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Blizzard registers Project Blackstone domain, leaves everyone guessing


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Thanks to Fusible.com, we know that Blizzard has recently become the owner of ProjectBlackstone.com. The name does not currently resolve to an actual webpage, but that's to be expected. This type of action from the company is not new, having registered WarcraftBattles.com just over a month ago and opened a dispute for HeroesofWarcraft.com on November 20th.

What makes this move stand out is that nobody can strongly tie it to any of their current franchises, which of course makes it a great candidate for being related to Titan. We might be witnessing the first sighting of the game's real name, but before we jump to such conclusions, let's see what our other options are:

 
  • One of the most popular theories is that it relates to Diablo 3 and that it might be the name of its next expansion. This is because The Black Soulstone is a critical lore item in the original D3 and it will probably play an important role in the next expansion, considering how the story ended. The problem with this theory is the obvious lack of "soul" in the domain name and also the addition of the word "project", which is far from being an appropriate term inside the Diablo universe. Even so, this is the most probable theory right now.
  • I've also seen many people jump and tie this domain name to a resurrection of the BlackThorne universe. Unfortunately, there is no real indication of this anywhere and the only arguments for this theory are that both names have the word "black" in them and that there is indeed a dark stone mentioned in Blackthorne's story. Not exactly much to go on...
  • Next in line, we have the Warcraft universe. (Un)fortunately, the mention of "blackstone" in it can be counted on the fingers from one hand and they're all minor occurrences, that don't really justify a new expansion being named after them: Blackstone Ring, Blackstone Span, Tharek Blackstone, Black Stone. It can of course be something completely new, but again, the word "project" makes this domain kind of incompatible with a fantasy universe like Warcraft.
  • The 2 remaining games, Starcraft and All-Stars present no visible ties with this domain name. Even more, we already know the name of Starcraft's future expansions, so it's pretty safe to erase it from the list.
  • The single remaining possibility, besides the one we're all here for, is that this new domain is related to something still under wraps, but not Titan. It would be pretty weird though if that were the case. Unless it's a smaller project, like an app or a new B.NET feature, I don't see why Blizzard would start to prepare for it before it makes everything ready for Titan, which should be in a more advanced state. I mean, Titan is already mentioned during the Conference Calls as an upcoming franchise, while there are no mentions of anything else new.
 
And so, we arrive at the option we're all thinking of. Could Titan's real name be Project Blackstone? This would certainly not be a codename, I mean, how many codenames does a game need and also, why register a domain for something that's supposed to be used internally? So if Project Blackstone is connected to Titan, it probably is its real name or atleast part of it.

I don't think we should really start speculating on this just yet, as it can turn out to be anything (or nothing), but I can't help notice that the inclusion of the word "project" in this domain name does support what we suspect of Titan, namely that it will take place in the present or near-future.

Other random notes:
  • Blackstone is a very popular trademark. No less than 12 trademarks with this exact name exist currently in the US. While they're all from different domains than video games, I can imagine that it's a crowded neighborhood already and Blizzard might want to avoid that. So this might be an additional reason for the inclusion of "project" in the name.
  • Interested to see how http://www.theblackstoneproject.com/ will be affected by this. If Blizzard is serious about the name, they'll probably get in touch and work something out and we might see a change there soon.
  • Update. As fellow TF member JohnD points out, the Blackstone name can also be found inside the Warhammer 40k universe, specifically inside the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook, written by ex-Blizzard Creative Director and Starcraft 2 lead, Andy Chambers. The Blackstone Fortress is a massive ship of unknown origin, able to destroy entire planets.
Let me know what you guys think. Maybe you have any new clues? I'm still investigating this and will update the article if anything new shows up.





62 Comments

Great early article Mynsc! It covers all the angles that I think pop up first in everyone's heads.

I'm really leaning towards it being connected to a D3 expansion. Even though you made good points Mynsc, the connection seems too strong for me, and more likely than any other scenario, real or imagined.

Check out this picture up in the Blizzard Irvine Museum. Note all of the other game-defining pictures, and in the lower right we have...

http://www.diablowik...m-april2011.jpg

On top of that, I still think the codename Titan is a reference to what the upcoming MMO is going to be themed around. Nearly all of my speculation so far is likely completely wrong, but in that particular guess I think Blizzard will hold true. You can read my article here to refresh.

