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Blizzard Hints At New StarCraft, Launches Burning Crusade 319

Game Developer Blizzard Entertainment's long-anticipated expansion to World of Warcraft has gone live. Initial impressions are ... not available, since all 8 million players are currently in the Outlands. I'll take that to mean the servers for the most part have not melted yet. At a Burning Crusade launch party, a Blizzard exec revealed we may see a new StarCraft game very soon. But today is all about WoW. If you're not playing, and want to live vicariously, check out WarCry's extensive preview of the expansion. You could read designer Jeff Kaplan's comments on new features at FiringSquad, or Shane Dibiri's talk of inspiration at Next Generation. One new expansion a year, eh? Some folks are already looking to the future, where we probably won't see WoW on consoles, but may see it with security dongles. 0.1% of the Earth's population can't all be wrong.
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Blizzard Hints At New StarCraft, Launches Burning Crusade

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  • by SNR monkey ( 1021747 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:23AM (#17628008)
    ..but I was busy playing WoW
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:23AM (#17628014) Journal

    Your servers are not prepared!!

    Serious aside: once you get your copy, there is no need to run the installer from the discs. All you need is the key to upgrade your account using the provided key—you already have all the content as of the 2.0 patch series. If you run the installer, it rolls your local copy back to 2.0.3, and once you start the game, you would go through two patch cycles back to 2.0.5. Save yourself some time and just upgrade your account directly at https://upgrade.worldofwarcraft.com/expansion/ [worldofwarcraft.com].

    • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:26AM (#17628038) Journal

      All you need is the key to upgrade your account using the provided key...

      Brain not working. Late night last. Up, leveling new Blood Elf. Damned if they are not the gayest video game characters ever.

      Scrunchie? Scrunchie? Scrunchie!?

    • I got mine at a midnight launch. Aside from some sky high latency issues, the servers held up. Much better than the regular launch. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go convince my boss I suddenly caught the flu. out of no where. For only a couple of days.
    • by XMunkki ( 533952 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:49AM (#17628352) Homepage
      Actually there IS a need to install the CDs, as not all TBC content came with the patches (I suspect mainly the Outland regions). Don't know how it is in the US, but it's like this in the europe [wow-europe.com]. It is true it will re-run a few patches after installing though.

      And yes, you can play the non-TBC regions with a normal unupgraded client even if you have activated TBC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      From the official forums and WoW:TBC FAQ: Will I need to install from the CD? Why? It will be necessary to have a Burning Crusade CD and a Burning Crusade authentication key in order to play The Burning Crusade expansion. There is content on the Burning Crusade CD that will need to be installed that was not included in the patches we recently released. Each account (in the event multiple are played by one person) will need its own copy of The Burning Crusade expansion to install the additional content, an
  • by BelDion ( 109503 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:25AM (#17628034) Homepage Journal
    Outlands is a gankfest right now and pretty much every quest mob is being camped...

    Plan B: grind in Winterspring.
  • by airhed13 ( 732958 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:26AM (#17628040)

    You have no idea how glad I am that I finally don't care about this story. I uninstalled the game last weekend, and I've moved the CDs to my "never gonna play that game again" spindle in the back of my closet.

    That's one addiction that I'll never regret kicking.

    • by Requiem ( 12551 )
      Word. I kicked my FFXI addiction a couple of months ago. I miss it, but I don't miss my newfound free time.
    • by StoatBringer ( 552938 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:05AM (#17628632)
      ...can I have all your gold?
    • My wife kicked her habit too, sold her WoW account right before new years.

      Now, unfortunately, every friend I know still plays WoW so I have to hear about it all the time, but the house for the moment is WoW free :P
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fitten ( 521191 )
        Every time it's brought up, just start asking them how the grind is going. WoW, a great single player game with about 350 hours of play in it (only takes 13 days played to get to level 60... I did it several times) but after that, it's nothing but grind.

        Ask them how many crypt thing legs they've gotten on the way to the 1200 (gotten ~20 per trip into an instance) to get the 30 tokens needed to buy the stuff from the faction person *AFTER* you've killed the 1000s of mobs to get the faction to actually buy i
      • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
        I have a similar problem - it seems that my old gamer friends have split into two categories:
        1) those who don't game anymore
        2) those who only play WoW, to the exclusion of other games

