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Former Blizzard GM drops a few small Titan teasers on reddit. And a bomb.


Off-topic update: Check-out the new additions to the forum: Special Titles, Backstage section, Video Games section stickies. Any feedback is much appreciated!

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There was a nice little surprise over the weekend for us Titan enthusiasts. An ex-Blizzard Gamemaster decided to do an AMA (Ask me Anything) on reddit. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it's basically a forum thread in which the OP (original poster) answers all the questions people ask.

These AMAs, while extremely interesting and diverse, are sometimes proven to be fake later on, in the sense that the original poster is not who he says he is. As far as I can tell, it's not the case with this one. The guy provided proof in the form of a picture in his initial message and he also gave some pretty detailed answers in many cases, that only GMs or other Blizzard employees could know. Here are some interesting examples: one, two, three, four. Also, trolls usually get bored pretty fast, while this guy answered an immense number of questions. I know because I went through pretty much all of them. So my opinion is that he's legit.

Naturally, Titan came up in some of the questions. Unfortunately for us, as he said in his initial message, he was quite hesitant to give out any real clues related to Blizzard's new MMORPG. Some small bits of info did slip out of his keyboard though, hence this post.


In what stage is the development in?


Panigg, ex Blizzard GM

It's still in very early stages. When I left [2010] they BARELY had assembled the team for the game. Give them some time. When they have something to show to you, they will. :)

This is not really something new. Considering that in Oct 2011 they had around 90 people working on it, double than one year before, it's pretty clear that at the start of 2010 the Titan team was quite small.


What will it be? Is it WoW related?


Panigg, ex Blizzard GM

It's not WoW... it's not gonna be anything new either. Just as any other blizzard game, it's gonna be a lot of proven concepts refined to the best of the genre mixed with reliable ways to sell to the masses and added with some tiny bits of hardcore to appeal to even the darkest of souls.... also sims players.

This quote on the other hand has a few interesting bits. For one thing, it puts an axe in the idea that it's going to be something totally new and unseen. I can't say that I'm surprised, as Blizzard has never innovated in huge steps, but through taking already known concepts and adding small but significant improvements to them, in the end fleshing out a brand new product that stands out from the rest.

The really interesting part is at the end though. Sims players? Can't help but think Second Life. Or maybe a game that comes with a very strong player-housing system? Or maybe even more, with a solid political/society system? I'm quite intrigued by this.


About its looks.


Panigg, ex Blizzard GM

Well at the time they showed it to us it looked pretty awesome. The world, the artwork was huge and awesome and the game characters had so much charisma it was almost unbelievable. :)

Huge world, good to hear. :D

This is a strange thing to say though, since earlier he mentioned that there was barely any team assembled for the game when he left. But I guess it makes sense that some of the concept art was already done and also parts of the story. What's really weird though is that they'd show this to an EU GM, considering how tightly under wraps the work at Titan is being kept. I guess word travels fast within the company (even across an ocean), or they have a policy of keeping everyone informed. Or maybe it came up at one of these get-togethers. :)


And now for the scary part.


Panigg, ex Blizzard GM

I guess they will reveal something about it in 2015. This is the last info I have on the game. Don't hold this against me tho!

Don't really have anything to add to this, except that now I'm half-hoping this guy's a troll. :D Or at least talking without having concrete info. Anyway, like he said, we shouldn't shoot the messenger, although we can question the info he's delivering.

2015?! Cmooon, I really don't think they plan on keeping us in the dark for 3 more years. I could see it launching in 2015, maybe, but this would mean them releasing info about it in 2014 or even 2013.

Important Update: One of TF's members, namely papaz, managed to squeeze out a bit more info from the ex-GM. When asked about the leaked product slate, Panigg said that he believes it is real, although he has no confirmation of this. This is a weird statement, considering the product slate comes in direct contradiction with his 2015 as the reveal date statement. Like papaz says, a delay appearing since the product slate was leaked is entirely possible, but going from a 2013 launch to a 2015 announcement is quite the step and doesn't sound as something too probable.

