Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.
Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.
I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)
***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.
The recent Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer press release had a sweet image attachment containing the newest Alex Horley artwork adding the necromancer to the roster of Diablo III heroes versus Diablo the Prime Evil. It is wicked and cool to add as your wallpaper.
Right-click the image and select “Open in a new tab” for the full size (10747 x 7212)
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Diablo III Patch 2.6.0 with free content (even if you don’t buy the Rise of the Necromancer pack). The content includes new creatures, Challenge Rifts, Shrouded Moors (Act II), the Temple of the Firstborn, and the Realms of Fate (Act IV).
Update: Noticed the tax increased the amount from $14.99 to $16.32 total. The WoW Token won’t be enough to cover that. I had to add $1.00 via credit card to complete the amount.
Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer is on sale after June 27th for $14.99, but you can get it for Free with a WoW Token. Free in the sense that there is no actually cash or credit card involved, but it costs World of Warcraft in-game gold instead.
This is how to buy Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer with a WoW Token.
1. Go to Orgrimmar or Stormwind.
2. Open the Auction House window.
3. Click the WoW Token tab.
4. Purchase the WoW Token for 128,901 gold. (This amount might vary from server to server and location)
5. Go to your in-game Mailbox.
6. Click the WoW Token in your bag/inventory. A window opens onscreen asking you to choose Game Time or Blizzard Balance. In this case, choose Blizzard Balance.
7. What this does is give you credit for $15 in Blizzard Balance. Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer costs $14.99, which make it Free at the cost of World of Warcraft gold.
8. If you go to the Battle.net Account Management page (USA | Europe) you can now see $15.49 in your Battle.net Balance.
Update: The tax raises the cost to $16.32. You might still have to use a credit card to add a minimum of $1.00 and it might take up to three days for the Blizzard Balance to update the extra amount. As discovered today, it turned into a hassle.
9. On June 27, go to Diablo3.com and purchase Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer using your Battle.net Balance.
A week before the official launch of Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer, Blizzard Entertainment featured today a first look into The Shrouded Moors. You can read further details at the official website.
Sanctuary is a big place, and in Patch 2.6.0 it’s about to get bigger! With new areas appearing in Acts II and IV of Adventure Mode, there are more places to explore, more bounties to complete, and more monsters to slay.
The pricing by itself is kinda surprising. It is quite a low price compared with other pricing models for other Blizzard games. In addition to the new hero, two stashes, two slots, and the other cosmetic perks (for $14.99), Blizzard is also giving you new areas: Shrouded Moors (Act II), Temple of the Firstborn, Realms of Fate (Act IV); plus the Greater Rift Challenge Mode feature– these are provided to the players for free in the upcoming Diablo III patch 2.6.0.
Personally, I don’t think there will be a Diablo IV any time soon. For example, StarCraft II is a 6-year old game that went through three episodes (if we may call them that): Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. Then, Blizzard released a three-part pack: Nova Covert Ops for … $14.99. Is that pricing model familiar? Then they also release a new Co-Op Commander every few months for $4.99.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced the official release date for the Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer pack. On June 27, the pack will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 for $14.99 in the United States. Read the press release, and afterwards the FAQ.
IRVINE, Calif.– As the Burning Hells invade Sanctuary and all hope seems lost, an unlikely hero rises to restore balance to the world, calling forth an army of the dead and cleansing the land of evil. From the crypts deep beneath Blizzard Entertainment today came a dark invocation proclaiming that the Rise of the Necromancer™ pack, which summons the much-anticipated necromancer class into Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, will be unleashed June 27 — available to those in the living realm digitally in-game on PC or through the online Blizzard Shop, PlayStation®Store, and Xbox One Store.
Nevalistis announced (3 hours ago by the time of this posting) that the Necromancer beta test has officially ended. The link will work for a week (for those who are flagged to participate in beta. It is not visible to non-beta testers).
A sad panda moment for beta testers, but a great moment for those beta testers and to the general public. The release date has not been announced yet, but it is crystal clear that the Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer pack will release within weeks reach.
While no release date has been announced yet, we do have two dates that might shed some light. First, the Diablo III Season 10 ends on June 23. Season 11 starts on July 20 (as per the official Season Schedule). So it might be safe to speculate the release date might be in between these two dates.
The Necromancer Beta has now ended.
We want to take a moment to thank all of your for your honest, detailed feedback provided throughout the course of the Beta. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being a part of bringing the next Diablo III class to life!
We’ll leave the forums open until the end of this week (June 23) in case you wish to archive anything. After that, we’ll be closing them down.
Recently (on March 27, 2016), Blizzard Entertainment announced the development of StarCraft: Remastered where the developers are remaking all the graphic assets to support 4K Ultra HD video cards and Monitors.
A recent Blizzard Entertainment job opening, furthermore, hints ongoing plans to develop a remastered version of Diablo II and Warcraft III, as well. These have not been officially announced, but the wording used in the job opening erases any doubt that this is the plan. After mentioning StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II, the job opening clearly states: “We’re restoring them to glory.”
