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Fan Art – StarCraft II Zerg Army Sculptures

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

A chinese StarCraft II fan codenamed Yanchuan111 on deviantART who is a sculptor used his talent to build his very own Zerg army — and it seems to be a work in progress. In this collection, he sculpted several Hydralisks, Larvae, and Mutalisks. According to one of his comments it took him months to complete.

The level of detail and the sheer size of these sculptures is staggering. Who wouldn’t want to own one of these? VP of Art and Cinematic Development Nick Carpenter took notice of these pieces and totally loves them.

Yanchuan111 stated in his deviantART page that he’s looking for a job. It’s uncertain if Blizzard Entertainment will hire him. Currently, Blizzard Entertainment has Senior Sculptor Brian Fay in-house — former Sculptor/Sculpting Quality Control at McFarlane Toys and owner of Claymator Studios.

Brian Fay sculpted the Arthas Polystone Statue (currently on sale) and the Diablo Prime Polystone Statue (pre-orders available — ships Sept 2013), and the StarCraft II Sixth Scale Figures (2014?).

For amateur or upcoming sculptors wondering what material Yanchuan111 used to craft these StarCraft II zerg sculptures, he used Super Sculpey compound.

The Super Sculpey website says:

      “Super Sculpey is a very unique polymer clay, loved by artists, dollmakers and animation studios around the world. With a ceramic-like feel, Super Sculpey is available in a semi-translucent beige that, once baked, captures the glow of real skin. It can also be mixed with Premo or Sculpey III to change the color. As with all of our polymer clays, it is easy to condition right out of the package and stays soft until you bake it. Super Sculpey features fine tooling and detailing characteristics, and does not “fill in” after tooling. Because of the fine tooling and detailing characteristics of Super Sculpey, it is frequently the chosen clay for making prototypes from which molds are made from the Super Sculpey sculptures; then reproductions are made using the molds. Additionally, artists are producing finely detailed finished sculptures using Super Sculpey. After curing in the oven, Super Sculpey can be sanded, drilled carved and painted with water-based acrylic paints. Super Sculpey is available in 1 pound, 8 pound and 24 pound boxes.

      Bake at 275 °F (130 °C) for 15 minutes per 1/4 in (6 mm) thickness. DO NOT MICROWAVE. Baking should be completed by an adult. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.”

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Blizzplanet Weekly Guest-Stars in NASL.TV HOTS Lore Show with Clutch & Sixen

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

We invite all Blizzplanet visitors to watch the HOTS Lore Show with Joshua Gray (Clutch) and Kevin Carlino (Sixen).

Blizzplanet was invited to be part of this StarCraft II Lorefest discussion around [1:25:20] into the show.

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Blizzplanet Weekly host Chris Arnone talked about Stukov’s background and presence in the Heart of the Swarm expansion. We speculate Blizzard might be preparing the blocks that lead us to visiting a post-apocalyptic planet Earth either in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void or a future unannounced StarCraft video game.

Clutch and Sixen talk about the StarCraft II: Flashpoint novel by Christie Golden, the choices that affect Kerrigan and Jim Raynor in StarCraft II. They talk about Samir Duran, General Warfield, Dehaka, Zagara, Isha and the Dark Voice Amon.

They go very in-depth into the lore and show some of the most powerful moments during the single-player campaign. They replay the cinematics and explain what happened. It’s definitely a show you wouldn’t want to miss.

Clutch interviews Robert Clotworthy (voice of Jim Raynor) around [1.:50:00] and James Harper (voice of Emperor Mengsk) around [2:11:20].

Jump to 28:40 in the video timeline to watch the lore discussion show.


Watch live video from nasltv on TwitchTV

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Project Blackstone – Is the UED here under the Dominion’s nose?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Sorry for the radio silence. I took a sabbatical for a few days. Got a few Glory of the Hero achievements, and had a Marvel Digital Comics marathon. Ok … a geeky sabbatical.

Cracks knuckles — back to business. The Project Blackstone website was updated recently with Log # 11.

This new entry has some interesting revelations. Some subliminal.

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Dr. Rothfuss’s secret allegiance

First, Dr. Daniel Rothfuss reveals to Dr. Talen Ayers that he is a sort of spy. He’s not serving the Terran Dominion and Emperor Mengsk. He is not a spy of the Kel-Morian Combine nor a spy of the Umojan. Dr. Daniel Rothfuss is serving the best interests of humanity.

Now this is intriguing. From the beginning of Project Blackstone, we know that all communications are filtered and read by the security staff. Recently, Dr. Rothfuss provided Dr. Talen Ayers a scrambler to communicate safely away from prying eyes — a highly advanced encryption technology to bypass the Project Blackstone security.

Who does Rothfuss serve? How comes he has better technology than the Terran Dominion — and yet Rothfuss doesn’t work for the Kel-Morian nor the Umojans? Yet he serves humanity.

This makes me ponder. Is Rothfuss a spy of the United Earth Protectorate (UED)?

I remember Chris Metzen commented once the UED were not using their technology in their appearance in StarCraft: Brood War. Basically, the UED used stolen Confederate technology.

In short, we don’t know how advanced Earth-bound technology is in relation to the Koprulu’s Confederate and Dominion technology.

In our recent video aired by the NASL.TV we discuss presicely this. With the re-introduction of Vice-Admiral Stukov in Heart of the Swarm, we wonder whether Blizzard is planning to visit a post-apocalyptic Earth in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, or another StarCraft video game.

I will leave you with a thought. It took the original supercarriers 28 years to reach the Koprulu sector. That was old technology. How long did it take the UED to reach the Koprulu sector, however? The answer is simple. It is subliminal in StarCraft: Brood War. Admiral Gerard DuGalle sent a message to his wife as the Battlecruisers attempted to escape Kerrigan. The message he sent before he shot himself. Mere months? Weeks? Days?

Admiral Gerard DuGalle: “Dearest Helena, – By now, the news of our defeat has reached the Earth. – The creatures we were sent here to tame are un-tamable. – and the colonies we were sent to reclaim have proven to be stronger than we anticipated. – Whatever you may hear about what has happened out here, know this; – Alexei did not die gloriously in battle. – I killed him. My pride killed him. – And now my pride has consumed me as well. – You will never see me again, Helena. – Tell our children that I love them, – and that their father died in defense of their future. – Au revoir.”

 

Dominion Technology Flaw

Is the Terran Dominion and Confederate technology safe? This entry makes you question whether the UED presence in the Koprulu sector is still ongoing at large.

Yes, we have seen UED survivors out there. In StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, when you visit the Cantina, you can hire UED mercenaries. Those who remained behind.

Rothfuss says: “Over the past few centuries, Dominion technology has made commendable advances in the blunt science of military strength: better armor, better weapons, and frighteningly obedient soldiers. But there has been surprisingly little progress in the fields of encryption and machine language. Significant portions of the original ATLAS coding and functionality still exist in your adjutants like familiar old dinosaurs. My guess is that dependence on the servile and deliberately limited sapience of these automatons has allowed for intellectual complacency in those fields, especially since the more exciting horizons of extrasolar planets and xenoscience have been within your grasp.”

 

Little lore background here. Back when the supercarriers left Earth in year 2231, The ATLAS was the artificial intelligence aboard the supercarrier Nagglfar. The other supercarriers had no artificial intelligence. Instead, the Argo, Reagan and Sarengo supercarriers followed the supercarrier Nagglfar’s navigation system signal.

Rothfuss says the current Adjutants still use portions of the original ATLAS artificial intelligence. In short, it’s a very old technology that the UED knows well. This tells me the UED might be able to have a presence in the Koprulu sector keeping themselves stealthed to the eye of the Terran Dominion, and furthermore be able to tap into Terran Dominion computers.

This entry is evidence it was easy for the UED to raid a Confederate outpost or armory by easily infiltrating their computer network. Remember — all those tanks, battlecruisers, wraiths, valkyries, and goliaths the UED used in StarCraft: Brood War … none of those were UED technology. The UED likely defeated a few Confederate outposts, and re-purposed the Confederate weaponry and vessels — keeping Earth technology hidden from the Confederate and Terran Dominion’s reach.

Project Blackstone Secrets

Dr. Rothfuss tells Dr. Talen Ayers he is read in the computer files a lot of the Project Blackstone secrets. Among them:

“Because you are not just building weapons to protect humanity, Talen. You are being used. My exploration through the personnel files opened up some frightening avenues. For instance, did you know that Dr. Vera Langridge (Xenobotanist) has an entire level of the facility dedicated to xenoflora that can control human thought? Not alien thought. That’s right—Mengsk has a section of this facility dedicated to controlling his own subjects. And that is only one of seven isolated levels hidden beneath this one. All are taking your research into dark places that you know nothing about. All are completely off the books.

