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Posts with tag rob-pardo

Rob Pardo is leaving Blizzard

Rob Pardo, currently Blizzard's Chief Creative officer, announced on the forums that he's parting ways with Blizzard Entertainment. Pardo has been a fixture of the company for 17 years now, and though he isn't saying -- yet -- where he's headed next, he did offer a thank you to Blizzard's fans and community:

Rob Pardo
The Blizzard community is ultimately the reason why we come to work every day and pour our souls into every world and experience we create. Blizzard's players are the most passionate in the world and your commitment and dedication are truly awesome to behold. Creating entertainment for you has been an incredible opportunity, and I know that you will continue to grow and become even stronger as a community over the years to come. It has been so meaningful on a personal level to help create joy for all of you.


Thanks for the games, Rob -- we'll be keeping our eyes open for what you're working on next.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft's Rob Pardo designs Magic: the Gathering card

If you play Hearthstone, there's at least an average chance you've heard of, if not played, Magic: The Gathering. If so, then check out this card designed by none other than Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment. I haven't played Magic in years and I was never very good, but that seems like one heck of a card. It'll be part of the Magic 2015 set, and was previewed at this year's E3.

Now I want everyone at Blizzard to design a card. Let's see Samwise's card. At least get him to do the art on one. It's funny, because Xathrid here reminds me a bit of Lilian Voss, who some say is a reference to this M:tG character (Blizzard says no.) Which is too bad, because it would be hilarious if we ended up with some kind of circular back and forth transfer between M:tG and WoW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hearthstone Insider

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

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Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

Hearthstone Open Beta next month

Rob Pardo, chief creative officer and go-to guy for Hearthstone announcements, has a whole lot of news for us involving that game. But one of the most interesting (especially for people who aren't in the closed beta yet, but who want to be) is that, if you haven't gotten into the closed beta, you won't have to wait much longer. Pardo announced that, yes, Hearthstone will have its open beta "within a month... although, it's Blizzard time, so maybe January".

So if you're desperate to start experiencing Blizzard's entirely online TCG, take heart. You will have your chance soon enough. Literally Blizzard soon. Rob said so!

Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

"Awesome," the next expansion will be

'Awesome,' the next expansion will be
Fresh off the Twitter-sphere today is news that the next expansion will be "awesome." What kind of awesome? Well, the kind of awesome that Rob Pardo (Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard) delivers. And no matter what, awesome is better than Pardo announcing the next expansion will be terrible. So there's that at least...


All jokes aside, it is notable that Pardo is tweeting his involvement in this, even though he's always had his hand in WoW's expansions. Pardo does go on to say as well:


Pardo's announcement would have been a little bit cooler if he said it in Yoda-style.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

New anniversary interviews in Blizzcast 12 and on the minisite

Blizzard continues to update their minisite -- the latest newness is the posting of a new Blizzcast, in two parts. In part one, Karune of the Starcraft community team interviews Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, and Samwise Didier about the history of Warcraft as a whole (it's celebrating the 15th anniversary as well this year), and part two has our friend Nethaera talking to J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan about the game itself. As is usual with the official podcast, there's not much new information here (especially if you've already read through some retrospective press), but both interviews are worth a listen (and/or a read through the transcript) if only to hear these guys all in a room together, joking around about old times.

Elsewhere on the site, they've started posting written interviews as well. The first one is with Shane Dabiri, former lead producer on the game, and there are faded-out spots for J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan as well. The other spots aren't revealed yet, but they're supposed to be interviews from the "community," so it'll be interesting to see who those turn out to be. Blizzard, anytime you want to chat with me about the history of World of Warcraft, just drop an email!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard celebrates the WoW anniversary

The good folks at the Orange County Register got invited to Blizzard's official WoW anniversary party that took place last Thursday on their Irvine campus, and their report is now posted. It sounds like quite the event -- lots of free food and beer, head honchos regaling employees with their tales of the early days, and Rob Pardo suggesting that just like geek culture helped define this game, this game might help define geek culture going forward.

The picture gallery included with the piece is a good browse, too -- you can see all of the Blizzard heavyweights hanging out together, and the great spread set up on the campus. The Register's also been asking Blizzard about their memories of the game -- they've got more memories from Samwise, launch day stories from Shane Dabiri, and some thoughts from Pardo and Frank Pearce (who, strangely enough, at first didn't believe that Blizzard belonged in a hardcore niche market like MMO gaming -- he didn't want to make "a game that never ended," he says). All good stuff. Congrats once again to Blizzard on five years, good to see they celebrated in style.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Galleries

Blizzard: Arenas were a mistake.