That’s quite an endevour, and the question one can particularly ask is whether the entire server infrastructure will get an upgrade as well, moving those classic games now in 4K to the Blizzard Launcher. That in particular has not been clarified by Blizzard Entertainment, but certainly would be a great question to ask.
Senior Software Engineer, Server
Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation.
We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done.
If you like wearing many hats, know small teams are the most effective, and look forward to challenges that will create millions of new adventures for our players, we would love to hear from you.
Implement server infrastructure changes to support new gameplay features.
Improve architecture design to reduce operation cost
Create conditions for experiences that look as good as they play.
Own implementation and curation of features new and old.
Diagnose and fix all the things: crashes, deadlocks, overflows, heap corruptions, etc.
Implement, maintain, and own infrastructure for the Diablo franchise
Strong knowledge of C / C++
A minimum of 5 years’ experience in development
Experience with client / server architecture
Experience debugging unfamiliar code
A mind towards scalability and performance
Passion for games
Linux development experience
Database experience (e.g., MySQL, Oracle)
Distributed systems experience
Cloud technologies (AWS, VM’s, Openstack)
Low level network knowledge and diagnosis including packet capture (e.g., tcpdump, wireshark), routing, firewalls, DHCP, DNS, and NAT busting
What would Diablo II Remastered or Warcraft III Remastered look like? Let’s take a look at the StarCraft: Remastered samples. Blizzard won’t change the basic look. Just refine it to look great in 4K Ultra HD. The gameplay will be the same as the old experience. The video interview at the bottom of this page says a StarCraft player playing the SD version against a player playing the HD version will have the same gameplay experience. Both SD and 4K players can play against each other in the same match with no difference other than the graphics quality.
Thus, we will have the same old gameplay experience of Diablo II and Warcraft III, except the graphics will be high-resolution for 4K Ultra HD. Learn more about the StarCraft: Remastered at the official site. Again, Blizzard Entertainment has not officially announced Diablo II: Remastered nor Warcraft III: Remastered.
**Title changed to “hints” as requested by _Enferian_ and other redditors.
A fan going by SharkyIzrod pointed out that Blizzard Entertainment used the same flavor text of this job posting quote-by-quote back in 2015. Though, delisted long ago, I found it via the Web Archive. That old job opening was originally posted on November 4, 2015.
The only thing that is not quote-by-quote is the Pluses, and a few words in the requirements. This might dishearten some people, but obviously, that 2015 job opening was for the Classic Games team that eventually started developing StarCraft: Remastered back then.
Now, here is the thing… the job opening of my article was last cached by google on April 14, 2017.
That was April 2017. The Blizzard Careers Team posted it again, 3 weeks ago, in Linkedin. It is June 17, 2017 and the job opening is still listed, which means the position hasn’t been filled. These pages are delisted when the position has been filled. The StarCraft: Remastered is shipping on Summer 2017. The job opening doesn’t specify that it is a temporary job. At this point, it is safe to say that the new job posting is for the next Classic Game project after StarCraft: Remastered is shipped.
Update 2: Bombshell
Researching online I stumbled upon a recent video interview by Yahoo eSports discussing StarCraft: Remastered with senior producer Pete Stilwell posted in YouTube on April 13, 2017.
Pete: “Once we have got this thing shipped in the state that we want it to, we will start looking at the other games. So (chuckles) nothing official to say today.”
So it is not a matter of “IF,” but a matter of “WHEN” Diablo II and Warcraft III will get the Remastered treatment. The video interview says it took the Classic Games Team one year to make the StarCraft: Remastered. Currently, there are 20+ developers in the Classic Games Team.
The full video interview can be watched here.
Update 3: UI/UX Visual Designer (Job Posting)
A job opening was posted by Blizzard Entertainment, requesting for a UI/UX Visual Designer. Now … why would Blizzard hire this specific designer for, for a game that was released in the early 2000s? Unless … Blizzard is remastering Diablo II or Warcraft III to support 4K?
UI/UX stands for User Interface / User Experience. According to CareerFoundry: “While User Experience is a conglomeration of tasks focused on optimization of a product for effective and enjoyable use; User Interface Design is its compliment, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of a product.”
Looking up online, this UI/UX Visual Designer job opening was posted on May 23, 2017. A Classic Games Team member, Brissia Jimenez, posted on her Twitter the candidate will work with her.
Why does this matter? Because the StarCraft: Remastered UI/UX is already finished, and the game is shipping in a few weeks (Summer 2017).
UI/UX Visual Designer
Do you understand that experiences outside gameplay are as integral as those within? Would you like to be part of blurring the lines of where the game ends? Can you crawl inside players’ heads – without lobotomizing them – and emerge with clear direction? Do you believe aesthetics are as important as flow?
Classic Games is looking for a renaissance designer to harmonize that which was, with that which will be. Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo await your machinations. If you have the desire to rise to that challenge, we’d love to hear from you.
