Alright, fine. We’re hijacking this bit of news in a self-serving interest. Wanna fight about it? You do? Crap…how about I buy you a drink instead? Now that my wallet’s lighter, back to the news. And it really is news!
Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly announced that the company will be attending Penny Arcade Expo East, the annual gathering of everything nerd in Boston. It’s noteworthy because the company rarely ventures outside of its own venue, BlizzCon, these days. Even routinely skipping E3. Perhaps skipping BlizzCon 2012 has given the company some motive. Or, as most people are assuming, Blizzard wants to begin putting Diablo III for PS3/4 into the hands of consumers!
The catch there is we already knew that’d be shown at PAX East. As GameFront pointed out, the email is more mysterious, referring to the “new Blizzard project” that isn’t an expansion, Project Titan or a sequel. Blizzard All-Stars mayhaps?
Whatever it is, the traveling Lore Hound crew will have it covered for you!
I actually have heard and somewhat followed (through MMO-Champion’s news postings) this project for a long time now. It started as a small April Fool’s joke awhile back, and has now gone full blown into a serious development cycle.
I feel very in tune with the developer company, named Upheaval Arts, as this project is very much akin to the Amalos project I’m working on.
Here’s the description of the project from Upheaval Arts on YouTube, and the trailer.
For the last two years we’ve been developing a project known as ‘StarCraft Universe’, an MMO-Style RPG Mod for StarCraft II.
We’re excited to release the single-player Prologue of our game designed to introduce you to our story, and teach you how to play!
StarCraft Universe takes place in an alternate timeline, 11 years after the events which transpire in the ‘In Utter Darkness scenario of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign. It’s our vision of how the universe may have been for any survivors of the hybrid onslaught which ensued, had Kerrigan died.
If you’re curious why we’re only releasing the single-player content, it’s because we need to release this project slowly to ensure all of our core systems work properly. This project is a massive undertaking, which completely alters the way the SC2 engine operates, and we’re a very small team without a big QA department. YOU guys will be our quality assurance!
Multiplayer content has been in development for a while now, and we hope to bring you some in a few months if this release runs smoothly.
After a year hiatus in 2012 to allow Blizzard to, you know, make the games we enjoy so much, the company has announced its intention to throw its formerly (kinda) annual community gathering. The convention will once again be held in the Anaheim Convention Center, taking a step back from the typical October celebration to Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 9. It’s official.
Convention goers can expect your typical BlizzCon activities, an insane rush to get tickets, eSports finals, in-depth panels and Q&A sessions, tournaments, statues, and everything StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo. Who knows, maybe Project Titan will even make an appearance!
Ticket price and purchasing dates have not been revealed yet. Prices have increased the past few years. Expect a price from $100-150 a pop.
A dedicated LoreHound crew is fully expected to be – physically and digitally – present for all your coverage needs. Let the argument over Jay Mohr begin! We’ll have more details as they come.
Alright, fine, we know this is been in the making for years. Nearly far too long to bother with it until serious movement starts. But hey, this could be the start of said inertia. According to Toplessrobot, Duncan Jones, the director behind Moon and the more mainstream Source Code, has been attached to the unnamed Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. project.
Jones’ directing pedigree lies firmly in the realm of science fiction, making the choice a bit jarring at first. Without spoiling his work for you, there is at least one common theme in his filmography very applicable to gaming, yet unlikely to be implemented in a live-action World of Warcraft picture.
What continues to worry me more than a director is what Blizzard plans on doing/allowing to be done to the story. Will it be a new tangent on a current storyarc? Something new and original that’ll link to the game down the road? An open storyline as connected to the universe as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within?
I'll clean my room once I am done with this mess, Mom!
And I’m Back is a mini-series column dealing with the return to Azeroth after being away for so long. The series chronicles personal reactions to changes to discoveries and making the needed adjustments to the new Azeroth.
World of Warcraft came out in 2004. The world was pretty different then, especially the world of video games. Bush was President. The Eagles were a good team. Nintendo was in a rut and credit was free flowing. Blizzard has done a fantastic job keeping WoW fresh and up to date. Sure, expansions are slow, but content has been consistent. Technologies have been upgraded and system, both game and technical, have been overhauled. Repeatedly. Continue Reading
Blizzard will scrap its in-development PvP feature “Team Deathmatch,” but instead will release a dueling feature “soon” in the new year, Game Director Jay Wilson announced yesterday on the Diablo 3 blog. The PvP mode had been long in development and was showcased at previous BlizzCon events, but will not be released for a number of cited reasons.
“For us it comes to a few issues, one of which is depth. Simply fighting each other with no other objectives or choices to make gets old relatively quickly…
Another is class balance. Like Diablo II, Diablo III was designed to be a PvE-first kind of game, where we never compromised on player abilities in the name of future PvP balance. We want to be able to carry over as many of the crazy runes, items, and skills as possible, with their crazy effects, and alter them as little as possible. In a casual PvP mode, something equivalent to a WoW Battleground, this would be fine, but Team Deathmatch felt very hardcore, and it put a laser focus on class balance in a way that we didn’t think would be good for the game as a whole.
… It’s not up to the quality that Blizzard gamers expect or that we feel you deserve, and it doesn’t really fit with our goals for the rest of the game.” — Jay Wilson
Wilson said that the development team had the opportunity to fine-tune controls and combat model tuning throughout the development of Team Deathmatch, but that the team would be “exploring other options” for PvP instead. “We’re going to first be looking at new modes that play up to the strengths of the character classes, focus on objectives beyond just defeating other players, and possibly even integrate PvE elements and rewards,” Wilson said.
As for dueling, that feature is slated to be released in patch 1.0.7 in the new year. Further details on the patch have not yet been released but will be “very soon,” according to the dev blog.
It’s been a delicate line on which Blizzard has tread since World of Warcraft began eight years ago, and one that seems to have reached a tipping point more so with Mists of Pandaria than in previous expansions. I’m talking about endgame content. In years past, it seemed that Blizzard couldn’t create content fast enough. By the time the next patch would come, the hardcore players were completely ready, having already grinded out everything that had been thrown at them… and then grinded it out again and again on their alts.
The addition of account-wide achievements in MoP may have alleviated that process a bit, but even those who weren’t ferocious altaholics would be yearning for that new little bit of action that would come with the release of the next patch.
And that anticipation certainly is still there. Just as in previous expansions, WoW players far and wide were getting hyped for the release of Patch 5.1 that came on Tuesday. There was discussion on various drafts of the patch notes, then of course rounds of cheers and complaints from PvPers on how class balance is or isn’t being maintained, and a rush to hit the servers as soon as they came back up.
But lately I’ve been seeing discussion among players that is a complete 180 — allegations of too much content. And although my personal opinion is that you can never have too much content, I can see where they’re coming from. Continue Reading