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

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#1
mynsc

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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.


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#2
rs10rs10

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2015 :-( I hope that isn't true

"Rogues guard the secrets to poison-making carefully, lest magi start incorporating poison into their spells. Poisonbolt? Rain of Poison? Poison Elemental? Nobody wants that."


#3
xeenz

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I hope he was trolling at the end. 2015 feels so long :( I'm still holding on a reveal next year or in 2014.

#4
Falloubst

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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.

#5
Odysseus

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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.

#6
mynsc

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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! :)

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#7
papaz

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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.

#8
Sarnakyle

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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

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#9
mynsc

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@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.

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#10
Sarnakyle

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@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. 

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#11
papaz

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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.

#12
mynsc

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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.

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#13
Sarnakyle

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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.

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#14
papaz

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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

#15
papaz

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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

#16
mynsc

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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.

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#17
Dendarang

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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.

#18
Sarnakyle

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@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

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#19
mynsc

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@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.

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#20
papaz

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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.