Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag starcraft-ii

Blizzard franchises get their own Twitter accounts

We recently learned of a quiet little announcement that Blizzard's three hot properties now each have Twitter accounts of their own. If you use Twitter, you can now follow @warcraft, @starcraft, and @diablo.

All three accounts are pretty bare at the moment aside from some catchphrases, but I'm going to bet the accounts will be used as another miniature news outlet, much like the front pages of their respective websites. It's probably also safe to say we'll be seeing a lot of product and tournament plugs, too. If you're a Twitter fiend, you might want to click that follow button for them (and our account, too). If you don't normally use Twitter, it's too early to say if these accounts are anything you should go out of your way to check out. If there's any major WoW news showing up there, it will find its way here too. Your life probably won't end if you don't follow them. Probably.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Blizzard headed back to PAX this year

Can't make it to BlizzCon but still want to check out Blizzard's latest offerings? Blizzard has appeared on the list of sponsors for Penny Arcade's PAX convention, which takes place later this year on September 4-6, 2009 in Seattle, Washington. PAX is a great time and a ton of fun -- I went a few years ago, and really enjoyed it. In addition to a terrific lineup of geeky musicians and demo panels from game developers, they always have a nice open floor full of the latest games to check out and play. And since PAX will be going down after BlizzCon (which takes place in two weeks), if you go, you'll likely have a chance to check out whatever Blizzard wants to put on display, be that Starcraft II or Diablo 3, or, you know... anything else they might announce.

Plus, tickets to PAX are cheaper and even easier to get than BlizzCon tickets anyway, not to mention that you'll be seeing way more games and companies than just Blizzard. In fact, why am I going to BlizzCon again? I'd almost rather go to PAX this year. I'd love to see Freezepop!

Oh, right, I can't miss our legendary meetup (wait until you guys see the giveaways we have planned!). But even if you're going to Penny Arcade's show because you can't make it to Blizzard's convention, stay tuned here to WoW.com -- we'll make you feel like you're there anyway.

Filed under: Items, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm

Blizzard on the Battle.net update


Activision-Blizzard held their second quarter conference call yesterday, and in addition to addressing the Starcraft II delay, both Mike Morhaime and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick shared some insight into what the revamped Battle.net will be like. The brand new system (which is currently up and working, albeit in a very skeleton form so far) will have "social networking features, cross-game communication, [and] unified account management," in addition to features that will let players "share experiences" with each other online (we'd presume that means things like screenshot galleries and leaderboards, but who knows?). Kotick also spoke up, and compared the service to that other popular online community, Xbox Live.

Blizzard is still saying the new Battle.net will come in conjunction with the new Starcraft, so we'll have to keep an eye out for them both in the first half of 2010. It'll be interesting to see what other features Blizzard adds in, and exactly what form features like "cross-game communication" take -- do they mean actual in-game messaging across games, or just status updates and messages on a social network? Kotick's comparison to Xbox Live raises some questions, too, as that's a much wider service than you'd think Battle.net would be. But then again, the guy's a CEO, and all CEOs have a tendency to overestimate exactly what their company is doing. Like most of Blizzard's upcoming releases, we'll have to wait and see on Battle.net.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Account Security

StarCraft II delayed to 2010

In an official press release, Blizzard announced today that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first installment of the Starcraft II trilogy, previously indicated to be released in the last quarter of this year, is delayed to the first half of 2010.

The release cited the massive amount of work necessary to overhaul Blizzard's online matchmaking service, Battle.net, as the main culprit for the delay. Since the new BNet will be part of every new Blizzard game from here on in -- including World of Warcraft, as players with BNet accounts have seen -- it's vital that the service be working properly before the game's release.

StarCraft II was never officially dated -- only an on-the-sly indication -- and multiple financial sites have reported the now-official release date as the first half of 2010 following this announcement and Activision-Blizzard's quarterly financial report.

What does this mean for the WoW player? Well, it means that if you were expecting the focus of BlizzCon, or one of the focuses of BlizzCon, to be a StarCraft II release date, you'd be incorrect.

Gives you pause when you consider what else they could be announcing instead, eh?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Divining just what that "non-personal system information" might be

As Eliah noted the other day, Blizzard is running another hardware survey -- your WoW client will be sending them information about what kinds of hardware are in your computer. They've done this before, and as you may have realized, this type of information helps them determine system requirements for future games. A few people have already speculated that they're testing the waters for another WoW expansion, but I doubt any expansion is that far along in the process yet: my guess is that this latest round of hardware testing is actually being done for final calibration on Starcraft II, due out this fall. Blizzard doesn't share this hardware information with us, but Valve, another company that has a really wide install base with its Steam service, does release regular information about the kinds of computers its games are running on.

