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Ask Blizzard Employees About Things That Matter

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the opportune-moment dept.

Games 504

In just a few days, some of us will be making the trek to this year's Blizzcon event in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the interesting announcements, sneak peeks, and other distractions, we will be sitting down with several Blizzard employees to answer any questions you might have. So far we have scheduled some time with Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II; Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft; Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III; and Paul Sams, Blizzard COO. Please address your questions to one (or several) of these candidates and try to keep them civil and on topic. Questions about Diablo III's art style will most likely be omitted since we have limited time and that dead horse has already been beaten into submission. The usual Slashdot interview rules apply, but beyond that, the sky is the limit.

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Classes, Races & Professions (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276605)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: How does your team balance class, race & profession specific traits? I have seen the new trees for the expansion & I naturally have some concerns. But how do you measure when something is 'unfair?' Do you measure in game reports, analyze logs, play them yourselves? What is your strategy?

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: How do you balance races, units, health, damage, effects, et cetera?

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (0, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | about 6 years ago | (#25276697)

To Jeffrey Kaplan: How often *did* you and your cousin touch weeners? Also: Weeenter is a cold time of year. Agree or disagree?

=Smidge=

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (4, Informative)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about 6 years ago | (#25276823)

This question has pretty much been answered publicly already. To quote one of the developers [worldofwarcraft.com] :

We have spreadsheets -- huge ones. We have values for characters in greens and raid buffed with epic gear. We have estimates of mob damage and health, character downtime, the benefits from enchants, gems and glyphs. We have conversion rates of mana to runic power to energy to rage. We look at damage per second, efficiency, button presses per second, typical rotations, movement vs. standing still, mobs vs. players and every other variable we can think of (and there are a LOT of them).

In the end we come up with an estimate for what an attack should do. We come up with a budget for talents and spells just like we have a budget for items at a given level. Sometimes those estimates are wrong because we forgot to take something into account, or because there's a bug in a talent or spell somewhere that messes up the calculation.

And then we do lots of testing, and to get a reality check on our tests, we compare them to the numbers people are reporting from the beta. Repeat as necessary.

I've said this in a few posts: that our numbers can sometimes be wrong (as is the case almost any time you deal with numbers), but the methods we use to arrive at them are absolutely not sloppy.

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277249)

I'd be especially interested in Chris Sigaty's response to SCII balancing. SC's faction balance was masterful, and is part of the reason it has held up so well. WoW's balance as described above... not so much (cf. AV terrain balance, main city imbalance when world pvp mattered, Horde racials, recurring Warrior pvp dominance, evidence of the Shaman class being ignored since release, etc).

SCII has a significant legacy to fill here.

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (1)

donweel (304991) | about 6 years ago | (#25277073)

I am working on building a Drenaenei Shaman and since I started there have been some changes made to the Shaman Class that have been referred to as nerfs. It takes time to build a talent tree up and can be expensive to edit, have you considered allowing a free edit to a tree after changes have been made. I am not complaining about changes I am sure they are made with fairness to all in mind, but it would be nice to be able to build a new tree around the new changes. Also as I rise in level the game becomes more social as one meets more friends and explores more 5 man instances. The Looking for Group Interface is a little disappointing, one often has to lfg a dungeon then toggle off autojoin and then use the lfg channerl and hope to be noticed. For example I missed a quest item in the Sunken Temple and because I am a higher level now, I can't get that dungeon to come up on the interface anymore. Are you planning on improving the LFG interface for Wrath?

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (5, Funny)

The_reformant (777653) | about 6 years ago | (#25277157)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Zug-zug?

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (3, Interesting)

Slime-dogg (120473) | about 6 years ago | (#25277251)

To Tigole,

Do you have any plans to address imbalances in racial abilities? As an example, a Night Elf's 1% to dodge and "little extra" nature resistance is nowhere near as valuable as the Human racials. The Troll and Orc racials are also far more valuable as a whole, to most classes, then any others.

Re:Classes, Races & Professions (0)

illumin8 (148082) | about 6 years ago | (#25277363)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: How does your team balance class, race & profession specific traits? I have seen the new trees for the expansion & I naturally have some concerns. But how do you measure when something is 'unfair?' Do you measure in game reports, analyze logs, play them yourselves? What is your strategy?

