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Posts with tag starcraft2

StarCraft vs. Warcraft: What is the WoW community missing?

For the past year or so, I've been living a double life. To some, I am a skilled and tenacious night elf priestess, adventuring through Azeroth at the charge of the Holy Light, healing the injured and saving the incompetent. To others, however, I am but a lowly brood mother, commanding a swarming, parasitic army with occasional success against my enemies across the Koprulu sector. Don't follow me? Basically, I've just been playing a lot of StarCraft 2 whenever I'm not raiding.

Still, being heavily invested in WoW and StarCraft has really felt like living two lives at times, especially when you consider how dramatically different they both are. And I'm not talking about the gameplay; obviously one would expect an MMORPG and an RTS to be incomparable. What I mean is that that the culture and community that surrounds these two games are distinctively different, despite the fact that the games share some of their playerbase with one another. You'd think that one game community would be pretty similar to the next, but they're not.

The whole thing has left me with a lot of questions to turn over in my mind. Is it possible that the WoW and StarCraft communities could learn from the other? Seven years in, is it even possible for the WoW community to change in any significant way at this point? And if so, is there something missing in the WoW community? To explore the idea further, I started making a list of all the things I thought the StarCraft community had that the WoW community was lacking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard giving StarCraft 2 players 30 days of WoW

Blizzard has quietly begun giving players with active StarCraft 2 accounts free 30-day WoW accounts. Verified by several sites and lots of SC2 players, Blizzard just flipped the WoW switch on many players' Battle.net accounts, inviting them to come join the world of Azeroth.

Battle.net is a great asset to Blizzard, as it allows the company to easily facilitate subscriptions from all its games and create potential customers to its other games through the common account. Giving away WoW subscriptions is an easy and practically costless move that might get even more people hooked. If you know any StarCraft 2 players who haven't set foot in Azeroth yet, maybe it's time that they gave the game a whirl.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

The Lawbringer: Buying precedent

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The following is an opinion piece dealing with Blizzard's ongoing litigation. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of me, Mathew, the columnist.

You might have heard that Blizzard and its lawyers have recently started new litigation against three StarCraft 2 hackers in District Court. To a lot of people, this looks like another case of Blizzard going after more hackers for screwing with the online experience. To me, I see Blizzard's lawsuits as positive EULA-builders with huge benefit to the independent game market. It sounds crazy, but less so when you think about the concept of buying precedent.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Blizzard responds to common Real ID concerns

Nethaera (Blizzard community manager) posted answers to some of the common Real ID questions and concerns on the forums today. With the PR disaster that was Blizzard's original Real ID on the forums concept, a follow-up aimed at easing tensions in the community -- even after the retraction -- was to be expected. While Blizzard offered some good news on things people have been requesting, they also dodged other points for the moment in true Blizzard style.

Some highlights from the announcement:
  • no current plans for an online handle to be used in game with Real ID instead of your name
  • feature to disable your name's appearance in Friends of Friends list coming around the time of StarCraft II
  • plans for some sort of unique ID on the WoW forums
The full announcement is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Thaddius encounter recreated in StarCraft II


Ever wonder what happens to raid bosses when they get bored? For Thaddius, it seems he has been spending some time moonlighting over in StarCraft II. While he was there, it also seems like he's picked up a few more tricks and upgraded his armor. After all, Naxxramas was only a setback!

IIam4 used Thaddius as an inspiration for his entry into the custom ability contest on SC2Mapster by recreating his Polarity Shift. While he was recreating this ability, he also decided to add a few new features of his own.
  • Shocking Grasp A random target will be paralyzed and take damage over time. If any other unit comes within range of the afflicted unit, Shocking Grasp will jump. This can create a chain reaction.
  • Spawn Volatile Spark Two volatile sparks are spawned, serving as summoned adds that should be DPSed down right away.
These abilities combine to create a very interesting and creative boss battle using the StarCraft II editor. The amount of micromanagement required to keep all of your units alive adds a nice level of complexity to the boss encounter. I personally like that Thaddius is a giant Maruader unit. This video is a nice showcase of the tools that were available even in the beta and exactly what could be done with enough motivation.

