blizzcon-2010 posts

Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - October 26

Just an aside; we really enjoyed the first episode of Dead Set, the "UK Big Brother meets the 28 Days Later zombies" mini-series on IFC. Check it out before The Walking Dead starts on AMC.

StarCraft II could ban achievement cheaters

There was a bit of a controversy earlier this month when some people complained that Blizzard banned them from playing the sci-fi RTS gameStarCraft II because those players used single player "trainer" programs. Blizzard sent out a response that said "players who opt to use any type of 3rd party hacks do so at their own risk."

However, it looks like Blizzard could go after some players that use cheats and hacks for other StarCraft II-related features in the future. In a interview with Shacknews conducted during BlizzCon 2010 this weekend, Blizzard's lead producer Chris Sigaty stated, " ... it is possible that we can identify people that use some cheat to get 100 achievements in a matter of seconds. We have the ability to go and look at that data and say that person is going to be banned or we'll take away all of their achievements." He added that players should beware of using any trainer program, saying, "The people releasing these hacks might be including keyloggers and other sorts of hacks on your system."

BlizzCon 2010 round-ups at WoW Insider and Joystiq

It's all over until, hopefully, next year. BlizzCon 2010 is history but the biggest fan devoted to one game developer will stick with the over 20,000 attendees and the approximately 100,000 people who bought and watched the streaming internet-DirecTV video coverage.

Of course the only place to go for all your BlizzCon 2010 World of WarCraft coverage was over at our sister site WoW Insider. You can head over there now to check out Blizzard'scurrent and future plans for the MMO, including more info on December's upcoming release of the Cataclysm expansion pack. Meanwhile our mothership Joystiq reports on all the Diablo III and StarCraft II action at BlizzCon, including some hands-on time with Diablo III's new Demon Hunter class, the game's PvP arena battles and StarCraft II's upcoming and unique custom maps.

World of Warcraft's fourth expansion will be "pretty f'ing awesome", says Blizzard

World of Warcraft players have about a month and a half before the third retail expansion for the MMO, Cataclysm, is released in stores and via download. But developer Blizzard, as one might expect, is already working on the fourth (so far untitled) expansion to the mega-popular PC game.

Game Informer chatted wih the game's senior producer John Lagrave at BlizzCon 2010 to ask about Blizzard's plans for the fourth expansion. He stated, "The thing we're trying to do in the next expansion is pretty f'ing awesome." Details are not yet being revealed of course, but Lagrave added, "We've now got a central idea [for the next expansion] that makes me happy and gets me excited, and it makes everyone else happy and excited." While that unnamed idea might or might not actually happen, he did say, "Will it top Cataclysm? I think it's pretty freakin' awesome. I'm really hopeful."

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm not likely coming out in 2011

Blizzard will have two retail games released in 2010; StarCraft II and the upcoming World of WarCraft Cataclysm. But it looks likely like Blizzard might not release any games at all in 2011. Without stating a date for Diablo III at BlizzCon 2010 this weekend, it looks like that game won't make it out the door next year. Now IGN reports that the same can be said of the next StarCraft II release.

IGN.com reports that the Zerg-centric StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm won't likely be released until after 2011, according to comments at BlizzCon from Blizzard's Chris Sigaty. He's quoted as saying, "We will be very hard pressed to bring it out next year. I don't have a date, but it's more ambitious." In the meantime you can check out some concept artwork for Heart of the Swarm over at IGN.

Diablo III's status from Blizzard: "Way over half-way done"

At last year's BlizzCon (held in August 2009) the release of StarCraft II was just under a year away. At BlizzCon 2010 this weekend the release date of Blizzard's next full game, the action-RPG Diablo III, is less clear. VG247.com quotes the game's director Jay Wilson as saying that Diablo III is "way over half-way done."

