Official Blizzcon schedule is up

Blizzcon 2010 schedule of events

Blizzcon’s coming at the end of the month and should bring all sorts of goodies for World of Warcraft and Diablo III fans. The official schedule of events went up last week, and it’s worth taking a look at.

From what I can tell, there isn’t much about the next Starcraft II expansion. Players have been aching for a new campaign to follow the Wings of Liberty release, and though there’s still a chance we might get something, it’s not looking likely.

Then there’s Diablo III. I’m really having trouble deciding whether or not I’m excited about the game. As much fun as I had with the first two titles in the franchise, I’m still having trouble imagining how the playstyle could translate to a fun game in 2011. The classes sound interesting so far, but at its core, the Diablo series turned into little more than a grindfest, to the point it was easily programmable for bots. I’m hoping the gameplay videos give me enough reason to believe the game can be good.

Of course, there’s also WoW news, which will be all Cataclysm, all conference long. We’ll finally get the new content on December 7th, which means Blizzcon will be showing off all the stuff players will soon be having.


Blizzard will return to consoles “at some point”

Diablo 3 character selectionWhen Diablo III was first announced, there was wide speculation that it could be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The series screams console development with its simple control scheme and dungeon-mashing playstyle. Blizzard isn’t quite ready to confirm that rumor, but the developer did say it’s thinking about console development in a serious way.

Speaking to Gamasutra, World of Warcraft production director J. Allen Brack said Blizzard will make a return to console gaming. The only thing holding it back is that the company wants to make “the right game for the right platform.”

“We will definitely work on a console game at some point. I have no doubt about that,” said Brack. I still have hopes for a Diablo III port, but I can’t say I’m ready to believe the rumors.

Source: Gamasutra


Blizzard still updating Diablo II

Diablo 2 werebear.While you’re waiting for Diablo III, Blizzard’s been hard at work updating the game’s predecessor. There’s a new patch coming for Diablo II, and it’s available for beta testing right now.

Why patch a nine year-old dungeon masher, you ask? Well, apparently people needed the ability to respec their characters. It’s a nice addition, even if you only get to do it once. Really, spending the 20 minutes it takes to get rushed to Hell is just so much work.

There are also some bug fixes and spell tweaks associated with the patch, pretty run of the mill stuff. Anyone out there still playing this game? I picked it up for about a day a few weeks back and remembered quickly why I quit.



No date for Diablo III means no time soon

Diablo III concept logo.For a while there I was hoping Blizzard would spring a holiday surprise on us and drop Diablo III just before the end of the year. I realize it would have been crazy – this season is already packed with blockbuster titles for every platform and Blizzard likes to be everyone’s primary focus when it launches a new game. It makes sense, then, that we won’t see the game this year. Or next. But probably the one after that.

Speaking with TechLand, Rob Pardo said Blizzard isn’t even approximating a release date yet. “We always announce all of our games too early,” he said. “We realize that and go, ‘You know what? Next time we’re not going to do that.’ And then we always fail at that. But I’d rather fail at that than fail at making the game great. I think it’s safe to say that, yeah, [Diablo III] is not going to be out next year.”

On the one hand you have to respect his position. It’s pointless to claim a release date if you’re just going to push it back again and again. On the other, though, it’s tough to see the point in talking so much about the game when we could be two years from release. The game already feels overdue, and it’s not like the gameplay or the graphics are so earth-shattering as to be considered even excellent in two years or more.

I’d call this the next Duke Nukem if it were anyone but Blizzard and anything but Diablo.


Diablo III Will Be Edited In Certain Regions

Diablo 3 Barbarian.It’s hard to avoid Blizzard news during pretty much the entire month in which Blizzcon takes place. It’s a huge event, and Blizzard has one of the most rabid fanbases around. That’s a recipe for crazy rumors, crazy news leaks, and even crazier rumors.

Now we’re past Blizzcon, though, so most of what we’re hearing has come straight from the horse’s mouth, and this is no different (though it actually comes from GamesCom). Diablo III developer Jay Wilson spoke with Wired regarding the level of gore in the upcoming dungeon masher. Apparently some regions tend to frown on exploding body parts, to say nothing of most of the parents in the rest of the world. As such, certain regions will be getting an edited version of the new game – one that’s been cleaned up for the prudes of the world.

The game will also be shipping with parental controls for those nitpicky parents who think it’s okay for their son/daughter to be cleaving through the minions of hell, so long as they don’t bleed.


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