Talk Azeroth Episode 18

Talk Azeroth Episode 18 is here! This week we join the lovely Olivia D. Grace as she winds down from all of the BlizzCon madness to talk about the recently announced raid-size changes coming with the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords Of Draenor. If you're in a raiding guild or group in World of Warcraft, tune in to find out how these new changes and additions may affect you.

BlizzCon Opening Ceremony

Blizzard fans, hold on to your hats – while you're running to grab your seat, that is. The BlizzCon 2013 Opening Ceremony begins today at 11:00am PT (2:00pm ET). If you're not attending BlizzCon and don't have a Virtual Ticket, you can still view the ceremony as well as all of the Starcraft II, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone eSports action for free on the BlizzCon livestream page. Tournaments will run throughout the day, so be sure to check the convention schedule in order to catch your favorite teams and players compete.

Wowhead Party at BlizzCon - Join Us!

Images courtesy of WoW Insider.

Heading to BlizzCon? Come party with us!

From 5PM to 11PM PT on Thursday, Nov. 7th, Wowhead is partnering with WoW Insider to host a party at the Anabella Hotel – directly next to BlizzCon. There will be awesome sponsors, tons of prizes, and plenty of well-known World of Warcraft faces including Blizzard staff and popular streamers. We've even got GUNNAR hosting a photobooth with Azeroth-inspired weapons!

Blizzard Talks Battle.Net Championship with TL

In light of yesterdays' news that BlizzCon 2012 would not be taking place, Blizzard did drop one golden drop of hope: the world famous BlizzCon eSports scene would not suffer as a result. To prove this, Blizzard jointly announced with their sad BlizzCon news that they would be hosting the 2012 World Championship Event later this year in Asia. With a large prize pool and the high-quality shindigs Blizzard is known for hosting, this could be an important stepping stone in the eSports industry.

Just yesterday, TeamLiquid sat down with Ilja Rotelli, Global Director of Community & eSports at Blizzard, where they got to discussing some of the big plans Blizzard had with their 2012 World Championship. Of particular interest was the fact that Blizzard doesn't want the tournament to revolve around an immense prize pool; instead, they want to focus on delivering a high quality competition that players will want to participate in for prestige and recognition. This doesn't mean, of course, that Blizzard is taking a step back in its cash rewards, but it does indicate a shift of focus toward creating a more serious industry.

Ilja Rotelli also had some choice words for eSports competitors Riot Games and Valve, both of which have placed a large amount of prize money into their tournaments. When asked if Blizzard's eSports philosophy differed from Riot or Valve, he noted that their approach to eSports relies on what he calls "stunts," where he notes that they are "trying to achieve . . . a lot of media attention while asserting yourself in the industry." Meanwhile, Ilja argues that Blizzard is taking a more grassroots approach to building eSports as an industry, and he's hoping to not tarnish that vision by making the entire focus on big cash prizes.

It's a great read and Ilja Rotelli is very honest in the interview, so head over to TeamLiquid and take a read!

BlizzCon 2010 Finally Announced

Blizzard finally has set a date for it annual fan convention. Mark your calendar for Oct. 22-23 and be prepared for updates and panels on StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft. They probably have a new biombshell announcement planned as well.

The ZAM Preview Guide to BlizzCon 2009

Since 2005, tens of thousands of gamer fans have flocked to southern California each year (with the exception of 2006) to take part in BlizzCon; Blizzard's celebration of its complete IP lineup. The first convention took place on October 28, 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, and it's remained there ever since. About 8000 people were in attendance; a fairly substantial turn-out when you consider that no one knew exactly what to expect.

By the end of the weekend though, fans were thrilled with what they had finally found: a convention for gamers, by gamers. Technically, BlizzCon is similar to a trade expo in some functions, but Blizzard knew from the get-go that it wanted to offer its fans something other than the stuffy, industry-only direction in which tradeshows were headed. One weekend out of the year, Blizzard wanted to throw a massive party disguised as an expo, where its fans could gather and celebrate the entire array of the Blizzard franchise—including the Warcraft RTS series, StarCraft, Diablo…and of course, World of Warcraft.

For those of you lucky enough to score tickets to this year's convention (Aug. 21 and 22), ZAM has you covered, in this preview guide to BlizzCon 2009. You'll find a round-up of this year's highlights, along with some sage advice gleaned from attendees of years past. And if you weren't able to purchase tickets this year (along with seemingly everyone else who tried), don't worry! We'll give you all the info you need to consider the live "virtual pay-per-view" service being offered this year—which also entitles you to receive the same "Grunty the Murloc Marine" in-game vanity pet in this year's swag bags.

Blizzard Interview at Starcraft Wire

With BlizzCon coverage popping up across the net, it was excited to see the video taken by StarCraft Wire which has a few mentions of Blizzard's unannounced "4th project" which is the unnamed MMO.

The interview covers just about every project Blizzard has going on, and is worth the watch!

BlizzCon's Over; Check Wiki Daily for New Coverage

BlizzCon 2008 may have come to a close, but our extended coverage of the event is just beginning. Our BlizzCon wiki is already full of exclusive panel recaps, interviews and photos for you to enjoy, but that's not all! The intrepid ZAM Network staff, including our tireless Allakazham employees, went without much sleep all weekend to make sure that you get as much in-depth information as possible, and new content will be added to the wiki daily. So bookmark the page and refresh it regularly for your BlizzCon fix.

By now you've probably checked out Wordaen's class panel review and found out that the Wizard is the new Diablo III class, but there are now full articles posted on PvP, dungeons, and a free-for-all Q&A session with Blizzard. One of the best news tidbits is that mounts will no longer dismount in water outdoors!

As for interviews, our team realizes that the community aspect of WoW is incredibly important. That's why even though our wiki is full of official news from Blizzard, there's also interviews with regular players. In fact, there's even an exclusive interview with costume contest winner Amanda Hosler!

I have also heard from Tamat that he got a chance to speak personally with the cast of The Guild. Keep checking the wiki for that. In the meantime, talk about BlizzCon in our WoW general forum and keep reading below for a summary of some of the panel articles.

Wordaen Summarizes Class Changes from Panel

Our very own Wordaen is currently at BlizzCon absorbing all the information the event has to offer. For his first panel, Wordaen attended a discussion regarding Blizzard's intentions for each class in World of Warcraft.

Check out our BlizzCon wiki to read Wordaen's article on the class discussion. He covers everything from a complete overhaul of the hunter pet system to the changes in all three talent trees for warriors. Of course, Wordaen outlines the death knight class in depth, as well.

Classes weren't the only topic of conversation at the panel. Blizzard also discussed major changes in buffs/debuffs in groups and raids. While they didn't talk much about dual specs, they did have this to say:

Dual Specs are going to be designed more for flexibility and "on the fly" swapping (such as in a raid setting) but they are not going to be something as viable for a hardcore raider as they will for a more casual playstyle.

Once you've read Wordaen's article, discuss it in our forum.

Third Class Announced: Wizard

This morning at the BlizzCon 2008 opening ceremony, the third class for Diablo III was announced -- the Wizard! These ranged casters are "all about channeling the powers of the universe ". Blizzard has given us access to the initial gameplay video that was shown during the ceremony; check it out!

Also make sure to view all of our new Diablo III screenshots from BlizzCon, they make it pretty clear that the team is making some forward progress on the game.