I would like to know why World of Warcraft doesn't have a more PvP-centric focus. The Warcraft and Starcraft RTS series have always heavily centered around player vs. player battles, and they have always been heralded as having very good game balance. Yet, for some reason, when World of Warcraft was released, PvP wasn't even in the game initially, and seems to have been added as an afterthought, creating a lot of game balance issues. Even to this day, it seems that PvP in World of Warcraft arenas is heavily unbalanced and favors certain class compositions over all others (Warrior, Druid, Warlock seem to dominate).

What lessons has World of Warcraft learned from the highly successful Warhammer Online launch that happened recently, and when can we expect to see some of the best features from this new game implemented in World of Warcraft? I personally would like to see the public quest system implemented in World of Warcraft, as well as the realm vs. realm lakes with siege warfare, keeps, and real meaningful PvP.

What's it like working for a cool division (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276615)

Owned by an evil company?

Dominance (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276619)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Do you feel that Blizzard's dominance [mmogchart.com] hurts other MMORPGs? Do you see yourself in direct competition with the other studios & products? Do you ever play these games to see what has been reused or what is new? Do you ever feel like another MMO has extended from World of Warcraft? Do you owe any credit to previous MMOs that have influenced your creations?

Follow Up Question (5, Funny)

mfh (56) | about 6 years ago | (#25276779)

Do you feel that Blizzard's dominance hurts other MMORPGs?

And to follow up that question, how does it feel to bask in the glory of your defeated enemies, drinking their blood as they futility attempt to dethrone your empire, unsuccessfully and without any hope? Do you ever break out into song, perhaps in Orcish or Gutterspeak, to said victories, uncontrollably -- or have you become numbed by the whole experience?

Re:Follow Up Question (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 6 years ago | (#25277051)

A +1, a +1, my kingdom for a +1...

Re:Follow Up Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277277)

A +1, a +1, my kingdom for a +1...

Translation: Mod parent up!!!!!!

Re:Dominance (2, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 years ago | (#25276939)

Do you owe any credit to previous MMOs that have influenced your creations?

And, by naming them specifically and publicly, how long do you think it will take before they approach you demanding royalties?

Dear Blizzard employees, (1, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#25276629)

I want to know what the answer is to life, the (warcraft)universe and everything.

Re:Dear Blizzard employees, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276741)

42 dancing gnomes

Re:Dear Blizzard employees, (1)

acariquara (753971) | about 6 years ago | (#25276783)

Wait, what was the question, again?

Re:Dear Blizzard employees, (1)

mfh (56) | about 6 years ago | (#25276801)

I want to know what the answer is to life, the (warcraft)universe and everything.

While it was 42, it's now 80, due to the adjustment for inflationary accounting purposes.

Artwork & Mood Inspiration? (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276635)

To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: Where do you find inspiration for designing Diablo III? Even though I was young, I was always impressed with the darkness and feel to Diablo I & II. Do you turn to novels? Fantasy artwork? Your own imagination? What are your influences?

Re:Artwork & Mood Inspiration? (3, Funny)

rgo (986711) | about 6 years ago | (#25276667)

I believe the answer for that is My Little Pony and the Carebears.

Biggest World of Warcraft Disaster? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276655)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: What has been the most disastrous or disheartening experience in your time as game director for World of Warcraft? Duping, gold, farmers, MMOGlider, barrens chat, server failures, what?

To any of them (-1, Troll)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 6 years ago | (#25276659)

How receptive is blizzard to new game ideas? For example - I have an idea of semi-uncharted territory for a game, and I think Blizzard is the most likely to pull it off. What's the best way to put it under the nose of someone who cares and might run with it?

Re:To any of them (3, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 6 years ago | (#25276773)

Throw it away, no studio takes suggestions like that and not just because of legal issues (fear of being sued for doing anything similar to the idea even if they've thought it up independently, for example).

Re:To any of them (4, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | about 6 years ago | (#25276913)

That would certainly explain why the MMO genre is so diverse: they don't copy each other's ideas.