And your friend Dr. Warren G. Held (Xenobiologist, Senior Protoss Specialist) is still on-site. He has been moved down to a sub-level, along with a handful of psi-blocked protoss.”

 

Extras

Dr. Ariel Hanson (Planet Agria) is the daughter of Dr. Talise Cogan (Project Blackstone Xenobiologist) and Dr. Bernard Hanson — as revealed in Ariel’s bios (Battle.net).

Dr. Maren Ayer — daughter of Dr. Talen Ayer, debuted in the StarCraft II website’s short story: Broken Wide (by Cameron Dayton). The story about the Zerg Banelings.

Important Links

Visit the Project Blackstone website to read the new entry – Log # 11.

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Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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Blizzard Entertainment Acquires IGN Pro League (IPL)

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

Big news in the USA eSports scene. On March 1, IGN announced IPL6 had been cancelled shortly after Ziff Davis’ acquisition of the gaming network.

IGN was looking for potential buyers of the entire IPL eSports property. Barely a month later, IGN has announced the new owner.

Just days after Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime announced the consolidation of the WCS Global League, IGN drops the bomb. Blizzard Entertainment has acquired IGN Pro League (IPL) technology and assets.

Great things are happening very quickly for the eSports community. It just makes you wonder what Blizzard is cooking. Is this just the icing of the cake?

“This new team will help us to further develop the rich media experiences that extend the fun and engagement of our games online,” said Blizzard executive vice president of publishing Itzik Ben-Bassat. “This is a team of passionate gamers with a proven track record, and we’re looking forward to now leveraging their expertise and technology to support a variety of online efforts.”

 

Sources: IGN | Thanks, Blizzplanet Weekly host Chris Arnone (Twitter)

Gamespot

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Project Blackstone – Chit Chat Among Telepaths

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

starcraft-the-dark-templar-firstborn-front-coverToday’s Project Blackstone (Twitter) has a friendly talk between Xenobiologist Dr. Winlaleah Martine (former Ghost Academy trainee) and Protoss Specialist/Archaeologist Jake Ramsey.

Winlaleah takes the opportunity to thank Jake for rescuing her from Senior Protoss Specialist Dr. Warren G. Held in the recent BioLab 4 incident.

Jake talks about his close encounter experience when Zamara’s mind was merged within his own brain — as seen in the pages of the StarCraft: Dark Templar trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden.

I got a bit curious. Recently, Jake Ramsey and Dr. Talen Ayers were discussing what happened in the BioLab 4 incident.

Jake had called for help to save Winlaleah from Dr. Warren Held. However, because of his telepathic sensitivity Jake understood he might have actually saved Dr. Warren from her instead. She was a former Ghost Academy trainee, with the martial art prowess and lethality of a ghost.

Apparently, Winlaleah had triggered some thoughts within Dr. Warren with her telepathy to force him to cause the incident — as seen in #09 Chat Log at the Project Blackstone website. Possibly so she could have an excuse to beat him up.

Jake asked Winlaleah indirectly to set up his trap — I guess, attempting to get a confession from her of what truly happened in that incident. However, she elegantly changes the subject when Jake Ramsey brings it up in today’s Twitter conversation.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: I never thanked you for helping me last week. I can’t believe Held actually had a psychotic breakdown.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Well… maybe I can.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: I’m glad you were there.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Don’t mention it. Seemed like you had things under control, to be perfectly honest.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: I’m curious, though–did you ever pick up on any warning signs from Held?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: So a teep should’ve seen it coming, right? You seem to know a lot about telepathy for someone who’s mostly hard-shell.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Tell me, professor: while the protoss was in your mind, could you predict every single action the people around you might take?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: If so, you were a stronger telepath than I am.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: When Zamara was a part of me, I knew things–things even some protoss don’t know. But I was never in complete control.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: You are. I can’t explain it, but I get the feeling you’re attuned to people better than you think.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Thanks. Though I still have my doubts.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: I have to say that I’m amazed at how perceptive you are, even if it is involuntary.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Your mind is a joy to witness. The way your thoughts flash & shift. The complexity & unpredictability of your mental landscape.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: You know, I think you’re the first person I’ve met who’s described an archaeologist’s mind as anything but ponderous.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: But thanks. Guess I should get started on prepping for our next round of tests.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Hang on, professor. Are you trying to hide your thoughts from me?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: It’s only natural, isn’t it? With all the surveillance on this rock, thoughts are the only privacy we have.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: True enough. But if you ever want to discuss telepathy again, let me know. I could teach you a few things.

 

Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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Project Blackstone – Infested Terran Analysis

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

The Project Blackstone website added #10 Chat Log. It’s a secure communication transmission between Chief Engineer Redell Quinton and Senior Zerg Specialist and Xenobiologist Dr. Talen Ayers.

Redell has a little gadget that allows him to bypass Project Blackstone’s monitoring of communications.

Redell just got a dead Infested Terran to dismantle in order to figure out how the zerg altered the inorganic weapons held by Marines. The weapons are attached to the Infested Terran through tendons and veins.

Chief of Research Dr. Helek Branamoor is getting pressure from Mengsk’s office to research new weaponry systems based on Zerg and Protoss technology.

During this conversation, it’s revealed Project Blackstone facility is built within an asteroid, and likely located somewhere near Deadman’s Rock.

Visit the Project Blackstone website to read the new entry.

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Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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Project Blackstone – Overlord Post-Mortem Psionic Echo

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Recently, it was revealed the zerg didn’t change much of the original Overlord creatures assimilated by the zerg. (Source: Project Blackstone website, #07 Message)

The latest Project Blackstone communication via Twitter explores a bit of an enigma concerning zerg Overlords.

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This conversation is composed of Xenobiologist Dr. Talise Cogan and Xenobiologist Dr. Leah A. Martine.

As discovered a few days ago, Leah is actually Winlaleah Martine — former Ghost Academy trainee (Tokyopop manga — StarCraft: Ghost Academy by Keith R.A. DeCandido).

Dr. Talise Cogan: Do you mind if I pick your brain, Dr.? I understand you’re an expert in psionic neurology.

Dr. Talise Cogan: I’m going over my notes from a few weeks ago, and I’m struggling with a question.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Of course.

Dr. Talise Cogan: Specifically, I want to talk to you about the zerg overlord.

Dr. Talise Cogan: For lack of a better word, is it possible for psionic neurons to emit an “echo” after brain death?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Do you mean neurons salvaged from the overlord’s brain at the moment of its death? A cultured neuronal network with an MEA?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: That seems like a rather old-fashioned approach, so I’m thinking you must have something else in mind.

Dr. Talise Cogan: We estimate that this overlord has been dead for quite a while. My investigation in this area is purely incidental.

Dr. Talise Cogan: But I found that I was bombarded with despair whenever I dissected the specimen.

Dr. Talise Cogan: My previous procedures with other zerg species were unremarkable in this respect.

Dr. Talise Cogan: It is a phenomenon I have only experienced with the overlord.

Dr. Talise Cogan: That’s why I’m bringing this to you. I suspect that the emotion originated from the overlord. Is that possible?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: In that case, no. It was well into a state of decay, incapable of generating the impulses required for psionic communication.

Dr. Talise Cogan: But the zerg habitus is so adaptable. Our science has a poor record of charting its course.

Dr. Talise Cogan: Perhaps a new mutation has allowed the overlord to give off post-mortem psionic emanations of grief?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Sometimes there’s room for doubt and speculation, but not here. The zerg aren’t magic; dead still means dead.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: I suspect that this was a product of your imagination. If you don’t mind my saying so.

Dr. Talise Cogan: Not at all. Thank you, Dr.

 

Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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GOMTV – Mike Morhaime Buys Pizza for the WCS Korea Season 1 eSports Audience

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in StarCraft 2 News

Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime built additional supply depots to feed the entire WCS Korea Season 1 audience with Papa Johns Pizza.

A Papa Johns Pizza delivery guy entered the arena and walked to the first row of seats to deliver a pizza to Mike Morhaime. Suddenly, the big screen showed a load of pizza boxes for the entire audience resting in the back of the room.

Mike Morhaime won the heart and the thanks of thousands of eSport fans. Personally, I don’t want to hear what the bill was. Mike’s SCVs better have plenty of yellow minerals to mine.

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Robert Clotworthy Auctions 9 (of 10) StarCraft II Series 1 Jim Raynor Action Figure

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, StarCraft 2 News

Our old friend Robert Clotworthy (voice of Jim Raynor) is auctioning the 9 (of 10) signed StarCraft II Jim Raynor Action Figure. At the time of this posting, bids are currently up at $213. As a reminder, all the money will be donated to the winner’s choice of non-profit charity organization.