        WoW has eaten the lunch of a big chunk of the games industry. For somebody who just wants to dive-in-and-play other games, that kinda sucks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Nazlfrag ( 1035012 )
      Yep, they certainly can suck you in. I still play FFXI and others in small doses, though I kicked the habit for months first. I was taking these games FAR too seriously. Sucks all the fun out of it really, like alcohol addiction.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mr.Scamp ( 974300 )
      And yet you have carefully stored the disks. Rather like an alcoholic saying he's sober because he moved the liquor into a back closet.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by airhed13 ( 732958 )
        I wouldn't be too concerned about that. That's the spindle that has Master of Orion 3, Heroes of Might and Magic 4, and the original (unpatched) Black & White. It's my object lesson spindle, and I use it to remind myself of some of the difficult lessons that I've learned over the years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by diamondsw ( 685967 )
      And of course, that is exactly why Blizz generously doesn't delete your account info - so you can come back in six months when you need your fix.
      • I'd imagine the small amount of disk space used on the servers is well worth the extra temptation it places on former addicts. Diskspace is cheap, I bet a one month backslide would cover the costs and then some.
    • That is why I won't even get started. I don't want to get lost in a world that won't provide me with food, shelter, clothing or sex. I will never play a MMORPG but stick to the one I living now. I may not understand the rules but at least the rewards are tangible when they come.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by guaigean ( 867316 )
        I don't want to get lost in a world that won't provide me with food, shelter, clothing or sex.

        Wait, you are reading slashdot right?
  • Uh... they barely gave enough time for the "hardcore" guilds to get through the newest content (Naxx)... nevermind the casual players that had -no- chance of ever seeing the majority of end-game content that was out for 2 years.

    Now they are promising 1x expansion every year?

    Well, I guess that ensures everyone that they won't have a life for years to come.
    • Uh... Blame Blizzard and their expansions for taking away your life "for years to come."
    • Guilds will catch up. Remember, WoW was missing several endgame instances that were SUPPOSED to be there from day-1 (along with honor, battlegrounds, etc) and implemented later so guilds didn't have time to conquor them, as they were added later in time.

      Everquest put out 2 expansions a year, roughly, after the first couple. And the raiding guilds keep up with it.
    • Well, that's the plan isn't it? Keep them addicted for life, all while paying the monthly fee :)
    • by Dalroth ( 85450 )
      How is a bad thing? They are providing new content to the community. In fact, they just provided a whole ton of new content for new players as well should they choose to use it. Where's the problem here?

  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:29AM (#17628074) Journal

    For the first time ever, World of Warcraft players meet in public. In real life. This allowed us to collect some interesting data about the demographics. Out of nearly 50 people standing around the EB Games where I picked up my copy, I think four were girls. Just saying. Something to think about next time you /flirt.

    • by mfender9 ( 725994 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:43AM (#17628282)
      Out of nearly 50 people standing around the EB Games where I picked up my copy, I think four were girls.

      If you only think they were girls, then I'm not terribly excited about them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xugumad ( 39311 )
      It's just a thought, but maybe a lot of the female players didn't care enough to queue for it, or pre-ordered online (which is what I did, got it when I woke up this morning, means I missed the first 8 hours of the expansion being live, like, the pain, how will I cope)...
      • by cecille ( 583022 )
        My boyfriend is going to get this afternoon. Then, when I get home, everything will be installed and ready. That's the way to do it.

        Seriously, though, I actually don't know too many people who play, but of the group of us that do, about half are girls. It's been a long time since I've seen that split. Clearly that
        • by cecille ( 583022 )
          Whoops, sorry...don't know how half the text got misplaced, but I was going to say that clearly that's not a representative split (I'm a computer engineer, so I know a lot more gamers who are women), but still it's been a long time since I've seen so many females who not just play but like it enough to actually ADMIT it and talk about it in front of other people.
          • Yeah. I don't play online games, but of the five people I know who play WoW, two are women. Also, the biggest MUD freak evar that I knew of back in the olden days was too. Is it maybe closer to a balance gender-wise than other games because of the social aspect?
      • Assuming that group was even a remotely representive sample, then it does not matter. When I signed onto the game shortly after picking it up, roughly (if not more than) 50% of the Blood Elf characters I saw were female (which were obviously just rolled).

        Not saying there is anything wrong with this, just find it funny. :)

    • by Seng ( 697556 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:39AM (#17629180)
      I decided, just for fun, to run down to the local retailer to grab my copy (hell, they shut the servers down for the update just in time for me to get there at midnight!).

      I was a little surprised... Or maybe I shouldn't have been.

      The people standing behind me were SO obviously methheads (gaunt face, bleeding gums, rotting out teeth). There was one kid that was about 12 in there with his mother picking up a copy (wtf? On a school night? I hope to hell when my daughter's 12 I never lose my intelligence and find myself buying a game at 12 midnight with her on a school night!)

      The rest of the people were semi-normal - but about half of those looked like they could've used some personal hygiene lessons *grin*.

