Friday, August 28, 2009

Preview: Diablo 3 Class Skill Trees

I know that there are a few people out there that really despise skill trees [looks at Youngblood], but never-the-less, many of my favorite games have them in there and Diablo 3 is no exception to that list. For some types of games, they just make sense if they're done right.

I felt that the skill trees were adequate in Diablo 2, but they did favor a cookie cutter build for each class. That was even more true after the introduction of skill synergies in the Lord of Destruction expansion, though in some cases there was a shift in the balance of power to a different cookie cutter for your particular class.

Blizzard has stated that in D3, they hope to either streamline or completely remove the synergies in the skill trees. They want to make sure that the builds that are chosen are done out of personal preference and not due to them being the cookie cutter for the class. All the while keeping them balanced in both PvM and PvP game play(although I'm not so sure that's even possible... look at the balancing act done with the WoW class trees on a continual basis).

Whatever they come up with, I'm excited to see what knowledge they've gained from their past victories and failures, and how they plan to implement that knowledge in to the next volume in the Diablo series. So far, it appears that the Skill Tree UI (seen below) looks strikingly similar to that of the Talent Tree UI in World of Warcraft.

Each class will have three branches of skills to choose from that will allow varying levels of specialization in a player's character build and therefore group role. Each branch will be comprised of (currently) six tiers of skills to choose from. As with Diablo 2, it appears that each skill will max out at 5 skill points and of course, there are level and skill prerequisites to purchasing some skills further down the tree. Fortunately, the branches don't pigeonhole the player in to a specific role without providing a means of solo success (like the Holy build of a WoW Priest arguably does). Hopefully that will allow players to choose their builds based on their personal play style preference and not out of necessity.

The Barbarian

The Barbarian tree will consist of the Berserker, Juggernaut and Battlemaster branches. The Berserker branch skills appear to focus on more single target skills such as Battle Rage, Frenzy and one of my personal favorites, Whirlwind. The Juggernaut branch has more multi-target attacks built in to it's skills including Cleave, Seismic Slam and Earthquake. The Battlemaster branch approaches the class from a different point of view and offers up a host of buffing skills like Battle Cry, Enrage and Ignore Pain. It's also worth mentioning that the Battlemaster tree houses the skill Hammer of the Ancients, which is capable of some seriously massive damage.

You can check out the full list of Barbarian skills on the site.

The Witch Doctor

While we don't know as much about the Witch Doctor as we do the Barbarian, we still have a decent amount of skill information about the class. The three branches of the Witch Doctor skill tree are Plague; which, as the name would suggest, is fleshed out with skills that are reminiscent of the D2 Necromancer's abilities. Those skills include Plague of Toads, Locust Swarm and Carrion Spiders (taking the place of Spider Statue). The second branch is Spirit and includes skills that seem to come from a darker place. Skull of Flame, Soul Harvest and Firebats are included in the tiers of this branch. And last, but surely not least is the Voodoo branch, the home of the infamous Wall of Zombies, and the equally gnarly Summon Mongrel and Sacrifice. What an entirely tasty group of skills to sink your teeth into.

You can check out the full list of Witch Doctor skills on the site.

The Wizard

The Wizard is another class that we have a plethora of information on regarding the skill trees with a total of 58 known skills spread across the three branches. The Conjuring branch includes cool stuff like Spectral Blade, Conjured Armor, Meteor Storm and Magic Weapon. The Arcane can attack the dark with Magic Missile, Wave of Force, Slow Time and of course, Teleport. The third branch, Storm, houses all of the weather effects such as Thunderstruck, Deep Freeze, Electrocute and Blizzard. It'll be a close second between the Wizard and the Witch Doctor to be the second class I roll.

You can check out the full list of Wizard skills on the site.