If you're looking for a conclusion, well, I'm looking for one too. All I can say is that the 2015 statement gets one more question sign after it, together with the dozen already there. If I were to believe anything, I'd definitely believe the product slate and just add 12 - 18 months to it, because Blizzard is Blizzard and their soon is always a bit late. :)

Anyway, I'll touch on something closely related to this subject in a future article. Until then, I'm looking forward to reading what you guys think about all this.






24 Comments

2015 :-( I hope that isn't true
I hope he was trolling at the end. 2015 feels so long :( I'm still holding on a reveal next year or in 2014.
Good work, dude. This seems to be some legit information. I'm really excited about Titan now. But revealing Titan in 2015... this would be more than disappointing. Releasing the game in 2015 would be more realistic. I think we'll get some information on Titan next year.
An ex-Blizzard employee supposedly leaked info on Diablo 3 in 2005, and claimed "Last week they had a thing called "Show N Tell" which they have every 6 months to all the full time employees"

If they really did, and still do, such a thing, it could be evidence that the ex-GM was able to see Titan stuff like he said.

He seemed to echo the Daeity blog's opinion that Titan would not really be anything new, and just really polished and refined concepts.

The 'game characters had so much charisma it was almost unbelievable.' goes along with that Cameron Dayton leak where he had mentioned writing backgrounds for heroes and villains.
Nice stuff, had no clue about the Show N Tell thing. Yes, this definitely explains how an EU GM would know about what the development teams in Irvine are doing.

Edit: Welcome to TF btw, I see it's your first post! :)
unfortunately I believe him :(

Meaning if Titan team indeed grew to 90 people in 2011 I don't see them finishing such a huge project for 2015. I mean didn't Diablo 3 take like 7-8 years to develop?

How long did WoW take?

I think it sounds quite reasonable to show it off 2015 and maybe release it 2017 - 2018 just basing that on that the game should take 7-8 to develop starting in 2010.
I agree. Diablo was in development for 6 years and it is not even close to the size scale I invision Titan to be. O well guess I'll have a lot of time to save for a super computer...

The part of this artical that really excities me is about the artwork, size, and character comment. It is one of the most important parts of a game for me
@papez & TaviGt

You guys have a point, but I can't help wonder, if they're planning a 2015 announcement, why would Rob Pardo not say this? For example, when asked if they'll reveal anything about Titan at Blizzcon 2012, his response was "probably unlikely". To me, this doesn't sound like the response of someone who knows they're only going to reveal it 4 years later. I'd go with "no, it's still much too early" or something of this form.

You could say they're trying to hype it up and keep some mystery around it, but I don't really see it as a practical option for a game they want to release 5,6 years from now. On the contrary, it would be actually better for them to say that it's still quite far from launch, because it would give WoW some breathing room and it would also attract talent. as most people like to get in on a project early and not when it's close to being finished.

Anyway, there might be more to this than we know and I do have a few theories that I'll probably get into later on, if I find more clues to back them up. The 2015 announcement theory is definitely a viable one, but I'm not embracing it yet.
@mynsc

You have a valid point as well. I think I misspoke a bit, I don't believe that info on Titan will be held that long, but the game will if not longer. Would we even know titan existed if it weren't for the template that got leaked? And did this guy leave Bliz before it got leaked and his info is old? I can say that I remember checking quite frequently for updates on Diablo 3 on its official website 2 years before I got married, and I just celebrated my 2 year anniversary. Point is we had D3 info 4 years or more and it just got released. Titan doesnt have a web page yet, info out yet, or even a name out yet. And again Titan is going to be way bigger than Diablo. I know more Devs are working on Titan but the size of it should offset the extra help. They may feel an obligation to release info because of public knowledge but they don't want another fiasco from releasing to much info to early. 
The supposed leaked Blizzard product slate sure feels a long way from what the GM says.