There is, of course, another question here: do we really want Blizzard jumping in and taking this information from us? There aren't any obvious reasons to protect this information (most computers will give it up to any Internet-connected application without issue), but you never know: do you really want Blizzard checking out what's on your hard drive or what accessories you've hooked up to your computer? We'd presume that they don't dive into software information (like checking your computer's HD for signs of competing MMO installs), but certainly they could. The list of what they check includes: "CPU, RAM, operating system, video, audio, HD/CD/DVD, and network connection," but we don't know if that's everything or not (the Terms of Use, under "XVIII Acknowledgements" says something similar). And as Blizzard's alert says, while we do get a momentary notification that this information is being sent, users who have merged their Battle.net accounts will no longer even see that flash of a message, even though their info is still being sent. The ToS says Blizzard doesn't have to notify us of the survey, but they have in the past anyway.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Hardware, Account Security

Authenticators back in stock at the Blizzard store


Good news for those of you who haven't yet been able to grab an authenticator -- the units are back in stock at the Blizzard store (for both the US and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America, with the EU version available over on their store). The price remains a cheap $6.00, and this latest version features art from Starcraft II.

Which, now that I think about it, pretty much confirms that it will work not only with World of Warcraft, but all Blizzard games going forward. Obviously, with Starcraft II not even in beta yet, hackers and scammers aren't exactly targeting it, but Blizzard is thinking ahead, so if you don't have the tech yet, now's your chance to pick it up (at least until they run out of stock again).

And don't forget -- if you don't have an authenticator yet, but do have a compatible mobile phone, you can always pick up the Mobile Authenticator. Especially if you have an iPhone or an iPod touch, free is the way to go.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Hardware, Account Security

SteelSeries giving away autographed Starcraft II mouse pads

A few weeks ago we posted about SteelSeries giving away Wrath mouse pads signed by pro-gamers, and while that was all fine and dandy, there were quite a few people looking for more, such as autographs from Blizzard employees, perhaps. Good news, everyone! SteelSeries has made good on that, and all this week they're giving away more mouse pads on their Facebook page, though this time they're Starcraft II gaming surfaces, not World of Warcraft.

Who's donating their autograph this time around? Wei Wang, the artist behind the now-iconic image of Arthas and Frostmourne, which is plastered all over Wrath of the Lich King products. Wei Wang is also rumored to be the new Son of the Storm, the artists that basically fuel and control Blizzard's aesthetics. So while this might just be a mouse pad that he's signing, it might as well be a part of Blizzard history if you're into that sort of thing.

Head over to their Facebook page and follow the supplied instructions. Good luck!

Filed under: Events, Contests

The Daily Quest: Not Illidan


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, The Daily Quest

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

The Queue: Battle.net


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

So we said that we would have a special edition of The Queue this past Saturday. It never happened. Why? Well, the intent was for it to be entertainment while we all sat in the queue for BlizzCon tickets. Yammer about BlizzCon, get excited, all of that sort of thing. Adam and I put ourselves in the ticket queue, were getting ready to push the post out, and then... ticket sales were over. It was kind of a pointless post at that point! So it never happened. We apologize for that.

The ticket sales went surprisingly smoothly. We're always going to find something to gripe about (holy crap why don't they have more tickets) but the whole thing didn't come tumbling down this year, and that's such a massive improvement over last year. It was a good thing.

Dusseldorf asked...

"Is there any benefit to converting my account to a Battle.net account? I see problems with Battle.net users logging in all the time, and was just wondering the point of converting."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Blizzard fills out the BlizzCon site

We covered the ticket FAQ for BlizzCon a few days ago, but there is more news up on Blizzard's official site about the event we all want to attend later this year. They've got an early list of developer panels to browse through, and there are sessions planned, as you'd expect, for Diablo III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft (though there aren't any surprises -- if they are going to do a "next expansion" demo panel, obviously we won't know until we look in the programs that weekend). Zarhym has also posted links to the usual contests, tournaments, and information on how to order up the DirecTV coverage.

Unfortunately, it's all pretty rote -- these are basically skeleton pages from what Blizzard did last year, and there's no actual information specific to BlizzCon '09: what the DirecTV purchase might get you, or any new events coming up. But if you haven't been to BlizzCon before, these pages will start giving you some idea of what you'll find there, from the lore and art panels (hint: any panel called "lore" usually has Chris Metzen being extremely entertaining, and any panel with "PvP" in the title will involve people asking question after question to the devs about why one class -- usually Paladins -- is over- or underpowered) to the ongoing competitions you'll see around the event all weekend.

