Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Blizzard Releases In-House Design Tools To Starcraft Modders

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the opening-the-toolshed dept.

Games 96

MojoKid writes "Blizzard has released a powerful new suite of tools for Starcraft 2 modders and developers that fundamentally change the nature of what's possible in the popular RTS game. Now, players can use the same architectural and graphics design toolsets that Blizzard has used internally to build new units, tilesets, and models. Furthermore, these tools are now available even with the Starcraft 2: Starter Edition kit. Critically, artists will now be able to incorporate images and effects designed in programs like 3ds Max, Photoshop, or other high-end particle systems. The exciting thing about these releases is that Starcraft 2's modding list is as interesting as the primary game, if not moreso. Fans have faithfully created adaptations of famous Starcraft maps, implemented entirely new rulesets that blend the old, micro-friendly playstyle of Starcraft with the modern engine, and even gone total conversion with Warcraft ported over into the SC2 game."

cancel ×

96 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Fixing literally everything (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46091825)

Except the one thing keeping me from buying your product. Cut the stupid DRM, idiots.

Re:Fixing literally everything (2, Funny)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 8 months ago | (#46091863)

Bb-b-but I want control!

Re:Fixing literally everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091887)

fuck off

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092093)

Bb-b-but I want control!

Whoa, stay away from the reapertech

Re:Fixing literally everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091883)

shut your fat cunt face you pirate CUNT

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091951)

shut your fat cunt face you pirate CUNT

You think DRM affects pirates?

Pirates are the only people it DOESN'T impact. Is it really that hard to maybe brush up on something before you go around insulting people over it?

Re: Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092091)

DRM affects people that want to be "minor pirates".

As long as people keep their DRM in THEIR APP I stopped caring. Break my CD writer or install root kits and its fine to bitch like hell.

Blizzards DRM is about the most reasonable out there. They focus on PLAYING the game and more on preventing cheating.. Note breaking your system. (Of course the Mac version is saner than the PC version)

Re: Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093133)

DRM affects people that want to be "minor pirates".

How to be a minor pirate: Go to the Pirate Bay. Click on a torrent. Download pre-cracked, DRM-free game. Play.
Plausibility of your statement: zero.

As long as people keep their DRM in THEIR APP I stopped caring. Break my CD writer or install root kits and its fine to bitch like hell.

Yeah, sure. If you are opposed to DRM because you realize how foolish it is, you can just never buy anything with DRM. That works great! ... until everything has DRM. Might as well give up gaming then. Yeah that's a solution, give up something I like because of decisions made by misguided assholes. Heaven forbid we have a solution that involves the misguided assholes being the ones to change!

Maybe you are willing to be pushed around like that. I'm not. I am a potential paying customer. Like any potential customer, I will pay a reasonable price IF you deliver a product I want. I do not want DRM. A few companies like GOG get it and I like doing business with them. As for the rest, right now there's only one way I can assure that I won't get DRM. Change that and I buy games.

Oh then there's the whole thing about how games with DRM are typically cracked and available on torrents within HOURS of release. So you see, all the paying customers who have DRM-related problems (which are legion) get to suffer just to have something that doesn't even work. Look we gave this DRM thing a try, it didn't work and it's not going to work. It's time to stop doing things that make no sense.

Re: Fixing literally everything (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46093525)

How to be a minor pirate: Go to the Pirate Bay. Click on a torrent. Download pre-cracked, DRM-free game. Play.

Plausibility of your statement: zero.

I think you mean, try to find out what the current country code for TPB is, and then circumvent any ISP blocking you have, then go to Pirate Bay, get served pop-up ad, hope your AV software prevents the drive-by, and hope you're not fooled into downloading Flash Player Deluxe from the PU that AdBlock on Chrome still doesn't filter out because it's a Java on-click, click the DOWNLOAD NOW button instead of the tiny magnet link button because it's not obvious, get more malware installed instead of actually getting your software, which I hope you chose from a trusted uploader, since on release day there's dozens of fakes.

Also, hope that your ISP hasn't sent you a three-strike letter already, since you forgot to install Peer-somethingorother, and the default on uTorrent was to seed until the cows came home.

It might seem simple to you, but it's not that simple to mom and pop.

Casual pirates are getting pushed out.

Re: Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093637)

It might seem simple to you, but it's not that simple to mom and pop.

So you're saying, the people who can be bothered to use their literacy skills and learn how it works are the ones who get the most out of it? Sounds like ... just about everything else in life.