It seems very unlikely this is for Titan unless the main antagonist in this new MMO universe is somehow related to 'Blackstone'. Project Blackstone doesn't have any discernable connection to me to Titan and seems far too specific of a title to be the main title for any game.

As much as I'm yearning for Titan info, my bet is on the expansion for Diablo.
Ahhhhh, something to grasp onto and hope it's related to the game in any possible way.

Very interesting!

https://twitter.com/...554304449417216

Not sure if this ever popped up on the forums, but here is a comment from Randy Deluxe of Blizzard. Could this relate to a Blackthorne sequel as mentioned?
wow, this was news indeed! This got me all excited.

Good article!

Ahhhhh, something to grasp onto and hope it's related to the game in any possible way.

Very interesting!

https://twitter.com/...554304449417216

Not sure if this ever popped up on the forums, but here is a comment from Randy Deluxe of Blizzard. Could this relate to a Blackthorne sequel as mentioned?


I've seen some sites sell this tweet as current, but you can clearly see it was made all the way back in 2011, one year ago, so it definitely makes it a lot less relevant. I think it was around Blizzard's anniversary thingie, which would explain why the picture contains some of Blizzard's really old games.

Also, Randy Jordan = Kaivax, a Community Manager for Blizzard so not an actual developer.

Great early article Mynsc! It covers all the angles that I think pop up first in everyone's heads.

I'm really leaning towards it being connected to a D3 expansion. Even though you made good points Mynsc, the connection seems too strong for me, and more likely than any other scenario, real or imagined.

Check out this picture up in the Blizzard Irvine Museum. Note all of the other game-defining pictures, and in the lower right we have...

http://www.diablowik...m-april2011.jpg


I dunno, I can indeed see this as being a defensive move by Blizzard to protect the name of D3's next expansion, but Project Blackstone is pretty far away from The Black Soulstone. It would be a weird move I think, as I'm sure there are tons of other free domain names that are closer in name to Black Soulstone than this one.
Why would Blizzard register the expansion name for D3 when the next Blizzcon is a year away? Don't they usually register names like a couple of months before?

I'm thinking this could very well be tied to perhaps a Titan announcement in spring, at least I'm hoping. Blizzard should have standard procedures on when to register names, that is registering a certain amount of time before an upcoming announcement/event.
I wish they would just release some damn info already!!
If I may way in on this matter for just a tiny bit: Project ______ does have a sci-fi ring to me. This may be due to the Resident Evil movieverse where Alice is constantly called 'Project Alice' by the AI. It is a term that is often used to describe the situations that require secrecy or is used by governments. For exampleIf we check our good friend wiki:
The word project comes from the Latin word projectum from the Latin verb proicere, "before an action" which in turn comes from pro-, which denotes precedence, something that comes before something else in time (paralleling the Greek ???) and iacere, "to do". The word "project" thus actually originally meant "before an action".

Of course this is all speculation by yours truly ( and please bear with me guys :( ) but I'm ruling out D3 for the sheer sound of the name: Project ____ sounds to 'modern' and current to be tied with a universe that is not very modern.

This leaves Starcraft but mynsc already pointed out that the xpac names are already known for this.

WoW has the same D3 problem: the world and it's lore don't feel modern enough to validate a name like Project tied to it. Yes I'm aware of mechanical and engineering elements within the WoW universe but still I feel it's not sci-fi enough.

Why I lean towards this being related to Titan? Well, aside from the obvious wishfull thinking it can be used as a part of setting up the lore for the futuristic, post apocalypse world that may be used in Titan. If you are going to 'build up' a world after an apocalypse, people may have to work together to build or rebuild a world. Within a project. Starting from the very beginning would give lots of options for world and character building by the players. Join the project from the start and see it develop, that sort of thing.
Project Blackstone Focus... Hmmm

Well Witchy, you beat me to the punch. I agree 100% that it sounds very Sci-Fi and does not tie in well with the themes D3 or Warcraft.

I first thought this was Diablo when I heard this, as I have stated elsewhere, but the more I have thought about it throughout the day, the less this makes sense. "Project" indicates that you would be creating the soul stone and that would mean you would have to travel to the past and it makes little sense for the game to go that route when we already know how it was created.

The other theory's don't have enough (any) evidence to convince me that it is related to them. I think it is related to Titan.

