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Ask Blizzard About Starcraft2, Diablo III, WoW, or Battle.net

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the have-you-fixed-the-controls-for-diablo-yet dept.

520

Well, Blizzcon 2009 is about to get underway (look for the big news from the keynote in a few hours) and given how fast it sold out I'm sure there are still many rabid fans interested in what Blizzard might have to say that don't want to shell out the $40 for Pay-Per-View access. So, to that end we have interviews scheduled tomorrow with the teams from Starcraft2, Diablo III, World of Warcraft, and Battle.net. If there is anything you wish to know about the progress or juicy details from any of these teams please leave it in the comments below. We'll try to parse through for the best questions and get you answers during our interview slots tomorrow. The usual Slashdot interview rules apply.

cancel ×

520 comments

Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146657)

To the World of Warcraft team, I have been playing the expansion but largely left the World of Warcraft in search of something else after frustration from reduced effort to level [penny-arcade.com] . This isn't a new trend, I recall experience received from quests being increased for certain level ranges. This is, of course, a tactic to entice new players. But it has by and large been a very negative turn for the game. I feel that your recruit a friend program is also quite negative to existing players as I have coworkers who can mill out two level sixties in two or three weekends if they can borrow another person's account.

Have you seen any other negative feedback about this? Has anyone complained? You sit as the largest online game, is growth really so important that game mecahnics need to be changed to entice new players?

In my honest opinion, you are selling yourselves short. The players see less quest content now because of increased experience. While they get to end content faster, they pass up a lot of areas and beautiful terrain just purely because they don't have to go there. What does the future hold as you strive to cut out content? The ability to start at level (current expansion cap - 20)?

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (3, Insightful)

debrain (29228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146787)

Sir:

I respectfully disagree. I think the end-game content and social aspect is most aspired after by the majority of players of World of Warcraft. In my opinion, I think Blizzard made the right decision in reducing the barrier to this end-game content and social aspect by making leveling faster and easier. Lower level content is still available for those who wish to pursue it (and comes with fulfilling achievements like Loremaster), but it is no longer an ominous, artificial, and arbitrary barrier to entry to the more desired content.

Mind you, I don't know the habits of most WoW players, but I'm confident that Blizzard isn't selling themselves short here. I'd say they're catering to the desires of their paying customers, but not necessarily overindulging them.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147345)

If mmo-champion is correct, azeroth will be undertaking a major transformation and leveling will be changed yet again to maybe even a smaller section than what it is now.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146865)

I dunno how Blizz will answer, but achievements like Loremaster and Explorer provide alternate incentive to go back and close out content you skipped on the accelerated run to 80. Of course, as an 80 everything pre-BC is uber lol-easymode, and BC content is soloable, so it's clearly not the same, but nothing except peer pressure ("you don't raid enough") keeps you from going back to "a lot of areas and beautiful terrain".

Yes, my main has both Loremaster and Explorer. And has caught a fair bit of trollish flamage in chat for doing that before pimping out with full raid epics. It's amusing how folks think that you're not playing the game right if you're not playing the game like they play it. But, whatever.

What does the future hold as you strive to cut out content? The ability to start at level (current expansion cap - 20)?

That's the past. Death Knights, as you know, start playing open world content at about level 60. I expect future hero classes (if there are any) will have a similar mechanic, but I don't work for Blizz and have no inside line, so that's just my speculation.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (2)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147111)

i understand what you're saying but i strongly disagree. for me and my friends, the game really [i]starts[/i] at level 80. we are not the hardcore elite of the game by any means, either. blizzard has made max-level raiding accessible to anyone with a handful of friends, and that's what me and my handful are doing. it's the latest content with the richest rewards and most complex mechanics and prettiest graphics. there's a heck of a lot more story in the more modern content, as well.

the leveling process takes you through content that is over 5 years old (if you count the open beta). it's outdated graphically and mechanically. the quests are simple and mundane. old players have seen it before, and new players ... well, the sooner they see more modern content (and catch up with their friends who have been trying for years to get them into the game) the better.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (1)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147185)

This is, of course, a tactic to entice new players.

I'm pretty sure this is only partially correct. It serves two purposes: 1) It helps people who play recruit their friends. If I'm high-level, and you don't have any characters, if Blizzard can make you get to my level faster, that means the game is more fun for both of us. 2) It helps people roll new alts. You're less locked into your character if the barrier to a new, more interesting one is lower. Blizzard has also said that the newer content is better than the old content -- the designers / artists / writers / etc. have simply gotten better at making the game. Thus, they want you to spend more time in the newer areas, as they're (generally) higher quality.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147195)

The biggest problem is that ALL content until max level raids is nowdays so easy that people end up at 80 without knowing how to play their class properly. Cue drama when group/raid wipes in "easy" instance because you have newer players that have never had to actually play properly.