The only intuitive interface is the nipple. For everything else, what you get out of it is proportional to what you put into it. It doesn't get more fair than that. Those users who accept this reality are the ones who can self-teach. The rest experience the problems you outlined. I had a choice about which category I would fit into, just like everyone else. I chose to learn new things and it really wasn't difficult, certainly much much less than what it would take to be some kind of expert.

Other people with different value systems that involve resistance to self-teaching and resentment about learning new things, well those people will choose differently. We all sleep in the bed we made. I'll never understand why some people will whine, complain, and cry about it when they could be doing something about it. It must be some sort of childish entitlement mentality.

Re: Fixing literally everything (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46094973)

It must be some sort of childish entitlement mentality.

A seemingly ironic comment about the ability to use The Pirate Bay...

Re: Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096707)

that is why you should help your mom&pop installing adblock+ in the firefox you installed for them, make sure firefox is set to block popups, and I really hope you helped them turn off Java in the web browsers long time ago, no later than januari 2013, right?
Also you can help them to bookmark the .org domain since it always work :-)

btw, I have never used uTorrent, but it don't autostart when you start windows I hope? I really hate programs that do that.

Re: Fixing literally everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095763)

Instead of posting your statement that is meant to start a flame war why not give some actual complaints about the software. The statement that "DRM is bad" is horribly broad. Why not list the specific elements of DRM you dislike. When you leave DRM as your reasoning it honestly just makes you look like a pirate to companies like Blizzard.

The things i dislike about Starcraft 2 are the following.
1) The TOS, specifically the section about the rights given to Blizzard for content I developed.
-The day of release the TOS literately gave Blizzard ownership of content you created and uploaded to b.net, last i check they had retracted this, not the license just gives them all your rights. They might as well own your creative works. Each of the rights Starcraft 2's TOS gives Blizzard should require a separate contract, that guarantees you have control over your works. as it stands they can legally, steal your idea and further develop it in ways you both don't want and may hurt you financially in the future. As it was written at my last reading nearly a year ago, they could take near complete ownership of the DoTA games, possibly clones as well.
2) The always on Connection, i don't really care about achievements that much. And those that do usually don't care if someone hacks them. It's obvious by their play style if they didn't earn an achievement. You don't need to force an always on connection just for this.
3) No LAN play, this is a big one. One of the successes of the first Starcraft was LAN play. Granted this meant many pirated copies being made just do we could have a full 8 players in each game, but this worked in Blizzards favor. While a few of us never played the game beyond that many of us went out and purchased the game so we could play it on b.net. This is what made the original Starcraft a success. b.net was where cheating was not allowed, and where hacking was punished. There were no monetary gains from b.net alone, it was where we went to have fun. I even worked with guilds to create more and better content, with fame being our only reward. The current system could take lessons from back then.
4) Why can't I have a private tournament without Blizzards involvement? Another success of the original Starcraft, that was taken away. If me and 20 friends want to host a contest to see who is the best, we shouldn't need to contact Blizzard to do it. It should be something we can do on our own, with us specifying any and all rewards. (And no Blizzard doesn't deserve or need a cut.)
5) Balance, in the original Starcraft balance was an ongoing issue. In Starcraft 2 the current campaign designates the most powerful race. Maybe you shouldn't have separated the campaigns, or separated them in a way that let us the player choose what race we liked. If the game is good you shouldn't need to resort to marketing gimmicks to make it stand.

My final conclusion the original Starcraft is far better than Starcraft 2. The issues above did stop at least one sale of the expansion of strcraft 2 as I refuse to buy it until I hear from others that all of these issues were fixed. I don't really care that much about DRM, want to fix DRM then lower the price, my experience has been that people tend to favor legitimate copies over pirated, and the only thing that stops us is the almighty dollar. While I do think that some level of DRM is needed it doesn't need to be at this level, basic protections are all you need, just enough to make the entanglement copy more valuable than a copy. (Hint: b.net online multiplayer was enough for the first Starcraft, nothing else was needed.) Spend more of your time and money on making a game we the gamer want and less on trying to making money and the game will make money on it's own. (Another hint the team who made/are working on WoW should have little to nothing to do with the teams working on Starcraft. many Starcraft players don't even like WoW, we don't want to see elements of WoW in out favorite title. Warcraft 3 maybe but even that is a bit of a stretch, I wasn't too happy to see that Starcraft 2 looked almost identical to Warcraft 3, with only a basic graphics boost, and some of the other features poorly implemented. Honestly Warcraft 3 was a better game, and I wasn't too fond of that title either.)

Re:Fixing literally everything (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091885)

SC2 has an offline mode. You only have to login once to "activate" it after installing.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091911)

And I'm pretty sure (haven't checked myself) the pirates have already cracked that little protection too.

