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Ask Blizzard About Starcraft2, Diablo III, WoW, or 520

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

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:23AM (#29146657) Journal
    To the World of Warcraft team, I have been playing the expansion but largely left the World of Warcraft in search of something else after frustration from reduced effort to level []. This isn't a new trend, I recall experience received from quests being increased for certain level ranges. This is, of course, a tactic to entice new players. But it has by and large been a very negative turn for the game. I feel that your recruit a friend program is also quite negative to existing players as I have coworkers who can mill out two level sixties in two or three weekends if they can borrow another person's account.

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

    In my honest opinion, you are selling yourselves short. The players see less quest content now because of increased experience. While they get to end content faster, they pass up a lot of areas and beautiful terrain just purely because they don't have to go there. What does the future hold as you strive to cut out content? The ability to start at level (current expansion cap - 20)?
    • by debrain ( 29228 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:32AM (#29146787) Journal


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

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

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

      Yes, my main has both Loremaster and Explorer. And has caught a fair bit of trollish fl

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

        I have no problem with the idea of Death Knights (and any other future Hero Classes) starting out at level 55, but, please, please, when one of them selects a trade skill, let them begin with an appropriate skill level (55*5=275 maybe?), so they don't have to waste time running around the low-level zones, raising their skills to useful levels...

      • by Chyeld ( 713439 ) < minus painter> on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:13PM (#29148211)

        I left WoW before any of the packs hit. But I was an obsessive quest completer, I wouldn't leave a zone till I had taken care of every quest I possibly could, which meant before long I was well out leveling the content I was up against (until I finished a zone and then moved to the next, where I'd be just 'midlevel' again).

        The reason I left WoW had more to do with my first few raid experiences which were in Stratholme. Here I was, in a town sized dungeon, with lore and nooks and crannies to explore, and the group I was with just wanted to rush to point A to beat Named Boss A, then point B to beat Named Boss B, and etc.

        After the third go through, I realized that the way WoW had been set up, high level content was simply contrary to the idea of exploration and 'enjoying the scenery'.

        I never had a problem doing 'grey' quests, or popping out of a zone now and then to do an 'appropriately leveled' quest. But raids required people. People who weren't necessarily there to do anything more than grind away till they got their next food pellet in the form of another 'epic' piece of gear.

        Maybe that's changed somewhat, I've heard that some of the old 'high level' content can now be sort of soloed by a good maxed out character, and perhaps the new raid stuff isn't so focused on finding the most efficient path through without stopping to look at stuff. But given all I've heard, I doubt it.

        And honestly, that's sad. One of the things that Blizzard has always done well is tell a story. Even if some can claim that the stories are lifted from other sources, it's the quality of the story teller that matters just as much as the source of the tale.

        I'll always remember WoW for those pre-expansion Worgen related quests (no clue if they've been added to in the expansions), how you could find the origin of their presence in the world through the eleven zones, discover how the 'dark powers' got involved in the human zones, and then have to switch to the Horde side to find the end of the story.

        It's a shame, because I know that Blizzard has to put in as much story effort into the high level content.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by melikamp ( 631205 )

          Hmmm I think I feel much the same! Why won't they make all drops completely random, except for a basic category bias whereas archers tend to drop drop bows, kobold miners drop hammers, etc. Aside from one-time-quest-drops, why should be bosses privileged? They already have a quest progression (like in Stockades) where at a higher level you are invited to revisit a dungeon to get yet another quest: that should suffice for a reason to run an instance multiple times.

          But then, of course, people will concentra

    • by pezpunk ( 205653 )

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

      the leveling process

      • by Fross ( 83754 )

        Having been there, since the open beta, until WotLK came out, I have to disagree with you. I found the content, quests, locations and overall experience of the first 60 levels better than TBC and WotLK (what I saw of it, which wasn't the entire thing I'll grant you. I got 5 70s in TBC, took a couple to 75, then stopped).