What does the winner get back other than a signed action figure box? Glad you asked deep in your mind. Read the original eBay post:

starcraft-ii-jim-raynor-signed-number-9My name is Robert Clotworthy and since 1998 I have been the voice of Jim Raynor in the iconic video game StarCraft.

I have decided to dust off 10 Terran Outlaw Jim Raynor Series 1 Collector Action Figures from my personal collection on board the Hyperion and auction each one with the profits going to charity.

This item is brand new and unopened.

Each one will be signed by me and numbered. I will also include a personalized note of authenticity written on a Jim Raynor wanted poster note pad.

And to really get the juices flowing, I will also record a greeting from Jim Raynor and send that to the winning bidder.

This is a limited offer Marines, I am only going to sign and number 10 of these. This is for #9 in the series.

I am not limiting this to Terran players only. Protoss players may bid and I will hold my nose and even accept bids from Zerg.

This auction is open to everyone, not just limited to fans in the US. I will even ship to Char or Mar Sara if the winning bidder is willing to pay shipping.

So break out your wallets StarCraft fans, this is the opportunity to own something truly unique and send some money to charity.

As Jimmy says in Heart of the Swarm, “I never gave up on you Sarah… don’t you give up on us!”

Raiders Roll!

Robert Clotworthy

 
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Project Blackstone – April’s Fool Joke

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Kinda amusing the StarCraft II April’s Fool joke concerning the Warhound unit playable by Terran, Zerg and Protoss meshed smoothly with today’s Project Blackstone Twitter update.

warhound-war-pigs-logoDr. Helek Branamoor: I can’t make any sense of those last transmissions from the Dominion. Please clarify.

Adjutant 33-27: Yes, Dr. Branamoor. The signal strength was unexpectedly low, but most of the information is intact.

Adjutant 33-27: ‘BEGIN MESSAGE: ALL DOMINION FORCES BE ON LOOKOUT FOR MISSING TRANSPORT CRAFT.’

Adjutant 33-27: ‘ONLY ONE OF THREE AXIOM ORDNANCE TRANSPORTS ACCOUNTED FOR (ON KORHAL.)’

Adjutant 33-27: ‘FIRST MISSING TRANSPORT LAST SEEN ON MISTAFF IV. PLANET HAS BEEN OVERRUN BY ZERG FORCES.’

Adjutant 33-27: ‘SECOND MISSING TRANSPORT MISJUMPED TO GYRAS SYSTEM (PROTOSS-CONTROLLED).’

Adjutant 33-27: The rest of the message deals with search grid patterns and other protocols, none of which apply to this installation.

Dr. Helek Branamoor: You’re telling me that Axiom Ordnance sent out three transports filled with Warhounds… but only one arrived?

Adjutant 33-27: Yes, Dr. Branamoor.

Dr. Helek Branamoor: And the zerg have overrun Mistaff IV? What the hell is happening out there?

Dr. Helek Branamoor: Route a query to Axiom immediately. Ask if those Warhounds incorporated our modifications. I will not take the blame for this.

Adjutant 33-27: Axiom Ordnance representatives confirmed two days ago that they did incorporate our specifications.

Dr. Helek Branamoor: Damnit.

Dr. Helek Branamoor: Have there been any other transmissions from the Dominion regarding the Warhounds? Specifically ones routed directly to us?

Adjutant 33-27: No, Dr. Branamoor.

Dr. Helek Branamoor: Good.

 

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

Follow Project Blackstone transmedia storyline … go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Visit the Project Blackstone website every week.

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Easter 2013 Promo: JINX T-Shirts, Caps, and Hoodies 35% Off

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Blizzard Products News, Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

This is NOT an April’s Fools alert. J!NX is running a risky but serious promo through April 1-5. Several T-shirts, Caps, Polos and Hoodies are now 35% off. There are 17 pages worth of products that qualify to this promo. I just ordered two hats, the promo did work after checkout.

Among them I see the Diablo III Tyrael and Demon Hunter hoodie (now $45-46), the World of Warcraft Monk and Pandaren hoodie, even the StarCraft II Terran Jacket. In addition, the StarCraft II, Diablo III and Horde/Alliance Logo Caps, and many favorite T-shirts included in the promo. Check it out!

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Project Blackstone – Warhound

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Today Project Blackstone definitely broke the pattern posting Twitter entries four days in a row. The 15th Anniversary of StarCraft is in two days — Sunday, March 31st.

The Warhound is on the spotlight in this Twitter update. Yesterday, a new short story titled Command Performance by Alex Irvine appeared in the official StarCraft II website featuring the Warhound.

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: I’ve been over your Warhound modifications – some impressive attempts at streamlining here, Red.

Red Quinton: Thanks, old timer. Are you part of Branmoor’s review process now?

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: Ha, no not at all. Just poking around some of the schematics you stored here on the network. Nothing too formal.

Red Quinton: Poking around in my high-security, encoded files, huh? I like you already.

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: Oh were they protected? My apologies.

Red Quinton: No apologies required – like I said, I’m impressed that an old coot like yourself knows how to hack into protected files.

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: Oh, I dabble in machine language. A hobby, really. May I ask you about these Warhound modifications you’ve got planned?

Red Quinton: Fire away

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: I see you’ve stripped out the pilot security template to allow for quicker construction and an overall boost in system power.

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: Do you have any concerns about leaving such a powerful weapon with the keys in the ignition?

Red Quinton: These babies are going up against aliens, gramps. Do we really need a thumb-scanner to protect against Grand Theft Warhound?

Red Quinton: Can’t imagine a roach hijacking our mech for a spin around the block. And the protoss wouldn’t set foot in that tin can.

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: I’m just pointing out vulnerabilities, my friend. Never underestimate an enemy that can travel between the stars.

Red Quinton: I like the way you think, Dan. What do you say we grab a drink after work and chew the fat?

Dr. Daniel Rothfuss: Oh how grand.

 

This new entry makes me wonder if Rothfuss had anything to do with framing Redell Quinton in a recent Project Blackstone update. It’s hard to tell if some of the strange incidents and character slip ups are or not red herrings.

Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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Project Blackstone – Biolab 4 Incident

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

Project Blackstone Twitter entries usually get posted every 2-4 days. Sometimes two days in a row at most. It’s the fourth Twitter entry in a row, a change in the pattern, which makes me think the increase is tied as a silent countdown to the StarCraft 15th Anniversary (March 31). I might be wrong, so don’t get your hopes too high.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Dr. Warren Held: Everything set up for the intracranial investigation of specimen AP-05?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: Yes, Dr. Held. All surfaces prepped and tools ready.

Dr. Warren Held: I certainly hope ALL of my tools are where I left them this time. If your sloppiness costs me one more valuable.

Dr. Warren Held: This is inexcusable.

Dr. Warren Held: Inexcusable. INEXCUSABLE.

Elsewhere

Dr. Talen Ayers: What’s all the commotion down in BioLab 4? I’m trying to scrub Overlord brain-matter off the walls in peace over here.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Not sure – our next procedure doesn’t start for a few hours. Leah was down there doing prep work with

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Damnit.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Leah, please respond.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Winlaleah?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: I’m heading down. Something doesn’t feel right.

Shortly after

Adjutant 33-27: Major Treicher, we have an altercation on Biolab 4.

Major Lee Treicher: I’ll be right there.

Conclusion

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Thanks for helping Dr. Martine today, Red. Sounds like things got rough in there.

Red Quinton: Shoot, son. That lady didn’t need my help. I was trying to save Held’s life.

Red Quinton: He came at her with a scalpel. She practically put him through the fekkin wall. Five more seconds and she would’ve ended him.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: They’ve been at each other’s throats for a while now. Tangling with a Ghost Academy alumni is something I wouldn’t recommend.

Red Quinton: Wait wait wait. Hold on a second. She’s a ghost?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Pretty much. I haven’t asked her about it. I just know Leah’s been through a lot.

Red Quinton: “Leah”? You sweet on her?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: What? No.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Not at all. It’s just, if you’re working with someone, you might as well get to know them.

Red Quinton: You sly dog!

Red Quinton: “How you doing, Jakey?” “My bed’s got room for two, Leah.” You got that brooding, hurt puppy look the ladies love.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: You’re telling me you don’t chat it up with Dr. Foster outside the machine shop?

Red Quinton: Course I do, but she’s long since made clear I ain’t her type. And stop changing the subject. You’re into her, aint’cha?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: We’re about as different as they come. That “opposites attract” crap? Doesn’t apply here.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: I mean looking at it objectively, sure. There’s something to her. She’s brilliant. Strong. Independent.

Red Quinton: That’s a lot of words to avoid saying “no,” buddy.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Red, the answer is no. I’ve got someone else. Someone waiting for me.

Red Quinton: Yeah, but we’re in comms blackout here. She’d never need to know. Get busy, man!

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Just drop it Red. Fekking drop it.

