Renee should organize her own gamedev company to create Warcraft 4. She already proved the ability of completing such a project - that mod is a whole huge thing, and its only problem is the engine limits. For example, trees have to be performance heavy units, which makes the whole thing too laggy.
Blizz show no signs of plans of creating WC4, they also show no interest to improve the engine to aim modding community request (I refuse to count those minor changes they made because heroes or lotv required them). Also, major RTS world seem to be stagnating badly. Only mobas are being created during last years.
And If someone add some massive evolution to the game concepts of warcraft, and improve the core of sc2 engine to support those new features, it may first, bring some fresh air to the RTS genre, and second, widen modding possibilities. If Renee will be responsible for WC4, we can be sure, that she will think of modding as much as of the actual game.
I'm sure, that under that bark layer of conservativism, that Blizzard masterminds developed while competing hard in global game market, they are still game loving kids as they were, brave and full of ideas. And they could risk and start WC4 project utilizing talented and skilled enthusiasts from modding community, like Renee.
It is likely his story is similar to someone else I know who also entered blizzard. As it turns out, talking to recruiters is a thousand times more effective than producing any nature of custom content.
However, veteran modders have all been universally turned down when attempting to apply.
Although why you would want to join blizzard at all baffles me.
He made custom content. He also talked directly to employees. The latter was more significant given everything would-be employees and then actual employees told me. If you can talk to a recruiter (they go to local campuses afaik, or perhaps he had other connections) your chances are far higher.
What is weird is they didn't hire Icefrog of all people when he applied.
Well, keep in mind the climate at the time. This was around the time when WoW was just exploding out of control, and that explosion didn't stop until 2010. Though I do agree that in retrospect it's easy to say that not hiring Icefrog was a mistake.
Even then, let's be honest, if Blizzard made DotA2 it wouldn't be the same. DotA thrives on being hard. Blizzard thrives on being accessible.
Edit: Also I'm sorry Zolden for derailing your thread!
Blizzard is good at two things. The first is marketing and the second is taking ideas and making derivative works from them to, as you say, make them accessible.
However, not hiring icefrog and then trying to sue over the dota name was just colossal mismanagement and a missed opportunity they had to have seen coming.
I wouldn't say DotA thrives on being hard. If that was the case the majority of wc3's userbase wouldn't have switched to it. I just think it came at a very important time in a metric shift of the playerbase and was an extremely powerful instigator during a void that formed when wc3 failed to reach expectations.
I think there are two extremely pivotal people in the custom content community. The first was Andy Bond, AKA King Arthur. He was a part of the group that made the first modding tools for Starcraft. He is now a lead programmer in Blizzard (in fact the wol beta AI refers him by name in notes). He was hired extremely quickly. I think some other names from that area at least had minor involvement. The second is Icefrog who made the single most successful piece of game-dependent custom content I can immediately think of (Counterstrike and co are independent mods). That it now lead to so many hundreds of copycats is ridiculous. Even if Blizzard never intended to use him as a designer, just his name is a significant brand name attraction, a critical part of their marketing philosophy.
Throughout time a few minor names were hired for Blizzard, but I'm not at liberty to disclose their information. One of them wasn't exactly a skilled modder or mapper. Certainly not at the level of Mister Schutter. However, many who were had tried time and time again around this area to become a part of the company, producing demonstrative works of respectable quality. This gentleman simply approached a recruiter in his college and joined that way. He started as QA and worked up from there. He also became an alcoholic. That's pretty common, I hear.
Of course, every case is unique and I do expect their recruitment staff to be looking for holes in their staff to plug, but if you want to become a part of the company it's always best to speak to them in person. Just generalizing, the traffic they get for applications must be insane. Renee has a good resume but I feel like her locality might be a barrier.
And as far as the OP is concerned you can expect wc4 has been in the design pipeline for years and their staff is already figured out for it.
Idk, working in blizzard maybe not so good especialy on programming and modeling positions. It feels like it could be stressfull and have a huge impact on health. Just thought about it when saw some youtube video about starcraft with Brett Wood. Casualy playing with editor and being independent is enjoyable, full-time employment on the other hand...
It is a special kind of thrill, because games are one of the last places in programming where things are still very intricate and you have to custom do most of the stuff yourself (Raw C/C
As for wanting to join Blizzard, you can say the same of every company, depending on your point of view. Also, there simply becomes a manpower point where no matter how good your idea is, you need additional help to make it a reality.
As for Blizzard being lazy... sorry no, they are not. Welcome to the real world, where you MUST talk to people and coordinate things, and can't just go YOLO on your own project. You can get away with that when you are flying solo, but you are discounting a half dozen things that once you are in a team environment, just flat out do not work. Modern software and engineering can only be done as a team effort, no one here is skilled enough or have enough time to implement everything by themself.
Now you can make the argument that they may too much bureaucracy, but their hiring page would indicate more of a manpower shortage then anything. Also, a basic truism of software is that a new employee is basically worthless for the first 3-6 months.
Coming back to the topic at hand. Discounting the improvements made for Storm is somewhat naive, the engine team exists to make the engine for the Blizzard teams first, us second. In no universe would that ever be reversed. The only time I would see that occurring is Blizzard somehow decided they wanted to compete with unity and co head on for sales and was selling their engine (Afaik, Unreal allows you to purchase the source code for a decent sum, don't know about Unity, Source 2 is unknown in terms of source code).
Could Renee be hired to oversee a project of this magnitude? Unlikely, she would have to do many things that would not necessarily be palatable. For starters, immigrate to the US. May not be possible, US immigration is a fun thing that deserves its own discussion. Second. even if she were to start today, we wouldn't see anything for months (see above about new employee). This is the largest barrier for most people, they are unwilling or unable to move to Irvine (or Southern California in general) to work at Blizzard.
Third, everyone somehow thinks Blizzard, because of WoW, has cash to burn. They don't, very few business do, mostly high tech Silicon Valley and Wall St. (ignoring the classic oligarchies in other countries). So doing this project, you would need to show a decent business case for it. As you mentioned, RTS are stagnant. This is mostly due to cost. The upfront cost to develop a singleplayer campaign is immense, with a quite possibly negative ROI. IT has been said that single player RTS is more or less dead for this reason.