StarCraft II is set to release on July 27, 2010. While I'm absolutely certain it will be a fantastic game in its own rights, I can't help but wonder if we will see any more player-created World of Warcraft crossovers with the tools that are shipping with SC2. Can you imagine a campaign where the end boss is casting Defile while you try to micromanage all of your units safely around it? How about navigating your troops into position for a Shatter or managing Burning Adrenaline. Maybe a little Doomfire for good measure! This could bring a whole new level of fun to Tower Defense and Mastermind-style game mods!

So, if you could recreate any one boss or ability from WoW in a StarCraft II fight, what boss would it be?

Blizzard bans 320,000 WarCraft III and Diablo II players

Blizzard appears to be cleaning house in preparation for its StarCraft II release as well as its Battle.net revamp. In a recent announcement on the service's forums, Blizzard rep Bashiok revealed that over 300,000 accounts were punished for violations of the terms of service for Warcraft III and Diablo II for using hacks and illegal third-party tools (which are essentially hacks).

For those of you who have had past experience with Battle.net, these numbers probably don't surprise you. The network has had a long reputation of being fairly easy on people using hacks as Blizzard tends to save up over a long period of time in order to do a massive batch of bans at once. This means that those who are using hacks have a long period of time to abuse the system before anything is done about it. The hacks for some games were rampant enough that other players began using hacks that detect other hacks. Regardless of the reason behind using a hack, it is still against the terms of service and means if you get caught, you're out.

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Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

BlizzCon 2008: All Blizzard games playable including Diablo 3


Though the WoW Insider team has arrived en masse to cover all things WoW at BlizzCon 2008, our eyes can't help but wander over what other shiny offerings Blizzard has to display. Our sister sites Joystiq and Big Download will be covering Starcraft II and Diablo 3 extensively, but having already been to the Anaheim Convention Center today to get our press badges we couldn't help but notice in the program (see above) that a playable demo of Diablo 3 will be available for the first time.

Don't worry we won't let it distract us from -- is that the new class for Diablo 3? It's class weapon does what?? Shoot witches!? Sorry. What were we saying?

Filed under: BlizzCon

Rob Pardo talks about free WoW, Starcraft, Activision

Rob Pardo, SVP of game design at Blizzard, gave the keynote speech at the Game Developer's Conference held in Paris this week. Here are some WoW-related tidbits from his talk and the Q&A session held afterward.

About WoW
  • WoW was first conceived as free to play, being supported by advertising. However, the non-subscription business model couldn't support Blizzard's goals for the game.
  • Pardo suggested that Blizzard approached the MMO genre "very naively, or else we might not have done it."
  • He once hired a WoW player who sent him a 16-page diatribe about the game because, even though the guy was wrong, "he was passionate" about improving the game.
About Starcraft 2
  • Blizzard has no problem putting intellectual properties on hold for a while, hence the wait for a Starcraft game. Pardo says that they wanted to make a real-time strategy game but were "tired of green-skinned orcs" so they moved away from Warcraft to Starcraft.
  • Starcraft 2 is at a playable stage in its development and he's having a lot of fun with it.
Read more about Rob Pardo's keynote speech.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

New StarCraft II screenshots released

New StarCraft II screenshots releasedAvid Blizzard fans are already watching the official StarCraft II website. Much like other unmentionable Blizzard products, information about StarCraft II is slowly making its way into the world. There may not yet be Tauren marines in our immediate future, but sharp-eyed David Craddock at the Big Download Blog spotted new screenshots released this week.

While some of the screenshots won't be recognizable or meaningful to new StarCraft initiates, most of the action is generally recognizable (in a general sense) to a veteran RTS player. You can definitely get an overall sense of troops, constructed bases, and how the fight might progress if it were animated.

These new screenshots feature the Banelings, which sound like pretty fierce critters in their own right. Banelings -- a "morph" of the zergling -- are chemically volatile little buggers who spend their lives angry, temperamental, and ready to explode at any given time. Through tender loving care, Zerg Queens have been able to engineer the banelings in such a way that they'll explode exactly when needed. Presumably, "when needed" means "all over your troops." You can see the Baneling's idle animation on their feature page on the official site. They pump and undulate, and really do look like something that's over-filled and ready to pop given a moment's notice. Kind of gross, really.