        Saying the old content is simple and mundane is naive, the new content is *exactly the same*, find 6 of these, kill 8 of these, escort this npc... etc etc. Trying to make out that the new

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pezpunk ( 205653 )

          i don't know what expansion you played because it wasn't wotlk.

          quests are unquestionably more interesting than "go kill 8 spiders". in wotlk, you constantly get to drive vehicles, bomb things from the air, elad a charge up a hill, or take part in quests that truly matter in the world and even change the face of the zone (through phasing). you take part in meaningful battles with zone-wide consequences. you see huge chunks of lore unfurl before your eyes ...

          speaking of which, did you even do the Wrathgate

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

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

    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      New players don't tend to pass things up. It is largely for other people who have seen the content so many times they really don't care anymore and can get their alts to max level. It is more about retention than attracting new players.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke ( 6130 )

      reduced effort to level

      I'm going to disagree with you on this terminology right here. Okay, sure, the total effort is reduced. But the effort per unit time is the same as always (easy), the only thing that's changed is how much time you're spending. In a game genre that is defined by sucking extra monthly fees out of you by wasting as much of your time as possible, this is actually a welcome breath of fresh air. They no longer have any real incentive to make getting to level 60 take 20 days /played, and

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheTick21 ( 143167 )

      I would have never come back if not for the changes they have made to leveling. Several of my friends would never have started playing. I am positive that the number of people who dislike the accelerated leveling are in the minority.

      If they made it to where you could start alts at level 80 when you've already leveled a character to 80 then I would play considerably more than I already do. Sinking that much time into a character before you can even really start to play the game is simply stupid. I don't have

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RabidMonkey ( 30447 )

      As someone levelling their 5th toon, I can say, I love the changes. I am sick and tired of the Barrens, and anything that can get me up to the higher levels faster is going to allow me to keep playing and enjoying the game. The first 2 times I levelled, I did all the quests, got into the lore, etc, but you know what, it's no different the 3rd, 4th, 5th, xth time. If it wasn't for the L2P value of spending hours with a new class, I'd say Blizz should just allow you to start a new toon at level 58 like the

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

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

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

    • by sys.stdout.write ( 1551563 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:32AM (#29146791)

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

      Have you tried a girlfriend?

    • by moxley ( 895517 )

      Kind of like a crack or heroin dealer...they want you to keep playing.

      The solution, clearly, is to switch to crack or heroin. Then, if it's taking up too much of your time or money you can go to rehab, and the game wont matter quite as much, because life will become a very interesting game where you'll gain lot of XP and have to deal with real world consequences if you screw up!!

      Our "game" has a slammin hip-hop soundtrack and plenty of excessive violence; choose the "North Philadelphia" campaign for you new

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:28AM (#29146741) Journal
    Assuming Diablo/Starcraft are going to be on this, what are you doing to fix, improve, update, solidify Last I heard, we can't use Starcraft II [] on a LAN so how are you going to ensure us that is valid replacement in terms of speed, security and reliability? Will be completely redone from what it was in the Diablo days?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Absolut187 ( 816431 )

      Specifically, how are you going to prevent hacking online from ruining these games?

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:44AM (#29146971)

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta ( 162192 ) *

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
      Followup: since every nerd who's currently pissing and moaning about LAN play is going to buy Starcraft II anyway, why would you care?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:29AM (#29146749)

    Why, why why why is there no LAN play?

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

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

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

    • by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:43AM (#29146959)

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kryptal ( 1109721 )
      Do you expect an increase or decrease of pirating due to the choice to remove LAN play?
    • That's easy.

      So Blizzard can have their cake and eat it too. Make sure everyone buys a copy AND pay monthly fees.
    • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:00PM (#29147245) Journal

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

  • by Gruturo ( 141223 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:29AM (#29146757)

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

  • LAN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:30AM (#29146769)

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

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

    • Re:LAN (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:46AM (#29147019)

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

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

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

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

  • by For a Free Internet ( 1594621 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:32AM (#29146801)

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

    • World of Warcraft taught me this:

      Ni hao!
  • Linux support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sascha J. ( 803853 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:33AM (#29146805) Homepage Journal
    Obligatory question: Did you change your mind about Linux support for any of your existing or announced games? Are new, upcoming games going to be playable on Linux natively?
    • Re:Linux support (Score:5, Interesting)

      by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:47AM (#29147039)