Red Quinton: Whoa whoa whoa , easy tiger. I was just teasing you. Sorry.

Red Quinton: Jake? You alright, man? I really was just kidding. Didn’t mean to stir nothing up.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: Don’t worry about it.

 

Update: 9pm EST – the official Project Blackstone website has been updated. Entry Log # 8 and #9 happen after the Biolab 4 incident (read above).

Based on the conversation between Dr. Jacob Ramsey and Dr. Talen Ayers, there is something to be learned about Talen’s daughter — Maren Ayers. She was the main character of Cameron Dayton’s 2010 Short Story: Broken Wide (Banelings)

Jacob Ramsey is confirmed to have feelings for Rosemary Dahl (StarCraft: The Dark Templar), and she’s waiting for him.

A new image was unlocked. It is the Warhound mentioned a few days ago. Something cool about it is the shield on the Warhound’s left-arm is the War Pigs logo (Wiki). This is the Dominion mercenary team which debuted in the DC Comics StarCraft # 1-8 series. — check out the Project Blackstone website.

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Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

starcraft-the-dark-templar-firstborn-front-cover

Project Blackstone – Winlaleah Martine from StarCraft: Ghost Academy

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

I have a feeling Project Blackstone and the StarCraft 15th Anniversary are tied somehow. Out of the blue, I have seen Project Blackstone characters tweet several times throughout the day on the 25th, 26th, and today 27th.

A few days ago, Cameron Dayton was upgraded to Senior Story Developer. On March 22, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the 15th Anniversary early, last week, toasting and showering each other with dozens of bottles of champagne.

Something curious is there was a toast to Project Blackstone at the 15th Anniversary celebration. Are there signs of something in the horizon? Will Blizzard announce something related to Project Blackstone on March 31? Or … during the South Korea big eSports Announcement (April 3)? (i.e. major game announcements have been done at Tokyo Game Show, Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Seoul & France, and at GamesCom)

starcraft-15th-anniversary-project-blackstone

Today, in Project Blackstone, protoss tools — acquired by the Terran Dominion and delivered to Project Blackstone — have gone missing. Strange things are happening lately at the top-secret research center. Somehow there is always the lingering hint that Jacob Ramsey is involved in these mysterious incidents.

Recently Redell Quinton was framed for the disappearance of supplies that technically could be associated as materials for a alcohol distillery. Curiously, the same night Jacob Ramsey was found light-headed on the floor, and he was escorted to his quarters.

Now it is Protoss tools missing. The flavor dialogue seems to hint at Jacob Ramsey being involved. He did never reply Leah’s question if he knew where the tools were — unless Jake’s insinuated involvement in the incidents have been a deliberate red herring all along, and instead there is more than meets the eye going on.

Recently, I theorized two ways how Redell could have been framed: mind-control, or computer log hacking. Ramsey seems to have developed telepathy, but new story entries indicate he’s not fully aware of it. So far, Dr. Jacob Ramsey mainly listens to mental distress-related thoughts from the protoss captive within Project Blackstone, or from fellow workers.

That leaves the computer hacking and the mysterious incidents open to a potential character involved: Lio Travski. That hasn’t been proven correct nor wrong. The mystery continues.

Today’s Project Blackstone Twitter entries reveal more exciting things. The true identity of @LeahAMartine — right under our very noses these past month and a half.

In this story, you will see Dr. Jake Ramsey, Xenobiologist Dr. Leah A. Martine, and Xenobiologist Senior Protoss Specialist Dr. Warren Held.


March 27

Dr. Warren Held: @LeahAMartine I’ve asked you before not to touch my hagedorn needles. There will not be a third reminder, doctor.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @WarrenGHeld I’m sorry, Dr. Held. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Are your tools missing?

Dr. Warren Held: @LeahAMartine You know damn well what I’m talking about.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @WarrenGHeld Again, my apologies. Weren’t you the last one in the lab? How could I possibly have moved them?

Dr. Warren Held: @LeahAMartine They don’t move on their own, Martine! I left them on the operating tray. You must have moved them. Where are they?

Dr. Warren Held: @LeahAMartine I’ve asked you before not to touch my hagedorn needles. There will not be a third reminder, doctor.

1 Hour Later

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Dr. Held is looking for the hagedorn needles from our procedure earlier today. Any chance you’ve seen where they went?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine How do you do it, Dr. Martine?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Do… what?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Distance yourself from the fact that the materials you’re poking and prodding once belonged to sentient beings.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Beings who never had a choice whether they would become subjects to your experiments.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey My experiments? You do just as much work here as I do.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Because I have to, not because I want to.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Your outrage is misplaced. The materials we’re working with came from protoss who were already dying or dead.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey I’m doing this so that your “friends” didn’t die in vain. But judge away. Moral superiority must feel good.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine I’m sorry. I’ve been on edge a bit lately.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Living here isn’t any easier for me because I’m a willing part of the Dominion.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Point taken.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Ok, this is odd. The nerve cord samples we collected this morning are gone. Did Dr. Held take them when he stormed out?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine I’m not sure, but that wouldn’t be a surprise. Held isn’t much for consulting me on what he does.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey He’s destroyed them. DESTROYED them.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Slow down. Destroyed what?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey The samples. Dr. Held incinerated them. Too dangerous, he said, and plenty of other tissue to study. I can’t believe it.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine You’re surprised? Everything—everyone—is disposable to Held.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Do you know how rare it is for us to find a dead protoss?

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Usable nerve cord tissue is especially precious. So many things we still don’t understand about telepathy.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine I know. But you can’t let Held get under your skin like this.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey We sacrifice everything to become ghosts. Our memories, our freedom. Too often, our sanity.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Winlaleah, stop.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey You hard-shells, what do you care? But you owe us.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Stop.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Damn it. Can’t do this. Sorry.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine Screaming.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Are you alright? Please respond.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Dr. Ramsey?

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine I blacked out. I could hear your screams. I could feel them.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey Impossible. I wasn’t directing that at you, and you’re no telepath.

Dr. Leah A. Martine: @JakeJRamsey How did you know my full name? I haven’t told anyone here.

Dr. Jake Ramsey: @LeahAMartine I just knew. It was already there, in my head.

 

starcraft-the-dark-templar-firstborn-front-coverAs read, Jacob Ramsey’s brain seems to be slowly developing into telepathy after his brief experience with the protoss preserver Zamara. Her mind merged with his, granting him access to the memories of every protoss who ever lived, and access to the Khala.

I recommend to those who havent yet read the StarCraft: Dark Templar trilogy by Christie Golden to do so.

Dr. Jake Ramsey debuted in that trilogy. This is why StarCraft lore fans are excited to see him again in Project Blackstone, and why we think there is more to this story than just a real-time transmedia novela. We can’t yet figure out what it is. It was not a Heart of the Swarm promotional, it was not a PAX East promotional, and it likely isn’t a 15th Anniversary promotional.

Cameron Dayton said on Twitter this story took two years in the making.

I am seriously considering Project Blackstone is leading to an announcement at BlizzCon 2013 (November 8-9).

Two years of development is too long a time for a free recreational story that is not tied to a upcoming video game.

If you haven’t played Heart of the Swarm yet, there is no mention of Project Blackstone, and none of the characters make a cameo.

If StarCraft: Ghost returned sooner than later, we have to agree it won’t have the same Terrazine plot as the Nihilistic iteration, but a more up-to-date plot based on the StarCraft II trilogy episodes.

UPDATE

starcraft-ghost-academy-vol-1-coverAs Eroldren mentioned below in the comments, there was yet another awesome discovery in this Project Blackstone entry. Dr. Leah A. Martine is actually Winlaleah Martine. She was member of Team Red in the Tokyopop manga titled StarCraft: Ghost Academy by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

The digital version of Volume 1 can be downloaded from Cryptozoic Entertainment.

Team Red and Team Blue were among the best ghost trainees. Nova Terra (StarCraft: Ghost) was on Team Blue.

Team Red: (Wiki)

  • Dylanna Okyl (Team Red leader)
  • Andie Dessai

  • Dori Koogler (egressed)
  • Winlaleah Martine
  • Obi Minaya
  • Aal Cistler

Team Blue: (Wiki)

  • November Annabella “Nova” Terra, a.k.a. Agent X41822N, a.k.a. Nova (StarCraft: Ghost)
  • Kath Toom
  • Gabriel Tosh
  • Lio Travski
  • Delta Emblock
  • Aal Cistler (former teammate)

You can read more about Winlaleah at StarCraft.Wikia.

Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

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Project Blackstone – Mysterious Cargo

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Project Blackstone, StarCraft 2 News

The StarCraft-themed Project Blackstone transmedia continues the saga this week with more Twitter entries.

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March 25

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 What’s the ETA on our supply frigate?