The Monk

The Monk class is new enough that we still don't know much about it. It was announced at BlizzCon 2009 and only showed off a few of it's skills. We don't even know the real names of the skill tree branches. Tree A includes Force Without Thought, Seven Sided Strike and Way of the Hundred Fists. Tree B has in it Crippling Wave and Exploding Palm. And Tree C holds Impenetrable Defense and Radiant Visage. All of which have been showcased in the gameplay trailers for the Monk and are one of the prime reasons that the Monk will be the first class that I roll on release day.

You can check out the full list of Monk skills on the site.

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Preview: It's Mad Max, not Fallout

Who doesn't like rooting for an underdog? In a busy September that is seeing the release of two highly-anticipated MMO titles — Champions Online and Aion — it is easy to see that Icarus Studios' Fallen Earth is certainly this month's underdog. So why would anyone want to play a game that is more or less flying under the radar?

Fallen Earth provides several things that gamers have been clamoring for in MMOs, but before we get into that, let me first reiterate the topic of innovation in the genre.

Icarus Studios is an indie developer (and just in case you forgot what it means to be indie, click here). They don't have the massive budgets that big-time publishers can afford to their developing studios. But that's a good thing.

The biggest innovations in the gaming industry have come from small independent developers, such as Icarus Studios. As gamers, we should be looking at indie developers to not only push the envelope, but tear down the cultural paradigms surrounding the MMO genre.

Right now, in a month that is saturated with new titles, Fallen Earth steps up from beneath the shadows of larger publishers, such as Atari and NC Soft.

So, back to my original sentiment about gamers clamoring for more in their games, Fallen Earth presents many of those things.

The post-apocalyptic title offers a skill-based, classless system for players to immerse themselves in. The game is the void of instances, leaving players in a seamless world to adventure in. There is a crafting system that, while the actual execution isn't anything mature, the manner in which a player learns and explores the system is indeed deep and busy. Fallen Earth presents true innovation in its combat system, unlike poor attempts in the past, as well as a general "realism" to almost every aspect of the game.

These are all things that the most vocal gamers look for in an MMO. However, most titles don't deliver on this. Instead, the developers of these unnamed games focus on making their games pretty, thus playing to the perceived dumbed-down mass of gamers.

Well, take a minute to empty your mind because here's the story with Fallen Earth.

It is indeed without polish. The combat — while innovative in its use of a first-person shooter mechanic — can still feel a bit sluggish and unresponsive. Overall character movement is also something that lacks polish, with motions sometimes feeling awkward.

If you are a traditional MMO gamer, Fallen Earth will feel rough around the edges, even coarse at some points. In fact, it may be very easy to put down unless you see through the looking glass of what we define as MMO polish in order to see the game's involving and evolving features.

And when it comes down to it, I will choose innovation in my game over the "polish" in other MMOs any day of the week.

Like Mythbusters showed, it is indeed possible to polish a turd, but it's still a turd. An MMO title shouldn't be judged by its polish, it should be judged on what it brings to the genre.

Fallen Earth, undoubtedly, applies to the latter of the two.

Check out the video below for a peek at a developer walkthrough, or head over to Werit's site to see his four-part video series on Fallen Earth.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Commentary: Legacy of WAR

It’s unfortunate that Warhammer Online didn’t quite live up to what I was hoping for in a game.

There were some interesting ideas, and while some didn’t quite pan out the way Mythic was hoping for, there were a few innovations that have already influenced current and future MMO games.

And while I won’t be continuing on in the game past when my current subscription ends, that’s more because all my friends have already quit more than any one specific thing about the game. So I decided to look at two of the innovations that were introduced by Warhammer and how they are influencing other MMO’s.

1: Public Quests
The core idea behind public quests was that having a quest that needed 3-5 players was ok, but waiting around an area spamming the chat for help with a quest the other players probably didn’t have, while doing other quests to kill the time while chat spamming, was usually a waste of time. Enter the public quest.

A repeatable quest or series of quests, with stages to complete the quest, with equally various levels of difficulty. You could get gear from the area of the public quest from the influence system plus a chance to win better gear based on performance in the quest…”allegedly”.