Re:To any of them (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25277075)

Sorry, but nobody cares about ideas. Ideas are cheap. I have several every day. Why is your idea so much better than the ideas, complete with workable implementations that the designers have?

Starcraft II on a Table Top? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276665)

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: We discussed Warcraft III being played on a table top [slashdot.org] a while ago. Do you see this technology taking off in the near future? Are you planning to do any testing with your manipulation of units to see if this will be a possibility for gamers? Do you think this will ever be commonplace?

Is It Hard Being Number One? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276695)

To Paul Sams, Blizzard COO: What is the hardest thing in managing the operations of what is arguably the largest MMO? At 10,000,000 subscribers [mmogchart.com] , what are your number one concerns? What challenges do you face in an average day?

Re:Is It Hard Being Number One? (0, Offtopic)

qoncept (599709) | about 6 years ago | (#25276921)

Arguably? It is or it isn't. And I don't want to go look it up.

Re:Is It Hard Being Number One? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277049)

Was anyone else shocked to see Runescape coming in as #2 in that chart? In terms of revenue, they have a lower subscription fee than most MMOs... however if the chart is accurate that's still one hell of an an achievement for independent game developers.

Population Cap in RTS Games (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276709)

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: Are you planning on a population cap in Starcraft II? I assume this is true and it has been something that annoyed me, even if it is a soft cap. I understand that building the perfect army is more desirable than meat grinding a thousand of the same unit but what is the function of a population cap? I understand machines used to have severely limited resources so it was necessary but what about now?

Six Sigma at Blizzard (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276721)

To Paul Sams, Blizzard COO: Has Blizzard achieved Six Sigma [wikipedia.org] ? Is this even important in creating MMO software? If so, how do you apply it exactly?

Re:Six Sigma at Blizzard (2, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about 6 years ago | (#25277209)

As a Six Sigma, and LEAN, Green Belt I would probably say that making a good MMORPG is more of an art than a science. Six Sigma is purely scientific. You could develop and operate an MMORPG and be within the threshold of Six Sigma for all possible technical factors and yet the game could be absolutely horrible. This is because Six Sigma is poor at measuring the key factor of an MMORPG: fun.

You could use Six Sigma to support business functions and to identify problematic areas in places like project flow, server uptime, and programming, but in the end it's only really just support for the artistic vision that is the real backbone of the MMORPG.

And let's face it, plenty of MMORPGs are successful without needing Six Sigma uptime or coding defect rates, etc.

World Design (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#25276729)

To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: How do you determine the enclosing size of a world or level/map for a game? I have played many games and those that have an 'open' feel to the world seem to possess more possibilities for me. Games where I could go out and get completely lost were much more exciting than a game like Warcraft or Diablo II. How do you determine whether you go with a 'closed and finite world' vs an 'open seemingly boundless world?'

Are there any books or resources you recommend that discuss/explain game world design?

Starcraft 2 (1)

Daveznet (789744) | about 6 years ago | (#25276733)

This is towards Chris Sigaty: With the addition of MBS(Multiple Building Selection) and auto split (Mining workers) do you think that a lot of the hardcore fans (including myself) will feel that the game has been made too easy for people to play? What new things have you added to Starcraft 2 to compensate for making everything easier to do to appease the hardcore fans? I understand that you are trying to reach a broader audience but it was the little things like splitting the workers at the beginning and macroing through your unit production buildings manually, turning collision detection off on your (probes, scvs or drones) etc ... that made Starcraft such a good game it was easy to learn and it is near impossible to master, I've been playing since it came out and I'm still learning tricks to help win games.

Diablo III Mousing (5, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | about 6 years ago | (#25276739)

For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: what mice do those at Blizzard use for Diablo III? Some industrial, made of titanium, super-reliable mouse with smooth right and left clicking action? Or do you run through mice like an Amazon through Tal Rasha's Tomb?

Will Diablo III introduce any new mousing techniques, like perhaps middle clicking, or triple left clicking? How about support for right and left mouse wheel clicking available on logitech and microsoft mice?

