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Ask Blizzard Employees About Things That Matter 504

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the opportune-moment dept.
In just a few days, some of us will be making the trek to this year's Blizzcon event in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the interesting announcements, sneak peeks, and other distractions, we will be sitting down with several Blizzard employees to answer any questions you might have. So far we have scheduled some time with Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II; Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft; Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III; and Paul Sams, Blizzard COO. Please address your questions to one (or several) of these candidates and try to keep them civil and on topic. Questions about Diablo III's art style will most likely be omitted since we have limited time and that dead horse has already been beaten into submission. The usual Slashdot interview rules apply, but beyond that, the sky is the limit.
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Ask Blizzard Employees About Things That Matter

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:44PM (#25276605) Journal
    To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: How does your team balance class, race & profession specific traits? I have seen the new trees for the expansion & I naturally have some concerns. But how do you measure when something is 'unfair?' Do you measure in game reports, analyze logs, play them yourselves? What is your strategy?

    To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: How do you balance races, units, health, damage, effects, et cetera?
    • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:59PM (#25276823) Homepage Journal

      This question has pretty much been answered publicly already. To quote one of the developers [worldofwarcraft.com]:

      We have spreadsheets -- huge ones. We have values for characters in greens and raid buffed with epic gear. We have estimates of mob damage and health, character downtime, the benefits from enchants, gems and glyphs. We have conversion rates of mana to runic power to energy to rage. We look at damage per second, efficiency, button presses per second, typical rotations, movement vs. standing still, mobs vs. players and every other variable we can think of (and there are a LOT of them).

      In the end we come up with an estimate for what an attack should do. We come up with a budget for talents and spells just like we have a budget for items at a given level. Sometimes those estimates are wrong because we forgot to take something into account, or because there's a bug in a talent or spell somewhere that messes up the calculation.

      And then we do lots of testing, and to get a reality check on our tests, we compare them to the numbers people are reporting from the beta. Repeat as necessary.

      I've said this in a few posts: that our numbers can sometimes be wrong (as is the case almost any time you deal with numbers), but the methods we use to arrive at them are absolutely not sloppy.

    • by The_reformant (777653) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:31PM (#25277157)
      To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Zug-zug?
    • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:39PM (#25277251) Journal
      To Tigole,

      Do you have any plans to address imbalances in racial abilities? As an example, a Night Elf's 1% to dodge and "little extra" nature resistance is nowhere near as valuable as the Human racials. The Troll and Orc racials are also far more valuable as a whole, to most classes, then any others.
      • by morcego (260031) on Monday October 06, 2008 @05:18PM (#25277669)

        This is extremely relative. I was planning on answer the OP, but this one opens a nicer avenue.

        I was in change of balancing classes/races for about a year on another game. There are so many factor to take into account I never want to do that kind of thing again. But just a rough sketch:

        - Across the board balance issues: This are easier to detect, and spreadsheets are great for it
        - Situational balance issues: And WoW example would be horde classes on PvP
        - Perception balance issues: This are balance issues that players think exist, but don't. Usually they think of it as unfair or unbalanced by analyzing isolated facts, like your example. The 1% extra dodge for night elves is EXTREMELY beneficial if you are a raiding bear tank. You have no idea how much difference that 1% can make.

        As a player and former developer (again, from another game), I think Blizzard does the only thing that can be done: keep the imbalances balanced. Meaning: give each race, class etc something they excel at. Some are better for pvp, some are better for PvE, some for gold farming and gathering professions. After leveling my 4rd character, I have to say that all classes, if played correctly, are equally overpowered (so to speak).

        I can't vouch for the WotLK expansion. I have no beta access. But, in any case, I expect more of the same. Balancing, rebalancing, adjusts, and lots of QQ about a give class being OP.

        Players will be players.
         

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:45PM (#25276615)

    Owned by an evil company?

