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Kotaku - Warcraft Version of Pokemon Go Rumor, New Islands Preview in Patch 8.1

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Kotaku Article - Warcraft Version of Pokemon Go?
Kotaku posted an article yesterday talking about Diablo / Blizzard's mobile plans and quoted supposedly anonymous Blizzard employees mentioning the possibility of a Warcraft version of Pokemon Go. Here are some of the highlights that the article mentions. Most of these highlights are unconfirmed by Blizzard.

  • Warcraft Go?
    • Some Blizzard developers are genuinely excited to make mobile games.
    • A lot of Blizzard developers play Pokemon Go.
    • A natural extension of this was for the new Incubation Team to develop a Warcraft version of Pokémon Go, which is supposedly in development for smartphones now.
    • People who have played the Warcraft mobile game say it’s also got a lot more to it than Pokémon Go, including single-player mechanics.
  • Diablo
    • Diablo III had a second expansion that was canceled.
    • Blizzard says cancellations show commitment to quality and that they have only released about 50% of the projects that they have worked on in the past 3 decades.
    • Project Hades was reportedly a Diablo game in development that would be more like Dark Souls, an over the shoulder dungeon crawler that was also canceled.
    • Project Fenris is the current incarnation of Diablo IV and the team is optimistic about it. Their art direction is to embrace the darkness.
    • Project Fenris is still early in development and will likely not launch until 2020 or later.
    • They still claim that there was talks to announce Diablo IV at BlizzCon, but it wasn't far enough along in time, yet one dev disputes this.
    • Blizzard is careful to announce games before they are ready now because of what happened with Project Titan.
    • Project Fenris is being worked on by a separate team from Diablo: Immortal known as Incubation.
    • Diablo: Immortal exists because they heard that China really wanted a Diablo mobile game.
  • Activision and Blizzard
    • Blizzard employees say one of the biggest ongoing conversations this year has been cutting costs.
    • Blizzard's response for comment was “Blizzard has been and continues to be a developer-driven company. All of the games we create represent ideas our game developers themselves are passionate about. This is as true for Diablo Immortal as it was for Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, or Overwatch, or any game we’ve ever made. We believe that the best games to make are ones that our developers believe in.”
    • The perception is that Activision is starting to get more and more involved with Blizzard because 2018 had been a week year for them.
    • The meetings this year was the first time many employees heard things like cutting costs or showing growth.
    • Activision wants to boost Blizzard's content output by adding more developers and release more games on a regular schedule.
    • Mike Morhaime stepping down was a big blow because he was seen as the Anti-CEO and just wanted to make good games and keep employees happy without worrying about profitability.


Preview: Set Sail for Two New Islands
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Prepare to set sail for two new islands—Havenswood and Jorundall—coming to Island Expeditions in Tides of Vengeance.

island01.jpg

Havenswood

island02.jpg

Jorundall

Along with two new islands to explore, we’re also adding two new events that heroes might encounter on islands across the Great Sea.

Azerite Ruptures – Upon encountering an Azerite Rupture, you deploy a device to collect it, which will summon waves of Azerite-themed enemies several times before drawing out a rare or rare elite enemy. As these are Azerite-themed creatures, they’re a bit more lucrative than the usual island natives. You’ll also need to be ready to face more than just the creatures summoned by the device—each time this is activated, a map-wide announcement is made alerting the enemy team of the location.

Azerite Extractors – Once you’ve discovered an Azerite Extractor location, you can deploy an extractor which will grant your team Azerite over time. However, this extractor can be overtaken easily by the enemy team; it also draws the attention of nearby NPCs. Once an extractor is deployed by a faction, all players will learn about the extractor's location immediately, so watch out for unexpected guests!

Island Gameplay Evolution
Since the launch of Battle for Azeroth, we’ve continued to iterate on Island Expeditions. In Tides of Vengeance, we’ve tried to shake things up with the addition of Azerite Ruptures and Extractors, add a bit more variety to what you can expect on any given island. You may encounter one of these in place of an invasion, and even invasions will have more variety—for example, you may face Southsea Pirates and Earth Elementals on an upcoming island visit.

We’ve also worked to cluster NPC enemies that inhabit the islands closer together, giving you a bit more space between points of interest (map space permitting), so spawns should feel a bit more organic to the island you’re on.

With these changes, we’re looking to increase replayability and create more unique encounters each time you return. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever see an Azerite Invasion again, but it should no longer be something you encounter every Island Expedition. Perhaps you’ll run into an island that spawns so many giants it becomes a giant-killing-fest. . . .

About Island Expeditions
If you’ve never taken part in an Island Expedition, there’s no better time to sail into the action.

Why We Fight: Azerite is seeping up from the wound that Sargeras’ blade dealt to Azeroth, and an incredible new resource is waiting to be claimed by the Horde, the Alliance, and anyone else seeking power. When you set out on an Island Expedition, you’ll compete for this resource to empower your Heart of Azeroth and to aid your faction in the race to control as much of the world’s Azerite as possible.

Your Mission: You’ll queue for Normal, Heroic, Mythic, or PvP difficulties either alone or with a group by using an Expedition table in Zuldazar Harbor (Horde) or Boralus Harbor (Alliance). Island Expeditions are three-player encounters, and while you can play as any mix of roles, you’ll want to make sure you’re coordinating with the rest of your group to overcome the opposing faction and acquire 6,000 Azerite before they do.

Upon landing on the Island, you’ll disembark from your ship and make your way onto land in search of as much Azerite as you can get your hands on. There are many ways to acquire it, whether it’s by killing monsters, finding treasure chests, defeating the opposing faction’s team, or mining the nodes that will appear around the island.

The Landscape: There’s plenty to explore on this uncharted land, and each island features lots of dynamically generated elements that provide a variety of challenges to overcome.

It’s more than just the Horde and the Alliance interested in the Azerite—you’ll also confront a wide range of different enemies seeking to claim it for their own. As you explore the island, you’ll engage in smaller encounters such as a village of quilboar, water elementals guarding treasure chests full of Azerite, or rare and elite monsters. You’ll also encounter random events from time to time as you explore the island.

To overcome some of these encounters, you’ll need to keep an eye out for beneficial shrines, food, or objects that can aid you. With a bit of tactics and coordination, you’re bound to find some great opportunities to add more Azerite to your count and claim victory.

With extensive combinations of enemies, power-ups, spawn locations, and more, you’ll never know what you’ll come across in your next Island Expedition.

Your Opponents: You won’t be alone on the island, as much as you might hope to be. There are others who want to get their hands on the Azerite, and queuing for Normal, Heroic, or Mythic difficulty will pit you against a rival team of three Horde or Alliance “Advanced NPCs.” These clever rivals will move around and take advantage of the island just like other players would, and each group of opponents has different tactical personalities, from the more aggressive to the more defensive, and will all seeking to claim 6,000 Azerite before you can and take home victory. You never know which team of opponents you’ll face, so be prepared to use all your character’s abilities to overcome them.

For those who choose PvP difficulty, you’ll be pitted against players of the opposing faction to see which team will triumph.

New adventures await in Tides of Vengeance which makes landfall, December 11, 2018.

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