you’re like me, you’re keeping your fingers crossed for the next expansion.

Blizzard reversing some short-term PvP suspensions

WoW Insider recently posted about Blizzard taking decisive action against players who had been discovered win-trading. Bashiok posted the following:

Bashiok
Earlier this week, several player accounts were given short suspensions and had their ratings wiped for being involved in Rated Battleground win-trading. Upon further review, we determined that some of the players initially identified as cheating may not have purposefully participated in the exploitive behavior, and as a result, we’re in the process of lifting suspensions and restoring ratings to all but the most egregious offenders. This process should be completed following the Tuesday maintenance.

As always, our goal is to identify cheaters while making sure people playing by the rules aren’t inadvertently penalized. Rest assured that we’ll continue to take action against players who aren’t competing in the spirit of fair play.

Nonetheless, the attitude that suspending innocent players is worse than letting a few guilty players get away with cheating is probably one to be applauded.

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter

When the Ghostcrawler is away, apparently the Kosak will play — or at least, take over Ghostcrawler’s job for a few days. Those following Dave “Fargo” Kosak or Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street on Twitter may have caught a flurry of tweets from the two. It all began with an innocent enough notification from everyone’s favorite crustacean, letting followers on Twitter know that he would be fairly quiet over the next few days. Dave Kosak decided to respond and note that he would be taking over class tweets in the interim. Chaos, of course, ensued.

Blizzard clarifies patch 5.2 item upgrade changes, upgrade NPC gone

To help alleviate the confusion about the absence of gear upgrades come patch 5.2, Lead Systems designed Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street recently tweeted the following:

@panterpe No gear. The NPC is gone.
- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) January 11, 2013

Naturally, this response prompted a flurry of tweets from players concerned about various aspects of the proposed changes. Ghostcrawler responded to several, with further explanation, and Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok subsequently posted a longer explanation on the US forums.

Even Ethereals need a vacation, and the item upgraders (Voidbinders), are no exception. They’re saying they need to go home to take care of business arrangements, but … I’m not convinced. I think they’re just homesick for their ‘space mummy’ families.

Ok ok, fourth wall broken, we’re actually just temporarily removing them from the game for 5.2 due to the new raid tier. The idea with the item upgrade system is that it’s a way to spend currency on upgrading items when buying new items isn’t the clear path. Either you’ve bought everything, or at least most of them, and then spend currency to get that extra *oomph*. With a new raid tier coming, we don’t want to create a trap where people are wondering what’s more lucrative: spend currency on new items, or on the new gear appearing on vendors? (Hint: It’s the new gear on vendors.) To help ensure we’re not indirectly encouraging anyone to spend their currency somewhere they probably shouldn’t, the item upgraders will be taking a break.

Right now we’re planning for them to return in 5.3, which will not have a raid tier, and offer upgrades again as people will have likely have some currency to burn. We’re not sure yet if we’ll continue this cycle of having them take a break for raid patches and then come back in non-raid patches, but we’ll continue evaluating as we go, absorb feedback, and let you know how these plans evolve.

Early DotA Battleground footage revealed

Adriacraft.net has revealed initial footage of Blizzard’s DotA styled battleground, Defense of the Alehouse, reportedly arriving in patch 5.2. This is very basic footage, without the internal decoration in most cases, but gives a brief idea of the layout and feel of the battleground.

Initial observations would be that it’s definitely a large battleground, which is to be expected, possibly indicating that it could be for more than 10 players. Given that all the recent battleground additions have been 10-player, this would be welcomed. This overview map defined by Leviathon indicates the same, it’s definitely a decent-sized map. There appear to be two defined areas, and lots of bridges in certain points. Of course, it should be noted that these are very, very early PTR datamined images, and should not be considered final.

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50% off all Blizzard store mounts this week

This offer was just announced by Blizzard in the EU, and if previous promotions are anything to go by, it will be announced by Blizzard US very shortly. This offer allows the purchase of the Celestial Steed, the Winged Guardian, or the Heart of the Aspects for half price, which, in the EU, equates to €10 or £8.50. In the US, all three mounts are available for $12.50 each.

With Christmas fast approaching, you may want to leave this article open on the computer of a family member, or a good friend, or maybe this is the perfect time to pick up a mount for someone special. If you’re planning to give a mount as a gift, do remember that, while the codes can be redeemed on any account via the Item Redemption Page, they are region-specific, so players wishing to purchase a mount in the US will need to do so via the US version of the pet store. It follows, then, that players wishing to buy a mount in the EU need to visit the EU pet store. Within those regions, though, there are no country-specific limitations.

Of course, these mounts count towards the various mount achievements available in-game, and with the changes in patch 5.0.4, are available on every character, rather than just on the one they were redeemed for.

Blizzard announced a new novel next year on NYCC

The Blizzard Entertainment Publishing Panel at New York Comic Con officially announced what we’ve been suspecting since the Blizzard AMA on Reddit – there will be a new World of Warcraft novel next year. The novel, titled Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde will be available in April of 2013, and will be penned by Michael Stackpole. Shadows of the Horde will feature Vol’jin primarily, but also include Chen Stormstout, and will tie in to what we’ll be seeing in patch 5.1 and beyond.

But that’s not the only item on the Warcraft front! Also on the list of upcoming projects is a new title by Richard Knaak. World of Warcraft: Dawn of the Aspects will be a four part eBook, with part one available on January 15, 2013. The eBook will address the Aspects who are Aspects no more, as well as covering history on how the Aspects came to be, with more information on Galakrond and the proto drakes.

Blizzplanet recorded the entire panel for viewing, as well as touching on the next Starcraftnovel and an upcoming anthology of Diablo III stories. Take a look at part one of the publishing panel above, and visit Blizzplanet for the rest of the panel’s revelations and information.