  • Dominance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:45PM (#25276619) Journal
    To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Do you feel that Blizzard's dominance [mmogchart.com] hurts other MMORPGs? Do you see yourself in direct competition with the other studios & products? Do you ever play these games to see what has been reused or what is new? Do you ever feel like another MMO has extended from World of Warcraft? Do you owe any credit to previous MMOs that have influenced your creations?
    • by mfh (56) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:56PM (#25276779) Journal

      Do you feel that Blizzard's dominance hurts other MMORPGs?

      And to follow up that question, how does it feel to bask in the glory of your defeated enemies, drinking their blood as they futility attempt to dethrone your empire, unsuccessfully and without any hope? Do you ever break out into song, perhaps in Orcish or Gutterspeak, to said victories, uncontrollably -- or have you become numbed by the whole experience?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gnick (1211984)

      Do you owe any credit to previous MMOs that have influenced your creations?

      And, by naming them specifically and publicly, how long do you think it will take before they approach you demanding royalties?

      • by blincoln (592401)

        And, by naming them specifically and publicly, how long do you think it will take before they approach you demanding royalties?

        Blizzard doesn't exactly go to great pains to conceal the source material they're inspired by. I'm pretty sure that if the estate of JRR Tolkien, Michael Moorcock or Games Workshop (to name a few) were going to go after them, they already would have.

  • I want to know what the answer is to life, the (warcraft)universe and everything.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:46PM (#25276635) Journal
    To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: Where do you find inspiration for designing Diablo III? Even though I was young, I was always impressed with the darkness and feel to Diablo I & II. Do you turn to novels? Fantasy artwork? Your own imagination? What are your influences?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rgo (986711)
      I believe the answer for that is My Little Pony and the Carebears.
  • To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: What has been the most disastrous or disheartening experience in your time as game director for World of Warcraft? Duping, gold, farmers, MMOGlider, barrens chat, server failures, what?
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:48PM (#25276665) Journal
    To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: We discussed Warcraft III being played on a table top [slashdot.org] a while ago. Do you see this technology taking off in the near future? Are you planning to do any testing with your manipulation of units to see if this will be a possibility for gamers? Do you think this will ever be commonplace?
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:50PM (#25276695) Journal
    To Paul Sams, Blizzard COO: What is the hardest thing in managing the operations of what is arguably the largest MMO? At 10,000,000 subscribers [mmogchart.com], what are your number one concerns? What challenges do you face in an average day?
    • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:54PM (#25277417) Journal
      Day-to-day challenges with a 10 million subscriber base? How about getting to his desk around the huge piles of MONEY?!
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:51PM (#25276709) Journal
    To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: Are you planning on a population cap in Starcraft II? I assume this is true and it has been something that annoyed me, even if it is a soft cap. I understand that building the perfect army is more desirable than meat grinding a thousand of the same unit but what is the function of a population cap? I understand machines used to have severely limited resources so it was necessary but what about now?
    • Meh, cap nothing. Quantity has a quality all its own.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      Resources are still quite limited. Have you played Supreme Commander? There is a population cap, but it can be set to between 200 and 1000 in skirmishes or multiplayer. With a 1000 unit cap just 4-5 CPU players are enough to grind the game to a crawl once the armies start to grow. I don't think it's necessary for every army to actually reach that size, either. And no, I'm not playing it on an Eee, but on a Q6600@2.8 + 8800GT pc. As for gameplay considerations, well I'm sure it's also an issue.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) *
    To Paul Sams, Blizzard COO: Has Blizzard achieved Six Sigma [wikipedia.org]? Is this even important in creating MMO software? If so, how do you apply it exactly?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      As a Six Sigma, and LEAN, Green Belt I would probably say that making a good MMORPG is more of an art than a science. Six Sigma is purely scientific. You could develop and operate an MMORPG and be within the threshold of Six Sigma for all possible technical factors and yet the game could be absolutely horrible. This is because Six Sigma is poor at measuring the key factor of an MMORPG: fun.

