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Alan Dabiri, Lead Software Engineer For StarCraft 2

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the modders-and-patches-and-expansions,-oh-my dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 138

The StarCraft 2 team spent most of Blizzcon talking about the map editor and custom games. We spoke with Alan Dabiri, a Lead Software Engineer for Wings of Liberty who worked on the user interface and helped out on the game's integration with Battle.net. He provided some more details about plans for making the map editor more approachable, the coming updates for Battle.net (including chat channels), and a bit about the development of Heart of the Swarm, the Zerg-themed expansion being worked on now. Read on for our conversation about StarCraft 2.

Slashdot: Can you tell us how development has been split up now that you're maintaining Wings of Liberty, starting on Heart of the Swarm, and providing updates through Battle.net?

Alan Dabiri: Since we did just ship Wings of Liberty, obviously we want to support that product and focus on issues we need to correct. Balance is always a focus we want to make sure we get right. We are kind of split right now in terms of our work. We're supporting the game, we've released a few patches, we have more coming, and at the same time we've got people working on Heart of the Swarm. Now is really a good time when the designers and the artists are jamming on all the design ideas for it, and the programmers can hit up any bugs we missed, things we can improve. We've added features in patches, and we're adding more coming up here. It is a bit of a balancing act, but it's one that we're used to, just because we've supported our games well after their initial launch.

Slashdot: Can you talk a bit about the upcoming 1.2 patch?

Alan Dabiri: 1.2 is our next feature patch. We've got a few things going in. Probably one that people have been asking for a lot and they'll be excited to hear about is chat channels. We've also added customizable hot-key support. We shipped with a few different profiles you could pick from, but now we've actually implemented an interface where people can completely configure the hotkeys and set them up the way they want. We're going to have more balance stuff as well, and that's dependent on the feedback we get with our most recent patches, although things have been looking pretty good in that department.

Another thing from the Battle.net competitive side is that we're adding a couple of new leagues. I don't know if both of them are going to get into 1.2, but I believe the first one, Masters, will be going in. Right now the Diamond league is a top league, and it's a pretty wide range. You get people who [barely] meet the cut all the way to the top. The Masters league is a desire to split up that top a little bit and make it the top couple percent of those people. Then, we're eventually going to come along with the Grandmasters League, and that is going to be the top 200 people, and literally it's by invitation. These are really the cream of the crop, on the level of the pro-gamers.

Slashdot: Are you working to publicize or promote these leagues so that the average player can more easily view them?

Alan Dabiri: Yeah, that's another thing that's coming along. There are already these tournaments going on, right? One thing we want to do is to start showcasing replays from these games, so people can watch and say, "Oh, there's that awesome match between FruitDealer and whoever." So, we're going to start putting them right on the front [page]. There's basically a news carousel where you get the latest news, and we're going to start throwing games on there where you literally click on that and it will launch the replay. So we're going to start showcasing those top-level games.

Slashdot: A lot of your focus for this Blizzcon has been the map editor, the custom games, and the new tools. Is it one of your goals to encourage map makers to think of themselves as software developers in their own right?

Alan Dabiri: Yeah, absolutely. Here's the thing. We're making StarCraft 2, right? So we're bound by some stuff, like lore, etc. These guys -- the sky's the limit. And they've got such creativity, such imagination, that we just want to give them tools to make stuff, and let them do whatever they want. So one thing that's nice, when you say software developers or software engineers -- with the editor, you don't need a programming background or anything like that. We've made it in a way that while it is a very involved tool with a lot of complexity to it, you can get someone who's not a programmer making these maps. So that's the cool thing about it. We absolutely want to encourage that, because from our previous games, people do amazing stuff. We go on Battle.net and we look at these custom game lists, and we get blown away. We're not even sure how they did half this stuff.

Slashdot: Have you thought about releasing some sort of guide or tutorial for map making?

Alan Dabiri: Yeah. We realize that there's quite a bit of knowledge that has to be built up, and we are working on some documentation, some tutorials. I don't know the timelines for all those rolling out, and at what level, but I know we were at one point talking about having a dedicated website, almost like a Wiki, where we would post all this information. We've already got a forum for this, and we've had people responding to those posts. But we want to take even a more active role than that, where people can start asking questions and we can answer and everyone can benefit from the answers. We don't want people just floundering around. We'd like to help them out any way we can.

Slashdot: At one of the panels, it was mentioned that you'd be releasing some new tools. Will those be released incrementally, or can we expect them alongside Heart of the Swarm?

Alan Dabiri: The four maps we've show here? These are 100% made in the editor. Anyone outside can make these right now. So, using the editor, you kind of have every tool you need. The one thing they're missing right now is being able to generate the art assets, because we have specific file formats for our models and textures and whatnot. And so, just like we did with Warcraft 3 -- shortly after we shipped, we released our exporter for Macs, and stuff like that -- we're going to do the same here, too. We're working on our tools. We don't have a timeline yet on when we'll be able to get them out, but we want to get them out as soon as possible.

The funny thing is that some guys have reverse-engineered our formats, and they're already putting assets into the game! But they're missing the bells and whistles. There are a lot of features in the engine. So we're like to get that out to help them. Another thing we've been talking about -- in our campaign, if you're seen our in-game cinematics, you've got these awesome-looking characters talking to each other, and they have facial animation. They're lip-syncing. We want to get that out to the end user too. So, literally, they can make their own movies in the engine. [They can have] a mini-campaign they've created, and use our story-mode space to make their guys talk as well. I'm super excited to see what happens when that gets out.

Slashdot: We saw how the Outbreak mission in the single-player campaign inspired the Left 2 Die custom game. Will we see the reverse happen? (Outbreak was a mission in which zombies rose and swarmed your base at night. The onslaught abated when the sun rose, and you had a brief window to rebuild and go on the offensive before you had to bunker in again. The Left 2 Die custom game expands on that concept and makes it a co-op fight.)