      Another good question on that topic is:

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Azaril ( 1046456 )
        I remember reading in a post on the Wow forums, that infact most of the staff actually use a linux client, but the cost/benefit ratio of support and patch testing for a linux client makes it impossible to release. At any rate, there is blue support on the forums for using WoW with wine.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Hinhule ( 811436 )

        Probably because there would be problems implementing warden on Linux machines. []

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )

        Another question in this thread:

        Blizzard has noted that they allow the use of Cedega and Wine but will not provide technical support. They have worked with the Cedega developers on issues. And there's whispers that they have unofficially worked with Wine developers.

        What does Blizzard get for these efforts? Are there insights to bugs / issues to the game client that aren't apparent on the supported platforms? Or is this just a fun side project that helps out a (presumably) smaller subset of fans / custom

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )

          Another question:

          Is Blizzard aware of how many of their customers use Linux? Do these statistics show up via Warden and/or the occasional "non-identifying system statistics" reports?

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:34AM (#29146829) Journal
    To the planning divisions of all teams: My coworker and I love every single one of your games. But we don't love your release dates. We'd almost appreciate it if there was no release date until you know 100% about it. Your delays vary wildly and have lead both of us to be extremely dubious even when we hear reports like Starcraft II delayed until 2010 []. We've taken to an X-Files approach: Trust No One. Lest you get your hopes dashed. Why are release dates given when they almost always get pushed back? Is this something you just have to do so marketing has time to hype? Is there any effort to fix these estimation problems? Why aren't you assigning a larger variance and learning from past experiences by now?

    I understand this happens by and large everywhere in software development but you guys are epitome of online games. If you can't give solid release dates, no one can.
    • It'll be released when its ready. If they were cranking out new titles at an EA pace slashdotters would be howling about Vivendi/Activision ruining Blizzard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rallion ( 711805 )

      I just want to point out that they already do exactly what you're saying they should. They never announced a release date for SC2, but the gaming community slapped an imaginary 2009 date on there after statements to the effect that they hoped to be able to get the game out by the end of the year, but that it would be difficult.

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

    As a company who has shown a generally tendency toward keeping its fans happy (the return of the original voice actor for Raynor being a great, recent example of this), are you paying attention to the heavily supported petition at I ask this because the petition brings up quite valid points about the creation of pirate servers. Surely you must realize that time and time again game companies make similar decisions regarding anti-piracy practice (

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:36AM (#29146863) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:39AM (#29146889) Journal
    To the World of Warcraft team: your work is censored in China []. Is this negative or an unavoidable necessity? Does it ever bother you on a personal level that you slave over skeletons and zombies and stories involving them only to have 1/5 of the world relegated to some modified version of your work? Would you rather error on the side of cultural sensitivity? I had heard rumors that panda-like characters will never be in World of Warcraft due to them being a cherished icon of China. Is it true that real world politics play a role in what you do and don't do in your game? Do you ever feel restricted or cautious because of this? Do you ever find yourself musing on how great a scenario or character would be but then reject it because so-and-so would have a field day in court with it?
  • by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:40AM (#29146911)

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

    • Hear, Hear!

    • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:46PM (#29147927)
      "After several instances of your company being evil towards the community bnetd & removal of LAN play on your newest titles, please give me a good reason to buy what you are selling.."

      Since they clearly aren't going to budge on either position, there's only one reason to buy what they're selling. It's because you think that the entertainment you get is worth the money you spend, and is good enough to overcome your objections. What other reason could there possibly be?