Unban my account (0, Offtopic)

MobileMrX (855797) | about 6 years ago | (#25276751)

This is directed at Paul Sams:

A few years ago my account was banned for botting through parts of the game that are terribly tedious. I am not admitting or denying guilt regarding this, but I do have two questions for someone in your position:

1) Can you unban accounts

and

2) Can you unban mine?

On a side note, (this might be more for Jeffrey Kaplan) make things less tedious! ;)

Thanks in advance!

-MobileMrX

The Original Warcraft. (4, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 6 years ago | (#25276757)

This will never happen, but I'd like to see the first Warcraft Open Sourced. I'm referring to the DOS warcraft I from 1994.

Things that matter? (0, Offtopic)

ryants (310088) | about 6 years ago | (#25276765)

I'd rather ask about stuff that matters. Where did I get that from ... ?

Port SC 1? (5, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#25276785)

Is there any possibility of there being an official port of StarCraft 1 to StarCraft 2's game engine?

Re:Port SC 1? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276885)

Yeah, its called Starcraft 2. Duh.

Requirements (5, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | about 6 years ago | (#25276799)

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: What is the current targeted minimum requirements for a computer that should be able to run Starcraft II, and what data are you working with that makes you comfortable with using that as a minimum for Starcraft II?

Map Creator for SCII (1)

pwnies (1034518) | about 6 years ago | (#25276815)

Any chance you guys could release the map creator for SCII prior the release of the game? I'd love to go into SCII with custom maps (Read: dota) ready to be played, and I think a lot of us who play custom maps more than the melee game would agree.

Re:Map Creator for SSBIII (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25277163)

I think a lot of us who play custom maps more than the melee game would agree.

If you're still playing melee [wikipedia.org] , and you want custom maps [ign.com] , it's probably time to upgrade to brawl.

Re:Map Creator for SSBIII (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277385)

Mod parent -1 Unfunny

Why fight Linux? (5, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 years ago | (#25276819)

There is ample proof of WOW working (somewhat) in WINE, so why not work with the Linux community?

Note that I am not asking for Linux "support" as that is much more expensive a proposition. Just a supported or acknowledged linux community...

Re:Why fight Linux? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276969)

No one wants to be associated with the smelly hippie in the corner.

Re:Why fight Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277223)

Speak from experience?

Re:Why fight Linux? (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | about 6 years ago | (#25277175)

WOW works, or maybe I should say worked since I haven't played in a long time, in wine 100% flawlessly. I ran it at 1680x1050 with all graphics set to max and anti-aliasing. I have a modest geforce 6600 gt, nothing fancy. I honestly think it ran better than in windows, but my perceptions may have been biased.

But yes, native Linux support would be great (like ID does)... but I'd even be happy with them working with Transgaming to create a wrapper that would work, like they are currently doing with Cider and the MacOS.

just throwing my 2cents out there.

Battle.net still free? (5, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 6 years ago | (#25276827)

To: Paul Sams, Blizzard COO.
br Are you intentions to keep battle.net free for Diablo and Starcraft? If so, thank you, if not, what will you be offering that would justify the expense?

Permit me to be Blaze but... (2, Interesting)

tekiegreg (674773) | about 6 years ago | (#25276829)

Do you guys plan on answering the rest of the interview questions (make this one first) like the last interview [slashdot.org] we were given at Blizzard?

Just want to know now so I can tune out of the rest of the questions if the answer is "yes". Thanks for the help Blizzard!

Starting from scratch (almost) (5, Interesting)

n dot l (1099033) | about 6 years ago | (#25276833)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: I notice that in a lot of ways the next expansion is almost throwing out the old WoW systems and replacing them with something radically (for WoW) new (much of the class balance, getting rid of the CC/DPS distinction, gear consolidation, etc). What's it like to commit to making such a big change when you've got a hard deadline to meet and millions of fans who'll hunt you down :) if you wreck the game? How do you evaluate whether it's going to be a good thing or not before committing however many resources it takes to redo (and then test) things?

Consoles (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276843)

With PC gaming dying (Netcraft confirms it)[1], what is Blizzard's take on consoles?

While a game like StarCraft wouldn't work on a traditional console, the argument can be made that Diablo and World of WarCraft could be made to. (There exist crappy little "chat" keyboard controller addons which answers the "keyboard question." Plus all three next-gen consoles support USB keyboards.)