Alan Dabiri: I would say that it already has happened. Some of the maps in our campaign were kind of inspired by concepts from Warcraft 3 maps. If you've played through the campaign, you know it's not the same as the multiplayer game. Every mission has a unique twist on it, and some of those twists have come from either mods that we've made or other styles we've played in different game, and then also new stuff we've come up with.

Bob Colyaco: Specifically, the prison-break mission, where you play as Tosh — that's very DotA-like.

Alan Dabiri: I think that's definitely going to happen some more, too. That's the cool thing about the campaign space: we can play around. Multiplayer, we've got to make sure that it's balanced — we can't really screw around with just going crazy. On the campaign side, we still want it balanced, but we can flex our muscles a little more, and really play around with cool game types.

Slashdot: Is it getting tougher to come up with new twists for the campaign?

Alan Dabiri: I don't know. There are a lot of ideas out there. There are a lot of ideas that were brought up for Wings of Liberty that we didn't have a chance to get to. So, I don't think we'll run out of ideas soon.

Slashdot: Dustin Browder had mentioned that one of the downsides to splitting StarCraft 2 into three campaigns was making, for example, Zerg fans wait for a the Zerg campaign. Are you feeling the pressure to step it up for them in Heart of the Swarm?

Alan Dabiri: Well, since it is a Zerg-focused campaign, you're going to see a lot more spaces in the Zerg world and the characters of the Zerg, so it's definitely going to be a cool thing for Zerg players. But, definitely, for the Zerg campaign and then the Protoss campaign, the guys who play those races are going to be excited about what we have in store for them.

Slashdot: Now that you've had some time to see people play Wings of Liberty, and you've had some time to reflect on it, is there anything that made you think, "We did this well, but we can see a better way to do it for Heart of the Swarm?"

Alan Dabiri: Absolutely. Yeah. There are tons of things. We have these lists of everything want to do, and obviously there's just not enough time in the world. We try to get in as much as we can, but we acknowledge that there are certain areas where we think, "You know what, this is cool, it works in Wings of Liberty, but there's so much more we can do with this." Back at the office before Blizzcon we were talking about replays, and how we want to really expand that area. Everyone loves replays. They like watching their own games, pro games. We want to add a ton of features to flesh out that concept. On Battle.net, there are a lot of things we want to add. The custom game interface, chat channels that we didn't get in for shipping the game but now we're adding. And the game itself; the user interface, the units, the composition -- everything is fair game, and we're always trying to improve.

Slashdot: How will the multiplayer be affected by the launch of the subsequent games?

Alan Dabiri: Since we do have the split of the campaign versus the multiplayer side, we can go crazy on the campaign side without affecting the multiplayer side. But at the same time, if you look at our previous RTS expansions, we have pretty full-featured expansions in the sense that — we don't just ship a new campaign and that's it. We touch a lot of the units, we add new units, we come up with new game mechanics, new tile sets, all that stuff. I think the multiplayer space is open for change and will have change to it. Right now, in fact, we're asking ourselves, "what are the areas where there's maybe something missing from the multiplayer side?" Maybe the composition of units that exist on one side. "What hole is there that we might want to fill?" It's kind of like what happened with Brood War. Brood War identified areas where [we decided] we could add some cool units and make it better. I think we'll do the same for our expansions.

Slashdot: You mentioned earlier the constant need for balance updates. Can you take us through the internal process for identifying and fixing a balance issue?

Alan Dabiri: There are a lot of different ways we get feedback. It comes both from external sources and internally. We've got several balance designers on our team who are, literally, pro-level players. They're top-ranked on the ladder. So, they have an insight into how these things work. But, at the same time, we also view games that are played on the ladder from other top level players. We view replays, we get feedback from pro-gamers, and we get feedback from lower-level players, who maybe aren't so good. That, combined with direct community feedback from forums and other types of communications, we take all that, and the final piece we mix together is the real hard stats. We collect a ton of stats. We know who's winning, we know the race matchup, we know what units you're making. We have all this.

So we can take all this info and provide it to the designers. With all of it taken as a whole, we can sit down and make some intelligent decisions. You know, it's real easy when a guy on the forums goes and says, "Oh, Terran is this," or "Zerg is that," but we're not going to just change the whole race based off of one guy. But when you have all this info, now you can make an informed decision. I think we have a real advantage.. because, to be honest, we didn't have a lot of these things earlier on for StarCraft 1. We'd play the game ourselves and listen to what people were saying outside, and hope that we're doing the right thing. We've got a lot of hard data now that we can lean back on.

Slashdot: Have you thought about cutting out parts of that data that are relevant to a particular debate and working that up into a visualization for the community?

Bob Colyaco: We've done that already, to a degree. If you go to StarCraft2.com, Dustin [Browder] wrote a post showing the win percentages and ratios, compared against regions and compared against leagues. So, for example, Diamond-level PvZ or Gold-level TvT.

Alan Dabiri: Yeah, we've actually provided a lot of data already, and we plan on doing more. Even in Warcraft 3, we had a web page that broke down game matchups, what maps people liked to play on the most. So, I think we have plans to also add that stuff. It's just cool information for the end user. They want to kind of geek out on that. And it helps the debates also, because a lot of times on the forums they'll argue one way or the other, but they don't have really hard stats. They just got done playing against Protoss, and they got beat, so suddenly Protoss is the most overpowered race there is.

Slashdot: Have you heard about the StarCraft AI competition?

Alan Dabiri: I did, yeah! That was really cool. We were excited to see that. The funny things is, with StarCraft 2, we've actually built a system where now they can do that in the game. I know with that [competition], they kind of had to work around the game. So it'll be really cool to see what they do with StarCraft 2, because you can actually make your own AI in a map, using the scripting language, and do different takes on build orders and what the AI does defeat other types of players.

Slashdot: What would you, personally, consider the most underrated aspect of Wings of Liberty?