      You could use Six Sigma to support business functions and to identify problematic areas in places like project flo

    • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday October 06, 2008 @05:02PM (#25277495) Journal
      More to the point, how do you handle the approach of MBA's? Do you just stand off and send in the pet, or drop a snake trap and wait for their approach? Can they be soloed? And why are the only tameable Auditors caster-stat?
  • World Design (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:53PM (#25276729) Journal
    To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: How do you determine the enclosing size of a world or level/map for a game? I have played many games and those that have an 'open' feel to the world seem to possess more possibilities for me. Games where I could go out and get completely lost were much more exciting than a game like Warcraft or Diablo II. How do you determine whether you go with a 'closed and finite world' vs an 'open seemingly boundless world?'

    Are there any books or resources you recommend that discuss/explain game world design?
  • by vjmurphy (190266) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:54PM (#25276739) Homepage

    For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III: what mice do those at Blizzard use for Diablo III? Some industrial, made of titanium, super-reliable mouse with smooth right and left clicking action? Or do you run through mice like an Amazon through Tal Rasha's Tomb?

    Will Diablo III introduce any new mousing techniques, like perhaps middle clicking, or triple left clicking? How about support for right and left mouse wheel clicking available on logitech and microsoft mice?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MMC Monster (602931)

      How about support for right and left mouse wheel clicking available on logitech and microsoft mice?

      The number of players on WOW who will be using two mice with scroll wheels at the same time has got to be low. I'd rather they not target that as a minimum system requirement.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:55PM (#25276757)

    This will never happen, but I'd like to see the first Warcraft Open Sourced. I'm referring to the DOS warcraft I from 1994.

  • Port SC 1? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:57PM (#25276785) Journal
    Is there any possibility of there being an official port of StarCraft 1 to StarCraft 2's game engine?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, its called Starcraft 2. Duh.

  • Requirements (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darundal (891860) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:58PM (#25276799) Journal
    To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: What is the current targeted minimum requirements for a computer that should be able to run Starcraft II, and what data are you working with that makes you comfortable with using that as a minimum for Starcraft II?
  • Any chance you guys could release the map creator for SCII prior the release of the game? I'd love to go into SCII with custom maps (Read: dota) ready to be played, and I think a lot of us who play custom maps more than the melee game would agree.
  • Why fight Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:59PM (#25276819)
    There is ample proof of WOW working (somewhat) in WINE, so why not work with the Linux community?

    Note that I am not asking for Linux "support" as that is much more expensive a proposition. Just a supported or acknowledged linux community...
  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Monday October 06, 2008 @03:59PM (#25276827)
    To: Paul Sams, Blizzard COO.
    br Are you intentions to keep battle.net free for Diablo and Starcraft? If so, thank you, if not, what will you be offering that would justify the expense?
  • by tekiegreg (674773) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:00PM (#25276829) Homepage Journal

    Do you guys plan on answering the rest of the interview questions (make this one first) like the last interview [slashdot.org] we were given at Blizzard?

    Just want to know now so I can tune out of the rest of the questions if the answer is "yes". Thanks for the help Blizzard!

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      Blaze? Are you on fire or something?

      I think the term you are looking for is "blase" (accent over the e). Maybe. Not sure how you intend it to be used.

      Maybe you do mean on fire...

  • by n dot l (1099033) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:00PM (#25276833)

    To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: I notice that in a lot of ways the next expansion is almost throwing out the old WoW systems and replacing them with something radically (for WoW) new (much of the class balance, getting rid of the CC/DPS distinction, gear consolidation, etc). What's it like to commit to making such a big change when you've got a hard deadline to meet and millions of fans who'll hunt you down :) if you wreck the game? How do you evaluate whether it's going to be a good thing or not before committing however many resources it takes to redo (and then test) things?