Project Blackstone Focus... Hmmm


Rofl, you've read my mind man. If this turns out to be the real name, I'm actually a bit stumped on how to rename the website. I was thinking of going with the initials, but BSfocus or PBSfocus are not exactly ok.. :lol:

Anyway, long way until then. This Blackstone thing could be anything, or nothing.
Will post a comment soon.

If I may way in on this matter for just a tiny bit: Project ______ does have a sci-fi ring to me. This may be due to the Resident Evil movieverse where Alice is constantly called 'Project Alice' by the AI. It is a term that is often used to describe the situations that require secrecy or is used by governments. For example

If we check our good friend wiki:
The word project comes from the Latin word projectum from the Latin verb proicere, "before an action" which in turn comes from pro-, which denotes precedence, something that comes before something else in time (paralleling the Greek ???) and iacere, "to do". The word "project" thus actually originally meant "before an action".

Of course this is all speculation by yours truly ( and please bear with me guys :( ) but I'm ruling out D3 for the sheer sound of the name: Project ____ sounds to 'modern' and current to be tied with a universe that is not very modern.

This leaves Starcraft but mynsc already pointed out that the xpac names are already known for this.

WoW has the same D3 problem: the world and it's lore don't feel modern enough to validate a name like Project tied to it. Yes I'm aware of mechanical and engineering elements within the WoW universe but still I feel it's not sci-fi enough.

Why I lean towards this being related to Titan? Well, aside from the obvious wishfull thinking it can be used as a part of setting up the lore for the futuristic, post apocalypse world that may be used in Titan. If you are going to 'build up' a world after an apocalypse, people may have to work together to build or rebuild a world. Within a project. Starting from the very beginning would give lots of options for world and character building by the players. Join the project from the start and see it develop, that sort of thing.


Well said Witchy! I'd imagine most of us have similar thoughts with anything labeled "Project." The word connotes something very forward-thinking and progressive, which is contrary to the D3 universe. In my haste to get to work this morning (and the need to write something, anything!), the glaring word similarities to Diablo artifacts caught my attention more than any other inconsistencies.

On a related side-note, I remember a report I did in high school on the Manhatten Project, and any time I see 'project' attached to anything these days my mind immediately jumps to "it's a bomb!" Well, I really hope this is the Titan bomb we've all been waiting for.

If it is somehow related to Titan, I'm still struggling to find a connection between my hypothesis that Titan has real meaning to the new IP (in the way that Hydra did to Diablo) and whatever Blackstone means. I don't mean to say there isn't one, but if there is we know so little about the game that it's incredibly difficult to tie these elements together. When I have more than a minute this weekend I'll do some more brainstorming on this I think.

The other idea I have rolling around is that this is all merely a teaser. If this really is the new game we want it to be, I don't see why Blizzard would name their game such a thing. It really isn't an appropriately grand name for a pioneering title, be it film or game. It's too descriptive for the title of any greater saga, not grandiose and cosmic, which is something you usually see. Think of titles like Star Wars, The Matrix, Starcraft, Diablo, Rift, Guild Wars, Cloud Atlas - these are just the big things on my mind right now, but there are tons more of course. Project Blackstone... as the name for their biggest venture yet? I don't see Blizzard releasing possibly the biggest MMO to date with a name like that.

Maybe someone else has a better way of putting this to words, but I think if it is related to Titan it's a teaser, not the real title. Also for the sake of abbreviation and fansites the world over (as mentioned earlier), surely someone at Blizzard would nix the acronyms BS and PBS before such a game name got released, right?
Very interesting news! I'm pretty sure that Project Blackstone has something to do with Titan.

I totally agree with WickedWitchy. "Project" sounds too futuristic for a fantasy game like Diablo or Warcraft. I think it's possible that Project Blackstone is the final name of Blizzard's next MMO aka Titan.

I could also imagine that Project Blackstone is the next WoW expansion. We already got some sci-fi oriented themes and names in WoW, for example The Exodar/Draenei theme; "Operation Shieldwall" faction in WoW Patch 5.1 etc.

My final guess - Project Blackstone = next WoW expansion which is going to be truly different OR Titan = PBS

/edit

If Project Blackstone is going to be Titan's final name, its abbreviation is going to be so damn hilarious - Project BS. :D

Why I lean towards this being related to Titan? Well, aside from the obvious wishfull thinking it can be used as a part of setting up the lore for the futuristic, post apocalypse world that may be used in Titan. If you are going to 'build up' a world after an apocalypse, people may have to work together to build or rebuild a world. Within a project. Starting from the very beginning would give lots of options for world and character building by the players. Join the project from the start and see it develop, that sort of thing.