      I'm thinking it was the horde release location...
    • Personally, I /flirt to role-play my latent homosexual desires. /flirts with Lethyos
    • Outside of Best Buy last night in downtown Toronto, there were probably around 300 people, and I'd say 35-40% were women. Lots of couples, noteably, though some were in groups of friends. Mostly people in their 20's, with some in their 30's or up. The teenagers weren't likely to be hanging around downtown Toronto at midnight.

    • I use Ventrilo with my guild. Between my wife, my buddy's wife, and other women in the guild, there's at least a couple dozen in my guild.

      Course, with a pretty much unlimited number of characters, half my chars are male and half my chars are females, and my wife has about the same split. In my case, it's because I like having something pretty to look at, and I prefer the female models for a couple of the races. As a result, I assume female chars are probably men, but possibly women. Most night elves fema
  • Finally.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zyl0x ( 987342 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:34AM (#17628158)
    ..a new StarCraft game. It's been a while since I've seen anything that isn't WarCraft-related come out of that company. I know I'm not the only one that's eagerly awaiting more SC news.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Atheose ( 932144 )
      Starcraft is the one game that I still play a few times a month, even after it's been out this long. Considering I paid ~$80 for over 9 years of entertainment, I would say it's the greatest game I've ever bought.
  • by guysmilee ( 720583 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:40AM (#17628234)

    "All in all, this is more of the same ... "

    I have to tell you all that I absolutely hate this game. It is annoying and tedious ... and no I don't wanna join your bloody guild!

  • 'Security Dongles' (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:50AM (#17628368)
    (Slashdot won't show me the reply links on replies now... So I'm starting a new post. Firefox2/Linux, btw.)

    So, is this the first time in the history of dongles that the 'security' provided by the dongle is for the USER and not the company? -boggle-

    I actually think this is a great idea, IF it's optional. Example:

    You buy New-RPG. You install New-RPG and plug in the dongle. At that point, you have the option to create a username and password, or use the dongle as your authentication mechanism. Later, if you want to change, you simply insert the dongle and go to the config and change it. (Needed to enable AND disable, for obvious reasons.)

    If (huge IF) I ever write an online game, I'm going to seriously consider this. I tend towards 'free' games, so I'd probably make it write the authentication to a USB drive.

    Thoughts: Lost/broken USB drive? Any backup means I can think of is another backdoor for a 'hacker'. (I use that term loosely.)
    Copied auth data? Use the hardware ID of the USB drive as part of the auth?
    Hacked executable to send any auth data they wish? Troublesome.

    At any rate, I'm astonished at the thought of a dongle actually protecting the user instead of the company.
    • by arkanes ( 521690 )
      It's not new by any means. Businesses have been using RSA tokens for VPN access, and dial-up before that, for years. In (at least some parts of) Europe, online banking uses tokens. I think what's throwing you here is that they're calling them dongles and not tokens. A game using it is something new, though, and I respect Blizzard for looking at ways to try to mitigate the growing account hacking problem.
    • by Cheesey ( 70139 )
      You buy New-RPG. You install New-RPG and plug in the dongle. At that point, you have the option to create a username and password, or use the dongle as your authentication mechanism. Later, if you want to change, you simply insert the dongle and go to the config and change it. (Needed to enable AND disable, for obvious reasons.)

      Yes, this is a great idea. +5, Fantastic.

      I do not have a Warcrack account but my partner does. I am terrified that her machine will get a keylogger on it and some "gold farmer" will
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        Good deal. I was wondering how many others might also see this as a good thing, instead of an annoyance. (There was a time that I would have been in the 'annoyance' class.)

        I'm still worried about the customer service nightmares (lost/stolen dongle) but I'm sure they could be worked out. I suppose the standard 'personal questions' approach would do the job.

        I used to hoard my ideas in the thought that I would eventually use them in a game and make a bajillion dollars. Then I realized that it'll never happ
  • by galfridus73 ( 873250 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:02AM (#17628594) Journal
    Gotta love it...

    I have two employees, both WoW players, who are out today with "the flu" (of course they both picked up their copies of BC at midnight and didn't come down with their illness until 4 or 5am...). ;)

    Anyone else have a similar situation?

  • by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:55AM (#17629440)

    I preordered my copy of the Burning Crusade, and showed up at the store at about 10:30 (I was the 5th person there). I spoke to the fine people of Taverncast [taverncast.com], chatted with other gamers about raid strategies, and shuffled around as we formed Alliance and Horde cliques (not really on that last one). After I got my copy at 12:01 (it payed to show up early. There were about ~200 people behind me in line) I rushed home and installed.

