Diablo III ignites Blizzard Paris event

[UPDATE] Following years of rumors, Blizzard reveals long-awaited third installment in groundbreaking RPG franchise at Worldwide Invitational event; video from event inside.

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PARIS--Blizzard fans have lined up around the block of the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center in Paris, hoping to become among the first in the world to see the newly announced game from the popular developer/publisher. The 2008 Blizzard Invitational marks the first time that the company has held a fan event in Europe; during the two-day event, fans will be able to participate in tournaments, check out playable versions of two Blizzard works in progress: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II, attend sessions dedicated to various Blizzard games, and, most importantly, find out all about the next game the company is working on.

The Blizzard event is taking up Hall 5 of the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center, with two levels of the hall devoted to all things Blizzard. Hundreds of fans poured into the center once the event opened at 9 a.m., looking to get hands on time with Starcraft II and the Lich King expansion. In addition to huge areas devoted entirely to those games, there is also a gaming area devoted to the latest WOW expansion, The Burning Crusade. In addition, there are two stages devoted to competitive tournaments, as well as a Blizzard store, where fans can stock up on all things Blizzard.

Of course, the big news of the day is the announcement of Diablo III, and GameSpot was on the scene at the Expo Center for it. You can see the archive of our live minute-to-minute coverage of the show below.

[UPDATE] Since the initial showing, Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo III is being developed for PC and Mac only "for now," with the aim being for it to run on a broad set of systems rather than just high-end hardware. When asked for a release window, all anyone from Blizzard is willing to say is simply: "When it's ready."

Diablo III has been in development for about four years, and now has a team of 50-55 developers dedicated to it, according to Jay Wilson, the game's lead designer. The game will offer drop-in/drop-out co-op play over Battle.net throughout; though it will be doable as a solo player, gamers will be able to bring friends in at any stage.

Although the game is obviously not yet rated, Blizzard confirmed to GameSpot that it plans to stay true to the series' M-rated roots. The company is aiming for an ESRB M rating, and a PEGI 16+ in Europe. For more of our impressions of the game, including new information from today's Diablo III gameplay-design session, check out the just-posted first-look preview of the game.

Welcome to Paris! The opening ceremony starts in five minutes here, and excitement is building... The stage is backed with a massive picture of Arthas, Diablo, and the Zerg Queen.
Welcome to Paris! The opening ceremony starts in five minutes here, and excitement is building... The stage is backed with a massive picture of Arthas, Diablo, and the Zerg Queen.

[11:42] A smattering of applause as some (presumably) Blizzard devs walked in and took a seat in the front row...

[11:43] Here we go...quite exciting. Screens have come alive with WOW characters and artwork.

[11:46] After a brief intro, the opening ceremony has begun. A host comes out with translator... Welcome to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational!

[11:48] Managing director of Blizzard has taken the stage to welcome the attendees.

Blizzard's MD thanks the crowd.
Blizzard's MD thanks the crowd.

[11:50] The hosts inadvertently try to kick the MD off the stage...but not before he declares the 2008 Invitational open!

[11:52] More Blizzard introductions include Rob Pardo, Mike Morhaime, and more...rounds of applause for all. You go, VP of Global Human Resources!

[11:54] Eight Starcraft pro gamers are welcomed onstage. First four are from Korea, natch.

[11:55] The other four pro SC players represent Germany, Poland, China, and USA.

[11:57] Warcraft III pro gamers are coming on stage now, representing France (big applause for the home guy), Korea, China, Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.

[11:59] Teams competing in World of Warcraft Arena tourney are up on stage now.

The first of the WOW arena teams take the stage.
The first of the WOW arena teams take the stage.

[12:01] European WOW Arena competitors now... There's a ton of them.

[12:03] Asian teams now. Sixteen teams in all are taking part in the tourney. Not a one is dressed in costume. Bummer.

[12:05] Blizzard CEO and cofounder Mike Morhaime is taking the stage now.

[12:07] This is the first time the Blizzard Invitational has been held outside of Korea. Morhaime says it's also the biggest European gathering of Blizzard gamers ever.

[12:08] Mike recounts market research that said WOW wouldn't work in Europe. Looks like the analysts were wrong!

[12:09] Burning Crusade sold 2.4 million copies in 24 hours when it came out, says Morhaime. He also talks about Activision/Blizzard merger as a "leveling up" for the company.

[12:11] Showing video of last year's Blizzard Invitational in Seoul now, where they introduced Starcraft II. This is all fun stuff, but can we skip ahead to the new game now?

[12:13] I'm wondering how this year's Invitational stacks up to the 2007 Invitational event in terms of attendance. Last year was packed, but there's a ton of folks here in Paris too.

Mike Morhaime on stage.
Mike Morhaime on stage.

[12:15] Dude with guitar comes on stage...playing that familiar strummed-guitar Diablo theme! Could this be it?!

[12:15] "It is my pleasure to present to you the world premiere of Blizzard's newest game..."

[12:16] Flame on a stick... "It has been said..." Flame reaches candles... "That in the end of all things..." Candles mounted on skulls... "We would find a new beginning."