  • Consoles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:00PM (#25276843)

    With PC gaming dying (Netcraft confirms it)[1], what is Blizzard's take on consoles?

    While a game like StarCraft wouldn't work on a traditional console, the argument can be made that Diablo and World of WarCraft could be made to. (There exist crappy little "chat" keyboard controller addons which answers the "keyboard question." Plus all three next-gen consoles support USB keyboards.)

    Any thoughts on porting existing games to consoles? Or developing a console-only game?

    [1] That's a joke for anyone that missed it. There's an (old) troll about how BSD is dying based on Netcraft's figures. So, no, I don't think PC gaming is really dying.

  • Glider + other bots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thed00d (822393) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:01PM (#25276851) Homepage
    To Jeffrey Kaplan,
    Why is there such a negative attitude towards bots and the makers of botting software. The usual arguments of gold farming don't cut it - if everyone has the ability to bot then the value of outside gold sellers automatically deflates.

    I don't buy the negative effect on other players argument either; It creates an equal advantage or disadvantage if regulated instead of taking a total prohibition to botting.

    It would not be unreasonable to think that botting can coexist inside of MMO's. In fact, I think it could enhance the experience much in the same way that autopilot enhances flying: It didn't replace the pilot, it just allows the pilot to take a more managerial role when needed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Perhaps instead of allowing everyone to bot, the 'need' to bot should be considered more. Botting generally serves two purposes: 1.) To automate the 'grind' and 2.) to acquire resources to the players advanatge.

      1.) Many of these botters see the grind as an impediment to the endgame, this relies on the player thinking that they're winning the game (a seperate argument for persistant world based games). Traditionally this has been confronted by adding more interesting content to these level ranges, risk
  • StarCraft II (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:02PM (#25276867)

    Chris Sigaty: Are there plans to support simultanmultiple displays in StarCraft II? (like how supreme commander supports 2 monitors)

    I would build a PC with 4 cards and 8 monitors if SC2 supported it!

  • Dear Blizzard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigitAl56K (805623) * on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:03PM (#25276881)

    Can you explain how loading a copy of your software into memory infringes on your copyright? If I load a million copies of your software into my computers memory have I infringed your copyright a million times? Can you estimate the damages I would need to pay you for loading a copy of World of Warcraft into my computers memory a million times using an unauthorized method?

    Thanks.

    • by Otter (3800) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:20PM (#25277041) Journal

      Can you estimate the damages I would need to pay you for loading a copy of World of Warcraft into my computers memory a million times using an unauthorized method?

      I imagine that Blizzard does in fact employ people capable of multiplying some number by a million and getting an accurate result, not just an estimate. You should have gone with a billion, or some other number that defies calculation.

    • This is my question too. I don't have mod points today so my only way to indicate how significant I find this is to post a follow-up.

      My version of this question and Blizzard's insane distortion of copyright law into something completely unrecognizable would not have been framed nearly as politely as the parent has done.
  • fourth race (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BCristi (1075061)
    To Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II: Will it ever be a fourth race in StarCraft II? And why didn't you kept all the units from StarCraft I?
  • DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chord.wav (599850) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:04PM (#25276893) Journal

    Will Starcraft 2 have DRM or any kind of home calling "feature"? If yes, do you honestly believe that it is going to solve the piracy problem beside just annoying legitimate users?

    • by Achoi77 (669484)

      Did blizzard really have an issue with drm?

      I figured they solved the issue with having the single player game be distributed with no real restrictions (other than cd key install), only allowing online play have the stringent requirement of calling home for verification, since that's where the real gaming comes into place.

      I could understand why blizzard would want to do some kind of measurement with regards to online play since people will do whatever it takes to cheat the client/gameplay in order to hav

  • Dear mr. Boyarsky, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:05PM (#25276899) Journal

    From what I have learned about Diablo III is that you decided to do away with the classic potion system. No more stacking potions and using them rapidly when your health is drained by some (tough/horde of) enemies. I can understand that you wish to abolish the "inventory obsession" that sometimes plagued D2(haven't played D1). The problem is that the potions were a reaction to rapid health loss by a player. This is all too common in a D2 because of the hordes of enemies and relative high speed of the game.