Of course the picture is old and things have of course been delayed but i can't help thinking that it had some truth to it and it says Titan 2015.

http://media.mmo-cha...uary/slate2.jpg

God I hope they don't wait until 2015 to reveal it.

Of course the picture is old and things have of course been delayed but i can't help thinking that it had some truth to it and it says Titan 2015.


Not sure what you mean, but the picture says Titan is scheduled for the end of 2013.
I read it right. What I was saying is that their info conflicts so I want to know if he left before the template was made, and then the project got bumped up to 2013. However I think it's safe to say that the template is a bit outdated.

Not sure what you mean, but the picture says Titan is scheduled for the end of 2013.


Yes, you are right. I was looking at the furthest box :) the diablo xpac2
this isn't ground breaking news but i got one small interesting question answered.


I went into that thread on Reddit and asked him a question. I asked him if he had seen the product slate at the time he was working in Blizzard (since he had already left Blizzard when that was leaked I wanted to know if that product slate had been created before he left).

And the answer is yes :)

This doesn't mean **** really but it means that:
1. It's another small confirmation that the product slate is indeed real
2. It really feels odd that they would reveal Titan in 2015 (like he mentioned before) if in the product slate it was originally planned to release in end of 2013. Of course the timeline has shifted but can it really be shifted that much that from a supposed release in end of 2013 to just revealing the game 2015?

http://www.reddit.co...service/c4uwvri
Nicely done man! :)

Agree with your points. It comes in direct contradiction with the 2015 statement, and since the product slate has more going for it, I think 2015 as the reveal date becomes a very improbable theory.

Will update the main post to reflect this.
Well, not too much info, but every news tidbit is a bomb at this point for us, anyway.

Regarding his 2015 announcment remark, I wouldn't read too much into it. While I do believe he is legit, I have also gone through the entire thread, to me, that seems more like a non-commital comment, I think he was either answering half-heartedly, guessing or maybe pulling a little prank on the readers. Titan's development began in 2007 when they pulled devs from vanilla WoW into Titan, and it has been continiusly in production, admittedly, pre-production, for five years now, so I think that they are around the same time that D3 devs were when they announced D3. Also, yes, the product slate has been confirmed as accurate. All that leads me to believe in late 2012 or 2013 announcment that will come before Blizzcon 2013, and then release 12 to 18 months after that. Maybe he mispoke and meant to say it will be released in 2015?

Regarding other parts of his AMA, player housing or similiar as a sims like Titan feature seems particulary interesting to me. There is a whole debate about possiblity of WoW devs holding back features that will be present in Titan, I've seen rumor of possiblity of a Titan feature in MoP, or vice versa, can't really remember it now. Either way, WoW is very limited engine-vise and lot of things they have added to enhance the experiance are there to cover the holes. Titan will obviously be built on newest tech so great deal of the technical limitations that WoW is facing won't have any impact on Titan, which will give devs and designers a ton of freedom to use the full extent of their creativity and skill, so it will be really interesting to see what they come up with now that there are relatively few technical limitations.

Honestly, I have faith that Titan will be an amazing game. Not only do they have some of the bets talent in Blizzard, and by extension, gaming industry like a lot of devs who originally built WoW are now working on Titan, but communities have already formed in anticipation of Titan, years before its release. This being one of those communities. Now, I am certain that some will leave once Titan is really announced due to them not liking what they see, but I am confident that this, and many others will continue to grow and prosper (Star Trek ref. is unintended) come Titans release.

Edit: Why does it day "0 warning points" below my username? Have I been warned by a mod? But why would it say 0 points then?

Edit2: I see you've added "like" feature to the site. I am honestly not sure was it there before, but I do "like" it anyway... Lame puns aside, are you planning on adding tracking of number of likes that a posts gets aside from showing who liked it? I think that would be a cool addition of the site.
@dendarang

Great post! I never even gave thought to the fact that WoW might not be getting all the attention and features available to Bliz. Makes perfect sense, but "mind blown!" O.o
@dendarang and Sarnakyle

Totally agree with the possibility of WoW devs holding back certain features because they're going to be included in Titan. I've actually wrote an article about this right after last year's Blizzcon.