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Interesting)

segin (883667) | about 8 months ago | (#46093805)

Yep, they did! Their solution? A pre-activated save file.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096563)

SC2 has an offline mode. You only have to login once to "activate" it after installing.

Not true. You have to periodically log into BattleNet via the game launcher or it will eventually "deactivate" itself again.

I found that out the hard way after not playing for about 6 months, and trying to play offline Campaign when my internet went down in a snow storm.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46091913)

The 'DRM' is actually something a lot of people like about Starcraft 2, even if they don't know it.. Everyone having a single account allows Blizzard to easily maintain the ladder, which is arguably one of Starcraft 2's main selling points.

Why not tie this to account ownership in an attempt to deter piracy and trolls?

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46091953)

What does that have to do with playing a single player game?

Re:Fixing literally everything (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 8 months ago | (#46092041)

I dunno, in this case it just doesn't seem like that big of deal. Single player requires a single, one time activation, after that you're good to go. The only caveat to that is that you can't play your online account's single player campaign on the offline account, which is a bit annoying (and probably even bypassable by copying over some files to the guest account folder structure) but if you know you're going to play offline just start the campaign that way from the beginning.

More importantly, SC2 is predominantly a multi-player game; single player, while fun, just isn't the main selling point. And the account login, and corresponding access to the ladder, is a big part of what makes the multi-player ecosystem work.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46092105)

It matters to me. I have an opinion. I understand and don't hold hostility to those who didn't have the same opinion.

As to being "predominantly a multiplayer game" that still doesn't necessity online activity(and in terms of game performance, it's a liability when you just want a LAN game). It's still a completely unnecessary restriction I'm not going to support.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

niado (1650369) | about 8 months ago | (#46092203)

It's predominantly an online multiplayer game. LAN gaming is a very small segment of the SC2 player base. The dramatically vast majority of playtime on SC2 is in online multiplayer.

You can play single-player offline, as others have mentioned, but it's still DRM'd and you have to either crack it or activate it.

There are certainly gamers, such as yourself, that would like a completely non-DRM'd version, but the demand is very low.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092265)

Playtime is weighted towards online users, but the player base predominately doesn't touch multiplayer, according to blizzard.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092509)

LAN gaming is a small segment of the player base solely because Blizzard hobbled and chained the fuck out of LAN mode. Technically, it doesn't even have one.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

segin (883667) | about 8 months ago | (#46093841)

Also because I don't know anyone else who also owns a copy of the game, a car, is willing to pack up their PC, and come over to my home to play against (or with) me.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about 8 months ago | (#46095109)

LAN parties are still alive and well. Yeah, in the era of broadband it's a lot harder to justify the old two-man LAN when Hamachi and the like make VPNs accessible to the masses and most games support easy connection to your friends online, but the experience of getting together with a bunch of friends and competing or cooperating in the same room is hard to beat.

Just last weekend I hosted a small LAN. Just six people showed up due to the weather, but we still had a great time. Cooperative titles like Payday 2 and TF2's Mann vs. Machine mode are great fun online with a good team, but it's just so much easier to communicate and coordinate in person that it ends up making things move more smoothly even when they're going horribly wrong in-game, making it more fun win or lose. Competitive titles are usually built for more people so we'd need closer to our normal of 10-12 for most of them to work, but topically enough a Starcraft II community gamemode called Squadron Tower Defense works brilliantly for 2v2 through 4v4 (1v1 is doable but has no margin for error).

Look around and if you live near a populated area I'll bet there's at least one public LAN event within 50 miles in the next few weeks.

As a side benefit the whole ability to really be face-to-face with the other players tends to eliminate a lot of the problems experienced in online gaming. Dickheads can't hide behind a dynamic IP and username, so trolling tends to be limited to good natured pranks and the like. Obviously there is the risk of some participants being intolerable either for their personality or occasionally their hygiene, but a good group will weed those out over time.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092087)

You can play single player with no connection to battle.net, apart from the achievements, which are logged server side, everything works.

Re:Fixing literally everything (2)

mozumder (178398) | about 8 months ago | (#46092821)

Because no one buys Starcraft to play the single-player game?

Re:Fixing literally everything (2)

Kookus (653170) | about 8 months ago | (#46091975)

I hate the always online mode of WoW. I want an offline version!

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46092017)

Yes, because a single-player campaign, for example, is totally identical to an MMO(that I also don't play).

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46094535)

Wooooooosh!

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092051)

give it time young padawan

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46092191)

I hate the always online mode of WoW. I want an offline version!