After re-reading your post Witchy, specifically the last paragraph, I think it is possible that this domain could be part of the lore setup you mention. The 'building of the world' step may be starting already if Blizzard wanted to take this route for the hype train. The whole coming together thing is a really neat idea too, and is a good way of explaining the name.

However, the name still seems too precise and confining to me for something that's supposed to last for a decade or two. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but to make this name fit (I still consider Project Blackstone a huge blunder for the main title for any expansive game or movie), I had to think of it a different way.

Assuming this is about Titan, it's possible that this is the title for the first chapter of the game, possibly a subtitle for the game. Subtitles are, after all, a secondary title of a work and usually of an explanatory nature. This to me fits Project Blackstone much better than it being the main course. For example, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Star Wars is the universe, while A New Hope is the specific chapter and has the added benefit of giving more detail.

Also, everyone knows how the original chapter of WoW has no name, so the players came up with 'vanilla' to describe it. Not necessarily the best way to name something. Perhaps Blizzard is one step ahead this time. Maybe Project Blackstone is indeed the (sub)title for this first and original chapter, and we haven't yet heard the name for the entire game.

As you can see, if this is indeed about Titan, I'm really fighting for this not to be the main title!

After re-reading your post Witchy, specifically the last paragraph, I think it is possible that this domain could be part of the lore setup you mention. The 'building of the world' step may be starting already if Blizzard wanted to take this route for the hype train. The whole coming together thing is a really neat idea too, and is a good way of explaining the name.

However, the name still seems too precise and confining to me for something that's supposed to last for a decade or two. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but to make this name fit (I still consider Project Blackstone a huge blunder for the main title for any expansive game or movie), I had to think of it a different way.

Assuming this is about Titan, it's possible that this is the title for the first chapter of the game, possibly a subtitle for the game. Subtitles are, after all, a secondary title of a work and usually of an explanatory nature. This to me fits Project Blackstone much better than it being the main course. For example, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Star Wars is the universe, while A New Hope is the specific chapter and has the added benefit of giving more detail.

Also, everyone knows how the original chapter of WoW has no name, so the players came up with 'vanilla' to describe it. Not necessarily the best way to name something. Perhaps Blizzard is one step ahead this time. Maybe Project Blackstone is indeed the (sub)title for this first and original chapter, and we haven't yet heard the name for the entire game.

As you can see, if this is indeed about Titan, I'm really fighting for this not to be the main title!


Good points. I definteley agree that the name is too specific for the name of a new Blizzard IP. I still believe this is about Titan since I don't recall Blizzard registering domains for expansions of existing games. Why would they divert attention to a new site for Diablo when there is already one?

They have always had sub sections for xpacks on their official web pages until the xpaxk goes live in which they change the design of their page to fit the new xpack.

But like you've already mentioned I hope it's a site dedicated to build hype and release short stories before we ever see the first trailer. That would be awesome!

Rofl, you've read my mind man. If this turns out to be the real name, I'm actually a bit stumped on how to rename the website. I was thinking of going with the initials, but BSfocus or PBSfocus are not exactly ok.. :lol:

Anyway, long way until then. This Blackstone thing could be anything, or nothing.


Hehe, the initials are funny indeed.

I think names like BlackstoneFans, BlackstoneFocus or even BlackstoneTitans would be better :)
This is interesting indeed. When I first heard of this my mind flew to D3 related content almost immedeately. However, after thinking it through, I would have to agree with you, mynsc, it doesn't really make sense as a title of the new Diablo expension. Biggest reason why, in my opinion would be "Blackstone" vs "Blacksoulstone". It would be highly unusual for the expension to center on some other black stone when we already have The Black Soulstone in Diablo lore. If they wanted to center the expansion around it, they would have names it "Project Black Soulstone". Even if we accept the (unlikely) possiblity that Blackstone may be Black Soulstone after the events of D3 that still doesn't make any sense. Why would the story center around Black soulstone? We've already completed that part.of the story and, as far as I remember, the Black Soulstone is destroyed at the end of D3. And even if it wasn't, the Prime Evils inside died (or were banished in an extremely weaked, nearly dead state, like the more powerfull demons in Warcraft universe do when they "die") and the expansion will most likely feature Adria and/or Leah and/or Imperius, as the remaining unsolved plot-points.