    My question is: Now that you have abolished the potion system in favour of the "health(or mana) orb" system, aren't you afraid that this will affect the speed of the game? The fact that you lose a lot of health was part of the exciting rush in the game resulting in the player always being alert to any danger. Will that Diablo feel persist or will this be a real breaking point in the Diablo series?

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:09PM (#25278215) Homepage

      The problem is that the potions were a reaction to rapid health loss by a player. This is all too common in a D2 because of the hordes of enemies and relative high speed of the game.

      My question is: Now that you have abolished the potion system in favour of the "health(or mana) orb" system, aren't you afraid that this will affect the speed of the game? The fact that you lose a lot of health was part of the exciting rush in the game resulting in the player always being alert to any danger.

      The thing is, as long as you had a belt full of rejuvies, you weren't in any danger (and as soon as you get low you'd Town Portal and burn a couple more to make sure you got through to restock).

      Which means that the only method they had of actually putting you in danger/killing you was to do ludicrous amounts of damage in an extremely short amount of time. i.e. MSFELE or even worse MSLE with anti-resist aura, or the necro boss's corpse explosion, and so on. Things that felt extremely cheap, especially because 90% of the time there was no danger whatsoever. I hated e.g. running up to a pack where unbeknownst to me there was a similarly-shaded boss stuck in the middle and click once and *wham* You Have Died "WTF?!"

      When describing the new system, the devs mentioned this fact explicitly, that the only way to "challenge" you was to outright kill you and that they think this was silly, which makes me very happy.

      I do share your concern it may make the game slower, but if done right they can keep the pace going nicely. They just need to balance the amount of health orbs that drop. As long as your survival is dependent on you taking down enemies (or hurting the boss if as I assume they drop orbs on taking damage) as fast as they are hurting you, then it could still be frantic but even more challenging (or at least, challenging more of the time instead of super-easy most of the time and insanely cheap the rest).

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:07PM (#25276919)
    To any of the interviewees: do you ever get tired of being so awesome and kicking so much ass?
  • Diablo 3 and Warden (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harl (84412) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:11PM (#25276953)

    Is Diablo 3 going to use any of the Warden rootkit technology to police online play?

  • I have been trying to reach Blizzard for the past 3 months and have yet to get a response. Email, Webform, telephone... nothing works. They just won't respond at all.

    • by j_snare (220372)

      Often that has to do with the question being asked and the manner of the questioner. You have to keep in mind who you're reaching when you communicate with them, and realize that if there's nothing they can do, there's nothing they can do. If you're asking a standard CS rep "why don't you release Warcraft to open source" (to use a question from above), you're not going to get a useful answer.

  • Will it run linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is more gamers using linux on PC hardware
    then Macs gamers. Give them quality games and they will play it on linux.

    Why Blizzard can't see this growing market?

    -Bob

  • DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by molo (94384) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:16PM (#25277003) Journal

    To all:

    We've all seen the fallout from EA's decision to put heavy-handed DRM into Spore. What is your position on DRM and its place in gaming? Do you think it is fair that a single-player game require an internet connection in order to phone-home for anti-piracy reasons?

    Thanks.
    -molo

  • To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft has been very successful. However, when one has success it tends to paint a bullseye on you. Besides competitors targeting you, how have you dealt with the increasing "World of Warcraft sucks" backlash? (E.g. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=world+of+warcraft+sucks [google.com])

  • by molo (94384) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:19PM (#25277031) Journal

    To all:

    What is your position on cross-platform computer gaming? Is there a viable market for MacOS and Linux gaming in your view?

