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Developer- and Publisher-specific Articles: Blizzard Entertainment
Evil forces are once again in need of smiting today with the launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The expansion adds the new Crusader hero, who joins the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard from the original release, a new increased level cap (70), randomized Bounty challenges, the Mystic artisan for more loot customization, randomized dungeons within the Nephalem Rifts, and a new Adventure Mode for free exploration. Act V will have players facing off against Malthael, the Angel of Death. In anticipation of Reader of Souls, a new update went live for the base game, which revamped the loot system, increased the number of options for forming Clans and Communities, and expanded the Paragon progression system.
Blizzard has sent a reminder that BlizzCon 2013 is right around the corner. Beginning this Friday, fans of all things Craft (and Diablo) will be able to celebrate their fandom during the annual two-day celebration. This year’s festivities, once again held at the Anaheim Convention Center, will feature numerous panels, including one with director Duncan Jones about the upcoming Warcraft movie, a concert by Blink-182, community cosplay, and both the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Final and World of Warcraft Arena Invitational.
Blizzard had bad news for Gamescom attendees: defeating Diablo has only made things worse. After the Lord of Terror was felled, a new evil was born, and players will have to venture forth to face it in the upcoming Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls. The Archangel of Wisdom, Malthael, has returned as the Angel of Death and taken possession of the essence of the Prime Evil, the Black Soulstone. Players must defeat Malthael and retrieve the stone as one of the original classes or as the new Crusader. The incorruptible brawlers don heavy armor, wield heavy weapons, and have access to battle magic to weaken enemies and enhance friends.
Blizzard has released several new screenshots from the 360 and PS3 versions of Diablo III. The new batch focuses on the multiplayer component, which will allow up to four players to team up online, locally, or both. Give the dozen-plus shots a gander below.
Console gamers looking to give Diablo III a go will get their chance later this summer as Blizzard has revealed September 3 as the final release date. It was also announced that the PS3 version will launch alongside an Xbox 360 version. Both releases will include all of the updates and tweaks made to the PC version since launch, as well as redesigned control schemes that include a dynamic camera and a new interface for easier gamepad play. Up to four players will be able to group up locally or online, which includes the ability to have mixed parties of both local and online players.
Console owners are getting ever closer to trying Diablo III for themselves, and to help entice the curious, Blizzard has announced a new pre-order bonus. Select retailers are offering an exclusive in-game item for those who order Diablo III before its release later this year, the Infernal Helm. The enhanced helm will grant an experience boost to the wearer, helping them to topple the demonic hordes even faster.
Blizzard’s two-day festival of all things Craft (and Diablo) is set to once again take over the Anaheim Convention Center this November. For those looking to attend, Blizzard has announced that tickets for BlizzCon will be sold in two batches, on April 24 at 7 p.m. and 27 at 10 a.m. (Pacific). There will also be a limited number of tickets to a dinner prior to the show in support of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, which will go on sale May 1 at 7 p.m.
Blizzard has released a new trailer for the upcoming 5.2 content update for Mists of Pandaria, The Thunder King. Emperor Lei Shen, the titular Thunder King, has returned to Pandaria with some Zandalari allies and is out for revenge. Players will be able to stop him once and for all in the new Throne of Thunder raid, which is just one of the many new additions being added with the 5.2 update.