Fan-Made BlizzCon 09 Mini-Docu Making Headlines

While most of the non-gaming media continues to cover events like BlizzCon as a nerd-fest gathering of an incomprehensible and socially-inept subculture, one guy is helping to lift the curtain and change those preconceptions. Well, from his standpoint, at least. Chris Nguyen, a.k.a. ddrfreak5o3 on YouTube, directed and produced his own fan-made, mini-documentary called "BlizzCon: An Event For Fans" while attending BlizzCon 2009 last month.

"I suppose the main purpose of this decision was to challenge myself, prepare for some documentary film classes (as well as a few other Journalistic Electronic Media classes), and update my digital portfolio," he wrote in the video's description on YouTube. Although he might not have originally intended it to be a deep, sociological insight into the die-hard gaming community, it's a fairly distinct and refreshingly alternative piece, compared to similar "fish-out-of-water" documentaries and news reports.

The mini-docu runs just over 10 minutes long and is surprisingly well-edited and shot. Nguyen captured high-quality video throughout a variety of BlizzCon events and exhibitions, including the Ozzy Osbourne performance. He also interviewed a couple of WoW gamers, and the winner of this year's costume contest. All in all, it's an extremely polished video for a fan-made documentary; one that shines a light on the best elements of BlizzCon, and the community behind it.

ZAM Interviews Felicia Day at BlizzCon

The cast of "The Guild" Web series was at BlizzCon to talk with fans, host a Q&A panel and premiere the first episode of season three, all while showing off the popular "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar" music video. We got the chance to speak with Felicia Day, the show's creator and writer who plays Codex, at the packed Guild booth on the BlizzCon floor. We discussed her thoughts on the Cataclysm expansion and the amount of work that goes into creating the hit low-budget show. She even gave us some details on the Guild comic she's writing for Dark Horse, which will feature the cast both in-game and in the real world.

Keep reading after the jump for our full interview. Be warned that it contains a major spoiler from the first episode of season three, so you may want to watch it first if you want the ending to be a surprise.

"The Guild" Cast Answers Questions at BlizzCon

The cast of "The Guild" Web series held a panel at BlizzCon to answer questions from viewers and discussed everything from favorite behind-the-scenes moments to what it's like having such dedicated fans. Felicia Day, who plays Codex, on top of being the show's creator and writer, kicked off the panel by showing the popular "Do You Want to Date My Avatar" music video, which was the top music video on iTunes in the world at the time. Audience members then got to enjoy the world premiere of the first episode of season three, which was just released on MSN Video. Day also showed a trailer for season three, which you can view here.

Keep reading after the jump for the casts' responses to questions from members of the audience. If you haven't seen the first episode of season three yet, there's one major spoiler mentioned in the Q&A session, so you may want to watch it first if you don't want to ruin the surprise. Also, check out our interview with Day for even more information on the show and upcoming Guild comic book.

Comparing Azeroth's Changes in Cataclysm

By now, almost every World of Warcraft fan has heard the news about Cataclysm, the upcoming expansion announced at BlizzCon. Due out sometime in 2010, WoW: Cataclysm promises to alter the game world of Azeroth on a massive scale, reshaping whole continents and changing even the most familiar of starting zones. In an effort to catalog the upcoming changes, our pals over at put together a killer video and gallery series called WoW: Multiple Comparison of Azeroth's Change by Cataclysm. It's a seven-page series, featuring a video of the main Cataclysm panel from BlizzCon 2009, with commentary and screen caps from the website team. If you've been looking for more Cataclysm info, or just a great video copy of the Cataclysm preview panel, you'll want to check it out.

WoW, Diablo 3 Directors Hold Press Q&A at BlizzCon

At BlizzCon 2009 members of the press were able to attend a private conference with World of Warcraft Production Director J. Allen Brack and Diablo 3 Game Director Jay Wilson, and the duo had interesting things to say about both games. For example, Brack emphasized there are absolutely no current plans to reach a final level cap in WoW, and the team doesn't look much past the next two expansions since they're constantly learning from their development experiences.

Also, there's been a lot of talk about updating the WoW character models, especially with the addition of new races. It may or may not happen for Cataclysm, but when it does, you might have the option to select the original or new models. Oh, and the WoW team was initially angry when the Cataclysm announcement was leaked, but was ultimately just happy that fans seem excited about the new expansion.

The full Q&A from the press conference can be found after the jump.

Diablo 3 Team Answers Questions at BlizzCon Panel

Members of the Diablo 3 team gathered on the main stage at BlizzCon for a Q&A session with fans who were eager to learn as much as possible about the upcoming game. The panel was held after the announcement that the monk is the fourth class and players got the chance to try out the demo on the floor.

