While reading D2 fan sites' takes on Blizz at E3 (they were showing WCIII mainly, apparently, since D2 expansion's so close to release), it rementioned that Blizz plans to make a new game announcement at the September ECTS show (I guess it's a near bi-annual habit now). But the suspense is, it's not clear whether it'll be a Blizzard or Blizzard North game announced there.
I read plenty of speculation on the foul mouthed battle.net boards (it's like reading the Exorcist script or something there), so I felt cleaner mouthed speculation here would be a good way to waste space on the boards here. :)
It sounds like the Blizz North crew's pretty worn down from Diablo II the last few years and would like to try something different (although Blizzard's "it must sell at least a million copies" rep may make that a hard thing to do).
Doing Starcraft II or giving the world yet another FPS would seem awfully lazy, and not that many FPSs sell a million copies. If BN really wants to get away from Diablo doing it MMORP version wouldn't seem like an ideal escape either. :)
Maybe a sports game with RPG-like qualities.
And there's always Blackthorne....
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, May 20, 2001 - 11:37 pm:
I'd bet they will announce something at ECTS. They always do (an expansion or new game).
Don't know what it'll be, though. If it is an FPS, I'd be stoked. I think Blizzard would be one of the few companies to do something different with that genre for once.
By Mark Asher on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 01:27 am:
The rumor over the last year or so has been that Blizzard is working on a FPS. I could see a FPS set in Starcraft's world that could be interesting. The Zerg would be terrifying, the Protoss could have some interesting mental powers, and of course there's the human ghost units and the power-suited marines.
By Geo on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 09:44 am:
Sounds too much like C&C Renegade. Then again, WCII was initially considered a C&C clone, so....
I figured the rumors related to some want ads last year for guys with FPS level editing experience, if I recall. Though that could relate to WCIII as far as 3D game designing goes.
By Geo on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 09:48 am:
It'll be interesting to see how WCIII's system requirements shape up. Blizz's games have generally had fairly below-the-curve system requirements (though Diablo II seems an inefficiently massive memory hog), and I think that's enhanced their ability to reach casual gamers as well as hardcore ones.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 09:50 am:
They're saying -- and have been all along -- that they hope to NOT require a 3D Accelerator, but they're not commiting to that. They might require it. Other than that, system requirements should be pretty relaxed.
By Geo on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 09:53 am:
Yeah, but they said they couldn't do Diablo II as an 800X600 game and they just repatched Starcraft 5 days after patching it before. I don't know I believe anything they say anymore. :D
By Tom Ohle on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 03:10 pm:
Personally, I think a 3D or MMO version of Diablo would be awesome... but I just can't imagine them doing that so soon.
I'd expect something set in the Starcraft universe, since they would definitely profit off the name (selling it in Korea alone would probably warrant its development). I've never been a big Starcraft fan, but I think Blizzard would be stupid not to make a game based on that world. I'm really not a big FPS fan, so that wouldn't really get me excited, but an MMORPG based on the SC universe would be kind of cool... dunno how viable that is, though--tough to build up a character that doesn't have any real weapons, other than its teeth (like the Zerg). I'm supposed to be heading down to Blizz in June, so maybe I can dig up some goods ;)
By Geo on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 07:48 pm:
I'd just like to see them try something totally new, sales projections be darned. I don't know that it'll be a badge of honor to be a company where every game has a roman numeral in it. :)
If it doesn't pan out they can always squash it like Warcraft Adventures.
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 09:41 am:
Badge of honor? Would you like that badge in millions of $ or hundreds of millions? I think that is the badge Blizzard is going for. Sure, they make great games, but they, like everyone else, are in it for the money.
Nothing wrong with that. If you got a good thing, why change it? See Coke.
By Bub (Bub) on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 01:23 pm:
In marketing circles I'm sure have roman numerals after every product would be seen as a sign of massive success.
Just like in Hollywood. Luckily, Blizzard seems to be able to do it without taking undue advantage of it's fanbase. See Lara Croft or Army Men.
I mean, Warcraft III doesn't have to be in 3D to sell. They could have churned out three Starcraft sequels by now, if they were really in it for the money.
By Geo on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 01:34 pm:
Tomb Raider's exactly what I meant. :) Or certain movie sequels that should've been put to pasture before they became boring.