    I must say, the process was amazingly smooth. I had no delay upgrading my account, and although the client required a patch out of the box, the patch files were already downloaded. Last weekend, my guild transferred over to the new Sisters of Elune server, and it's held up incredibly well. I played from midnight to 6 AM, and there were no crashes or lag spikes.

    As for the content, my guildies and I ran through the dark portal and started questing around Hellfire peninsula. Immediately, we were greeted with the beautiful, surreal vista of Hellfire peninsula, where a massive battle is being waged between Alliance and Horde forces in uneasy truce against the Burning Legion (with hordes of demons and giant mechs called Fel Reavers). This conflict feels very dynamic and intense (partly because the front has just opened), but the scale of warfare on Hellfire peninsula really puts all the ongoing "battles" in Azeroth to shame. Within the first hour or two, you'll have the opportunity to sabotage the Legion war machine and fly an armored Gryphon (or I assume a Wyvern if you're Horde) on a bombing run (which is extremely fun). Obviously, I haven't had a chance to try out new raids or venture beyond Hellfire peninsula, but so far, Burning Crusade is gorgeous, massive, and intense. Good job, Blizzard!

  • by neo ( 4625 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:59AM (#17629516)
    Some folks are already looking to the future where we probably won't see WoW on consoles, but may see it with security dongles. 0.1% of the Earth's population can't all be wrong.

    Why doesn't Blizzard just make their own hardware? The ultimate dongle is a single game console. Cheap enough to capture an entirely new market, and since it's really the per month payments they want they can cut the price. Plug in your ethernet and a USB keyboard/mouse/joystick and away you go.

    I know Blizzard isn't a hardware company, but this seems like an obvious "Apple"-esc move.
  • I'd play that in a second! And with the gobs and gobs of cash WoW is bringing in, I wouldn't be surprised to see Blizzard pumping money into yet another MMORPG. If one MMORPG hooks 8 million players, two should be able to hook 16 million, right?
    • But why split their market? They've already got 8 million players in WoW. Most of those would be the type to play WoS, and would probably wind up abandoning one or the other to play a single MMO full time. If there is a World of Starcraft, it wont show up for several years. Blizzard will wait for WoW to get played out first.
  • by GodBlessTexas ( 737029 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:00PM (#17629548) Journal
    I guess that would be great if I were still interested. I got over Starcraft 6 years ago, and while I think it was the perfect RTS and had a very compelling story, I don't understand why they feel the need to come back to it now, after 10 years, for a sequel to a game with such a rabid following? I think it's impossible that it could be a better playing experience than the original or Brood War for multiplayer. Why is it that Blizzard can only seem to develop one game at a time when they certainly have the resources to do more? They have three solid gold game franchises, and two of them have languished for the better part of a decade: Starcraft for 9 years, and Diablo for 6. I can understand their commitment to quality, but it's not as if there aren't enough good developers, project managers, and producers out there to make a quality game.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The Raven ( 30575 )
      Gee... Blizzard, a big company, makes extremely good, genre defining games. But for some bizarre reason, they choose to only work on one game at a time, focusing on that one game to make it really good.


      You know, and this is just a wild stab in the dark... maybe the quality of their games is because they only... no... no, that's crazy talk. I mean, EA develops tons of games at once, and their quality is...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by moochfish ( 822730 )
      Your description makes me think of EA. I don't know how others view EA, but I think that company tends to make games with great potential, but then they round off the details at the end, cut a few corners, and ship it to save costs and time. My point is, when your company is focusing its energy in many directions, your visions can get dilluted, and your desire grows to ship now rather than later in an attempt to get paid now.

      Sort of like: why strive for one 10/10, when you can ship two 9/10's?
  • Just one request:
    Please try to make Starcraft 2 hacker-proof. I'm willing to run a hack-check daemon similar to WoW, as long as I can turn it off when I'm not playing.

    I STILL play SC after all these years, and one of the most annoying things is the hackers - map hackers, drop hackers, and worst of all the lag hackers. I still think it is the best wargame out there, so I would love to see a sequel.

    I know you will do an awesome job on the balance, gameplay and graphics, so I'm not worried about any of that.
  • Masters of Orion 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:01PM (#17630688)
    Starcraft? I can't stop playing Masters of Orion 2! God I need sleep.
  • by Paralizer ( 792155 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:44PM (#17631500) Homepage
    "As a Starcraft player I can tell you that I hope it wouldn't go a decade - we launched Starcraft in '98 - I hope it wouldn't go a decade before we stand here and celebrate the next Starcraft together," Itzik Ben Bassat told crowds gathered at World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade's official launch event in London last night.
    Unless they've already done significant work on it, how are they even considering the possibility of shipping it by 2008? I think a development cycle for a blockbuster game takes years, 3 maybe 4, and this guy is talking 1-2?

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