PAX East 2015 Day One – Blizzard Photos Round 1

PAX East has been very exciting so far with so many updates of Blizzard’s latest games. Overwatch beta is slated to begin on Fall 2015, so make sure to update your beta opt-in located in your Battle.net account page.

These are just a handful of photos I have taken during the morning. I managed to reach the press room and got WiFi. I’ll upload more later.

You will see below the line (no, the Horde) of fans trying to get into the Blizzard panel room. Many many more were not able to even join the line once the PAX staff declared the line was at full capacity. Lot of passion, sweat and blood. Sad some of you weren’t able to make it to the line. Make sure to watch the VOD, and I was also able to record the panel. Hoping to upload it as soon as I am able. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

PAX East 2015 Day One – Blizzard Photos Round 1

 

Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

Before going into details, let’s take a short trip through memory lane with some facts and dates to refresh your memory or to inform fans new to Blizzard.

  • StarCraft: Ghost was originally developed by Nihilistic, but later the game passed to the hands of Swingin’ Ape Studios.
  • Blizzard Entertainment purchased Swingin’ Ape Studios. (May 16, 2005)
  • StarCraft: Ghost was postponed indefinitely (not officially cancelled)(March 24, 2006)

Metal Arms: Glitch in the System was a Third-person shooter video game developed by Swingin’ Ape Studios back in 2003 and it was published by Sierra. However, as I posted last year, Blizzard Entertainment acquired the trademark from Sierra. (around May 2014)

We have seen Blizzard acquire video games formerly developed by them (i.e. The Lost Vikings, Blackthrone and Rock’n Roll Racing) from Interplay. However, Blizzard published these games for the GameBoy Advance afterwards.

We haven’t seen any Metal Arms games announced by Blizzard Entertainment … yet?

blizzard-logo-metal-arms

Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

The latest update to the Metal Arms trademark was updated on September 25, 2014 by the Dublin law firm which represents Blizzard Entertainment in Europe. That may not mean much, except there is an intriguing change.

Speculation: Blizzard Entertainment and Metal Arms Trademark Updated

This is how the trademark looked like back in 2003:

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer game software [ and instruction manuals sold as a unit therewith ].

This is how it looks in the present:

Computer game software, computer game discs, downloadable computer game software, computer game software downloadable from a global computer network, interactive multimedia computer game programs; Downloadable electronic game software for use on portable electronic devices such as mobile and cellular phones, laptops, handheld computers, and tablet PCs.

Interesting bit there taking in mind some chronological facts:

  • Metal Arms launched in 2003
  • The first iPhone launched in 2007.
  • The first Android launched in 2008.
  • The iPad (generation 1) was launched in April 3, 2010.

This Metal Arms trademark update may definitely stir some discussion in the community — whether this new update means Blizzard might have plans for the IP. These devices didn’t even exist when Swingin’ Ape Studios originally launched Metal Arms: Glitch in the System for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and the original Xbox.

**Blizzard Entertainment has not made any official announcements concerning Metal Arms.

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

The Overwatch Team has posted a couple teasers aimed at hyping whatever plans there are to announce at PAX East on Friday, March 6 at 10:30am. Wankyu and I will be there at the panel, so make sure to check back for any updates. We’ll also share our first impressions playing the game, and will gather questions from the community after the panel to approach the developers with your questions.

The latest teaser says: “The scent of gunsmoke mingled with the aroma of gyóza following yesterday’s thwarted ramen shop robbery attempt. And while the mainstream media focused on the anachronistic fashion sense of the stranger who saved the day, I want to know whether he’s the self-appointed sheriff of the corner store, too. We’re told we live in an era of peace, but crime is running rampant, and the authorities don’t seem to care. If folks like him want to protect us, maybe we should just let–“.

Other than that, Blizzard doesn’t give any more hints on what this new hero presumed to be announced at PAX East is about. The only hint is “anachronistic fashion sense” which points toward a vigilante wearing cloths that aren’t unique or conforming with the current era in the Overwatch universe. Could it be a cowboy vigilante?

Something wrong is going on in a post-Overwatch era where peace is supposed to reign. The description “We’re told we live in an era of peace, but crime is running rampant, and the authorities don’t seem to care” points to some mysterious corruption from within plaguing the government(s).

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

Pre-PAX East 2015 Overwatch Teasers

The previous teaser said: “[EXCLUSIVE] What caused one weightlifting world champ hopeful to give up fame and glory? Find out in our March issue!“.

pax-east-2015-overwatch-teaser-1

Seems like Blizzard plans to unveil at least two new heroes in the Overwatch roster.