    Thanks
    -molo

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:36PM (#25277233) Homepage Journal

      Seeing as Blizzard is one of the handful of game companies that release their games simultaneously for Windows and Mac OS X, I think that already answers your question about Mac OS X.

      Your question really should be "will you ever make ports for Linux?".

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      What is your position on cross-platform computer gaming? Is there a viable market for MacOS and Linux gaming in your view?

      We already know the answer to this question. Mac and PC are simultaneously released for all major Blizzard games, and most of them work in Wine, even if it isn't officially supported.

  • Glider (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jesdynf (42915) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:22PM (#25277059) Homepage

    To Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft: Now that you've prevailed against the published of the Glider software and (via precedent) earned strange new powers to control the software your customers can and cannot run, are your users enraged or merely apathetic?

    Further, how much has this activity hindered the gold sellers your product is lousy with? Zero percent? Five percent (MoE +/- .05)?

    • by murdocj (543661)

      Yeah, I'm sure WoW players are really annoyed that Blizzard is preventing people from cheating.

      Try again.

  • by Windows_NT (1353809) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:24PM (#25277077) Homepage Journal

    Is it cold in your office?
  • For many, loot is one of the most enjoyable parts of Diablo series...but I wonder if you plan to keep this fun while at the same time limiting those a bit not so fun parts of looting?

    (few ways in which this could work, I imagine: automatically filling available "backpack/chest space", without the need to manually rearrange items; grouping items in distinct categories; perhaps even "miniteleport" to send items and money to your chest one way (by drag&dropping them on miniteleport item/book for example) -

  • To all Diablo 3/Starcraft 2 Staff:

    WHEN??????

  • To Jeffery Kaplan: Is there any concern from your team that Achievements could have a negative effect on the game? I lament what has happened on consoles where people are buying and renting trashy games just for 1000 more imaginary points. This gives "life" to bad games which should be ignored because of their awfulness. I'm already seeing this happen at 70 but I am worried this could be a problem in where level 80 players are doing distracting if not stupid stuff just to have a check box checked.

  • With the focus on cooperative play in Diablo III, How much bandwidth will it consume? In Australia, we have very restrict usage caps; the same thing is slowly being introduced to the US. This means the total data used by games in Australia (both up stream and down) becomes a very important commodity.

  • New game series? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MooseMuffin (799896) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:31PM (#25277151)

    There's no doubt you guys could be successful forever by continuing to make games in the warcraft/starcraft/diablo universes, but have there been any discussions about doing something totally new?

  • by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:36PM (#25277221)
    For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer of Diablo III: I'm really excited that Diablo III will include more options for players to interact with the world (source [gamebanshee.com]).

    What specifically will this entail? Will these be limited to the Bioware [Good/Evil/Mercenary] decisions, or opt for the VTMB/The Witcher system of [no right choice/moral grays]?

    Also, how much impact can we have on the world if the dialogs are optional?

  • Why do you hate hunters? For four seasons, hunters have been the ugly stepchildren of arean play, despite a few exceptionally skilled players managing to play hunters. The problems with the class are exceptionally well known but (it appears) it's more important to appease rogues and warriors and make one of the most popular classes in the game dramatically inferior to all others. Why? And do you honestly plan on addressing it or is there a quiet desire to keep them low on the totem pole of balance to encour
  • For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer of Diablo III: Will any character stat elements change from Diablo II to III? (Or will it still be Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Mana with a separate sheet for skills?)

    Will any Role Playing aspects of your previous outstanding games, like Fallout or Vampire - Bloodlines show up in Diablo III?

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:46PM (#25277331)

    Is there a warcraft 4 coming?

  • I have played WoW for several years now, and am impressed with how you have managed to integrate a backstory into the game setting, but not make it necessary for gameplay. Its there if players take an interest in it, but if they just want to go into a dungeon and kill things that's okay too.