Alan Dabiri: I think everyone knows we have a full, epic campaign, and everyone has seen those and played those. And everyone knows that for RTS games the multiplayer side is huge — e-sports or just playing with your friends. I think this custom angle that we're pushing at Blizzcon now -- while we had that in Warcraft 3, and we had a bunch of maps, DotA being the most popular one — I think we're really seeing an explosion there, and still a lot of people don't realize it's a feature of StarCraft 2. And now, with Battle.net the way it is, it's so easy to get these maps. You don't have to trade them or find them in other ways, they're all just up there. And we're also going to improve that mechanism so it's even easier.

But, I think this custom game aspect is really cool because it makes it so there are infinite games within this game. You can play the single-player and multiplayer of StarCraft 2, which are both super fun, but now you have another thing that just goes forever. Myself, I love going and just jumping into a map I've never heard of and saying, "Wow. There's so much imagination here. We would never have thought to make something like that." I think that's one area people will play more and more. There are people who are open to the two different sides I've already talked about, but [custom games] are something where we can get even more players in.

Slashdot: Is that served by the large size of the community?

Alan Dabiri: Definitely. Without a lot of people creating these maps and playing them, it's not going to go anywhere. It's going to fall away. But the Battle.net community, the Blizzard community is enormous. We have that momentum, we have that group of people. Literally, every day there are maps on there I've never seen. So, these guys are just coming out with maps, and the awesome ones rise to the top. And obviously there's always going to be the ones that aren't so great. With our community, and how passionate they are -- they were making maps during the beta, before you could even publish maps to Battle.net. I think that's awesome.

Slashdot: Going back to the e-sport aspect, what's your goal for a brand new player loading up StarCraft 2 and looking over the multiplayer? Are you trying to nudge them gently into participating in e-sports?

Alan Dabiri: No, I don't think that's our initial goal. That's one of the cool things about how the matchmaking system works on Battle.net now. You will converge into your comfortable zone. So, if you're playing StarCraft 2 and you're not that great of a player — after those first few placement matches, you will actually be playing against people of your equivalent level, and you'll find really fun games. You are going to go back and forth. You are going to win some and you're going to lose some. I think that's what's cool. We also have other angles; if you don't want to play against other players to start with, because maybe you're nervous and don't want to jump right in, we have co-operative play, where you play with other players against the computer. It's a really cool way to practice strategies.

This came from StarCraft and Warcraft 3, where a lot of players were making these "comp-stomp" games, which were you and a bunch of other guys against a computer. So, we thought, "Hey, you know what, this is a cool thing, a lot of people like to do it, so let's build it into the system." So, the intention when you come to the multiplayer side is to have a fun experience, to have a fun game. And this applies to all levels; you can be horrible at games or horrible at RTS games and still have a fun experience in StarCraft 2. But, at the same time, we cater all the way up to the top, where you've got these extremely high level players, who are just out of control. I watch them play and I'm amazed. The matching system works beautifully where everyone will go to a fun experience.

Slashdot: I know you don't want to say anything about release dates. But can you give us a feel for how much work needs to be done yet on Heart of the Swarm?

Alan Dabiri: Sure. I'll give you an example. For our previous RTS games, it took about a year for expansions to come out. The difference between StarCraft 2 and Warcraft 3 is that we're going to have a whole new campaign, and the campaign is going to be on the same level as with Wings of Liberty. Meaning the quality level, and [it'll be] enormous. So, obviously it's going to take a little more time than what we've previously done. But it's not going to take as long as the original game took. We were building the engine, we were building the infrastructure, so it's definitely going to be in a shorter time frame than that. But we do want to put a lot of features into the expansion. Historically, we've always done this. Our expansions have had tons of things -- it's not just a couple new maps. And we'll continue to do that.

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138 comments

finally.. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026736)

an article worth reading on slashdot.. i got sick of windows/apple/linux bashing

Re:finally.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027338)

welcome to blizzard bashing...

a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026744)

Traditionally, there can only be one lead on a project. Did they decide to hand out lead titles to everyone? How many people lead the development of SC II?

Re:a lead? (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026872)

I dunno, maybe they split up the work load. Maybe there's a lead software engineer for implementing the Zerg, the Protoss, the Terrans, the single-player engine, and the multiplayer backbone. Then all five of them report to and coordinate with the [insert title here] of the project. I don't know much about business hierarchies, but that's just one possibility which occured to me.

Re:a lead? (2, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027162)

Just seems weird to me. If I needed leads for all those things, I would make the title specific, so you know who you're talking to, e.g. Joe McBlow, Lead Protoss Engineer. Calling him the Lead SCII developer makes him sound higher up the hierarchy than he actually is.

Re:a lead? (2, Insightful)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026886)

Traditionally? You mean, way back in old school game developing? It's not like things change right? They just stay the same forever...

Re:a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027140)

Like in most software engineering firms I've worked for, and those people I've known have worked for.

Re:a lead? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027378)

And software engineering is but one aspect of game developing. So yeah, there's multiple leads because there are multiple disciplines involved.

Re:a lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027974)

you mean, the textures and animations and audio and music don't just suddenly appear from the sheer awesomness of some well written code?

unpossible.

Re:a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028102)

Multidiscipline doesn't cover it:
"a Lead Software Engineer for Wings of Liberty"

Re:a lead? (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028618)

What's your point? Blizzard's a large-ish company, with their own corporate structure. Just because your company does something a particular way doesn't mean Blizzard does.

Also, the header for the story says "Alan Dabiri, Lead Software Engineer for StarCraft 2". In the sentence you quote, the author of the story (you'd have to ask to be sure) may have meant "a Lead Software Engineer for Blizzard Entertainment, who worked on Wings of Liberty..". Or perhaps the "a" is an error.

Re:a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030678)

You're making my point for me. I have no idea of this guys contribution to SCII, and neither do you, or anyone else reading the article.

Re:a lead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029050)

You're still missing the point:

Lead Software Engineer for Network Infrastructure
Lead Software Engineer for Engine Development
Lead Software Engineer for Game Development

You are making the massively flawed assumption that the game wasn't developed as components or modules that were brought together/progressively merged from independent teams.

Project Lead and/or Producer is generally in charge of the whole thing.

Re:a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030648)

So just tell me which of your list this guy is, and stop calling him 'lead for Starcraft II'.

