Blizzard Not Attending 2009 E3 Expo

A few days ago, major gaming sites reported that Activision Blizzard had returned to this year’s E3 Exhibitors List. Last year, Vivendi and Activision had withdrew their ESA membership and E3 altogether.  GiantBomb—where ex-Gamespot Editorial Director Jeff Gerstmann works nowadays—got response from Blizzard Entertainment. And the answer was:

Blizzard Quote:
Blizzard Entertainment will not be attending or participating in E3 2009.

Short and straight. This is a big surprise, knowing Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 won’t get the press time and hands-on gameplay at an event that Blizzard had previously attended to. It seems Blizzcon and the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals will remain to be the main platforms for new game and expansion announcements—including hands-on gameplay.

Last year’s Blizzcon had the whooping achievement of over 15,000 attendees from all around the world.

Starcraft 2 Battle Report 2 Soon And More Beta Teasing

It is quite impressive the amount of time Cavez (Dustin Browder) has been putting into answering questions in Battle.net.  Not just to answer questions relevant to Starcraft II units, but to TEASE the heck out of players. Is Starcraft II beta imminent? I will leave that to your imagination.

Blizzard Quote:
King.evan: When is the GAME coming out?!?!?!

Cavez: Sometime after the battle-report.

Livorion: Are we going to see Zerg gameplay?

Cavez: No promises. We will show the best thing we have. If we get a great game that is Protoss vs. Protoss then that’s what we will show. But we really want to show Zerg.

Archerofaiur: If I rally my barracks to a bunker do the units automaticaly enter? What about rallying to a dropship?

Cavez: In the current build you can rally a Barracks into a Bunker or a transport. Units rallied in this way move successfully to the bunker or transport and enter. If the transport is moving, the rallied unit will chase the transport until it catches up and then the rallied unit loads.

Starcraft 2 Q&A Round Up – Feb 2009

There have been some interesting answers to fan’s questions at the battle.net forums the past few days.  The questions deal with the Protoss Observers, Medivac’s Paladin Beam, Beta Key regional availability, and the Protoss Colossus.

Blizzard Quote:
Terribledamage: Are there any new abilities/upgrades for Observers?

Cavez: Observer art is still being worked on, but I wouldn’t expect a ton of changes. If you want to post on its current look, please do. As to function, he is such a clean and fun little unit we haven’t felt the need for any changes to how he works. If you guys want to make suggestions on the Observer we will be happy to look at them.

Upgrades are something we are still working on. So I don’t know what is going to happen there yet.

Monklo: Can a Terran Medivac’s “Paladin Beam” heal zerg air units?

Cavez: The ability works on all Zerg units (including air).

Bobod: Will the tournaments that will giveaway beta keys be only on United States?

Karune: There will be opportunities in all our supported regions to attain beta keys. The types of opportunities are still in planning, but some of them we’ll be ready to reveal relatively soon.

Theoblivion: Siege Tanks can’t attack a unit that is too close to it. Will Colossus have a blind spot too? Or can it attack either way, close and far?

Karune: It does not currently have any blind spots. On a side note, we are working to buff up the Colossus a bit more to have more burst attack (more attack damage but slower attack speed). Previously, in order for the Colossus to be very effective, a Protoss player would need several of them on the field attacking at the same time. This change should make the Colossus more effective with smaller numbers.

Sarah McKerrigan Signing At 2009 Queen Mary Scottish Festival

The voice behind Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in StarCraft is also an accomplished medieval romance book writer. It is one of her passions besides voice acting.  Glynnis Talken-Campbell (Sarah McKerrigan) will make a public appearance at the Queen Mary Scottish Festival & Games! signing books at the Tea & Sympathy booth on Sunday, February 15th.

Glynnis: ” … so if you like to throw darts, listen to bagpipes, sip whiskey, drool over men in kilts, and celebrate all things Scottish, drop by the Long Beach Harbor and say hi!”

You can find tickets info, maps & directions, phone number, email and a brochure (PDF) about the event at the following webpage.

Don’t forget to share your photos with the gorgeous voice actress with us.

Starcraft Comic Book Fans Chat

I have the pleasure to inform fans that DC Comics will address our questions about the upcoming StarCraft Comic Book by Wildstorm Comics. It is satisfying to say the least, considering it has not officially been announced via press release. This is kind of a last minute call to all fans who are looking forward to this comic book. Please, submit your questions for our exclusive Q&A with DC Comics. As a lore fan myself, I always strive to deliver fans’ questions to the writers and developers on your behalf. You have awaited a decade to see this project become a reality. This is your opportunity to get a sneak peek in advance.

