E3 has kicked off in fine style. Massive queues, bag checks, and humongous displays.
First cab off the rank - Blizzard's Warcraft titles
A bit grouchy cos I dared take a picture of their booth, the Blizzard posse stepped me through their upcoming MMORPG, Warcraft: World of Wonders. Set four years after the conclusion of the Warcraft III (due out soon) storyline, WoW is sporting a very nice engine for a MMORPG, which makes EQ look positively lame in comparison insert nasty comment about EQ here
. A hefty draw distance and a fine level of detail means that this baby looks hot. Blizzard have promised that the experience will be like a blend of EverQuest and Diablo gameplay. It definitely looked like it, with new characters able to quickly get a handle on things with a variety of foes to dispatch. A nice touch is that heroes from War III and many aspects appear in WoW, giving a real sense of continuity.
The staff demonstrating the game were quick to point out the ease of use involved with getting around the gameworld, and engaging in combat. Impressive spell effects looked the part, but I'm guessing the thrill of seeing that fireball effect wears off after 40 times.
The game looked in a reasonably complete state, with Blizzard promising that Asia-Pacific servers would make the game a smooth proposition for Aussie gamers. Obviously they are blissfully unaware of the state of broadband in Australia.
From a non-MMORPG fan like me, I have to concede that this is impressive material. If the Warcraft flavoured storyline drags in the massive crowd who play Diablo II (and possbile, WarIII when ti comes out), this is going to be a very heavy hitter.
Warcraft III looks to be in final testing mode, with few major visual changes in evidence from the multiplayer beta. Single player is looking to be a real showstopper, and there are some sweet cut scene action to spice things up.
More updates later, I'm feeling nerd claustrophobia.