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The State of Blizzard's Union

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the lots-of-orcs-in-that-place dept.

PC Games (Games) 71

Gamasutra has an extensive interview with Senior Vice President Frank Pearce (one of the company's original founders), and Starcraft II producer Chris Sigaty. They discuss some elements of the the company's future. They discuss their expectations for Starcraft II, some hints of what's to come in World of Warcraft, and word that 50 people are working on the mysterious 'Team 3' game. "Pearce: Our global headcount is like, 2700. Most of that is customer service for World of Warcraft. I mean in terms of development staff... it's probably around 350. For all of Blizzard. World of Warcraft development team is about 135 people...40 for you [indicates Chris' Starcraft 2 team], 50 for ... Team 3 ... Gamasutra: Team 3? What's Team 3 working on? Pearce: Team 3 is working on something really awesome. I will totally tell you, it's really awesome ... Nope, can't give you any hints. Gamasutra: Well, as long as it's awesome."

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like, totally, like, awesome (1)

OnyxLilninja (1126557) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650299)

like, i totally, like, totally, find it like, totally, like hard to read this, totally awesome article.

Re:like, totally, like, awesome (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650693)

The interviewer then went on with

What do you eat to be so awesome? Can I touch you, are you for real? What's it like, like? What do you taste?

Re:like, totally, like, awesome (2, Informative)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651191)

I glanced over the interview after you made your post, and I have mixed feelings about how to respond. In summary it's worst on page 4 but he's literally telling a story about his family trip, it's hardly a prepared statement.

The following is my criteria for measuring word counts:
totally - any use, although it includes good (i.e. meaning "completely") and bad (i.e. saying "totally awesome") uses.
like (good) - means the same as any of the following: such that, such as, for example, as if, around, in the neighborhood of, etc..
like (bad) - the use indicates a pause in speech "..uhm.."

Some examples/excerpts from the interview:
  • "I think it was more like, they said "oh God, white barbarians have invaded!" - page 4
  • "We're like the NFL Commissioner or something." -- example of "good" use of the word like; they aren't literally the NFL Commisioner.
  • "I will totally tell you, it's really awesome." -- page 5
Lameness filter is giving me a hard time with formatting and I suck at this. Here's my attempt:

1,2,3,4,5 - page number
-----------------------
0,0,3,3,1 - totally
1,4,4,7,3 - like(good)
0,4,2,8,1 - like(bad)
So I think you totally overblew the "totally" issue, but like you said the use of "like" is likely to be bad in these personal interviews.

Ghost II (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650313)

I bet it's Ghost II. Like totally.

Re:Ghost II (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651637)

My guess is that while it would seem to be a logical extension to create D3, I think I would be pretty excited about another attempt to take a crack at the MMOFPS genre, with what Blizzard has learned from WoW.

Shelving Ghost and grafting that into MMO space would seem more exciting, both as a gamer and in the business sense, since you could deploy that game to the next gen consoles along with PCs. Add to the fact that you have lower risk of cannibalizing your existing playerbase while entering (at least for Blizzard) the relatively untapped market of console gamers, you have the potential to be "really awesome".

But it is likely going to be Diablo 3.

Re:Ghost II (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653457)

If they build WoS, I am so Dropping my WoW account... well, maybe...

Re:Ghost II (1)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654775)

But it is likely going to be Diablo 3.


I've read to much of the "like, totally" posts. I read that as "But it is like totally going to be Diablo 3."

Everything I read on this page sounds "valleygirl" in my head. Please make it stop. /loads gun

Diablo 3? (1)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650335)

Is the mystery game they are working on Diablo 3? I've heard various stories already that it has been in production for awhile, but they had to take it baack to the drawing board.

Trip down memory lane (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650603)

Ah, I remember a while ago, we were waiting for a game announcement from Blizzard. Everyone was sure it'll be Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3. I mean, it made sense, right? They had all the fans lined up waiting for them. Instead we got World Of Warcraft.

So my bet is that now we'll get something like a space flight sim set in the world of Starcraft :P Could be something else, but that's the only idea I have at the moment of completely mis-using an existing franchise. Oh, or maybe a city building game set in the world of Diablo. Sort of like Sim City except instead of a tornado, you get the gates of hell breaking open under the local church ;)

Re:Trip down memory lane (3, Interesting)

Binestar (28861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651759)

Actually, that space fighter sim sounds good. Of course, I've been looking for a good Space Combat fighter ever since WC:P and Freespace 2.