The chasm between good players and bad players has widened and at the same time a lot of great content has turned into trivial pile of crap for the core players - and the only reason to bother is that it's required to reach the maximum level. This is especially true at Northrend where you have to seek 3 and 5-person group quests to get anything that remotely resembles a challenge and all solo quests (95%+ of content) are so easy you could do them with a naked character.

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147331)

> The chasm between good players and bad players has widened

The bigger reason for this is "Meet at Castle Whatever for 25-man Raid. Gear check." It's impossible to learn the raids, get the equipment, etc. unless you actually get into the raids and get the equipment. I'd love to do some of the raids - I hear they're a lot of fun. But it's generally not possible with raid leaders checking to make sure I'm wearing Epic Underwear of Beelzebub. (And it better be clean, because you know mom always said to make sure you wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a Tauren.)

Re:Reduced Effort in World of Warcraft (1)

Shooter28 (1564631) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147341)

People can still go see that content whenever they want. This sounds more like a complaint about how hard I had it leveling and all the newbs should have it just as hard.

And yes, I do play, and I leveled a feral druid pre-patch 1.3....look up the old talents trees. In the words of every 12 year old who plays WoW, QQ More.

Diablo III (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146687)

Who do I have to blow to get early access?

Re:Diablo III (1, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146725)

Keith Lee.

NEXT QUESTION

Diablo III (2, Interesting)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147147)

Why did you use a Witch-Doctor to replace the necromancer? I can think of a million other ways to replace him. If you really want to be original, try to make a class that doesn't have a common English name. Call them Maj'kan and give them their own culture. Say that they were priests from the remnants of a civilization that was destroyed by the prime evils, and that they trained to travel to hell itself to bring them back. Then they can have the ability to summon stitched-together demons and they can even augment themselves with the corpses of demons. Also, they can have the ability to travel to their own pocket dimension in hell (an ability that is truly unique to the game). Even the barbarian could have been replaced with a Shaolin-monk type culture that bashes away just like the current barb. And the sorceress has not been replaced, only renamed. We're not buying that one.

Re:Diablo III (3, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147301)

I fail to see how this post relates to blowing Keith Lee.

Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls? (4, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146703)

When I play wow, I probably play too much. I'd like to use some built-in functionality to gently put limits on my playtime and remind me how much I've played in a week. At first I had high hopes that the Parental Controls function could help me.

Unfortunately, though the rest of wow's interface is great, its parental controls are not only a crime against all that is beautiful and elegant, but pretty useless in the real world. There's no way to set "able to play X hours per week" or "able to play Y hours per weekday, Z hours per weekend". One must set a hard-coded block schedule, click okay, then hope you've predicted your exact needs. And there's no in-game warning when you're coming up against a limit-- you're simply disconnected when it hits.

Please, please, please tell me there are plans afoot to fix this tool and perhaps remake it into a more general method for account owners to manage playtime better? Extra kudos if it could include a Netflix-style option to put your account on vacation for a variable length of time...

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (5, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146791)

There's no way to set "able to play X hours per week" or "able to play Y hours per weekday, Z hours per weekend".

Have you tried a girlfriend?

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146897)

My fiance plays too, you insensitive clod.

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (2, Insightful)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146949)

This is not always a help... My wife plays WoWC too. Sadly, she's better at the game than I am.

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147263)

Girlfriend? This is slashdot you insensitive clod!

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147385)

Have you tried a girlfriend?

Girlfriend? Where does that drop? I bet its off one of the 25-man hard modes, but I've never even seen one. A guildmate of mine said he heard it's going to be added in the raid after Icecrown Citadel in what will be the most evil raid instance of all, The Outside.

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146823)

Maybe you should call your mommy to nag you off of the computer and wipe your ass and empty out your piss-and-cheeto-bag-filled wastebasket every now and then.

While you're at it, call me over. I wanna suck her tits and make you jealous.

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147099)

Maybe you should try a little self control. It's because of pathetic impulse control-less morons like you that the government constantly steps in to protect the dumbest, lowest common denominator and children are turning into delinquents left and right - that is, parents washing their hands of actual parenting and expecting someone else to do it for them. Man up and take charge of your life.

Re:Are there any plans to revamp Parental Controls (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147307)

Blizzard for President!

Any chance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146727)

Any chance of a game based on the concept of getting frist psots? I would suck at it, obviously.