Adjutant 33-27: @LeeTreicher The captain has estimated they will arrive within the hour.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 Good, my team and I are heading there now.

Adjutant 33-27: Security code received.

Adjutant 33-27: Gate 03 online. Pressurized adapters and berthing arms prepped for arrival of frigate, “Palomino”.

Adjutant 33-27: Frigate “Palomino” docked at Gate 03.

Adjutant 33-27: Gate 03 airlock engaged.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 Inform the crew that they are not yet authorized to board the Palomino.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 I’ll need to oversee this arrival directly due to the nature of the arms aboard.

Adjutant 33-27: @LeeTreicher Yes Major Treicher. The maintenance crew will be notified to unload on your command.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 Shipment credentials have been authorized.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 Unlock Gate 03 and provide the maintenance crew with path lights to the garage.

Adjutant 33-27: @LeeTreicher Confirmed. The maintenance team has been notified.

Major Lee Treicher: @HelekBranamoor Dr. Branamoor, the shipment is being unloaded to the garage. I have a sec team escorting the crew and payload now.

Major Lee Treicher: @Adjutant3327 Inform the Palomino they are clear for departure.

Adjutant 33-27: LeeTreicher Yes Major Treicher.

Adjutant 33-27: Frigate “Palomino” uncoupling from Gate 03.

Adjutant 33-27: Frigate “Palomino” away.

New: March 26

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Nice to be back in the lab. Finally.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster I’ll join you in a few, sweetheart. I hear that ship brought us something new to chew on.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Big new toy. You’re going to love this one, Backwood. Orders are to see if we can’t streamline production.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster Production of what? What was delivered? It just says CLASSIFIED CARGO on my datapad here.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Tall ugly thing – looks like a relation of yours. Label on the side says “Warhound”.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster Work order says this needs to be shipped out tomorrow. Sounds like an all-nighter. I’ll bring a couple bottles…

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster uivxyh

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiii

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Pardon?

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster fingers slipped sorry I HAVE AN IDEA.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton At least put down the bottle before trying to type it out.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster CLOAKING.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Huh?

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster CLOAKING!

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Yes, I can read. What about cloaking?

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster LET’S PUT A CLOAKING REACTOR IN THE WARHOUNDNXRT.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Put down the bottle, Red.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster NO NO NO I’m serious. Warhound has power to spare. Bunch of electronics n security wired into it. WHY FINGERPRINT SCANNER?

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster Ditch all that and we got POWER to spare. I WANT CLOAKING.

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton Hm…cloaking aside, you may actually be on to something. Do we need all that thumbprint security vs a bunch of nonhumans?

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster This’ll free up space/pwr for all kindsa junk. I think. Sending you diagrams now.

Red Quinton: @PamelaGFoster We can fit more guns. More armor. Cup holders. MOTHERFEKKIN CLOAKIN DEVICE!

Dr. Pamela Foster: @RedellQuinton You want to cloak a giant metal walker? You’re drunk, Red. The efficiency gains are worth a look, though. Let me revise.

 

Go to twitter, and create a new LIST. Title it as “Project Blackstone Crew”. Add all of the Project Blackstone characters to the LIST by visiting their page and clicking the arrow (located left of the “Follow” button) and choosing “Add or Remove from List”. Then check mark “Project Blackstone Crew”.

Project Blackstone Characters on Twitter

gdc-2013

GDC 2013 Sessions: Blizzard Entertainment Speakers

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

gdc-2013

The 2013 Game Developers Conference will take place in San Francisco, CA through March 25-29 (Expo dates: March 27-29).

The Moscone Center
747 Howard Street, between 3rd and 4th streets
San Francisco, CA 94103

Blizzard Entertainment has a strong presence at the GDC, as usual, with several developers from all three franchises.

Those who wish to visit the Blizzard Entertainment booth it may be found at the Business Center (North Hall) booth BMR101. It’s always a good idea to bring resume, portfolio and demo reel of your work to the event. Blizzard Careers have been at the GDC Career Pavillion in previous years.

Floor Plan


Speaker: Brian Kindregan (Lead Writer)
Title: How Hard Could It Be? The Story of a Cinematic
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Description: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm embraces cinematics as a high-level storytelling tool, a tactic that has been under fire in the games industry in recent years.

This panel will examine the strengths and weaknesses of that approach by tracing the story development of one particularly difficult cinematic. By showing multiple versions of the animatic, we will track the differing speed of cinematic production vs. game design, the feedback we received, the choices we made, and how they impacted the story.

We will cover the obstacles that we overcame, those we didn't, and the lessons we learned.

Takeaway: Attendees will gain insights into the pros and cons of cinematics as a storytelling tool, and the tough choices that go into story-oriented cinematics. They will learn about the nuances of communication between the development and cinematics teams, and hear about the challenges and solutions in the cinematic process.
Intended Audience: Mid to lead designers who are learning to work with a cinematics team. Writers who are attached to either a development team or a cinematics team. Cinematic artists and directors who work with a game team. No prerequisite knowledge is required.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Erin Catto (Principal Software Engineer)
Title: Physics for Game Programmers
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Description: Game physics engines are used to create games like Angry Birds, Half-Life, Tomb Raider, Red Faction, MotorStorm, Limbo, and Diablo 3. Games would be far less compelling without the realistic physics simulation that engages the player's intuition and stimulates their motion awareness.

Physics has become a staple of the modern gaming tradition as we try to re-create and re-interpret the world around us. The Physics for Programmers tutorial brings together speakers from Blizzard, Dtecta, Havok, NVIDIA, Sony, and Valve. Topics include collision detection, continuous simulation, constraint solvers, and demos.

The focus is on rigid body physics and real-time simulation in games. There will be a mix of introductory topics, recent algorithms, and practical tips. Time is reserved for Q&A.

Takeaway: Attendees will learn fundamental elements and practical considerations for using collision detection and rigid body physics in games.
Intended Audience: Intermediate to advanced programmers looking to learn or build upon their math, collision detection, and physics skills. Knowledge of vectors, matrices, and some calculus is expected.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass

Speaker: Wyatt Cheng (Senior Technical Game Designer)
Title: Through the Grinder: Refining Diablo III's Game Systems
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Description: As with all Blizzard games, Diablo III went through many iterations before the final product was released. Wyatt will describe different game systems that were attempted, explored, and then ultimately removed. We'll go into detail about the pros and cons of each system, what worked and didn't work, and how the team used each failure to bring them closer to success.

1. Health Recovery: From Regenerative Damage Shields to potion dilution, where potions become less effective as you drink them, many different health recovery mechanisms were tried. What were the major issues with each of these systems and how did it lead to health globes in the end?

2. Controls. At Blizzard, control is king. Although simple on the surface, a number of iterations were required to polish the Diablo III interface, in order to provide the player with tight and responsive controls.

3. Skill System: The skill system underwent multiple revisions. Early systems involved different variations of point spending, an evolution from Diablo II. Later systems had runes, with multiple rune ranks that dropped as items, which could be used to modify skills.

Takeaway: Blizzard has a number of game design values. A postmortem on the development of Diablo III gives us an opportunity to see these game design values in action. Values such as "Control is King," "Avoid the Grand Reveal," and "What is the Fantasy." Ultimately these values are driven by iteration.
Intended Audience: This talk is intended for anyone who is interested in concrete examples of the iterative design process. It's particularly aimed at those who aren't afraid to peek behind the curtain to see failures, as well as successes. Portions of the talk will delve into technical detail, but nothing too scary.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Joe Rumsey (Principal Software Engineer)
Title: Network Serialization and Routing in World of Warcraft
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Description: Online games need robust, easy to use network APIs. No one should still be struggling with how to get their data from one place to another. JAM is World of Warcraft's inter-server serialization and routing layer.

This talk describes how JAM came to be, and how it is used today. Real world sample code from WoW and other Blizzard projects are used to illustrate key concepts, such as machine generated code for serialization, and dynamic protocol negotiation. Comparisons to similar open-source projects will be made.

Takeaway: Attendees will learn how World of Warcraft solved network serialization and routing issues. Code at both the application level and the internal networking level will be shown. Open-source alternatives will be presented, and the trade-offs will be detailed.
Intended Audience: This session is intended for programmers dealing with network serialization and routing in online games. Basic knowledge of networking practices and some experience with C++ is assumed.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Matt Schembari (Senior Software Engineer)
Title: Cutscenes Everywhere: The Tech Behind StarCraft II's Storytelling
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Description: This session will present how the new cutscene editor and its underlying engine were built in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. The talk will review the design process, and how having a user-focused approach shaped both the tool and engine alike.

It will then provide an overview of the technical design and architecture of these systems. Finally, the talk will discuss the emergent workflow that resulted in having the artists so heavily involved in the development process of their tool.

