BlizzCon 2013 – Heroes of the Storm – FAQ

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What is Heroes of the Storm?

Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler, starring your favorite Blizzard characters. Build and customize heroes from across every Blizzard universe to suit your play style. Team up with your friends and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play the game.

In each match you can select from an array of Blizzard heroes and join a team to battle against enemy players, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base. You’ll have the opportunity to stage classic showdowns such as Raynor vs. Kerrigan, or mix and match heroes from different games to fight together and against each other.

Each hero starts the game with a set of powerful abilities and traits, and over the course of the battle you’ll have the ability to customize your hero with unique talents and heroic abilities. While each hero has certain core strengths, the talents you select can greatly change the way your hero fights. Support heroes like Uther for example, can be played as almost a pure healer, or can take on more of a damage dealing role.

More after the break …

BlizzCon 2013 – Heroes of the Storm – Fact Sheet

blizzcon-2013-heroes-of-the-storm-artworkWHAT IS HEROES OF THE STORM?

Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler starring your favorite Blizzard characters. In Heroes, the epic battles between the champions and villains of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo aren’t settled with last hits and kill-stealing—players are distinguished through the accomplishments of their team.

Whether you’re a hardcore WoW raider, a demon-slaying Barbarian, or a Bronze league Terran, you’ll find a customizable hero from across the Blizzard multiverse to suit your play style. Grab your buddies and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play every match. When the mightiest characters in gaming history clash, only you can decide who’ll come out on top!

More after the break…

Activision Blizzard Q3 2013 Finacial Results Conference Call – Mike Morhaime Transcript

The Activision Blizzard Third Quarter Financial conference call took place on November 6th, 2013 at 1:30pm PDT.

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Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said: “Our third-quarter results exceeded our expectations, and we are able to raise our outlook for 2013 net revenues and earnings per share.

Robust continued engagement with our core franchises drove digi tal revenue, which constituted a majority of all revenue. This quarter demonstrates that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft engage and entertain our fans year round.”

Kotick added, “We recently released new titles in two of the most popular franchises in entertainment, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders SWAP Force. We are thrilled by the quality of those games and we are excited to show what we can do with them on next-generation consoles in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of a beta launch for our first major free-to-play game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

However, we continue to believe that the fourth quarter this year presents a unique and challenging landscape due to increased competition and uncertainties surrounding the console transition.

We are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges successfully, particularly in light of the recent completion of our transaction with Vivendi and the focus and flexibility provided by our return to independence.”

  • As of September 30, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft remains the #1 subscription-based MMORPG, with approximately 7.6 million subscribers.
  • In North America, Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm® was the #1 PC game for the first nine months of 2013.

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Morhaime: Q3 was an eventful quarter for Blizzard. We launched our first console game in many years with Diablo III. We also announced an expansion pack for Diablo III — Reaper of Souls.

Additionally, beta testing for Hearthstone kicked off and we released significant content update for World of Warcraft.

All of this activity has netted out to a strong quarter where we ended higher in net revenue and operating income versus Q2 mostly due to the Diablo III console launch on September.

Revenues and income were down year over year — as expected — due to the successful launch of Mists of Pandaria and the ongoing sales of Diablo III during the same quarter last year.

Going into more specific details with World of Warcraft, we’re very pleased with the response to Siege of Orgrimmar — the massive content update we released in September. This update included a huge new raid dungeon with major story elements, as well as a new area to explore and features that improved the game’s accessibility.

Flexible rates now allow groups of variable size to participate in the end-game raiding dungeons. Meanwhile, the Proving Grounds feature trains players to improve their play in specific roles, preparing them to participate in end-game content. Player response to the content has been good, and we saw increased engagement that has contributed to maintaining relatively stable subscribership quarter-over-quarter. We’ll continue to invest heavily in World of Warcraft to deliver frequent, high-quality content to our players.

Moving on to Diablo III, we are pleased with the response to the games launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Lifetime sell-through of the game across all platforms has reached over 14 million copies, and reviews have been very positive about how the game plays on console. Much of the praise has been centered on changes we made to the loot system and our decision to keep the auction house off of the console platform. Players and critics alike have noted that these changes have resulted in a more fun and satisfying game experience. That reaction factored in our decision to remove the auction house from the PC version of Diablo III effective next March, which players have also responded very positively to.

We’re building upon those design philosophies for loot and incorporating them into Reaper of Souls, the Diablo III expansion pack — which is coming for PC and PS4 in 2014.

In addition to the new loot system, Reaper of Souls will include an additional player class, the Crusader, and more gameplay modes for the endgame to keep players engaged. The reaction to Reaper of Souls at Gamescom was very positive, and we are looking forward to revealing more about the game at BlizzCon.

It was also a busy quarter for Hearthstone, our free-to-play digital card game for PC and iPad based on the Warcraft universe. In Hearthstone, players build decks of cards that feature familiar spells and creatures from World of Warcraft, and battle against each other using the cards. Players can collect cards simply by playing or by purchasing digital packs. They can also purchase entries into a special competitive mode of play called The Arena in exchange for either in-game currency or a small fee.