Breathe the original soul of our classics into new forms and experiences
Gain understanding; prototype; create; iterate; Champion implementation
Own experience and graphic design
Iterate based on player and team feedback
Vision; fortitude; optimism
Enjoy the scrutiny of millions of passionate players
A minimum of 4 years in graphic design, UX, UI design, or similar experience
Required Application Materials
URL or PDF of your portfolio
Don’t summarize your Resume, we promise we’ll read it too
Why you are interested in working on Classic Games?
What games you are currently playing?
Here is a sample of what a UI/UX Designer did for StarCraft: Remastered. You can find the image (below) at the original page over at StarCraft.com
Thanks to the following gaming sites featuring our article:
Blizzard Entertainment reached out to fansites to inform they will have a special livestream where the Developers will provide a deep dive into the new Challenge Rifts feature, and a first look at the Challenge Rifts mechanics. You can watch the livestream today Fri June 2 at 1pm PT (4pm ET).
Bone Spear (Base Rune): Summon a piercing bone projectile that causes 450% 500% weapon damage to all enemies it passes through.
Bone Spear (Blood Spear Rune): Bone Spear turns into Blood Spear. Damage is increased to 518% 650% weapon damage at the cost of 10% health.
Bone Spirit (Possession Rune): Bone Spirit will now charm the target for 10 sec at the cost of 10% 5% health.
Command Golem (Ice Golem Rune): Command the Golem to the targeted location where it freezes enemies for 3 sec and increases their chance to be critically struck by 10% for 10 sec. Command the Golem to launch an icy blast at the target location, freezing enemies for 3 sec and increasing their chance to be critically struck by 10% for 10 sec. The cooldown has been reduced from 60 to 45 sec.
Corpse Explosion (Final Embrace Rune): Corpses pull themselves towards the nearest enemy before exploding, but Corpse Explosion now costs 3% 2% life per corpse.
Corpse Lance (Blood Lance Rune): Spend 5% 2% of your total health to launch an additional lance from yourself towards the target that deals 250% weapon damage.
Decrepify (Base Rune): A crippling curse that reduces the enemy units' movement speed by 75% and reduces damage done by 20% 30% for 30 sec.
Decrepify (Wither Rune): Damage reduction increased to 30% 40%, but no longer reduces movement speed.
Leech (Base Rune): Curse the target area. Cursed enemies have a chance to heal the attacker when they are struck for 1% 2% of their total health. Lasts 30 sec.
Leech (Cursed Ground Rune): Now curses the ground, healing you for 0.5% 1% of your max life every sec for each enemy in the cursed area.
Simulacrum: The health cost per use has been reduced from 50% to 25%.
Rigor Mortis: Blight abilities also slow enemies by 30% and reduce their attack speed by 15% 30% for 5 sec.
Fixed an issue which prevented Bone Spirit from properly detonating when cast directly in melee range of a target enemy.
BONES OF RATHMA
(2) Set Bonus: Your pets have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 sec each time they deal damage.
(4) Set Bonus - You gain 1% damage reduction for 5 15 sec each time your pets deal damage. Max 50 stacks.
(6) Set Bonus - Each active Skeleton Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 200% 250%.
(2) Set Bonus - Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune.
(4) Set Bonus - While at full life, your healing from skills is added to your max life for 45 sec. Up to 100% more.
(6) Set Bonus - Spending 10% life grants you a stack of Blood Cascade up to 50 times. Each stack of Blood Cascade increases the damage of life spending attacks by 200% and also increases the life you lose by 10%. Using a skill to heal will consume a stack and heal for an additional 300%. Healing from skills consumes one stack regardless of how many targets are hit. Command Skeletons (Dark Mending Rune) and Land of the Dead (Land of Plenty Rune) no longer consume stacks or receive increased healing. Your Life-spending attacks deal 3300% increased damage but cost twice as much Life. Your healing from skills is increased by 100%.
GRACE OF INARIUS
(2) Set Bonus - Bone Armor's damage is increased by 1000%.
(4) Set Bonus - Bone Armor stacks are now refreshed. In addition, Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit.
(6) Set Bonus - Bone Armor also activates a Bone Tornado damaging nearby enemies by 375% 750% weapon damage per sec as Physical. Enemies hit by the tornado take 850% 2750% additional damage from the Necromancer's abilities and minions.
PESTILENCE MASTER'S SHROUD
(2) Set Bonus - Each corpse you consume fires a corpse fragment Corpse Lance at a nearby enemy, dealing 800% weapon damage.
(4) Set Bonus - Each enemy hit by Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2% up to a max of 50%. Lasts 15 sec.
(6) Set Bonus - Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 1000% 3000%. This effect stacks up to 30 100 times.
JAIROAN JESSETH ARMS
(2) Set Bonus - Army of the Dead gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune When the target of yoru Command Skeleton dies, your skeletons are automatically commanded to attack a nearby target. While your skeletons are commanded to attack a target, all of your minions deal 400% increased damage.
Fixed an issue preventing Bloodsong Mail from correctly granting the Enforcer rune when Land of the Dead was active.
Fixed an issue preventing the damage bonus from Krysbin's Sentence to apply to pets.
Necromancer Golems and Witch Doctor Gargantuans will now destroy breakables they step on.