Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a 3D Artist to join an unannounced game team. This is not for the Overwatch game nor for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
Something interesting is the job opening tweeted had a photo of the sign on the door with the words “There is no cow level”.
Now there are a few possibilities here. Either:
1. The sign is just an in-house joke, and the unannounced game has nothing to do with the Diablo universe. Or…
2. The unannounced game is related to the Diablo universe, and the sign is hinting at this. (“There is No Cow Level” is what the Cow King says when you open the gate to Wymsyshire in reference to Diablo II’s Cow Level.)
Regardless of whatever the sign means or whether it has no meaning at all, there are a few possible scenarios for this unannounced game to be.
What this unannounced game is NOT:
1. It is NOT StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. It was announced at BlizzCon 2014 and we have known the title name since 2008.
2. It is NOT a World of Warcraft expansion. Warlords of Draenor just launched.
3. It is NOT Overwatch. There is a list of job openings under the title OVERWATCH.
4. It is NOT the Next-Gen MMO Titan (that was officially cancelled a few months ago)
What this unannounced game might potentially be:
1. A Diablo III expansion
2. A Diablo-related game in a different Genre such as an MMO or card game?
3. New IP (not related to Warcraft, StarCraft, or Diablo) in a genre Blizzard is familiar with or not familiar with. (Blizzard has demonstrated it is not the RTS exclusive developer. So far Blizzard has adventured into the MMORPG, CCG, a Brawler multiplayer game, and now a team-based shooter/FPS).
4. StarCraft: Ghost was never officially cancelled. It was merely postponed for another time. So it might actually show up someday unless Blizzard finally cancels it. Only thing is the storyline of the Nihilistic/Swingin’ Ape Studio/then Blizzard era is outdated. It might have to be either a new story or it might even have no single-player component like Overwatch which lacks one — which is a first for Blizzard.
For now, we won’t know what this unannounced game is all about until Blizzard makes an official reveal announcement either at GamesCom, PAX East or BlizzCon. Until then we can only hope and speculate.
Interested in this job position? Head over to the application form.
3D Artist – Unannounced Games/Projects
Blizzard Entertainment is looking for an exceptionally skilled 3D artist to work on Blizzard Entertainment’s next epic game! The ideal candidate has extensive experience designing, modeling, and texturing a diverse visual range of in game, real time environments, props, and characters. This person also has a solid grasp of form, color, and lighting for both 2D and 3D art assets to help bring our amazing universe to life. The 3d artist must also have a skill in another art task as well (illustration, modeling, texturing, animation, or concept drawing).
- A minimum of 3 years’ of experience in game development modeling, and texturing 3D assets using 3DS Max and Photoshop (or equivalent 3D and 2D programs)
- An exceptional understanding of form, shape, structure, and silhouette in regard to modeling
- Superior eye for light, shade, color, and detail in creating texture maps of different material types
- Understanding of the Warcraft visual style, and a passion to push it to the next level
- Self-motivation, good communications skills, and a great team-player attitude
- A passion for video games
- Have shipped AAA PC, or console titles, as a 3D environment or character artist
- Experience with Mudbox, ZBrush, (or equivalent modeling programs)
- Experience with the creation of next-gen shaders, and materials
- Strong foundation in the traditional arts including, but not limited to, figure drawing, and environmental and / or architectural illustration
- Able to create stylized concept art and illustration
- Portfolio, and / or reel demonstrating relevant artistic skills required
- Only online artwork submissions will be accepted (e.g. website, blog or online album)
I am fortunate to be one of the lucky people who played the Diablo III demo showcased at Blizzcon 2008 in Anaheim. Not only was it a pleasure to play it, but left me craving for more. I decided to create a female Wizard. She spawns in the outskirts of the Tristram Woods where Captain Rumford and an armored warrior are piling up a bonfire of corpses. The warrior can be seen transporting the corpses off a wagon and into the bonfire.
Captain Rumford says they are burning the corpses to prevent them from rising as undead. NPCs that have something to say have a black oval with dots hovering above them when you place the cursor over them. A popup window displays the “introduction” option, feature that remains a constant from Diablo II. However, not only does each NPC talk to you. Your very own character talks back, interacting with the NPCs. By saying talk, I mean both: the NPC and your character have voice over actors adding emotion and life to the Action / RPG.