Yeah, because equating a game that is, by definition, massively multiplayer to one from a genre with a long history of single-player content, LAN party support, and not needing an Internet connection makes a load of sense. I can't understand why people are complaining at all.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Kookus (653170) | about 8 months ago | (#46093449)

*Whooooooosh*

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46094465)

I'm open to being corrected when I get something wrong (and whooshed when I missed the obvious), but I'm just not seeing it here after having re-read your comment quite a few times. Might I honestly suggest that you re-read it as well and try to view it from someone else's perspective? Because it looks like most of us responding to you caught the sarcasm just fine, but nonetheless misunderstood what you were apparently going for, which suggests to me that you didn't do a good job of conveying it.

To explain my perspective, and to put things in car analogy terms, after my first read of your comment, I thought that this was what you were going for with your comment:
Him: I hate car seats! I wish car seats were removed from all cars!
You: Yeah, and while we're at it, let's just go ahead and remove wheels from cars too, since that makes LOADS of sense!

That is, that you were making an argument by using a sarcastic retort to highlight how stupid his comment was. The problem, however, was that his comment wasn't stupid, so the exchange ended up looking more like this to me:
Him: I hate that they added a tow hitch as long as my arm on my smart car, and wish they hadn't put it on.
You: Yeah! They should totally remove tow hitches from all utility vehicles too, since no one needs those!

That is, that you were attempting the same sort of sarcastic retort, but that your argument fell flat.

Put differently, I thought the sarcasm was apparent on a first read. It certainly didn't whoosh by me. In fact, that's why I thought you were equating an MMO with an RTS, why I assumed you had made an argument that fell apart, and why I responded as I did. I don't appear to be alone in having read your comment that way either. If you were going for funny/ironic/spoof instead of serious, that's not at all apparent, even on re-reads, and I don't think that's on me.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Kookus (653170) | about 8 months ago | (#46099543)

It was just a play on the Sim City fiasco with their online only mode debate. It was sarcasm as you noted in that WoW is an MMORPG in which it's required to be online, as that's what the O is for. It actually had nothing to do with me disliking or liking DRM, only that we're making demands for changes to their ecosystem and we might as well get all crazy on them.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46100047)

Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying, and sorry for being "that guy" who needed to have the joke explained.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46092085)

They feel that for the six people on Slashdot that they dissuade from buying their product BECAUSE DRM!, that they'll actually get seven more paying customers by at least preventing the sort of piracy that makes you go to TPB.

Plenty of people have been burned by virus/malware from visiting TPB (more often in the spam and ads than the torrents), and they're one of the good sites.

It's not like the bean counters there are just willfully ignoring DRM. They weigh their options and make a choice.

You're free to choose not to buy DRM'd software, but it's hardly an insight...

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46092121)

And I think they deserve every single possible PR burn for it. It doesn't need to be insightful. It just needs to not reward them for being douches.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46092183)

Yeah, one time activation for single-player seems real douchey.

Re:Fixing literally everything (-1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46092217)

Yes. It does. Given the whole. "New system? What new system? That's not allowed" nonsense it would put you through. I'm not putting up with it.

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46092349)

Starcraft 2 has no such restriction for local play. You can install it on as many computers as you'd like; you can only have one concurrent logon to battle.net.

Re:Fixing literally everything (5, Informative)

hendrips (2722525) | about 8 months ago | (#46092523)

Unlike you (I assume), I play Starcraft II fairly avidly, and I have no idea what you're talking about. You seem to be implying that Blizzard has some sort of consumer hostile activation system that ties your account to a specific PC. This is not true; you can install the Starcraft II client on as many computers as you want*, and play on as many computers as you want, all with the same account.

In fact, after having lost and repurchased the original Starcraft game twice (computer died, couldn't find the disks), I consider online activation to be a very positive feature. I understand if you oppose online activation in general on ideological grounds, but don't try to tell me that you oppose this particular activation scheme because it's inconvenient. It is absolutely not.

*As far as I know. I've played on at least 3 or 4 different PCs, but if someone knows better please correct me.
 

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46092605)

But, but, DRM!

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093439)

The issue is that multiplayer requires battle.net, and there is no local lan multiplayer support.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093617)

Kind of. I believe there is "LAN support," but it requires an initial connection by all clients to battle.net initially. Correct me if I'm wrong (I probably am).

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Informative)

netsavior (627338) | about 8 months ago | (#46093739)

it uses some kind of "smart routing" I have no idea how it works, but something about peer to peer, bla bla bla... you have no lag with other people on your LAN, but you are still all connected to bnet.