Battle.net Fixes and Improvements? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146741)

Assuming Diablo/Starcraft are going to be on this, what are you doing to fix, improve, update, solidify Battle.net? Last I heard, we can't use Starcraft II [slashdot.org] on a LAN so how are you going to ensure us that Battle.net is valid replacement in terms of speed, security and reliability? Will Battle.net be completely redone from what it was in the Diablo days?

Re:Battle.net Fixes and Improvements? (2, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146925)

Follow-up:
Specifically, how are you going to prevent hacking online from ruining these games?

Battle.net and StarCraft II (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146971)

WRT Battle.net and StarCraft II, would you be making it so multiplayer play is possible with zero configuration on the firewall/router? If I invite 10 of my friends for a get-together, and we want to play StarCraft II, will that be possible without having to reconfigure my router? Or to do this, will it require using technologies like UPnP so SC II can open ports for each player?

Why is there no provision for offline play? Considering the way Blizzard games run so nicely on low-end hardware, if my friends and I are stuck at the airport waiting for a connection, it means we can't just setup an ad-hoc network and play SC II (especially since many airports charge $$$ per minute of Internet) to pass the time. Or even at low end motels/hotels where WiFi isn't necessarily available (or is costly)? (To be honest, I've seen even high-end hotels charge for Internet access, too, but it seems a waste that we all have to pay good money to get access to Battle.net so we can all play together).

What about offline play for single player? Or will single player also require battle.net?

Re:Battle.net Fixes and Improvements? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147057)

Without LAN, how are we going to play with 2 computers at the same time behind a NAT router? With original Starcraft, you can't go on battle.net with more than one computer behind the same NAT router. If I want to play a 4v4 game at a LAN party, I will now need to connect 8 computers behind a single NAT router to battle.net. (Or, if I wanted to participate as 2 players on opposite teams in a 3v3 game, I will still need to connect 2 computers to battle.net from behind a NAT router). Whenever I tried this on the original Starcraft, it dropped one of the players.

Re:Battle.net Fixes and Improvements? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147149)

If I bring my PC to my cousin's house for a LAN party (who lives way out in the country, and only has dial up) are we going to be able to have a full speed, low latency network game of Starcraft II?

StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146749)

Why, why why why is there no LAN play?

I understand the desire to have a method of preventing piracy. But, if I get a group of 10 buddies in a room, and we want to go nuts with this game, ALL of us using the Internet to access a server is just plain dumb.

It's great if we want to setup a 'virtual LAN' party. But REAL face to face ones suffer as a result.

Why not make it require AUTH to open LAN play, then everything else is local? Anything is better than forcing everyone to use battleNet.

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (5, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146959)

Well, to get more to the point, what answer do they have for our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and who knows where else who would like to play a quiet LAN game when internet access is limited or nonexistent.

Also, what kind of ports are required, given that a lot of college students are behind restrictive campus firewalls.

For a final question on this LAN issue, will the game be playable at all if your battle.net account is banned? This is probably a fitting punishment for hacking and the like, but false positives are inevitable, and I don't really want to put down $50 for something if, on a whim, Blizzard can revoke my license.

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147071)

Yes, very yes. Starcraft II LAN PLAY and LINUX SUPPORT. Priority 1 and 2, respectively.

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (2, Insightful)

Kryptal (1109721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147107)

Do you expect an increase or decrease of pirating due to the choice to remove LAN play?

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147123)

That's easy.

So Blizzard can have their cake and eat it too. Make sure everyone buys a copy AND pay Battle.net monthly fees.

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147343)

The proper phrase is "Eat your cake and have it too". If you have your cake, obviously you can eat it too. Seriously, is it so damn hard to get the phrase correct?

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (1)

slodan (1134883) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147127)

Why not make it require AUTH to open LAN play, then everything else is local?

This is how battlenet works right now for Warcraft III. Battlenet is used to join the game, but after the game starts, there is no communication between any client and battlenet.

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (3, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147245)

unfortunately I suspect that SCII is in such an unfinished state that Blizzard decided to cut testing out LAN play in favour of Battlenet in order to get SCII out the door in an otherwise finished state ASAP rather than let it become SC Ghost all over again. The question is, why? SC fans have been waiting a decade and change for SCII or *something* expanding on the SC storyline so what is a few months extra testing out LAN for the release?
 
Anyway to bring this back on topic, to the SCII team: is there any possibility of WINE support in the next three chapters of SCII in order to run the games on alternative platforms such as LInux/BSD etc?

Re:StarCraft II - LAN PLAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147379)

Why not make it require AUTH to open LAN play, then everything else is local? Anything is better than forcing everyone to use battleNet.