Edit: Why does it day "0 warning points" below my username? Have I been warned by a mod? But why would it say 0 points then?


It's something shown to every member. I might remove it in the future, if it's possible. I haven't yet looked into it but I will now that you mentioned it. You didn't get any warnings, don't worry. :)

Edit2: I see you've added "like" feature to the site. I am honestly not sure was it there before, but I do "like" it anyway... Lame puns aside, are you planning on adding tracking of number of likes that a posts gets aside from showing who liked it? I think that would be a cool addition of the site.


You already see the number of likes a post gets. If the number of people liking it is small (under 4), you'll just see their names mentioned. When more will like it, you'll see something resembling this: "X, Y, Z and 14 others like this".

Even more, I've set it up in such a way that when a post will get at least 5 likes, it will receive a "Popular" sticker, so it stands out among the others. (can be seen only if you're viewing this from the forum thread, not the article comments)

Edit: I've actually lowered the entry limit to 4 (and used my smurf account to like your message :D ) so you can see exactly what I'm talking about.

Well, not too much info, but every news tidbit is a bomb at this point for us, anyway.

Regarding his 2015 announcment remark, I wouldn't read too much into it. While I do believe he is legit, I have also gone through the entire thread, to me, that seems more like a non-commital comment, I think he was either answering half-heartedly, guessing or maybe pulling a little prank on the readers. Titan's development began in 2007 when they pulled devs from vanilla WoW into Titan, and it has been continiusly in production, admittedly, pre-production, for five years now, so I think that they are around the same time that D3 devs were when they announced D3. Also, yes, the product slate has been confirmed as accurate. All that leads me to believe in late 2012 or 2013 announcment that will come before Blizzcon 2013, and then release 12 to 18 months after that. Maybe he mispoke and meant to say it will be released in 2015?


Yeah, i really like the idea of release in 2015.

The reason for why I like 2015 is because the next (and possible last?!) WoW expansion will be released 2014 most likely.

Blizzard isn't going to miss out the opportunity of releasing a kick ass expansion for WoWs 10th anniversary the 23rd of november 2014 *dun-dun-dun-duuun* :)

And then during 2015 spring/summer Titan beta followed by a late 2015 early 2016 release!

I'm really hoping they will do a WWI for Titan! Both SC2 and D3 WWI was awesome to watch. Maybe this time I will have the opportunity of going.
@papaz I am also hoping for World War Invitational or the like to be place where they announce Titan. It does kind of make sense, like mynsc explained it, and I agree with him, that will get hype to a ridiculously high level for next years Blizzcon, which would mean huge interest in tickets which would be nice for Blizzard. And also, of course, it would set the eyes of the world, or at lest the gaming press, on Blizzcon and Titan and, it would most likely generate a lot of positive hype (like there is any other) around Titan. A win/win for Blizzard and for us.

I think that Titan's announcement would be similiar to D3's, only tuned to 11. Diablo 3 already had massive fanbase that was still centered around previous installments, so while D3's announcement was long so that they could showcase everything new about it, in particular the 3D engine, a novelty in Diablo series, it still didn't have to explain to people what it is, how does it work and play, or any of the basic gameplay concpets. Which is everything, and even more, that Titan needs to showcase in it's first announcement. I'm guessing we will get plenty of cinematic goodness, maybe several smaller ones showing different regions/races/classes, or one really long showing everything in a sort of more cohesive fashion. That might be some problem but maybe not for Blizzard. On one side, they have been working on the game for five years now, and that is a ton of time in which to develop lore, characters, world, flesh out major events and happenings, major races and important bits and peaces about the world. So, making a cinematic around it doesn't seem like that big of problem. However, on the other hand, they have to develop the entire universe, which, knowing Blizzard, won't merely center on just that one planet that will be playable, assuming they go with WoW's and Diablo's approach. If they make it more Sci-Fi, that will be even more complicated and difficult task of making lore for such a massive universe. And Blizzard's strog suit is making world lore and background, that is what they do best. So, with a completely new MMO that is to be their "next big thing" I don't think think they will leave anything to chance when it comes to the lore of the universe, and risk half-assing it. So, it will be interesting to see how lenght and number of cinematics available upon release of the game.