People who demand offline LAN games are either
1) non-customers (people who would only play if they could pirate, so no big loss)
or
2) LAN party operators (this is an actual concern, for paying customers, and is currently hindering the ability of a "smalltime" eSports scene). I assume this has been solved at a pro level, either by holding it at high bandwidth venues, or by some blizzard local server magic not available to your average Joe-6port.

Either way, their online game not supporting offline multiplayer hardly makes them the Metallica of video games.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 8 months ago | (#46098747)

Either way, their online game not supporting offline multiplayer hardly makes them the Metallica of video games.

But their lawsuit [wikipedia.org] against bnetd did.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

segin (883667) | about 8 months ago | (#46093929)

Nope, there is a "party mode", however.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093685)

Sure, if your house burns, online activation is nice. The problem is that DRM prevents one from making backups, which would presumably survive any disaster if handled properly. You see a feature, I see a limitation of my rights and what I can do with what I purchased. Plus Blizzard might be bought and servers shut down.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 8 months ago | (#46094705)

In this case, what "backups" does it prevent? You're perfectly free to make copies of your Starcraft II disk itself, and that copy will work to install the game. Alternatively, you can download the installer from Blizzard itself and use that to install the game. You can back up your local savegame folder (although it also gets saved "to the cloud", so I don't see the point).

If Blizzard dies without releasing some kind of unlock patch, well, that sucks. Multiplayer's gone, and you'd have to use an "unofficial" method to break the DRM and get to singleplayer. Maybe someone will come up with a server implementation.

You see a feature, I see a limitation of my rights and what I can do with what I purchased.

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive; I see both. For my part, I'm mostly interested in the single player portion of the game anyhow. When the campaigns drop to $20, I pick them up. At that price, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for me.

Re:Fixing literally everything (3, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46095029)

1) If your house burnt down, you should be thrilled you bought some sort of license instead of a physical disc, because your license survives. Yay!

2) There is no DRM preventing you from making backups. This entire comment thread sticks on ice. The only DRM is a single registration at install. You are free to make as many copies as you like on as many machines as you like, and you are free to backup your disk as many times as you'd like. In fact, you can copy the directory wholesale to another device and POOF! it launches.

The only restriction is a 1:1 purchase:person for online play.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096787)

The only DRM is a single registration at install.

False.
The activation is time-limited so if you don't log in often enough, it will de-activate your copy and make offline mode unavailable until you log back in again.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095015)

but don't try to tell me that you oppose this particular activation scheme because it's inconvenient. It is absolutely not.

Hey, that's great. They let your re-install the game without needing the CD. It's quite nice of them to keep your key in the account you registered online with them. How nice.

Except when the bloody fucking game can't connect to their bloody servers and the damn thing doesn't let me play the game I paid for. Hey, I understand their main market is the multiplayer. I like that too. But going through the single-player campaign, and getting repeatedly blocked by their DRM is exceptionally inconvenient. So your statement is simply wrong.

And for some weird reason for a while there it had me log in, switch to the europe region, switch back, and only then it would make 1v1 available. I dunno, it's just a dumb bug and it's just like, a minute interruption, but every time I had to do this I cursed their

Seriously, for the amount of money that they're printing and the percentage of S. Korea that they own, they could afford to be the nice guy and ease up on the iron fist a bit. I'm positive they'd still make a profit.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46096935)

Unlike you (I assume), I play Starcraft II fairly avidly, and I have no idea what you're talking about. You seem to be implying that Blizzard has some sort of consumer hostile activation system that ties your account to a specific PC. This is not true; you can install the Starcraft II client on as many computers as you want*, and play on as many computers as you want, all with the same account.

The Activation system is fine, for a system that should be entirely unnecessary. It's like adding spikes to the door handles of my car, they work perfectly but only serve to make getting into my car more painful than it should be.

However their installer is completely consumer hostile. Instead of installing from the disk and then downloading patches it downloads the entire fucking thing, then it downloads more patches. Finally I made the mistake of changing the language from the default En_US to the En_GB and it downloaded another 3.2 GB. What the hell is the point in having a disc I cant install from?

So Blizzard assumes everyone has unlimited downloads (in Australia, people who have to use mobile broadband for internet pay through the nose for it) and assumes everyone speaks US English.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097631)

Just as you said: I've re installed Windows on my laptop and desktop countless times and SC2 always works. For the swarm!

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | about 8 months ago | (#46093609)

Actually, have you played it? The UI is highly unintuitive for single player. Even if you think you're creating a single player game, it will still set you up with a game that will quit out if the internet connection fails. You have to get right-clicky and dig around for "play offline" options on the map listing.

