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    lut-gholein-palaceA recent Blizzard jobs listing has spurred some fan excitement, though largely through confusion. Here’s the quote:

    Senior Software Engineer, Classic Games

    Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation. We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done.

    So if you like wearing many hats, know small teams are the most effective, and look forward to challenges that will create millions of new adventures for our players: we would love to hear from you.

    Responsibilities

  • Make gameplay first again on modern operating systems.
  • Create conditions for experiences that look as good as they play.
  • Own implementation and curation of features new and old.
  • Combat hacking to improve multiplayer.
  • Diagnose and fix all the things: crashes, deadlocks, overflows, heap corruptions, etc.
  • If you read that soberly, it’s obviously just a job opening for a programmer to toil away in the code of D2, SC1, and War3 to make those old games work properly on modern systems. However, if you glanced at it with stars in your eyes, or only heard about it in partial form in chat or on Twitter or some other inadequate communication method, you might have come away with the “Blizzard is remaking Diablo 2 with modern technology!” reaction. Enough people did that clarifications were sought, and Gamespot published one:

    [UPDATE] Blizzard has provided the following statement to GameSpot on the matter.

    “We need engineers to help maintain our legacy games. We have a history of maintaining our games for many years. Our earlier games are still played and enjoyed today, so we want to continue to maintain them for those communities.”

    So no, Blizzard Is Not Remaking Diablo II in 3D. While it’s nice that they’re actually paying programmers money to make 10+ year old games function, I wish they were going back even further. I’ve gotten back into Diablo I a few times over the years, and each time it’s been hours of struggle to get it to run in 256 color compatibility mode, or play on my laptop without a CD drive, or save games properly when the install drive isn’t the C drive, etc. I haven’t tried Warcraft 2 in years, but I’d bet it has the same sort of problems.

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