Takeaway: Attendees will gain insight into how the StarCraft II editor team employed a user-focused approach to build a new editor. In addition, they'll be provided with a technical design and architecture, so they can begin building their own cutscene editor or related tool.
Intended Audience: This talk is aimed primarily at tools programmers and others involved with the technical aspects of their team's art pipeline. Some experience as a tools or engine programmer is recommended.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Brian Schwab (Senior Software Engineer)
Title: Working with Designers: Scaling Your AI Both Up and Down
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Description: As game designs lean on AI more and more (finally!), there is an increasing need for a tighter interface between AI programmers and game designers. While much of this relationship is about communication, there are other important considerations that AI programmers can address to make their life with designers easier.

The first part of this lecture will offer suggestions on how querying designers can correctly help the programmer to design an architecture that will scale up to handle the inevitable feature expansions that spill out of design throughout production. The second portion of the session will present methods to gracefully scale down AI systems as needs change.

This includes "killing the baby," which is when a programmer is forced to cut out their wonderful, clever, elegant, amazing, best AI feature ever because it doesn't fit the overall design, or simply isn't fun.

Takeaway: This session will present practical, concrete, from-the-trenches advice on how to think ahead in the design of your AI, so that you can expand or contract as needed.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass

Speaker: Keith Self-Ballard (Art Manager)
Title: Art Director and Lead Artist Roundtable
keith-self-ballard-next-gen-mmo-art-manager2Description: The Art Director and Lead Artist Roundtable is an open forum intended to provide its attendees with both insight and information pertaining to the management, leadership, and direction of game development teams and studios. This session is devoted to the exchange of experience and approaches to the most pressing issues facing art directors, artists, and art culture.
Takeaway: Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with industry peers and listen to accounts of how different studios have dealt with similar problems. The purpose of this roundtable is the sharing of experience and the contrasting of ideas. Those with an eye toward future management or direction positions will have an opportunity to pose questions to the roundtable. Ultimately, one of our prime goals is the growth of art leadership and art culture across our industry.
Intended Audience: While this roundtable is understandably art-centric in its focus, it is open to attendees from any discipline who are eager to gain insight into how an art department functions. Attendees are not required to be current art leads or art directors; they are however, required to have an interest in how art leads and art directors identify and respond to challenges in our industry.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Andrew Vestal (Senior Localization Producer)
Title: English Is a Localized Language: Translating Diablo III
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Description: Items in Diablo III can have one of 400,000 possible names. How do you translate and test this huge pool of randomized content? By developing flexible systems up front that work for every language - including English.

This presentation outlines the development pipelines that allow localization to support Diablo III's high level of replay value and randomization. Special focus is given to conversation implementation, and the randomly constructed item and monster names.

Blizzard's internally developed localization tool will also be shown. Stop translating whatever the developers hand you, and start thinking of English as another localized language!

Takeaway: Attendees will learn how proactive localization development practices can improve the quality of all languages, and how Blizzard's internal localization tool supports both translation and QA.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass

Speaker: Blaine Whittle (Senior Software Engineer II, Team 1)
Title: Under the Hood of Blizzard's Internal Build System

Description: Game sizes at Blizzard and other game companies have grown significantly over the years. This has led to a situation where most game build systems are I/O bound, making it difficult to maintain fast build times.

This session will present Blizzard's in-house distributed, multi-platform build system, which was designed from the ground up to minimize disk and network IO, and to maximize scalability. Blizzard used this framework to reduce Starcraft II's build time from 6 hours to 30 minutes.

This session will cover the technical architecture of the build framework, and present a number of the scheduling algorithms involved.

Takeaway: Audience members will learn a number of strategies and techniques for scaling existing tool chains.
Intended Audience: This session is intended for tool chain programmers or programmers involved in cluster computing. Knowledge of existing build tools such as Make, Jenkins, Ant, etc. is recommended.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Speaker: Jay Wilson (Game Director)
Title: Shout at the Devil: The Making of Diablo III
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Description: When building any game, but especially when it's a sequel to the beloved Diablo series, it's critical that you have a series of core design goals, or pillars, that you can use as a guide to making decisions and defining what you want the final vision of the game to accomplish.

In this postmortem, we'll explore the pillars that guided Diablo III's development and how well we felt we accomplished each of them. We'll focus specifically on the ones we feel we struggled with and the game design lessons we learned during those struggles.

Examples of specific challenges of living up to these values will be provided, prioritizing them against one another, and evaluating how well they were accomplished after Diablo III was released.

Takeaway: Attendees will receive insight into the value of defining the core design elements that will drive their game development. In addition, they will learn the importance of measuring their game against those values, and using that knowledge to iterate on the final product, both pre- and post-release.
Intended Audience: This talk is intended for a general audience, including those who are interested in game design as well as project leadership. Project leads of all levels will also gain the benefits of good lessons learned on driving and iterating a game's vision. The intention is for the talk to be general enough that specific knowledge of the Diablo series is not necessary, but such knowledge will be beneficial.
Eligible Passes: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass

Originally posted: February 5, 2013

Hearthstone-Heroes-of-Warcraft-Logo

PAX East – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Press Kit

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, Event Coverage, Featured Stories, PAX East 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Hearthstone-Heroes-of-Warcraft-Logo

Blizzard Entertainment Rob Pardo announced at PAX East a team of 15 developers was created exclusively to develop Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft planned to launch beta testing this Summer.

No one expected Blizzard to announce a free to play CCG game.

The game is slated for beta this summer and will be released later this year (2013). It will be released in PC and Mac first with an iPad release coming shortly after. No current plans it seems on Android or other mobile OS.

Official website revealed as well the beta signup page: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/

As someone like myself who has played Magic: The Gathering since 1998, I can tell you that this game looks like an absolute blast. The MTG video games they have recently are quite fun and this seems to be along those lines. This game looks like something for casuals as well as competitive gamers. The booster packs are expected to cost around $1, but you’ll also be able to earn them – kind of the same way League of Legends and other free to play games work where you can slowly earn what you need or go ahead and pay up front.

We have an interview tomorrow for the new game. If you have any questions you’d like to see us ask add them below in the comments!

ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO

FACT SHEET

Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play strategy card game for Windows, Macintosh, and iPad. Designed to be deceptively simple and epically engaging for players of all backgrounds, Hearthstone features quick and lively duels that evoke the spirit of a friendly match played beside a crackling tavern fire.

Each player’s card deck centers around a hero representing one of nine iconic Warcraft classes, customized with a set of minions, spells, and/or weapons based on individual strategy and available cards. Players will be able to hone their skills in practice matches against the computer, and when they’re ready for the challenge, they can take on their Battle.net friends and other players in friendly duels. To further develop their decks, players will be able to acquire cards by crafting them and by winning or purchasing new card packs. With hundreds of unique cards to choose from, the potential card combinations and possible strategies are endless!

Game Modes

  • Play Mode: Duel opponents online to boost your medal ranking and earn packs of cards. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran, curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, our matchmaking system will pit you against worthy competition.
  • The Forge: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. You’ll be presented with a series of card choices from which you must forge your deck, and then you’ll bring that deck into battle against other duelists. In addition to having a chance to win card packs as prizes if you duel well, all participants will keep the cards they selected for their Forge deck.
  • Practice Mode: Hone your skills and test out new deck ideas against basic or expert AI opponents, and unlock eight playable heroes in the process.

Key Features

Collection Manager: Peruse your ever-expanding card collection and build a variety of custom decks to suit all kinds of strategies. If you’re new to deck-building, you can also get guided help here on how to fill out your deck for competitive play.

Crafting: Disenchant those extra cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, the building block used to construct Hearthstone cards. You can then use this dust to craft the cards needed to complete one or more of your decks or your overall collection.

Friendly Duels: Want to challenge your buddy to a quick match (or just show off your shiny new cards)? Hearthstone is connected to Battle.net, so you’ll be able to fire up a game with a friend right from your friends list.

 

BETA TESTING

At the FAQ section below there are more details about beta. Beta testing starts this Summer 2013. You can sign up to participate in beta by going to the bottom of the page at the USA Heroesofwarcraft.com website or the Europe website.

Press Release

New free-to-play strategy card game for PC and iPad® lets you hang up your sword . . . and throw down your gauntlet

Hands-on demos at PAX East this weekend, beta test starting soon

BOSTON –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Pull up a chair across from an old friend at the tavern table and prepare for a few rounds of lively card-vs.-card warfare. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. laid its virtual cards on the table today with the unveiling of Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, a new cross-platform free-to-play game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®.

In Hearthstone, players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft® character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards. PAX East attendees are able to go hands-on with Hearthstone this weekend, and Blizzard will begin beta testing for the game very soon—no, seriously.

“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.