So, they're ramming their options down player's throats: playing with the net-speaking kiddies over the internet for goofy achievement badges, or play a linear railroaded single-player campaign that feels as if it were written by a thirteen year old. I hope these releases make some change, because this isn't the Starcraft I remember.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46093193)

they'll actually get seven more paying customers by at least preventing the sort of piracy that makes you go to TPB.

But every single piece of software there is, DRM or not, is on the piratebay already unless it's bellow a certain level of obscurity.

Plenty of people have been burned by virus/malware from visiting TPB

They have? There's some pretty simple rules you can follow to be sure you rarely if ever get a virus. The easiest is: If a torrent has 2000 leaches and you don't see people bitching about a virus in the comments you're probably ok. If you're really paranoid install it on a VM first. DRM doesn't do anything but annoy paying customers.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

gr4nf (1348501) | about 8 months ago | (#46092195)

I'd be right there with you, except that you're not just fighting a losing battle... it's been over for almost a decade.

Games are like really complicated web apps now. When you buy a game, it is not distributed to you; you are distributed to it. DRM-free media is great because it lasts beyond the rise and fall of the corporations who provide it... but nowadays, the product is an account on company servers. It lasts as long as the company says it'll last.

And yeah, there are teams still making stand-alone programs like Amnesia and Braid... but Blizzard figured out with WoW that the big money is in games that don't leave home, and they'll not be changing their collective mind any time soon.

Just know what you're purchasing and it's easier to swallow. Don't tell yourself you're buying Starcraft 2, cos you're not. You're buying a passport into Blizzard's exclusive competitive gaming and modding club, and you can't expect the pass to outlive the club itself.

Re:Fixing literally everything (1)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46093271)

Just know what you're purchasing and it's easier to swallow. Don't tell yourself you're buying Starcraft 2, cos you're not. You're buying a passport into Blizzard's exclusive competitive gaming and modding club, and you can't expect the pass to outlive the club itself.

In that case, I believe it would be misleading and unethical not to make this clear to the potential customers prior to purchase.

That's not some mere difference of ideology; that's an expectation of doing business in good faith.

Re:Fixing literally everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093331)

Waaaah! I can't get it exactly how I want it, so I'm going to post comments on the internet. Seriously man, get the fuck over yourself. Either buy it or don't, but stop with the bitching

LAN (1)

beefoot (2250164) | about 8 months ago | (#46092001)

Can it be modded to be played on LAN only? Think not.

Re:LAN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092055)

I suppose you want it to work on a 56k modem too?

Re: LAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092159)

Of you want to bellyache, go mod Stratagus or MegaGlest. They are FREE AND OPEN SOURCE... They could use the help!

Re: LAN (1)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46093291)

Of you want to bellyache, go mod Stratagus or MegaGlest. They are FREE AND OPEN SOURCE... They could use the help!

In what other industry is there so much active hostility and disdain towards paying customers who make their wishes known? In just about every other case, the groupthink would be that the companies are stupid not to listen to what a significant portion of the market is demanding.

Re: LAN (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46093555)

In just about every other case, the groupthink would be that the companies are stupid not to listen to what a significant portion of the market is demanding.

The question is whether that portion of the market is actually significant, or just loud.

Re: LAN (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46093619)

The paying customer did make their wishes known, about 5 million times.

With these modding tools combined, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092075)

Time to make Strategic Tactical Advanced Recon Defense Of The Armory,

Or STARDOTA.

Exciting (2)

gr4nf (1348501) | about 8 months ago | (#46092103)

I remember watching Tower Defense be born as Photon Defense in the original Starcraft, and then DotA being born in WC3 some years later... Both of those concepts have given birth to million player markets today. I wonder if this is the direction game development is headed? I mean, we're seeing the same 3 or 4 engines running under at least 60% of big releases. The only differences are map and model design, storytelling, and some simple game logic. If I was a big game corp, I'd outsource all that work to the players and provide nothing but the platform and an online service. Good on you, Blizzard. This could be the future.

Re:Exciting (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46092161)

I can't imagine building a game today without licensing Unreal or Havoc for physics or Eclipse/Lycium for your RPG, or even Bigworld (or whatever) for your new MMO.

You'd have to be an industry juggernaut to sink the costs into reinventing that wheel.

Re:Exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092223)

If I was a big game corp, I'd outsource all that work to the players and provide nothing but the platform and an online service. Good on you, Blizzard. This could be the future.

Like Second Life?