PAX East 2015 – Submit Questions for Developer Interviews

Wankyu and I will be at PAX East. We wish to gather questions from the community concerning Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone.

Watch the PAX East livestream on March 6th to witness the Blizzard panel (livestream embed is at the bottom of this page). Make sure to submit more questions during and after the panel too. Send your questions through the form below or via email at [email protected]

Note: We will message again via Twitter and Facebook to gather questions after the Blizzard panel when you might have even more questions. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

PAX East 2015: Blizzard Teases New Overwatch Battleground

Blizzard Entertainment teased via Twitter one of the maps which apparently might be playable at PAX East 2015. The new map is an abandoned Overwatch Observation Post located in the Iberian Peninsula (for the geography-challenged, that’s the large region that consists mostly of Spain, and Portugal).

The Atlantic Seaboard A.I. Summit March 6-8 (shown in the image below) is a reference to PAX East which will take place on the same date in Boston, Massachusetts.

I really never digged Team Fortress, but I have over 5,000 hours of experience in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. Not an expert, but let’s say I’m quitely persistent. Usually end up winning top kills.

Taking a look at this battleground Blizzard teased us with, and some of the heroes’ abilities I can visualize potential strategies. It is very important to know the map, and the spots you can excel at.

Considering all the high-places in this map, I see good tactical points that Widowmaker, Pharah and Hanzo can exploit for a ranged snipe/attack at the top of the building. Lot of places where Tracer, Symmetra, Bastion and Tborjorn can place their devices to defend/attack as well. Very exciting.

PAX East 2015: Blizzard Teases New Overwatch Battleground

PAX East 2015: Blizzard Teases New Overwatch Battleground

Blizzplanet writer Wankyu, and myself will be attending this event, and plan to play Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. Make sure to check us back for photos, and videos.

PAX East 2015 Blizzard Preview Panel Schedule

Blizzard Entertainment plans to make a series of announcements at PAX East 2015 according to the panel schedule posted on the PAX website. Blizzplanet was invited to come to PAX East, and considering the content of this panel, we can’t do anything else but happily oblige. Wankyu and myself will be at PAX East to bring you photos, articles, video interviews and of course, the panel video.

PAX East 2015 Blizzard Preview Panel Schedule

Bold new heroes, exciting new cards, and epic new battlegrounds … Join a trio of Blizzard Entertainment developers for a look at just some of what’s in store for 2015, including upcoming content for Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and Overwatch.

Panelists: Dustin Browder [Game Director, Heroes of the Storm], Eric Dodds [Game Director, Hearthstone], Jeff Kaplan [Game Director, Overwatch]

Albatross Theatre
Friday 3/6 10:30AM – 11:30AM

PAX East 2015 Blizzard Preview Panel Schedule

What if Overwatch change its name?

This is the latest rumor about Overwatch. Last April, Blizzard registered the Overwatch trademark, but in September 2013 it was similarly approached by Innovis Labs. This Overwatch is a mobile application that paintball and laser-tag game players can use to track down their teammates and opponents through GPS Radar and communicate with them.

For the time being, both trademark are suspended by the USTPO so the only solution would be to Blizzard to use some of Gallywix money in order to convince Innovis Labs. to change the name of their game, or to change it just like they did for Heroes of the Storm.

Is this Overwatch will force Blizzard to rename its future FPS?

King’s Row Screenshots

Blizzard Entertainment posted new screenshots of the Overwatch battleground King’s Row in the official Overwatch Facebook page.

To learn more about King’s Row, read our BlizzCon 2014 Overwatch Unveiled panel transcript.

King’s Row is a Payload map situated in the heart of England. In this location, the attacking team’s objective is to move vital cargo to a designated delivery point, while the defenders work to halt the attackers’ progress until time runs out.

 

 

Blizzard Careers: Cinematic Animator (Temp)

Blizzard Entertainment is looking to fill a temporary position for a Cinematic Animator. The listing doesn’t specify for which team, but considering the Overwatch story will be told outside the game itself (which is confirmed to lack a single-player component) this temporary position [might] be for Overwatch or for some secret project.

Do you have the skills, and experience to apply for this position? Do you know a family or friend who might be able to apply? Then visit the application page.

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a talented 3D animator to assist our cinematics team in creating the next generation of animated films. The cinematic animator will be skilled at animating characters at a level that lives up to the ever-increasing Blizzard Entertainment standard of quality. The ideal candidate will have a strong foundation in animation principles, the ability to reinforce the story by creating memorable performances, and have aptitude working in a variety of animation styles.