In addition to honing their skills in practice matches against the computer and taking on their buddies via their Battle.net® friends list, players can challenge each other in two competitive game modes. “Play Mode” features traditional head-to-head battles, with players facing off for a chance to increase their medal ranking and earn card packs along the way. And for a different type of challenge, players can enter “The Forge,” where they start each match by building a deck from a new set of cards, and then use that deck to duel other Forge participants. Aside from winning new cards, players will be able to round out their collections by purchasing new card packs or disenchanting some of their existing cards to craft the ones they’re missing.

With hundreds of cards to choose from, featuring a wide range of colorful Warcraft spells, weapons, and characters, players will have limitless possibilities for developing and fine-tuning their deck-building strategies. Further details about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be announced as development progresses. To learn more about the game, stay tuned to http://www.PlayHearthstone.com. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

 

Official Screenshots

Video Trailer

Jason Hayes announced via twitter that he composed the The Hearthstone: Warcraft of Heroes soundtrack.

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft – Fireside Duel

Hearthstone – Building The Fire

Blizzard employees/developers talk about the development of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and more about Team 5 and their role at Blizzard.

FAQ


What is Hearthstone™?

Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose to play as one of nine epic Warcraft® heroes, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons or abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent.

Why is Blizzard making Hearthstone?

We looooooove collectible card games and have been playing them since our Silicon & Synapse days. Creating a digital strategy card game felt like a natural next step for us, so we put together a small team and have been hammering away at Hearthstone for a while now. We’re excited to be working on something different from our other games, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Same goes for creating a game for iPad® in addition to PC. It’s been a thrill to work on Hearthstone and to finally be able to reveal it to the community, and we hope everyone has as much fun playing it as we’ve had building it.

Do I need to know anything about strategy card games or Warcraft to play?

Not at all! We’ve designed Hearthstone so that anyone can get into it, no matter how familiar they are with the Warcraft universe or collectible card games. The game will teach you everything you need to know as you play it.

What are the key game modes and features?

Hearthstone’s key game modes and features include:

  • Practice mode: Hone your abilities and test out new deck ideas against A.I. opponents of basic or expert skill levels, and unlock new playable heroes in the process.
  • Play mode: Duel other players to increase your medal ranking—which indicates your skill level and the level of opponents you’ll face (resets weekly)—and earn new card packs along the way. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran or curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, Battle.net® matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
  • The Forge: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. Assemble a new deck by choosing from a selection of cards provided for the match, and then duel other Forge participants for a chance to win card packs. The cards you select to build your deck with are yours to keep and can be added to other decks in your collection after your Forge duels are complete. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in a Forge match (further details to be announced later).
  • Collection Manager: Browse your ever-expanding card collection, disenchant cards for raw materials to craft new ones, and build a variety of custom decks to suit your shifting strategies.

What’s the difference between “basic” and “expert” cards?

Basic cards are the “starter” cards that form the foundation of each hero’s class, and are earned each time you play a game (you can have up to two of every basic card in the game in your collection).

Expert cards are cards that can only be found in card packs or created using the crafting system (certain achievements grant them as well). They’re distinguished by their rarity—common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). Generally, the rarer a card is, the more complex it is . . . often providing you with new strategic options. You can have any number of expert cards in your collection, though only two of any common, rare, or epic card, and one of any legendary card, can be placed in a deck.

Both basic and expert cards have important roles to play in all decks, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are a Hearthstone grandmaster.

What are the different types of cards in Hearthstone?

Once you’ve selected which hero you want to play as, there are three types of cards you can build your deck with in Hearthstone: spells, weapons, and minions. Each card falls into either the “basic” or “expert” card set (see below).

How much does it cost to play?

Hearthstone is free to play, and there are a number of different ways to acquire cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to buy additional card packs through an in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. However, there is no requirement to purchase card packs in order to play Hearthstone.

What are all the different ways a player can acquire cards?

Players will earn their first set of cards as soon as they start playing Hearthstone, and certain game modes and features will award additional cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to purchase additional card packs through the in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. Here are the different ways to get cards:

  • Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
  • Play Mode: By participating in traditional head-to-head matches, players have a chance to win card packs.
  • The Forge: Build a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Forge participants. The cards you pick to build your deck are yours to keep—play well enough, and you could win even more. Note that you must trade in a certain number of card packs to participate in The Forge (further details to be announced later).
  • Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, and then use your collected dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
  • Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five random cards using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be of “rare” rarity or greater; in some cases, you may find that one or more additional cards has also “upgraded” to a higher tier of rarity.
  • Achievements: Certain achievements in the game may grant additional cards.

How many cards are available in the game?

There are over 300 cards in Hearthstone. All of these can be earned, with some cards granted for dueling the A.I. or completing achievements and others found inside card packs that can be earned by playing in Play mode and The Forge. We plan to introduce additional cards over time.

Can I trade cards to other players or sell cards for real cash?

No, Hearthstone is not designed to support these types of transactions.

Can players choose to battle against their friends in addition to taking part in match-made duels?

Of course! You will be able to play against your friends via your Battle.net friends list.

On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?

Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.

What comes in a card pack?

Each pack comes with five random cards. Your chance to receive a particular card depends on its rarity: common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). You’re guaranteed to receive at least one card of rare or better quality per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.

How do I apply for the beta test?

Just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account!

How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?

We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.

The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.

Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?

Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank-you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.

I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?

We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.

Where will Hearthstone be available?

Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.

 

THE LAUNCH DETAILS (SO FAR)


When will Hearthstone be released?

We’re not sure yet—what we do know is that we’re going to take as much time as necessary to make sure Hearthstone is as fun and polished as possible.

How do I get Hearthstone?

Once the game is live, you’ll be able to download it free directly from Blizzard. We’ll provide further details, including how to purchase card packs, as we get closer to launch.

What ages are appropriate?

Hearthstone has not yet received its final rating.

On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?

Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later.

Where will Hearthstone be available?

Our goal is to make Hearthstone available in the same regions supported by World of Warcraft, but we don’t have details to share just yet.

When will the iPad version be available?

Hearthstone will be available in the App Store as soon as possible after its release on Windows and Macintosh PCs.

Will Hearthstone be localized? Which languages?

We’re planning to localize Hearthstone in the same languages as World of Warcraft wherever possible. We’ll post the final language list as soon as we can.

I play World of Warcraft, too! Can I earn anything for my WoW characters by playing Hearthstone?

We’re looking into a few possibilities and hope to have more details to share in the future.

How do Hearthstone and World of Warcraft relate to each other?

Both games take place in the Warcraft universe, and World of Warcraft players will recognize a lot of aspects of Azeroth in Hearthstone. That said, you don’t need to even know what World of Warcraft is to have loads of fun in Hearthstone.

 

THE GAME MECHANICS

What makes Hearthstone different from other card games?

We’ve designed Hearthstone to be easy to learn so that anyone can get into it—but it’s also deep enough that even the most elite duelists will find it a challenge to master. Hearthstone is designed around short, action-packed duels that generally take 10–15 minutes to play.

How many players can play in a multiplayer game?

More than one, but fewer than three.

Which heroes are featured in Hearthstone?

You’ll be able to build a deck based on one of nine epic Warcraft heroes, each representing one of the original World of Warcraft classes: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, and Warrior.

Wait, what about Monk? Where’s Death Knight?!

The roster of heroes represents the nine classes that were available at World of Warcraft’s launch. It’s still too early to discuss our plans for heroes aside from these, though the game will continue to evolve over time. So practice patience, young monk! And death knight, you’re immortal, so you can chill for now too, right?

Will additional content be available in the future?

We plan to add more content and additional cards as the game evolves, but we don’t have any details to share just yet. Right now, our focus is making sure the game is as fun and polished as possible right out of the gate.

How does Practice mode work?

In the game’s Practice mode, you choose to play against a computer-controlled hero of any class at one of two different difficulty levels. Challenging that hero will unlock it for play and expand the types of cards you’re able to add to your collection. Players will earn a fledgling Mage deck just by launching the game, but that’s only the beginning of the journey. . . .

Can I create new decks or modify my current deck?

Absolutely! Customizing the perfect deck to suit your play style or to counter a rival is a huge part of Hearthstone. As your card collection grows, the in-game Collection Manager will help you create, save, and edit multiple decks for whatever situation or play style you can think of.

What if I’m new at deck-building and need some help?

We want anyone to be able to get into Hearthstone and build a deck without having to understand all the nuances of deck building. To that end, we’re developing a feature that will examine your deck and card collection and provide suggestions for what you should add. You’ll be provided with brief reasoning behind these recommendations so that you can learn a little more about how to build a great deck.

What comes in a card pack?

Each pack comes with five random cards. Your chance to receive a particular card depends on its rarity: common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). You’re guaranteed to receive at least one rare or better card per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.

What is a Golden card?