Any thoughts on porting existing games to consoles? Or developing a console-only game?

[1] That's a joke for anyone that missed it. There's an (old) troll about how BSD is dying based on Netcraft's figures. So, no, I don't think PC gaming is really dying.

Real Time Strategy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276849)

I'm fan who got left behind when you guys moved towards story based and online games. Will there ever be another RTS game from Blizzard?

Side Note: The reason I never tried the online games was because of the immature community on Blizzard.net when playing the older games. Matchmaking just worked way better for me when handled outside Blizzard's scope of control.

Re:Real Time Strategy? (1)

Vagnaard (1366015) | about 6 years ago | (#25277187)

I'm fan who got left behind when you guys moved towards story based and online games. Will there ever be another RTS game from Blizzard?

Side Note: The reason I never tried the online games was because of the immature community on Blizzard.net when playing the older games. Matchmaking just worked way better for me when handled outside Blizzard's scope of control.

Starcraft 2 ?

And the fact that you call WoW story based is highly amusing to me.

Glider + other bots (4, Interesting)

thed00d (822393) | about 6 years ago | (#25276851)

To Jeffrey Kaplan,
Why is there such a negative attitude towards bots and the makers of botting software. The usual arguments of gold farming don't cut it - if everyone has the ability to bot then the value of outside gold sellers automatically deflates.

I don't buy the negative effect on other players argument either; It creates an equal advantage or disadvantage if regulated instead of taking a total prohibition to botting.

It would not be unreasonable to think that botting can coexist inside of MMO's. In fact, I think it could enhance the experience much in the same way that autopilot enhances flying: It didn't replace the pilot, it just allows the pilot to take a more managerial role when needed.

Re:Glider + other bots (3, Insightful)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | about 6 years ago | (#25277339)

Perhaps instead of allowing everyone to bot, the 'need' to bot should be considered more. Botting generally serves two purposes: 1.) To automate the 'grind' and 2.) to acquire resources to the players advanatge.

1.) Many of these botters see the grind as an impediment to the endgame, this relies on the player thinking that they're winning the game (a seperate argument for persistant world based games). Traditionally this has been confronted by adding more interesting content to these level ranges, risking alienating older players/characters leveled too high to make use of the content, or forcing the game to institute a system where the player may go back and experience the content from these earlier levels (ostensibly negating the leveling progression as obsolete)
2.) Those that bot to acquire in game resources do negatively impact the game world by artificially inflating the in game economy and progressively widening the gap between haves and have-nots.

These are not new issues, they go back to the original deployments of telnet based MUDs. Perhaps it can be argued that the current model of prohibition has failed since these problems are still around. And as such it should be asked if any concepts have been considered for addressing the cause rather than the symptoms. Have any alternatives to the repetitive gameply formula currently in place been evaluated and show potential for any actual implementation?

StarCraft II (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276867)

Chris Sigaty: Are there plans to support simultanmultiple displays in StarCraft II? (like how supreme commander supports 2 monitors)

I would build a PC with 4 cards and 8 monitors if SC2 supported it!

Dear Blizzard (5, Interesting)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 6 years ago | (#25276881)

Can you explain how loading a copy of your software into memory infringes on your copyright? If I load a million copies of your software into my computers memory have I infringed your copyright a million times? Can you estimate the damages I would need to pay you for loading a copy of World of Warcraft into my computers memory a million times using an unauthorized method?

Thanks.

Re:Dear Blizzard (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | about 6 years ago | (#25277041)

Can you estimate the damages I would need to pay you for loading a copy of World of Warcraft into my computers memory a million times using an unauthorized method?

I imagine that Blizzard does in fact employ people capable of multiplying some number by a million and getting an accurate result, not just an estimate. You should have gone with a billion, or some other number that defies calculation.

It's a legal thing so they can have 100% contoll (-1, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 6 years ago | (#25277283)

It's a legal thing so they can have 100% control of the game.

fourth race (2, Interesting)

BCristi (1075061) | about 6 years ago | (#25276887)

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: Will it ever be a fourth race in StarCraft II? And why didn't you kept all the units from StarCraft I?