    I have a question regarding the plot and how stories are driven. Is this a game setting that is established by committee? is there a single source or individual who has final say over plot elements? Do you have a visi
  • by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @04:52PM (#25277395)
    For Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer of Diablo III: why was the decision made to cut LAN play from Diablo III? Simply to stop piracy, or to reduce hacking, or something else?

    I ask because I spent over 3000 hours grinding characters with my brother on a LAN, and still don't have any sort of reliable (lag-free) internet connection at home.

    Will there at least be some sort of Open Battle.net on which we can use mods and/or play single player characters?

  • To Tigole: New dances and emotes, are we ever going to get them for World of Warcraft? Blizzard collected feedback for additional emotes back in fall 2006 and we have yet to see a slue of new ones added. As for dances, it was mentioned in the initial press released for Wrath of the Lich King and then went silent.

  • Will Leeroy [Blizzcon07] [youtube.com] be there again?
  • To Jeffrey Kaplan: What's it like being a proverbial drug lord?

    Warcrack, indeed.

  • by way2trivial (601132) on Monday October 06, 2008 @05:20PM (#25277697) Homepage Journal

    Where exactly is the USB key with the "Sword of a Thousand Truths" right now?? and exactly how is it guarded??

  • Digital Download (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omega8932 (1224904) on Monday October 06, 2008 @05:59PM (#25278077)
    I recently downloaded Starcraft directly from the Blizzard store because I lost my old discs for the game and some friends and I had the urge to play it. So, my question is, since you opened up the new store and offered digital downloads of your older games, are there any plans to use this to distribute your new games (Such as Diablo III or Wrath of the Lich King) through this avenue?
  • by Onan (25162) on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:58PM (#25278677)

    Are you concerned about the arena becoming the pvp equivalent of raiding? That is to say, the one blessed path to endgame progression, and anyone who doesn't enjoy it be damned?

    I will admit my bias: I canceled my account three days ago over just this issue, after playing for over four years. I spent a long time being frustrated by getting only second-rate pve content because I wasn't interested in raiding; I would have canceled long ago, but I found and began enjoying pvp. Now I'm seeing pvp deteriorate in the same way: the same monomania on one very small corner of it, to the detriment of everything else.

    The raiding/pve issue has never been solved to this day, so I'm afraid I see little hope that the arena/pvp issue will be. Or can you offer us any assurances that it might someday be possible to pursue these broad facets of the game without needing participate in the extremely narrow subset of them that have been deemed endgame-worthy?

  • WoW Geography (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moredhel27 (898670) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @01:52AM (#25281801)
    To Jeffrey Kaplan (World Of Warcraft):

    Given that tunnelling tests (lowerping, internode) have shown conclusively that Australian players experience an artifical ~200ms latency increase due to the network in the US,
    are Oceanic players ever likely to see servers actually in the Oceanic region?

    Would blizzard consider forcing an across-the-board latency for all PVP encounters?
    ie, a US team against an Oceanic team in Arena would have their latency artificially increased to match the Oceanic team
  • Single player (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fgaliegue (1137441) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @02:44AM (#25282139)

    To Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III.

    I've been playing Diablo 2 (and d2x in particular) for a long time and have been very much enjoying that game. But I've seen a very disturbing trend with d2x:

    * Hell difficulty in single player is close to impossible, except with a few characters and very, very high-end equipment;
    * some very good items are realm-only;
    * some drops are way too rare, and the only chance you get to complete a BotD for instance (Breath of the Dying, VexHelElEldZodEth) is either to accumulate a four-digit-hours play time, use "item libraries" and edit your character, OR trade online.

    The problem is, I don't play online, I don't WANT to play online, I'm not interested AT ALL in playing online, and I don't have 1000+ hours to spare, even for d2x. So, guess which solution I chose.

    So, I'd like to know whether this trend will continue with Diablo 3, or if, at the opposite, there will be close to no difference in playability and good drops should you choose to play single or not.

"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...." -- Thomas J. Kopp

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