Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blizzard a Little Tight Lipped at E3

I hadn't heard much via the usual hype machines about Starcraft 2 or other blizzard titles, and when I read this article on C|Net I smacked my forehead and said "Duh! Blizzcon coming!" This year's E3, for all its "newly refined" subdued and boothbabe-deprived revision is still a big console circle-jerk... and as much as I enjoy some console games, I've always been grumpy about how "E3 season" has historically caused PC gaming news and such to fall to the wayside while every big-time mediawhore outlet out there (is that success envy? You be the judge) worships at the altars of Nintendo, Microsoft's xbox division, and Sony.

But I digress. What was going to be the bit of most interest to me at E3 this year, Blizzard's talk of Starcraft 2 and future Warcraft plans, was apparently a little on the quiet side. As I said, understandable once one remembers how soon it is to Blizzcon. But there were some tidbits revealed in the above article-

For you World of Warcraft fans, you can look forward to built-in voice chat, guild banks, and the new 10-man Zul'aman instance dungeon. Expect voice chat and guild banks first, and it sounded like Blizzard was set to provide more details of those features at its own show. It did tell us that the voice chat will automatically lower the game volume when someone starts talking, and that it will also indicate the current speaker in your group with an icon over his or her character's head.


Finally, in keeping with our interest in forthcoming games, DirectX 10, and Games for Windows Live, we found out that Starcraft 2 does not currently have any DirectX 10 content. Those longer shaders and optimized pathways could find themselves added to content as development continues, but citing timeliness and, again, accessibility, Blizzard's development team isn't too focused on pushing Starcraft 2's graphics into the so-called "next-gen. Also, as you'd imagine, it will be sticking with Blizzard's own player matching software, so don't expect a major push toward Games for Windows Live on this title, either.

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