[12:17] "But as the shadow once again crawls across our world..." Gorgeous castle setting...scorched landscape...another city shown...now a nighttime scene.

[12:17] Teeming hordes of bad-looking dudes...war machines. A sword hurls through the air. And there he is...DIABLO!

[12:18] Diablo III logo appears on screen. There you go, folks, the mystery game revealed!

[12:18] Jay Wilson, lead designer of Diablo III, takes the stage.

[12:18] They're going to show a demo here in a bit.

[12:19] Better RPG, and a better action game. Jay reminds us that this is a work in progress. "Now, who wants to crush some demons?" (Raises hand.)

[12:19] Demo kicks off with a barbarian in an evil-looking dungeon... Demons crawling up the side of a wall to attack him from all sides. He's slicing and dicing.

[12:20] Gorgeous 3D renderings of enemies and characters. Pace seems quick but maybe a tad slower than Diablo II?

[12:21] Jay is introducing the barbarian ("one of several classes you'll be able to play"). New improvements: hot bar where you can use skills. It's where the potion bar used to be. Can quick swap between skills using mouse wheel.

[12:22] Showed a little of the inventory screen. Barbarian takes hold of two axes, one with frost enchant, the other electricity...can freeze and stun enemies. He launches into some creepy snake-looking enemies.

Whirlwhind's back...
Whirlwhind's back...

[12:28] Okay... Wi-Fi gave out. Here's a recap of what we missed: custom loot that looks hot as H-E-*-*, whirlwind skill is in effect for barbarians, environments are interactive (you can use walls to take down enemies), and they just showed the quest giver from Diablo II. Same voice actor, too!

[12:29] More on that armor: treasure chests won't give full sets of armor, but the armor shown is really cool.

[12:30] Barbarian now in a dungeon area, where cultists are summoning nasty, fat demon who blows away the summoners as soon as he appears. Barbarian using ranged and close attacks to take him down, as well as charge attack. Nice, bloody finishing move takes down the fat guy.

[12:30] New class: witch doctor. Control over disease, summon pets, and control minds of enemies.

[12:31] Now that we have the barb and the good witch doctor together, witch doctor casts locust swarm that devours enemies. Swarm consumes bad guys and spreads automatically...good tactic against mobs.

[12:32] First pet is the mongrel...can cast locust swarm on them to give them attack bonus.

[12:32] Witch doctor is reminiscent of necromancer, not in visual design, but in ability to summon pets (like skeletons for necro).

[12:33] Even without pets, witch doctor is capable of dealing with surprises... Horrify skill will cause enemies to run like little scared girls.

The barbarian with a new class: the witch doctor.
The barbarian with a new class: the witch doctor.

[12:34] Mass-confuse spell will turn enemies against each other.

[12:34] You've seen walls of ice and fire...but how about a WALL OF ZOMBIE. The witch doctor rules.

[12:35] Witch doctor and barbarian working together now. There are many things dying onscreen. Now they bring female versions of barbarian and witch doctor. About time the ladies get their chance!

The female character models are introduced.
The female character models are introduced.

[12:36] Demo is almost done...one more fight to see... Quartet runs into area with living trees. Firebombs going off everywhere from the two witch doctors; barbarians are cutting things up like crazy. Could we see a boss?

[12:37] YES. Huge quadruped demon wearing massive spiked gloves over his hands erupts out of a wall.

[12:37] This enemy looks to be about 10 times the size of Diablo from Diablo II. Really new sense of scale in terms of enemies and the action.

[12:38] And he's down with a thundering crash. Crowd erupts with appreciative applause.

The big beastie...
The big beastie...

[12:39] So there you go, an amazing demo of DIII. Any other surprises left?

[12:42] Onstage hosts are doing shout-outs now to folks from various countries. Hrmm, not much of an ending...

[12:44] Ah, the finale. A fire dancer takes the stage, performing to what sounds like the theme to the just-announced Diablo III.

[12:46] More dancers, more fire. Music sounds just like the theme to Diablo II, with more percussion to give it some movement.

Remember, don't try this at home.
Remember, don't try this at home.

[12:52] Okay, there you go, that's the end of the opening ceremonies. No platforms were announced for Diablo III, but we'll be getting as much information as we can on the game for the rest of the weekend. Be sure to stay tuned for more of our Blizzard Invitational coverage all weekend. Au revoir!

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Avatar image for L_i_o_n
L_i_o_n

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Announcing - "World of Diablo"

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Robinvd

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if they make D3 then i'll be starting to play Roleplaying games for the first time evah!

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mafiathug69

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haha someone posted them on a forum i post on, and i decided to hijack it and pop it in here to get noticed :P

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Avatar image for elessartelrunya
elessartelrunya

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Where's the live blog???

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kokonut1971

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Mafia where did you mmmmm " acquire " those pics! lol

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zakumo123

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Make the diablo3, make the world......... Different in save the cheerleader, save the world :P

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saosin_emo

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check out the lower left rune and check the logo here: << LINK REMOVED >>

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finallyalex

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I've posted a few pics of the event to my profile, for those of you who can't wait 'til the liveblog starts for evidence of my photographic skills...

