In past years, Blizzard Entertainment has used this tactic to announce a new game. On September 21, 2002 -- a splash page took over all Blizzard sites. Every hour the splash image would be changed and updated showing a blured portion. 24 hours later on September 22, 2002 -- Blizzard unveiled a new game at the Tokyo Game Show 2002 ... Starcraft: Ghost.
On May 2007, a splash page took over all Blizzard sites, showing an image per day displaying each game released since 1994 culminating with a game announcement at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals at Seoul, South Korea ... Starcraft 2.
The splash image today shows a rune from the Frostmourne sword, the master.CSS file in the page source shows a concept art portion titled 04.jpg which resembles a lot to a Tuskarr (walrus) -- and the source code says tundra. All look like part of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. However, Blizzard is a master at misdirection when it comes to teasers. Today's teaser may hint Wrath of the Lich King -- but we have five more days of teasers to look forward.
Before your hopes get crushed by this, below I will show you a few powerful quotes from Diablo: The Sin War that point toward a new game. Our hopes might or not be crushed at WWI, but certainly not yet with today's splash image.
If you have not read Diablo: The Sin War trilogy and you are sensitive to massive spoilers -- do not read further. However, if you think the spoiler may encourage you to read the trilogy and/or ignite your hopes for a game announcement at WWI -- keep reading ...
Richard A. Knaak in our October 2006 interview hinted Blizzard had great plans for Zayl the Necromancer. I have no idea if Knaak meant Zayl would be an important character in any upcoming Diablo game, at least I do know he will be in a new Diablo novel not yet announced. Why would a Necromancer be of any importance in upcoming Diablo games? They are the protectors of Sanctuary. Protectors of Balance. The Diablo: The Sin War trilogy revealed Uldyssian's brother: Meldeln to be an important figure in Sanctuary. Of all inhabitants of Sanctuary, he was the chosen by Trag'Oul the dragon and Rathma to remember all the events after the Angiris Council wiped the memories of all humans. Trag'Oul renamed Meldeln with a new name as he did once with Rathma. Linarian was the former name of Rathma -- a name in ancient tongue. Meldeln became Kalan.
Rathma: "There must be more who will fight to maintain the Balance," Rathma said to him. " The Balance is Sanctuary's best hope. When that day comes that the edyrem return, they must not fall into either camp, for then humanity will merely be an appendage of one side or another, dying for their causes and nothing else. Keep humanity balanced between the two, and it becomes the master of its own destiny." -- The Veiled Prophet, page 340.
There are two more spoilers from the novel that are of high interest to Diablo players.
Trag'Oul was contacted by other guardians (sentinels) such as himself, from other worlds. They stopped Trag'Oul from entering Sanctuary:
The dragon grew wary. How so? How can that be?.
Their words struck him as nothing else could. Because the war is coming to Sanctuary, and if you interfere with what the Balance demands, it and all existence may be forfeit."
They left him, then, all the others who stood guard as he did over their separate worlds, left him with the knowledge that it was his Sanctuary whose imminent fate might decide theirs. -- The Veiled Prophet, page 168.
You can order online the Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy -- as this is the lore ground for upcoming Diablo games.
For those interested, I am heading to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals this week. I am leaving on Thursday, June 26th. I want to thank Blizzard for inviting me to WWI, and specially all the fans who donated. With your donations I was able to get a passport. It arrived last week.
I will be reporting from the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center (Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals) to update a live journal every few minutes when possible. I will have a press badge to access the press room. So keep an eye on DiabloFans.com News section for news updates.
If a Diablo game is announced, I will update the News & Announcements section, and at some point might request questions from fans to ask the developers -- live. With me is coming Kazo (from Slovakia) who will record video. His work for DiabloFans will be vital. Thanks, Kazo.