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World of StarCraft Mod Gets C&D From Blizzard

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the imitation-leads-to-litigation dept.

Censorship 227

eldavojohn writes "If you've been following the team who created World of StarCraft (an amazing mod of StarCraft II to be more like World of Warcraft), their YouTube video of what they've done so far has already resulted in a cease and desist from Activision/Blizzard. Evidently when you are given tools to make custom mods to games you should be careful about making something too good. The author of the mod is hopeful that it's just a trademark problem with the name of his mod, but few reasons for the C&D were given." In other StarCraft news, reader glwtta recommends an article about how a Berkeley team won the world's first StarCraft AI competition with code that can beat even pro-level human players.

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They better... (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932056)

They better be making a "World of Starcraft" game, otherwise this just reeks of asshattery.

Re:They better... (3, Funny)

AndrewGOO9 (1251062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932136)

They'll get to it, eventually I'm sure. Blizzard: Your children will love the sequels you grew up waiting for.

Re:They better... (0)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933340)

They'll get to it, eventually I'm sure. Blizzard: Your children will love the sequels you grew up waiting for.

Too late, that tag line is already for Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:They better... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932142)

We don't have to care: We made World of Warcraft.

Hugs and Kisses, Blizzard.

Re:They better... (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932170)

That's the rumor that's been out there for a little while. They're working on a new MMO code named Titan. Some have speculated is it's World of Starcraft.

Re:They better... (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932664)

I've said this before, and I'll say it now.

"Nuclear launch detected" will mean so much more when it's blaring out of loudspeakers in the city or camp your character is in RIGHT NOW.

Re:They better... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933034)

Titan is not World of Starcraft.

Titan is an MMO, however it is a new IP, so not SC, WC, etc. IIRC, it is a MMOFPS, but I will not swear to that one, as I don't remember.

Basically:
It's the worst kept secret in the gaming industry currently.

Re:They better... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933232)

Titan is an MMO, however it is a new IP, so not SC, WC, etc. IIRC, it is a MMOFPS, but I will not swear to that one, as I don't remember.

Basically:

Basically? IP, SC, WC, IIRC, MMOFPS? Basically? Basically you're a dork.

Re:They better... (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933348)

Yeah they've said that before but I'm a little skeptical. I'm hoping it's sci-fi based either way but we'll see. I don't expect anything that outlandish. They're known more for their great execution than ground breaking features.

Re:They better... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933476)

Where did you hear that Titan was going to be any of those you listed? According to this article, [totalvideogames.com] Titan is only known as being Blizzards next-gen MMO that is due to launch at the end of 2014. Now the whole Starcraft 2 trilogy is due to be finished and released in the beginning of 2013, a year and three quarters before Titan is released. This is around the same time span as World of Warcraft was released after Warcraft 3 (if you ignore a few months, due to it being pushed back.) Sounds like this will be like what Blizzard did with World of Warcraft. Release the game, give it around 2 years for the public to have a good grasp of the worlds lore, then release MMO set a little further beyond the last game, profit (wouldn't want to release it too soon or it could hurt the RTS's sale, and not too late that it's foggy for people to remember the lore). This time it looks like it will be Starcraft to use this formula.

Re:They better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932212)

Maybe Blizzard just exposed what Project Titan is.

Re:They better... (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932458)

You would be saying the same thing if somebody got a C&D after making a Lost Vikings mod for SC2.

Titan may or may not be World of Starcraft, but you won't find much info in their lawyer's kneejerk reactions. Somebody stepped on one of their trademarks, and even had the nerve to garner a following- that's all we know.

Geez, is everyone a baby? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932496)

Following the link, no copy of the C&D letter. So we have no idea WTF is going, just the incoherent ramblings of a developer who is whining about not allowed to have anything good. Apparently he e-mailed the tech support department for clarification....

It could be as simple as the legal department scouring the web for the name "Starcraft" - not even knowing there is a tool out there to build mods.

Bottom line, we know nothing at this point. No need to pucker up.