Diablo II sold millions, and I'm a big fan, but I've rarely seen a popular game swirl up as much outright hatred among its detractors, a lot of reviewers and among Diablo fans who didn't like it as much. That's usually a good time to take a break from a particular franchise, I think.
Or you can think back to Doom II, when a lot of Doom fans felt iD was just trying to make a buck by tacking a "II" onto the original game with a few new maps and monsters.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 02:00 pm:
certain movie sequels that should've been put to pasture before they became boring.
I was thinking Friday the 13th myself. For a while there it seemed that madness would NEVER end.
That said, please sir may I have Terminator 3: Future War? No time jumping, just tell the story of shooting their way into skynet to get Reese through. That's all I want man, that's all.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 12:34 am:
I think any computer that will meet the other system requirements of Warcraft III (RAM and CPU speed) will have at least the level of 3D hardware they'd be talking about if it's hardware only. It only needs like a TNT-class 16MB card. Integrated video and 2-yr old machines these days would be fine.
To the best of my knowledge, they don't have a functioning sofware rasterizer going right now. If they decided to allow a no-3D card mode, they'd have to build one before they ship.
By Mark Asher on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 09:59 am:
Geo, I suspect that Blizzard North will continue to work on the Diablo franchise. I think it's the home office that's doing the secret game.
Given that Diablo 2 took about 3 years to do, Blizzard can't wait too long to begin the next one.
By Geo on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 02:25 pm:
Maybe, but they sound weary on the whole of it in interviews (and the fan sites got that vibe at the show), and I wouldn't be surprised if some of their folks start moving on to other companies or doing their own thing (which happened to some of the folks who worked on Diablo) if they hear "oh, we've got to do it all OVER again." :)
Besides, I dunno what they could do in 3D that Gas Powered Games won't have already done with Dungeon Siege.
I bet you didn't think a Diablo II fanatic could be this fatalistic about it. :)
By Brad Grenz on Wednesday, May 23, 2001 - 07:50 pm:
Well, I think Blizzard probably has it all over GPG in the CGI FMV department.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 09:30 am:
Wow. Does anybody else around here think we use initials a little too often?
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 11:17 am:
Might want to keep that on the QT there Murph.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 11:36 am:
By Mark Asher on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 02:25 pm:
"Besides, I dunno what they could do in 3D that Gas Powered Games won't have already done
with Dungeon Siege."
The beautiful thing about Dungeon Seige is the editor. I'm looking forward to a lot of fan mods.
Of course the drawback to Dungeon Seige is that there's no randomization. With Diablo you really can get a fresh experience each time you play it, at least in part.
By Geo on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 03:53 pm:
I thought DS had some R of D, but maybe I misread some previews and interviews with GPG. A DSE is all well and good, but I've seen far too many H&S RPGs with DEs that simply resulted in a lot of broken, unplayable levels put together by LILFs (lower intelligence lifeforms).
I thought Darkstone's editor would be a great thing but most of the attempts at player-created levels were well nigh unplayable, had broken quests or made no sense.
By Tom Ohle on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 04:09 pm:
It's sad, but I actually understood that.
By Mark Asher on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 04:30 pm:
I think the Dungeon Seige editor is probably going to be friendlier than most of the ones that have come before. Also, Dungeon Seige is more likely to achieve that critical mass of players needed to fuel mods. Darkstone didn't sell all that well. Neither did Revenant.
There may be some randomizing in Dungeon Siege. I didn't ask that question. I just assumed that the dungeons were predesigned.
By Geo on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 07:44 pm:
Dangit Asher! What do we PAY YOU FOR???? Oh wait, we don't. Never mind then. :)
I think critical mass is less important than smart guy mass. If enough smart guys who know what to do with the editor get it and figure out, wonderful. If not enough Smart Guys gravitate to it then it won't be much use me thinks.
By Geo on Thursday, May 24, 2001 - 11:58 pm:
From Blizz E3 wrap-up release (release link's from diabloii.net just cause I saw it thar first), for what little it's worth:
Definitely doesn't sound like Diablo III, and Starcraft 2's ruled out, and WCIII is due out, so I think it really HAS to be something new unless they delve into the MMORPG stuff, which seems to be getting too crowded of late.