Re:Trip down memory lane (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654465)

Maybe they bought they license for the Freespace series and they are working on Freespace 3 or Freespace vs. Starcraft

Re:Trip down memory lane (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655321)

It sounds like you're implying that WoW was a mis-use of an existing franchise. I think there are around 8 million people who would disagree.

Expect the Unexpected (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20656683)

I don't think he's saying that it's bad, but it's certainly not what everyone expected Blizzard's next big game to be. (I was expecting them to release StarCraft II next, myself- they had released Diablo II and WarCraft III since StarCraft came out, and we were all expecting a sequel). WoW was (and is) amazingly successful, but I don't think anyone expected Blizzard to take that route with their WarCraft Franchise.

Re:Diablo 3? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650635)

Perhaps not surprising. A lot of the guys from Blizzard North who were responsible for D1 and 2 are now off at Flagship working on Hellgate: London. Not trying to say that D3 won't be good, because who really knows at this point, but undoubtedly it's a different world over at Blizzard North these days.

Re:Diablo 3? (1)

Schmapdi (840038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20657161)

I disagree. Notice how a lot of things in WoW are pretty much lifted straight from Diablo II? In Diablo III I sorta picture a Guild Wars/WoW hybrid. The same sort of mini MMO with Wow's item generation system and talent trees and whatnot but set in Guildwars sort of map system/level play. It could really end up being the best of both worlds and I'm pretty excited about it. Not that Guild Wars doesn't do a pretty good job already - I just picked it up a week or so ago and its a fun game; but Guild Wars with Blizzard's flair for polish and creativity plus a few updates here and there = win.

Diablo 3 (3, Informative)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650337)

One assumes that's the Team 3 project, since it's been more or less confirmed [diablo3.com] .

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650391)

You know, this makes a lot of sense, and seems pretty plausable. But, I was really hopeing they'd do something new and different. Sadly, looks like thats not the case since blizzard went corporate.

Re:Diablo 3 (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650485)

New and different would be nice, sure...but honestly, the ONLY, and I mean ONLY thing I want out of Blizzard at this point is Diablo 3.

Not because I don't think they could make a new series...I just think that the Diablo storyline has a lot of potential, and the game itself has a lot of potential...look at the massive difference between Diablo and Diablo II...and then look at the large number of changes between Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction...LoD was EASILY the best expansion pack made for ANY game EVER. No other expansion pack (in my experience anyway) did more to add to the game, fix what was wrong, or make it more fun.

Just imagine the monster they could make with Diablo 3...

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650591)

Lord of Destruction didn't feel like an expansion to me. Granted, I played all of Diablo 2 (including LoD) together, but still, the story didn't feel complete at the end of Diablo 2. Baal was still out there. ... Totally awesome, that's what I thought of it. From start to end, I loved LoD. And Diablo 2, even if I hated Duriel (act two boss), and the way I couldn't beat it with my amazon.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650639)

As far as LoD goes, I was referring more to changes they made with the gameplay itself (socketed items, runewords, bug fixes, expanded stash, etc.)

Not to mention that since the game took forever to make, you could literally watch the art get more and more detailed and complicated as you progressed through each act...to me, that added a cool little edge rarely seen in a game.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651019)

Excuse me, but.. the Diablo storyline?

Uhhhm.

You should read Mel Odom's first book of the Hellgate: London trilogy -- Exodus. It's sorta like the movie Anchorman where the reporter is talking about going in there to watch a panda have a baby but saying he can't because the panda will "literally rip your face off".. That's what Hellgate's story does to Diablo's "story". It rips its face off.

BTW, all the good artists and devs in from the Diablo days are making Hellgate: London so uhh, the jury is still out on Diablo 3, if it ever even gets off the drawing board.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651185)

Just because a Ferrari "rips the face" off my 04 RSX Type-S doesnt mean my RSX isn't a blast to drive.

As far as Bill Roeper and friends not being at Blizzard anymore...yes that sucks, but I think they will manage.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651749)

I've been playing the HGL alpha and now beta. Maybe the book is good, but the story in the game is more or less on par with the Diablos. But as you say, Diablo 3 without Bill Roper et al...who knows.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653713)

Well, I see the books as the backstory that you can read if you want it. This is the first time in my life I've ready a book based on a game. I was pleasantly surprised. It will make the game that much more enjoyable I think.

