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Blizzard's World Wide Invitational in Paris has officially begun. Blizzard is providing 4 streams of all the events going on this weekend. To view the streaming video you will need to follow the instructions on Blizzard's WWI site and install the Octoshape Streaming Video Plugin.

*All Times Are Eastern Standard Time*
**The Full Schedule can be found on the WWI website**

WoW Arena Tournament
Discussion and Coverage

Diablo 3
Officially announced! It will be the classic Diablo third person style Action RPG. The demo looked fantastic. New Flash Diablo 3 Splash Screen on Blizzard Sites. The Ice has given way to fiery halo framing the new Diablo 3 logo. "The Heavens Shall Tremble"  

Diablo 3 Site Now Up with Screen shots, video and more.

Diablo 3 Forums Live on WoW Forums.

FAQ

Official Blizzard Quote:

What is Diablo III?
We’re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian or witch doctor, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they’ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.

The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells -- and were fortunate enough to survive -- went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.

Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level. We look forward to going into much more detail on our plans for Diablo III as development on the game progresses.

What’s new about Diablo III compared to the previous Diablo games?
Exciting new classes like the witch doctor bring new gameplay options to the table. Returning classes, like the barbarian, have been completely redone with new skills to give them a feel unique to Diablo III. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing the player to create unique characters brimming with power.

Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects systems and Havok-powered physics allow the player to lay waste to the Hells' minions in spectacular ways.

Also, Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by introducing a host of new ways to create random scripted events throughout the game. This creates a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, dynamic encounters, and viciously challenging new monsters and bosses. Diablo III's environments add a great deal of interactivity to the game, including destructible elements and environmental obstacles that can be turned against your enemies.

In addition, Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative gameplay even more fun. We'll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.

Can you give an overview of Diablo III's storyline?
It has been twenty years since the events of Diablo II. Of those who faced the Lords of Hatred, Terror, and Destruction in the battle over the fate of Sanctuary, there are few still living who can bear to remember the horrors that the Prime Evils wrought upon the world. And of those who did not witness the terrible events firsthand, most believe the stories to be little more than myth. But something evil is stirring once again in Tristram, and it may already have claimed its first victim: Deckard Cain.

Will there be any other familiar faces in Diablo III (other than Deckard Cain)?
Yes. Players will encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games.

Will players be visiting any familiar locations in Diablo III, such as Tristram?
Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games, and they'll be exploring new areas of Sanctuary as well.

How many character classes are included in Diablo III? What are they?
Five character classes will be included in the game, two of which, the barbarian and witch doctor, were revealed when the game was announced at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational. The other classes will be announced at a later date.

Will players be able to choose the gender of their character, regardless of class?
Yes. Players will be able to create male and female characters for all five classes

Will Diablo III be playable over Battle.net? What new features can we expect?
Yes, Diablo III will be playable over Battle.net, and Battle.net will offer some exciting new features to enhance players' Diablo III experience. We'll announce specifics and go into much more detail at a later date.

Will there be a single-player component in addition to multiplayer?
Yes. In addition to battling the hordes of the Burning Hells cooperatively with friends over Battle.net, players will be able to adventure through the world of Diablo III solo. More details on both the single-player and multiplayer experience will be revealed at a later date.


What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We'll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.

What engine is Diablo III running on? What graphical enhancements are included?
Diablo III runs on a custom 3D game engine for rendering full-3D characters and environments. The 3D game engine not only simulates advanced animation sequences and sound effects, but also uses a custom physics engine that allows for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation.

What are the system requirements for Diablo III?
We'll announce specific system requirements at a later date.

When will Diablo III be released?
It's too early to estimate Diablo III's release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players.

Will the game be released in multiple countries? Will the release be simultaneous? Which countries and what languages will Diablo III be localized in?
As with all of our games, our goal with Diablo III is to release the game simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We'll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.

Will Diablo III be available on Windows and Mac simultaneously?
Yes. As with all of Blizzard Entertainment's recent releases, Diablo III will ship for both Windows and Mac simultaneously.

How much will Diablo III cost? Where can I buy this game?
Pricing and availability for Diablo III will be determined and announced closer to the release of the game.