Blizzard Entertainment offers a fun, creative, and technically challenging environment.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 3 years’ character and / or creature CG animation experience in game development, television, or film industry using Maya or equivalent 3D program
  • Passion for film, animation and video games
  • Able to effectively collaborate with other artists, producers, and programmers
  • Self-motivation, good communications skills, and a great team-player attitude
  • Assist in supporting and evolving the cinematics team with constructive feedback both technically and artistically

Pluses

  • Traditional artistic skills: story boarding, gesture drawing, 2D animation, and composition
  • Technical skills: rigging, scripting, and understanding of pipeline
  • Physical skills: acting, martial arts, and choreography
  • Film making skills: cinematography, pre-visualization, editing, and story writing
  • Understanding of FX, particles, cloth, and hair as they contribute to a character’s performance

Overwatch | Hanzo

HanzoHanzo excels at killing enemies at long range with his bow. Sonic Arrow reveals the location of nearby enemies. Use Dragonstrike to clear enemies from an objective.

role-defense-icon Role: Defense

Real Name Real Name: Hanzo Shimada, Age: 38

Occupation Occupation: Mercenary, Assassin

Base of Operation Base of Operations: Hanamura, Japan (formerly)

Affiliation Affiliation: Shimada Clan

  • hanzo-abilities
  • hanzo-storm-bowHanzo nocks and fires an arrow at his target.

  • hanzo-sonic-arrowHanzo launches an arrow that contains a sonar tracking device. Any enemy within its detection radius is visibly marked, making them easier for Hanzo and his allies to hunt down.

  • hanzo-scatter-shotHanzo shoots a fragmenting arrow that ricochets off walls and objects and can strike multiple targets at once.


  • hanzo-dragonstrikeHanzo summons a Spirit Dragon which travels through the air in a line. It passes through walls in its way, devouring any enemies it encounters.


  • blizzcon-2014-overwatch-unveiled-panel-25Mastering his skills as a bowman and an assassin, Hanzo Shimada strives to prove himself as a warrior without peer.

    The Shimada family was established centuries ago, a clan of assassins whose power grew over the years, enabling them to build a vast criminal empire that profited from lucrative trade in arms and illegal substances. As the eldest son of the family's head, Hanzo was bound by duty to succeed his father and rule the Shimada empire. From a young age, he was trained for that responsibility, displaying a natural aptitude for leadership and possessing an innate understanding of strategy and tactics. He also excelled in more practical areas: he was a prodigy in martial arts, swordplay, and bowmanship.

    Upon the death of his father, the clan elders instructed Hanzo to straighten out his wayward younger brother so that he, too, might help rule the Shimada empire. When his brother refused, Hanzo was forced to kill him. This act broke Hanzo's heart and drove him to reject his father's legacy, ultimately leading him to abandon the clan and all that he had worked so hard to attain.

    Now, Hanzo travels the world, perfecting his skills as a warrior, attempting to restore his honor and put the ghosts of his past to rest.
  • These animations can be purchased with in-game currency -- earned through Loot Boxes when you level up, or randomly looted from the Loot Box as a reward.

 

Overwatch | Pharah

pharah-characterPharah is a flexible hero equipped with a rocket launcher. She dominates the skies with her Jump Jet and Hover abilities. Rain rockets on a group of enemies with Barrage.

 

Offense icon Role: Offense
Real Name Real Name: Fareeha Amari, Age: 32
Occupation Occupation: Security Chief
Base of Operation Base of Operations: Giza, Egypt
Affiliation Affiliation: Helix Security International

Overwatch | Widowmaker

widowmaker-characterWidowmaker has an extremely long range with her sniper rifle. Use her grappling hook to reach vantage points or to escape from danger. Infra-Sight allows her entire team to see enemies through walls.

role-defense-icon Role: Defense

Real Name Real Name: Amélie Lacroix, Age: 33

Occupation Occupation: Assassin

Base of Operation Base of Operations: Annecy, France

Affiliation Affiliation: Talon

Overwatch | Tracer

Tracer: “Cheers, love! The cavalry’s here!”

tracer-characterTracer is highly mobile using Blink and Recall. Her short range pistols and low health encourage a hit and run play style. Her Pulse Bomb devastates static defenses and tightly grouped enemies.

Offense icon Role : Offense

Real Name   Real Name : Lena Oxton, Age : 26

Occupation Occupation : Adventurer

Base of Operation Base of operations : London, England

Affiliation Affiliation : Overwatch (Formerly)