And heck, if you have been to BlizzCon before, maybe these scant notes on what is happening will get you even more excited. Ticket sales begin next weekend -- good luck to everyone trying to buy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Contests, BlizzCon

Grunty, the Murloc Marine appears on the PTR

We've had WoW and Diablo 3-themed BlizzCon/Worldwide Invitational in-game pets already, so you might say "hell, it's about time" when we tell you that Grunty, a murloc in Space Marine power armor, is on its way.

MMO-Champion's Boubouille, head of the Romulan Data Miners Guild, discovered the pet's model while performing routine excavation on the newly-updated 3.1.2 patch files.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that all signs point to this being part of the BlizzCon goody bag as opposed to TCG loot, meaning there's even less of a chance for you to get it. Hope you're prepared to beat the queue to get one. Heck, I'm even considering trying to go after seeing this -- I can't wait to see the idle animations he gets. According to the screenshots, it looks like he even blasts the air with his flamethrower. For once, the fish will do the frying.

*puts on sunglasses, plays "Won't Get Fooled Again"*

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2008 beta codes now being accepted


Our sister site Joystiq pointed out last night to their readers that the BlizzCon 2008 beta codes were now being accepted, and we thought it prudent to pass the news along to you.

You can enter the code over at http://www.blizzcon.com/beta and enjoy the satisfaction that you'll get knowing in a few months (or less?) you'll be playing the beta of StarCraft II.

The code took me a few others on staff a couple tries to enter. 'B' looks like '8', and 'S' looks like '8'. You'll probably need to try a few different permutations of the code until you get it right. When you enter the right code, you'll get an email 'confirmation' that really just tells you that you've entered the key successfully. You don't have to do anything further. The email is a little oddly worded though, and doesn't look like your typical Blizzard email. So we've posted a copy of it after the break for folks.

BlizzCon 2009 is coming up on August 21st and 22nd of this year. We'll be there in force again. Should be a blast!

Read more →

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Rumor: The9 loses WoW license in China to Netease


The9 has been the target of persistent rumors over the last few months that they're on the verge of losing their license from Blizzard to operate World of Warcraft in China. First, we heard about their financial troubles, and then came rumors that Blizzard was going to ditch them. And now we've got WorldofWar.net reporting a rumor that Netease will be the company to take over the reins there. It makes sense -- Netease has been growing a lot during their history, and they successfully operate Fantasy Westward Journey, an MMO with a US value of $761 million, with 400,000 average concurrent users. They're already supposed to take over Blizzard's Warcraft III and Starcraft II in China, so Blizzard will actually be consolidating their properties.

The rumor supposedly comes from a leaked internal memo to The9 employees, which says that an unnamed company (supposedly Netease) is trying to pick up the rights and hardware for the game for a cool $22 million. The9 reportedly paid $73 million for the same capability, so they're losing twice on the deal -- both the license and the money they spent on it.

Not good news for The9 if it all turns out to be true, but maybe this means Chinese players will get their expansions a little sooner. Of course, a lot goes into releasing new content overseas (translation is definitely not a small part of it), but having a more capable operator probably won't hurt.

Update: Confirmed. Thanks for playing, The9. Their stock is down big time since the announcement, and Netease's is up.

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

Activision-Blizzard is not Blizzard

I worked at Blizzard for close to three years. During my time there I saw a lot of big things happen: the closing of the Console Division and shelfing of Starcraft Ghost, the launch of the first (and second!) World of Warcraft expansion ... and one that some people say is the biggest event in Blizzard's history, Vivendi Games' merger with Activision.

The merger was, of course, a controversial move; and, like any corporate maneuver, it's generated a lot of misunderstandings, misreporting, misinformation ... in general, it's been a flurry of mis-es. It's upsetting and frustrating to see so many people not understand what the merger means and, in turn, form stubborn opinions.

If you want to help curb ignorance and misunderstanding regarding what's going on with the merger, you're in luck. My former employment at Blizzard means I have a lot of information to share to set the record straight. Even if you're going to continue believing that Blizzard is somehow dipping in quality or in a bad way because of the merger, at least read what I have to say. It'll be worth it.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots And Concept Art
Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day
Kalimdor in Minecraft
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2012
It came from the Blog: Caroling Carnage
It came from the Blog: Hallow's End 2011
It came from the Blog: Pilgrim's Bounty 2011
Mat's Birthday Wish
WoW Tier 13 Armor Sets

 

Categories