We’ve seen a great response from the community with the closed beta test, which kicked off in August. Hearthstone quickly became one of the most popular streaming games on Twitch, and we have been expanding the beta test to encompass more regions and a wider group of players. We’re continuing to work on polishing the game as we drive towards open beta testing.

Rounding out our big announcements since the last call is the name change of Blizzard All-Stars to Heroes of the Storm, which is our take on free-to-play hero brawlers. We’ve done an extensive internal test on Heroes over the past several months, and as the game has evolved, we felt it was appropriate to change the name to something more fitting of the gameplay experience.

We’re looking forward to sharing more details about Heroes at BlizzCon, which is taking place this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is another sold-out show, with more than 20,000 attendees coming to Anaheim from more than 40 different countries.

Our global community will also follow along through DIRECTV, online pay-per-view on blizzcon.com and partner broadcast in other regions. We will be showcasing our biggest pipeline of games ever and showing our appreciation for our community through contests, meet-and-greets and of course, major eSports spectacles.

The World of Warcraft Arena invitational and the global grand finals of the StarCraft II World Championship Series will be taking place, along with an invitational tournament for Hearthstone, featuring popular community personalities.

All of us at Blizzard can’t wait to get back to BlizzCon and connect with our players. We hope you’ll join us there or follow along online with a virtual ticket available online at blizzcon.com.

We are looking forward to celebrating a shared passion of gaming with our players, hearing their feedback on our newest game content and taking that energy and knowledge back to work as we drive towards an exciting 2014 for Blizzard.

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BlizzCon 2013 Returns This Week – Press Release

Blizzard Entertainment sent a press release to all Battle.net subscribers giving a round up of events to happen at BlizzCon, and the goodies obtained by purchasing the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket to watch the livestream.

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IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013, Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming festival, makes a long-awaited return on Friday, November 8 , at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The sold-out show celebrates all things geek, featuring sneak peeks at what’s going on behind the scenes at Blizzard Entertainment .

This year’s BlizzCon includes discussion panels with Blizzard developers; community cosplayers; and Duncan Jones , director of the upcoming Warcraft® film. Also taking place are the StarCraft® II World Championship Series Global Final and World of Warcraft® Arena Invitational, in which top pro gamers from around the world will be competing for cash prizes and ultimate glory. Jay Mohr is back this year to host the ever-popular community contests, and SoCal punk legends Blink-182 will be performing an epic rock concert to wrap up the show on Saturday night.

BlizzCon tickets once again sold out in seconds, but anyone can still attend the event from the comfort of their home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket. Viewers will receive over 60 hours of live HD coverage of the event (including Blink’s sure-to-be-wild performance) across five channels over the Internet. Virtual Ticket holders will also receive all the BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies:

  • World of Warcraft in-game pet—the valiant Murkalot
  • To-be-revealed Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ card
  • BlizzCon-themed “Mark of Death” Diablo® III banner
  • “Tearin’ Stitches” StarCraft II portrait and Stitches’ Hook decal

DIRECTV® customers in the United States can also order BlizzCon 2013 as a Pay Per View event and receive a free Virtual Ticket. In addition, the BlizzCon opening ceremony and eSports tournaments will be streamed free online at www.blizzcon.com. More info on the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/.

“We can’t wait to get back to BlizzCon and share details about our latest games with our most passionate players,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “It’s going to be a truly unforgettable weekend.”

BlizzCons of years past have featured an array of exciting panels, unveilings, and entertainment, including the world debuts of the latest World of Warcraft content, the first-ever public hands-on with StarCraft II and Diablo III, and epic rock performances by Foo Fighters and Tenacious D.

BlizzCon would not be possible without the enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generous support of the event’s partners, who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more. This year’s sponsors are Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA.

Anyone attending BlizzCon who’s looking to join the ranks at Blizzard should bring their resumes, portfolios, or business cards. The Blizzard recruiting team will be on hand to review materials and discuss any job-related questions. More information on available Blizzard career opportunities can be found at http://jobs.blizzard.com, LinkedIn Blizzard Careers, and http:[email protected]

 

Blizzard Entertainment Officially Renames Blizzard All-Stars to Heroes of the Storm

Danny Perschonok (Naka) informed me Blizzard Entertainment has launched the new Heroes of the Storm website with a video by CarBot Animations. Blizzard Entertainment has renamed Blizzard All-Stars to “Heroes of the Storm”.

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Yep, we’ve changed it again.

Set aside whatever you think you knew about Blizzard All-Stars, and get ready for what’s brewing at this year’s BlizzCon (Nov. 8-9, 2013).

Many thanks to Jon Burton of Carbot Animations for his work. You can find much more of Jon’s talented craft over at his YouTube channel here

 

A few days ago, when the trademark “Heroes of the Storm” appeared in the United States Patents & Trademarks website, I posted an article listing all the possible uses for this trademark. One of them was a possible rename of Blizzard All-Stars as pointed out by a fan.

Activision Blizzard to Release Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results on November 6, 2013

Activision Blizzard announced they will broadcast the Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results after the close of the market on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Coincidence? BlizzCon 2013 takes place on November 8-9. Will Mike Morhaime have a few spoilers to share?