Most of the details about Starcraft II will come "closer to release date," but it's still pretty tantalizing to get a first look at notable, trademark troops.

Gallery: Starcraft 2

Filed under: News items, Rumors

GDC08: Live from Rob Pardo talks about Blizzard's approach to MMOs


Rob Pardo, Blizzard's Senior Vice President of Game Design, is speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this afternoon and WoW Insider is here live to catch it all. Though the auditorium is just filling up, Pardo should be out in a few minutes to tell us all about Blizzard's approach to multiplayer game design. Catch the full details after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items

The Starcraft 2 petition



So I wandered over to Blizzplanet this morning to check out what new information they might have, about the Wrath of the Lich King, about the upcoming patches, really anything of interest. Now, I only recently got into the Starcraft universe, really since the announcement about a sequel being in development. It was at that time that I decided to pick up a copy of the game and see what it was all about. RTS had never been my genre, but I am really enjoying the game for multiple reasons. So when I saw the petition listed on Blizzplanet, I was intrigued.

In Starcraft2, Blizzard's new addition to the genre, there are many things that have reappeared. Characters we know and love are back, albeit with some updates. The most notable change in the characters aside of their appearance is their voices. Evidently Blizzard has decided to go with new voice actors for this project, which leaves diehard Starcraft fans feeling disjointed and more than a little irritated. Thus Blizzplanet has put together a petition, and no it's not to bring back the Firebat. The petition is to let Blizzard know how much the players of Starcraft want to hear the same voice acting in Starcraft 2. The voice work in Starcraft was particularly brilliant, and was a huge part of what gave the game its personality. They ask that Blizzard work with the people that brought that magic to the first game. It really isn't a lot to ask, it just requires a change in Blizzard strategy. Will it work? Sign the petition and find out.

Filed under: Blizzard

BlizzCon then and now


If you were one of the lucky few who happened to attend both this BlizzCon and the one in 2005, you would have noticed, as I did, the subtle changes that separated the two. Some of the changes were physical and others were harder to catch. In 2005 when we arrived at the arena, the sense of excitement was not only palpable, it was visible. For the first time since it's release, WoW fans were able to stand IRL and expound upon their favorite aspects of the game. I know personally, as someone who was at the time fairly new to the game, it was an amazing sight to see so many people who loved the game as I did. When I stood in line to get my tickets this year, however, it felt as if I were surrounded by a different crowd of gamers, a quieter one.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

StarCraft II playable at BlizzCon!


In case you needed any more reasons to want to go to BlizzCon, they've just announced that convention-goers will be treated to a playable demo of StarCraft II. Of course, who knows how much "playable demo" there is to the game yet, but but Blizzard tells us that "attendees can sample the new units and gameplay elements for themselves in multiplayer battles." Ah, sounds like good times to me! (The good old days, pre-WoW, when fun was just a Zergling rush away.)

Don't have tickets to BlizzCon? Don't worry -- WoW Insider has a few tickets to give away. So if you want to see StarCraft II in person, tune in next Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for your chance to win!

Filed under: Blizzard, BlizzCon

Blizzcon forums are live


Eyonix announced that the official World of Warcraft BlizzCon 2007 forums are live. Topics are already blazing:
  • What costume are you going to wear?
  • Petitions to buy tickets for people who can't go but still want the swag
  • How to find a place to stay when every room is already sold out
  • And the most important topic of all: FIRST!
No new information yet on additional swag, ticket on-sale date or if a playable Starcraft 2 demo will be available for Blizzcon 2007. But keep checking in with WoW Insider, we'll update here when we know more.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

WoW Moviewatch: Starcraft 2 boogies down WoW style


Reading through WarCry I came across this fun little morsel. Evidently, it looks like the devs for Starcraft 2 are having a little fun with their game play, at least in pre-alpha. I knew that the WoW dances are infectious, but I didn't know they bridged genres.

In this video, note the dancing figure on top of the building to the right. It's WoW's own Night Elf female making a cameo appearance. The caption might be slightly off, but they are right about the figure being an elf, though not a Blood Elf. I imagine that this image will eventually be replaced by unique animation, but for the moment the placeholder certainly looks familiar.

Previously on Moviewatch...

[via WarCry]

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

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