That's basically what battleNet is, as long as it's over a local network. It only sets up the game over the internet, then play happens between computers. So, if the computers are local, so are the games.

What were you thinking.... (4, Interesting)

Gruturo (141223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146757)

When, after a LONG period of overloaded instance servers, with literally months of people complaining, in patch 3.2 not only you encouraged everybody to run as many heroics per day as they can possibly do due to easy emblems of conquest, but at the same time you pretty much forced any hardcore raider to never skip the daily heroic for at the very least 1 month. As a result, the load is now 3 times worse and people complain of being locked out of instances for 40-50 minutes even in offpeak hours, not to mention that due to the priority system, low level instances are pretty much inaccessible. This hurts the new players a lot. Those same new players whose experience you are terrified to ruin, and due to which you won't apply more restrictive anti goldspam measures, causing everyone to have to endure the constant shit in city channels.

Re:What were you thinking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146845)

This has been ongoing for at the very least 4 months with Blizzard in awareness of the issue for *8* months!

Some threads for your consideration -

FINALLY a sticky post - after 4 months of complaints
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19109959718&sid=1

*188* Page Thread - With Blizzard only coming on to flame users and say "*yawn* working on it"
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19110063462&sid=1&pageNo=1

Diablo 3 (0, Troll)

Wiseblood1 (1135095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146767)

How bad are you going to fuck it up and drain the soul from the franchise?

LAN (5, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146769)

There's been talk that Starcraft II would not support LAN. The reason I am a fan of Starcraft and want to buy Starcraft II is I spent many many hours playing it in LAN cafes. People will be doing LAN with pirated version anyway, they'll just run their own battle.net server locally and the only thing you'll achieve is piss off other consummers with a crippled product. Why oh why?

Re:LAN (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146825)

It comes pre crippled as you have to buy each species campaign separately, at full game prices.

Re:LAN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147199)

Aww, boo hoo... You have to pay for three separate games, rather than getting one huuuge game. Poor you. Christ, how many times do they have to tell you that each installment will be as long as the original game. You're getting THREE full games at full price each, not three 1/3 games at full price. Yes, it sucks that you have to wait to play the other campaigns. It probably would have been better if they'd put 1/3 of each campaign in each of the three installments. Either way you're buying three full games, deal with it and get over it.

Re:LAN (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147019)

Yeah, Blizzard is retarded if they think they can stop it.

Blizzard is also retarded if they think people want to always be connected to Battle.net . I don't give a shit how good BNet 2.0 is, I shouldn't need to be online or connect to your servers just to play the game I bought (3. Fucking. Times).

MOD QUESTION UP!!! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147383)

If ANY question needs to be answered in this interview - then it is the "LAN crippling issue".

Preferably, answer would be something along the lines of "We fucked up, LAN will not be crippled, we are sorry, it will never happen again."

How do your games Help America? (5, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146801)

Dear Bilzzard, how do your computer games help America's children prepare to help acquire the skills needed to fight the war against terrorism and for freedom? Do any of your games have educational content? What about a game that encourages learning terrorist languages like Arabic or Mandarin Chinese? Everyone in America needs to do their part, are you doing yours?

Re:How do your games Help America? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146947)

World of Warcraft taught me this:

Ni hao!

Re:How do your games Help America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146989)

Learn Punjab and Portuguese you twit. The real terrorists are those who are stealing your jobs!

Linux support (5, Interesting)

Sascha J. (803853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146805)

Obligatory question: Did you change your mind about Linux support for any of your existing or announced games? Are new, upcoming games going to be playable on Linux natively?

Re:Linux support (5, Interesting)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147039)

Another good question on that topic is:

When it is known and established that there was in fact a linux client for WoW when in beta, what obstables hindered you from releasing it as an unsupported extra? was it maintained and if so what obstacles still remain to this day?

The Status Quo of Delayed Release Dates (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146829)

To the planning divisions of all teams: My coworker and I love every single one of your games. But we don't love your release dates. We'd almost appreciate it if there was no release date until you know 100% about it. Your delays vary wildly and have lead both of us to be extremely dubious even when we hear reports like Starcraft II delayed until 2010 [slashdot.org] . We've taken to an X-Files approach: Trust No One. Lest you get your hopes dashed. Why are release dates given when they almost always get pushed back? Is this something you just have to do so marketing has time to hype? Is there any effort to fix these estimation problems? Why aren't you assigning a larger variance and learning from past experiences by now?

I understand this happens by and large everywhere in software development but you guys are epitome of online games. If you can't give solid release dates, no one can.

