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Posts with tag starcraft-2

Riot allegedly patents Spectator Mode camera element

According to a Reddit thread today, Riot, creator of League of Legends, has had a patent approved for what the poster describes as the "self-moving camera" within their spectator mode. The patent documents spell out the specific thing Riot is claiming patent on, describing a spectator mode that has an element described as follows:
...the spectator server is further configured to calculate an interest value associated with each avatar and direct the user's view to the avatar having the highest interest value.
The online multiuser game system of claim 1, wherein the spectator server is further configured to monitor data affecting the interest values and shift the view to another avatar if it gains the highest interest value.
You can read the full text of the claim on the online document. Based on the Reddit thread, and reading the documents, it seems that this claim is very specific, dealing with a camera which the game automatically moves to whichever character has the most interesting action going on. According to the second part of the claim, it will also monitor data on what is the most interesting, and shift its view accordingly.

The impact of this patent on other games, particularly Blizzard games, is open for discussion. Should Blizzard wish to introduce a self-moving camera with a background AI that monitors the "interest levels" of the actions of specific avatars, then it seems that might be a problem. That is, of course, if the patent withstands further scrutiny and any cases brought against it.

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Filed under: News items

StarCraft II Arcade now free to play

Good news for Blizzard fans looking for more games to play -- the StarCraft II Arcade is now completely free. StarCraft II is not only well known for the game and tournament play, but also for its creative community. The game comes with a map editor that allows you to customize and craft your own creations, using Blizzard art assets and maps to put together whatever game your creative mind happens to dream up. These creations are all available as part of the StarCraft II Arcade, a massive index of player-created games.

So what's in the Arcade? Everything from custom maps and missions to StarCraft-themed versions of popular games like Bejeweled and Pictionary. Full access to all games in the Arcade was previously limited only to those who purchased StarCraft II. With the launch of patch 2.1, all games in the Arcade have now been made available to anyone with a Battle.net account -- even games that previously required the Heart of the Swarm. To access the Arcade, simply download and install the free trial version of StarCraft II, no purchase necessary.

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Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

Can't wait for more Warcraft? Check out the Alliance and Horde StarCraft 2 mod

Have you been waiting for Warcraft 4? And waiting and waiting? Then you'll be glad to know that intrepid modder StevenLuo has brought Warcraft aesthetics to StarCraft 2 using the SC2 Editor. The finished product, WOW RTS: Alliance and Horde (or WAH for short), features 2 factions, 16 units, 18 heroes, and 3 maps -- Lost Temple (2V2), Crossroads (1V1), and Ashenvale (1V1) -- which you can play on with others or against the AI.

Can't wait to get started? Launch the StarCraft 2 Arcade and search for WAH to bring up the maps. The initial download is 245MB, but once you have all the assets, the individual maps are pretty small. So what are you waiting for? Get Warcrafting!

Filed under: StarCraft 2

The BlizzCon Artists' Stage wants your questions!

The BlizzCon Artists Stage wants your questions!
The Artists' Stage will once again be making a showing at BlizzCon, featuring presentations and live demonstrations by many of Blizzard's master artists throughout both days of BlizzCon. This year, they are looking for your questions for the artists and participants featured on stage. Those of you interested in quizzing Blizzard's artists can submit your questions on the official BlizzCon forums.

In addition to the request for questions, Blizzard has released a full schedule of events for the Artists' Stage. And for those that have found the Burdens of Shaohao miniseries a delight, Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson, Senior Art Editor Doug Gregory and Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin will be hosting The Making of The Burdens of Shaohao Friday evening at 6pm. For the full list of powerhouse artists that will be making appearances at the Artists' Stage, as well as the event schedule, check out the official BlizzCon website -- and don't forget to submit your questions while you're there!


Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

StarCraft Universe hits funding goal

In the midst of all the excitement over patch 5.4's release, you could be forgiven if you've forgotten about StarCraft Universe, the Upheaval Arts fan project to create an MMO-type game for StarCraft II. The plot of the game revolves around an alternate ending to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, where Kerrigan couldn't stop the hybrid's assault and the Protoss were defeated. StarCraft Universe tells the story of the aftermath.