The team members on the panel were Game Director Jay Wilson, Lead Programmer Jason Regier, Senior Game Producer Steve Parker, Art Director Christian Lichtner, Lead World Designer Leonard Boyarsky, Lead Level Designer Dave Adams, Game Designer Michael Chu and Lead Sound Designer Joseph Lawrence.

Keep reading after the jump for a point-by-point summary of the Q&A. One of the answers that received the most applause was a comment that all items in Diablo 3 will drop on a per-player basis. This means a boss will drop loot for every player in the game, but you can only pick up your own items. This will keep other players from stealing your loot.

BlizzCon 2009 Recap: News Highlights

As covered live by the reporting team, BlizzCon 2009 ended with a roaring thunder of a performance by Ozzy Osbourne and BlizzCon-regulars Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain. After two days of new and exciting announcements, fun contests and fan-driven celebrations, around 25,000 people left Anaheim, California as the convention came to a close.

The news and announcements that came out of BlizzCon 2009 will be dissected, analyzed and refined by the media and fan community for months to come. Even though BlizzCon 2009 provided a finite amount of information, nearly every piece of it will be examined with a fine-tooth comb, leading to almost infinite speculation and pondering. New questions spawn from the answers we received, and this is just the beginning.

World of Warcraft is headed to a new era; the upcoming expansion, Cataclysm, will forever change the world’s most popular MMO. Blizzard’s new-and-improved system is poised to change the way we play upcoming games like StarCraft II and Diablo III; possibly impacting the market as substantially as services like XBox Live. If you weren't able to find out what happened at BlizzCon until now, don’t worry; you'll be reading about it for months to come. In the meantime, here’s a succinct recap of the most important news and announcements that came out of BlizzCon 2009.

Morhaime: Cataclysm Targeted for 2010 Release Date

With all the talk of Cataclysm during BlizzCon, everybody's wondering when the explansion will launch and forever change the old Azeroth. Well, has confirmed that Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime said Cataclysm is targeted for a 2010 release date during a DirecTV interview.

While I doubt many players actually expected such a huge expansion to launch by December, it's nice to have some sort of confirmation, however tentative it may be. For the record, Gamestop is listing Cataclysm's release date as Nov. 1, 2010, but take that with the biggest grain of salt you can find.

So whether you're excited for the coming of the new Azeroth or not, rest assured you still have quite a bit of time to run around and re-explore your old stomping grounds before they're destroyed (or view them for the first time if you're new to the game).

Prince of Darkness, Guitar Prodigy Rock BlizzCon

So BlizzCon has come to a close, but it sure went out with a bang! The concert held during the closing ceremony kicked off with opener Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain, who said they're changing their name to The Artist Formerly Known As Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain (or TAFKAL80ETC if you prefer) to protest the level cap being raised to 85 in Cataclysm. For those who don't know, the band is made up of Blizzard employees, including art director Sam Didier on vocals and president and co-founder Mike Morhaime on bass.

Then came the headliner, the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. He started things off with "Bark at the Moon" and performed songs like "Suicide Solution," "War Pigs" and "I Don't Know." The encore consisted of "Crazy Train" and "Paranoid" to close the set. The best part was when Yuto Miyazawa, a 9-year-old guitar prodigy, got onstage and played guitar for "Crazy Train." He met Ozzy, his rock idol, on the Ellen Degeneres Show in May after playing the song on the episode, and you can view their meeting on YouTube.

BlizzCon may be over, but we have more coverage coming your way! Keeping checking our BlizzCon section for updates, scroll through our Twitter feed to review our thoughts from the floor, and discuss everything in our WoW forum.

2nd Class Panel Reveals Possible Fishing Changes

The classes, items and professions panel that was held today was exactly the same as yesterday's panel, but there were a few interesting extra tidbits announced. Upcoming fishing changes couldn't be discussed yesterday, but today Jon LeCraft revealed during the professions section that they want fishing to be "more fun," and may look to Animal Crossing for inspiration.

LeCraft said the team has been looking at different games that have fishing for ideas, and they liked Animal Crossing's style. He said they're posssibly going with a system where you'll see fish in the water and have to toss the bobber out and line it up to catch them. You'll see different sizes of fish swimming in th water, so you can pick what you want to catch.

The only other noticeable change to the panel was a brief mention that you'll be able to find artifacts through the new Archaeology gathering profession to help you customize your path in the Path of the Titans system, which was outlined during the systems panel. They couldn't discuss this in detail during yesterday's class panel because the Path of the Titans system hadn't been announced yet.

Keep reading after the jump for answers from the Q&A session.