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mafiathug69

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once again, << LINK REMOVED >>

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elessartelrunya

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I really hope they bring D3 to the consoles.

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drumline212

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I still say if you look hard enough you can find a monthly fee. I do see the pentagram, in the location of the runes as well.

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jaik

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Please make it Diablo 3, and save the world!

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McNulty5

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@ 'if it's any indication that the ad is strongly referring to diablo iii, contrary to popular belief, the 9th circle of hell (where satan/diablo resides) is ICY COLD.' Just cause a guy named Dante Alighieri wrote that does not mean it's true, kind of funny how you state it like it's a confirmed fact.

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BenderUnit22

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There'll also be a video stream from Blizzard: << LINK REMOVED >> Can't wait to see whatever their announcement is. I figure it's most likely Diablo 3 (which is awesome) and it might be PC and consoles.

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GeryGo

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GeryGo  Moderator

they'd better announce about Diablo 3

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elessartelrunya

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Getting close...can't wait to see if Diablo 3 will be an MMO, or a single/multiplayer game like Diablo 2!

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bangell99

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Starcraft 2 baby!

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finallyalex

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The liveblog, complete with pictures, will be here from 0245 PDT, which is 1045 GMT and 1145 here in Paris... expect some hands-on coverage too!

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xMADxDOGx

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Diablo 4 ;)

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FireFist87

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So 11:45 there time...assuming its in the A.M...What time would that be over here in the States in the state of illinois?

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pip8184

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the 5 glowing symbols are the 5 runes on the Frostmourne, there is also a wink smily in the corner

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larkanderson

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@DSExpert: The live blog will be here on this page.

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motionxsickness

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actually i wouldn't be opposed to a lost vikings game at all.

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TanKLoveR

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I want my Diablo 3 :cry:.

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motionxsickness

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if it's any indication that the ad is strongly referring to diablo iii, contrary to popular belief, the 9th circle of hell (where satan/diablo resides) is ICY COLD.

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brendandick

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Diablo 3, very excited.

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Lycen

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I BELIEVE I CAN FLY... actually I don´t

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mafiathug69

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<< LINK REMOVED >> happy early xmas everyone :)

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gasmaskman

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"hope diablo3 won't be mmo" I don't really care, TBH. ---- 45 MINUTES TILL THE STREAM!! :D

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hilanderhilande

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hope diablo3 won't be mmo

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DSExpert

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So where do we go for this "live blog"?

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azell07

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Diablo3!!!! man, ima cry if its starcraft mmo.. but it cant be.. runes present are lo, hel. it would be so jacked if they don't deliver on teh goods. there are runes in teh pix.. it must be diablo.

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bochero

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I WANT TO BELIEVE.

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PSdual_wielder

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Most likely it will be diablo 3, but if by any chance it turns out its not, but rather its something like a completely new title Blizzard hopes to make a franchise out of, I would find it funny because I couldn't imagine whether people would be awed by awesomeness or greatly disappointed.

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IgotNoGoodName

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if they make Diablo 3 im sure it would be MMO style

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Zennious

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The Symbols that are glowing make the Pentagon Star man, it's totally Diablo 3, Hell has frozen over.

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XFireCrossX

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WE WANT DIABLO 3!!!

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Trathen

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If its not Diablo 3 ill have lost all hope in blizzard (I gave up on MMOs a while ago)

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Zennious

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You guys know it's Diablo 3 right. I mean the screen is "Frozen over" As in "Hell has Frozen over" and Blizzard is making Diablo 3. They always said they would make a Diablo 3 if Hell Froze over.

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pop_yoo

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Omg, can't wait to find out!!! What ever game it will be, it will surely be EPIC!!

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Demon_Beaver

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Is there a way to get this to auto-update, short of refreshing the page all the time?

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Enterprise-E

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Man I can't wait to hear what they have to say at this years event. I can't wait for more Star Craft 2.

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KroNfs

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this freaking blizzard is gonna blow our minds totally! 1st we had wow .. we lost our lives completely the first 2 years of release then we have the Starcraft 2 announcement, now we have a most likely diablo3 !? are u freaking kidding me? We must stop play games.. this leads nowhere..All of these games are so incredible .. We won't have time to play everything.

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ZodiacVII

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I would be most excited for the announcement of Diablo III, however the figure behind the ice doesn't appear to be anything from the Diablo universe as it currently stands (hopefully I'm wrong, Blizzard). If this has anything to do with the release date of StarCraft II or Wrath of the Lich King, I will be seriously disappointed. World of StarCraft, that would be cool (although I'm not into MMORPGs), but I'm still hoping for Diablo III.

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RoganSarine

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Diablo 3 on ten year anniversary like SC2 and WoW please :P

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Rottenberry

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Here comes Diablo 3. Can't wait.

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Ballroompirate

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Hope its not another MMO

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KroNfs

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GIVE DIABLO 3 ALLREADY!!!!!!!!!

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Cooldude224

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I cant wait for Star Craft 2.

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larkanderson

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I hope it's World of Lost Vikings!

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