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GDC 2010 Blizzard Entertainment Schedule

Do you have the talent and the passion for games to join Blizzard Entertainment? Do you live near San Francisco? This could be the opportunity of your life. Blizzard Entertainment will be accepting resume and reels at the Game Developers Conference in Moscone Center at the Career Pavilion Booth Number CP 272 through March 9-13, 2010. Not attending GDC? No problem. Go online at http://jobs.blizzard.com

Four Blizzard developers will be attending GDC 2010 as speakers:

Rob Pardo
VP, Game Design, Blizzard Entertainment
Making a Standard (and Trying to Stick to it!): Blizzard Design Philosophies
Date/Time: Thursday (March 11, 2010) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 134, North Hall

Brian Schwab
Senior AI/Gameplay Engineer
AI Architecture Mashups: Insights into Intertwined Architectures
Date/Time: Wednesday (March 10, 2010) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 310, South Hall

Erin Catto
Principal Software Engineer
Physics for Programmers
Date/Time: Wednesday (March 10, 2010) 10:00am — 6:00pm
Location (room): Room 125, North Hall

Dominic Filion
Senior Software Engineer II
Designing for Performance, Scalability & Reliability: StarCraft II’s Approach
March 11, 2010) 9:00am — 10:00am

Jay Wilson Interview at Diablofans

Diablofans has an interview with Jay Wilson about Diablo III. The question about the Monk yielded some interesting tidbits such as the replacement of the Skill Tree by a brand-new skill based system the team is experimenting with. We will learn more about it through the Diablo Twitter in the near future. The female monk is nigh done, and will be announced soon.

Jay teased there are things they haven’t announced yet which allow players to customize their characters’ stats through their items, thus forget about the original Diablo’s elixirs. A level 100 character on harder modes will have unique item / gear models not seen in easier modes — not just a rehash of the same item-model with a different name.

Concerning immunities, my interpretation on Jay’s answer is that in Diablo II certain bosses had a full immunity to a magic resistance (i.e. immune to ice damage) — I remember back in the day when I played single player with a sorceress and focused my skill points on ice-based spells … let’s just say, it wasn’t fun fighting Duriel and running like a sissy. Apparently, in Diablo III bosses won’t have the same problem. You might have other spells or abilities that you usually don’t use much to adapt to every situation. Bosses will still have a certain degree of resistances, but nothing so extreme as in Diablo II where you could be stuck, or forced to play in a group.

Unique items are known in Diablo III as Legendary Items. Vendor NPCs will still be there to offer weapons and armor to fill the gap on the random / luck drop factor. If you haven’t found a replacement for your boots, you can simply buy an item from a vendor while you find something better to replace it with.

The biggest turn off of the interview was their decision to not include Ureh in the first installment of Diablo III to save time in their internal scheduled development. Thus, Ureh is likely getting some development-time in future Diablo III expansions. PvP was completely ignored with no comments.

Highlights

  • Female Monk animations nigh completed

  • Skill Tree replaced by Skill-based System (no more Wow/Dii Skill Tree)
  • Twitter will be an exclusive source of Diablo III news
  • Unannounced Stats customization through items
  • Difficulty Mode at lvl 100 gives items/models not seen in easier modes
  • No more full resistance immunity bosses or rather unable to beat them. Keyword: Adapt.
  • Ureh won’t make it into Diablo III

Paul Sams Interviewed by Post-Gazette: Warcraft Film in Pre-Production Stage

The Post-Gazette interviewed Paul Sams concerning the recent news that he is one of the co-owners of the Pittsburgh’s NFL team The Steelers. He confirmed his friendship with Thomas Tull (Legendary Pictures CEO), who is also a new co-owner and shareholder of The Steelers. At the end of the interview, the Post-Gazette pitched a question to find out the current status of the Warcraft Film.

For now it is in pre-production stage, putting the script together, while Sam Raimi works on Spider-Man 4.

Blizzard Quote:
Post-Gazette: When is the “World of Warcraft” movie coming out?

Paul Sams: Sam Raimi has been attached as the director. We’re working really hard with Legendary [Pictures] and Sam—he has “Spider-Man 4” first, then he’ll move to this project. We’re in the process of developing the scripts.

Via: WoW.com

Paul Sams Delves into Football?

Off-Topic:  Paul Sams (Blizzard COO, chief operating officer) is now shareholder and co-owner among other families of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers according to the official Steelers website.  Interesting to note is the friendship between Paul Sams and Thomas Tull.  Both are shareholders of this football team.  Thomas Tull has been well-known by Blizzard fans since around 2006.  He is Chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures who resently announced Sam Raimi as the new director of the Warcraft film.

Hold it there.  The new Next-Gen MMO is an NFL All-Stars game!!! Just kidding folks.

2009 StarCraft II Pre-Beta Gaming Sites Summit Round Up

Many Gaming Sites visited Blizzard Entertainment this past week and now that the NDA has been lifted, you can see a plethora of interviews and coverage hit the netwaves around the world.  We will be collecting as many links to these as possible. Check back often for updates.  I recommend the Shacknews interview. Dustin spills the beans on four missions of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player.  Each campaign mission will be a mini-game on its own.

Blizzard Quote:
Shack:  You haven’t shown much of the singleplayer component, and that may be one reason for a lot of the skpeticism. Do you think the Terran campaign will catch some people by surprise?

Dustin Browder: I hope so. It’s going to be pretty huge. It’s really different than anything you’ve seen before in our titles. This is sort of a level of choice and options for the player—RTS is typically, you’re on the rail man. And if you get a mission you can’t beat, I guess you’d better take it back. Well, you can’t take it back anymore. [laughs] I’m [thinking] of when you could take games back at [Electronics Boutique].

But you were just stuck right, and that’s terrible. But now if you get stuck, you can go, “I’m going to come back to this one. I’m going to go myself something powerful and come back here and make this one suffer.” At the same time, I think players—we learned a lot obviously in StarCraft, and I think this team learned even more in WarCraft III, in terms of the kinds of mechanics that you’re going to get in this campaign. The kinds of things you’re going to be doing in missions, I think is pretty cool stuff that maybe players aren’t quite prepared for.

We’ve got a mission right now where every five minutes, lava rises and kills everything on the ground. Everything dies. You’ve got to get to the high ground or die. We’ve got a mission right now where infested Terrans are attacking at night, but they’re hiding in the ground by day, so you need to just hold out all night long like you’re in I Am Legend. Like, “I’ve got to live!” and then day, “Get ‘em! Kill ‘em while they sleep!” And you run out and you burn everything as fast as you can, and then when darkness starts coming you have to get back and hide out.

We’ve got missions where you’re trying to defend a Terran colony that’s getting infested one piece at a time, and you’ve got to try to put out all these fires while fighting off these infested units. We’ve got this mission where you are a lone ghost trying to influence the course of an entire battle. So each of these missions is like a little minigame.

Blizzard Tours

E3 2009: Blizzard accepts Guinness World Record Awards

Mike Morhaime (CEO) and Paul Sams (COO) accepted the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition award for World of Warcraft as the most popular MMORPG with 11.6 million subscribers; and for StarCraft, the best selling strategy game for PC with over 9.5 million copies sold worldwide.

Elsewhere in E3, Gaz and Matt had the opportunity to meet up with some of the people who have made massive, record-breaking contributions to videogaming, and who have featured in Gamer

Patch 3.1.2: Class Q&A Series

The developers want your feedback about each class and questions for the developers.  Read first the patch notes to identify the changes introduced in patch 3.1.2. Play around your class once the live servers come back online, specially tonight when you go to Ulduar. Any bugs or suggestions should be posted at the following forum threads.  Try not to create new threads about this topic. The developers will be reading all your feedback in these class specific threads.

More threads will be appearing in upcoming days and weeks. For now these are the class threads available:

USA

Europe

 

Blizzard Quote:
We are looking for community class questions and topics for a class Question & Answer series. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting in each of the class forums and discussing the latest high priority questions and topics the community has. We will then be compiling these questions and topics into a larger Question & Answer post to address as many of questions as possible. While we will be creating one post in each of the class forums to solicit questions and topics of interest, we will also be keeping a close eye on additional posts and discussions.

It is important to keep in mind that we have a schedule of classes we will be addressing and will be getting to each class individually over this period of time. Please note, this list is subject to change.

Shaman
Mage
Warlock
Death Knight
Paladin
Warrior
Hunter
Druid
Rogue
Priest

Diablo III: Siegebreaker Breaks Wall To Catch Merc Through Debris

There are two interesting posts from Bashiok today: one is a blooper in the gameplay video and the second is a very cool detail in the gameplay video that couldn’t be perceived as intended and most people missed. While critters usually die in one shot when doing AOE damage, the critters in Diablo III keep doing their thing as if they were tickled super-bunnies.

There is something the developers worked so hard to show in the gameplay video, and couldn’t get it right. Then the announcement of Diablo 3 was upon them, and it had to go out unpolished.  The Siegebreaker breaks through the wall and grabs the merc to kill him, adding an element of surprise using the physix engine as a tool to mimic such brutal action with the debris falling all over the place while his victim disappears into its clutches.

Blizzard Quote:

BLOOPER: SUPER-BUNNIES

Ladranas: The firebomb attack will annihilate anything, except the rabbit that it directly hit.  Haha, not trying to troll around, but if you look at the gameplay vid the WD targets a rabbit with the firebomb spell and it continues to sit there and eat grass haha.  I always knew critters were the most powerful part of any game! Will we be seeing an “Elixir of Critter Strength I ” ? =)

Bashiok: Heh, I think someone brought this up a long time ago and I replied to it then too. There was a bug in that build that caused critters to sometimes not be effected by direct damage. If you bombed them off to one side though they’d go flying. To put your mind at ease, bunnies will axplode!

ANTI-HYPER, BOO!

Frozen-wolf: Previously when beta tests were announced and sign-ups were launched, sign-ups that occur from the same household were disqualified. I was wondering if people who live in the same house, who apply for different battle.net accounts and both opt-in for betas will be disqualified?

Datth: Unfortunately we do not have information on beta signups or events. If you signed up for one, please check the details/fine print carefully to see what is eligible.

ME SMASH, PUNY HUMAN

2337: I’m sorry for a possibly useless thread, but even though I’ve watched the WWI Gameplay video MANY MANY times I’ve never noticed this before.  At the scene where Cain tells the merc to “Get away from the wall!” the walls breaks, fall down and the merc is dead (buried). This is what I thought until a few minutes ago when I watched the scene by stepping framewise through it to see how the wall buries him. I suddenly noticed a giant hand that grabbed the merc and pulled him off! It’s the siegebreaker who grabs the merc through the wall and smashes it by doing so .

Bashiok:  It is indeed the siegebreaker’s giant hand that grabs him. It was an extremely difficult and trying shot to create and capture. The way the interior and exterior sections were set up and shot it made it necessary to capture them uncut.

The hand shot just wasn’t working that well, so we’d tweak it, hope that the physics would move the debris properly. Shoot, it didn’t work right. Tweak it again, reshoot the entire interior run, something else might go wrong, etc. Over and over. In the end we had to settle with what would appear to most as a wall collapse simply because we didn’t have time before the announcement to keep tweaking it and reshooting everything to make it more clear that it was a hand busting through the wall and grabbing him. Especially when the one we went with had some very perfect moments in it (zombie corpse landing on railing).

I’m glad that someone caught it though, a lot of work went into those animations, and unfortunately we just ran out of time to showcase them.

GDC 2009: Blizzard’s Pardo: Sony, Microsoft Need New Forms Of Gameplay

Recently we reported that Rob Pardo confirmed that Blizzard and Microsoft are talking about the Xbox 360 successor.  They want Microsoft to learn from Nintendo. During the Luminaries Lunch at the GDC 2009,  Junction Point’s Warren Spector slashed at Rob Pardo with mockery … “I

Blizzard And Microsoft Talk Xbox 360 Successor For Next-Gen MMO?

Rob Pardo confirmed at the GDC 2009 that Blizzard Entertainment and Microsoft are talking about the Xbox 360 successor.  And by the looks of it they want its successor to have a keyboard and mouse peripherals and tools to allow MMO and RTS gameplay on consoles.  The potential is enormous. Imagine World of Warcraft, Starcraft: Ghost, Starcraft II and even Diablo III on PC and Consoles.  It is the culprit of the Next-Gen MMO no doubt.

The future is looking brighter for Blizzard and all its millions of fans if Microsoft can pull the right cards off its sleeve and places them into the table to make it possible.

Blizzard Quote:
Rob Pardo: “There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don’t take to consoles because they don’t support the input device, and you end up with crappy ports. That’s why RTS games never do well on consoles,” he said.

“If I was them, I’d be sitting around trying to figure out what’s a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games.”—read more

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