DRM? (5, Interesting)

chord.wav (599850) | about 6 years ago | (#25276893)

Will Starcraft 2 have DRM or any kind of home calling "feature"? If yes, do you honestly believe that it is going to solve the piracy problem beside just annoying legitimate users?

Re:DRM? (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | about 6 years ago | (#25277381)

Did blizzard really have an issue with drm?

I figured they solved the issue with having the single player game be distributed with no real restrictions (other than cd key install), only allowing online play have the stringent requirement of calling home for verification, since that's where the real gaming comes into place.

I could understand why blizzard would want to do some kind of measurement with regards to online play since people will do whatever it takes to cheat the client/gameplay in order to have an edge against a live opponent, but for single player?

Dear mr. Boyarsky, (5, Interesting)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#25276899)

From what I have learned about Diablo III is that you decided to do away with the classic potion system. No more stacking potions and using them rapidly when your health is drained by some (tough/horde of) enemies. I can understand that you wish to abolish the "inventory obsession" that sometimes plagued D2(haven't played D1). The problem is that the potions were a reaction to rapid health loss by a player. This is all too common in a D2 because of the hordes of enemies and relative high speed of the game.

My question is: Now that you have abolished the potion system in favour of the "health(or mana) orb" system, aren't you afraid that this will affect the speed of the game? The fact that you lose a lot of health was part of the exciting rush in the game resulting in the player always being alert to any danger. Will that Diablo feel persist or will this be a real breaking point in the Diablo series?

Re:Dear mr. Boyarsky, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277105)

The problem is that the potions were a reaction to rapid health loss by a player.

My god! It's an MSLE! Get out of this forum while you still can, Mr. Boyarsky!

Your death WILLLLL be avenged!

The Colbert Report asked Rush this, so... (4, Funny)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#25276919)

To any of the interviewees: do you ever get tired of being so awesome and kicking so much ass?

Diablo 3 and Warden (2, Interesting)

harl (84412) | about 6 years ago | (#25276953)

Is Diablo 3 going to use any of the Warden rootkit technology to police online play?

Can I get my Blizzard friend status back? (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 6 years ago | (#25276967)

I was once a Blizzard friend from Warcraft 3. I didn't know you could lose Blizzard friend status by not betaing a game(The Frozen Throne). I was busy writing my own MMORPG or I would have betaed TFT better. I was the first to 1500 wins in Warcraft3. I'm worried I won't get into Starcraft 2 beta. I have high hopes for SC2. I want to help beta the game, and I want to later go pro with it too. I'm strong with game balance, and you guys considered me for a game design position for WOW at one point. Can Blizzard give me back my friend status?
ScreenName:CrazyJim
Email:James_Sager_PA@yahoo.com

And if you have time for a 2nd question: Do you have any original Activision/Blizzard titles under consideration?

So how did you get them to respond???? (1)

farnsaw (252018) | about 6 years ago | (#25276973)

I have been trying to reach Blizzard for the past 3 months and have yet to get a response. Email, Webform, telephone... nothing works. They just won't respond at all.

Battle.net pay to play (0, Redundant)

SilentChris (452960) | about 6 years ago | (#25276977)

To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: has Blizzard ever considered making Battle.net pay to play given the success of World of Warcraft?

Will it run linux? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25276983)

There is more gamers using linux on PC hardware
then Macs gamers. Give them quality games and they will play it on linux.

Why Blizzard can't see this growing market?

-Bob

Re:Will it run linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277189)

I think you seriously under-estimate the number of Mac gamers. People keep saying that all they see in colleges and universities are Apple laptops. These people are today's and tomorrow's gamers, not the handful of linux users.

Also, those Apple laptop owners have already proven that they are willing to pay for things, as opposed to a lot of Linux users who simply want everything for free.

DRM? (5, Interesting)

molo (94384) | about 6 years ago | (#25277003)

To all:

We've all seen the fallout from EA's decision to put heavy-handed DRM into Spore. What is your position on DRM and its place in gaming? Do you think it is fair that a single-player game require an internet connection in order to phone-home for anti-piracy reasons?

