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On the fourth day of the splash page, Blizzard gave to us the fourth in the line of:

  • Splash image - It sees you!
  • Rune - Unidentified solar system
  • Purple monster puzzle piece - 16.jpg -> P - Right leg
  • Name in the master.CSS file - cold




The first thing you notice about the new image, is probably that the ice has cracked open far more. But you might want to take note of the eyes in the middle of the opening. Who they belong to, remains to see.



The fourth rune is unidentified yet, but it looks like a solar system. It is speculated that it represents WarCraft III, because of this opening cinematic. Aswell as the Arcane Sanctum from WarCraft III



The "Purple Monster", as it has become known as, get's a leg. Some speculated that it was a purple walros, linked to Michael Dashow (Developer from Diablo II), but as you might know, walroses doesn't have feet. The speculation dashed to the ground. Some again say it's a penguin, which might still be possible.



DASHOW was also speculated to be the codeword from each of the numbers from the .jpg files. With todays entrance of 16.jpg -> P, that speculation has proven wrong.

Cold was the keyword from the master.CSS, which breaks the line of names from Act V from Diablo II. We would like to hear speculations about this.

The letters we have now spells D O W P. We will probably need the next 2 letters, until anything is certain. What is certain though is that this creature has recieved it's leg, and is probably quite happy.



Will it spell out P O W N E D in the end? :)

Sources:
Blizzard
Blizzard master.CSS
Diablofans
Update: Blizzard's VP of Game Development, Rob Pardo, was the keynote speaker at the Game Developers Conference in Paris that just wrapped up a few days ago. During a Q&A after his speech Pardo was asked to comment on the new game rumors, specifically those pertaining to Diablo III being announced at this years WWI. His answer will only fuel the speculation:

So you want me to announce the game before our announcement?"" he said. ""No offense, but I think there's like 300 people here, and I'll be ripped apart by 8000 people there [at the Invitational] if I pre-announce it - but it's going to be really exciting. I think everybody here will be really excited about the announcement.


Source:
GameIndustry.biz - Pardo Fuels Flames



On the third day since the splash screen first appeared on Blizzards sites, most of the community is now quite confused. While SC:L will still offer officially: No Comment, we'll continue to keep you updated on what the community is thinking.



New today:

  • The third splash screen - About to crack open
  • The third rune - A Protoss logo
  • The third puzzle piece of the purple monster - The upper right corner (23.jpg)
  • And lastly the third name that came along with the puzzle piece. - icy


The new rune is in fact the StarCraft II Protoss logo.




So it seems like the first rune is from the Frostmourne and World of WarCraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the second a Hel rune from Diablo, and the last from Protoss in StarCraft II.




The puzzle piece of today is named 23.jpg. The name that came along with the puzzle piece was ""Icy"", which may refeer to the Diablo II area Icy Cellar. Note that all 3 keywords are pieces of names from the fifth Act in Diablo II. Respectively, The Frozen Tundra, The Drifter Cavern and The Icy Cellar.



23 being letter ""W"" in the alphabet.
So far the letters we got chronologically make out D O W. We can however put the pieces together like this:




As many predicted, what seemed evident yesterday, is clouded today.

Sources:
Blizzard
Blizzard CSS File

Update: The Blizzard Store has been updated with four new posters for the Worldwide Invitational including a poster of Kerrigan and one of the main villains from all three franchises:

wwiblizzstorekerrith.jpg wwiblizzstoretriumvirateth.jpg


Day 2's splash screen has been released:

splash02.jpg


Not only has the image transformed but a new symbol has become clear on the right side. It is quite obviously a Hel rune from Diablo II:

runes.jpg


The one on the left now seems to resemble a Shael rune from Diablo II as well. It appears as though the Diablo rumors/theories were correct. Here's the second part of the weird purple puzzle piece that was released today - it was titled: 15.jpg (also named "cavern in the CSS file"):

purple01.jpg


If we continue piecing the puzzle together (according to DiabloFans' theory from yesterday) we'll get the following image:

puzzle02a.jpg



Arranging it horizontally also seems valid:

puzzle02b.jpg

Also notice that the labels for the images ("Tundra","Cavern") are similar to places from Diablo II's expansion: Lord of Destruction: The Frozen Tundra and The Drifter Cavern (in the Glacial Trail).




SC:L will be working around the clock to keep you updated!

splash01.jpg

 
""Reminds me of the week before May 19th...""