Re:They better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932638)

I still prefer the The World of World of Warcraft [youtube.com] .

Re:They better... (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932740)

It's Blizzard. Don't you expect asshattery from them? Or any other game company, for that matter... that's the biggest reason I pretty much stopped gaming.

Re:They better... (1)

R0ll0tomasi (1882428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932882)

the rumor out there now is that "Titan" having been the working title of the unannounced Halo MMO might be just that by Blizzard. MMOFPS as a next generation MMO?

Re:They better... (1)

R0ll0tomasi (1882428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932916)

the rumor/story i have heard recently on a vid podcast related to WoW is that "Titan" is actually the Halo MMO which they are developing b/c that name "titan" was the working internal title of the Halo MMO that never saw the light of day..

I miss Blizzard. (4, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932066)

I remember back when Blizzard was an awesome company with great customer service. Well, that, and when the gamers buying their games were the "customers" they were so great to.

That Activision merger seems to have totally killed the company we used to know. Not that this is totally surprising, mind you, but it's sad. I would guess that this was a matter of the Blizzard company officials not being paranoid enough to check the fine print in their merger deal. Either that, or they were ready to cash out.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932102)

I'm sure the Activision merger had a lot to do with it, but I think the rampant success of World of Warcraft has inflated their ego. The way they released Starcraft II content leading up to its release was done with a tone of "Feast your eyes on yon game! We, Blizzard, have made it, and therefore it is good!"

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932176)

The fact that the adoring masses largely lapped it up didn't exactly do much to dissuade them from that approach...

The annoying thing about Blizzard is that they are currently in the "Obnoxiously prideful" stage; but that doesn't become the "Hubristic" stage unless they fuck up somehow....

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

AndrewGOO9 (1251062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932186)

"Feast your eyes on yon game! We, Blizzard, have made it, and therefore it is good!"

By Blizzard, I think you mean Valve. :)

Re:I miss Blizzard. (2)

chispito (1870390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932654)

"Feast your eyes on yon game! We, Blizzard, have made it, and therefore it is good!"

By Blizzard, I think you mean Valve. :)

You mean the same Valve that has done more than any other company to promote user generated content?

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933452)

The same valve that buys up user-generated content (of bedroom 'studios')...... and claims it's all by Valve

see: counter-strike, day of defeat, alien swarm, portal, DoTA... pretty much anything that isn't Half-Life or Team Fortress.

and their rabid gullible fanboys gobble it up like nothing including the whole 'source engine is made from scratch' lie.

It's unfortunate too many deny the acts of 'valvesimmilation'.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (4, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932538)

I don't think so. I was a WoW player for about 5 years, and they were great about dealing with the community and addressing concerns until a couple of months after the merger. After that, they started doing stupid things about privacy and security on a pretty epic scale; see, for instance, the "Real ID" fiasco.

And before everyone jumps in with "they backed down!"...

1. They said in an interview shortly later that they weren't doing that "for the time being". In English, "won't X for the time being" means "will X, but not yet".
2. In fact, the new forums did display your real name on the screen when you logged in. Just your name, not anyone else's (yet), but... Plain text over the open internet? That's real smart.
3. They still (last I heard) haven't added any capacity for aliases or handles to the "Real ID" thing.
4. They still use your login name as your key for inviting people, making it much easier to crack accounts than it used to be.
5. All of this directly contradicts statements Blizzard had made about privacy or security prior to the merger.

Net result, I went ahead and wrote to privacy@ and told them to delete all my personal information, because I no longer feel I have justified confidence that they will not, at some unspecified future date, decide to show real names to anyone and everyone. Went from 3 active subscriptions to no chance of ever buying from them again. Very, very, slick relationship management, there.