'course, if the game sucks it won't matter that the book was good.

I'm aware that Roper has said they are on content lock now, in other words no real new content until after release. That being said, and understanding that you are under NDA obligations, could you just tell me your impressions thus far?

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20657735)

I'm aware that Roper has said they are on content lock now, in other words no real new content until after release.
They only gave us pieces to play with in alpha, and I'm not sure how much more is in the beta; I haven't played through it yet. At the basic level, killing stuff is a blast. But I'm not really impressed with the character development system. There's a lack of interesting skills and skill relationships, which is where D2 really shined, IMO. But in short, look at it as a sci-fi, first-person Diablo and you probably won't be disappointed, come release.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20659685)

Too true. The tiered skill system in Diablo 2 and the way skills complimented each other was very, very well done.

Did you get to max level? I am hoping they just hadn't rolled out all the skills etc yet for you to see them.

Also, first person for hunters/fps chars and third person for melee etc I would imagine?

I am in the Tabula Rasa closed beta and it suffers from the same problem with a lack of skills that interplay. But the gameplay is really awesome, so I am hoping they can do something to think of more skills. If they do then I can see myself subscribing to TR and HL at the same time.

Re:Diablo 3 (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653155)


BTW, all the good artists and devs in from the Diablo days are making Hellgate: London so uhh, the jury is still out on Diablo 3, if it ever even gets off the drawing board.


True enough, but a game takes a team. It's difficult to say what D1 or D2 would have been if Blizzard proper didn't have some influence on it. Being the mother studio/publisher they had a lot of influence. Many thought John Romero was the messiah of gaming and that he alone could inspire and design a awesome game. We got Daikatana. Turns out the other people at ID pushed and conspired with Romero into making the games they did. After he left ID games felt a little more shallow while Everything Romero did after felt slipshod and tacky. Sometimes no individual member or subset of a team can recreate what the team was in total. Who knows hellgate might be D3 on steroids. Or it might be Ropers, Schaefer, Schaefer and Breviks Daikatana.

Re:Diablo 3 (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663141)

Good devs from the Diablo team, hardly. There were many known and published bugs with the item generation system from Diablo I that made it into Diablo 2. I put more stock in the third party total conversion crowd then I do in the guys that programmed on Diablo. Now the graphics artists and designers were quite good, but the guys who were supposed to make the nuts and bolts work didn't do such a great job. Oh and don't forget that Diablo 2 was unplayable online until at least 1.03, but that might have been as much about overwhelming success as it was about the crappy network and server code.

We already have Diablo 3. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20658675)

Except Blizzard made the world persistent, slapped on a Warcraft skin and called it World of Warcraft.

Re:Diablo 3 (2, Insightful)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652475)

To be fair, Blizzard has never been known to make new and different games... so far their strenght has been to take existing ideas genres and ideas, then improve and polish them. At least that's how it was with Diablo, War/Starcraft and WoW. The 3rd person hack and slash RPG, RTS and MMORPG genres already existed, they just polished them better than anyone at the time (heck, you could even say the same with the puzzle platform genre with Lost Vikings)

Re:Diablo 3 (Ghost) (1)

microTodd (240390) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652435)

Or Starcraft: Ghost. That would definately fit the definition of "very awesome".

Diablo 3? (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650367)

"Please be Diablo 3." * sys.maxint

Team 3 project: (3, Insightful)

spocksbrain (1097145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650667)

"World of Warcraft 2: The Search for More Money."

Re:Team 3 project: (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650689)

Introducing the new race: Mog. Half man, half dog. They're their own best friends.

Re:Team 3 project: (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651261)

"While I do not believe this is the right thing to do artistically, I do believe it is the right thing to do FINANCIALLY."

MOD PARENT UP (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651939)

Metalokalypse FTW

Other developers should take note. (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20650873)

The first page is where I noticed the biggest difference between Blizzard and "the other mmorpg" studios. This representative wasn't dismissing his competition or making disparaging remarks about it. He was playing nice. I figure down deep they know that these two games are not real threats to WOW... too many have been given that title only to falter.

I did appreciate his comments on developers. The job is pretty much thankless when everything is going right. Do your job right and most people don't care. Have problems creep up and your the center of some not so good attention.

It was also interesting to see how many people they "admit" to working on WOW and Starcraft 2. I assume the other is D3. 2000+ others? Most support. I can see that considering they are selling a service when it comes to the numbers WOW has.

The rule is, always talk nice about your competition. Then again when your at the top you don't have a reason to trash talk

Hmm? Which others do you mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651383)

Hmm? Which others do you mean?

I must admit I haven't been reading many MMORPG studio interviews, so it's possible that I missed something. I am, however, relatively familiar with COH/COV, and I don't remember Statesman or Positron ever talking thrash about other studios. I remember very few references to other studios or games at all, and they tended to be along the lines of "well, blimey, looks like Blizzard was right and we were wrong." (E.g., in reference to the decision to hide the numbers in COH, as Statesman thought that would break suspension of disbelief. Turns out noone complained about that in WoW.)

Re:Hmm? Which others do you mean? (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652799)

I think he's referencing Vanguard's constant insults and contempt of WoW, both from the company itself and from the community that built around the game before its release. Those people were like rabid dogs.

Re:Hmm? Which others do you mean? (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654401)

That was the "We Drank the Brad McQuid Koo-Aid" bunch. Sigil and their early fans were holding out for V:SoH to be the holy grail of anti-WoWness, and to destroy WoW. Well, they got part of what they asked for. A game that sucked ass from start to finish. Blizzard kicked butt from start to almost end-game, and then it bogged down.

The only real knock I have on Blizzard is how damn long it takes them to get expansions out for WoW. I cancelled my account after 9 months, due to boredom. I know they deliver quality work, but their expansion rate is horrible.

World of Diablo (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651213)

How much do you wanna bet it's World of Diablo.

Y

Couldn't ... care ... less (1, Troll)

sstamps (39313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651283)

I mean, it's probably great for someone in the industry to know, so I read it, but as a game player, I just don't care.

Blizzard lost all credibility as far as I am concerned with bnetd.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20651875)

Blizzard lost all credibility as far as I am concerned with bnetd.

Yes, how dare they try to stop people from pirating their games!

Sorry, but sometimes things cost money.

The "everything should be free" crowd will mod me down, I'm sure, so posting anonymously.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

sstamps (39313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654293)

The issue with bnetd had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with piracy. bnetd didn't enable piracy of any kind. It was a SERVER. It didn't copy games. It didn't crack serialz. It didn't distribute anything. It competed against a FREE service, so there was ZERO money lost as a result of it being used over battle.net.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654491)

Ok, if you are going to have to have this discussion AGAIN, let's at least discuss it honestly. Yes, bnetd was a server. No argument there. But for you to say that it had absolutely nothing to do with piracy is a flat out lie. bnetd did enable piracy because it allowed people who did not buy the game to play each other online (no cd key check). The primary users of bnetd were people who did not buy a copy of the game. I have absolutely zero sympathy for bnetd because of this...plus the fact that Blizzard does not charge for their battle.net service and that it is still running today...after all these years. Blizzard is about the least evil large company you are going to find. If you aren't going to support them over bnetd, then you have either never written software or lack the ability to understand the situation that Blizzard was in.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (0, Troll)

sstamps (39313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654771)

People could ALREADY play each other online. It didn't enable anything that they already didn't have. You could already play other people online via one of several methods. The only thing you got from battle.net was a lousy MATCHMAKER service as well as a way to store characters.

I severely doubt you can back up the assertion that the primary users of bnetd were people who pirated their games. I bought and paid for every copy of Blizzard games I had in my possession (multiple copies, even). The people I played with ALSO had purchased their copies. So, as far as *I* am concerned, that assetion is pure grade A bullshit.

I'm sorry, I don't share your rose-colored-glasses view of Blizzard. Evil is as evil does.

I understand perfectly the situation they were in; it didn't justify their actions in the least.

Lastly, while I don't expect you to believe anything I say (and I really don't care), I've been in the corporate software development world for 30 years now, so I understand the issues of piracy intimately.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655965)

People could ALREADY play each other online. It didn't enable anything that they already didn't have.
So aside from the whole CD key thing, what was the point of bnetd again? Not trying to troll, I just never used it, and the wiki page only gives a few minor reasons.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20657639)

The whole point behind BnetD is control and freedom. That they happened to be pirates was very unfortunate.