Our next big announcement is at ECTS this September. It's not Starcraft 2 (the people who would be doing that are doing W3), but I can tell you without exaggeration that this is a HUGE announcement and one that will dominate coverage of the show. I can't say more about the game at this point, but the stuff you see rumored on the Web is pretty far off the mark. This fall is going to be a very exciting time! (Plus, I'll finally be able to rave to all my friends about something I've had to keep to myself for far too long!)
Flight sims? Nah
Strategy? Got it covered, nah
RPG again? Nah
Adventure? Um, think they already gave up on that. Nah
Board games? Nah
Sims clone? Nah
Turn-based?? Nah nah
Diablo Roller Coaster Tycoon? Nahhhhh
Warcraft Pinball??? Nah!
By Geo on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 12:25 am:
Dunno if this newest Blizz want ad means anything (you could just read it generically really), but it goes like:
Does WCIII have great space vessels and interior structures? :) Or, again, it could be just generically speaking and not mean a thingie.
3D Environmental/Structural Texture Artist
Blizzard Entertainment is looking for an experienced Texture Artist who loves bringing Fantasy and Science Fiction worlds to life. The position would entail creating textures that can be tiled for 3D objects ranging from rocks and trees to the interior of structures such as great space vessels and mystical castles. An Ideal Candidate would be an Artist who has experience in the Game Industry, is very technical in his understanding of architecture and 3D texturing, but also possesses an eye for color, shading and detail, and is adept at creating texture maps for environments and the interiors of structures. 3D Texture Artists would also assist with the design and creation of objects and characters that populate our games using programs such as 3D Studio Max, and participate in game design with the rest of the team.
Finally, a tidbit from Blizz FAQ that don't mean much but it mysteriously refers to "Team 2":
Well okay, maybe not so mysterious but dammit I gotta hype! :)
Can you tell us anything about the Unannounced Project being worked on by Team 2?
- It's not Starcraft II.
They also talk about mystical castles and rocks and trees--all things that aren't really conducive to space sim things.
I'll try and wriggle some info outta blizz in June heh
By Bub (Bub) on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 01:05 am:
"They also talk about mystical castles and rocks and trees--all things that aren't really conducive to space sim things"
True, unless you're talking about Unreal.*
*which wasn't a "space-sim" of course, but it did take place in a sci-fi setting!
By Brad Grenz on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 05:52 am:
At any rate, and abrieviations aside, I think Blizzard must be working on a new franchise. Don't want to overmilk Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft. It just occured to me that they could be working on a Sci-Fi action RPG. In the same way they went from Warcraft to Starcraft they could go from Diablo to a sci-fi equivelent.
By Geo on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 09:30 am:
I think FPS as others suggested is a safe bet, since other jobs they're hiring for involve using the Worldcraft editor (or equivalent), creating 3D "levels" and having a good understanding of 3-D architecture, though that could relate to WCIII to. I don't expect them to let the cat out of the bag before September -- they're having too much fun being coy. :)
And it's too much fun speculating, oh, maybe a mixture of I-War and an FPS ya know. You battle in your spaceships and then dock with enemy ships for space pirate battles in FPS mode. :)
By Mark Asher on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 04:04 pm:
I'd guess either the FPS or a MMORPG. Note that they could need first-person level designers for a MMORPG.
They may be looking for a way to charge for battle.net, and an MMORPG would be the way to go for that.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 04:05 pm:
I think the War3 team has been well-established for quite a while. I don't think these job listings are referencing Warcraft 3 at all.
Not that I'm saying I think they're necessarily for the undisclosed game, either, though I think it more likely than anything else.
By Tom Ohle on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 04:23 pm:
It should be the Blizz North team working on this next game... I'd expect it to be RPG-like for that very reason. An MMORPG would be awesome. A couple nights ago, I had a major craving for an RPG that didn't exist--I wanted great item selection (like Diablo), great story (like Baldur's Gate), fun combat (EverQuest) and awesome graphics (Vampire). If they make that... I'll pay. I'll pay a lot.
I ended up settling for BG.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 06:21 pm:
If you ask me, Baldur's Gate is so far the best RPG out there. (I just got the sequel, but haven't started it yet, because I haven't quite finished the first one. I understand the sequel is quite spectacular, though. It sounds fun.) Really, I have precious few complaints with it. But, then, I don't complain very much...I liked Ultima: Ascension, after all.