I used to know at least a dozen people who played WoW. Now, no one I know who has any kind of security or law background, or even a basic IT background, plays.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932852)

This post is full of weapons grade stupid, well done.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933208)

I hate to break this to you, but your real name is absolutely not a secret. Not even your SSN is a secret, if you think about what 'secret' means. Both of these are a matter of public record, and are absolutely trivial to discover about you by anyone and everyone with whom you trade data bits. If you think you have 'privacy' online, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

In short, if you're in public, expect to be in public. And it goes without saying that the internet is 'in public'.

I know this isn't a popular idea, but I just thought I'd chime in here because you've illustrated a decently bad example of your thesis. By way of saying that Blizzard is less of the company they used to be, you're simply illustrating that they are coming to grips with the realities of the online world. It isn't the wild west any more, and Blizzard is reflecting that. You're not, but that's scarcely their fault.

I'll sum up by offering that you could easily find better examples...

Re:I miss Blizzard. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933272)

You're dumb.

They were going to farking broadcast it to people.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933382)

Know this: They are not alone. By 'tomorrow' the whole notion of anonymity online will be gone from any and all mainstream places. You'll still be able to create unique and disposable handles on some sites, but the vast majority will be tied to, say, your Facebook account, and will proudly display your real name.

I did not fail to comprehend what Blizzard was planning to do. You, on the other hand, have failed to realize the impact of the popularity of things like Facebook's API.

And I'd like to pre-stipulate that Facebook may or may not win out. It could well be some other service entirely that manages your identity online. That's not relevant. SOMETHING will unify you amongst any and all main stream media sources online. Count on it.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933338)

Just because it's possible to find our name doesn't mean we shouldn't make it as hard as possible. I'm sure someone who is really determined to find my name and who knows a bit about IT can find me. That doesn't mean every psycho I 'kill' on WoW can find me in order to beat me up in real life, and I'm glad about that.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933404)

See my other reply, but you're a dinosaur in terms of the emerging internet. Change is happening all around you, and you're failing to adapt.

As am I, to be sure, but still the point remains.

Further, how many WoW players actually COULD beat you up? Also, with identity attached, would it be easier or more difficult to get law enforcement to rectify such behavior?

If society is structured around identity, most of the gaps you're fretting about would go away. It's only when we're assumed to be concealed that we set ourselves up for exposure.

Well, duh! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933378)

Everyone's name is public record. HOWEVER, the relationship between your full name and your aliases is NOT. This is the problem with the RealID login.

Re:Well, duh! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933446)

True. But this is going away, so you may as well deal with it in the near-term as opposed to getting hurt by the transition.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932958)

As opposed to every other company in the history of the universe who was releasing something that was highly anticipated. Why, I remember when Apple was launching the iPhone, Jobs came out on stage was like, "Uh, well, it's OK I guess, if you care about phones or something, but, you know, its no big deal or anything." Ditto for Microsoft launching pretty much anything - I know I was feeling kind of bad for them when they had their "I'm a PC, and I think my mom doesn't really love me" marketing campaign around the launch of Windows 7.

Remember back in the day, when Blizzard was properly humble? Hell, I still remember the marketing materials that came out for Diablo II, which were basically a suicide note from the development team in which they talked about their various failings in life.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a late lunch at Subway, who has as their motto "Probably better than eating from a garbage bin."

Re:I miss Blizzard. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932340)

Actually, if you read the EULAs surrounding Stacraft 2 map editor, you'll notice that ANYTHING you make becomes property of Blizzard. This jackassery was not unexpected.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

Meeni (1815694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933306)

This is an obviously abusive contract. I don't know the status in the US, but in the European union, an illegal clause in a contract is not enforceable.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933430)

An illegal clause in a EULA makes the EULA void in the US. However, do you really want to go against Blizzards lawyers in court, who would like nothing more than to rip you to pieces, bankrupt you, and destroy your reputation? Even if you win, it could take years to get your legal fees paid.

'Tis the unfortunate reality of the modern consumer-corporate relationship in the USA. Even though the vast majority of EULAs are illegal, few, if any, have been tested in court because of the resources and time required to challenge them.