John Funk of WarCry recently interviewed Blizzard's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo, about WoW's five-year anniversary, and he shed some light on a number of topics, including their total subscriber numbers (twice to three times as much as its current 12 million), what audience their new MMO is meant for, and what he thinks WoW's greatest successes were. But some other very interesting information came up when the interviewer asked what he thought WoW's biggest mistakes were.

He begins by saying that he wishes that the servers had been more stable at launch, and that there had been more of them, but he says that in terms of design, Arenas were the single biggest mistake in WoW's history.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, Hardware

Waiting on StarCraft II? Blame WoW

Like many other Blizzard fans, you're probably super excited about the upcoming release of StarCraft II -- it was "about time" when we first heard about the game, and now, this close to actually having the game out, anticipation is higher than ever. So why have you been waiting so long? According to Eurogamer's latest interview with Rob Pardo, you can blame none other than World of Warcraft for the delay. He and StarCraft II's lead designer both confirm that quite a bit of the RTS team were called back in to working on Blizzard's MMO. Artists and class and map balance guys alike were put back on WoW, resulting in the StarCraft title's delay for more than a year. Taken at face value, they're saying you could have started playing the new RTS last November if it wasn't for the whole Azeroth thing.

It's worth noting, though, that when they say "working on WoW," they don't mean developing the Crusaders' Coliseum or even Outland -- they're talking about the original design of World of Warcraft for the release way back in 2004. Even though Blizzard didn't announce the next StarCraft until a few years ago in 2007, production actually started seriously (with multiplayer first, strangely enough) right after the launch of WoW, in 2005. Which makes the choice all the more intriguing: they decided to delay the RTS even before they knew WoW would be the runaway success that it is today.

Guess the choice paid off. The beta of StarCraft II should be kicking off any day now (you all got keys at last year's BlizzCon, remember?), so even though that year delay was caused by WoW way back at launch, we'll see if they've had the time since to make a game that'll meet players' expectations.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Pardo says Blizzard still not interested in bringing WoW to consoles

Blizzard has never been keen to put WoW on consoles -- while there have always been rumors, they've never bothered showing much interest. And in a new interview with IndustryGamers, Blizzard's Rob Pardo tells us why: the controller issue remains a problem (it's certainly possible to map WoW onto a controller, but not yet in any way Blizzard would approve of), and modern consoles have come up with even more problems of their own. A hard drive, says Pardo, would be pretty much required, since WoW is up to around 10gb so far, but even the Xbox 360 (which now commonly allows game installs on the HD) still doesn't guarantee players will have that much space available. And Pardo says that while they have been in talks with Microsoft about what the two companies can do together, he says he's wary of the patching process over there -- it's not exactly as quick as they'd like.

So it remains unlikely that we'll ever see WoW in its current form on any console systems -- while there's probably lots of money to be made, the game was designed from the ground up to be a PC game, and there are still too many issues flying around (and it's likely too late in the game's lifetime) for Blizzard to try and make the jump. But that next-gen MMO...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hardware

Blizzard's hate (/love?) relationship with consoles

Rumors are bubbling up from GDC '09 that Blizzard is finally considering consoles again for their future games. Blizzard seems to have a hate/hate relationship with consoles -- despite the fact that they started out with some extremely popular console games (Lost Vikings was one of the best games on the Sega Genesis), they've become very solidly a PC gaming company in the past few years. Sure, they released Starcraft 64 and the Playstation port of Diablo, but since Starcraft: Ghost left a bad taste in their mouths, they've stayed away from the console market (and some might say that's saved the PC market).

The main problem, says Rob Pardo, is one of control: console controllers just don't have the flexibility to do what Blizzard wants to do with their games. "If I were them," he told the press, "I'd be sitting around trying to figure out what's a cool new input device that supports all types of new kinds of games." And he also hinted that he might be trying to do just that -- Blizzard is apparently in talks with Microsoft, not to develop for this generation of consoles, but to help them advance to the next generation. This is a little more than just Diablo III on the Xbox 360 (though that's definitely a possibility) -- it's Blizzard possibly getting the chance to bring what they love about PC gaming to the next console generation.