Personally, that would be a great move considering some people might want to watch the BlizzCon DirecTV or Livestream. Not all these conferences yield juicy announcements, but some have proven to provide approximate launch dates for beta testing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1:30 p.m. Pacific Time ( 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time )

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Blizzard Needs Blizzard All-Stars Global eSports Director & Project Manager

The StarCraft II – Blizzard All-Stars eSports Team is looking for a Global eSports Director and a Project Manager. Follow the links to check out the responsibilities and requirements of both job openings.

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Director, Global eSports

This person will lead the design and development of all Blizzard Entertainment’s eSports programs, including the conception and production of live and online tournaments featuring Blizzard Entertainment games at all levels of competition, from grass roots to pro. This person will also directly manage our relationship with our global eSports partners. Finally, the senior director will be ultimately responsible for network maintenance and growth of our global eSports networks of eSports organizers, shoutcasters, and volunteers.

The ideal candidate is an independent, self-motivated leader with a proven track record of designing creative competitive systems, proactively identifying key strategies, anticipating business needs, and implementing solutions across the organization. This person must have strong personnel management, motivational skills, and must be able to work within budget while still producing epic experiences for the players of our games.

The director, global eSports will work closely with different teams such as global community operations, community content, public relations, events, marketing, web, and production.

 

Project Manager, eSports

The Blizzard Entertainment eSorts team is looking for a talented, enthusiastic, and highly organized project manager with outstanding communication skills and a demonstrated aptitude for project management. The ideal candidate must be capable of communication regarding eSports objectives, love the act of planning, enjoy working inside a flexible team-oriented environment, be versed in project management styles and processes, and track eSports projects according to established deadlines. Self-direction and follow-up skills are a must, as well as, the ability to anticipate issues and find effective solutions.

 

Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

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The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 

Robert Clotworthy to make StarCraft Announcement with Clutch on August 11

robert-clotworthy-by-sallie-deEtte-mackieOur hero Robert Clotworthy, who plays the voice of Jim Raynor in StarCraft II, posted on Facebook that he has an important StarCraft-related announcement to make this Sunday, August 11th during an interview with Joshua Gray (known as Clutch).

Look for an important StarCraft announcement from me during my live interview with Josh “Clutch” Gray on Sunday. Any guesses as to what that might be?” — said Robert Clotworthy.

Now what could this announcement be? Especially when Blizzard Entertainment has no scheduled announcements to make until GamesCom and BlizzCon?

Is it about StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void? Is it about Blizzard All-Stars which features Jim Raynor? Is it a StarCraft II novel going audiobook featuring Robert’s voice? Or something else?

What do you guys think? (plays Beethoven’s 5th, below) — source

Update: The interview will take place at the StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) America Premier League Finals – Day 2. No ETA when exactly, but the livestream begins at:

  • San Francisco – 4:00pm (PDT)
  • New York City – August 11 7:00pm (EDT)
  • Paris – Monday, August 12 1:00am (CEST)

    Yesterday’s broadcast last about 8 hours, so it’s impossible to determine at what time in specific the interview takes place other than watching the entire thing, or waiting for Blizzplanet to post the news. The interviews happen usually after a StarCraft II match ends. The livestream will be here: — http://wcs.battle.net/sc2/en

Speculation – Blizzard All-Stars Cinematic Teaser or Gameplay Demo in the Oven?

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The Rumor Mill gear continues to grind and its smoking chimneys to brisk. Browsing through YouTube, I unearthed a video posted by actress Tricia Helfer the day after StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launched (March 12). She mentioned she did some voicing for another video game, but couldn’t talk about it, and just teased. She didn’t mention if this new video game is for another studio, but considering she was talking about Blizzard’s StarCraft II — it’s open to individual interpretation. Look it up in the video at 03:15.

That reminded me, a few weeks ago I reported that actor Robert Clotworthy (Jim Raynor) had been recording at Blizzard’s voice over studio on June 12. Robert tweeted the Bourbon Cowboy was at the studio. Old-school fans know that “Bourbon Cowboy” is a nickname attached to “Chris Metzen” (Senior VP of Creative/Story Development).

A fan responded to Robert’s tweet mocking that the Legacy of the Void voice over session had been spoiled. However, Robert Clotworthy responded: “Don’t jump to conclusions.”

Legacy of the Void should be in a very early infancy considering the developers just launched Heart of the Swarm 3 months before Robert’s tweet. Too soon to start recording voice over for the single player. Tricia recorded that other game session prior to the launch of Heart of the Swarm.

With Robert asking not to jump to conclusions (It’s was not a voice over for Legacy of the Void) one has to wonder what else would Tricia and Robert be recording their voice for? If you look the Blizzard All-Stars was formerly named Blizzard DOTA. In the early logo you can clearly see the silhoutte of Kerrigan and Jim Raynor.

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Either both actors recorded the cinematic teaser of Blizzard All-Stars to be shown at BlizzCon 2013 on November 8, or the Blizzard All-Stars gameplay demo required their voice overs. Of course, take all these as blatant speculation.

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