Your memory betrays you (5, Insightful)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932588)

This is the same company that stomped on people over Starcraft LAN tools long before Activision got in the picture.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932762)

The merger with Activision befuddled me. Blizzard was on top of the video game world, it didn't seem like they needed anyone else. It just reeks of a top level buyout cashgrab

Re:I miss Blizzard. (5, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932886)

I remember back when Blizzard was an awesome company with great customer service. Well, that, and when the gamers buying their games were the "customers" they were so great to.

What timeline were you living in? Blizzard has been known to be quite hostile to modders and independent developers for some time now. Just look at the original map editor for Starcraft. Look at what they did to bnetd [wikipedia.org] . Heck, I'm surprised to no end that the makers of bwapi [google.com] have been allowed to continue with the project, given that the project relies on hacking the Starcraft client via DLL injection.

Re:I miss Blizzard. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933006)

They want the guy to change the name of his mod and suddenly the golden fairy that made love to you in your sleep is your evil step father that gets drunk and beats you. Over react much?

When you see something like this... (3, Funny)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932132)

...a smart company with plenty of resources like Blizzard/Activation should be saying: "Hey, you guys want a job?"

Re:When you see something like this... (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932154)

Who do you think they are...Valve? :p

Re:When you see something like this... (4, Funny)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932552)

In unrelated news Valve has put out an offer to an unnamed independent team to help work on an upcoming also unnamed SciFi Action MMORPG...

Re:When you see something like this... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932640)

World of Portal 4 Dead?

Re:When you see something like this... (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932862)

World of Portal 4 Dead?

- Episode 3 - The Freeman" C'mon Gabe, get in motion. :(

Re:When you see something like this... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932244)

And another company now as, or at least wants to talk. (bottom of page of the 2nd link)

What good is the damn internet? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932194)

If people can just come along and knock your shit down?

Re:What good is the damn internet? (1)

AndrewGOO9 (1251062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932260)

Because it's given everyone a voice to say just about whatever they want and people have chosen to use that voice to routinely demonstrate their ignorance, disregard any sort of concrete evidence and regularly illustrate a lack of respect to some degree of their fellow human beings. But hey, that's the internet. /Ta-da

Re:What good is the damn internet? (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932460)

To complain and insult people.

Re:What good is the damn internet? (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933200)

If people can just come along and knock your shit down?

Do not despair...here is a nice song that will be stuck in your head now...

I get knocked down but I get up again
You're never going to keep me down
I get knocked down but I get up again
You're never going to keep me down...

I'm not saying it is right... but just because something isn't always seen as correct and is bombarded from many angles does not make it pointless or even wrong. I understand your sentiment and I will say the principles of the internet will always allow scumbags, intellectuals, lolcats, 8 year old girls on youtube, vast indices of knowledge, crazy scientology nuts, people with an agenda to sue, people who create works for the common good, Carlos Mencia fansites, Newegg.com, and much more.

The lack of rules helps to promote those to prosper and stifles potential also... perhaps just a few more turns until we leave Anarchy and a new "government" is applied - I just hope it is one embracing free speech and not that of despotism. You have a point but cheer up sir!

Music Videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932206)

Does anyone else hate gameplay videos that feature loud and repetitive (and bad) music that doesn't go with the video at all? Note to creators: your idea of the best genre ever isn't necessarily everybody elses.

Re:Music Videos (1)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932348)

Yes, sometimes it's obnoxious, sometimes people pick music that doesn't fit with the visuals. But your second point, while true, has no bearing on anything. No one makes music (or visuals, or whatever) choices based on what other people might possibly like, unless you're producing something meant to be bought by other people. Then you'd cater to those preferences. If you're making an internet video like this, you're going to pick the music you like, and you're not going to give a shit if other people like your personal taste.

Re:Music Videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932668)

Since they were probably already running afoul of any number of things by doing what they were doing, could they not have just recycled some music from Starcraft or even Warcraft?

ummm (0, Troll)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932214)

So they were given essentially permission to modify a single game, World of Warcraft, and extrapolated that they thus had permission to incorporate whatever other games Blizzard has? And it's uncool of Blizzard to say "hey, wait a minute!"?

Re:ummm (3, Informative)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932308)

It's Starcraft II that they modified - to play like World of Warcraft.

Re:ummm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932756)

Ahhhhh....alright. TFA actually did not say that. In that case then yeah, Blizzard's probably in the wrong.

Re:ummm (1, Informative)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932350)

You got that backwards. It's a mod of StarCraft, and it doesn't incorporate ANYTHING from World of Warcraft except the title. (Although I'm pretty sure "World of X" is pretty generic in and of itself.)

Other than the title, this is just a copy of any of a million 3rd person RPGs. I haven't done more than watch the Youtube trailer, so I don't know what the mod-team was promising to do and if any of that would cause problems, but changing the UI and the camera angle on the game doesn't seem to warrant any 'death by lawsuit' threats....unless, as other have surmised, they happen to have a 3rd person RPG in the StarCraft universe planned.

Re:ummm (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932354)

Nope. They took the tools included with every copy of Starcraft II and used it to make a World of Warcraft-style.

A better analogy would be: they were given a bunch of Legos, then were smacked for putting them together to make the Lego logo.

Re:ummm (4, Informative)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932366)

No. Read TFS, if not TFA.

It was a mod for Starcraft 2. They were making a mod of Starcraft 2 with serious RPG elements (all of which is perfectly reasonable, given the tools that are available) and named their mod "World of Starfcraft" (for obvious reasons).

If the cease and desist is just because their mod name was too close to that of an official Blizzard product, I'm sure this will be a non-story and the mod will continue with a more original name. If the C&D was just because Blizzard don't want RPG elements to be used in a mod for their strategy game, that is some serious arse-hattery,

Re:ummm (3, Informative)

muffen (321442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932856)

From TFA: Update: Activision Blizzard has sent a cease and desist notice to YouTube in order to remove the videos showing off the mod. According to various sources, Blizzard's intention is not to stop the project itself, but to protect their properties names, whether they plan to work on a "World of Starcraft" game in the future is anyone's best guess.

SOmthing I have come to expect: (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932264)

Blizzard will make the UI changes available in the options menu of the inevitable expansion without crediting the people they obviously got the idea from. If questioned about this, they will claim that the team stole the idea to make StarCraft more like WoW from them.

Sometimes, I hate how cynical I am. Then I surf to /.

Re:SOmthing I have come to expect: (2)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933146)

I hate C&D as much as anyone here, but where did the original idea come from? World of Warcraft, by Blizzard, of course. Then from that, it was Everquest. Then various MUDs and MOOs.

The _idea_ is clearly not protected by anyone's laws (IANAL, usual disclaimers etc.), but the name "World of Starcraft" is obviously Blizzard's trademark.

However, if the C&D is not clear about what is the eact violation so that the authors can rectify it, I think Blizzard should be hammered down, maybe even lose that exact name. Such behaviour should not be tolerated anymore.

As for the Starcraft AI... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932268)

The AI article was quite interesting, on all the various techniques that they had to use to avoid hardcoding exploitable behaviors and use heuristics to obtain desireable emergent behaviors. Fascinating stuff.

Disappointingly, though, the punch line boiled down to "We discovered a tactic that is functionally unbeatable if you have superhuman micro and aren't handicapped by starcraft's(sorry fans) frankly shitty interface". Much of the most interesting AI work was them allowing their team to survive long enough to build the unbeatable mutalisk swarm, along with a little bit to build a threat heat map and a target value map to guide the swarm as it picked the enemy apart.

