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Posts with tag chris-metzen

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history
If you like the art that Blizzard creates for its games (and really, how can you not?), then you should get yourself a copy of The Art of Blizzard, a new hardcover that surveys the past 20 years of Blizzard's development in art. Covering the origin of the studio and its development with more than 800 illustrations and commentary from Nick Carpenter (vice president of art and cinematic development), Samwise Didier (senior art director) and Chris Metzen (senior vice president of story and franchise development -- and you seriously should probably know this guy already), it promises to have something for the dedicated fan or the fan of art and illustration. As Blizzard themselves put it:
This epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights celebrates the company's genesis, granting readers access to the inception and development of Blizzard's blockbusters and offering a never-before-seen look into some of Blizzard's unpublished projects.

I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I can't draw worth beans, but I love me some art.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Mists of Pandaria: Press tour interviews from around the web

Not only is there a ton of information about the next expansion's features floating around, there are plenty of interviews with the minds behind the expansion as well. All of the fan sites got their own chance to ask developers questions about Mists, so each interview has different information. Check out these links to other developer interviews from around the web.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Chris Metzen talks about heroes

Chris Metzen
Eurogamer.net recently sat down with Blizzard Senior Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen. They talked about the story for all three of Blizzard's big franchises and the ins and outs of creating stories and heroes for each one.

On Warcraft, Metzen waxed philosophical on creating a meaningful story for 11 million fans who are each carving out their own individual stories on their own characters, and on translating that story culturally as well linguistically between all the different cultures of the people who play WoW. As Metzen observed, a story that goes over well in North America may fall flat in China. He also talked about making lore decisions and balancing the needs and wants of the players and the writers. Sometimes the players want you to go right when you want to go left, and it is a challenge, he says, to decide which way to go.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews

BlizzCon 2011: Opening Ceremony Liveblog

We'll be live blogging the opening ceremony at BlizzCon 2011. The start times for this liveblog is as follows:

Pacific Time zone: 11:00 a.m.
Mountain Time zone: 12:00 p.m.
Central Time zone: 1:00 p.m.
Eastern Time zone: 2:00 p.m.

We're expecting a lot from this BlizzCon opening ceremony, including the Mists of Pandaria expansion, some StarCraft expansion announcement, and potentially an announcement concerning the Diablo 3 release date.

Stay tuned! We'll start liveblogging soon.

10:42 a.m. - Patch 5.0 will introduce a new talent system.

10:42 a.m. - Initial reports are that the expansion will be playable at BlizzCon today.

The rest of the liveblog after the break!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Metzen talks user-created content at GDC panel

Blizzard's Chris Metzen was on hand at GDC Online to discuss user-created content for World of Warcraft and how the system just wouldn't fly in WoW's architecture. The logistics of player-created content in a game with millions upon millions of players would, most likely, be too overwhelming for a system and game that thrives on polish and quality control. Don't expect to see user-generated content in WoW any time soon.

While I am a fan of this type of content, I don't believe it really has a place in WoW. Azeroth is a much more story-driven, linear experience than most people want to discuss, and Blizzard likes to hold our hands through it all to make sure we're doing things according to plan. I don't think that's a bad thing, just one approach to an MMO's leveling and group content. In games like City of Heroes, the player-created content that was available made sense in terms of logistics and volume. For WoW, I can't even fathom how hard it would be to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Chris Metzen discusses the role of the writer at GDC Online

So how does a writer fit into World of Warcraft? If you ask Chris Metzen, they are the cheerleaders, torchbearers and keepers of the flame, responsible for the keeping the heart in the game. In a presentation at GDC Online in Austin, Texas, Metzen talked a bit about the balance between writing and gameplay and the job of a writer at Blizzard.

Though lore has taken more of a front seat in Cataclysm, it's ultimately the gameplay that comes first with Blizzard, even before the story. According to Metzen, if you don't make it fun in the first 3 minutes of gameplay, you've failed. If the gameplay is a turn-off, it doesn't matter how wonderful the story is -- people still aren't going to want to play it. The presentation is an interesting look at some of the less-highlighted aspects of game development, and Gamasutra has coverage of the whole presentation. For those interested in what the job of a writer looks like at Blizzard Entertainment or wondering what goes on when creating a story as massive as Warcraft, it's a really interesting read.