Re:The Status Quo of Delayed Release Dates (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147031)

It'll be released when its ready. If they were cranking out new titles at an EA pace slashdotters would be howling about Vivendi/Activision ruining Blizzard.

Re:The Status Quo of Delayed Release Dates (2, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147119)

My coworker and I love every single one of your games. But we don't love your release dates.

Ever thought about the fact that the REASON you love every single Blizzard game is because they put more emphasis on quality than they do meeting a release date? In my experience in the software development world, if you want to release software with as few bugs as possible (which Blizzard actively strives for more than any other game company I've heard of), and as fun as possible (which requires insane amounts of iterative work with development and then testing), by your logic, they may as well not give a release date until the discs go gold...

I think they have to put a release date on there because the publisher (Vivendi) requires it, but I've never seen a company take so much leeway with those release dates, and I think we're all better off for it.

Starcraft 2. (1)

Daveznet (789744) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146837)

What is status on the mutalisk micro. In the last build it was not possible to stack mutalisks. But there was mention in one of the updates that the developers are trying to include this type of micro back into the game. Has there been and progress in adding stacking of units to the game or will it not be possible?

Maybe presumptuous... (1)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146843)

Would it be a short-circuit of the next 10 years of Blizzard game evolution to just go ahead an suggest a game that is entirely Murloc based? Everyone loves those fishy little scamps anyway, so why not just bite the bullet and give gamers what they want?

Starcraft II LAN Support (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146847)

As a company who has shown a generally tendency toward keeping its fans happy (the return of the original voice actor for Raynor being a great, recent example of this), are you paying attention to the heavily supported petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/LANSC2/petition.html? I ask this because the petition brings up quite valid points about the creation of pirate battle.net servers. Surely you must realize that time and time again game companies make similar decisions regarding anti-piracy practice (think Spore DRM), and each time all it nets the company supporting it is a loss in valid customers frustrated with the lack of support and an increase in piracy. (For reference, Spore was supposed to have "unbreakable" drm to protect it, yet it was also considered the most pirated game of all time and in fact the cracked version was available up to a week before its official release.)

What about spammers? (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146863)

Will you do anything to protect us from being annoyed by spambots who can enter a game, write five lines of spam and leave the game in less than 2 seconds? Why can't you guys put protection against those idiots, it's easy enough to detect those kinds of patterns and block the user accounts.

And if you think making a private game in D2 protects you against those morons, they started using private messages to tell you about their crap, which is D2-related spam about items and stuff, which are also not allowed by Blizzard, which they should also be stopping from happening.

I know that Diablo II is old and playing on battle.net is free, but still, that doesn't leave a good impression when asking me if I want to play your future games.

Does Censorship in China Bother You? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146889)

To the World of Warcraft team: your work is censored in China [slashdot.org] . Is this negative or an unavoidable necessity? Does it ever bother you on a personal level that you slave over skeletons and zombies and stories involving them only to have 1/5 of the world relegated to some modified version of your work? Would you rather error on the side of cultural sensitivity? I had heard rumors that panda-like characters will never be in World of Warcraft due to them being a cherished icon of China. Is it true that real world politics play a role in what you do and don't do in your game? Do you ever feel restricted or cautious because of this? Do you ever find yourself musing on how great a scenario or character would be but then reject it because so-and-so would have a field day in court with it?

Diablo 3 (1)

thepieman (1597263) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146891)

I've heard rumors of the jumping capability, and was wondering what type of attacks you can do while in the air? Is the jump itself an attack? Do different races jump differently? Does it use up significant stamina?

Product announcemnt. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146903)

....rabid fans interested in what Blizzard might have to say that don't want to shell out the $40 for Pay-Per-View access

Wait, folks will pay to hear a product announcement?!? Something that is done for free by other businesses.

Pay to listen to a public relations guy talk about a product? Pay to hear an advertisement?

I'm having a real hard time understanding this and I'm quite jealous that I didn't think of it. I'm also thinking of a phrase that has been attributed to PT Barnum.

Why should I buy your product? (3, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146911)

After several instances of your company being evil towards the community bnetd & removal of LAN play on your newest titles, please give me a good reason to buy what you are selling.

Re:Why should I buy your product? (1)

IceDiver (321368) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147335)

Hear, Hear!

Starcraft 2 three games? (2, Interesting)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146913)

If my goal is to only play Starcraft 2 online, do I need to purchase all three games? Does purchasing each one unlock a new race for multiplayer or do we get everything in one box?

Re:Starcraft 2 three games? (3, Informative)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147047)

From the FAQ on Starcraft II's website [starcraft2.com] :

Will we still be able to play multiplayer matches of StarCraft II with all three races?