Essentially, mutalisks' virtues were "balanced" by the fact that their range sucks and they tend to clump, which makes them easy meat for AoE AA attacks. It turns out, if your micro is inhumanly fast, you can break and reform the mutalisk clump fast enough to avoid most AoE attacks while still achieving concentrated fire on high value targets.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932454)

Actually, mass mutalisk use in competitive starcraft became popular only after clumping techniques were created. Without clumping, it was far too easy to pick apart mutalisks as they flew in one by one to start attacking. With a clump and the nearly continuous movement, a stack of mutalisks can dance in and out of range of enemy units and snipe targets at the edge of defenses.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932574)

True; but things like Valkyries and whatever the Zerg AoE aircraft is were introduced in Brood War as a counter. Apparently, with the APS provided by an AI interacting through an API, you can even outrun those.

Since the competition was AI vs. AI, and the Berkeley guys cleaned up, they obviously deserve kudos; but it is arguably a weakness of Starcraft's design that such a lot of it revolves around high-speed micro. The AIs just make that more blatant.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933342)

True; but things like Valkyries and whatever the Zerg AoE aircraft is were introduced in Brood War as a counter.

The thing about Valkyries though... is that they were almost never used in high-level play. Relatively early mutas (lair right into spire right into mutas) came out in most ZvTs, but I can think of two Korean games in two or three years of watching quite a few where you got to see Valkyries. (I'm sure there were plenty more, but they were not common.) Generally the counter was just the usual M&M plus turrets.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933420)

Starcraft micro is nearly useless without solid or good macro. Most people notice the flashy micro in the gameplay without really understanding the macrolevel strategy of what builds to use against a certain player, where and how to move the army, and so forth. The zerg aoe unit and the valkyries are almost never used, as they're bad.

The AI proved good versus other AIs, but it would get slaughtered versus human top level players due to the strategic inflexibility. (humans won't let you sit and build units for 15 minutes before harassing)

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (5, Informative)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932532)

Having programmed an AI for that same competition, I can assure you that nobody should be surprised an AI can beat a human.

You can find a list of the rules to the competition here [ucsc.edu] . One thing to notice is that there are some glitches that are permitted. Having an AI that can control and make decisions for each individual unit almost at the same time (not really at the same time, the AI still has to go through steps and issue commands sequentially, but it's so fast it might as well be same time) means the AI has a HUUUGE leg up on even the best Starcraft pros whose actions per minute only range in the few hundreds.

All you need to beat a human is to program in strategies that just need the speed of an AI to execute

And if you want to watch some good micro-managment, on that website you can view the final matches between AIs in each tournament here [ucsc.edu] .

Wrong link. (4, Informative)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932614)

That was the wrong link to the result. For a better summary go here [ucsc.edu] .

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (2)

BCGlorfindel (256775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933334)

Having programmed an AI for that same competition, I can assure you that nobody should be surprised an AI can beat a human.

Turns out the AI didn't and can't. From a different article on the tournament [ucsc.edu] :
The showcase game of the competition was a bot versus human match. In the exhibition match, =DoGo=, a World Cyber Games 2001 competitor played against the top ranking bot of the competition. The result was an exciting man versus machine match highlighting the state of the art in real-time strategy game AI.

While the expert player was capable of defeating the top performing bots in the competition, the results are quite encouraging. Read on for complete results.

Even the original article noted that the AI 'victory' against their human pro was the result of the human player artificially altering their play to build only a single unit they wanted to test out(Goliaths).

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932550)

It's called the Magic Box trick and high-level SC2 players use it as well. It's basically spreading your muta's far enough out that they can all attack without taking splash damage. If you just move-hold the muta's can take care of plenty of Thors.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932808)

Worse than that, the AI's would be tremendously frustrating to play against. Wouldn't this kill the regular game if players never know whether they are playing against another human being or an AI? Is there a way of knowing whether or not your opponent is using the API? AI vs. AI would be fun, but human vs. AI would suck.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932982)

Worse than that, the AI's would be tremendously frustrating to play against. Wouldn't this kill the regular game if players never know whether they are playing against another human being or an AI? Is there a way of knowing whether or not your opponent is using the API? AI vs. AI would be fun, but human vs. AI would suck.