However he added that the game is still not yet feature complete and Wilson stated, "We're not really close until you're playing it." So it sounds like the game is not likely to be released in 2011. Also G4TV.com confirmed that there will be a beta test for the game at some point but that Diablo III won't have any official mod support.

StarCraft II update plans revealed

Even though StarCraft II players may have to wait a while before the next game in the trilogy, Heart of the Swarm, is released, Blizzard plans to update the sci-fi RTS game with lots of new features and content in the coming months. We've already reported that Blizzard will release four pretty unique custom maps in the coming months. VG247.com reports that at a press release at BlizzCon, Blizzard reps said that "waves and waves of new features" are in the works.

In addition to the four unique custom maps, Blizzard hinted that even more are in the works. Also there are plans to put a replay system for matches, chat channels and new multiplayer leagues. Speaking of the custom maps, the one that's the most complicated is the Blizzard DOTA map. That's while it won't be released for a while. Blizzard might even add new content to the Blizzard DOTA map after its released.

More on Diablo III's Demon Hunter and PvP features revealed

BlizzCon 2010 was the place that Blizzard decided to reveal two big features for its long awaited action-RPG sequel Diablo III. The Diablo III panel on Friday gave out more info on both the Demon Hunter player class as well as the reveal of the game's PvP arena battles.

Blizzard's own recap of the panel reveals that the Demon Hunter was first designed to be a more woodland-like character called the Ranger but that the designs of the other characters in the game made the Ranger class to be not "as cool as the other classes." So the decision was made to make a ranged-based character that was darker and more mysterious. The Demon Hunter, in addition to using ranged weapons like the crossbow, can also use other gadgets, is highly acrobatic and can use shadow magic to dispatch demons.

As far as the PvP arena combat features are concerned, this is being put in just for the fun of it by Blizzard and not as a super-serious eSports feature. The game will be balanced for 3v3 combat and will let players use their characters that were made for the single player/co-op campaigns. There will still be matchmaking features that will attempt to find players of similar skills in the game. There's even more Diablo III info at the recap page.



Report: BlizzCon 2010 to lose over $1 million ... but that's OK by Blizzard

With the second and final day of BlizzCon 2010 now in full swing at the Anaheim Convention Center, Blizzard sees the event as a huge marketing opportunity, even though the event actually loses money. Gamasutra reports that even with the ticket prices, fees for watching the event via internet streaming and DirectTV and money from booth vendors Blizzard will lose over $1 million for holding the event.

However that loss is OK with the company, according to Blizzard's COO Paul Sams who believes that the over 20,000 Blizzard fans who attend the event will go home and tell other Blizzard fans what they experienced. Sam says, "Some companies would argue we'd rather spend that money on TV advertising since that will have a greater reach than with the 20,000 attendees that come. I would argue that - for us - making sure those 20,000 people have the most incredible experience possible will do as much for us, if not more, as spending that amount on TV advertising."

Blizzard: DOTA should not be trademarked by Valve

You can add Blizzard VP Rob Pardo to the list of folks who don't care for Valve's attempt to trademark the use of the name DOTA for Valve's upcoming game DOTA 2. In a chat with Eurogamer at BlizzCon, Pardo stated, "Valve is usually so pro mod community. It's such a community company that it just seems like a really strange move to us... I really don't understand why [they would do it], to be honest."

Valve first filed a trademark for use of the name DOTA earlier this summer. In October, Valve announced that it would release DOTA 2, a stand alone graphical remake of the original Defense of the Ancients mod that was first made for Blizzard's RTS game Warcraft III. Pardo stated, "To us, that means that you're really taking it away from the Blizzard and Warcraft III community and that just doesn't seem the right thing to do." Valve has yet to comment on the DOTA trademark controversy. Blizzard, however, is still planning to release Blizzard DOTA, an upcoming custom map for StarCraft II. Pardo says that if Valve tries to contest the use of DOTA for the StarCrat II map he states, "Our contention is that it should continue to be available to Blizzard and to our community."
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