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Titan Job Postings [highlights]


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Blizzard's Jobs page is, right now, the closest thing we have to an official stream of Titan related info. More specifically, I'm talking about the section called "Next-Gen MMO", which obviously refers to the game you're here to read about. :)

First of all, it's worth mentioning that it is an incredibly volatile section. Jobs get added / deleted from there almost weekly, which is in my opinion a clear sign of how active the Titan project is. I've been following it for almost a year now and I have yet to see an important reduction in the number of job openings.

Anyway, even if I always keep it in check, I recently realized I never really gave it too much front page time. I've mostly been using the job postings there to strengthen some of my predictions, but that's about it. So with this article I want to correct my ignorance and also do a quick run through the most important bits of info that can be found there.


Cross-server player interaction

The position will focus on network communication, player interaction across server boundaries, security countermeasures, maintenance, and implementation of new server features. Source

This is not necessarily a big reveal since I don't think anyone was imagining that Blizzard wants to fit several million players into one big server. I'm sure they'd like to do it, but it's just not possible right now... maybe in 10 - 15 years when WoW 2 will launch hehe.

It is nonetheless interesting... it's practically a confirmation that Titan will have cross-server activities. Thing is, we can't really know what they mean by "player interaction". It might be a simple thing like chatting, friending, checking online status etc, in which case it's something that already happens in WoW and it's hardly a surprise to anyone.

The other option is a lot more interesting and, in my opinion, more probable. "Player interaction across server boundaries" sounds a lot like all the cross-realm activities we can currently find in WoW. And since Titan calls itself a next-gen MMO, this phrase might mean even more. I'm 100% shooting in the dark right now, but what about Server vs Server fights / challenges or seamless travel between different realms. Your original Realm would always remain your home, but you could make short visits on other realms to surprise friends or take part at different activities. Maybe Battlegroups (i.e. cluster of realms) will become the new meaning for one's server.

Anyway, it's important not to read too much into this, even though I just did the opposite :D . But it's definitely something I'm very interested in hearing more about!


Single-player?!

The user interface artist will be responsible for working with the UI Designer to realize the artistic vision of the game’s various interfaces in single player, in multiplayer, and on our websites for our current, and future products and expansions. Source

This one's really weird. Seeing mentions of single-player in Titan, a MMO, was probably the last thing I was expecting. And yet here they are. I really have no clue what to make of it, but here are some theories:
  • they actually mean solo-play. Probability: pretty much zero.
  • they're referring to other games too. This one actually has a decent chance of being true, at least compared to the solo-play one. Even if the first part of the phrase clearly implies Titan's single-player interface, the ending extends the scope to all of Blizzard's "products and expansions". So maybe this is just a wide statement meant to be re-usable for more postings.
  • Titan has a single-player campaign. I'm not even going to attempt to approach this subject until we get more info that supports it.
  • Blizzard has a huge troll inside its HQ. :)
In-game ads

Work with major consumer brands to facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment's next-gen MMO that enhances the gameplay experience. Source

I've already mentioned this in a previous article, but it definitely deserves more attention. Like I said there, it hints towards a near-future setting, where advertisements are deeply integrated within the world.

Leaving the game-play observations aside, this can become quite an important monetization method. Think about how much money some companies would be willing to pay right now, just to have their brand posted in the centre of Orgrimmar or/and Stormwind. Especially on busy servers where there are always hundreds of people circulating through these hubs. Not to mention that most of them come to towns because they're bored... a perfect time to attract one's attention with a shiny billboard. :)

Something like this happening so late in WoW's life would probably make the "Real ID on forums" community-rage feel like a gentle breeze, but I'm absolutely sure it will be very well accepted in a new game, if it is integrated in a decent way.


Other mentions
  • The previously mentioned Franchise Development Producer posting also contains some info about how Blizzard plans to extend and promote this new franchise: "Books / Novels, Action Figures, Comics, Short Movies, Apparel". So pretty much the same way they did with the Warcraft universe, which is of course one more hint that this is a very important project for them.
  • The Jobs Directory also contains a section called "Unannounced Game Title". By all accounts, this does not refer to Titan but one can't help wonder what else is Blizzard planning? :)
  • There's also an opening for a Senior Test Engineer, which of course means that the testing team and tools are starting to be assembled. This can only be a good sign for how the development process is going.





10 Comments

oooh good work, intriguing to read about a potential single player campaign.
Awesome article :)
Great article, as usual. Anyways, I wonder is whats the chance of the "unnounced game" actually being Warcraft 4. I know that playing through W3's camplaign is one of the best experiences in Azeroth I've ever had, and I am dying to get some good RTS action.
If you want RTS action, the SC2 campaign is pretty sick. There are also tons of custom maps / mods that can keep someone entertained for a very long time. Not to mention laddering.

Anyway, yeah, that unannounced title might very well be Warcraft 4, although I think the chances of this are quite small. They still have 2 more expansions of SC2 to work on so it doesn't make much sense to distribute resources to another RTS too. There's also the fact that Azeroth is represented by WoW right now and it will be for quite a while longer.

Thing is, I really have no clue what else it could be, so for now, even if it doesn't make too much sense, W4 is my best guess as well. :)
Ehh, didn't they say it was a new IP and had nothing to do with WoW, Diablo or Starcraft?
We're talking about the "Unannounced Game Title" section on the Blizzard Jobs page that is different from Titan's section (which is called "Next-Gen MMO"). So it probably refers to a different game we know nothing about.
@mysnc Well, my theory is that Blizzard will close WoW shortly before Titan's release so that Titan would be their MMO. IMO, this is similiar situation to what it was like before Warcraft 3's release. They had two RTS games which would obviously compete with each other and that would have had negative impact on the sales. So, they decided to make SC their RTS. I think similiar thing will happen with Titan, even if Titan and WoW are greatly distinct, there still is overlap and I just don't think that it's a good idea to have to compete with themselves in addition to various other MMOs in establishing Titan as the next king of MMOs. So, it is possible that WoW as an MMO will be inherited by Titan, while the story of Azeroth is continued in Warcraft 4, which would most likely follow Warcraft 3 in being hybrid RPG RTS to awaid competition from Starcraft 2.
Unless WoW will be down to 10 servers or so, I really really doubt Blizzard will ever pull the plug on it. A lot of games these days make tons of money with just 200 - 500k players... so even if WoW somehow decreases to this number in just 2,3 years, it still wouldn't make any sense to shut it down. If it will have even more players, closing it would be the biggest blunder in the history of games. Most fans would be so pissed they probably won't ever touch a Blizzard game (MMO especially) ever. As an example, SWG was down to just several thousand players and it still caused quite a fuss when it got shutdown.

I do agree that they will have to do some changes once Titan comes out. My thought is that Blizzard will bring WoW and Titan under the same roof so to speak, maybe by sharing the same subscription or maybe by Titan being offered for free to WoW subscribers (or the other way around). There are a couple more options... I'll probably get deeper into them in a future article, as soon as I pass through these VERY busy couple of weeks.
@Mysnc Unrelated to out discussion, I just saw on another site that Blizzcon 2012 is cancelled because devs have "too much on their plate". While it is true that Blizzard is hoping to release 3 games this year, lack of Blizzcon 2012 could have consequences on Titan's announcment, good or bad.
Here's a quote:

We’re excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We’re also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.


More details about the 2012 Battle.net World Championship and BlizzCon 2013, including specific dates and locations, will be coming in the months ahead.