The mods required to inject the AI code into the game prevent you from playing through battle.net

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932914)

Makes me think the next contest should put a cap on AI command input speed, particularly if it is property that could be easily altered. It would make it a lot more like a chess AI problem, then just a raw speed problem.

Re:As for the Starcraft AI... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933018)

Makes me think the next contest should put a cap on AI command input speed, particularly if it is property that could be easily altered. It would make it a lot more like a chess AI problem, then just a raw speed problem.

If you do that then the best algorithms will perform as badly as the worse ones. Unless you're talking about human vs AI, then I could see that being plausible. But how else should you level the playing field? Should the AI only be able to command what is on screen as opposed to all units at once?

Really, what does anyone expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932338)

It's old news that Blizzard are litigious arseholes who target their own fanbase, they were at it even before the merger with Activision, which is pretty much downhill in the same way that a cliff is.

This is just a trademark dispute, nothing else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932342)

This has nothing at all to do with how good the mod is. Any RTS or MMO mod or game with "____craft" in the name gets a C&D from Blizzard. I got one like 12 years ago for a mod for the original Starcraft. This goes even further, using the entire word "Starcraft" as well as using "World of." If they just change the name they will be perfectly fine.

Re:This is just a trademark dispute, nothing else (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932386)

I'm totally going to make a game called "World of Craft". Let's see them waste money on crochet and needlepoint!

Re:This is just a trademark dispute, nothing else (1)

pugugly (152978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932554)

Depends - Which is worse - being C&D'd by Blizzard, or by Kirby [kirbykirbykirby.com] ?

Though I hate to admit it - Imagine a MMORPG based on that - {G};

Pug

Re:This is just a trademark dispute, nothing else (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933456)

World of KirbyCraft?

obvious AI would win... (1)

MichaelKristopeit401 (1976824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932388)

the game is so trivialized that "actions per minute" is the sole stat at the highest competitive levels. removing the physical limitations from making moves allows the AI to operate at "action per minute" rates orders of magnitude faster.

joshua wouldn't play.

Re:obvious AI would win... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933126)

Yep, but that's not exclusive to Blixxard. Almost every 'real time strategy' game is really a 'real time tactics' game. Also, the speed at which units appear is mind bending for 'real time' - it's really an 'accelerated-time tactics' game, where there's no time to give real strategic thought to the game, not the style of control necessary for strategic activities. About the only thing which even comes close to a true strategy game is Supreme Commander 1 (not 2) - and that's still accelerated-time.

Re:obvious AI would win... (1)

MichaelKristopeit401 (1976824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933292)

perhaps you have never played golden tee '99

Re:obvious AI would win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933414)

Hearts of Iron

Serves them right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932402)

If you create content for big corporations for free, you deserve no less than a legal shafting. I mean seriously, how blind do you have to be not to see how creative fans get treated? Every other month there's some corporation threatening another fan project. When will people get it? If you so much as think about touching IP from big corporations, you will get burned. Ignore them or face the consequences.

Re:Serves them right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932594)

Dude, fuck you. You're angry and are ignoring logic because some guy got a C&D. Get over yourself.

What if Blizzard has a MMO in mind and they want to name it that? It's far easier to just tell them to fuck off for using THEIR trademark, so they can rapidly change it and continue working on the game, than wait a few years until the name is established and causes even more trouble (You'd probably be the first to go "OMG THEY LET IT RUN FOR A FEW YEARS AND THEN SUED, BAHHHH!!!").

They're doing the right thing.

Note from lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932420)

"Please make game crappier. We don't wish to have our company name associated with anything of quality."

Coming soon, Blizzard sues Disney (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932422)

For having Worlds of Warriors in iCarly, one of the best mocking of WoW that I've seen.

Le sigh. In the old days we used to mock each others games by having mock characters - and we liked it.