If that sounds intriguing to you, know that the project has hit its Kickstarter funding goal, so StarCraft Universe is on its way to fruition. For those of you who still want to contribute and earn some extra perks, there are a few hours remaining on the campaign, but don't delay, time is quickly running out. If you've been clamoring for a StarCraft-themed MMO, this is a project you'll definitely want to check out!

Filed under: News items, StarCraft 2

StarCraft II Art Tools Open Beta available

StarCraft II Art Tools Open Beta available
If you're a 3D artist looking for some new toys to get that creative streak going, Blizzard has just the thing for you. The StarCraft II Art Tools package is now in open beta, and includes plugins for 3DS Max, along with a ton of StarCraft II source art files, tutorials, and documentation to get you up and running. The art tools package isn't just a new toy from Blizzard -- it's the same tools that the StarCraft II development team used to create Heart of the Swarm.

The tools package allows artistic players to create new models, textures, particle effects, animations, or pretty much any other 3D art asset that you can dream up for the StarCraft II engine. This is, however, a beta -- so there may be bugs with the program. However, Blizzard of course has an official feedback thread for users to leave bug reports and suggestions for improvement. To participate in the open beta, simply visit the announcement page, download the program in either 32-bit or 64-bit version, grab the documentation, and get to creating!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

The Queue: BlizzCon, daily quests, gnome heads, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Let's go right to the questions!

mikkelsdk asked:

Considering Blizzard has a lot of things on the table currently (Heartstone, Blizzard All-Stars, Titan, Next WoW Expansion, Diablo 3 xpac and probably SC2 xpac) which of these aren't we going to hear about at Blizzcon? Titan is a given but have Blizzard talking about Heartstone, All-stars, WoW xpac, Diablo 3 xpac and SC2 xpac is kinda of a long shot.

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Filed under: The Queue

Blizzard purchases IGN Pro League

Blizzard Buys IGN Pro League
Blizzard has bought the technology and other assets related to the IGN Pro League. The future of IPL was up in the air due to IGN layoffs back in February with 1UP, UGO, and Gamespy closing shop. Now we know what the fate of IPL will be. Some members of the team will be moving over to San Francisco to work on "high-quality web and mobile content in support of Blizzard games" but it appears that the actual operations of IPL will be coming to a close. Other members will be joining Blizzard's existing eSports team and possibly assisting them with the recently announced Starcraft 2 World Championship Series.

Personally, I've enjoyed watching the League of Legends and Starcraft 2 tournaments that IPL held. I'm quite sad to see them go as I was impressed by the level of quality in their productions. Best of luck to everyone involved!


Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Lich King easter egg discovered in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Lich King in SC2 Image Editor
"There must always be a Lich King," Bolvar reminded us, and he really, really meant it. Across all realities, in every Blizzard intellectual property, there must be a Lich King. That's right, take a look at that screenshot up there. Yup, that's the Lich King, buried in a sheet of ice somewhere in the Koprulu Sector. Redditor Aunvilgod laments, "I'm just making a map, and I see this..." I'm not sure it's really any major source of concern, though, considering we have recent confirmation that the Zerg would curbstomp the Scourge in a brawl. Then again, that's only good news if you're Zerg. Terrans and Protoss might have a slightly different perspective.

Unsurprisingly, the thread is immediately flooded with cries for a Warcraft 4. I really don't think WoW is going anywhere anytime soon, folks, though I suppose fans can dream.

Filed under: Humor, StarCraft 2

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm launch schedule

Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm launch schedule
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm officially launches, as the image suggests, on March 12, but, with the game launching at midnight tonight, launch events have kicked off all over the world. The evening of March 11 is when celebrations began in Sydney, Australia, where, at the time of writing, the game has been available for purchase for a full eight hours.

Events are currently taking place in Europe, with activities underway and being broadcast live on Blizzard's official twitch channel right now. The European events include a tournament featuring well-known players such as Stephano, LucifroN, Grubby and White-Ra, who are competing live on stage, mixed in with developer interviews, exclusive content and more!

If you're too late to check out the European streams, which finish at 8pm EST, fear not, because the US events kick off at 9pm PST, with Day9 and Husky kicking off proceedings. There will be live show matches, displaying the new "take command" feature, and new custom games, and two attendees will have the opportunity to play with Suppy and ViBE in a 2v2 pro/am match.

Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Chris Sigaty and Sam Didier will be in attendance at the US event, taking part in developer presentations, custom games and much more. Again, if you weren't able to make it to Irvine to attend the event, this will all be broadcast live via the official Twitch channel. Do check out Blizzard's launch pages for further information on any of the events.


Filed under: Blizzard, StarCraft 2

StarCraft: Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology

StarCraft Kerrigan  Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology
This week, we had patch 5.2 to contend with, but next week it's all about the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm for plenty of players. Blizzard has been slowly releasing promotional material for the new game, including a new cinematic and a pretty fascinating viral advertising campaign called Project Blackstone, which is still being updated as the time ticks down to Heart of the Swarm's launch. And now we have another piece -- a comic about Kerrigan and a glimpse at what she's been through that takes place at some point after she was rescued at the end of Wings of Liberty.

Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance #0 is a relatively short comic, but the art and writing is top-notch. And here's the kicker -- it's absolutely free. You don't have to pay for the comic, you simply plunk it in your cart, checkout and read. The comic is a fairly brisk 8 pages, but with a story by Cameron Dayton and some really stunning art by Zoddd, not to mention the absence of a price tag, this is a nice treat for StarCraft fans.

To my knowledge, this is the first time Blizzard's ever offered a free digital comic of this scope. And it does make one wonder.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Vengeance trailer debuts

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm launches March 12, 2013 -- are you ready for it? If you weren't already hyped for the next installment of the game, Blizzard has just released the new trailer shown above. Heart of the Swarm continues the story where Wings of Liberty left off, and follows the continuing tale of Sarah Kerrigan. Although the Xel'Naga artifact appears to have restored Kerrigan's human form, is humanity where her heart really lies?

As usual, the cinematics team have outdone themselves. If there's one thing Blizzard has always excelled at, it's producing some seriously amazing trailers. Check out the trailer in full above, and don't forget to pick up your copy of Heart of the Swarm March 12.


Filed under: Blizzard, StarCraft 2

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm cinematic revealed

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm cinematic revealed
Blizzard revealed the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm opening cinematic late last night. Sure, it isn't Warcraft material, but it's fair to say we all enjoy the work that comes from the team that made the Mists of Pandaria cinematic. And don't lie -- you pet collectors are going to be picking up the Collector's Edition of Heart of the Swarm for its Baneling pet anyway.

The cinematic, which you can view behind the cut below along with its accompanying blue post, depicts a Zerg siege of the Terran Dominion as Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, seeks vengeance against Arcturus Mengsk. We really could have done without the Wilhelm Scream at 1:43 in the cinematic, but to be entirely fair, StarCraft has a long history of using it and other cliché stock sound effects.

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Filed under: StarCraft 2

Weekly maintenance extended to 3pm PST

Weekly maintenance extended to 3pm PST
Realm maintenance for all Warcraft realms as well as Diablo III and StarCraft II has now been extended to 3pm PST, according to the official BlizzardCS Twitter feed. Maintenance was originally extended to 1pm PST, but apparently some unforeseen issues have come up which require some additional work. What exactly this maintenance is addressing is unknown at this time, but hopefully realms will be up and playable soon.

Blizzard does have a thread that is being updated as more information comes in, so if you're waiting for realms to come back up, you may want to keep an eye on the official thread. Alternatively, if you have a Twitter account, following @BlizzardCS is an excellent way to keep tabs on maintenance issues as well. If there are any further extensions, we'll update this post as needed.

Edit: All servers are now back online and available for play!

Filed under: News items

Tickets for Battle.net World Championship on sale soon

Tickets for Battlenet World Championships on sale soon
This year's Battle.net World Championship will be held Nov. 17 and 18 in Shanghai, China. If you're looking to go, the tickets will be on sale via Blizzard's Chinese website. If you have difficulty paying through that site for whatever reason, Blizzard has also given tickets to various fansites listed here. So if you're interested in attending the event to watch some of the best StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft players in the world compete, hopefully you can find a way to do so.

You can read the Blizzard post above or head to their Battle.net World Championship page for more details.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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