Yes! From the beginning, StarCraft II will be a fully featured multiplayer game, and all three races will be available for competitive play.

Sell Out (2, Interesting)

Richard.Tao (1150683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146915)

With the Mountain Dew game fuel, charging money for direct TV view of blizzcon, WoW being used to advertise Toyota trucks... I wonder: did you guys sell out on your own accord, or did it have to do with the merger with Activision?

Re:Sell Out (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147261)

charging money for direct TV view of blizzcon

Because I'm sure that camera crews and equipment have absolutely no cost.

How long for Starcraft 2's "expansion packs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29146961)

The original starcraft 2 development has taken basically forever. How long will it be before we get to finish the story with zerg and protoss in single player? Will it be on par with the current delayed Terran schedule or will it be faster now that the assets have mostly been created for the game?

MY QUESTION (1, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29146969)

Why the hell did you let the WC3 / WoW art team work on SC2?

ZERGLINGS ARE FELHOUNDS.
It looks retarded and smacks of WoW!
This is not a good thing.
Make them look like zerglings again. PLEASE.

STRUCTURES ARE PLUMP AND UGLY.
It looks retarded and cartoony!
Structures need EMPTY SPACE. Right now every structure is a block, a blob, or similar. Why do the Terran structures, which have extending legs and such, not have any space between the main structure and the extending legs? Look at the previous designs in the original SC.
The structures look like singular objects, when they should look like complex buildings made of many different parts. They look like a singular painted blob.

Re:MY QUESTION (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147095)

Funny, I always thought that Felhounds looked like Zerglings.

Re:MY QUESTION (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147271)

This is an awful question. The art has already been decided. You crying isn't going to change it.

I also find it confusing when people complain that too much dev resources are wasted on WoW when they could be on SC2, then everyone complains that too many of the people who do WoW are working on SC2.

Blizzard does a fantastic job of making good looking games that don't kill your PC. If it is too colorful for you, just put some sort of gray translucent cover over your monitor so it can look manly and realistic to you. It's the gameplay that matters. It isn't like zerglings are now puffy pink ponies of doom.

Linux (2, Interesting)

emanem (1356033) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147007)

Q1) Given the massive success of WoW on Linux (through wine) are you considering a Linux port of your main incoming titles?
Q2) If no Q1, will you at least consider wine as a release platform for your incoming titles?
Q3) Given the current situation with incresing Linux distribution/usage, what are your future plans for Linux OS?
Q4) Is it so hard to develope the same engine on both D3D and OpenGL?
Q5) Are there any particular effects you couldn't be able to easily implement in OpenGL version (eg. fancy shadows in WoW)? If yes, why?
Q6) Would you reccomend to a young ISV to use OpenGL or better both D3D and OpenGL to create a multi-platform game?

Cheers, Ema! ;-)

Re:Linux (1)

Paxton (24233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147351)

WoW does support OpenGL. It runs on my Mac just fine.

I would kill (undead rogues, I hate those guys) for a port of the original SC and WoW to Linux. I don't understand why this hasn't already happened.

Starcraft II (4, Interesting)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147013)

They have stated that there will be three separate game releases, one for Terrans, one for Zerg, and the final for Protoss. Because of this split, will the game length suffer? Given the fact that both Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War were entirely single games that encompassed three storylines, the game took a significantly longer amount of time to complete fully. How can Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty take as long as the original game 's three chapters to complete while remaining fresh and fun throughout?

Will each game be treated as an entirely separate entity in terms of publication, IE, you pay the same $50 for each game, or will it be treated as episodic content where you have to purchase the first game in order to play the second and third, and the second and third installments are significantly less expensive?

Re:Starcraft II (1)

offrdbandit (1331649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147193)

Spoiler Alert! Protoss win.

Will we see Diablo III on consoles? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147015)

Please, please bring Diablo III to consoles (at least XBox360) with local multiplayer support (preferably 4-player). For PC enthusiasts or those who say it can't be done, please see:

Champions of Norrath (PS2)
Champions: Return to Arms (PS2)
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Series
Sacred 2 (360 and PS3)

Also take note of the user interfaces...I think that Champions:RTA had the best UI for this type of game on a console. It would be nice to be able to have at least partial inventory access without interrupting other local players.

It's such great fun to share a couch with a few friends and explore dungeons and compete for loot.

Re:Will we see Diablo III on consoles? (2, Insightful)

Ammin (1012579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147315)

Please god no. That is all.