As for the significance of "Project", that is very interesting as well. And quite puzzling, too. There are two reasons of why the game would have "Project" in the tiltle, assuming that "Project Blackstone" is the Titan's true name, of course. One is the real-world reason and the other one would be in-universe reason. When it comes to the real-world reason, well, it's pretty self-explanatory. Game developers are working on a project for which they don't have clear name yet so they dub it "project____". Hence Project Titan, because it was still being worked on.

As for the in-universe explanation. That one implies cartain level of technological sophistication in the universe itself. It isn't required but it's rare to see medieval fantasy "scientists" use the word project for something. Or, simply put, there is a project in the universe which is being conducted. And you either participate in that project, lead the project or are the subject of the project. All that aligns rarther nicely with the theory that Titan (or, perhaps, Project Blackstone, will be set in present-time, near future or the future). I find the in-universe explanation to be much more likely one.

This would also tie in nicely with the name, at least in my opinion. I can see several scenarious where these two would fit well together. Perhaps it is modern-day earth and a meteor crashes and said meteor is the black stone which has mysterious properties which somehow affect everyone. Or, maybe the Blackstone is the meteor which came out of nowhere and wiped out most of life on Earth leaving the survivors to try to both survive and discover what happened and what is the true nature of the Blackstone. Or perhaps it is the far future and Blackstone is the key-name for, for example, time travel project. Or, perhaps yet again, Blackstone is literally teh heart of the universe which connects the dimensions together and is the portal to them. Or it could be some super-soldier project, etc etc... Basically, if I can come up with this many possiblities I'm reasonably cartain that Blizzard's writers employed full time on this can come up with many more and better one's that these. So, I would have to disagree with Eremite that it doesn't work as a name. In my opinion, it most definately does.

Other then that, the timing of this is very interesting, indeed. We have long speculated that Blizzcon 2013 may happen in the Spring of 2013, perhaps late February, March or April or even May. Doing so would give Blizzard the chance to hold a major conference to promote their games and deliver large amounts of news and announcements because otherwise, if they hold Blizzcon 2013 in their standard October date, that would be two full years between Blizzcons. It was okay to not have Blizzcon in 2012 since Blizzard's schedule for 2012 was, for the most part, well known, but, once Heart of the Swarm is released in March of 2013 we are back to not having a clue what is Blizzard planning. So, coming back to the beginning of this paragraph, it is interesting that they did this now because this would coincide with their, more-or-less standard, pre Blizzcon (pre being anywher from three to five months before) securing of domains. Unless my memory is faulty, this is how we found out about Mists of Pandaria and Cataclysm (I don't remember before that), because, in both cases, Blizzard purchased a domain some months before their Blizzcon. This could very-well be just that. And it would point to Blizzcon being in Spring and, more importantly, Titan (Project Blackstone?) being announced at that Blizzcon. Which would also mean we were right that Titan would be announced on Blizzcon 2013. That's a lot of "what if"s but all of them sound plausible to me.

Oh and Mynsc, I will vote for (assuming Project Titan is Project Blackstone) on "blackfocus.info" or "blackstonefocus.info."
Blizzcons have been announced in february or march which is what I am expecting this time around also. I still hope for an WWI event. Both of the years they've had WWI events there was Blizzcon also.

I also want to believe that they have some kind of standard procedures on when to register domain names according to their event schedules so that this timing really means that within X amount of months something more will happen..

Also I don't think, like mentioned, they would say blackstone when it's black soulstone in Diablo. Heck blackstone is closer to the game Blackthorne than Diablo. Here is from the Blackthorne wiki page:

His body becomes two stones, light and dark, and he gives one to each boy to rule their own kingdoms respectively. The people of the lightstone form the kingdom of Androth, and the people of the darkstone form Ka'dra'suul

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Blackthorne
It's a future & space oriented (spacefleet?) MMO!

