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!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Numad
Numad

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have been waiting for that for a damn long time! expansion for WoW,Starcraft 2 and CANT BELIEVE IT--> DIABLO 3 its like a dream come true! BLIZZARD u ROCK! thanks,when is the WOW wrath of the lich king realese? thx

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TooNu

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I am so excited i might have wee'd in my trousers

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mortono

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To all those people who said it was WOTLK.... Fake Umbrellas Can Kill You.

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combatsoldier

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finally. thankyou blizzard for finally giving us what we want.

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cspowered

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I want it. And Starcraft 2. This got me to play Diablo II again. Haha.

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yugular

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Whattt?

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DamianW

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"Ya know earlier I complained that they kept that camera.. I would love for them to use that camera but have it where you can put it in 3rd person and switch it back to the old school camera seamlessly like Guild Wars..." With Doctor video. Watch after he kills the zombies or ghouls or something. PS. Rockstar might have had success with GTA IV. But when Blizzard release all hell loose :P they'll be downright dwarfed.

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puppyskulls

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i want my soj..

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MasterEmil

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WTF Snake6?? HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

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Wega93

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omfg... no sound!! :S

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Nawras

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Goosebumps!

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Neloy

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well!!!! I guess the the best developer for next year will be Blizzard!! no doubt. so many good games coming up!!!

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Snake6phw

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"rodrigo101992 I think that Diablo III is a great game but I think the title is an offence to God" ...

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OmegaOrtega

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Ya know earlier I complained that they kept that camera.. I would love for them to use that camera but have it where you can put it in 3rd person and switch it back to the old school camera seamlessly like Guild Wars..... But even if Blizzard doesn't do that and keeps the old cam.. this game looks fun as HELL. I love the new physics, particle effects etc.

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thestrateger

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i can't wait untill starcrafy 2... starcraft rocks

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Hokkie

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Im way excited to see they finally announced it. Seeing how they said it was in development for atleast 4 years....its kind of upsets me that they are taking their sweet a$$ time with it. "Ok guys, we are 50% dont with the game, lets tell them we are making it now" By the time this is out I'll have forgotten about it. I understand they want the game to be the best it can be for launch, but awesome games dont take 4+ years to complete.

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Pyro978

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yeah good luck waiting for this game guys. Lol i love blizzard but the price of the perfection sometimes means a decade of development. so im guessing any teenages on here now will be full grown adults by the time D3 comes out. =)

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RazThePred

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Oh Christ...I need this game...and new underwear...O_O I miss the little demon things that you fight at the start of Diablo II. RACKANEECHEW! *dead* Lol. Good times.

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Ninja_Barbarian

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First off YESSS IVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS. YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY. omg the wierdest thing happened to me. once, my lvl 75 char expired online. i was angry abput it but a year later i was messing with the char files in the folder (because i didn't delete him) and somehow i must of updated the files cos when i went into Bnet he was there, alive and kicking and i could play wiht him. too bad he was crap so i deleted him anyway.

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tehfireballer

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Wow.... I just realized.... What happens if starcraft 2, diablo 3, and wrath of the lich king are all released next year? Game of the year picks are gonna be REALLY hard....

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Dawg9000

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Blizzard's bringing back franchises eh? Where's my Lost Vikings 3?

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Spincut

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yes i hope so, i had trangs and i never got to use it because i couldnt keep my character alive (they changed the exp. period and i didnt catch it in time, i was so mad). and HK88 you are incorrect, once your character expires it is done, you cant renew it even if no one else has used the name.

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SmallPower

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Great news, I've been looking forward to this for years. Of course I'll keep playing Diablo 2 - it's still an incredible game.

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rodrigo101992

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I think that Diablo III is a great game but I think the title is an offence to God

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Mars25

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Awesome

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motionxsickness

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everyone give Nappan negative ratings ;)

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_guenter_26

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StarCraft2, Diablo3, and all we need now is WarCraft4.

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ratavaquera

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Blizzard: The BEST video game company ,developer , creative, and they know HOW to make games and expansions, they polish their games, each one its so different and awesome! I LOVE YOU BLIZZARD

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nnn2004

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no comment.

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Digital_DJ_00

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With Starcraft II and Diablo III on the rise, Blizzard is bound to be snatching GOTY Awards with ease. Blizzard is now on the rise to becoming the most saught-after and respectable video game company in the world. You know why? Because Blizzard takes the necessary time to polish and sculpt their games into flawless titles, Starcraft II and Diablo III won't dissapoint. I'm especially excited for Diablo III, I've been waiting for this day for years...

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CVM_123

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actually i was expecting more...

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rpgfreak15

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Blizzard can still make great games. I'm still surprised that WoW is alive and stronger than ever...being a former player (quit like a year ago).

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syafiqjabar

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Now, the only thing left is a new Lost Vikings game.

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memnoch2099

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its about time

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Vicarious-Odin

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With this game, Blizzard's plans for world domination will be complete. All hail our new masters! Seriously though, kudos to them. They knew what the world wanted, and they gave it to them in viral marketing style. The trickle reveal / teaser was great, kept me anxious all week long!

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Andre23

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Blizzard and Bioware are the 2 best game companies and they never failed on me. I am sure this game will be another success. I hope blizzard brings massive lore to enable the creation of WOD!!!

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vgking7

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Blizzard, never failing to up the anty in the industry.

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hackologue

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YES!

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SteelWingX

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.......................THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Goze

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This makes my life better.... Something to look forward to, in addition to Starcraft 2...

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Photoshark

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My lord, so many gamers are going to buy this game. The fear here is shortage of supply and distributing this game locally and internationally when it comes out. Then Diablo 3 would stay in the top 10 PC games list in Gamefaqs for years to come... That is the prophecy. If Starcraft 2 isn't enough for Blizzard then we, gamers should stay calm and ready.

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dangerd0g24

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this game would be so much better on a console like the Boulders gate: Dark Alliance games. not only that these graphics look like they are from 2003.

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Pete5506

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YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Wanted this for some time now

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SpeNce718

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My day, and perhaps my life, has been made. Awesome news.

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kinni77

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"Do we REALLY need a Diablo with better graphics when gaming has moved past the random-spawn dungeon crawl phase with games like Oblivion?" Hell yes we do!

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oscar8563

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*Squeals like a little girl and kisses screenshot* :D

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newown

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:D Nice.

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Shekb

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Mindless clicking on our way !

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thestickman

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Just what I wanted to see. Looks so awesome :D

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