All cards found in a card pack have a chance to be upgraded to a Golden card when the pack is opened. This upgrade will affect the appearance of the card but not its power.

Does Hearthstone support asynchronous play?

Hearthstone is designed to be a fast-paced experience. That being said, we recognize that players may want to play the game in short bursts with their friends over a longer period of time, so we’re looking into the possibility of supporting asynchronous play.

How does The Forge work?

You’ll be able to enter The Forge by trading in unopened card packs (further details to be announced later). These packs can be earned free in Play mode (or won in previous Forge games that you might have played), or you can purchase them from the in-game store. Once you are in, you will build a special Forge deck, choosing one card at a time from a series of card options until you have a full deck of 30. You’ll then duel with that deck against other Forge participants until you win or lose a specific number of matches. At the end, you keep all the expert cards that were in your deck—and depending on how well you performed you could win additional card packs.

How do I disenchant and craft cards?

Expert cards can be “disenchanted”—giving the player a resource called arcane dust but destroying the card in the process. Once a player collects enough dust, they can use it to create any card in the game, including Golden cards, permanently adding that card to the player’s collection. The amount of dust received and/or the cost of the card created depends on the card’s rarity (common, rare, epic, or legendary).

Only expert cards—that is, cards that come in card packs or are earned through playing in The Forge—can be disenchanted. Basic cards (i.e., cards with no rarity indicator) cannot be disenchanted.

 

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

How do I pay for cards?

On Windows and Macintosh PCs, players will be able to purchase card packs within the game using their Battle.net Balance or any other Battle.net-supported payment method attached to their account.

On the iPad, players will be able to make purchases using the payment methods they’ve associated with their AppleID in the App Store. The exact process will differ slightly for each region. We’ll provide further details as we get closer to launch.

What are the system requirements for Hearthstone?

We’ll announce specific system requirements closer to launch.

Will I be able to add friends in Hearthstone and chat with people?

Yes! The folks in your Battle.net friends list (both BattleTag and Real ID friends) are available for games or conversation. Players will not be able to chat with anyone who is not on their friends list. However, players will be able to choose from a variety of emotes for basic communication during games.

How can I communicate with opponents during a game who are not on my friends list?

We have an emote system that lets you communicate in a safe way with random folks you are playing with online. You can thank or congratulate or threaten your opponent with the voice of the hero you are playing.

Are you supporting Android tablets?

Hearthstone will launch on Windows, Macintosh, and, later on, iPad. We’re looking into the possibility of supporting additional platforms in the future, but we don’t have any further info to share at this time.

Will Hearthstone run on my iPhone?

Hearthstone is for Windows and Macintosh PCs and iPad only.

Do you need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone?

We’re still working out the details for iPad, but you will need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone on PC. If you don’t already have a Battle.net account, you can create one at http://www.battle.net.

Do you need a World of Warcraft account to play Hearthstone?

Nay, ye do not!

Will there be parental controls for Hearthstone?

Yes. Parents will be able to use Battle.net’s Parental Controls system to restrict their child’s ability to purchase additional card packs within Hearthstone.

 

THE BETA TEST

How will I get cards in the beta test? Do I need to purchase them with real money?

We do plan to test the in-game store during the beta test, and players will be able to purchase card packs using their Battle.net Balance or other Battle.net-supported payment methods. Players will also be able to obtain cards through Practice mode, Play mode, and The Forge.
The card pack price in the beta test does not necessarily reflect what the final prices will be at launch.

Will the cards I earn or purchase in the beta test carry over into the live game? What happens if I purchased beta card packs for real money?

Prior to launch your card collection will be reset, and any cards you acquired through a purchased card pack or earned during the beta test will be removed. However, any purchases you made during the beta test will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch, equal to the value you spent during the beta test. Please note that these will not contain the same cards as those received from card packs in the beta test. Also, as a thank you for testing out the in-game store during Hearthstone’s beta phase, everyone who purchased a card pack in the beta test will get a special gift.

Will my progress in the beta test—unlocking heroes, earning cards, my ranking—carry over to the final game?

No way! In the interest of fairness, everything will be reset after the beta test ends so that players can be on equal footing when the game launches.

How do I apply for the beta test?

Just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account!

I don’t live in the US; can I still participate in the beta test?

We hope to launch a beta test in other game regions after the initial beta-test launch in North America, but we don’t have any specifics to announce at this time. Stay tuned for updates.

© 2013 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Hearthstone is a trademark, and Warcraft, Battle.net and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S., and/or other countries. Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies. Mac and IPad are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other trademarks referenced herein are the properties of their respective owners.

 

Press Kit Artwork

Press Kit Minion & Class Cards Art

Press Kit Heroes (Full)

Blizzplanet – PAX East Coverage

Blizzard Entertainment invited Blizzplanet and other gaming sites to the PAX East Game Announcement Event. Here are some of our interviews and press media kit coverage.

heroesofwarcraft-com-registration

PAX East 2013 Speculation – Warcraft Battles or Heroes of Warcraft ?

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Diablo 3 News, PAX East 2013, StarCraft 2 News, World of Warcraft News

Kevin Carrillo (Sixen), Eldorian & DJTyrant (Blizzplanet), Eroldren and Medros (AllThingsAzeroth) have been brewing a barrel of speculations of what Blizzard Entertainment might be announcing today in barely 5 hours from the time of this posting.

pax-east-2013-speculation-march-22

pax-east-2013-speculation-march-22b

The first thought is Blizzard All-Stars. However, Blizzard Entertainment already announced this game at BlizzCon 2011, and attendees even played it. The press invite says Blizzard can’t wait for us to have this on our hands. Blizzard All-Stars has already been on our hands at BlizzCon, and second — why so much secrecy about a game that has already been announced? Unless it’s a brand-new game nobody has heard of yet.

Rob Pardo tweeted recently the announcement is Blizzard’s NEXT GAME.

rob-pardo-pax-east-2013-next-game-tweet

Considering Blizzard stated in the press invitation this (New Game) is not a sequel, expansion nor related to the Next-Gen MMO Titan — there isn’t a lot of room to speculate on.

The press invite also says “We’ve been working on a little something, different from our other games.” Now this one can be interpreted in two ways:

  • Different from [Diablo III, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II] — meaning a new IP, or;

  • Different from [RPG, MMO, RTS] — in which case, the options remaining are: First-Person Shooter (FPS), Handheld game (PS Vita), or Mobile Game (iPad/MS Surface/etc.)

Among some of the creative thoughts circulating among the scholars:

  • StarCraft: Ghost — The press invite says different to our other games. As stated above it could be interpreted as non-MMO, non-RPG, non-RTS. StarCraft: Ghost was an FPS game. StarCraft: Ghost was postponed (meaning: to put off to a later time). PS4 was just announced and Blizzard is supporting it with Diablo III (PS4).

  • Project Blackstone — either stand alone new game based on StarCraft, or part of StarCraft: Ghost.

  • World of Warcraft TCG Online — the Cryptozoic Entertainment World of Warcraft Trading Card Game has been very popular. What if Blizzard brings it to mobile games? Glenn Rane (Blizzard Art Director, Creative Development) recently joined a team of friends and launched a Kickstarter to develop InKarnate … a digital RPG tabletop or Roleplaying-Game Tool Set. What if … WoW TCG Online or WOW RPG Tabletop online?

  • In late 2012, Blizzard Entertainment claimed the domain name: HEROESOFWARCRAFT.COM and WARCRAFTBATTLES.COM (Mobile games?)

warcraftbattles-com-registration

heroesofwarcraft-com-registration

Heroes of Warcraft. Warcraft Battles. This title really sounds like a mobile game. Could it be something akin to Pet Battles, but instead of pets, it’s heroes? I know, that sounds a lot like Blizzard All-Stars, but that’s DOTA-style. I mean … Street Fighter-style. Mortal Kombat-style.

Just the other day, Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson were playing Samurai Showdown2 — for example.

chris-metzen-and-micky-neilson-play-Samurai-Showdown2

The community has certainly been pulling their hairs on this one ever since the Press Invite, and it just shows how much love and passion we have for Blizzard Entertainment and their video games. Whatever this new game is, it will have a lot of expectations and criticism. Something worth discussing throughout gaming websites, fansites, forums and social media.

IamDeflector shared via Twitter a nice bracket:

blizzard-game-announcement-bracket-byIamDeflector

Whether any of us was right or wrong, it doesn’t matter no more. The game will be announced within a few hours. Make sure to watch the Twitch Livestream to witness the official Blizzard game announcement.

Twitch Live Stream

The new game will be announced today March 22nd at:

New York: 10:00am EST
Los Angeles: 7:00am PST
London: 2:00 PM GMT
Paris: 3:00 PM CES

Make sure to check it out. Spread the word! Share the link to this page.