>

Here's my top 4 reasons for wanting BnetD (and notice that they DO NOT include piracy):
5 - Store characters on a server that will last longer than 90 days AND are non hackable.
4 - Allow/disallow Maphack at MY choosing. (Maphack is not a hacking tool, it is a UI improvement)
3 - Choose who can join my server. (No Spambots, just my friends + their friends)
1 - Mod support. All of the really great games were that way because of the Modding community.

Another reason Blizzard shut down BnetD besides piracy is that they would lose their ad revenue.

Play Anarchy Online [anarchy-online.com] instead for free.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (2, Informative)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 6 years ago | (#20659511)

5 - Store characters on a server that will last longer than 90 days AND are non hackable.


Two words, Open Battle.net. Additionally, how many characters did you have that it was impossible to commit to playing them each for one hour in a three month timespan? Lastly, I have my doubts that Bnetd or anything related to it was hack-proof. Speaking of which...

 

4 - Allow/disallow Maphack at MY choosing. (Maphack is not a hacking tool, it is a UI improvement)


Case in point.

Once again, Open Battle.net. Also, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

 

3 - Choose who can join my server. (No Spambots, just my friends + their friends)


I don't see how this is even an issue unless you enjoyed hanging out in the chat channels. Spambots didn't join anything but the main channels, mostly the trade channels, and couldn't join your game if you gave it a password.

 

1 - Mod support. All of the really great games were that way because of the Modding community.


I'm unimpressed by your ability to skip #2, rather than just spend 15 seconds to go back and properly number your countdown.

Two words, and I repeat, Open Battle.net. I made my own mods, and played them with friends in this manner.

In short, the only thing Bnetd provided that Blizzard hadn't already given you the ability to do was play games without buying them.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

Hoknor (950280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20661235)

Wait, since when did open battle.net not use locally saved character files?

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20662785)

It didn't, but honestly, why does it matter?

Unless you're really abusive to your hardware, you're unlikely to lose anything.
Anyway, since it's stored on your hard drive, you can use open mod tools to just recreate your character... You know, one of the points he made as being against Blizzard? yeah, that.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

Hoknor (950280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663629)

I think you are going the wrong direction here, if you can just use open mod tools to recreate your character, you are back at the original Diablo style hackfest. Which means if you want to play a legit game, you are limited to playing with groups you already know. You can't really run an Eastern Sun Ladder without something like bnetd.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671385)

I have 3 times had 12 accounts filled with characters and mules.. and Bnet deleted them all.

Quote: I don't see how this is even an issue unless you enjoyed hanging out in the chat channels. Spambots didn't join anything but the main channels, mostly the trade channels, and couldn't join your game if you gave it a password.

Allowing spam bots onto chat channels guarantees that nice players will no longer join chat channels.
Spam bots joined public games too. It's not so much about hosting a private server, if I wanted to do that I'd just connect directly. More along the lines of control: I want to control who I play with. Sometimes I want to play with new/random people, AND I want abusive people permbanned more quickly than Blizzard was doing.

As Hoknor said, Open Battle.net is a hackfest. That's not what I want. I want to be able to choose a server with more reasonable rules, for example: Maphack is OK, hacked chars & duping are not. Future BnetD mods could be created that would implement full MMO.

Most of the same arguments used for Open Source vs Closed Source can be applied to BnetD too.

Wups on the numbering being messed up.

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20661569)

Well, it's obvious you've got a fair bit of experience at sucking corporate cock. That could come in handy if you decide to shill for MS someday....

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20662545)

yeh thats why hes bashing blizz, dipshit

Re:Couldn't ... care ... less (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653263)

I mean, it's probably great for someone in the industry to know, so I read it, but as a game player, I just don't care.

Blizzard lost all credibility as far as I am concerned with bnetd.


BnetD: Hey blizzard is it okay if we invent something to circumvent your primary motivation for people to buy your game?
Blizzard: Ummm no. could you stop please.
BnetD: no. We want to do this. Why don't you help us out and give us your verification algorithm.
Blizzard: no please stop.
BnetD: no. Fuck off.
Blizzard: ahh well. Mr. lawyer can you ask him to stop.
Mr. Lawyer: Please stop.
BnetD: this is fascism.. fucking nazi's. I'm going to flame you on slashdot and then you'll be sorry.

Hardly.. (0, Troll)

sstamps (39313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654551)

It was about control.