Here's why:
Andy Chambers was/is Creative Director at Blizzard
Source: http://en.wikipedia....i/Andy_Chambers

Andy Chambers wrote the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook for Games Workshop
Source: http://en.wikipedia....thic#References

Battlefleet Gothic featured Blackstone fortresses: "A Blackstone Fortress is a massive starship"
Source: http://wh40k.lexican...kstone_Fortress

Then there is a link towards Titan as well..
From the Blackstone Fortress source:
"The Adaptus Mechanicus retrofitted their own weapons (the weapons batteries they were given far surpassed the firepower of any ship in the Imperium) and life-support systems to the main power grid, as well as a number of hangars for smaller craft, turning each Fortress into a primary naval base for Battlefleet Gothic."

And on the Titan page:
Titans are immense war machines built in humanoid form. Most of the major races and forces of the galaxy utilize their own forms of Titans. Imperial Titans are built and deployed by the Collegia Titanica, the most powerful military arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Source: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Titan
What a great 1st post John, welcome!

Euph, Eremite, go tackle this one pls, I need more specualtive essays ^^

It's a future & space oriented (spacefleet?) MMO!

Here's why:
Andy Chambers was/is Creative Director at Blizzard
Source: http://en.wikipedia....i/Andy_Chambers

Andy Chambers wrote the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook for Games Workshop
Source: http://en.wikipedia....thic#References

Battlefleet Gothic featured Blackstone fortresses: "A Blackstone Fortress is a massive starship"
Source: http://wh40k.lexican...kstone_Fortress

Then there is a link towards Titan as well..
From the Blackstone Fortress source:
"The Adaptus Mechanicus retrofitted their own weapons (the weapons batteries they were given far surpassed the firepower of any ship in the Imperium) and life-support systems to the main power grid, as well as a number of hangars for smaller craft, turning each Fortress into a primary naval base for Battlefleet Gothic."

And on the Titan page:
Titans are immense war machines built in humanoid form. Most of the major races and forces of the galaxy utilize their own forms of Titans. Imperial Titans are built and deployed by the Collegia Titanica, the most powerful military arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Source: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Titan


Are you kidding me with a first post like this?!

Give this guy a gold star!!!

Other then that, the timing of this is very interesting, indeed. We have long speculated that Blizzcon 2013 may happen in the Spring of 2013, perhaps late February, March or April or even May. Doing so would give Blizzard the chance to hold a major conference to promote their games and deliver large amounts of news and announcements because otherwise, if they hold Blizzcon 2013 in their standard October date, that would be two full years between Blizzcons. It was okay to not have Blizzcon in 2012 since Blizzard's schedule for 2012 was, for the most part, well known, but, once Heart of the Swarm is released in March of 2013 we are back to not having a clue what is Blizzard planning. So, coming back to the beginning of this paragraph, it is interesting that they did this now because this would coincide with their, more-or-less standard, pre Blizzcon (pre being anywher from three to five months before) securing of domains. Unless my memory is faulty, this is how we found out about Mists of Pandaria and Cataclysm (I don't remember before that), because, in both cases, Blizzard purchased a domain some months before their Blizzcon. This could very-well be just that. And it would point to Blizzcon being in Spring and, more importantly, Titan (Project Blackstone?) being announced at that Blizzcon. Which would also mean we were right that Titan would be announced on Blizzcon 2013. That's a lot of "what if"s but all of them sound plausible to me.

Oh and Mynsc, I will vote for (assuming Project Titan is Project Blackstone) on "blackfocus.info" or "blackstonefocus.info."


Unfortunately, I think we can pretty much rule out a Spring Blizzcon, considering nothing has been announced yet. Even more, just yesterday, Zarhym tweeted that they're not ready to give any details about the event and they won't be for a while. So as far as Spring goes, that's when we'll probably find out extra details about the event, not attend it.

It's a future & space oriented (spacefleet?) MMO!

Here's why:
Andy Chambers was/is Creative Director at Blizzard
Source: http://en.wikipedia....i/Andy_Chambers

Andy Chambers wrote the Battlefleet Gothic rulebook for Games Workshop
Source: http://en.wikipedia....thic#References

Battlefleet Gothic featured Blackstone fortresses: "A Blackstone Fortress is a massive starship"
Source: http://wh40k.lexican...kstone_Fortress

Then there is a link towards Titan as well..
From the Blackstone Fortress source:
"The Adaptus Mechanicus retrofitted their own weapons (the weapons batteries they were given far surpassed the firepower of any ship in the Imperium) and life-support systems to the main power grid, as well as a number of hangars for smaller craft, turning each Fortress into a primary naval base for Battlefleet Gothic."