But that's not all from GDC Online -- Blizzard writers also got together to discuss great gaming moments and the challenges of game design. The coverage of the event discusses more about the writing process, fan feedback, and creating memorable stories. Check out the full story over on Gamasutra as well.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

2011 Global Writing Contest deadline reminder

Attention, writers! Those of you who are working on entries for this year's Global Writing Contest may want to step up the pace. The deadline for the 2011 Global Writing Contest is Oct. 15 -- a little over a week away. Remember, stories must be between 2,500 to 7,500 words and set in the Warcraft, Diablo or StarCraft universes.

This year's prizes include a trip to Blizzard headquarters and a meeting with the Blizzard writing staff for the grand prize winner, as well as a ton of signed books from all three Blizzard universes and a replica of the Doomhammer. Good luck to all who enter, and don't forget to check out our interviews with last year's winners, too!

Filed under: News items, Contests, Lore

More details emerge on Void Storage -- 80 slots of space

More details are emerging from Blizzard's recent talk at Gamescom. Kotaku sat down with Blizzard's Chris Metzen and Tom Chilton to talk about it all, and one of the things they covered was the upcoming void storage, slated to be released in patch 4.3.

The details on the new void storage are as follows:
  • 80 slots to store items
  • All items put in void storage will have the following removed from them:
    • Enchants
    • Gems
    • Name of player who crafted the item
Kotaku's article doesn't list what exactly are the item restrictions in the void storage. It does say "extra items," which could lead one to believe there are no restrictions. However, in the past Blizzard has said it wants to do a gear-only storage for older gear sets, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise if there are some item restrictions in place. We'll be finding out about that as patch 4.3 is released on the PTR (eventually).

The full bit from Kotaku's interview with Chris Metzen and Tom Chilton is as follows:

Another addition coming with the patch is "Void Storage", a new 100 to 150 [See Editor's Note] items slots. Like transmogrification, void storage comes from the Ethereals. Void storage is a pocket dimension created for a player that allows them to store extra items, but there is a downside.

Anything stored in the void is stripped of its enchantments and gems and the name of the person who crafted it, Chilton said. The stripping isn't tied to the lore of the game, either, but is the byproduct of a technical issue that makes this new storage system possible. (Read: Silly databases!)


Editor's Note: Blizzard has sent word that it's actually 80 slots in the Void Storage, not 100 to 150 as originally reported at Kotaku.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

Raid finder coming in patch 4.3

It seems like only yesterday the blues were giving hints at a beefed-up raid finder coming in a future patch or expansion.

According to an interview with Kotaku:

Finally, Chilton and Chris Metzen, vice president of creative development at Blizzard, explained a new feature coming with the patch called "Raid Finder". The Raid Finder essentially operates like a dungeon finder, automating the search for fellow players on the hunt for a good raiding party. It will be built into the game's updated user interface when the patch hits, they said.

The Kotaku article doesn't call it a "cross-realm" raid finder, but I think it's safe to assume that it will be -- otherwise, it'll just be like the one that's in game now (you remember that one, right?). There's no more details on the interface or accompanying restrictions on the new raid finding, but expect that information to be discovered or announced soon.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

Blizzard announces 2011 Global Writing Contest

It's that time of year again -- the time when all hopeful writers put fingers to keys and come up with the kind of prose that could win them a trip to Blizzard's headquarters. The 2011 Global Writing Contest is looking for stories from 2,500 to 7,500 words, set in the Warcraft, Diablo or StarCraft universes. This year, the grand prize offers a trip to Blizzard headquarters to meet with the Blizzard writing staff, a host of signed books from Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft, as well as a Doomhammer of your very own.

Interested in putting together an entry? Check out the official rules and FAQ at the official site. The deadline this year is Sept. 28 October 15, so getting started sooner rather than later is advised. You can also take a look at last year's winners and runners-up on the official website. While you're at it, why not take a look at our interviews with last year's winners as well? Good luck to all who enter!

Correction: The entry deadline for the Global Writing Contest is October 15, as stated in the Official Rules.

Filed under: News items, Contests, Lore

Jaina Proudmoore working book title: Tides of War

We have learned from author Christie Golden's Facebook page that the working title of her newest World of Warcraft novel, which will focus on earth-shattering changes for fan favorite Jaina Proudmoore, could be titled Tides of War. Since Jaina's heritage and background (her father being Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, leader of Kul Tiras) is that of Kul Tiras, the island nation of seafaring humans, this title makes sense, especially if it heralds the return of the nation of Kul Tiras back to World of Warcraft.