Thanks.
-molo

Porting to Mac and Linux with Wine (1)

YokoZar (1232202) | about 6 years ago | (#25277013)

Linux users have been able to run WoW very successfully using Wine and Crossover. While Linux represents a small share of total WoW users, Crossover works equally well on Macintosh. Using Wine completely obviates the need for expensive Mac porting, whether it's done by rewriting libraries or through a framework like Transgaming's. Transgaming, at this point, is widely regarded as technically inferior to the free Wine, even for running games like World of Warcraft. Wine, however, works very well, and some users even report superior performance than under Windows.

Has Blizzard considered porting their games to Mac using a Wine-based solution supported by Codeweavers? A Linux port comes as a free bonus from doing this, and if the game already runs well in Wine the entire port can be done at very little cost.

Bullseye backlash (1)

SilentChris (452960) | about 6 years ago | (#25277017)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft has been very successful. However, when one has success it tends to paint a bullseye on you. Besides competitors targeting you, how have you dealt with the increasing "World of Warcraft sucks" backlash? (E.g. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=world+of+warcraft+sucks [google.com] )

Cross-platform gaming? (5, Interesting)

molo (94384) | about 6 years ago | (#25277031)

To all:

What is your position on cross-platform computer gaming? Is there a viable market for MacOS and Linux gaming in your view?

Thanks
-molo

Re:Cross-platform gaming? (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | about 6 years ago | (#25277091)

Good Question, I Second that.

Re:Cross-platform gaming? (4, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#25277233)

Seeing as Blizzard is one of the handful of game companies that release their games simultaneously for Windows and Mac OS X, I think that already answers your question about Mac OS X.

Your question really should be "will you ever make ports for Linux?".

Re:Cross-platform gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277243)

You realize that Blizzard releases all of their games for OS X, right? And they also typically run very well under Wine, although there isn't official support for it.

Glider (3, Interesting)

jesdynf (42915) | about 6 years ago | (#25277059)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Now that you've prevailed against the published of the Glider software and (via precedent) earned strange new powers to control the software your customers can and cannot run, are your users enraged or merely apathetic?

Further, how much has this activity hindered the gold sellers your product is lousy with? Zero percent? Five percent (MoE +/- .05)?

Dear Blizzard: (5, Funny)

Windows_NT (1353809) | about 6 years ago | (#25277077)


Is it cold in your office?

If you should meet a Blizzard employee called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277095)

Christina, from New Zealand, then I suggest that the question you ask should be:

"Can I have a blowjob?"

She's a master of the craft.

Making loot in D3 more enjoyable? (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 6 years ago | (#25277101)

For many, loot is one of the most enjoyable parts of Diablo series...but I wonder if you plan to keep this fun while at the same time limiting those a bit not so fun parts of looting?

(few ways in which this could work, I imagine: automatically filling available "backpack/chest space", without the need to manually rearrange items; grouping items in distinct categories; perhaps even "miniteleport" to send items and money to your chest one way (by drag&dropping them on miniteleport item/book for example) - with items "lost in the void" for example if the chest is full, so it won't be too easy; if you rely on Deckard Kain for identification, let him identify things that are in the chest (if he'll be present nearby; ofcourse you still have to manually initiate identification; etc.)

(forgot to start with it...) (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 6 years ago | (#25277317)

To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III

One question: (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | about 6 years ago | (#25277109)

To all Diablo 3/Starcraft 2 Staff:

WHEN??????

Achievement Concerns (1)

EXTomar (78739) | about 6 years ago | (#25277115)

To Jeffery Kaplan: Is there any concern from your team that Achievements could have a negative effect on the game? I lament what has happened on consoles where people are buying and renting trashy games just for 1000 more imaginary points. This gives "life" to bad games which should be ignored because of their awfulness. I'm already seeing this happen at 70 but I am worried this could be a problem in where level 80 players are doing distracting if not stupid stuff just to have a check box checked.

health care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277121)

Sorry to put this in inappropriate palces But its important for everyone:

  Maccain On Health care:
  Listen to his speech carefully.
  At the point when he talks about insuring sick
  people he actuall says ".... unlimited premiums .." That's right, not unlimited health care but unlimited premiums can be charged by insurance companies. Amazing that no one picks up on this ???