      In other words, what kind of answer are you after?
  • If my goal is to only play Starcraft 2 online, do I need to purchase all three games? Does purchasing each one unlock a new race for multiplayer or do we get everything in one box?
  • Sell Out (Score:2, Interesting)

    With the Mountain Dew game fuel, charging money for direct TV view of blizzcon, WoW being used to advertise Toyota trucks... I wonder: did you guys sell out on your own accord, or did it have to do with the merger with Activision?
  • Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by emanem ( 1356033 )
    Q1) Given the massive success of WoW on Linux (through wine) are you considering a Linux port of your main incoming titles?
    Q2) If no Q1, will you at least consider wine as a release platform for your incoming titles?
    Q3) Given the current situation with incresing Linux distribution/usage, what are your future plans for Linux OS?
    Q4) Is it so hard to develope the same engine on both D3D and OpenGL?
    Q5) Are there any particular effects you couldn't be able to easily implement in OpenGL version (eg. fancy sha
    • While I'm not from blizzard, I can answer some questions for you

      Q4) Is it so hard to develope the same engine on both D3D and OpenGL?

      The WoW engine already does opengl, as does warcraft 3 and as will starcraft 2, and diablo 3.

      Q6) Would you reccomend to a young ISV to use OpenGL or better both D3D and OpenGL to create a multi-platform game?

      Unless you count the xbox360 and windows as 'multi platform' you more or less have to use opengl for multi platform games, it runs on anything with 3d hardware, and some things without (slowly of course). If blizzard did not have an opengl backend also, they would not have any mac ports even.

  • Starcraft II (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rehtonAesoohC ( 954490 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:46AM (#29147013) Journal
    They have stated that there will be three separate game releases, one for Terrans, one for Zerg, and the final for Protoss. Because of this split, will the game length suffer? Given the fact that both Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War were entirely single games that encompassed three storylines, the game took a significantly longer amount of time to complete fully. How can Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty take as long as the original game 's three chapters to complete while remaining fresh and fun throughout?

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

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

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

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

  • by Sycon ( 1622433 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:50AM (#29147061)
    As a company with a history of working hard to please its customers (the return of Raynor's original voice actor being a great example), are you paying attention to the petition to bring back LAN support at []? I ask because the petition brings forth a number of valid points, chief among them the fact that pirate servers will be created no matter what precautions you take. This is a point that has been proven time and time again by other companies seeking to use DRM. Take Spore for example: Spore arguably had the most powerful and restrictive DRM available and was intended to be "un-pirateable", yet it went down as the most largely pirated game in history and the pirated version was even available before the game had officially been released.
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:50AM (#29147073) Homepage Journal
    I used to be an avid Warcraft II player both in single player and online, and I also dabbled in a little bit of Warcraft III, but ultimately quit both after encountering rampant and flagrant cheating online. The cheaters didn't even attempt to hide what they were doing, level 16 grunts in WC II and teammates telling me they had the map hack in WC III made it pretty obvious. (To that end, I turned against the teammate who told me he had map hacks and spent all my resources attacking his stuff and then got beat by the other team). While I get beat more often then not, playing against cheaters makes the game 0 fun, and it seemed that Blizzard was either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. What are the anti-cheating technologies that you are employing in Starcraft II and do you think they will make a difference?
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:50AM (#29147077) Journal
    In regards to server and mechanics development: What are the biggest deficiencies you see in new hires and college grads? Are there any paradigms in the game development professional world that game and graphics courses in college don't seem to cover? When a new developer starts, what are the basic things you teach them first? Do you ever have to take time unlearning things that are pervasive in say, web development? Are there any patterns or architectural paradigms that hold importance above all else in online games?

    In regards to the artists of graphics and world design and modeling: What are the biggest deficiencies you see in new hires and college grads? Is the "art" aspects of your games something that can be learned or do you have a few talented visionaries driving the group? I've been impressed with the mood in Diablo and the beautiful scenery in certain areas of World of Warcraft. Is that a single person at work or a large group adding a little brush stroke to the whole painting?
  • by debrain ( 29228 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#29147187) Journal

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


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

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

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

  • by H0NGK0NGPH00EY ( 210370 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @11:58AM (#29147221) Homepage
    What actual hard data does Blizzard have that led them to make such an about-face on LAN from Starcraft to Starcraft II? The ability with the original Starcraft to create a "spawn copy" that allowed friends to play for free in a LAN game was (IMO) a big driver of sales. Why remove such a successful feature? In what universe does removing popular features from your product and pissing off a large base of your fans somehow result in more sales?
    • This seems to follow the typical entertainment industry fallacy of "people who enjoy our product without paying (typically through piracy, though not in this case) would buy it instead if we made free enjoyment harder." The question Blizzard was deciding here was whether the person playing the spawned copy of Starcraft was a potential customer or added value to the actual customers, and they chose to believe that it was a potential customer. Of course everyone should pay. Shareholder value and all that. I'd

