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A Fifth Blizzard Game In The Works … An Unannounced Game – March 2009

Update found here

It looks like Blizzard Entertainment got yet another game in early development.  If you are a programmer with awesome skills and experience in the game industry, you have the opportunity to join the best international game studios and all what comes attached to that: good salary, benefits, reputation and access to the in-house gym and cafeteria to boot.

Thus far Blizzard is developing five new games:
1. Starcraft II
2. Diablo III
3. New World of Warcraft expansion
4. Next-Gen MMO
5. A new unannounced game (New IP?)

The fifth brand-new unannounced game surfaced last week.  I don’t recall any executives commenting about the existence of a fifth game before, but certainly two executives have hinted interest in a new IP.

The first time a new IP was hinted was as far back as 2006, when Paul Sams said the following to Gamespot:

Blizzard Quote:
Paul Sams: “I wouldn

Diablo 3 Wizard Orb and Unannounced Weapon Enchantment

Bashiok teased players with one of the Diablo III features that have not been announced yet: How to upgrade base weapons damage to make them more powerful? The answer is not former Diablo II runes. Say whoa? We will probably have to wait until Blizzcon 2009 this August to find out or one of the BlizzCasts? Additionally, we learn something about the Wizard.

Blizzard Quote:

Wizard

Bashiok: The sort of plate-like gauntlets shown on her are part of the armor set look she was wearing. I think the “focus” you’re talking about is actually an orb, which is a wizard-specific off hand item. You’ve got the idea right though, a lot of the wizard spell animations incorporate the orb into a sort of focusing element while casting. The electrocute and disintegrate videos show it pretty well.

Unannounced Weapon Enhancement

Bashiok: I think it’s important not to mistake the word used for a system (in this case rune) for what the systems are actually accomplishing.

In Diablo II runes were used to augment weapons and essentially add more stats to them, runes in certain combinations would create runewords which were in essence more powerful than the sum of each individual rune. But remove the word rune, and you’re looking at a system that simply upgrades items.

Similarly, runes in Diablo III, take away the word rune and we’re looking at a system where skills and abilities can be altered to behave differently, simply increased in effectiveness, or some combination thereof.

Essentially what your question comes down to then is, where is the system in Diablo III that allows us to make base weapons more powerful? And that’s a question that will have to be answered at a later time.

Diablo II Patch 1.13 Community Wish List

Bashiok invites all Diablo II players to share their ideas. It is probably the first time the Diablo II community has the opportunity to become involved in the development of a patch with plenty of heads up. What changes or features do you wish to see in patch 1.13 ?

Blizzard Quote:
We

Starcraft 2 Beta and Battle Report 2 FAQ

Dustin Browder prepared a brief FAQ concerning Closed Beta date and the upcoming Battle Report.  There is no ETA on beta, but the Battle Report was finished last week. They are adding some video of the latest graphic improvements to some units. There is no date for the Battle Report, but it sounds like we will have some love in upcoming weeks prior to beta.

Blizzard Quote:
I see lots of questions about timelines. Here is a little FAQ.

Question: “Why hasn’t Blizzard released the Beta?” or “WTF have they been working on, I played it at Blizzcon last year and I thought it was done!”
Answer: Solo campaign is under heavy construction as is Battlenet. When these things have enough work done that we know when our release date is going to be with strong confidence we will announce the Beta. Unless something crazy happens, the Beta is going to happen this year.

Question: “Why don’t you just give us your target dates if you don’t know the final date? We promise, we won’t get mad if Blizzard misses target dates.”
Answer: Let’s be realistic. Our target dates are not something we hit more than half the time. Putting those out there would be pretty close to lying to the fans. We are not going to do that. We want to be able to give good info, not info that we know is suspect. We’ll give target dates when we think it is very likely that we will hit them.

Question: When can we have the next Battle Report?
Answer: We were waiting on getting some improved graphics in (some of the new stuff looked REALLY rough). That was finished last week and we are now playing and looking for a good game. Once we get that game the process is reasonably quick to get it out. Once we go Beta, you guys can do these and put them up. When that happens I’m sure there will be a ton of them and I’m sure the quality of the games played and the announcing will go way up.

Question: “I notice that you haven’t actually given us any dates….”
Answer: Yeah. Sorry. We don’t want to lie about the Beta, and we don’t even want to lie about the next Battle Report. When we know a date (for anything) for certain, we’ll let you know.

Hang in there. We’re in the final stretch.—source

GCD 2008 Paris - Rob Pardo Says World of Warcraft Planned Free-Gameplay Originally

Rob Pardo presented a keynote today at the Paris Game Developers Conference.  The full Pardo conversation at GDC Paris is now available on Gamasutra, including the Blizzard exec thoughts on a whole host of major issues, from user-generated content through the Activision/Vivendi merger and beyond.

He elaborated: “If you make it subscription here, and free to play in Korea, that doesn’t work, because it’s a global community, and the other regions wouldn’t like it, because everyone knows what everyone’s doing. And the game design might not support it.”

Interestingly, Pardo commented on this subject: “When were first going to make World of Warcraft, we wanted to make it free and advertising supported.”

However, the Blizzard exec noted: “We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.”

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