Notes from WoTLK Developer Panel
Death Knights
  • Avoid Pigeon holing the DK class to the Spec they choose. Essentially, they want to be sure they can always tank.
  • Runes have 10 Second Cooldown
:hunter: Hunters
  • Steady Shot will not clip Autoshot. Hunter's can now Smash Steady Shot.
  • Pet Talent Trees - Current Pet skill point system will move to talents.
  • Pet Ability, "Cornered", Pet's damage increases when they are below 20% health
:mage: Mage
  • Frostfire Bolt
  • Intended as king of AE damage. Mages should deal equal to or more AE damage than Warlocks.
:priest: Priest
  • Divine Hymn - Stun player that strikes the player buffed with Divine Hymn
  • Talent Dispersion - 51 Point Shadow Talent - 90% Regen. Allows to turtle and regen. Designed to make SPriests more viable in Arena.
  • Guardian Spirit - Cheat Death for priests. Summon Spirit to follow party member. If party member about to die from a blow, the Spirit takes the fall instead.
:druid: Druid
  • Entangling Roots for indoor use.
  • "Flourish" - Quick Cast Direct Heal. Heals for different amounts depending on what  HoTs are up.
:shaman: Shaman
  • Too Many Totems - Strength of Earth and Grace of Air Combined
  • Totems Effect Entire Raids
  • New Weapon Enchant Earthliving - +Healing
  • Hex - Emergency, Short Duration CC. Hexed players can move but can not cast.
  • Windfury no longer Weapon Enchant. Changed to Buff - Usable in Druid Forms as well as with poisons.
:rogue: Rogue
  • AOE - Phantom Daggers - Hurl Knives at targets. Burst AOE. 1 Minute Cooldown.
  • Increase SAP effectiveness against more target types (Beast, Giant, Dragons, "anything with Skull and brain")
:paladin: Paladin
  • Improve Itemization of Retribution Paladin - Use Items identical to the Warrior
  • Hand of Purity - Reactive, preemptive healing. "Single Target Prayer of Mending"
  • Some Blessings Non-exclusive - Freedom and Protection. Will Be Renamed so they are not "blessings".
:warrior: Warrior
  • Add Warcraft 3 Talents - Blade Storm and Shockwave. Make Warriors feel Big and Strong
  • Titan's Grip - Fury Tree - Dual Wield 2 Handed Weapons.
:warlock: Warlock
  • Demonic Circle - Runic Circle on ground. Teleport back to circle as well as gain benefits for summoning demons
  • Demon Form - "Illidan Form" No summoned demon. AE Shadow Bolts

Opening Ceremony Live
  • 6:00 AM: Presenting the 16 WoW Arena Teams
  • 6:06 AM: Founder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime takes the stage. Thanking the players for being there.
  • 6:10 AM: Discusses TBC's success. More than 2.4 Million Copies Sold in the first 24 hours. Discuss the merger with Activision. Players won't notice a difference in quality from Blizzard.
  • 6:12 AM: Showing video from last years WWI (In French)
  • 6:15 AM: Announced Diablo 3!.
  • 6:19 AM: Third person RPG. Reminded its a work in progress. Showing demo. "Who wants to crush some demons!" Familiar UI. Showing off the Barbarian - "Brute Force".
  • 6:21 AM: UI Improvements allow for hot keys and quickly swapping skills with the mouse wheel. Simple enough to play with just the mouse, but allows for more complex game play as well. New type of Item item the "Red Globe" allows for healing after combat without the need for potions.
  • 6:24 AM: Destructible Environments. Barbarian hits wall that crumbles and kills a group of zombies.
  • 6:25 AM: Finds an entire gear set in one chest, notes that this is not typical of normal game play ;) All gear is custom designed for each classes look. "Endless stream of items"
  • 6:25 AM: Showing off skill: Whirlwind. Wrecking enemies.
  • 6:27 AM: More Story Events and Quests than ever before Dekard Cain found in the dungeon to begin an escort style quest. "Stay a while and...."
  • 6:32 AM: Diablo has always been a cooperative game. New class: Witch Doctor. Uses tribal magic, pets, diseases, and mind control. Master of Disease and Fire. "Mass Confuse" spell turns enemies against each other.
  • 6:35 AM: Summons Zombie Walls like Fire Wall
  • 6:36 AM: Showing group of Female Barb, Female Witch Doctor, and Male Witch Doctor. "You'll be able to quickly and easily form groups like this over Battle Net."
  • 6:37 AM: Been a pleasure showing Diablo 3. "But first, lets show you a real fight" Group fights gigantic demon as a demo.
  • 6:39 AM: Jay Wilson leaves the stage saying it was a pleasure presenting D3.
  • 6:42 AM: Presenters working the crowd asking the crowd where they are all from going through European Countries.
  • 6:45 AM: Dance performed on stage by fire dancers to new music from Diablo.
  • 6:51 AM: Hosts concluding the opening ceremonies.
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This weekend Blizzard is hosting its Worldwide Invitational Conference in Paris.