Usually what would happen was that either whoever wound up getting first in the pre-roll contributors list would have a bad roll and lose the good loot for first. Or someone would wander in at the end of the public quest and wind up winning the first place out of nowhere.

While the Vegas roll loot system went over like a BBQ contest at a PETA convention, the idea itself was sound and lives on. Champions online has a version of the public quest in the upcoming game. I haven’t played Champions Online myself, but 3 of my former guild mates from WAR are playing it right now.

2: Guild levels
I never understood why more games didn’t do this. Having a leveling system within a game for the guild not only is a great bragging right for guilds, it also is a way to give a purpose for the guild itself for keeping the guild together.

The whole time I was in World of Warcraft, it was almost impossible to have a guild stay together. Maybe it was my incredible string of bad luck, but I couldn’t go for more than a couple of months without the guild I was in breaking up because of some amount of drama and I honestly felt like a dog following my friends around from guild to guild.

Having that leveling system is a good incentive for guilds to stay together. Now that World of Warcraft will start a leveling system starts with the next expansion, maybe the guild bouncing will stop, or at least slow down.

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Commentary: To Bloggers — Did I Miss the Meme?

Seriously, did I miss the recent meme where we mention Tobold?

Yes, I wrote this post just so I could mention Tobold.

Yes, I am aware of the irony.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Radio: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 14

Well, besides the minor network connection faux pas, we made it through the night relatively unscathed.

Tonight's show was full of good discussion and current news items covering everything from Diss & Make Up to WoW: Cataclysm. We hope you tuned in for the live show, but if not we invite you to join us next week to interact with us while we're on the air.

As always, you can stream the entire show in the player below, or you can click the download link under the player to save it to your hard drive for eternity.

alt: Incoming Pull Live: Episode 14

[Download The Podcast]

Tune in next week. Same Time. Same Channel. On

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Radio: "Frosty" Edition

We have a stacked program for tonight's edition of Incoming Pull Live. And the only way to catch it is to listen tonight at 10 p.m. EST on UltraWorld Radio. Ok, well not really since we'll have the podcast up for download tomorrow morning, but humor us and listen live. It's almost as good as reliving your childhood. On tonight's show:

• A little thing called BlizzCon happened, but I don't think anyone noticed.

• We touch on all of the latest gaming news.

• We play music from legendary titles such as F-Zero, Diablo, The Lost Vikings and more.

• And, lastly, I hop on my soapbox and defend innovation in the MMO genre.

If you have any questions or comments, post them on this story and we will try to get to them when we are on-air. You can also reach us on Yahoo instant messenger @ incomingpull or hit us up on any of the numerous ways to contact us (hint: you can see the list in the sidebar on the right).

"What are you buying? What are you selling?"

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Preview: Yoda: 'A nOOb you are, for playing Bayonetta'

Am I missing something here with the newest video about Bayonetta's Automatic Play feature?

I thought the point of playing a video game was the actual interactive part of playing it. Maybe I'm just a square, who knows? Catch the jump to see what I'm talking about.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

News: Bioware Showcases Star Wars: The Old Republic Gameplay

I'll be honest, ever since George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode 2, my love for all things jedi has waned.

But thanks to some videos that Bioware released at GamesCon '09 featuring a developer walkthrough of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the force in this gamer is beginning to grow.

The videos showcase the smuggler, bounty hunter and Sith warrior, as well as the cinema-based story arc, multiple combat scenarios and the planets of Ord Mantrell, Korriban, and Nal Hutta.

Overall, there is around 20 minutes of gameplay for gamers to soak up.

(Fighting multiple enemies and feeling like a true Star Wars hero is good. Also, the blaster and other sound effects are spot on.)

(Bioware has created a cover mechanic in an mmo. That, above everything else, sells me on the game. They could create a game that is filled with Jar Jar Binks and I would be totally content playing it, as long as it had a cover mechanic. Bioware may be preaching about bringing story to the genre, but it's innovations like cover-based shooting that truly show their ambition towards evolving the genre. And was that a nut shot at 2:20?)