Re:a lead? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027060)

Multi-discipline projects can have 1 lead per discipline. Having the art lead and the core team lead being the same person would be inefficient. Additionally on a large complex project like SC2 you may have enough work to break down into multiple teams, and have leads for each team. For example, you could have a lead for the engine, a lead for Battle.net, a lead for tools, etc. There will be 1 person ultimately in charge at the top, but he doesn't have the bandwidth to manage everything.

If you really haven't worked in an environment like that you really ought to work on a decent sized project some day, you must be writing tiny little apps.

Re:a lead? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027126)

We don't call the sub people leads. We call them things like 'senior'.

Re:a lead? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027262)

Generally where I've worked, jr and sr designate experience. Lead designates responsibility for a project or major component of one. Different terms entirely. Not that it really matters all that much- whatever you call them the work is the same.

Re:a lead? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028338)

Oscar [officequotes.net] : "Look, it doesn't take a genius to know that any organization thrives when it has two leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn't have two presidents. A boat that sets sail without two captains. Where would Catholicism be without the popes?"

It they aren't going to bother with linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026766)

Why bother advertising on Slashdot?

Re:It they aren't going to bother with linux (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027056)

Apparently nerds only use Linux in your world?

Re:It they aren't going to bother with linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027150)

I read slashdot and only use Linux on my work servers. Not my home desktop (Windows), not my notebook (Windows), not my home server (FreeBSD)...

I can think of three other slashdot readers I know IRL who are not primarily Linux users, actually they use Linux less than me (one Apple-fanboi, one Apple+FreeBSD, one Windows + Hackintosh)

I think slashdot's audience is more than just the Linux-zealot crowd.

Re:It they aren't going to bother with linux (3, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028014)

I think slashdot's audience is more than just the Linux-zealot crowd.

Yeah, there's also the Linux marines and Linux zerglings... I still don't know what you're getting at.

Blizzard's Attitude (3, Interesting)

argmanah (616458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026768)

I was really looking forward to SC2. I was busy when it first came out, but I was going to pick it up least week until I saw the stories about Blizzard banning users for cheating in the single player campaign. I believe it was a story on /. as well. Frankly, I'm tired of software developers doing an end around on copyright laws by basically renting you software instead of selling it to you.

I'm boycotting SC2 and Diablo 3 until Blizzard stops acting like an asshat.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026836)

Yep, you... and approximately nobody else, so it doesn't matter what you do.

Hey, I'm on your side here, but in the wider world? Nobody cares. I've tried to convince my friends of this and it just doesn't work. It's the trendy thing and they're gonna buy it. Thinking towards the future doesn't matter when you can get that shiny today.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027068)

It's the trendy thing and they're gonna buy it.

It's not even the trendiness factor that's the real problem that they're up against.

To most of the people who play games like this, attempting to bust on people who cheat at the game (as they would see it) is a much greater good than allowing you to do whatever you want with software you bought. In other words, the very actions that make Blizzard evil to much of Slashdot are seen as a plus to most of their customers.

It's not that people are stupid, uninformed, or apathetic (although each of those are true often enough), it's that they value different things.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028352)

I don't think anyone is having doubts as to what kind of cheating the player was punished for. Single. Player. Right? So I just don't see how anyone could see this as a plus. I mean, who hasn't used some sort of memory hack at one point or another to affect a single player game? I know I used it in Diablo 2 back in the day. I can feel for the poor fellow and I get the impression that it could be just about anyone who gets denied the possibility to play the game he legally purchased. It's a good argument -- if that doesn't drive any player away from a game then I don't know what does.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028520)

I don't think anyone is having doubts as to what kind of cheating the player was punished for. Single. Player. Right? So I just don't see how anyone could see this as a plus.

It makes it easy to get the game's achievements, which a lot of players (not me) take very seriously.

There's lots of cheats built into the single player game already -- it's just that using one makes it so you can't get achievements for that mission in a game where you've used the cheats. Thus, cheating to get the achievements is actually the main reason for the cheat in single player.

You and I don't care, but I'd be willing to bet that the number of people who bought Starcraft 2 and would want someone to get busted for cheating achievements is at least ten times the number of people who bought Starcraft 2 and are upset that someone was busted for this.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027110)

Yep, you... and approximately nobody else, so it doesn't matter what you do.

Hey, I'm on your side here, but in the wider world? Nobody cares. I've tried to convince my friends of this and it just doesn't work. It's the trendy thing and they're gonna buy it. Thinking towards the future doesn't matter when you can get that shiny today.

I didn't buy it either, and would have if they'd been more consumer friendly.

And as for the new shiny? Fallout Las Vegas is the new shiny... Starcraft 2 is already a fading memory. I'll pick it up in a discount bin maybe. They missed their chance getting full price out of me. Do they care? Probably not... but the sentiment is mutual.

And WTF is with /. forcing me to preview now? I don't need to preview every post I make. The box I'm typing into right now is preview enough for a plaintext post.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027260)

Some of us don't care about Shinies yah know? Starcraft lived on because it was a great game, just as Starcraft II will. Did you know that people still play Chess in this day and age too?

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027792)

Me too -- I was looking forward to this game for a long time, but will not buy it due to the bannings and DRM. Sigh.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028344)

I just downloaded Vegas this week to try on my computer. I will probably buy it this weekend but wanted to make sure it worked on my PC. I always test games before I buy them when it is for my PC

Last time I bought it for the ps3, played it all the way through, then found about about all the mods. I download the GOTY addition, checked how it ran, and went out and bought the PC GOTY edition. It is probably the only game I bought twice.

I am thinking of grabbing mass effect, first, though, since las vegas feels a lot like fallout 3 and I just came off fallout 3 after 2 or 3 months of playing solely that game. I need to get a wirless keyboard and mouse first, though, since Mass Effect doesn't support the 360 controller (I use my Logitech controller and emulate it as a 360 :))

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030416)

> And WTF is with /. forcing me to preview now? I don't need to preview every post I make. The box I'm typing into right now is preview enough for a plaintext post.

Just a test....

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028578)

Or maybe it's because we actually don't care about cheaters getting banned?

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026852)

You're not missing out dude. A 14 year wait, and the campaign is honestly quite lackluster. Yeah a few missions are fun scenarios, but the story and dialogue makes me think they got 4 guys, a few pizzas and a 30 pack of busch and just banged it out in one long evening.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026874)

...Blizzard banning users for cheating in the single player campaign....

Citation needed. Still, no LAN, no sale. I have friends that are fans of SC who's only "broadband" is 1500ms latency satellite. That doesn't work well for realtime anything. LAN is the only option for decent head-to-head gameplay in that circumstance.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026904)

The game would still take place locally, it's just that you authenticate with the Blizzard servers before playing.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Informative)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026970)

No, it does not take place locally. If you lose internet connection at any point during the game for more than a second, you're dropped out of the game.

You can play offline in the campaign only, and even then without the achievements.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030244)

Yeah... unless it's changed recently (I didn't buy SC2) then SC2 continues to tunnel player connections through Blizzard proxy relays, supposedly to remove the problems of NAT. Side-effect: lagtastic ping rates when nearest Blizzard server is non-local.

I haven't followed up on this info so it's entirely possible SC2 does some probing to detect whether tunneling is required. If it does, then SC2 wouldn't technically need to support LAN discovery, as many NAT-capable routers can do automatic loopback when connecting to the external (WAN) IP address.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (4, Insightful)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026910)

I am sad to say I am[still] boycotting, too. I don't play online, my LAN party does not need an outside server and I want nothing to do with Blizzard(EA/Ubisoft/etc) once our initial transaction is complete. Sorry, you are not my new best friend and I am not your new perpetual tool to extract $ & data from. Sorry.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (4, Informative)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026926)

The guy admitted that he had the trainer program running while he was playing online with friends. Can't really tell the difference between someone cheating and someone goofing around with friends when it's just automated software. And at any one time there are tens of thousands of games going on at the same time, so it's a bit hard to check out possible cheaters on a case by base basis.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Informative)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027004)

It seems like everyone's overlooked this simple fact. I'm not sure why Blizzard doesn't make it clear that this whiner was playing online.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Funny)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027392)

It seems like everyone's overlooked this simple fact. I'm not sure why Blizzard doesn't make it clear that this whiner was playing online.

Yeah, since he was playing with his friends he should have been on a LAN or using a clan server and not some official server that can't be asked to know that he wasn't cheating innocent internet users whom he had no relation to. Stupid fucker.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027464)

I see what you did there.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028492)

"Yeah, since he was playing with his friends he should have been on a LAN or using a clan server and not some official server that can't be asked to know that he wasn't cheating innocent internet users whom he had no relation to. Stupid fucker."

Uh, so? "So i can cheat all I want" is no reason to justify Blizzard investing in LAN play.

Besides that cheats are already available through Blizzard's software.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028690)

Yeah, not having LAN sucks. The game is still fun.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027094)

Perhaps another argument for LAN?
At least then, the ethical cheaters who are just screwing around will segment themselves from the population.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027152)

The biggest and best arguments for LAN is lower latency, less risk of random disconnection and not having to deal with internet jerks.

Frankly, once you know that a company bans entire accounts for cheating, you should maybe consider not cheating, even if the only person you bother is yourself. And Blizzard is well known for wide, sweeping bans. And since all their games are tied to one account, well...

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027932)

Frankly, once I know a company bans entire accounts for doing something that affects only myself, and that Blizzard is well known for wide, sweeping bans, and that all their games are tied to one account, any thoughts of buying anything from Blizzard disappear from my head.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028656)

As I said up the stream a bit there, he was using the trainer program ONLINE while playing with his friends. His own fault.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028390)

Then allow people to run their own matchmaking and deal with cheaters as they see fit, rather than forcing everything through the monolith that is bnet.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027446)

SC2 is an overrated piece of shit and I deeply regret giving my money to Blizzard and Activision. I played that piece of crap for two days before getting bored (it's the same thing as SC1) and am currently enjoying Civ 5.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027942)

I'm sick and tired of new for the sake of being new. I loved Starcraft I and I love Starcraft II.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028676)

and am currently enjoying Civ 5.

Which is the same thing as Civ 4. And Civ 3. And Civ 2. And Civ 1.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027498)

I'm sorry to tell you this, buddy, but they have been "renting" software for you for a long time. Well, not exactly renting, but not exactly selling either. Take a look at the license of all the softwares you have around.

You are not paying for the software. You are paying for a license to run it under certain conditions (which get more draconian each passing year).

No, I didn't buy SC2 either.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027774)

I really wish these stupid complaints would stop getting up-modded, when there are so many of us that have bought and enjoy the game that would rather read comments that actually contribute to the topic. If I want to read about the single-player bans, I'd read the article at http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/10/20/044219/Blizzard-Suing-Creators-of-StarCraft-II-Hacks

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

Godai (104143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027958)

Just to clarify: you can cheat all you want in the single player campaign. They have built-in cheats. You just can't cheat and still earn achievements -- that's what the hack that gets people banned does. You can argue that's not significant enough to earn a permanent 'bricking' of the software, but since you're effectively cheating in multi-player when you do this (because achievements are really a measurement between players) there should definitely be some sort of consequence.

A better response would be to nuke offender's ability to do anything but play single player and disable any achievements they can earn, but I guess the Blizzard thinking was "Why are we going out of our way to play nice for assholes?" Whether I agree or not, I can at least understand that line of thinking.

Cheating makes achievements meaningless (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028080)

Everyone loves achievements these days. Gamer's profiles proudly display the various achievements they have unlocked. These are meaningful only if they are generally accepted as cheat proof. If you want to cheat in single player, go right ahead, do it in offline mode, skip getting the achievement and be happy. What you do not get to do is cheat in single player and have your accomplishements respected the same as those of real players.