Simply enter your username and type your question. Press the Send button to submit your questions. I will be able to read them later on my end.  If you wish to talk live about the comic book, I will be online on Tuesday, February 3rd around 4pm EST (-5GMT – New York), 12pm (California), 10pm (Paris). More below …

Starcraft Comic Book Closer To Prints

Shawn Moll (Wildstorm artist) shared the original concept art of Nuura shown in the BlizzCon exclusive Starcraft comic book ashcan (sampler). Shawn Moll informed he is no longer in the project, and most of the original team (i.e. writer and artists) and concepts for the Starcraft comic book have been changed.  This is the norm with early project developments, and Starcraft fans are well-versed on Starcraft and Starcraft II alpha and beta changes throughout the development cycle.

Personally, I would have liked to see the original team in the first arc of the Starcraft comic book, but eventually some of them might. Those who are comic book enthusiasts know that writers and artists come and go between story arcs.  As of last week, a DC Comics representative informed me there is no time window for the official press release announcement of the Starcraft comic book by Wildstorm. Visit us for new updates about this comic book.  I will be at the New York Comic Con to interview Blizzard’s Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson and some DC Comics folks.

Below is a quote of what Shawn Moll responded to my queries.

Shawn Moll: “… this is the original page from my sketchbook of Nuura, that was used in the published preview that is already floating around the internet.

The ship was an earlier version that I was dinking around with. When I was working on it, somebody had asked for “something like Serenity” and this was deemed “too much like Serenity”. I think it must’ve been the rotating thruster things on sides. I think they’re pretty cool, in general, but they certainly aren’t exclusive to the ship in Firefly, as I think you can see similar design elements in Star Wars, Bladerunner and various other sci-fi. Either way, I guess ya gotta start somewhere.

As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, they opted for another direction with the book and the original creative team is no longer involved, but down the road, when the new book does hit stands, I’ll post more of the art that I did when I was on the project. I’ve seen colored versions of some covers and pinups that I drew that I thought turned out pretty sweet, so I’d think you might be seeing some solicits before too long.”

Win Starcraft II BETA keys !!!

Karune has just made everyone’s day with this post. Beta seems to be closer and closer with all the hint and teasing in the past days. You have the opportunity to win a Starcraft II beta key by participating in the Vespene Laughs! Starcraft II Comic Contest every month !!!

Blizzard Quote:
Vespene Laughs! StarCraft II Comic Contest Update
StarCraft II Beta Keys are up for grabs to the funniest, wittiest, able to cause a fun chuckle in your fellow StarCraft fans!

As a FYI, we will be adding (2) StarCraft II Beta Keys to the Vespene Laughs 1st place winner’s prize package each month for the StarCraft II Comic Contest. The rules will be updated accordingly for the February round of entries. Additionally, we will also reward previous 1st place winners of the contest as well with the beta keys as well.

This contest will be the first of various contests that will begin offering a chance to get into the StarCraft II Beta. If you know there isn’t a funny bone anywhere in ya, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities, just keep checking back with us.

Starcraft Patch 1.16.1 Released

Blizzard released surprisingly a new Starcraft: Brood War patch. It doesn’t really fix any gameplay bugs or exploits, but it may certainly help some players with old computers or low RAM memory overall.

Blizzard Quote:
We have just released a new patch for StarCraft! Just connect to Battle.net and the patch should automatically download.

Starcraft and Brood War Patch Information

————————————————————————————————————————
– patch 1.16.1
————————————————————————————————————————

Feature Changes

– In-game Speed Options menu now has a “Enable CPU Throttling” checkbox.
Enabling this option will allow StarCraft to consume fewer CPU cycles. By
default this option is off.

Bug Fixes

– Fixed an issue with the reply feature where any character followed by a “r “
was being treated as a reply.
– Removed an unnecessary delay when processing palette cycling updates.
– Lessened the imposed delay in the CPU Throttling feature.

Starcraft 2 Beta Date Set in Stone?

Our sister network site, StarcraftWire.net, reports (german-to-english translation) that Blizzard slipped at the ESL in Vienna, Austria the Starcraft II Beta has an internal release date.  The date was not revealed, and it is not certain if the date is set in stone. However, to hear Blizzard confirm they have an internal date means CLOSED BETA is imminent. Starcraft anniversary (April 1) is coincidentially very close, barely 2 months away. It could happen any time between February and April range. Crosses fingers. By the way … GIMME BETA !!!!

Sorry, I had to.

Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga Preview Scans

Tokyopop has released a preview scan of inner-pages from the Starcraft: Frontline Vol. 2 Manga. You can view the scans at the bottom of this page. Press the square icon for full-screen view mode. Once you are done, hit the Escape button in your keyboard to exit Full-Screen mode. Then pick any of the next three story preview scans. Each story displays 9 pages.

Make sure to visit Blizzplanet and StarcraftWire for our New York Comic Con coverage through February 6-8. I will be meeting the Tokyopop editors there, and thanks to Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster) I have secured an exclusive interview with Chris Metzen at the event.

If you got Starcraft II, Starcraft books or manga questions for our Chris Metzen interview feel free to post them here.

Blizzard Quote:
The brutal… The menacing… The twisted… Confront the vast, renowned world of StarCraft inside this collection of mind-blowing adventures.

Heavy Armor