Chris Metzen Retires from Blizzard

chris-metzenThere’s not going to be much left of Blizzard’s old guard at this rate because this evening DiabloWikiChris Metzen has announced his retirement.

Chris has been the lore master at Blizzard, and although not all lore has been spectacular, he had a hand in just about everything at Blizzard. He’s probably known most for his work on World of Wareraft lore but he did help create the Diablo lore alongside Bill Roper. He also voiced some of the early game’s characters.

Unlike Rob Pardo and other recent departures, Metzen is not creating a new game studio, he really is retiring and says he will “lay around on the couch and get fat”. He will be missed at BlizzCon.

Chris’ announcement is lengthy and you can read his letter to the community after the break.

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Rob Pardo forms Bonfire Studios with Josh Mosqueira and other Blizzard leavers

Rob Pardo Bonfire StudiosRob Pardo departed Blizzard back in July 2014 and has been taking a break but he’s now returning to game development with a few familiar faces. The new studio is called Bonfire Studios.

Josh Mosqueira, who has been hailed as saving Diablo 3 as the game’s second game director, has joined Rob along with Matthew Versluys who was director of BattleNet Engineering and Nick Carpenter who was the vice president of art and cinematic development at Blizzard.


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Unannounced Diablo project artists appears?

There’s been a lot of speculation about a new Diablo game being announced at this year’s Blizzcon following numerous job postings. An interesting Facebook post from a 3D artist could point to work being underway.

Freelance artist Gilberio Magno posted on his Facebook page on 8 September that he is working on an unannounced Blizard project. He wrote:

Hey guys! Believe in your dreams :)

I can’t say the project name for now but I’m very, very… happy to do part of a great project of the Blizzard with amazing team.

I worked hard for this happens. Thanks everyone for all support you gave me until here its was and is very important to me.

While this doesn’t specify it’s Diablo, if you look over his personal site you’ll find examples of Diablo related work, notably his Leoric art which was posted back in April.

While it’s certainly not conclusive evidence, it is intriguing.

Thanks WizardGurl.

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Diablo 3 Podcast #215: Most Iconic Skillls DH/Cru/Wiz

Discussion of ongoing Season 7 play stories, before the main event. Which are the most and least iconic skills for the Crusader, Demon Hunter, and Wizard? The Barb/Monk/WD will get theirs on next week’s show. Featuring Tyr, CaptGoldfish, and Flux.

Click through for show notes and segment start times.

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PALs Preview: Diablo 3 Podcast #215

The newest installment of the Diablo 3 podcast is now online with an exclusive 24 hour preview for our Site PALs. Our beloved site supporters can check out the podcast right now, in the PAL forum.

Diablo 3 Podcast #215: Most Iconic DH/Cru/Wiz Skills

Discussion of ongoing Season 7 play stories, before the main event. Which are the most and least iconic skills for the Crusader, Demon Hunter, and Wizard? The Barb/Monk/WD will get theirs on next week’s show. Featuring Tyr, CaptGoldfish, and Flux.

The podcast will go live tomorrow for everyone, but if you can’t wait and want to become a Site PAL, it’s easy and will only set you back a few bucks a month.

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Watch the Diablo 3 Video Games Live “Leah” in 360

A video of Video Games live performing Diablo 3’s  “Leah” at Gamescom has been released in 360 video form. The guest conductor was Blizzard’s own Russell Brower, Composer and Senior Director of Audio.

As will all Video Games Live performances, this is excellent, and don’t forget to pan around to see the audience.

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Blizzard Launches Facebook Live Streaming Service

Back in June Blizzard announced the Facebook live streaming service and today it’s gone live.

The new system allows gamers to stream any Blizzard game directly to Facebook and a new option is available in the Battle.Net client. If you really want to do this for some weird reason, then you need to setup the your Facebook account in the Battle.Net client and then you can click the “stream” button.

The streaming service is available in the  Americas, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Other regions will follow “soon”.

With most streamers using Twitch or Youtube, it’s an odd partnership but it is free advertising for Blizzard on Facebook. Facebook will also no doubt be capturing as much data as possible on user streaming habits to see what they can do in the future with a streaming service.

Remember folks, there will be a reason this is a thing. Now here’s a video if you really want to do this.

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Diablo 3 Battle.Net Stress Testing Underway on PTR

The PTR is one again live but there’s no new content. This time, Blizzard wants you to test some new behind-the-scenes server magic on the Diablo 3 servers.

We are working on some behind-the-scenes optimizations, and we need you to help test them out! Some of these solutions are not the kind we want to deploy immediately to live servers via hotfix as they come with their fair share of risks—so we need your help!

Join us starting today, August 25, to stress test a special 2.4.2 PTR that includes these optimizations. There’s nothing special we need you to do besides logging in and play the game to your heart’s content!

We’re looking for players of all types to participate, so what are you waiting for? Download that PTR and hop right in!

A few important notes:

  • There is no new content included on this PTR.
  • While you will be able to copy your existing characters, we will also be activating the 2000% Legendary Find buff to encourage participation.
  • As a reminder, any progress made on the PTR does not transfer over to your live account.
  • We will not be opening the PTR feedback or bug report forums, as manual feedback is not needed; we simply need you to play!
  • Over the course of the PTR, server performance may vary.
  • This PTR will only be available for a limited time, and we’d greatly appreciate all the help we can get in testing it quickly and with as many participants as possible!

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Wyatt Cheng on Diablo 3 from Gamescom 2016

Expectations for Diablo 3 anything from Gamescom were not high after Diablo 3 wasn’t even mentioned in Blizzard’s Gamescom preview. That said, senior designer Wyatt Cheng submitted to a short interview by a woman wearing jeans with holes in the knees, and here’s what went down.

The interview focuses on the 20th anniversary of Diablo 3 at the start, and then segues into some recent Diablo 3 stuff. The key bit comes at 1:14, when the interviewer mentions how much content we’ve seen added in patches, and if we’ll keep getting more of that. Wyatt answers by talking about 1) new cosmetic gear in the last patch, 2) set dungeons added in the previous patch, and 3) how Kanai’s Cube was named after Kevin Kanai.

Not to be cynical (though that’s sort of my job) but when the question is “will we keep seeing new content” and the answer is, “look at all the new content we added in the last few patches” without a word about plans for any more new content in future patches, right after the first RoS patch that didn’t really have any new content… hmm.

Blizzard has also posted a couple of “greatest hits” videos showing their reveals and fun stuff (from non Diablo 3 games) during the first two days of Gamescom. Click through to view those and see what’s new in WoW, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and all the rest.

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