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

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

  • Single Player (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PktLoss ( 647983 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:11PM (#29147375) Homepage Journal

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

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

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

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

  • Auction house in D3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Twillerror ( 536681 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:11PM (#29147393) Homepage Journal

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

  • Why does every expansion make previous content so worthless? Do you honestly think that people won't buy expansions if the current content is still fun? In my opinion your expansions add enough to justify the purchases, there is no reason to force them down our throats.

    For example with wrath of the lich king there was plenty of new content added to justify purchasing it, without making the entire area of burning crusade worthless except for grinding from levels 58 to 68. There was a ton of great raids and d

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#29147495)

    Do you have any plans for integrating World of Warcraft with the internet? People have speculated for ages about the ability to access the Auction House, receive and send in-game mail, schedule raids/events, and even chat with players in the game from a web-based console, or even a mobile phone. What sorts of challenges are keeping you from exploring this more fully than we have already seen with the experiments on the Armory?

  • Blizzard,

    the Lan question has been covered. I think a short summary is that your entire gaming customer group at large is incredibly angry at the online only requirement (and how that screws up lan gaming), so I will not get into that or the ensuing boycott that I (and every lan party I know and/or have been a part of) are boycotting your products now.

    My question is: in what ways has the activision merger done anything good for the company? All I have seen so far is basically the equivalent of extremely bad

  • Rumors have been going around about the Starcraft 2 Beta. Will there be a beta and if so when will it open to those that opted into the Beta through BNET 2.0?
  • Given the recent trends with character creation, cross-realm transfers, and the accelerated leveling experience, are there any plans to make characters even more fluid than they presently are? Have you considered the possibility of allowing all classes to start at an advanced level, rather than just the Heroes? Are you considering the possibility of allowing a character 'trade-in' where you could 'retire' a character of a certain level in exchange for one of another class, race, etc?

  • Blizzard,
    You are well known for taking an established genre, polishing the heck out of it, and making great games that people love to play. Do you have plans to get in to any other type of genres other than RTSs, MMOs, or dungeon crawlers?
  • WoW - Spectator Mode (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:27PM (#29147653)

    Are you still considering allowing a 'Spectator Mode' in WoW? This feature would be specifically interesting in Arenas and Raids, and doesn't seem to be too technologically complex to implement. What's holding you back?

  • WoW and Realms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpope@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday August 21, 2009 @12:34PM (#29147753) Journal

    WoW is the only game I can't play with all my friends. Because some are are on realm A, some are on realm B, and some are in realm C. And while I can create 3 different characters to play with each of them, I could not tackle a dungeon with all of them. If I was playing Warcraft 3, Guild Wars, or any number of first person shooters, this wouldn't a problem -- and I don't pay a subscription to any of them.

    Are there any plans (aside from the current "Paid Character Transfer") to enhance cross-realm gameplay? Or is this low on your priority list and are never going to do it (like allowing flying mounts in pre-BC areas)?

    (And yes: I realize I'm in the minority by having met most of my friends who play WoW IRL...rather than the reverse)

  • Economy of Diablo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chardish ( 529780 ) <> on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:44PM (#29148625) Homepage

    In Diablo II, gold was a worthless commodity. Because the only way to get quality items was from either monster drops or gambling (which would often costs millions of gold to find something salable), the standard unit of economic trade became a unique ring.

    This was bad for the economy in general: unlike World of Warcraft's Auction House, it was impossible for players who weren't competitive traders to participate in the economy. In addition, the design of the game in general made trading difficult (having to start a game to initiate a trade, muling, etc.)

    What changes are you making to Diablo in order to make the economy of Diablo III more vibrant and accessible?

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson