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Posts with tag rob-pardo

World of Starcraft could still be the next-gen MMO

Arena Junkies picked up an interesting tidbit by comparing two different interviews. Rob Pardo, Blizzard's EVP of Game Design, gave an interview to Onlinewelten in which he talks about the next-gen MMO. That interview isn't exactly news on its own. We knew since Diablo III was announced at the WWI that it probably isn't the new MMO, and Pardo confirms that in the interview. "..Diablo 3 isn't an MMO," Pardo says, "So we have another development team."

But what is that new MMO being developed? Some speculate it could be an entirely new property. Well, Paul Sams, Blizzard's Chief Operating Officer, has an interview with Gamasutra that indicates no new IPs are coming soon. "Are we ever going to release a new [franchise]?" Sams says, "I would absolutely say we will at some point. I just don't know when that day will be quite yet."

Okay, so Blizzard's still working on a MMO, but there's no new IP on the horizon. So, what's the next-gen MMO going to be? World of Warcraft 2? World of Starcraft? And if Diablo 3 isn't considered an MMO, then is there a possibility of a World of Diablo? For me, this just means that my hopes of Tauren Marines aren't yet dead.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard's splash screen changes for June 26th

Is that a face I see in this ice? The saga of the icy splash screen continues, as the newest splash screen has just gone live on Blizzard's sites under the file name ice4.jpg. This time, the ice has cracked away even further, revealing more of the night sky, and what looks to be a face coalescing from the ice flecks and vapor in the middle of the picture. The identity of the face isn't clear, although Alex thinks it may be a Protoss Archon. We've also received this very intriguing picture from tipster Pact, which shows the face overlaid with a picture of Diablo from the Diablo 2 box. Of course, it's worth noting that it could simply be Arthas' eyes as well, peering out from his helmet.

As expected, a new rune has appeared as well, bringing the tally to four. This rune, located to the lower right of the cracking ice, looks like nothing so much as a miniature solar system model -- perhaps related to this model seen during April Fool's? Diablofans.com has suggested it may be a top-down view of an Arcane Sanctum from Warcraft 3 and WoW (You can see one at the Scryer's base in Shadowmoon) as well.

As also expected, a new piece of the strange purple monster has appeared as well. It appears to be the hindquarters of the beast. So far, I'm still sticking to my belief that it's some sort of purple penguin. This file was named 16.jpg, which, if we follow the alphabet conversion method we've been using for previous pieces, gives us the letter "P." "Powd" is the best I can get out of that. Does that mean this picture is that of a new mascot named "Powder the penguin"? As usual, you can see all of these graphics in our splash screen speculation gallery, which is constantly being updated with new speculation and analysis as the WWI draws nearer.

There's more analysis to come after the break.

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Filed under: Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon, Rumors, Worldwide Invitational

Ron Pardo hints at a new game announcement at Paris GDC

Pardo at the Austin GDCAs you may recall, Rob Pardo was the keynote speaker at this week's GDC in Paris, only days before the Worldwide Invitational in the same city. He delivered a speech laden with a lot of insight into his and Blizzard's inner workings and philosophy, but not much in the way of new information about WoTLK, as Natalie reported yesterday.

However, Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Pardo did let a rather major piece of information slip in the final Q&A session that wrapped up on the conference. It looks like there may be a new game announcement at the Invitational later this week after all. Someone asked Pardo to comment on the Diablo 3 rumors that have been whizzing around the net lately.

"So you want me to announce the game before our announcement?" he said. "No offense, but I think there's like 300 people here, and I'll be ripped apart by 8000 people there [at the Invitational] if I pre-announce it - but it's going to be really exciting. I think everybody here will be really excited about the announcement."

Luckily, among those 8000 people at the Worldwide Invitational will be three of our own, so you can expect WoW Insider will be on top of this announcement when it drops. In the meantime, be sure to check our in-depth analysis of the latest changes to Blizzard's splash screen, which is almost certainly a teaser for this announcement.

[Thanks for the forward, Centipede!]

Filed under: Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, Rumors, Worldwide Invitational

Rob Pardo talks about free WoW, Starcraft, Activision

Rob Pardo, SVP of game design at Blizzard, gave the keynote speech at the Game Developer's Conference held in Paris this week. Here are some WoW-related tidbits from his talk and the Q&A session held afterward.