Regardless of that, though, just seeing the announcement and hearng the real name of the Titan and all that, will be unreal. Hopefully, their PR department will do a good job, because, while Blizzard does have some of the best devs and designers in the industry, their PR, and I am talking specifically about D3 PR as I have followed the game closely since it's original announcement, left much to be desired. Hopefully, we will get something like a page with some artwork and some cryptic message, or maybe even puzzle or something as a hint towards Titan's true name, or something that will generate lot of excitement and give us fans something to do other then just wait.

But, papaz, regarding your comment, I really don't see why WoW has to die before Titan comes to scene. Financially, there really isn't any good reason, or, any good reason I can think of, of why would Blizzard shut down WoW after Titan's release. Yes, Titan is almost guaranteed to exceede WoW in number of subscribers and to cannibalize a large number of subs, but, with some downsizing, WoW can be profitable even at something like 1m to 2m, or less, subs. Also, people have put tremendous amount of time and effort into WoW, and have grown quite attached to their characters there and all the progress that they have made over the last seven, more or less, years. Some, relatively speaking, "ancient", MMOs are still up, like Ultima Online, who, by the way, is apperantly still doing well enough that it still has subscription cost, though I am not sure what the exact number is. And that game came out, I think it was around 1998. That's twice WoW's age. Yes, WoW won't be top MMO in the world for more then few more years, and it will most likely be "defeated" by Titan, but there is no reason to expect WoW to just disappear. One thing I forgot to mention, I've seen some comments, on other sites, suggets sort of dual subscription system, both Titan and WoW have, for example 15$ a month fee, but Blizz could probably give some form of system where you play 20$ or 25$ a month and get access to both games. That would still give them profit, and would give people incentive not to completely abandon their WoW accounts, and would bring players to both games.

@mynsc Thank you for explaining it. You don't have to remove it, it isn't a bad feature, and as the site grows, especially after Titan is officialy announced, there will probably be some need for disciplinery measures, I just wasn't aware of it's function. Also, thank you for explaining the like system.
@dendarang

Stop making me "like" your posts and aid to my own demise as the current like king (save for mynsc of course) lol

Anyway Bliz has stated that WoW and Titan will be able to co-exist, so there shall be no death of WoW for, hell I dunno, ever. There is going to be a relatively large fan base for quite some time due to the fact that people have invested their lives in that game, as you stated above. That being said, I don't know if I disagree with papaz on his statement about them wanting that last WoW expansion out before Titan. From a financal stand point, you are going to sell a lot more copies of the X-pac because people will play it in the meantime while they wait for Titan. The number of people that are going to drop WoW will be staggering but I'm willing to bet they play it right up until Titans realese. So why not drop the X-pac a year/8 months before to try and get as many people to buy it as possible?

Going back to the older post about Bliz saving game features for Titan I often wondered why they cut current things from D3, for example the anamated death scenes. They announced those early in the dev period but then they got cut last minute cuz it "was not ready". I wonder if they are saving it for Titan?
@Sarmakyle Well, I'm certianly glad that my posts are considered informative, but to bring balance to the force, I am liking all your posts on this page.

As far as cutting feautures from WoW for Titan, well, considering how secrative Blizzard tends to be, D3 devs were actually incredibly communicative and open for Blizzard standards, normally devs like to work and do their thing in quite, so, we don't, and probably will never know, how much was really cut or withheld from WoW in favor of Titan. But, considering WoW's popularity which obviously comes from it's current features, and it's technical limitations, it makes sense to hold back some more innovative or cool new features and not use them in WoW, and incorporate them into Titan. Another thing is, Titan will be built around a lot of "next-gen" features, and, whether that means greater interaction with the game world, more "life" and lifelike actions and behaviour from various NPCs, etc. That will all allow for very natural integration of those features into Titan, wheres in WoW, as much as I love the game, it would be like patching old cloth. WoW is obviously old, so, great deal of features included in later expansion packs serve as a way of modernising the game, the most prominent of which is the phasing which they included to offset the fact that WoW's world is so static and unchanging, which was also common complaint from players in vanilla and TBC.