Heady stuff. Blizzard doesn't need to do anything these days, of course -- if they want to take their next sequel and release it in, say, three separate parts, they can do that and it will likely still be a hit. But if they want to set their sights on innovating in the console space, we'll probably all benefit.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Hardware

Pardo at GDC lunch: It's all about nailing the execution

Blizzard isn't making too much of an appearance at any of the gaming conventions this year (save for, of course, BlizzCon), but they are floating around the Game Developers Conference going on on San Francisco this week -- Rob Pardo showed up at a luncheon panel yesterday to talk with luminaries like Will Wright and Warren Spector about the latest trends in social gaming. He was actually introduced by Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, who said that "social is buying someone a drink," not "sitting around in your underpants," but said that Pardo manages "maybe the largest group of people in their underpants in the world." Funny.

Pardo defended the game, saying that what was once a hobby for outcasts has now become quite cool and that no matter what you're sitting around in, the people who play WoW are people with real relationships, responsibilities, and lives. And he says later in the chat that Blizzard doesn't necessarily aim for innovation, but for "nailing the execution." That's something Nintendo does as well, he said, and many times, that's the key in game development. You don't necessarily have to get it first, but you do have to get it right.

The rest of the conversation wanders away from MMOs (and Pardo), but it is a fun look into what these gaming development greats are thinking about what's next. Stay tuned to both us and Massively for more coverage from GDC -- Jeff Kaplan is scheduled to be on a panel there today, and we'll bring you news of that soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Poll: Who had the better gear?


There were two distinctive t-shirts I saw at BlizzCon this year. The first was worn by Greg Street, a.k.a. Ghostcrawler. It featured his pet crab that he refers to often enough. If I recall correctly, he lost it in the Sunken Temple.

The second was worn by Rob Pardo, the Executive VP of Game Design at Blizzard. It featured an image of a rainbow above the words "Diablo 3." It also had unicorns and flowers on it. Very Barbie like.

While both shirts have their place, I think it'd be fun to know – which one would you rather have? Personally, I want the D3 shirt Pardo had on. Hilarious stuff there. But Ghostcrawler has gained quite a following as well. Vote for your favorite gear and be heard!

Who had the better gear?
I want Ghostcrawler's crab!2842 (34.1%)
Give me Pardo's rainbows!5494 (65.9%)


Update: It's not being worn by a Blue, and therefore isn't poll-worthy, but we enjoyed this shirt, too.

Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, BlizzCon

Rob Pardo talks about how WoW gets developed

Rob Pardo sat down to chat with PC Gamer recently about all things Blizzard, but as you might expect, WoW got a nice chunk of the conversation. He talks mostly about design -- after saying that PC gaming isn't dead (duh), he talks about the lore of a dungeon, and says that whenever you step into an instance, even if you haven't researched all the lore of it, and read all the quests for it, Blizzard wants you to know that the story is there.

He also talks a little bit about how Blizzard works as a team -- everyone working on the game has the power to veto something if they don't feel it works right, which is probably why we haven't seen things like player housing yet. It also explains why Blizzard takes their time -- when anyone can step in and say, "This isn't working" at any time, you get a lot of iterating and a lot of unreleased content. But as Pardo says, it pushes the whole team to do it better -- he can go to the people he'll know will have a problem with a certain mechanic and work with them to make it right.

Finally, they chat a little bit about whether, as Raph Koster is quoted, "the singleplayer game is an aberration." Pardo calls out Super Mario Galaxy's co-star mode as an example of a terrific singleplayer game that incorporates multiplayer in an innovative way, and says that singleplayer isn't gone forever -- it's just going to look a little different.

[via WorldofWar]

Filed under: Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Lore, Hardware

Authenticator ordering leads to unexplained refunds

We've already reported that the Blizzard Authenticator is sold out, but here's another twist to the story. WoW Insider reader Ryan told us that he placed his order last Monday, before the sell out was announced.

However, instead of getting his Authenticator, he instead got an unexplained refund. With no other word from Blizzard, they simply canceled the order and refunded the money. He talked to a coworker who had also ordered the Authenticator and found that he had the same experience. As of yet, Blizzard has not explained the refund to him.

It's likely that Ryan was simply unlucky enough to place his order after they'd sold out but before they'd officially announced it, but there's other somewhat unfortunate implications. If they're refunding his order instead of honoring it, it suggests that they don't expect to have any new Authenticators ready for quite some time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hardware, Account Security

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