About WoW
  • WoW was first conceived as free to play, being supported by advertising. However, the non-subscription business model couldn't support Blizzard's goals for the game.
  • Pardo suggested that Blizzard approached the MMO genre "very naively, or else we might not have done it."
  • He once hired a WoW player who sent him a 16-page diatribe about the game because, even though the guy was wrong, "he was passionate" about improving the game.
About Starcraft 2
  • Blizzard has no problem putting intellectual properties on hold for a while, hence the wait for a Starcraft game. Pardo says that they wanted to make a real-time strategy game but were "tired of green-skinned orcs" so they moved away from Warcraft to Starcraft.
  • Starcraft 2 is at a playable stage in its development and he's having a lot of fun with it.
Read more about Rob Pardo's keynote speech.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Pardo says Warcraft IV is "one of the ideas on the table" after SC2

Our good friends at Gamedaily recently got a chance to sit down and talk with Rob Pardo, VP of Blizzard, and he dropped hints about yet another new game that they might be working on. No, not Starcraft II, or the rumored Diablo 3, or even the long-awaited (and unfortunately, probably never coming) Lost Vikings sequel. Nope -- he hinted that after the release of Starcraft II, whenever that happens, Blizzard's RTS team might be hard at work on... Warcraft IV.

Don't hold your breath, of course (this is Blizzard we're talking about) -- this would be after the current real-time strategy game is done, and Pardo says it would be "one of the the ideas on the table," so it's not exactly in the planning stages yet. But it's interesting to hear that Blizzard may still return to the Warcraft universe under the RTS banner -- we've seen such a different aspect of the world in the MMO, it would be very strange to go back to controlling these units from the top down.

Pardo also says that a console version of WoW is pretty much out of the question at this point -- if there is going to be a super-successful console MMO, it's not going to be World of Warcraft, as this game was designed for PC and has gone through so many iterations since that Blizzard isn't at all interested in trying a port. We are still waiting for that playable version of the Molten Core console game, though...

[via WorldofWar]

Update: Whoops, the interview is a bit old (Pardo said this last year). Still, news to me that Blizzard might bring RTS back into the Warcraft universe, but considering that Starcraft II doesn't even have a rumored release date yet, we're going to be waiting a long, long time.

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

Beckett names Rob Pardo most influential person in MMOs

Pardo at GDC 08Beckett's July-August issues of Massive Online Gamer magazine (which went on sale yesterday) names what they think are the 20 most influential names in the MMORPG business today, and as you might expect, a World of Warcraft figure topped the list, namely Rob Pardo, Senior VP of Game Design for Blizzard Entertainment.

Interestingly enough, Rob Pardo is the only current Blizzard figure that appears on the list. It seems to me, at the least, that Tom Chilton (If only for the Esports thing) or Jeff Kaplan should have been considered for the list as well, and I'm sure most of my fellow old school gamers are noticing the glaring absence of Lum The Mad, the grandfather of all MMO critics.

Still, most of us can agree, I'm sure, that Pardo deserves the top spot. It's hard to argue with the success of Blizzard's games, especially WoW, and it doesn't look like it's going to flag anytime soon with WoTLK on the way. You can check out the complete list here, and see how much you agree with it.

[Via Massively]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Rob Pardo to keynote at the Paris Game Developers Conference

Blizzard's Rob Pardo, Senior Vice President of Game Design, has been recruited to keynote the Paris GDC this summer, which will take place on June 23rd and 24th at the at the Coeur Défense Convention Centre in Paris. He'll participate in a Q&A session in which he will discuss his inspirations and challenges, as well as Blizzard's future plans.

The official press release should appear soon on the Paris GDC site.

The Paris GDC will be taking place a few days before Blizzard's World Wide Invitational in the same city. We're expecting a lot of choice WoTLK news to drop there, but certainly, Pardo may say something juicy ahead of time at the Paris GDC, and we'll be sure to find out if he does.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Worldwide Invitational

Ten innovation lessons from Blizzard

The OC Register (Blizzard's HQ -- I'm pretty sure that's where it's at, as they're not exactly open with their location info -- is located right down near them in Southern California) has a blog post up featuring 11 "innovation lessons" other companies can learn from the folks behind World of Warcraft. While the lessons aren't exactly innovative themselves (I think there are lots of companies that do this stuff, and none of them have a ten million player game), the post does provide a good look inside Blizzard's process and the thinking behind what they do.

Blizzard is pretty stubbornly committed to quality -- not only do they notoriously release things "when they're done," but if something doesn't work they apparently are happy to trash it completely (see Starcraft: Ghost). It is amusing, too, that Rob Pardo says he and Frank Pearce are trying to make "great entertainment projects, not perfect ones." WoW has its bugs, sure, but when you look at Blizzard's catalog: Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft, you have to wonder what a "perfect" game looks like in Pardo's mind. Those are about as perfect as they come.

And they "eat their own dog food," too: J. Allen Brack apparently spends four hours a night (up to 15 hours a week) playing the game on his own time at home. Seems like it would be tough for other companies to pull these strategies into their own plan (Blizzard really releases one-of-a-kind products), but as consumers, it's neat to get another look into the way they work.

[Via Slashdot]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

This week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe dominated by World of Warcraft. The Game Developers Conference 08 coverage took up much of last week with many people comparing their efforts to WoW's success. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.

The Daily Grind: When will you be done with WoW?
Akela Talamasca wants know what is it that will end the WoW-affair?



GDC08: Massively is Live at the Future of MMOs panel
Rob Pardo, VP of Game Design at Blizzard was on a panel at GDC last week debating the Future of MMOs. Massively's Michael Zenke was there to liveblog it.


Ask Massively: Show me the MMOney!
What will it take to overcome WoW? Massively lays out the battle plan.



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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blood Sport: Is WoW turning into a PvP game?


V'Ming - who thinks that gnome warlocks are travesties of nature and need to be KOSed - shares thoughts and ideas on becoming deadlier at the Arenas. He also dabbles in the dark arts in Blood Pact.

Looking at some of the upcoming class changes in patch 2.4, I can't help but feel that many of them are driven by PvP - particularly Arena - issues. Blizzard is undoubtedly trying to level the playing field for the classes before the 3v3 Arena Tournament, tentatively set to begin in April. That's a very short time to iron out problems and further imbalances that the patch will bring.

A design philosophy that Blizzard has insisted on from the beginning is that each class should play similarly in both PvP and PvP. Tom Chilton (Lead Designer, or Kalgan) said at last year's Blizzcon that the game "shouldn't have significantly different rules for spells in PvP vs PvE."

"Slower" water in Arenas is the latest change that depart from this philosophy, in addition to PvP-only diminishing returns, and PvP-oriented stats like Resilience and Spell Penetration. However, since many class changes apply to both PvP and PvE, PvE players seem to be "dragged" along by changes meant to tune their classes' PvP performance. Shamans and druids seem to be most affected this patch with changes to Nature's Swiftness, Elemental Mastery, Call of Thunder for shamans, and Lifebloom for druids.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Classes, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

GDC08: Pardo and others on the future of MMOs


This afternoon gaming luminaries Rob Pardo (Blizzard), Min Kim (Nexon), Ray Muzyka (Bioware), Jack Emmert (Cryptic), and Matt Miller (NCsoft) got together at GDC to exchange their thoughts on the future of the industry. Sister site Massively was there live, no doubt typing furiously in order to catch every crumb of information. Want to know what's going to happen to your favorite game (or games!) in 10 or 20 years? Check out Massively's live coverage.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard

GDC08: Live from Rob Pardo talks about Blizzard's approach to MMOs


Rob Pardo, Blizzard's Senior Vice President of Game Design, is speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this afternoon and WoW Insider is here live to catch it all. Though the auditorium is just filling up, Pardo should be out in a few minutes to tell us all about Blizzard's approach to multiplayer game design. Catch the full details after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items

Rob Pardo to speak at the 2008 Game Developers Conference

The 2008 Game Developers Conference is underway in San Francisco right now, and this means there should be quite a bit of gaming news and juicy bites to report on in the next few days. Blizzard's own Rob Pardo is there as a featured speaker, participating in a panel on the future of MMORPGs and giving a talk on Blizzard's approach to multiplayer gaming design. Hopefully that means we might even get a few pieces of new information about Warcraft and the expansion, or even beyond.

Our colleagues at Massively will be watching the whole conference closely, as will we, and we'll be sure to keep you up to date if Blizzard drops any bombshells of the Lich King variety or otherwise.

And speaking of conference news, Gamespot's posted more video coverage of the DICE 08 Summit, including Blizzard's presentation, which you can watch here.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

From guild bank robberies to Italian painters recast as Tauren Druids, this week's round up of WoW-related posts on our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe dominated by World of Warcraft. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed.

Rumor: Blizzard working on a cell application for World of Warcraft?
Word at the Mobile Games Forum event last week is that Blizzard has plans for porting some part of WoW for cell phone use. Michael Zenke runs down the rumor.


How would a Starcraft MMO work?
Akela Talamasca explores how Blizzard could transform Starcraft into their next MMO using World of Warcraft as a model. Player vs Player vs Player anyone?


The Battle of San Romano ... FOR THE HORDE
Works of classical art updated for the digital age? Who knew a Late Gothic painter would be playing a Tauren Druid?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Features

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