By Doug Jones on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 06:26 pm:
I doubt there going MMORPG even blizzard might have a hard time making it with so many others around And there not exactly all about taking chances. I doubt it is blizz North making the new one because I think "project X" was rumored even announced not long after Diablo was released and they have been working on it well Blizz north was slaving away on the expansion pack. Also Blizzard does have that "team2" So we know not all there guys have been working on War3. I thought for a moment perhaps a turnbased stratagy game? But Blizz has always pushed for realtime titles I know diablo was originally soppose to be turnbased. So nevermind that they usually dont sell a million + copies anyway so that would never do.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 06:54 pm:
It seems like they've been more willing to take risks lately. Going to 3D for Warcraft 3 was a bold move, as a lot of fans of strategy games don't want them in 3D, and that very thing has killed other games. Granted, they're general policy is not "Go out on a limb" exactly, but who can say what lies ahead?
If I were a betting man, I'd say it's either going to be an FPS or an MMORPG. It wouldn't shock me if it was a non-Diablo-like RPG (less hack-and-slash), more like Baldur's Gate, either, except that then they might be competing with themselves. I know I wouldn't mind seeing one of those, though. An MMORPG seems a little more like something they'd do than an FPS, but neither would surprise me, and either would likely be wonderful.
Mark, I don't think they have any plans to charge for Battle.Net. Everything I've heard from them has said they really like having it be free, and that they want to keep it that way. (Granted that was all before the collapse of the net, but still...)
Nevertheless, there's nothing that says an MMORPG would have to run via Battle.Net. It's already got so much traffic that they'd probably need separate servers if they decided to go that route, anyway.
By Aszurom on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 09:03 pm:
"And it's too much fun speculating, oh, maybe a mixture of I-War and an FPS ya know. You battle in your spaceships and then dock with enemy ships for space pirate battles in FPS mode. :)"
Just wanted to state that "I get the joke". Nobody else seemed to catch this crafty Derek bash. I did, because I'm a trained professional.
By Geo on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 09:41 pm:
You give me way too much credit. I don't recall Battlecruiser having an FPS mode. The bash was not intended because I'm not that bright!! :)
By Xaroc on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 09:47 pm:
Heh, Aszurom, I thought it meant that as well. I just didn't want to bring up "he who shall remain nameless" and summon him to this board. :) We already have wumpus we don't need DS. ;)
By DerekSmart on Friday, May 25, 2001 - 11:17 pm:
You all wanna piece of me!!!!!! Come and flame my butt, I dare ya! *shakes butt*
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Saturday, May 26, 2001 - 06:42 am:
hey, i tried a little of the BCM demo, it actually seems not too bad...it worked for me. though the complexity of it is beyond me right now! didnt play it enough yet. but the demo seemed stable!
By Geo on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 12:48 pm:
Was readin' PC Zone interview with Bill Roper. No big revelation, but one sort interesting quote:
Ta dah! Oh it means nothing but thought I'd just mention it. :)
If the development team thought it would be a good idea to make a Diablo strategy or FPS game, we'd certainly consider it. It would all depend on what made sense and what would be compelling.
Hmmm...interesting. I'd bet that it won't be a Diablo game, though. Roper's too cagey to give it away that easily.
I'm guessing a Starcraft-inspired shooter.
By Bub (Bub) on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 01:53 pm:
"I'm guessing a Starcraft-inspired shooter."
Didn't they deny a Starcraft connection though? (Maybe they just denied Starcraft 2). Still, I think this is a capital idea! Especially if they balanced it a la Aliens vs. Predator.
By Geo on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 04:44 pm:
Their site FAQ denies their to-be-announced game is Starcraft 2. And their PR person in their E3 report was saying the rumors on the Web were far off the mark (FPS Starcraft, MMORPG Diablo seem the most rampant rumors) and that it was a Giant announcement.
Doing SC as an FPS would seem too close to C&C: Renegade in concept but since WC was first considered a C&C knockoff, well who knows? But FPSs don't sell 1.5-2 million copies quickly or reach most casual gamers, and that's what Blizz has to live up to these days.
