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More On Blizzard Departures, Arrivals, Action Figures

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the key-project-is-lost-vikings-three-norseketeers dept.

PC Games (Games) 16

Thanks to GameSpy for their interview with Bill Roper, quizzing the ex-Blizzard veteran further on his recent departure from the company. He confirms: "..the uncertainly surrounding [Blizzard's] future in regards to who was going to own us understandably caused a lot of speculation and uncertainty. Our lack of participation in the process made it difficult for us to provide any insight to the people we worked with." In related news, Blizzard has announced that former Diablo II lead programmer Rick Seis will now lead Blizzard North, who "..will be streamlining their teams into one core group in order to focus.. on one key project." Finally, GameSpot has photos of the new Warcraft III action figures, including the death knight Prince Arthas, the night elf archer Shandris Feathermoon, and the dread lord Tichondrius.

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Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (3, Interesting)

August_zero (654282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426450)

Gettin kinda spooky over there...

Sure Blizzard was never much of an innovater, but they are none the less a very strong developer that certainly know how to manipulate the hype machine as well as or better than they write code.

News like this, on the advent of the company branching off into new waters (starcraft: ghost, and world of war craft) starts to make me wonder whats going on over there. I would hate to see them turn into another "me too" developer and get absorbed by EA or Faux Atari.

Re:Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (2)

Corporal Tunnel (642897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426930)

Yeah, blizzard isn't much of an innovater[sic], except for creating two whole game generes, which they are still the best at despite dozens of failed clones from other companies!

Re:Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6427059)

Which generes would those be?

Re:Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (1)

silentbobdp (157345) | more than 11 years ago | (#6427194)

You comment on someone's spelling, and then misspell something yourself. Joy.

And no, Blizzard did not invent the "clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclic kclickclicklevelupclickclickclickclick" so-called RPG. They were the first to have it decently online, though, as far as I know.

And they didn't invent the RTS either.

And what else have they made?

Re:Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (1)

August_zero (654282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6428954)

Diablo--->Modern online version of "NetHACK"

Warcraft--->direct descendent of "Dune 2:Battle for Arakkis" thats the earliest game i can think of with the whole, gather/build/attack format, I am sure someone can quote an earlier game.

Re:Quick! check the pigeon's entrails! (1)

LineNoiz (616971) | more than 11 years ago | (#6436394)

Dune II: Battle for Arrakis [] - Released 1992

Herzog Zwei [] - Released 1990 []

I believe Herzog is the oldest RTS game out there. I could be wrong, though...

Good interview. (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426483)

I especially liked the answer to the second question on the second page.

Oh yeah, the insight into what happened was nice too.

Blizzard will go on without them (though maybe not quite "business as usual" for awhile), and they'll go on to hopefully work on the quality projects they were accustomed to at Blizzard.

BUSH = MANIPULATION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6426585)

CIA Got Uranium Reference Cut in October
Why Bush Cited It In January Is Unclear []

By Walter Pincus and Mike Allen
Sunday, July 13, 2003; Page A01

CIA Director George J. Tenet successfully intervened with White House officials to have a reference to Iraq seeking uranium from Niger removed from a presidential speech last October, three months before a less specific reference to the same intelligence appeared in the State of the Union address, according to senior administration officials.

Tenet argued personally to White House officials, including deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley, that the allegation should not be used because it came from only a single source, according to one senior official. Another senior official with knowledge of the intelligence said the CIA had doubts about the accuracy of the documents underlying the allegation, which months later turned out to be forged.

The new disclosure suggests how eager the White House was in January to make Iraq's nuclear program a part of its case against Saddam Hussein even in the face of earlier objections by its own CIA director. It also appears to raise questions about the administration's explanation of how the faulty allegations were included in the State of the Union speech.

It is unclear why Tenet failed to intervene in January to prevent the questionable intelligence from appearing in the president's address to Congress when Tenet had intervened three months earlier in a much less symbolic speech. That failure may underlie his action Friday in taking responsibility for not stepping in again to question the reference. "I am responsible for the approval process in my agency," he said in Friday's statement.

As Bush left Africa yesterday to return to Washington from a five-day trip overshadowed by the intelligence blunder, he was asked whether he considered the matter over. "I do," he replied. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters yesterday that "the president has moved on. And I think, frankly, much of the country has moved on, as well."

But it is clear from the new disclosure about Tenet's intervention last October that the controversy continues to boil, and as new facts emerge a different picture is being presented than the administration has given to date.