(I can say this about Bioware's ambitious use of story and flashpoints, a la Mass Effect: it sure as hell beats skipping to the bottom of a quest dialogue box in order to click the accept button. I had several questions/concerns about how grouping would work with this type of story-based gameplay, but it's easy to see in this video that the bounty hunter and Sith warrior are grouped, as indicated by the headshots in the lower left corner of the UI. Take extra note at around 3:35 when the other group member is able to take part in the story.)

(The authentic soundtrack also helps in the game's enjoyment.)

Wonderful trailer aside, this is really the first glimpse into what this title is going to offer. If anything, Bioware is attempting to evolve the MMO experience to make it more than just a grind for experience points and levels.

If successful, Bioware could be the first mainstream title in the genre to actually push some solid innovation.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is said to launch in 2010. Here's to hoping it's sooner, rather than later.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: Champions Online

Champions Online is to mmos as diet cola is to cola. It can be refreshing, but there's just something that's missing. The thing that's missing is what quite possibly makes it good.

Let me explain that last statement because it can be read one of two ways:
1. Because the game lacks certain things, it isn't good.
2. Because the game lacks said things, it is therefore good.

Let's address the first interpretation.

If you want a deep PvP experience or character development model, you won't find it in Champions Online. This is mmo-lite. Power sets, for the most part, all feel pretty much the same. *note: I said "feel" and not "are."

Overall, the game lacks the complexity of other mmos. Despite having a more active combat system, battles lack any real strategy. In an essence, it feels like I have just sunk 25 cents into my computer to play a game that one would play at a local arcade.

You also won't find a massive sprawling world to explore in Champions Online. The game is extremely linear, going so far as to create barriers preventing you from reaching content that you are too low of level for. While the level-appropriate zones are large, players can't help but feel like they are trapped in a box.

And this brings us to the second interpretation of the aforementioned statement.

Because players are trapped in a box, there's no loss of direction, no question as to where to go next. Gone are the days of wandering around aimlessly. Since players know exactly where they need to go at all times, they can easily jump into the action.

Also, because Champions Online lacks the depth of other titles, it is easily accessible to all players. The usage of powers and the character creator are simple to understand and even the most novice mmo player should not struggle with understanding the game's basics.

The simplicity is also seen in character's hot bars. While other games bog players down with numerous abilities — typically many of which are pointless — Champions Online offers a small set of simple powers.

Travel is made easy and is varied depending on which power a player chooses, which occurs right after the tutorial has ended.

If I had to describe Champions Online, I would say "arcade."

The game feels like an arcade title. It is extremely accessible and while many games try to boast this, Champions Online delivers at giving players a chance to jump in and out of game in 10 minutes and still accomplish something. Its fast-paced, arcade-style gameplay allows for this. It's both refreshing and engaging.

Champions Online will both succeed and fail — dependent on the gamer — for its mmo-lite approach.

For hardcore mmo gamers, Champions Online may leave them wanting more, but even hardcore gamers need to take a break every once in a while. And Champions Online fills that niche perfectly.

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News: Policenauts Localization Released

Fifteen years after its release, a fan made localization of cult classic ‘Policenauts’ has been released to coincide with Hideo Kojima’s 46th birthday. The fan-made translation reportedly took 5 years to make, with the project facing internal strife as the team could not find a programmer capable of inserting the translated material into the game. The project was subsequently revived in 2008 by Something Awful’s ‘slowbeef.'

Policenauts was originally released in 1994 for the NEC PC-9821, later the game was ported to the 3DO, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. An English Localization was planned, with mock-up cover art released to promote the game, but the team eventually gave in. Kojima reported that the developers were unable to synchronize the English translation with the cutscene dialogue.