 

A couple years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277129)

How did it feel to get fired by Vivendi?

Diablo III Bandwidth (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | about 6 years ago | (#25277137)

With the focus on cooperative play in Diablo III, How much bandwidth will it consume? In Australia, we have very restrict usage caps; the same thing is slowly being introduced to the US. This means the total data used by games in Australia (both up stream and down) becomes a very important commodity.

Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25277141)

To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft; there are several add-ons to WoW that filters almost 100% of all gold-selling and leveling spam in WoW, with next to no false positives.
How come that you don't want to (or know how to) implement this in the default WoW setup? Why don't you just place a lvl. 5 hostile NPC on the road between Northshire and Goldshire? Have you estimated your monthly income from the gold/leveling spammers monthly fees? Is this the reason you don't do anything about the spam?

New game series? (5, Interesting)

MooseMuffin (799896) | about 6 years ago | (#25277151)

There's no doubt you guys could be successful forever by continuing to make games in the warcraft/starcraft/diablo universes, but have there been any discussions about doing something totally new?

Instanced quests (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#25277205)

To whoever: There are a lot of quests in MMOs. Many of them are designed for single players.

Why? Why make a Massively multiplayer game and then try to shoehorn it into a single player game?

Role Playing in Diablo III (3, Interesting)

thepotoo (829391) | about 6 years ago | (#25277221)

For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer of Diablo III: I'm really excited that Diablo III will include more options for players to interact with the world (source [gamebanshee.com] ).

What specifically will this entail? Will these be limited to the Bioware [Good/Evil/Mercenary] decisions, or opt for the VTMB/The Witcher system of [no right choice/moral grays]?

Also, how much impact can we have on the world if the dialogs are optional?

Hunters (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 6 years ago | (#25277241)

Why do you hate hunters? For four seasons, hunters have been the ugly stepchildren of arean play, despite a few exceptionally skilled players managing to play hunters. The problems with the class are exceptionally well known but (it appears) it's more important to appease rogues and warriors and make one of the most popular classes in the game dramatically inferior to all others. Why? And do you honestly plan on addressing it or is there a quiet desire to keep them low on the totem pole of balance to encourage players to switch to other classes to even things out a bit? (And, yes, I have been following the upcoming changes in Wrath but I have yet to see anything that suggests that hunters will become more viable in arena play and, in fact, have seen several things that suggest hunters will become less viable (pets being insta-gibbed, for example)).

DIII for Linux? (1)

Sascha J. (803853) | about 6 years ago | (#25277291)

You could ask them if they plan to release a Linux-compatible DIII-client. Although we all know the answer - no - frequent inquiries about linux compatibility might rise an eyebrow or two. I already asked one of germany's biggest starcraft fansites to ask them about a SC2 linux client (which Blizzard denied, of course). So if even Slashdot asks about Linux compatibility, they maybe might rethink their position about linux compatibility for future games (faint hopes coming up...) ;)

Diablo III Stat Points (1)

thepotoo (829391) | about 6 years ago | (#25277295)

For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer of Diablo III: Will any character stat elements change from Diablo II to III? (Or will it still be Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Mana with a separate sheet for skills?)

Will any Role Playing aspects of your previous outstanding games, like Fallout or Vampire - Bloodlines show up in Diablo III?

I'd like ot ask blizzard one question (1)

vaedur (1357815) | about 6 years ago | (#25277325)

Has anyone at blizzard every played a real MMO instead of WoW?

Is there a warcraft 4 comeing? (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 6 years ago | (#25277331)

Is there a warcraft 4 coming?

questions re: plot and story (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | about 6 years ago | (#25277369)

I have played WoW for several years now, and am impressed with how you have managed to integrate a backstory into the game setting, but not make it necessary for gameplay. Its there if players take an interest in it, but if they just want to go into a dungeon and kill things that's okay too.

I have a question regarding the plot and how stories are driven. Is this a game setting that is established by committee? is there a single source or individual who has final say over plot elements? Do you have a vision of the story that tracks several years out from the present? (e.g. you're planning 1-2-3 expansions ahead, you know where you're going?).
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