Someone has to enforce sportsmanship. No one likes the referee, but he is necessary. Because Blizzard wants their games to be seen as sports, they need to enforce sportsmanship.

Again, if you want to cheat, do it offline and skip the achievement. No problem, no ban.

Re:Cheating makes achievements meaningless (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028458)

Then why don't you just erase his achievements when you detect cheating, instead of banning him, which also effectively robs him of the money he paid to play the game? I can't see the ban as justified.

Re:Cheating makes achievements meaningless (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029064)

You find this with may crimes or infractions of rules, where the detection of the infraction if difficult, the punishment is more severe, in order to create the proper deterrent effect. If everyone knows they are unlikely to be caught, they will cheat, but if they know that when they are caught, they will have their accounts canceled, all of a sudden, there is real deterrence.

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028350)

"until I saw the stories about Blizzard banning users for cheating in the single player campaign"

They give you cheat codes, they don't mind if you cheat, but don't use cheats while playing multiplayer (which the complainers WERE DOING.)

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029458)

Lack of LAN playability notwithstanding, they didn't ban people for cheating in the single player campaign. They banned people for using a tool that allowed them to receive achievements while cheating in the single player campaign. There are many cheats that can be used in solo play, but they disable achievements when used.

Considering that you can unlock portraits by playing the harder difficulties, cheating and still receiving them should be a bannable offense

Re:Blizzard's Attitude (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030596)

If you read the thread on that forum, you will notice that the reason they went after single-player hacks was because it ruins online achievement system, which Blizzard is actively trying to promote.

I actually own the game, and my biggest problem with their restrictions is that I can only play single-player missions when the computer is online and has been validated by the battle.net server. It is fine and dandy that Blizzard is trying to combat piracy, but it should not do that at my expense! I honestly shelled out for my copy, and their "war on piracy" should be kept between them and the pirates, leave me out of it please.

Still not buying (1, Interesting)

Silverhammer (13644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026856)

I'm still not going to buy a game that requires Battle.net lock-in for basic I-don't-give-a-flying-fuck-about-PvP usage, so stop asking. (And spare me the "guest login" nonsense -- that's at best a workaround for a fundamental design choice.)

Re:Still not buying (3, Informative)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34026992)

You can play the campaign offline, albeit without achievements. Multiplayer? No dice.

Re:Still not buying (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028728)

Even that you need to have logged into Bnet at least once every 30 days.

Fact is, you can't buy it in store and install it from a disc and play it that evening if you don't have an internet connection. Even using Steam as a digital download service for games, once you've got them you can play them offline indefinately. It's far better than Blizzard's model, which requires a solid network connection all the time. Mine is flaky right now, so I wouldn't bother joining an online game anyways from fear of disconnection. Honestly if I could get a refund for SC2 I would - I thought that the gameplay and story would somehow offset the bad DRM model, but it didn't, so I'm not going to bother with the expansions till it changes. When I bought it, I was in the middle of moving from 1 house to another so I didn't have a network connection. I had logged in at my parent's house and activated my key, and started into the campaign, thinking "Obviously the game is active now" - when I moved my PC to my new place without internet yet, I couldn't even play offline. No guest mode, no account, says it needed activation. This was a bug that they fixed in the last patch, but I couldn't get the patch until I had a network connection. I should have returned it right then and there.

Re:Still not buying (0, Troll)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027064)

I'm still not going to buy a game that requires Battle.net lock-in for basic I-don't-give-a-flying-fuck-about-PvP usage, so stop asking.

(And spare me the "guest login" nonsense -- that's at best a workaround for a fundamental design choice.)

I'm with you. And people who ignorantly mark legitimate items as "offtopic" are fucked in the head. They'll get theirs when the tag-judging kicks in later in the program.

This item is extremely on-topic for the simple fact that this constant Slash-vertisement of Blizzard-DRM products this week is fucking making us all fucking ill. Fuck Blizzard and their DRM ilk. Wake me when this awful hack makes its way to a real OS... 'tards.

Re:Still not buying (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027180)

Blizzcon occured this past weekend which is why you see multiple Blizzard posts on here.

I don't think it's much of a slash-vertisement per se, I think most nerds are genuinely interested in Blizzard's games. You on the other hand seem to be more interested in counter culture and bashing others, cool.

Re:Still not buying (1)

Onos (1103517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027084)

How is that a work around? You do not care about any of the online features - multiplayer, achievements, etc. so you get to click on one button which basically takes you to a screen which is similar (in content) to the Starcraft screen.

Re:Still not buying (4, Insightful)

Silverhammer (13644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027526)

Can I install the game without creating a Battle.net account? Can I re-sell the game after I'm done with it?

Like I said, a fundamental design choice.

Re:Still not buying (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027272)

Then stop trolling and post somewhere else. For those of use that bought the game and enjoy it, these custom maps are a nice change of pace to the usual gameplay. If you don't-give-a-flying-fuck-about-PVP usage, then you really shouldn't care that much about the custom multi-player maps. And if you have a problem with blizzard validating your game copy before you download some new, free material for single player - I'm not sure what's going to satisfy you at this point.

Re:Still not buying (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027538)

It's not new, free, custom material that they created... Just an fyi. So their need to revalidate your purchased game is pretty much moot.

You must be a young gamer to not remember going out and finding stuff maps, skins and mods for games, or connecting to Unreal Tournament peers and automatically downloading their skins/maps (pretty much the holy grail).

I pity this generation, I played Dungeon Keeper again last year. My kid will never get that chance with a lot of the seminal titles from her childhood.

Re:Still not buying (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028486)

I pity this generation, I played Dungeon Keeper again last year. My kid will never get that chance with a lot of the seminal titles from her childhood.

she will surely be able to do so but for the minuscule of price 4.99$ and her soul ...

Software Lead (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34026934)

I'm kinda disappointed. As a software engineer I would have liked to see some... software development related questions when talking to the Lead Software Engineer.

Re:Software Lead (2, Informative)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027036)

Ha, what company do you work for? "Lead Software Engineers" don't actually write any code. They tell the underlings what code to write.