Read below a lengthy preview on various features observed in the Diablo III hands-on demo
I started pressing keys to see what options were available. Pressing (C) opens the Character window, Inventory (I), Quest (Q), Skill trees (S), and mini-map toogle (N), Game Menu (ESCAPE button)
At level 5, these were the stats I found on my Wizard character. Hope these stats offer you a better scope of how the Wizard stats and abilities work:
Melee damage: 2-8 | Spell damage: 12-23 | Armor: 34
- 16 Strength – Physical damage bonus: 16% | Armor Bonus 26%
- 28 Dexterity – Crit chance 7.0% | Dodge chance: 7.0
- 18 Vitality – Life: 56 | Mana Regen: 0.9 sec.
- 94 Willpower – Spell damage bonus: 52.8% | Health globe bonus: 0.0%
In Diablo II, you get points after leveling to spend on these four stats. In Diablo III, thus far, these stats increase automatically. You no longer have control over where these points are spent into. At the bottom of the Character (C) window, you can find a table with two columns displaying the following data:
|1.20 Attacks per second
70% Physical crit chance
150.0% Physical crit damage
|0.0% Block amount
6.0% Block chance
2.5% Physical damage reduction
At the bottom left of the Character (C) window you will find your character resistances. These can be determined by icons:
Blue snowflake = Frost
Red Flame = Fire
Purple Thunder = Lightning
Green Skull = Poison
Yellow icon = Arcane
The Inventory window shows a lot of visual information. It has a simple and intuitive UI frame with colorful gradients of orange and dark brown, and stylized symbols that highlight a gothic-like feeling. You can see your character model viewer which allows you to rotate your character. Around the viewer, you have 12 gear slots: helm, medallion, chest, sash, 2 rings, weapon, shield, boots, pants, gloves, and shoulder. Between the weapon and the shield is a strange circle. When clicking it, a new window pops forward. Based on the demo observation and loot, this window with 9 circles resembles the Glyphs window from World of Warcraft. In the case of Diablo 3, these 9 circles are reserved for Runes. Thus far in the Blizzcon demo, only the Wizard can equip runes. (i.e. certain monsters may randomly drop a minor power rune).
Beneath the character viewer and gear slots can be seen the bag inventory—all in the same window. There are 30 slots, but only a few are enabled. You can expand to the full 30 slots by adding bags into the bag slots. On the bottom-right you can see four slots. There is where you drag the bags into. By dropping the bag item into that slot, you increase the amount of slots enabled. Eventually your goal is to enable all 30 slots. Each slot is thin and tall, and certain items can stack in the same slot. Doesn’t look like there is a special slot bar for potions, but mini-health potions have been seen, as well as elixir of dexterity and elixir of vitality which may have durations of up to 300 seconds (5 minutes).
Not much was revealed about [WIKI]Runes[/WIKI]. [WIKI]Barbarian[/WIKI] and [WIKI]Witchdoctor[/WIKI] classes don’t have runes enabled in the Blizzcon demo, so it looks like it is something still in the works. In a press panel, [WIKI]Jay Wilson[/WIKI] revealed these runes will change the visual effects of your character and its spells/abilities. Imagine your lightning spell increasing its glow making it look more powerful and actually increasing your damage output.
You may toggle the mini-map by pressing (N). It is more effective than the old Diablo II map overlay (tab). The mini-map is located on the upper-right corner. It has no frame like the World of Warcraft circle framed mini-map. It has an unframed tall rectangular area. By pressing the arrow keys you can move the mini-map in any direction. To reset simply press (N) twice, or escape.
How is this new mini-map more effective? Diablo II’s overlay map would take the whole screen, and would interfere your line of sight affecting what you could see on-screen. By placing the overlay map to the upper-right corner, your whole screen is visible for gameplay purposes. Each [WIKI]NPC[/WIKI] is displayed as a tiny yellow dot. Place your mouse cursor over the yellow dots, and automatically a window pops up above the dot displaying the name of the NPC. You can see and identify NPCs ahead of you, not yet within visual range. Update: Monsters are not displayed by the mini-map. You will still have the element of surprise. The mini-map helps you locate NPCs that might have a quest for you, or some interaction options to learn some lore.