Christie posts: "Okay, starting on Tides of War, the Jaina (Proudmoore!) book. Am thinking if I work this right... I won't have to work weekends this time. Woot!"

There is a lot of speculation going on about the next expansion, including the filing of a trademark for Mists of Pandaria, as well as Chris Metzen revealing the earth-shattering Jaina book at Comic Con last month. While Tides of War is admittedly a working title, it signals a strong naval theme that links up well with an island expansion, the island of Pandaria, and a generally water-y world we're looking at. This is all still speculation, of course.

Filed under: Lore

Thrall's return to the Horde and more lore from San Diego Comic-Con

Blizzard's Chris Metzen was at the San Diego Comic-Con showing off new WoW, StarCraft, and Diablo merchandise with a panel of Blizzard writers and merchandise partners. After the discussion about merchandise, the future of Blizzard licensed products, and the new comics, the floor was opened up to questions and answers about anything, lore included. Fans took this time to ask Metzen all about the new direction Blizzard is taking Thrall, including whether the Horde will remain the same after Cataclysm.

Metzen might have spilled the beans on what we can expect from BlizzCon this year, including some big revelations about the Horde and Thrall's place in it. Around the 51-minute mark of the panel, Metzen muses about how awesome it has been, growing the Warcraft story from its simple beginnings as an RTS and getting to flesh out the world. At one point, Metzen says, "One day, come on, your Warchief is coming back. Right? There's more with Thrall," and emphatically mentions BlizzCon, indicating Blizzard has much to announce on the subject.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Cataclysm

Blizzard debuts new products at San Diego Comic-Con

Blizzard's Chris Metzen graced the floors of the San Diego Comic-Con today to talk Blizzard licensing partners and show off some awesome new merchandise coming this year featuring Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo wares. Diablo merchandies looks to include knee-high Diablo socks, a Diablo face belt, new shirts, and two hoodies modeled after Diablo's demon hunter class and the angel Tyrael.

StarCraft's line is expanding with new shirts, a first look at the MegaBloks Viking, a leather wallet, and StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres, which has been confirmed by Metzen to be a novelization of StarCraft: Ghost, the game that was and then never was.

Warcraft's wares continue along a familiar path with a slew of new T-shirts as well as what appears to be a beverage called the Forsaken Elixir of Undead ... I really have no idea, since it's most likely a joke slide. Metzen also previewed the covers for the forthcoming original graphic novels Horde and Alliance, coming out later this year.

[Thanks, Kotaku, for the tip and images.]

Filed under: Blizzard

Blizzard to talk licensing at San Diego Comic-Con


Blizzard tends to keep to its own convention for most of the year, rather than taking part in other major conventions like E3, but it's breaking form with product reveals and licensing discussion next week at San Diego Comic-Con. Blizzard's Chris Metzen, The Shattering author Christie Golden, Cryptozoic Entertainment President Cory Jones, and others will be present for a panel on Thursday, July 21 -- that is, if you're already lucky enough to be going to Comic-Con (say hi to Christie for me)!

Here's the full panel description, which is also available on the Comic-Con website.
1:00-2:00 World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft Swag Show -- Blizzard Entertainment creative and licensed partners unveil and discuss World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft-inspired products. In attendance: Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP of creative development), Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment executive art director), Christie Golden (New York Times bestselling author), Hank Kanalz (SVP Digital, DC Comics and World of Warcraft comics editor), Sean Gailey(creative overlord, J!nx Clothing), and Cory Jones (Cryptozoic Entertainment president and chief creative officer). Moderated by Kat Hunter ( host of BlizzCon coverage on DIRECTV). Room 6BCF

Filed under: Blizzard

Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects to be Christie Golden's next novel

News of a new novel from Christie Golden trickled into our tip line this evening. The novel World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects appeared on Amazon.com a few days ago. This novel, which continues a longstanding tradition of too many colons in one book title, is very likely a direct followup to the recently released The Shattering.

We're likely to see deeper exploration of Thrall's intentions and motivations in Cataclysm, some of which was alluded to by Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2010's lore panel. Could Go'el, son of Durotan, be Azeroth's next Aspect of Earth? Probably, yes!

[Thanks, Xeon!]

Filed under: News items, Lore, Cataclysm

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