I'm still betting it's either something in a new world finally or a sequel in name to one of their pre-Warcraft titles. Considering the hell they're going through on battle.net I can't see them getting into the server hell of MMORPGs at this point. :)
By Mark Asher on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 06:41 pm:
"Considering the hell they're going through on battle.net I can't see them getting into the server hell of MMORPGs at this point. :)"
At least then they have a revenue stream. Battle.net operates at a loss now.
Maybe it is something entirely new. Maybe they want to have a fourth franchise going.
By Dave Long on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 07:07 pm:
Third person action sequel to Blackthorn! Please!
By Dave Long on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 07:09 pm:
Make that Blackthorne with an E!
By Geo on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 09:48 pm:
If they do MMORPG, Bill Roper will have to just gobble up a flock of crows since he constantly says they have no plans to ever charge for multiplayer gaming. :) But he'll probably eat crow for SOMEthing I'm sure. Or I will. :)
I'm trying to analyze things like an anal stockmarket analyst would. So I'm drinking a beer and thinking, "What types of games are selling million plus right now in fairly short amounts of times?" FPS? No. Turn-based strategy? *weeps* No. Incubation clones?? *weeps more* No. X-Com Clones? *cries uncontrollably* No. RTSs? Just doesn't seem like they'd followup WC3 with something similar.
Sim-type games like The Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon? Yes. But what would Blizzard do there? Hmmmm. Tristram Tycoon? The Orc-Sims?
By Mark Asher on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 09:58 pm:
Blizzard games are million+ sellers too. If they really wanted to play it safe, they'd do Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, etc.
Maybe it's a movie. I know they've talked about doing a movie based on one of their games.
By Geo on Saturday, June 2, 2001 - 10:15 pm:
I feel a Top 10 list coming on!
10 Blizzard Proposals that Joined Warcraft Adventures in Purgatory:
10) Diablo Rogue Magic Hair Styling Color Set
9) Duriel-Man (like Pac-Man but Duriel runs around a cramped maze gobbling hapless little adventurers who constantly scream "This isn't fair!" and "Jesus this is only Act 2!")
8) Whack-a-Bill-Roper (as Bill Roper pops out of his gopher holes to toss indefatigable answers to fan site Webmaster and journalist questions, Whack Him!)
7) Duriel-Man 2: Torture Edition (in the cancelled sequel, Duriel chases you around a Maggot Lair maze that goes on forever and ever and ever til you're left screaming for it to end. Kind of like Act 3 in Diablo II).
6) Blizzard Tycoon (as an ambitious new developer geek at Blizzard, it's your job to shepherd your ideas for original new games past the marketing police at Blizzard.
"How many copies will this sell?
"600,000! And if we get TV ads..."
"600,000??? That's ALL??? YOU DISGRACE! Get security in here and take this lunatic away!"
5) The Warcraft-imsTycoon
A dynamic mixture of Black & White (teach your Orc to poop!), The Sims (help your Orc buy new furniture and utensils at the local Orc Mall) and Rollercoaster Tycoon (build little wooden and stone rollercoasters and watch your Orcs vomit and rip each other's heads off)
4) Majestic: Blizzard Edition
You're barraged with phone calls, e-mails, faxes and vibrating pagers on just what the next Blizzard game will be. Who's telling the truth? Who'll die if they are telling the truth? What are they trying to hide? Do you even care?
Well, D2 and Daikatana both had frogs. 'nuff said!
2) Diablo Fashion Designer
Why kill things when the main reason people play is simply to admire each other's outfits!
1) Survivor: Tristram
A Paladin, Barbarian, Sorceress, Amazon, Necromancer, Warrior, Wizard and Rogue are all left on a deserted Warcraft island. Will your character be the last voted off the island? Will your character sleep with all the other characters? Will your character become another really annoying talk show guest notable for his/her total lack of talent?
"Hi, I'm the Warrior, and I'm the only guy on this island who can repair things by the way."
"Hi, I'm a Rogue and unlike the Amazon, I don't look like a Russian pro wrestler."
"Hey, you take that back!"
"Hello, I'm a Warrior and unlike the Paladin and Barbarian, I can speak in complete sentences, AND I won't try to give you Jehovah's Witnesses pamphlets..."
"Ugh. You try make fun of me? Ugh."
"I know not of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, I do have some pamphlets about the Church of Zakuram! Join us, and live like rats in a sinking vessel!"