RARE MONSTERS / BOSS
In Diablo II, it was hard sometimes to notice a rare [WIKI]monster[/WIKI] among a bunch of mobs. Sometimes you would even get killed before noticing a rare was behind that bunch of mobs. In Diablo III, before the rare monster or boss enters into view, a name tag pops at the top-center with a health bar. The health bar is divided into a few rectangles. The health bar / name tag window displays the special attributes of the monster (i.e. a rare named Head of Grief had three attributes beneath its name tag: Vampiric, Froze, Fast.
While exploring the world, you will find NPCs with a yellow exclamation sign floating above their head. When you accept the [WIKI]quest[/WIKI], the title and objectives are displayed onscreen at the right-center for few seconds, then fades out. You can access the quest window by pressing (Q). It’s very similar to World of Warcraft. After walking away from the bonefire of corpses at the Tristram Woods, you enter the Ruins of Tristram. There are a few destroyed buildings. You can see the Physix engine in action when randomly some debris of the ruins crumble down. Placing your mouse cursor over some of the door signs you will find Griswold’s Blacksmith Shop. While exploring, you find a well. It can be highlighted if you place your cursor on. A quest starts and it is automatically displayed onscreen to the right: Little Girl Lost. Objective: Find a way to free the little girl’s spirit from the old well in Tristram.
When you stand near the well you can hear the girl’s voice over and weeping. She is trapped inside the well. Something funny … some of her quotes resemble that of the girl in the Poltergeist film. Exploring further into the Tristram ruins you find a female ghost and listen to her voice over which is repeated over and over randomly: Where has gone my girl? She must be so lonely. She never goes away without her doll. She’s lost without it!
Not far from the ghost you will find a chest on the ground. Within lies the doll. Loot it and return to the well. The quest is completed as you return the doll. The spirit of the girl ascends from within the deep well and thank you. A reward is automatically placed in your inventory. You will read a message onscreen saying how much XP (experience) you gained, and the name of the looted item. In my case, a Socketed Boots of Brawn (+9 armor, 1 socket, + 2 strength).
Before reaching the Cathedral of Tristram entrance, you will find [WIKI]zombies[/WIKI] kneeled on the ground as if eating from a body. Once you kill them, the body on the ground – tagged Dying Adventurer – automatically highlights a yellow exclamation sign enabling a new quest: The Return of the Skeleton King.
The voice over says something along these lines: “Please … listen to me! The fire, somehow … it awoke him. The Skeleton King’s evil haunts the cathedral once more.”
Your character’s voice over says: “Skeleton King, huh? Sounds interesting. Rest easy. I will show him the err of his ways.”
Enter the cathedral. Eventually you will find an NPC with a yellow sign on his head. Take the quest. Guess who the NPC is? If you have played Diablo 1 or have visited DiabloWiki.net the name Lachdanan will ring a bell. He was the loyal friend of King Leoric in Diablo 1. Lachdanan killed King Leoric, who cursed him on his last dying breath.
SCROLLS & BOOKS
This is probably the most lovely lore source feature for players who decide to immerse themselves into the world of Sanctuary. Let’s say you enter a dungeon, and find a pedestal. When you highlight the pedestal, by moving your mouse cursor over it and clicking it, you loot the book. Open your Inventory (I) and click the book or scroll. A sound clip pops up at the bottom-right of the screen. Underneath the clip are three buttons: play, stop, close. It is a voice over recording telling the story within the book.
For example, in the Cathedral of Tristram, the Journal of King Leoric tells his story during the time Diablo possessed his son Albrecht (Diablo I).
The three buttons to the right of the main UI correspond to the Left Mouse button, Right Mouse button and an alternate Right button that switches those last two by pressing TAB button.
- Click the left mouse button to move and attack enemies.
- Click right mouse button to use the assigned skill
- Press the alt key to show all dropped items
- Use the 1-4 keys to activate assigned hot bar skills
- Right-click on a hot bar, or mouse button slot to assign a new skill.
- Press TAB or scroll the mouse wheel to swap between right mouse and alternate right mouse skills.
The Skeleton King appears at the third level of the Tristram Cathedral. Former King Leoric has a large axe. As told by Jay Wilson in the past, boss events can feel epic without the town portal escape trick or the heal potion spam mechanic. Once the Skeleton King engages in combat, dozens of zombies enter the room to attack you. The boss has an animation that alerts you when he is about to slam his long axe toward you. The idea here is to attack him a few times, and run away before he slams the axe in front of him. It can be avoided. Kill a few mobs for health orbs, and attack the Skeleton King again. Rinse and repeat. I was able to kill King Leoric without dying by doing these steps. Sadly, the Diablo III demo finished after killing this first boss, with a message from Blizzard congratulating me for killing the Skeleton King in this BlizzCon 2008 demo.
After playing the demo at Blizzcon, I can only say—hopefully not sounding heretic – that I loved Diablo III, and look forward for the announcement of the remaining two classes. No release date for Diablo III unfortunately, but personally I wish this game was on stores around October 2009. Gameplay mechanics are very similar to Diablo II, except much better. The graphics are vibrant and colorful, without taking away the epic and dark feel of the previous games. The Physix engine honors the [WIKI]Barbarian[/WIKI] class pretty well, smashing stuff and debris in all directions.
You can click emblems on the walls, that activate a mechanism that drops a candelabrum. If timed correctly, it could smash onto a group of mobs. If you move your character quickly into the area the candelabrum drops on, your character gains daze effect for a few seconds (funny). It would be cool to interact more with objects and traps using the Physix engine to benefit you on bosses and monster encounters. For those who asked me recently if [WIKI]Stashes[/WIKI] and [WIKI]Waypoints[/WIKI] are returning in Diablo III, I asked [WIKI]Jay Wilson[/WIKI] and the answer is yes. Waypoints however will play a different function this time around. Upon death you respawn at the [WIKI]check point[/WIKI]. Check points I observed in the BlizzCon demo happen by the door toward the next catacomb (for example). Some objects spawn near you at the check point. You need to equip them again. This means no more running back to your corpse which is surrounded by 15 monsters. Diablo III is enhancing everything that was broken in Diablo II.
Blizzplanet will interview Richard A. Knaak on Saturday October 16th at 1:00 PM (Central Time / -6 GMT) on the following IRC Public Channel:
Fans may start parking on our IRC channel to discuss Blizzard games and Warcraft Lore, or simply open discussions. We are pleased to have Richard A. Knaak once more sharing part of his time with the fans to discuss his latest project War of the Ancients: Demon Soul. Back in February 18th, he spoke with fans from countries like China, Germany, Spain, France and many others. Richard told me in private that he enjoyed the interaction with Blizzard Fans. We invite you to come to the Public Channel above to make your questions about War of the Ancients: Demon Soul and Warcraft Manga.
Previous works of Richard A. Knaak among his over 25 books in the last 17 years are: Dungeon&Dragons (D&D) titles, Legend of Huma, Dragonlance, Dragonrealm, Minotaur Wars, Warcraft: Day of the Dragon and Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow. Feel free to share your questions for the interview and to discuss with other fans the warcraft lore and your experiences reading War of the Ancients: Well of Eternity (book 1), in our forums at the following Thread.
To celebrate Blizzplanet relaunch, we bring to you this interview and thanks to Richard 2 Exclusive screenshots of the upcoming Blizzard Project: Warcraft Manga
Q&A 03/10/04 | 3/11/2004 12:07:44 AM EST
Will we be able to visit the old deep sea oil rigs and foundries that existed in WarCraft II?
Even though it’s been well over 20 years since the time of WarCraft II, a vast array of historical sites can still be discovered. After so many years of war many of these places have become ruins. Some of the landmarks you might sight are ancient guard towers, abandoned oil refineries, ogre mounds etc.
Can players visit the Outland?
Players can visit the Outland once it becomes available. The Outland will become available through players summoning the Dark Portal. This will be a server-wide, world altering event. Once the portal is opened .. it will remain opened for good, allowing all players’ access to the Outland.
Can we go to Quel’Thalas?
Quel’Thalas will not initially be available however there are lands in place that border Quel’Thalas.
What famous places can we expect to see?