Sadly, the limit of an engineer as time employed approaches infinity is a manager.

Re:Software Lead (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028766)

Like what?

"Do you use a a while loop for moving units?"

They asked him how he addressed balance issues, they asked him about upcoming tools, they asked lots of questions that a software engineer could have answered in a software development kind of way, but that wouldn't make for an interesting interview for anyone who doesn't do software programming.

I think you were more disappointed in the responses than you were the questions.

I did not forget (2, Insightful)

koinu (472851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027002)

... what Blizzard did to FreeCraft and about their stupid comments about Linux gaming! Go to hell, Blizzard!

Hotkeys (2, Interesting)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027008)

I know the meat of this discussion is on the next expansion and the map editor, but the comment about the 1.2 patch boggles my mind. This is StarCraft. A game which is taken so seriously in competition that we actually measure a player's actions per minute. Who at Blizzard had the bright idea to disallow full hotkey mapping, and did he get canned for overlooking a "feature" which should be blatantly obvious?

Re:Hotkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027236)

I'm curious to know how exactly you would go about changing your hotkeys. Between the fairly intuitive ones already set (which used to be the first letter of whatever you were looking to do, but is now sometimes the second or third letter, erring on the side of making it as easily accessible to your left hand as possible) and the grid hotkeys, I don't really get why anyone would want to change them.

Re:Hotkeys (3, Insightful)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027474)

Well, everyone organizes things differently and has different mannerisms. What works well for one person might work poorly for another, and what's great for one group is not neccessarily good for another. The default configuration might be a solid general solution, but in game development you shouldn't figure the general solution is the optimal one for all your players.

Re:Hotkeys (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 3 years ago | (#34030646)

The original Starcraft didn't have any hotkey mapping at all.

Michael Dorn is Tassadar (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027026)

For all you Trekkies out there

And for you Michael Dorn fans out there ... (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028504)

He gets his own command in the short-lived Flash series Starship Regulars [mondominishows.com] .

UI concept is outdated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027070)

Nice graphics, nice sounds, game appears to be fun too but... ...when does the user interface actually change to something modern? The current UI concept used in starcraft 2, was used in warcraft 1, warcraft 2, warcraft 3 and starcraft 1. But in the core the UI is still the same PRIMITIVE concept.

Today's standards are that a user interface is there where you need it, not on some statically defined position. The UI shouldn't eat a THIRD of your screen when you're not using it.

Please, Blizzard... redesign the UI, it simply isn't practical anymore.

Practical would be:
- right click building/unit.
- menu (icons) appears right next to your mouse. When you hover over some item in the menu transparent information appears next to it.
- select (left click) an option from the menu. The selection flashes to notify what you selected. If you need to target something the mousepointer should change accordingly. Left clicking somewhere should then activate the ability.

Menus should be in some remote corner (top left) and resources at the top right. The last should be translucent, because it's read only information. The map should be at the bottom left or right and resizable.

That should give a lot more screen real estate to see what is happening, instead of losing a third of your screen to user interface.

But then again, Blizzard probably realises that when they actually change their UI to today's standards they'd probably lose 90% of their RTS players.

Re:UI concept is outdated (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027348)

I like it as is. Besides who does much clicking anyways? Everything is through hotkeys in Starcraft II.

Re:UI concept is outdated (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027408)

Eh, it depends. I know it's certainly the way the top players play, but you don't HAVE to hotkey. I hotkey ONLY for unit groupings (Ctrl + number) and click everything else, and I'm still managing to stay in Gold League in 1v1, 2v2, and 4v4.

Hotkeying, though more efficient, would make the game less enjoyable for me, so I accept a slightly lower but still competitive level of play as a trade-off.

Re:UI concept is outdated (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027510)

Gold places you in the middle 20% of Starcraft II players, congratulations, you're average! It's not much of a surprise that the bottom 50% don't use hotkeys though.

Re:UI concept is outdated (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027452)

But then again, Blizzard probably realises that when they actually change their UI to today's standards they'd probably lose 90% of their RTS players.

I know! What kind of idiotic company would give their customers what they want!?!?!

Re:UI concept is outdated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34030178)

Nice graphics, nice sounds, game appears to be fun too but... ...when does the user interface actually change to something modern? The current UI concept used in starcraft 2, was used in warcraft 1, warcraft 2, warcraft 3 and starcraft 1. But in the core the UI is still the same PRIMITIVE concept.

Today's standards are that a user interface is there where you need it, not on some statically defined position. The UI shouldn't eat a THIRD of your screen when you're not using it.

Please, Blizzard... redesign the UI, it simply isn't practical anymore.

Practical would be:
- right click building/unit.
- menu (icons) appears right next to your mouse. When you hover over some item in the menu transparent information appears next to it.
- select (left click) an option from the menu. The selection flashes to notify what you selected. If you need to target something the mousepointer should change accordingly. Left clicking somewhere should then activate the ability.

Menus should be in some remote corner (top left) and resources at the top right. The last should be translucent, because it's read only information. The map should be at the bottom left or right and resizable.

That should give a lot more screen real estate to see what is happening, instead of losing a third of your screen to user interface.

But then again, Blizzard probably realises that when they actually change their UI to today's standards they'd probably lose 90% of their RTS players.

Dude, how many clicks is that? For serious. I'm no pro-gamer, but I am mid or mid-high Diamond, which puts me in the top 10% of players, and the UI you suggest would guarantee that I never did /anything/ by clicking the screen, I'd have to do it all by hotkeys, just so I can do it with one click instead of 3. You may think 3 isn't that bad, but that's because you don't realize how much stuff I'm doing; having to click three times to activate an ability or even to attack-move would make me play literally half as fast.

Also, popping menus up over the units right next to the cursor is a /terrible/ /terrible/ idea. During battles, I need to be watching health of every unit in order to give the right commands; I definitely need the UI to stay the hell out of my fights.

No mention of Cross-Region play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34027188)

I would like to know what's going on with the Cross-Region play that was promised "soon after the game was out" And.. no more mention has ever been made of it.

