This Week in the Mercury


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Things I've Learned At Blizzcon

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 10:17 PM

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No one wants to read through 2 hours of transcribed interviews from my time here at Blizzcon -- at least, none of you do -- so I'm distilling everything down into a simple list of things I've learned this weekend. Hopefully this will also cover all the questions you guys offered up.

Oh, and as always, if you're wondering about anything I don't cover, hit the comments and ask. I may have it somewhere in all this damn audio stored on my iPhone, or at the very least I can call Blizzard's PR people and bug them.

It's yet another excuse for me to offer sexual favors for an early copy of Diablo III.

* Diablo III is going to be a HUGE fucking success.
I spent an hour playing it over the course of the weekend and it's exactly as addictive as Diablo II. Blizzard also somehow simplified an already hyper-simple series, so the focus in #3 is entirely on stabbing zombies in the face and slapping skeletons around.

* Diablo III is going to be a HUGE fucking success (for companies who sell computer parts).
Even on the specially designed test rigs, the game wasn't running perfectly. I managed to sneak a look at the system specs behind the computers and not one of them was running less than 6GB of RAM and a 1GB video card. You'll all adore the game, trust me, but to play it properly you're going to need to buy a faster computers.

* StarCraft II is to StarCraft as WarCraft III is to WarCraft II.
Remember how WarCraft III took the characters and warfare of WCII and made everything smaller? The focus now was on small groups of troops and characterization and storylines, instead of just massive battles. Yeah, same idea for StarCraft II.

* The next patch for World of Warcraft lands this Tuesday.
Technically I'm not supposed to know this, but I've got some very good friends who talk a lot when they get drunk. Patch 3.0, the one that adds a ton of content from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack to the current World of Warcraft MMO, will be released on Tuesday.

* Blizzard has no plans to resurrect The Lost Vikings, Blackthorne, or any of their old series.
Sorry Erik.

* Blizzard is working on a new MMO.
It's never been a very well kept secret, but yes a new MMO will be coming from the company in the next decade. They won't say what it is -- and most people within the company don't even know -- but CEO Mike Morhaime told me that it's "not a sequel to World of Warcraft."

* Felicia Day is a fox.
Seriously. And she's also the sweetest girl in the world.

* The Activision merger doesn't affect Blizzard in any way that any of you will ever notice.
From speaking to Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, it seems that Activision recognizes Blizzard's talent. Essentially, Activision realizes that Blizzard will pull down huge dollar signs as long as they don't try to fuck up the development system. Hence, Blizzard is left alone.

* StarCraft: Ghost is dead.
Blizzard doesn't have a lot of interest in console games, and Ghost just wasn't working out as well as they'd hoped. It will never see the day of light.

* StarCraft II is going to be a "trilogy."
Instead of releasing the game as a single title, Blizzard has revealed that StarCraft II is going to be a three-release title. To own the full game you'll have to buy the initial boxed release along with two "expansion" packs. Think something similiar to what Valve has done with Half-Life 2.
Each expansion will expand the story, and add new characters, units and all the things you'd expect from a Blizzard expansion. You won't need the full thing to play online, but if you only own part of it, you can only play against people who own the same amount of the game.

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