And on the Titan page:
Titans are immense war machines built in humanoid form. Most of the major races and forces of the galaxy utilize their own forms of Titans. Imperial Titans are built and deployed by the Collegia Titanica, the most powerful military arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Source: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Titan


Welcome to the site and definitely a very nice post! I love the connection you did between Warhammer and Titan (if its name is Blackstone), but I do have some doubts about it.

Main thing is, as much as I try, I can't find a single thing connecting Chambers to Titan directly. He was indeed Creative Director at Blizzard, but all accounts place him heavily involved in Starcraft 2 development. A game that can be considered future & space oriented, so it might be safe to assume that his expertise was used there.

Even more, he left Blizzard after SC2 launched. If he would've been deeply involved with Titan (in a way that the game's name would have been chosen after something he was extremely close to), I don't think he would've left just yet, not before seeing the end results of his work.

So I guess I just can't see Chambers being close to Titan. This of course does not exclude the possibility that other Blizzard leads / writers, got inspired from his work. After all, they're all together there and when deciding on a story / world, I'm sure everyone with a good expertise is consulted. So it's still possible, although not probable in my opinion.

The Blackstone Fortress does sound impressive though. Definitely a craft worthy of a huge, world-defining project.

I'm going to add these details to the main post, as they are indeed interesting (would appreciate if you guys would do a check-up on what exactly I write, as I'm not familiar with the Warhammer franchise).

If Project Blackstone is going to be Titan's final name, its abbreviation is going to be so damn hilarious - Project BS. :D


ouuh, so much postings came in since yesterday, nice :)
indeed very interesting. though i dont think that this is the official name of the next WoW extension. we had always names like the burning crusade, wrath of the lich king, cataclysm, mists of pandaria - and project blackstone just doesn't fit in there imo.

so yay, my guess is: it's something titan-related.
but i would advise anyone; we should not take any prediction or speculation serious until it's finally revealed from blizzard.

so thanks to johnD for his contribution, everything that you wrote down here makes sense but im still sceptic. blizzard apologized to all Starcraft-fans and said it won't be something like a starcraft MMO. though it would be great if this expectation turns out to be true (i like sci-fi stuff).

and if we were in the universe, there's no limit for building houses or stations or anything we could imagine - so the problem with a limited space would be just negated (in WoW we don't have unlimited space and subsoils to build). the cosmos is infinite - and so are our creativity & fantasies :)
every time i hear "project" it's somehow tied to "experiments"...

OT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URyXqa7LwRI

if project blackstone is "titan-related" (probably it's not the game-title, but the subtitle), it could stand for an awesome (sci-fi?) experiment with something that is the "blackstone". and people are starting experiments, because they expect something to learn from it or to create something new that never existed before. that would be perfect for a new game IP. something, that never existed before.

project blackstone - the naming is very specific and precise. why dont they call it OPERATION blackstone? why PROJECT blackstone?

- "operation" sounds less like an experiment, but much more like a job that has to be done and has clear targets and is supposed to succeed and in the progress there should come up no surprises or things that we dont expect.

think of operation desert storm (click the link). it doesnt mean the "desert storm" as a force of nature, but much more like rushing with our military into a desert area and to take over something. in the same way we should see the naming "blackstone" - it has not to be a "stone" in specific, but maybe that looks like a black-stone (black space station, black mothership, a dark drab planet, a gloomy asteroid, a black hole etc etc.)

- "project" sounds more like an experiment, where we dont know, to what results it can come out (like when we try to enter a black hole in the outer space or a big one generated in a laboratory for use in an experiment to serve as a wormhole for travelling). in a project we have a plan how to go on, but we dont have an idea, of how it will affect us or how the result will look like or the end-product and we dont know, if it fails or if it will be successfully. and to be honest - the idea with the black hole fits perfectly into that. but it can also stand for an attempt to settle down on an alien planet because our mother earth is threatened by an apocalyptic asteroid. yknow that sort of thing! at least the naming "project blackstone" has to mean something important in-game. and if this name is indeed titan-related, we can exclude and/or imagine some points, as this naming is very specific.