I cant be the only one who wants this feature...

Difficulty to build? (1)

Cloudgatherer (216427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027562)

What I am most curious about, and what I did not see covered in interviews (or maybe I missed it), is how difficult it was to get SC2 to be "done". From my perspective, SC2 is an SC1 remake, with the WC3/TFT engine + lots of extra customization via the map/unit editor. I even attended Blizzcon years ago when they were showing it off, and even then I looked at it and said "yeah, Starcraft on the Warcraft 3 RTS engine, ship it next year?" in 2007 IIRC. From what I understand the big hold up was the "new" battle.net system, and that ended up holding up the game longer than it may have otherwise.

A comment I read above regarding the UI, having played the various Blizzard RTS games, I was really thinking they would put in some kind of HUD overlay on the game so that the mini-map, which is SO important, would be more prominent than a little box in the corner of the screen. Blizzard usually has a theme of making a game more casual friendly, easier to pick up and see what is going on, but sticking with the SC1 interface a decade+ later seems like a failing to me.

Salute him, people! (-1, Troll)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027570)

The captain of the FailBoat has finally spoken!

Re:Salute him, people! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028072)

Yep, they only sold 2.4 million copies. Total fail. Why, that's only $100 million, pathetic.

SC2 on Linux (2, Interesting)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027660)

It works reasonably well under Wine, doesn't crash more often than on XP (where it is kinda crashy I've been told), the performance kind of sucks though. It would be nice to have a native version. Shouldn't be too hard to port from the MacOSX version, should it? It would

Re:SC2 on Linux (1)

DMJC (682799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34029772)

I think any chance of ports of Blizzard games for Linux died when Blizzard decided to cancel the World of Warcraft port. They had it at a playable state and then decided not to release it. Linux Game Publishing's take on it is available on the net just google for it. It's a real shame. Just one profitable native title on Linux might be enough to get the ball rolling on ports. From what I've heard there's not much sales data available on Linux sales. A company like Blizzard porting/tracking online stats would finally be able to tell us if Linux is a viable gaming market or not. I think Linux should try to get as much of the Mac OSX APIs that games use ported as possible. It might help mac developers make the switch. I'm surprised there's been no effort to approach people like Aspyr Media, who do all the Macintosh ports, to see about getting access to game sourcecode/rights to port games to Linux.

Blizzard DotA vs. Valve Dota (1)

arc86 (1815912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34027712)

I'm interested to see how Valve's trademarking of "Dota" ends up impacting Blizzard's SC2 DotA mod. Hopefully Valve's trademark will only cover the spelling with the lower-case 'a'; I would hate to see it causing the mod community to be locked out of using the proper name for it.

Re:Blizzard DotA vs. Valve Dota (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028028)

Trademark or no there's nothing they can do to stop you saying "Just like DoTA" or "DoTA-like map". You're allowed to use the trademark for comparison and descriptive purposes, as long as it is clear that you are not pretending to be the trademarked item.

Re:Blizzard DotA vs. Valve Dota (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028918)

Considering that the original DotA was for a Blizzard game (and based on a map from a different Blizzard game), I'm fairly certain that Blizzard can use the name with impunity. Then again, IANAL.

No LAN no purchase (1)

Ruatxnjr06 (1481315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34028174)

I have owned Warcraft, Warcraft II, Warcraft II Expansion Pack, Warcraft II Battle.net Edition, Warcraft III Collectors Edition, Starcraft and Starcraft Broodwar. As long as there is no pure LAN gaming in Starcraft II, there will be NO PURCHASING of Starcraft II for me. How many of you have had software that has to be certified through a company's server before it will work or have its full abilities? I have had several that were like that and now the company's are out of business. Thus, no software to use anymore. DVD xcopy or Musicmatch? Both had to be certified through the company's servers. I had a license for unlimited upgrades of Musicmatch and they sold out to Yahoo. The problem is Yahoo shut down Musicmatch and no, I cant even install and use the full options of the installs that I already have. Never mind the fact that it will not run on a 64bit Windows at all because Yahoo canned the program before the implementation of a 64bit program. Who is to say that Blizzard will not suffer the same fate of Musicmatch. Purchase by larger company, not enough proffit from product, shut down of product. Maybe I'll buy it after a crack comes out that installs pure LAN play. Hey, Blizzard its your fault.

Totally avoided a major question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34028326)

Chat rooms great. They kept saying how much they learned from sc1 and wc3, well how about hosting games you wanna play? That was easily the best feature from bnet 1.0 and they act like it doesn't even matter anymore.

"We absolutely want to encourage that, because from our previous games, people do amazing stuff. We go on Battle.net and we look at these custom game lists, and we get blown away. We're not even sure how they did half this stuff."

I'm not blown away. Out of the 800 maps available only 25-35 are playable because of the rating system. Playtesting is impossible unless you gather a team to assist you whereas on there previous games you could just host a map you made and people would join getting you instant feedback from people unfamiliar with the game. Try it now and nobody will join your map since your at the bottom of the list. Many people were pissed off in the forums but gave up complaigning since bliz won't even respond to why such a popular feature has been removed. The perfect interview to get a straight answer as to why they won't make sc2 as fun to make maps for as any of their previous titles and again who cares if its impossible to test the map you just spent 2 months making, since look you can import models now that nobody will ever see too. /rant

Screw Blizzard. Seriously. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34029244)

Screw Blizzard. Fucking assholes broke up the game into 3 pieces, released a third of the story line, and are going to release the remainders as full, separate games using the same game engine so they can charge 3x the price for the same amount of development and coding work as a game and 2 $20 expansions.

Between that, taking away LAN play, spawn copies, and the ability to easily play a custom map (big fucking deal they are trying to fix that one), I've been fucked by blizzard one to many times.

As far as I'm concerned, Blizzard as a company died a long time ago. What's left is nothing but scum-sucking wallet bottom feeders looking to bleed as much cash from their players as they possibly can before they get so pissed off they jump ship permanently to a vendor who DOESN'T treat every fucking one of their customers like thieves.

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