Some of the famous places that you can expect to see are Blackrock Spire where Lord Lothar was defeated, Mount Hyjal where the Burning Legion invaded the world and the Ruins of Lordaeron’s capital city where Prince Arthas murdered his father.
Do High Elves still exist or are they all Blood Elves now?
There are definitely still High Elves left in the world, although not many. Most of these are scattered along the borders of Quel’Thalas.
It’s important to know that the transformation from High Elf to Blood Elf is not physica in nature but is instead an ideological change. While the majority High Elves made the cross over to become Blood Elves, there is a small handful of High Elves that hold true to their original identities.
Including jewelry, will all equipped items be visible on our characters?
Most equipped items will be visible. At this time however, jewelry can not be seen without viewing a player’s paper doll.
Will the ammunition for ranged weapons have to be replaced?
Yes, the ammunition used for ranged weapons will be consumed as you use it. Ammo is inexpensive and sold in stacks of 100.
Will there be throwing weapons in the game and will these weapons be lost after they are thrown?
Both throwing daggers and axes are currently available. Like ammunition, throwing weapons are consumed as they are used. Likewise, they are inexpensive and purchased in stacks of 100.
Will there be more than one type of ammo for each ranged weapon?
Yes. Ranged damage is calculated by both the damage done with the weapon and damage done with the ammunition. Our plan is to have a variety of ammo types available for each weapon. For example, Engineers have the ability to craft various qualities of bullets and many vendors sell ammo of varying grades as well.
The Rogue’s poison ability is learned directly from their trainers. Like a tradeskill, poisoning does use recipes to create its deadly poisons; however, it is not a tradeskill and is instead a rogue only ability.
Do you need Alchemy and Herbalism to create poisons as a Rogue?
Alchemy will have no bearing on poisoning. A rogue might wish to explore Herbalism as some, but not all, of their recipes will require herbs. It’s also important to note that poison recipes will require a variety of ingredients which are bought from vendors, found on creature corpses and cultivated via the Herbalism skill.
What is the difference between the Warlock spell “Find Herbs” and the “Herbalism” skill?
Warlocks do not have a spell called “Find Herbs.” “Find Herbs” is a skill that comes as part of your apprenticeship in the field of Herbalism—it’s used to … well … help you find herbs.
I understand that Voidwalker pets lose life over time and Infernal pets are only brief summons. How long do they last? How often do they need to be resummoned?
Neither the Voidwalker nor the Infernal lose health over time. Both will remain with the Warlock until killed, unsummoned or the Warlock dies/logs out of the game.
Is the Imp still a useful pet to the Warlock at higher levels?
The Imp will continue to be a strong pet through all of the Warlock’s life due to its keen buffing abilities. This is especially true in group play as the Imp will automatically buff all members of the party and continue to refresh these buffs when needed.
Can we get an update/more information on racial benefits and abilities?
The racial trait system is currently being reworked. No updates at this time.
Will I be able to drop stuff on the ground so that someone else can pick it up?
Items can not be dropped on the ground for others to pick up. Items can be destroyed, traded or placed in bags and banks.
Are they still planning on eventually adding player housing?
Housing is still planned for after ship and is in early design which basically means that it’s currently a concept, a concept that continues to change and be modified. When we have a better idea on the scope of the project, we can better determine when housing will be released.
Will your mount appearances be customizable or will they all look alike?
There will be many varieties of mounts to choose from. Shopping around isn’t a bad idea if you are trying to find one that looks a certain way.
Do instanced dungeons automatically respawn after they are cleared out or does a new instance need to be entered to fight them again?
This really depends on the dungeon. As an example, Wailing Caverns in the Barrens does not automatically respawn while Shadowfang Keep in Silverpine Forest is set to continually respawn as it is cleared.
[16:16] hi kat
[16:16] Hi Kat
[16:16] is it really?
[16:16] Yap yap
[16:20] will leveling be a direct affect from combat or will there be other ways to level up?
[16:20] so in just hitting a tree with a sword?