Details about the alleged attempt by Iraq to buy as much as 500 tons of uranium oxide were contained in a national intelligence estimate (NIE) that was concluded in late September 2002. It was that same reference that the White House wanted to use in Bush's Oct. 7 speech that Tenet blocked, the sources said. That same intelligence report was the basis for the 16-word sentence about Iraq attempting to buy uranium in Africa that was contained in the January State of the Union address that has drawn recent attention.

Administration sources said White House officials, particularly those in the office of Vice President Cheney, insisted on including Hussein's quest for a nuclear weapon as a prominent part of their public case for war in Iraq. Cheney had made the potential threat of Hussein having a nuclear weapon a central theme of his August 2002 speeches that began the public buildup toward war with Baghdad.

In the Oct. 7 Cincinnati speech, the president for the first time outlined in detail the threat Hussein posed to the United States on the eve of a congressional vote authorizing war. Bush talked in part about "evidence" indicating that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. The president listed Hussein's "numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists," satellite photographs showing former nuclear facilities were being rebuilt, and Iraq's attempts to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes for use in enriching uranium for nuclear weapons.

There was, however, no mention of Niger or even attempts to purchase uranium from other African countries, which was contained in the NIE and also included in a British intelligence dossier that had been published a month earlier.

By January, when conversations took place with CIA personnel over what could be in the president's State of the Union speech, White House officials again sought to use the Niger reference since it still was in the NIE.

"We followed the NIE and hoped there was more intelligence to support it," a senior administration official said yesterday. When told there was nothing new, White House officials backed off, and as a result "seeking uranium from Niger was never in drafts," he said.

Tenet raised no personal objection to the ultimate inclusion of the sentence, attributed to Britain, about Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Africa. His statement on Friday said he should have. "These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," the CIA director said.

Bush said in Abuja, Nigeria, yesterday that he continues to have faith in Tenet. "I do, absolutely," he said. "I've got confidence in George Tenet; I've got confidence in the men and women who work at the CIA."

There is still much that remains unclear about who specifically wanted the information inserted in the State of the Union speech, or why repeated concerns about the allegations were ignored.

"The information was available within the system that should have caught this kind of big mistake," a former Bush administration official said. "The question is how the management of the system, and the process that supported it, allowed this kind of misinformation to be used and embarrass the president."

Senior Bush aides said they do not believe they have a communication problem within the White House that prevented them from acting on any of the misgivings about the information that were being expressed at lower levels of the government.

"I'm sure there will have to be some retracing of steps, and that's what's happening," White House communications director Dan Bartlett said. "The mechanical process, we think is fine. Will more people now give more, tighter scrutiny going forward? Of course."

A senior administration official said Bush's chief speechwriter, Michael J. Gerson, does not remember who wrote the line that has wound up causing the White House so much grief.

Officials said three speechwriters were at the core of the State of the Union team, and that they worked from evidence against Iraq provided by the National Security Council. NSC officials dealt with the CIA both in gathering material for the speech and later in vetting the drafts.

Officials involved in preparing the speech said there was much more internal debate over the next line of the speech, when Bush said in reference to Hussein, "Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in his Feb. 5 presentation to the United Nations, noted a disagreement about Iraq's intentions for the tubes, which can be used in centrifuges to enrich uranium. The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency had raised those questions two weeks before the State of the Union address, saying Hussein claimed nonnuclear intentions for the tubes. In March, the IAEA said it found Hussein's claim credible, and could all but rule out the use of the tubes in a nuclear program.

Staff writer Dana Milbank contributed to this report from Nigeria.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6426685)


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6426890)


Things to come (2, Insightful)

ruprechtjones (545762) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426805)

I am predicting that whatever Roper's new company is, it will become the gem of the industry that Blizzard was 2 years ago. RoperCo will be known for it's quality, whilst Blizzard will be known for it's past hits and it's current turmoil. Here's hoping that Diablo III comes from RoperCo and not Blizzard...

Re:Things to come (2, Insightful)

gedanken (24390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6427288)

It is a given that blizzard is going to work on diablo 3. perhaps roper and co left because they were tired of working on that type of game? there is no way they can make diablo 3 themselves, but I do look forward to what they will make.

Uhhhh (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426838)

night elf archer Shandris Feathermoon

Last time I checked Shandris got killed by Arthas and was brought back as a banshee on RoC, then mysteriously came back in FT as a dark ranger. She's undead f00 :P

Re:Uhhhh (1)

Corporal Tunnel (642897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6426921)

No that was Sylvanis Windrunner, not Shandris.

Re:Uhhhh (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6446483)

Gah Shandris, Sylvanis, they all sound the same!

Thanks for clearin it up tho :)

More ex-Blizzard people... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6426975)

Are working on Goblin Commander [] .
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