Call this a victory for cheeky modders everywhere, but this has to be great news for Hideo fans. Information is scarce about the plot of the game, but it’s safe to assume that there is frequent mention of nanomachines and appearances will be made by androgynous ninjas in tight vestments.

The localization is available here

When not contributing to Incoming Pull, Tim likes to add a tagline at the bottom of his posts to promote his blog at

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feature: Expanding on the Bleak State of MMOs

During this past Wednesday's broadcast of Incoming Pull Live, I stood alone as the only host to declare that 2009 is a bust for MMOs.

And in retrospect, I still feel like that's the case. While this year has been bleak for this gamer, the future is actually anything but. There are exciting projects coming out from many different studios. Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, 38 Studios' Copernicus, The Secret World and even a rumored Everquest 3 are all MMOs that I am anxiously waiting on. But that's all in the future.

2009 is basically over. Champions Online launches on Sept. 1, with Fallen Earth and Aion — in that order — going live soon after. As I discussed on air, I've been playing the beta for both CO and FE and have mixed feelings regarding both.

After spending some more time with Champions, I can say that I am overall pleased with the game's offerings. I would choose it over the monotony that was City of Heroes/Villains any day of the week. It's nice to play a superhero game that isn't built upon redundant instances.

The combat is fresh due to the ability of blocking incoming attacks. This is how blocking in MMOs should be done. Why mess with the bollocks that was Age of Conan's shield system, when you can have a simple and refined one button block? What's important is that survival against villains is dependent on a player's competent use of blocking. This applies to PvP as well.

And since we are on the topic, PvP is where Champions falls short. I jumped into Cryptic's Hero Game cage fight and quickly realized that PvP isn't ready for this game. Fast and frantic does not always make for a good PvP experience. Instead, I found myself controlled by the obscene amount of knockbacks and stuns.

The world of Champions Online, while phased, is still expansive with many places to explore and quest in. The random events that occur from time to time make the world seem alive. These can be anything from a small nuclear bomb going off in the desert or a mass gathering of infected, toxic mutants. A level 25 raid boss jumping in and out of a zone designed for players in their low teens is also a nice surprise.

Fallen Earth is a completely different game. While the post-apocalyptic setting is a welcomed change to the traditional swords and sorcery, I can't seem to shake the feeling that the movement and combat in FE aren't as clean and smooth as they should be.

Right now, it just doesn't feel like a solid contender. However, if the developers can clean up some of the sluggish combat and disconnected movement, Fallen Earth may be a game that I end up buying.

Despite my general like for both of these games, I honestly don't think either will be able to keep my attention for too long.

Aion — which is the Barack Obama of the MMO genre — is a title that I'm not all that interested in playing. I'm burned out on the swords and sorcery and I've flown in other MMOs, so there's nothing new there. Also, in my mind, Korean-based MMOs equal grind, but that's just my stereotypical assumption.

The future of MMOs looks great, but first we've got to get there.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

News: Blizz Con 2009: Day Two Round-Up

As day two of Blizz Con drew to a close with Ozzy Osborne rockin' out on stage, we can now look back at the interesting news that came out of the second round. We have a line-up of links below that will take you off in all the directions you'll want to go for various discussion panels and other goodies from the day.

Give us a shout if we sucked or if you enjoyed our coverage of BlizzCon 2009. We'd love to have your comments and suggestions.

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News: Blizz Con 2009: Photo Gallery

No special news here, just a lot of interesting photos of costumes and statues. Hopefully you were able to get your appetites for BlizzCon news satisfied right here on Incoming Pull, but if not, feel free to let us know what we did well and/or poorly so that we can improve upon our coverage in the future.

**All Images Found on Twitter

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Preview: Samus is Back in Style

If you ever wondered if there was a good reason to dust off your Nintendo Wii, then look no further.

The gang at Retro Studios has been hard at work revamping the first two games in the Metroid Prime series, refitting them with controls matching the capabilities of the Wii, which was seen in the blockbuster Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. All three will be available in the Metroid Prime: Trilogy set. Hit the jump for a behind-the-scenes featurette.