Blizzard will be streaming all of the Conferences events on the WWI website. The full schedule of events can be found found at http://eu.blizzard.c...i08/streams.xml.

Some of the streams we think you may be interested in are the Opening Ceremony as well as the WoW Arena Tournament.

The Opening Ceremonies will begin at 11:45 AM CEST/Paris (5:45 AM EST) on Saturday and are expected to run until 1:00 PM CEST/Paris (7:00 AM EST). We expect they will talk about the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion, Starcraft 2, and the enigmatic splash screens first showed up on Blizzard sites earlier this week. It is largely expected to be the announcement of a new game. If you haven't been keeping up with it throughout the week a nice summary of this week's puzzle can be found over at World of Raids. We're keeping our fingers crossed for Diablo 3.

The WoW Arena Tournament's Schedule is as follows:
  • Tournament Stage: Saturday, June 28 2:30 PM CEST/Paris (8:30 AM EST) - 5:30 PM CEST/Paris (11:30 AM EST)
  • Tournament Stage: Saturday, June 28 8:30 PM CEST/Paris (2:30 PM EST) - 10:00 PM CEST/Paris (4:00 PM EST)
  • Main Stage: Sunday, June 29 2:45 PM CEST/Paris (8:45 AM EST) - 4:30 PM CEST/Paris (10:30 AM EST)

Be sure to check the Schedule for the full listing of events that will be streamed live from WWI.

Update: Diablo 3
Back of the shirt hints at what it could be. Along with all the other rumors and theory crafting, we will hopefully get to hear about Diablo 3 tomorrow :)
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Realms should be starting to come back up from weekly maintenance shortly. This ushers in the start of Arena Season Four. (Season Four on EU realms will begin tomorrow). We're very excited to see whats in store for Season Four. Let the 2200 rating race begin!

In conclusion to Season Three: We know lots of you were working very hard to achieve the title of Gladiator. We wish you the best of luck on having a Netherdrake in your mailbox next week!

Here is a recap on Items and Item requirements for the new S4 Gear:


Season 4 Item Requirements

Official Blizzard Quote:

While Season 3 is still going strong, we wanted to announce ahead of time the rating requirements that will be present for arena items once Season 4 begins. We also wanted to give everyone a heads up to some changes that will be in an upcoming patch, altering how points are gained and players are matched in the arena system. The patch with these changes is scheduled to release before the start of Season 4.

First though, the rating requirement changes:

When Season 4 begins, Season 3 items will be reduced in personal and team arena rating requirement to:

Shoulders: 1950
Weapon: 1800

The new Season 4 items will have the below personal and team arena rating requirements:

Shoulders: 2200
Weapon: 2050
Head: 1700
Chest: 1600
Legs: 1550
Gloves: none
Off-hand: none

In addition, some of the Season 4 quality items that will be purchasable with honor will also carry a personal and team arena rating requirement:

Boots: 1700
Ring: 1650
Bracers: 1575
Belt: none
Necklace: none
Trinket: none

The Season 2 items, which will move to the honor system when Season 4 begins, will continue to have no rating requirement.

...

Season 4 Arena Rewards

Posted Image Feral Druid S4 Gear



Posted Image Restoration Druid S4 Gear



Posted Image Balance Druid S4 Gear



Posted Image Hunter S4 Gear



Posted Image Mage S4 Gear



Posted Image Holy Paladin S4 Gear



Posted Image Retribution Paladin S4 Gear



Posted Image Spell Damage Paladin S4 Gear



Posted Image Discipline/Holy Priest S4 Gear



Posted Image Shadow Priest S4 Gear



Posted Image Rogue S4 Gear



Posted Image Enhancement Shaman S4 Gear



Posted Image Elemental Shaman S4 Gear



Posted Image Restoration Shaman S4 Gear



Posted Image Warrior S4 Gear



Posted Image Felweave Warlock S4 Gear



Posted Image Dreadweave Warlock S4 Gear



Season 4 Quality Honor Gear

Boots - Rating Requirement: 1700



Rings - Rating Requirement: 1650



Bracers - Rating Requirement:1575



Belts - Rating Requirement: None



Necklaces - Rating Requirement: None



Trinkets - Rating Requirement: None

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