[16:20] x[nin]Tons of quests in WoW
[16:20] Kat, Marry me! we can have a WoW marriage, your undead priest and my undead rogue its foolproof, we will be good together
[16:20] GhouL .. sorry but my hubby is an Undead Rogue .. already married
[16:21] Okay .. I have a question … As you all know .. each race has a mount (some unannounced yet) .. and that Warlocks also get a special “Nightmare” … does anyone know what other class gets a special mount and what it’s called? (Lots of wrong answers given here). Get your pens ready to write this down … because it’s new information The Paladin will have a high level quest to get his Charger .. which will be his/her mount Yes, a special War Horse .. Paladin only I haven’t seen one, so that’s the best description I can give at this point in time
[16:25] but it seems unfair to horde player cause they dont have a special-class-mount
[16:25] for shaman
[16:26] Eggo, good point … while I don’t know if this will be offset with a Horde Class specific mount, I do know that they are intending to balance out the factions, I’ll be sure to bring it to someone’s attention just in case it’s been missed
[16:26] Will the Warlock/Paladin special class mount be obtained the same way as racial mounts???
[16:27] Kredit, Warlock/Paladin mounts will be quested for … normal mounts will be bought and skilled for
[16:27] Kat, Can I ask why we can’t jump off a Air Taxi? and what will happen if you LD while on one?
[16:28] Zion, jumping off would kill you .. as for LD, I don’t honestly have an answer although I suspect when you log back in you’ll still be in the air flying
[16:29] Hmm..Well compared to DAoC I remember you would fall of the horse in the place you LD…So i was just thinking
[16:30] Zion, I doubt they will do that in WoW as some of the places you will fly over will be way over your level .. or even over the ocean ect.
[16:29] Kat, sup:) After you get level 60, will there be a whole bunch of super-duper hard equipment to gain that can still make your character much stronger? Lots of 60 requirment armor/swords that take super hard quests?
[16:31] MJ, that’s the plan and much more although we are still working on high level content. The game has been created from the ground up .. meaning that they started working on lvl 1 stuff and progressed in that way … so lvl 60 content is still being developed.
[16:31] Katricia, do you know about the boat rides/flight times, how long they will actually take since its real-time?
[16:32] Zeeg, the amount of time depends on the trip. I’ve taken flights that have lasted seconds and then some that have lasted a minute or two .. it all depends on your origin and destination
Can the warlock summon mount to his friend?
[16:33] Pan, no … the mount will be soul linked with his master and wouldn’t lower itself to allow another on it’s back. I was picking flowers all around Ironforge earlier today with her lil’ Gnome Warlock. As an FYI: We’re just now in the process of working with our Battlefield PvP .. and are experimenting with Seige types of weapons
[16:43] the quests in the PVP areas will have better rewards I remember reading.. that still true?
[16:43] : Xora, much about the PvP system is uncertain as it’s still in development ..
[16:44] Kat, recently posted on a fansite…WoW will use the RPS(rock/paper/scissor) model for PvP, can you confirm?
[16:45] : Kredit it’s very hard for me to talk too much about PvP due to the fact that anything I would say would have a high likelyhood of changing .. as I said earlier, it’s still in development
[16:46] Kat, as of now, how many hours of solid leveling does it take to get to level 20?
[16:46] : I’m not sure MJ .. I don’t get very much time to play
[16:50] @kat is gold useful ? or will the moneysystem collaps like as in many mmorpgs
[16:51] looks into the future .. yes, money will be useful
[16:51] from what blizz has said, money will be very important and useful
[16:52] any ‘secret/unlocked’ tradeskills that wont be mentioned at release?
[16:52] : There’s a new skinning tradeskill used for .. skinning animals for their hides (imagine that!)
[16:53] will there be guns for any race?
[16:53] I believe guns for any race .. but only for specific classes
[16:54] 04Kat can you comment on Mage pets?
[16:54] : No
[16:55] Only kat may use colored text or emotes.
[16:55] dances around at her power to be the only one with pretty text colors
[17:03] as far as i know, i asked before about aura weapons, and they are apparently in… you can have a flaming sword, and it does extra damage, some unique weapons automatically get this as a trait, but some can be e
[17:03] Exactly Ghoul
[17:06] 12does anyone know what the troll moun
t will be?
The gnomes are already so cute .. seeing them on sheep would be great I’ve got to run folks .. sorry I couldn’t stay longer .. thanks Raal and all the good folks at blizzard guilds for inviting me .. have a great weekend y’all
Blizzplanet assisted to the Fan Sites Program Chat with Blizzard Public Relations Department to talk about World of Warcraft. The Blizzard employees attending to the chat were
Donna Anthony (Katricia), World of Warcraft Community Manager.