Specifically about removal of death animations, while they never states clearly why they were cut and only cited lack of time, I think that we can believe them and say that it was actually a lack of time that prevented special death animations from being included in the game. While I am not game developer and have never claimed otherwise, I do know enough to release that game development is a hierarchical process. In other for devs to work on one system, they have to complete all the systems that will be required for that to work. In this specific case, in order to make those special death animations that looked so awesome in 2008 presentation, they had to have completed all classes, that means all textures, animations and all possible graphics for all the classes. Because all the classes will be wearing some items, they also had to have finilized all graphics for items. And they had to have all of them completed to the point that they could work on interaction between the boss and the character. And they had to have all the bosses specifically animated for all that. Any of those alone wasn't much of a challange, and, had they had all prerequisits, it probably wouldn't have been that much of a problem. But, they didn't. We know for a fact that they didn't have all classes finished untill February 2010, when male Demon Hunter was finally revealed. And they didn't have all Legendary items completed untill sometime in 2011. And all the other stuff that they had to do.

But, still they probably could have made it, but, I do not have insider info but I don't think it is necessary, it simply wasn't a high priority. I think it was much higher priority to make varied normal death animations which the players would see all the time versus special death animations that the players would see so very rarely. And therein lies the greatest issue. Tuning those animations. Simply, if they tuned them that they happened all the time, it would greatly diminish the "HOLY CRAP; I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING" effect, which is the whole point of special death animations. Whereas, if they made them so rare that they were seen 1% or less, of the time, their rarity wouldn't justify all the resources, time of which is the most important, that went into their creation.

And last, but not least, I want to thank you for your friend request. I believe I have accepted, and it is appreciated.

How long did WoW take?

I think it sounds quite reasonable to show it off 2015 and maybe release it 2017 - 2018 just basing that on that the game should take 7-8 to develop starting in 2010.

Titan developing was started in 2007. 8 years is 2015. I do not think it will be 2017 or 2018 that would be 10-11 years. 2015 likely for PC release that will come before other release I guess. If there will be a console release then my best guess is that will be later then PC release and console players will not be able to play with PC players.

When is Titan announced at least officially WHAT it really is? My guess Blizzcon 2013, but I am not sure of it. There will be no Blizzcon held at 2012. However if I am correct then do not expect a release date announcment in 2013 Blizzcon. Likely Blizzard will have policy of release date: "when it is done". Hopefully we can get some real news directly from Blizzard in 2013 about Titan.

If there is no new news in 2013, then I am afraid even 2015 might be to early expected release date. On the positive side in Blizzcon 2013 might finally be confirmed some rumors etc.

Yes I have read daeity.blogspot.se rumors. That said they those are rumors and some of them wild speculation. I rather listen what Blizzard confirms to be certainly true. I am not saying everything that blog says is false but I find it unlikely every speculation would be true. For starters on the question will Titan eat some of the WOW population that was asked in Blizzcon 2011 the answer was a yes, but many players might play many games and I am sure some players play both Diablo 3 and WOW. Titan is not going to be a WOW killer(in such a way that WOW dies) and of course Blizzard want them to coexist, but there will be some crossover.

As for the term WOW killer comes originally from a long time ago(maybe 2010) when a Blizzard BOSS said that he hopes that Titan will become WOW killer(means the most popular MMO and not kill WOW). During year 2010 WOW was at peak popularity with 12 million active players.
Found a confirmation from a Blizzard employee that do they do indeed have something called 'show and tell.'

"Watching our company show and tell makes me sad that I spend so much time working I don't have time to play our games"