I'm pretty sure mainstream gamers aren't going to pay for a bag of floating dicks. Which is what you'll get by outsourcing 'all that work to the players'.

Quality, player-created content is the exception, not the rule.

Re:Exciting (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 8 months ago | (#46092587)

It's not the future.

I know because I actively participated in Starcraft mod/map making for over a decade.

Blizzard is hoping to pull another DotA on the custom designers. That is, steal our work and try to monetize it if the opportunity arises. They wanted to generate a lot of fun custom map stuff for SC2, but with a map distribution system that's bordering on complete useless, an editor that varies from feeling like programming with a fisherprice keyboard to feeling like using a keyboard to play on a fisherprice computer (seriously, there is no cow button on my daskeyboard), and no documentation to be found anywhere.

I dare say MOAR TOOLZ isn't exactly the answer here. Back in SC1 we managed pretty well without tools. We made our own and even managed to force Blizzard to patch the game because we figured out how to create executable programs in their maps.

I still do SC1 stuff, and until Blizzard really offers something substantial for SC2 mappers (not some stupid map payment system), the majority of the most brilliant designers aren't going to be doing anything for them.

Breaking News: Business tries to make money. (1)

TheSwift (2714953) | about 8 months ago | (#46096137)

I'm afraid I disagree here.

The example you give regarding DotA (game mod from WC3) implies that Steve Feak (aka IceFrog), the original creator of the DotA got nothing for his creation. That's just untrue. Unless Feak was an idiot (which, I suppose he might be - I've never met him), he knew he wouldn't receive compensation from Blizzard for spending hours creating DotA for WC3. What he did receive was a name for himself in creating one of the most best damn game mods ever. That name allowed him to go on to create League of Legends with Riot Games.

Will a guy like Feak have a problem getting a job at a game design company that sells RTS after creating a game that inspired an entire genre (MOBA)? Doubtful. I'm going to take a gander and say that his investment into DotA not only brought some (I don't know how much, I'm guessing a lot) greenbacks with LOL, but that it also secured him positions at companies in the future.

People will jump at this for the same reason, because it gives them an opportunity to create (which is fun) and experience creating good content (necessary for a job). Blizzard makes money with their creation and the creators get what they want. Win for both parties.

I truly hope that people aren't so naive that they spend a year making a terrific mod in SC2 and then look at Blizzard with trembling lip and say, "You pay me no money for my mod?" You need a job before you get paid.

Re:Exciting (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 8 months ago | (#46097523)

I don't Blizzard is trying to steal the designers work, so much as hoping for a runaway success that they can then hire to their team. I'm sure they're kicking themselves every single day for letting Guinsoo and IceFrog go to Riot and Valve. They had caught lightning in a bottle and let it go, and now they're praying for a second chance.

I'm calling the future of gaming (4, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#46092111)

I see the future of gaming is this:
a: Company releases an okay game in a genre, RTS/PLATFORMER/RACING/WOW style RPG/ETC
b: Company makes their development tools polished and user friendly, and releases them.
c: Players can make levels or entire games with tools(Thus you don't need to be a programmer to make a video game)
d: Players publish their games on the company's website.
e: Company takes 50% cut for all games the players sell. Players themselves make 50% of the cut.
f: Rating system on various factors in the game so people can try the best levels first.
g: Game lives on because of so much content.
h: Congratulations, genre cornered, make a new game in a new genre and repeat

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 8 months ago | (#46092185)

This is pretty much how it used to be in the late 90s and early 00s, except for the online publishing part.

But then game companies realized that gamers wouldn't buy a new game if they could still play new free mods in the old one.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (1)

manu144x (3377615) | about 8 months ago | (#46093075)

Actually, the problem was not that users wouldn't buy new games, the problem is that with this way gaming companies actually have to work harder and focus on things that really make a difference: the engine, the software itself. Before that they would just change the content, and rerelease the same thing. Rockstar did that with Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice city, and San Andreas. They were basically content mods. Yes they added new small things, but in the end it was just new content. Now you can't do that, because soon modders will have the resources and skills to create content, and since creativity is not always directly connected to money, (and almost never with big companies) modders could end up creating better stories and content for games. It's the same trick the musicians did in the old days: 1 hit per album, and you could only buy the song if you bought the entire album. That's why they hate iTunes, they can't do that anymore, they have to work hard on each song now.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (3, Interesting)

netsavior (627338) | about 8 months ago | (#46092427)

Ask Millionaires Gooseman (creator of the original Counterstrike mod)
or Garry Newman (Garry's Mod)
or the 2.5 billion dollar corporation: Valve if this is a viable way to do business...