World of Warcraft Development Team: Mark Kern, Rob Pardo, Shane Dabiri, and Jeffrey Kaplan
Public Relations: Lisa Bucek (Public Relations Director), Gil Shif (Public Relations Assistant Manager), George Wang (Public Relations Fan Sites Coordinator)
Web Team: Geoff Fraizer, Blaine Whittle, and Mike Hein.
Special Guest: Mike Morhaime, President.
Blizzplanet was represented by MEDIEVALDRAGON, Dark Nemesis, Stephen and Yitten. We arrived 2 hours before the chat to find many Fan Sites waiting there for hours as in preparing for a big event. I chatted with OneMadOgre from WorldofWar.net, found MikiTitan from Wowlands, WowCentral, WOW-Ra, Demolishman, WarcraftGaming.com, Ogresnet.com, Wow.Stratics, Wow.Warcry, JudgeHype and many others. Something we could notice was that the channel limit was still 40 chatters. As you may guess, many fan sites were in transit hitting that button many times trying to get into the channel in Battle.net US East.
Some time later, everyone were in silence as Lisa Bucek entered the channel. The Channel limit was increased once Robert the SysOp set up the limit. Suddenly a wave of Fan Site Program members came in like an avalanche. From 40 members, the room increased to 150 members. And introduction of the Public Relations staff initiated. That said, the Questions and Answers were led by Lisa Bucek and Katricia, with some intervention by George Wang and Gil Shif—who were behind reading some of the submitted questions in the background and shared few answers.
The World of Warcraft chat revealed many questions that covered the following topics:
Transportation (player mounts, gryphon taxis, boats/zeppelins)
FAN SITE CHAT TRANSCRIPT:
[LisaB.PR] Hey everyone, good to see you – we’ll start the chat now – fire away
[Katricia] Hiyas all … Good to see you all here this afternoon
Q: If a group of people enter an instaced dungeon, how does a new player join that group or enter their dungeon?
Katricia: Basically the group can invite that player into their party and when the player enters the instance they will automatically be in the same instance as that party.
Q: What sort of information the map going to display?
Katricia: The minimap will show various points of interest such as towns and major cities. You will also be able to see members of your group and if they are out of range, you’ll get directional arrows so you can easily find them. For the world map, you can see the entire world at once, half the world, or zoom into paticular zones which will show areas that you’ve already discovered. You’ll also be able to place a rally point on the map which group members will see. This will be used for navagational purposes.
Q: Will I be able to place flags down on the minimap to mark locations if I wish to return to that place later?
Katricia: You can ping the minimap to make group members aware of a particular area. You will be able to make notes on the world map including key locations later.
Q: How does pathing work? In other MMORPGs problems have resulted from players being able to affect NPCs without retaliation and viceversa. What are the solutions to these problems in WoW? Summoning, warping , line of sight, etc...
Katricia: We have special creature AI so they can’t be exploited. Creatures know when they are being exploited and go into “evade” mode and return to their spawn point.
Q: Will players be able to customize their interface?
Katricia: Yes, you can drag and resize chat windows and later on we hope to enable dragging for other windows in the game as well. For those more technical types you can completely customize and change the interface using XML and Lua scripting. We expect users to create custom interfaces for PvP, trade skilling, guild skins, specific classes etc.
Q: How many trade skills can a player master on an individual character?
Katricia: A player will have to pick and chose as they will not have the skill points to take everything. Skills can be “untrained” though, so there’s no worry about picking the wrong one and being stuck with it.
Q: How will the trading interface work?
Katricia: You must be side-by-side. The interface is designed to be as secure as possible. A similar interface is used to provide a secure system for enchanting and unlocking boxes etc. This is cool because in other games you actually have to hand over your items to the enchanter, who may not be honest. In WoW, the enchanter never has physical possesion of your item.
Q: Can you give any comparisons, or lack of, between the drop system in WoW and D2?