Instant messaging across networks (1)

awfulshot (807456) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147025)

There was mention of being able to IM across games, to anyone on battle.net. Is there any possibility of being able to message friends on other instant message networks gtalk/aim/steam?

Support for older games? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147037)

After Battle.net 2 goes live, are there any plans to update older games (Warcraft 3, Diablo 2, or even older games such as Starcraft and Warcraft 2) to use the new battle.net, or are they going to remain as they are?

Starcraft II LAN Petition (5, Interesting)

Sycon (1622433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147061)

As a company with a history of working hard to please its customers (the return of Raynor's original voice actor being a great example), are you paying attention to the petition to bring back LAN support at http://www.petitiononline.com/LANSC2/petition.html [petitiononline.com] ? I ask because the petition brings forth a number of valid points, chief among them the fact that pirate battle.net servers will be created no matter what precautions you take. This is a point that has been proven time and time again by other companies seeking to use DRM. Take Spore for example: Spore arguably had the most powerful and restrictive DRM available and was intended to be "un-pirateable", yet it went down as the most largely pirated game in history and the pirated version was even available before the game had officially been released.

What are the plans to combat rampant cheating? (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147073)

I used to be an avid Warcraft II player both in single player and online, and I also dabbled in a little bit of Warcraft III, but ultimately quit both after encountering rampant and flagrant cheating online. The cheaters didn't even attempt to hide what they were doing, level 16 grunts in WC II and teammates telling me they had the map hack in WC III made it pretty obvious. (To that end, I turned against the teammate who told me he had map hacks and spent all my resources attacking his stuff and then got beat by the other team). While I get beat more often then not, playing against cheaters makes the game 0 fun, and it seemed that Blizzard was either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. What are the anti-cheating technologies that you are employing in Starcraft II and do you think they will make a difference?

Question about New Hires & College Grads (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147077)

In regards to server and mechanics development: What are the biggest deficiencies you see in new hires and college grads? Are there any paradigms in the game development professional world that game and graphics courses in college don't seem to cover? When a new developer starts, what are the basic things you teach them first? Do you ever have to take time unlearning things that are pervasive in say, web development? Are there any patterns or architectural paradigms that hold importance above all else in online games?

In regards to the artists of graphics and world design and modeling: What are the biggest deficiencies you see in new hires and college grads? Is the "art" aspects of your games something that can be learned or do you have a few talented visionaries driving the group? I've been impressed with the mood in Diablo and the beautiful scenery in certain areas of World of Warcraft. Is that a single person at work or a large group adding a little brush stroke to the whole painting?

no LAN no $$$. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147089)

no LAN game function, and no money from me.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT WAS MERELY A SETBACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147133)

Will Kael'Thas be playable in D3? And can we get a little Kael'thas action going in Starcraft 2 as well? Maybe like the one zerg unit that was hidden in the trees in that one mission in Warcraft 3?

KY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147139)

Dear Blizzard,

My anus hurts. Would you recommend KY or Astroglide before the next patch?

Thanks!

--Death Knight

World of Warcraft (-1, Troll)

asherlev (2499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147179)

Why do you hate rogues so much?

Key to success of Blizzard games (3, Interesting)

debrain (29228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147187)

I'm wondering why you (the developer teams) think so many Blizzard games stand out from the crowd, from World of Warcraft to Diablo I & II, and Warcraft. Why do you think the Blizzard games have been better (or at least more popular) than so many alternatives?

Thanks.

Diablo 3 balance (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147191)

Are spellcasters/magical classes still going to dominate everyone else in multiplayer or what?

Will 2 or more players behind nat work now? (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147211)

Have you fixed battle.net so that 2(or more) players behind nat can play together (Very importent now that you removed lan play), and play against other players in a 2 vs 2?

The Starcraft/battle.net that is online now can't do this.

How will removing LAN encourage more sales? (4, Interesting)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147221)

What actual hard data does Blizzard have that led them to make such an about-face on LAN from Starcraft to Starcraft II? The ability with the original Starcraft to create a "spawn copy" that allowed friends to play for free in a LAN game was (IMO) a big driver of sales. Why remove such a successful feature? In what universe does removing popular features from your product and pissing off a large base of your fans somehow result in more sales?

Starcraft 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147249)

I've got one: Why, exactly, is StarCraft 2 going to be 3 seperate games? If each game were only 20-30 bucks, it would be understandable, but you're looking at charging at around 150 bucks for the entire experience. You can't fool me, I know that a few months after the third Starcraft 2 game is released there will be an expansion for another 50 bucks. Is Battle.net really that expensive for you guys? The money you rake in for WoW monthly subscriptions seems to enable you to roll in the money.