Update: Diablofans.com seems to have found the real purpose of the splash screen. If they are right, then Diablo III will be announced in 4 days.

Here is their theory:

purple02.jpg


Quote:
The url of the images begins with us.media.blizzard.com/232309/

Why 232309? If we assume that the numbers correspond to the letters in the alphabet we get 232309=WWI ... ring a bell? smile.png World Wide Invitational
23 = W
23 = W
09 = I
Anyway the ""hidden"" picture is called 04.jpg. (http://us.media.blizzard.com/232309/_images/04.jpg)
My guess is that tomorrow we'll see a picture called 09.jpg, then on wednesday 01.jpg ....

Today is 04.jpg = D
if Tomorrow will be 09.jpg = I (if its not, maybe not diablo at all Tongue)
Wednesday will be 01.jpg = A
Thursday will be 02.jpg = B
Friday will be 12.jpg = L
Saturday will be 15.jpg = O (June 28 WWI 1st Day, Good to announce here also.)
Sunday will be 3.jpg = 3 or three.jpg or whichever. = (June 29 WII 2nd Day, and B-day of Diablo, more better to announce here.)
puzzle01.jpg


line.gif


As expected, Blizzard strikes again. With the WWI coming in a few days, and the tons of rumors floating around about a new game announcement, Blizzard made their move.

The Blizzard homepage is now decorated with a shiny splash screen with an icy theme...
 
Wrath of the Lich King?

wotkl.jpg


Even though a rune from Frostmourne, the sword of Arthas from the WarCraft universe, was found in the splash screen, we believe it's just a way to trick the fans' minds. Blizzard has no reason to re-announce Wrath of the Lich King. Splash screens appear on their homepage only prior to new game announcements (a tradition that started with StarCraft: Ghost on 2001).

So...

WarCraft IV?
If that is really a rune from Frostmourne, then the new game might be WarCraft related after all.

But do we really want a new WarCraft game? What about the poor Diablo fans who are waiting 8 years. As StarCraft fan we must join their cause - remember, we were in their place just a year ago!



A new franchise?

Many Blizzard fans want a new franchise. Something original which does not milk the existing universes to death. The end of the "-crafts" era is upon us? Maybe...





Diablo III?
A ""Hell Frozen Over"" theme?
There have been many rumors in the last months!
www.diablo3.com redirects nowhere starting this week?

Creating an obvious, fiery, red colored splash screen would be too obvious as a Diablo game... Thus...


 
  StarCraft Legacy Speculation: No Comment

 
Our WWI coverage with all the latest information about this announcement and StarCraft II will begin on June 27th! Our own LordofAscension, Dauntless and ChaosSmurf will be there with all the hot information. Stay tuned for the next days as the ice slowly begins to melt...

line.gif




In other Blizzard related news, Shacknews speculate that it's not a mere coincidence that many on-line stores published a release date for StarCraft II. According to sites such as BestBuy, GameStop and Circuit City, Blizzard plan to  release StarCraft II on December 3.

Even if this is true, it is probably not a final release day. Looking back at Blizzard's releases, StarCraft II will probably get pushed a few more months until it's fully polished and balanced.

Looking at the bright side of these news - it means a beta is just around the corner...

Sources:
Blizzard
Diablofans.com
Shacknews



Yesterday, Blizzard released details on the contests, including registration dates, that will be hosted at the Worldwide Invitational 2008 in Paris, France.

So you want to show off your skills to the world by participating in one of the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational contests? From Monday 9th June and onwards, you will be able to submit your creations via our contest registration web forms for the Machinima (movie and TV ad) and Fan Art contests. Registration is only open until 16th of June, so be sure to submit your entry in time!

For the dance and costume contests, registration will be open from June 16th until June 20th. If you would like to get advice or opinions on your costume, of if you simply want to show off your work in progress, don’t hesitate to share your creation with the community in this thread.


We hope to see some of our community members taking part in these contests. The prizes are quite valuable, and judging from contests in the past, they're very fun.

Source:
Worldwide Invitational 2008 Contest Page
WWI 2008 Community Tournament Announced



Recently, Blizzard announced that a community tournament will take place at the WWI 2008.