The trilogy hits shelves on Monday, Sept. 24.

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News: Blizz Con 2009 WoW Cataclysm Classes Q&A had live blog going during the Cataclysm Classes Q&A panel, so I'll only highlight a few of the things that I find the most interesting, but I'll provide a link to their full blog of the panel at the end (I can't let you leave me just yet). I think there could even be some things in here that might sway Youngblood in to returning to WoW with me.

Will there be any class-oriented hubs in Cataclysm like BC and Wrath have had?
Chris Metzen says very loudly, "YES. And it's mega."

Will Cataclysm do anything so people of varied levels can play together without powerleveling or running people through things?
Chilton says they have ideas for 'mentoring' and things of that nature, but it will need to wait until "next BlizzCon. Or sooner. Or later."

How will flying mounts and contested zones play together with all of the ganking potential?
Chilton: "Well... you could play on a PvE server."

Any plans to improve phasing for Cataclysm?
Stockton: Yes, we plan on doing more with it. We want you to be able to share your phase with people, so you can help people with things you've done already. Terrain phasing will also happen, like whole mountains moving.

Will there be an option to fight Onyxia in her level 60 version?
Nope. Though for the things they do upgrade in Cataclysm, they do want to let you be able to go back to original versions of those as well.

Will Troll and Worgen Druids be getting unique feral forms?
Chris Robinson hops on with a very clear "yes."

Any further visual character customization on the way?
Chilton answers: This problem has gotten worse over time now that more and more people can experience endgame content, so they want to address. They aren't sure how, but they want to hit it soon.

Guild leveling system. How will you make an old system like that fit WoW?
J. Allen Brack: "You mean how we did achievements?" Stockton: They have a lot of ideas for what they can do with it, it will make people feel better about being in guilds and make it feel more important than glorified IRC. There will be details at this afternoon's systems panel. "We'll have a guild talent tree, can the others say that?"

Haha! 10 year old or so walks up to the mic. "For the Horde!" Audience cheers. "Will Northrend be impacted by the Cataclysm, and will you do anything with Outland? Feels disconnected from the rest of the game." Best kid ever.

And if that's not enough info for ya, just hop over to and read their full live blog post.

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News: Blizz Con 2009: Diablo III Q&A Session

IGN has a great and lengthy Q&A session posted on their site. While I won't bother posting the entire wall of text here on ICP ('cause I get called out for it), I will list a few of the more interesting questions and answers according to me (a long time and faithful fan of the Diablo series).

What kind of hacking prevention is going to be in place?
Item duplication huge issue in D2, learning from those experiences, going to learn from experiences in WoW as well.

How is the length of the game and replayability compared to D2?
Randomized monsters, environments, events, items, etc. Biggest issues of D2, path of least resistance to the best items was a very short one. In D3 those issues will be resolved, Magic find will be less important in D3 so that replayability wont just be based on stacking magic find and going on mephisto runs constantly... spreading content out equally, praises WoW quest system in that it gets you to do more than grind one monster forever, working on systems that will remove the repetitiveness.

Big fan of story and lore of Diablo Lore, love the books, necromancer is the most fleshed out faction in Diablo world, not going to get that class again, but will the faction still be active in the new game?
Just because you wont see a certain class as a playable character in the game, doesn’t mean that they wont exist as NPC's, cant give anything away because they don’t know for sure what will or wont be in the final game, and there is a necromancer in the floor demo.

Notice you guys have a webpage for geography of D3, more emphasis on the geography than past titles, is there a specific reason for this?
What we were trying to create is a real world feel, so that the places you will be visiting will feel more like you are there and its more fleshed out, what we are really trying to do is expand on the feeling on the little bits and pieces that appeared in previous games .