Speaking of WoW monthly subscriptions, where does that money go? I reactived my WoW account last month, and instances have been tricky to get into, and on the forums you guys claim to have only fixed 40% of the realms with this problem. What's the weekly maintenance and monthly fee being used for? Is there only one guy working on this problem?

WoW Auction House (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147269)

Are there any plans to limit the abuse of the auction house by a few players to the detriment of most of the player base?

Specifically posting hundreds of single auctions by one user (Netherweave Cloth), price fixing, buying competitors out and setting the price artifically high, etc. Essentially most things that would be illegal in US law (and yes: I know that's not relevant to WoW).

A lot of that AH use is detrimental to "normal" players (PvE- / PvP-ers). I suggested to a GM that a cap of 50 auctions per day per account would address these issues and that is plenty for users. The GMs response was that due to those players investing the time to post the auctions they have the right to use the AH any way they wish to. I can see some validity of that argument, however, isn't the core of the game to cater to PvE / PvPers that are clearly inconvenienced?

Furthermore: The amount of money some of these "AH gamers" must be amassing -- I wonder if they are gold farmers or participating in other dubious practices. And I thought it was part of Blizzards goal to stop those type of gamers (even though, they arguably do too, invest time in the game).

Battle.net (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147277)

This is relevant to the removal of LAN. Will there be any network overhead (ie, latency) associated with connecting over Battle.net for players who all share the same LAN?

WoW content changes with class changes (1)

obi1one (524241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147291)

It seems strange to me that you couple content additions (new dungeons, quests etc) with character balancing in your patches. Content takes a long time to develop, with the time between 3.0 and Ulduar having been what, 6-7 months? By coupling character balancing changes with the content changes, yu end up waiting 6-7 months to balance over and under powered classes, when many of the changes involve modifying a coefficient, a base dmg/healing/whatever amount, or a cooldown. I can understand that some balancing requires development, but there seems to be a clear divide in most cases between the work required to add content and the work required to add new talents or spells. Couldnt you do seperate patch iterations for class balance and content addition? If you did that, wouldnt it allow you to react more quickly to imbalances without causing the feeling that too many changes occured at once that was felt in a previous patch?

Diablo III on consoles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147347)

Will Diablo III be developed for the PS3 and XBOX360? The game seems perfectly suited to console play from a controller/mechanics standpoint.

Pay By Day subscription (1)

Hossicle (945360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147353)

I am a busy gamer and don't get a lot of time to play games. I am ok with the upfront cost but I can't justify subscriptions that don't get used.

For WOW and other future subscription games: Have you considered an alternate subscription model that might allow for a "pay by day"? For example If I log in I get charged $2 up to a monthly max of $20 (someting greater than 15 to make the flat rate subscription appealing). I would be happy paying somewhere between $2 and $20 on my terms to experience WoW, but the flat rate made me quit.

PS: I am a stock holder too...make me some money! go go go!

WoW question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147363)

If you could, I'd like to see some discussion brough up about aesthetic wow issues, namely crafting, social charachter interactions, and charachter animations. My question would be as follows.

For nearly 5 years, crafting professions have been focused on functional gear for players. Its about time that players who have item creation professions be allowed to make gear that is simply for looks. Ornate armor, formal dresses/suits that fit with racial and ethnic flavors. When can we look forward to more ultra-casual finery for crafting professions, and if not, what are the issues that are holding it up and how can it be circumvented?

the other question, minorly important, would be

When can we expect to see the 'dance engine' put into game that was discussed many many months ago?

Expansions? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147367)

Starcraft And Diablo 2 were instant hits and it wasn't long before they each had their respective expansion packs enabling much more content and extended gameplay. Given all the hype that's been built up over Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, its almost definite that they too will be top sellers. Assuming each new release retains that same captivating gameplay as its predecessors, are there any plans for expansion packs onto these?

Single Player (5, Interesting)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147375)

I love playing games with friends in person, have a few people over and play.

Online, this has less draw for me. In a FPS I get my ass kicked. In WoW I gave up, I was spending more time LFG than actually going through dungeons. When my ideal gaming session is less than an hour, upper levels just got impossible if I didn't want to grind slowly through random encounters and skip quests.

Diablo 3 seems to have a heavy focus on the multi-player, Starcraft 2 campaigns look great, but all eyes (and in fact the release date) seem to be set on how Battle.net is doing.

Is single player dead? or at least dead at blizzard.

WC2!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29147391)

Warcraft II : Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal.

Hi-res. XP.

Auction house in D3 (2, Interesting)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29147393)

Are you considering allowing D3 users to trade object using Battle NEt out side of a game?

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