At the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational, all attendees will have the opportunity to witness some of the world’s top StarCraft, Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft players compete in exciting matches. In addition to these professional gaming matches, community player tournaments will allow you to show your skills for fun and glory – and some amazing tournament prizes. Sign up to compete with other members of the community in Blizzard's upcoming StarCraft II tournaments and use your skills to come out on top! Compete in the StarCraft: Brood War qualifiers hosted by GosuGamers to win your spot in the StarCraft II finals! Check out the Community tournaments page for more information!


So, for your chance to play StarCraft II with other Blizzard fans such as yourself, go to those links. Please ensure you are actually able to attend the WWI before you sign up, particularly considering the sold-out status of tickets.

You can bet that SC:L will be participating!

Source:
The Blizzard Entertainment World Wide Invitational 2008 Webpage

WWI%202008%20Image%201.JPG



Blizzard Entertainment's Wordwide Invitational in Paris, France, will go on sale Thursday, March 20th.

Blizzard Entertainment Press Release wrote:
In addition to invitational tournaments featuring top eSports competitors playing for a total of $100,000 in prizes, the Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational will also host casual tournaments for attendees, costume and dance contests, live musical performances, and more. All attendees will also receive a goody bag of Blizzard Entertainment items including a beta key for an upcoming Blizzard Entertainment game and an exclusive World of Warcraft in-game pet.


StarCraft: Legacy will have extensive coverage of WWI. Currently, we have staff attending from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.


line.gif


frontgate_thumb.jpg



StarCraft.org has posted a photo tour of the Blizzard campus in Irvine, CA.

Blizzard Entertainment Photo Tour wrote:
The image most people will see, just prior to attempting to scale the walls, is this. The Blizzard name etched in illuminated metal, directly above their front gates, staffed by two large Firebats (Firebats not shown for National Security purposes). You can hope and dream about passing beyond the gates, but without a pass or an appointment, youÄôre out of luck.


The pictures are from AJ's recent trip to the Blizzard Press Event. You can read the article here. Zero also attended this event. You can read his in-depth thoughts on the day here.

Sources:
Blizzard - Worldwide Invitational Website
StarCraft.org - Blizzard Entertainment Photo Tour
StarCraft: Legacy - "My Day at Blizzard"



Earlier today, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008 was announced:
The fourth Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational is coming to Europe! The event will be held at the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center, Paris, France, over the 28th and 29th of June 2008.

What is the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational?

The 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational is a two-day event bringing together the company and gamers in a convention atmosphere, featuring Q&A panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers and hands-on opportunities with the company's latest games. The Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational also showcases the skills of top eSports gamers from around the world as they compete in invitational StarCraft, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft Arena tournaments.

When and where is the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational?

The event will take place on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of June, in Hall 5 of the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center in Paris, France.


The invitational will be similar to BlizzCon in structure. There will be opportunities to play both StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, as well as a selection of Blizzard employee panels. However, the main feature is the World Wide Invitational tournament itself. This is the fourth such tournament, pitting the best names in both the Korean and foreign scenes against each other, such as: defending champion Bisu[Shield], SlayerS_Boxer, Nal_rA and Stork. Considering the popularity of the tournament, Blizzard has announced that they will be providing live coverage throughout the weekend. With luck, popular shoutcaster Nick "Tasteless" Plott will cover the tournament.

Last year, the event was especially important to StarCraft fans as the announcement of StarCraft II was expected and, thankfully, delivered. This year, in an interesting parallel, it is possible that the Zerg will be released at the tournament. While it would be nice to think that this information will be given sooner than that, what with recent reports that it is Blizzard's current focus, the habit of only doing these announcements at major events may continue. If Blizzard plans on releasing the Zerg within the next few months, the WWI is arguably the last point at which it could possibly occur. Most likely, the information will be released earlier than this in a different format, such as in magazines or on fansites, and then Zerg will be playable at the event.

Source:
Blizzard Entertainment's World Wide Invitational 2008 Page

Voting is now open for the games selection in the World Cyber Games 2008. We encourage you to take a minute and vote for StarCraft! Over a decade old, SC simply matures with age. The professional community is still alive and kicking, so let's make sure it's included in WCG 2008!

You will notice that StarCraft II is an option. Please, if you are voting for SCII - vote for it as your secondary choice. Knowing Blizzard, the game probably won't be ready for WCG '08. If you don't vote for StarCraft: Brood War as your primary, another game may win out. This is unacceptable! It's a given SCII will be in the mix if it's ready and released, so please spend your vote wisely!

You can vote here.

Source:
WCG 2008 Games Selection

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