Don't call it a come back, Valve/Steam has been doing it for years.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 8 months ago | (#46096653)

> Don't call it a come back, Valve/Steam has been doing it for years.

And ID before that. They made a lot of their money by releasing highly modifiable games. Team Fortress was originally a Quake 1 mod, which became a Quakeworld mod, which became a Half-Life Mod, which became a standalone product in the Orange Box.

Valve reaps the rewards of the mod teams they buy, but ID profited by having everyone and their mother buy the game so they could play TF.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (1)

djscoumoune (1731422) | about 8 months ago | (#46092447)

That's what Valve and Steam have done 10-15 years ago. Or Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo. That's the present.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092449)

Epic did this years ago.

Unreal Development Kit [unrealengine.com] is exactly what you describe. Heck, pre-ordered copies of UT2k4 included a free license key to a stripped down version of Maya.

It sorta fell apart at step g, though.

Re:I'm calling the future of gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46094209)

e: Company takes 50% cut for all games the players sell. Players themselves make 50% of the cut.

Why would Blizzard do that? Why would they need to do that?

The Starcraft 2 EULA includes an "all your base are belong to us" clause that claims a comprehensive, sublicensable license to any and all content packaged or distributed for the SC2 engine. Anything you make using SC2 tools and distribute using Blizzard's in-game Mod browser becomes wholly owned by Blizzard.

DOTA (Origin of League of Legends and DOTA2) was a Warcraft 3 mod, ActiBlizzard have decided that they should own all derivative everythings that just happen to be based on their game engines. Cha-ching.

Don't care; Still won't buy it. (1)

chispito (1870390) | about 8 months ago | (#46092137)

Viva la Steam.

everything in Starter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092477)

What's only available in the full game / expansion pack now?

wizard level (2)

skinfaxi (212627) | about 8 months ago | (#46092601)

Does anyone remember the old D-n-D-based MUDs that, once you had maxed your level, gave you the option to begin an apprenticeship to learn to program and extend the game? I have wished many times that Blizzard would adopt that model everywhere, to allow players to generate new content. It would be a great learning tool and introduction to game design, character modeling, etc.

Re:wizard level (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46093545)

That was any mud though the exactly policy/execution/rules varied by the specific mud.

Back to the norm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46092753)

There was a point where nearly every game not only allowed, but encouraged, mods. Titles that did not were looked down upon and lambasted by the general gaming community. Why did it take so long to get back to this?

drm used for good? (2)

Some_Llama (763766) | about 8 months ago | (#46092985)

ok drm may suck, online activation might suck, but what doesn't suck is a one place authentication for all blizzard games and the ability to add a security device:

http://www.wowwiki.com/Battle.... [wowwiki.com]

that makes it impossible for your account to be stolen or abused, and at the same time allows for unlimited installs (like the steam platform) over the life of the product no matter how many hard drives or mainboards you run through.

i don't like the prices for games, i feel a lot of them are way overpriced, but for the value of never losing a cd key/scratched disc, needing a disc, worrying that your account is hacked, it brings it more in line with what i'm willing to pay.

i've just always been very satisfied with blizz stuff even though WoW now is completely lame (no no NOW it is, it wasnt before)

DOTA Squared (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 8 months ago | (#46093145)

Sigh. I just learned how to play DOTA2...

Really good for the comminity (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 8 months ago | (#46093633)

As someone who really wants Starbow(the popular sc1bw/sc2 hybrid) to succeed, there were certain limitations preventing the developers from taking this MOD past beta. Now that they have the tools this could become a real challenger for HoTs(and LotV) when the final chapter is released. Competition for the best modern RTS to play may really force blizzards core design team to step up and make SC2 source the top competitive game. (/wishes)

But not really (1)

Kenoli (934612) | about 8 months ago | (#46093667)

Blizzard has released a powerful new suite of tools for Starcraft 2 modders and developers that fundamentally change the nature of what's possible in the popular RTS game.

A powerful new suite of tools -- which were developed years ago and withheld for no apparent reason -- that fundamentally change... nothing.
What's possible with art assets is probably improved over the art tools the community has already developed for itself, if you have 3ds Max 2011, which is no longer for sale.

It's hard to imagine how this could have even the barest hint of an effect on the custom maps scene.

Is the ToU still rapey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46094267)

Have they relaxed the ToU on owning everything and anything you produce with their tools?

Interesting modding examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46094567)

Was there a single creative mod example available? Everything in that list is just a copy of something that came before.

Now I know, to the Slashdot mind, that copying is somehow a creative act... but come on. Throw me a bone here.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>