Katricia: Like D2, WoW supports a form of random item generation. Unique items can be created by the system such as “Sword of Life-stealing” or “Breast-Plate of Stamina”. We take the basic item like the sword, and the system randomly combines it with a modifier such as life-stealing.
Q: We’ve seen from an older screenshot that the Dark Portal has been rebuilt (after being destroyed in War2 expansion pack). Can you give us any background on why it’s back or what role it’ll play in the game?
Katricia: The foundation of the Dark Portal was never destroyed even though the connection between the worlds was severed; and while it is no longer open, there is a legend of a ritual contained within Medivh’s spellbook which might one day allow powerful Warlocks to open a portal.
Q: What happens when a player fails to complete a quest? Will there be and option to try the quest again?
Katricia: Yes, players can always go back to the quest giver and try again.
Q: Can you tell us more details about group spells and/or rituals?
Katricia: The warlock has the ritual of summoning. With three people in a group, the warlock will cast a portal that two others must touch which will summon a distant party member to that location.
Q: Will it be possible to journey into Outland (or not if in the initial release planner later)?
Katricia: Ahhh … We’ve got to keep some secrets
Q: Will there be any class-related quests that take you to enemy towns and/or cities? (For example, can a rogue get to sneak in, steal stuff, and sneak out for a quest)?
Katricia: Yes, there are some quests in the game that take you into enemy towns.
Q: Will the quests progress the Warcraft storyline, and can we expect to see the storyline drastically affect the Warcraft game world as time progresses?
Katricia: We have a story planned over the next few years which affects the world in dramatic ways.
Q: For people who have friends that want to play together from the start, but play different races, is it going to be easy and/or quick to start playing with your friends as soon as possible?
Katricia: For some races its easier than for others. For example the Humans and Dwarves have easy transit between their two cities while the Night Elves are in a distant land.
Q: Will there be a variety of fish to catch while fishing? Will there be any special items, treasure chests, or SOS bottles that are able to be fished up?
Katricia: Yes, we are even planning in having seasonal fish—and they can tie into quests and other tradeskills. You can also fish up things like lock boxes, unique armors, and other things.
Q: How will players use mounts? Will they be available through a summonalbe skill, or merchant (ie. stables). How long will they last and are there different levels for mounts?
Katricia: Mounts become availlable to each race at a high level. We also have other specialty mounts … Warlocks for example can summon a Nightmare. Mounts can be called when needed by the owner.
Q: Will Hunters who train in bows and rifles always be better than say a Warrior who has trainned to the same level of same weapon?
Katricia: They will very likely be very similar in skills, however; the Hunters will have additional abilities with those weapons that are unique to their class. This will ultimately make them more powerful with ranged weapons.
Q: Will there be “named” or “unique” monsters in the World or Warcraft? If so, will they appear randomly or will they only spawn under certain circumstances?
Katricia: Yes there are many unique monsters in Wow. Some will appear randomly, while others will only spawn when certain conditions have been met.
Q: Will items be crafted in Wow be more useful to other players than the crafted items are in other RPGs?
Katricia: Throughout your career as a crafter, there will always be items which you can create that will be the best items a player can use at that level. For example, at level 40 the best bracer might come from a blacksmith; while at level 45, the best brace might come from a quest. There are also a number of consumable items that can be created such as armor patches and sharpening stones. Tradeskillers can sell th
ese consumable items to players who will use them to improve their existing armor and items.
Q: Will players be able to recreate the same item over and over as long as they get the r
Q: Will there be a follow option to have your character automatically follow your group leaders?
Katricia: Currently you can follow anyone not just the group leader.
[GilS.PR] Hey everyone, that was the last question. However, we have a special announcement for you, so hold on a sec’, and I’ll turn it back over to Katricia.
[Katricia] Just wanted to thank you all for coming today and wanted to let yas know that all of the sites in the Fansite Program have automatically been entered into our beta program …
[Katricia] this includes international fan sites.
[Katricia] Also, we will be handing out additional beta accounts to fan sites to use for contests … (more on this at a later time).
[Katricia] Thanks again for joining us .. yas all have a great night
[GilS.PR] Thanks everybody. Katricia has left the building See you next time.
World of Warcraft Pre-Beta Images Here
World of Warcraft Alpha Images Here
Official Blizzard World of Warcraft site Here