Frustrating part of diablo 2 was to fight hell level bosses and have some nub loot the gear from you, how will looting work in diablo 3?
Items drop on a per player basis, players will only see their own loot, you can pick up everything you see on the ground, but you only see whets yours, as do other players, so no more loot whoring.

And there are plenty more questions to be answered in case I didn't cover the ones you wanted to know about. Check out IGN's site for the full Q&A.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

News: Blizz Con 2009: Day One Round-Up

So the first day of Blizz Con 2009 has come to an end, and we've already seen a load of exciting news of things to come later this year and beyond. If you've been following the coverage throughout the day here on Incoming Pull or other video gaming news outlets, you are probably already familiar with all of today's announcements.

For those of you that are just now able to settle down in front of your computer for the evening and still need to catch up, I've got the list of coverage highlights that you won't want to miss.

Join us tomorrow for a second helping of Blizz Con 2009.

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News: Blizz Con 2009: Diablo 3 Monk

Blizzard has announced today at BlizzCon 2009 that the 4th class to be appearing in Diablo III is the Monk. w00t! I loved playing a Monk in the Hellfire expansion for the original Diablo title and was saddened when I learned that there was no return of that class in Diablo II. Now the class has been given a second wind and I can guarantee that it'll be the first class that I roll when D3 finally hits the shelves in 2010.

The Monk has an Asian feel to it and the avatar is tatooed with the symbols of their gods. The class should feel very similar to the design from the original Diablo Hellfire expansion. It will utilize Holy magic and will focus on speed rather than strength for it's Martial Arts combat style. It will also take advantage of a combo system for it's melee skills similar to the Assassin from Diablo II.

Skills will include Way of Hundred Fists, Crippling Wave, and Exploding Palm which are all part of the combo system. It also has a Chain Lightning-like spell called Seven-Sided Strike.

Check out the official class pages: Witch Doctor -- Barbarian -- Wizard -- Monk

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News: Blizz Con 2009: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

It's official! The next expansion for World of Warcraft will be called Cataclysm.

According to the creative development VP, Chris Metzen, this expansion "will very literally change the face of the world of Azeroth as you know it."

New Classes Confirmed: Goblins for Horde and Worgen for Alliance
New Flight Confirmed: There WILL be flight capability added to old-world Azeroth
New Level Cap Confirmed: Level 85
New Race-Class Combinations will be added
New Profession Confirmed: Archaeology (as a secondary, not a primary)
Guild Mechanics Additions: Leveling and Achievements
Also Confirmed: Ranked Team Multiplayer in New Battlegrounds
Dungeon Changes Confirmed: Heroic versions for both Deadmines and Shadow Fang Keep
New Character Progression Confirmed: Path of Titans (no details yet)

You can watch the video below to see the announcement or click the logo to jump to the official site.

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News: BlizzCon 2009: Starcraft II Trailer

Even though there's no gameplay footage here, who can pass up any cinematic that Blizzard releases? Today at BlizzCon 2009, they showed the newest trailer for Starcraft II. It's just over 2 min long, and if you're reading this, you probably didn't see it live at BlizzCon, so... here it is, for your viewing pleasure.

Keep checking back for more news on BlizzCon 2009.

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News: Blizz Con 2009

I'll do my best to post any stand-out news that I hear out of Blizz Con today as I hear it, otherwise, check back tonight and I'll have a wrap-up list of all the news for the day. I wish I could offer a more real-time ticker of news, but unfortunately, I don't have the time to keep up with everything and get the news posted throughout the day. I can offer some introductory news that came out yesterday and earlier this morning.

Here are few links to get you started:

Failoc-alypse, the Flash game

Announcing the Dragonflight Beer Stein

World of Warcraft, the magazine

First Photos From BlizzCon 2009

BlizzCon has become so popular that this year's convention sold out in only 12 minutes after the tickets went on sale. Hopefully we'll be hearing a lot of interesting news regarding Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft. I'm sure that Blizz won't let us down.

Don't forget to stop back by tonight for a full wrap-up.

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