maybe some folks attemted to enter a human-generated black hole and now they are landing somewhere else in the universe, and over there, they try to live on a "blackstone"-looking planet (maybe all that was originally intended, so therefore the naming "project blackstone"). everything what they need to survive is on board, like vegetable-seeds, water-generating devices etc. and blizzard wants us to explore and create things to expand the life on this new planet (like building our own stuff in an highly customizable editor, much like minecraft, though the graphics will probably be not that bulky^^). on the other side there is also the social aspect and the combat-system, where disputes leads to war between player factions and their lands... maybe there are gigantic monsters around who are threatening the settler on this planet, so this is where PvE-combat comes into place. of course this story is just an example where "project blackstone" could lead us.

so this game might be all about a strange experiment with something that is supposed to be a "blackstone". this needs not to be a "stone" in specific, but maybe it is something that looks like a "black stone". (as ive said) for example - a black hole or black planet with uncommon (black) mineral deposits, where people try to settle down and build up a civilisation on an entire planet for some reason (post-apocalyptic scenario)

it wouldnt make sense to me, if this "blackstone" has nothing to do with the game itself. it has to be at least core-content in the game that involves every player (and ought to be in the interest of them), and pretty much everything should be about this blackstone-project, whatever it might be.
I really think you've expressed quite well what the word project makes us think of. Great post. :)

Why would the story center around Black soulstone? We've already completed that part.of the story and, as far as I remember, the Black Soulstone is destroyed at the end of D3. And even if it wasn't, the Prime Evils inside died (or were banished in an extremely weaked, nearly dead state, like the more powerfull demons in Warcraft universe do when they "die") and the expansion will most likely feature Adria and/or Leah and/or Imperius, as the remaining unsolved plot-points.


Black Soulstone survives at the end of D3. The same Black Soulstone that Tyrael tells us we need to smash, lest all the evils be reborn... Remember at the end of Act III, Adria is sent off to be used later? And, the Black Soulstone is specifically said to be able to contain demons and angels? The End of Days prophecy begins with what exactly? Wisdom being lost. Malthael has been gone since the Worldstone was stolen. (And he is more than likely returning as archangel of Death) Who takes up Wisdom at the end of D3? (The captions even have WISDOM all in caps when he does it) Tyrael, the mortal. So, yeah, Black Soulstone should definitely be seeing some action in X1 at least.


As for Project Blackstone, wasn't there a non-Titan, secret project in the works? And/or a console game?

This would also tie in nicely with the name, at least in my opinion. I can see several scenarious where these two would fit well together. Perhaps it is modern-day earth and a meteor crashes and said meteor is the black stone which has mysterious properties which somehow affect everyone. Or, maybe the Blackstone is the meteor which came out of nowhere and wiped out most of life on Earth leaving the survivors to try to both survive and discover what happened and what is the true nature of the Blackstone. Or perhaps it is the far future and Blackstone is the key-name for, for example, time travel project. Or, perhaps yet again, Blackstone is literally teh heart of the universe which connects the dimensions together and is the portal to them. Or it could be some super-soldier project, etc etc... Basically, if I can come up with this many possiblities I'm reasonably cartain that Blizzard's writers employed full time on this can come up with many more and better one's that these. So, I would have to disagree with Eremite that it doesn't work as a name. In my opinion, it most definately does.


Notice I didn't say it doesn't work as a name outright, although it sort of might sound like that - I said it's too precise and confining of a name for a long term project. More specifically, I meant the 'Project' part, and meant it's too narrow for an expansive, ongoing universe if you assume that this project is something we'll be able to finish. This leads me to one possible view that it is something other than simply the main title for Titan. If Blizzard's writers can come up with good stories like you said (and I agree) then surely they can pick a good and apt title as well. If they chose Project Blackstone, there's a reason. Why not just name it Blackstone? Because Project is an integral part of the description. And what does Project mean in this context, or any? It's a task or planned program of work that requires a large amount of time, effort, and planning to complete. The completion part is the important defining factor for me in choosing such a word. It denotes there is a goal or ending in sight, which makes it seem odd in the world of perpetual MMOs. In some of the examples you gave there is a definite goal or finish point, so what happens after? The Project part doesn't make sense for the future of a game once that point has been passed.

All that being said, it's certainly possible that you're right - maybe Project: Blackstone is the main title, and its goal is never one we'll be able to fully realize in the lifespan of the game, but will strive for nonetheless. Perhaps this is how the endless progression that we usually see in MMOs can be achieved. This seems like a workable premise and one possible way to go about the game if this is indeed the main title.