The primary motivation to buy the game was to PLAY it. If you pirated it, you could still PLAY it with your friends via several methods. The difference was that you couldn't use their "official" matchmaker service. The existence of BnetD had, at most, a negligible impact on the level of piracy.

They also didn't demand the key checker; they OFFERED to use whatever keychecker Blizzard was willing to give them access to.

It was a valid fair use case, killed off by venue-shopping.

Re:Hardly.. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20655363)

It was about control.

The primary motivation to buy the game was to PLAY it. If you pirated it, you could still PLAY it with your friends via several methods. The difference was that you couldn't use their "official" matchmaker service. The existence of BnetD had, at most, a negligible impact on the level of piracy.

They also didn't demand the key checker; they OFFERED to use whatever keychecker Blizzard was willing to give them access to.

It was a valid fair use case, killed off by venue-shopping.


Variants bnetD code runs a large percentages of the pirate battle net clones in Asia. I know first hand. There is hardly a legitimate copy in any place in china. I looked hard for one but the piracy makes any attempt to sell it moot. I played at Cafe's and at peoples house with fake copies with a different match making service while in china. It's the match making and ranking service that prompted the majority of my friends here in Canada to get a legit copy. Blizzard wanted to hedge possibility that the situation in most of Asia would happen here. Thus took an aggressive stanc eon it in NA. The argument that is was just fair use might be right but the argument it would diminish blizzards drawing power. Battlenet is a big reason war 3/diablo 2/SC etc still sell. Blizzard provided a free service that was adequate.

The obvious problem with bnetD verifying the copies is that they either need to provide the algorithm or the API to verify the keys both could be used again to pirate. So they opted to not have to mess with it and asked bnetD to stop.

The reason why there are few who have vehement anti-blizzard sentiment over this issue is most thought of BnetD as a piracy tool regardless of what it actually was. Actually most didn't care much either way. Blizzard generated a lot of good will in future decisions to compensate and the number who truly cared about bnetd were few. At this point it's sort of moot. BnetD is not dead but isn't as visible or actively developed openly.

Three Words (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651483)

World.
Of.
Starcraft.

Re:Three Words (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20660949)

Perhaps a large-scale framework for turning Starcraft II into an online world with games acting much like random encounters in FF.

Re:Three Words (1)

varcher75 (800974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20667707)

World.
Of.
Starcraft.
Starcraft Fleets.

An EVE/E&B rip-off, Blizzard style.

Serene, peaceful and having fun since a long time (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651495)

I ditched wow and gone lotro. For the first time in a long duration, im having fun in a mmo. A catching story, easy come easy go playstyle, nice environment, gorgeous graphics. So such games can still be made.

Re:Serene, peaceful and having fun since a long ti (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 6 years ago | (#20651691)

LOTRO has the same problem the movies had - it lacks the breadth of the books.

Re:Serene, peaceful and having fun since a long ti (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652325)

its more than enough for a game.

Re:Serene, peaceful and having fun since a long ti (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652231)

That's how they all start. Report back to us in 6 months.

Re:Serene, peaceful and having fun since a long ti (1)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653519)

I think it's all a matter of taste. I don't think this is the place to get into the difference between LOTRO and WoW, but I'll just say that Blizzard has a habit of making games that are obtainable and enjoyable by a larger crowd than the games that came before it without dumbing the game down. That's a part of the key to their success. Competition from games like LOTRO will always be important as well as it reminds Blizzard and other companies that players might not share the same vision as the developers. How different would WoW be without EQ, DOAC, or SW:G? How about LOTRO without WoW? Skate without Tony Hawk's Pro Skater? Mario without Sonic?

Whatever it is..... (1)

mrjimorg (557309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20652281)

I think I'll stick with Hello Kitty Island Adventures - the online sensation!

Hydra (2, Informative)

Adair (629401) | more than 6 years ago | (#20653341)

Some speculation over at wowinsider.com that Blizzard's Third Project [wowinsider.com] is internally called "Hydra".

The tough questions (3, Funny)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654567)

Gamasutra: Well, as long as it's awesome.

Now that's what I call hard hitting reporting! Gamasutra's not afraid to ask the tough questions.

Blizzard is H-core (1)

suomalinen (1155465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20654815)

"We are experts in what we play, and we wanna play a more traditional sort of game, and not really casual stuff." I.E. Wow is h-core, l2p casual nubs.
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