Move along, nothing to see here (1)

LastGunslinger (1976776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932432)

This has nothing to do with the content of the mod, only the name. Blizzard supports the modding community to an extent few, if any, other gaming companies do. If he changes the name, I'm certain that Blizzard would have no problem with what he is doing. The mod has the potential to be high quality, and if it became popular, Blizzard would have to deal with issues if they are indeed planning on releasing a World of StarCraft.

Wait... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932482)

Blizzard is suing people for a mod that makes one of Blizzard's games, Starcraft 2, more like another one of Blizzard's games, World of Warcraft? How exactly is Blizzard harmed by this; is it causing Blizzard to lose game sales to themselves?

Re:Wait... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932632)

Blizzard is suing people for a mod that makes one of Blizzard's games, Starcraft 2, more like another one of Blizzard's games, World of Warcraft? How exactly is Blizzard harmed by this; is it causing Blizzard to lose game sales to themselves?

Your description of the cyclical nature of this controversy evokes an image of Blizzard with their own head up their own ass.

Code beating human ain't a surprise... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932524)

The problem in the RTS genre is that there's *way* too much emphasis put on micro-management. When I write *way*, I really mean **wwaayy** or something like that (jokes welcome).

The fact that so much emphasis is put on micro-management instead of strategy leaves the door to a great many hacks/cheats and also make it easy to write AI beating even top-notch players.

Bring us RTS where the 'S' means something. A lot of people would love it.

Btw, I was highly ranked on Case's ladder at Warcraft II but not in the top 10. Yet my rank was due to me outsmarting my opponents using real strategies. In Warcraft III it became much harder if not impossible (besides a few cheap builds that get rendered useless by the next anti-imba-patch anyway and that anyway aren't "strategies").

So yup, please, bring back the 'S' in RTS...

Re:Code beating human ain't a surprise... (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932610)

Agreed. I'm not worth crap with a mouse in an RTS, but if I have someone who has pin-point accuracy sitting at the screen following my commands, we win almost every single time.

That's what they make turn-based strategy games for, as far as I'm concerned :)

Here we go again... (3, Insightful)

kamelkev (114875) | more than 3 years ago | (#34932680)

So apparently they already had his demo yanked off of youtube, and the above linked youtube video is just a repost - so they are taking it fairly seriously.

I am always amazed on how little forsight is put into legal decisions like this one.

Why don't they just hire the guy, and let him run with it. He clearly has the skillset they are looking for - he made the entire app, demo and produced a bulk of materials by himself. Sounds like he deserves at least an interview with them...

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932768)

Actually if you read this:

http://pixelatedgeek.com/2011/01/world-of-starcraft-update-bad-news/

Riot Games just offered this guy a job!

I demand the Streisand Effect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34932996)

OMG! I hadn't even heard of this, but my copy of SC2 has been unused since about 3 days after launch...
I would totally play WoS - I demand the Streisand Effect be implemented and someone point me to a working copy!

must.play.now.

What C&D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933014)

I have looked through this and see no mention of a C&D for the mod. Blizzard-Activision have only filed DMCAs with Yahoo for the video. Judging from the fact no copyright appears to have been broken it is likely a lawyer somewhere has not properly researched that the video was a mod.

The mod I want to see is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34933248)

...World of Netcraft! Gives actual confirmation on which enemies are dying.

Diablo 3 (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34933264)

I remember when www.diablo3.com was bought by Blizzard.

The guy that owned it was a huge diablo 2 fan, and he built the blog to track all news about an upcoming sequel. Blizzard didn't want to announce any plans yet for their upcoming game, but they wanted to announce that they were going to start working on a "new game". Since the guy was such a fan, he sold them the site, and honored their request to not announce that Blizzard was going to make an announcement about announcing a game. Really, I am not making this up.

Around that same time, Blizzard trademarked a ton of other names, to hide which game they were going to announce. I could swear that "World of Starcraft" was one of them.

My guess is that WoS is already in pre-production over at Blizzard. When they saw the trailer for this mod, they freaked out. Not using a trademark means that they will lose it, yet they don't want to give any spoilers for what their next project may be.

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