Overwatch is making its official debut on Twitch this Thursday, October 15 ... and you're invited!
Join a duo of aspiring heroes, Haylinic and Ellohime, as they team up with our developers to fight for the future LIVE from Blizzard HQ. During these inaugural streams, you'll have a chance to see over 90 minutes of unedited real-time gameplay from not one, but two perspectives—plus, you'll get a first look at what you can expect from the upcoming Overwatch beta. (Wicked!)
Deathmatch games such as Doom came next, introducing new concepts. They were competitive games that you could play for a long time and leaderboards.
Warcraft II was the next game that had a big impact, as it was the first game he remembers playing with teams.
Next came online worlds like Ultima Online. Pardo saw people killing birds, collecting feathers, and making arrows to kill more birds, which looked boring. He then played the game and walked into the city where there were lots of players talking and interacting.
Everquest took the online world concept and added challenges that required a deep level of commitment, teamwork, and guilds, resulting in deep and long lasting friendships.
When looking at the games he played up to this point, he liked them all pretty equally, but the games with multiplayer had more playtime.
Multiplayer makes a game very compelling, as they have competition, co-operation, friendships, community, and they are unique compared to other entertainment mediums.
There are other types of entertainment that are older than games, such as reading, movies, TV, music, and sports.
Movies and TV allow you to have a deeper emotional connection to the characters and story, as well as visualize things more vividly than books.
Sports is the closest of the other mediums to multiplayer games. If you actually compete, it gives you a lot of the same elements, but most people are spectators and consider it an entertainment medium. People love to get invested in their teams and watch them play.
Making multiplayer games is challenging, but it is worth it. Multiplayer makes games a unique medium compared to the others.
Multiplayer may also be inevitable, as more and more of the world is coming online.
The other games we play outside of digital games (board games, card games, drinking games) are almost all social games. In the gaming industry, it is the opposite, with most games not having multiplayer.
Multiplayer games allow you to explore friendships
Who can you depend on? - If someone gets awesome loot today, will they show up for the same boss tomorrow to help you?
What are they good at? - If you are playing a game like League of Legends, what roles are your friends good at?
Who picks you up when you are down? - When Pardo was playing Everquest, he teleported into a dungeon where he was instantly killed. This resulted in losing experience, his level up, and all of his stuff ended up on the ground. He ended up naked and unable to teleport back. His friends went to the dungeon with him and helped him get his gear back.
Are they good winners / losers? - Is someone flipping the table just because you beat them in a game?
Conversation during a shared activity - In some games, people log on just to chat with their guild. You can't do that at a music festival or during a movie.
Meeting new friends or a spouse - A decent number of people meet their spouse or long time friends in a multiplayer game.
Why aren't developers making more multiplayer games?
Too Niche? - There are lots of multiplayer games in the list of top grossing games of all times. Players often play them for years, allowing them to be very lucrative for the people that make them.
Too Expensive? - There is some truth to that, as those top grossing games often involve a lot of art resources. Adding multiplayer to games doesn't have to be expensive though. There are lots of smaller multiplayer games that are fun, interesting, and engaging.
Too Hard? - Accommodating lots of players and how they interact in a multiplayer game does have some challenges.
Networking and server code is hard, as is finding developers to work on it, as other big non-gaming companies want to hire those same people.
You need a critical mass of players if you want to have matchmaking that works well.
Game balance is also very important, as it enables your game to last for months or years.
Adding multiplayer means more features, such as chat and friends.
Watercooler Problem - You may meet someone that plays the same game as you and want to play together, but there are problems:
Skill gap - One of the players might have been playing the game a lot longer, resulting in a big skill gap.
Different levels - In an MMO, the players might not be the same level, resulting in gameplay that isn't fun for both players.
Different progression - You may be at different points in the story or quest lines, meaning that you can't play together.
Different servers - In games with multiple servers, you may not be on the same server as the other player.
Some of these problems existed (and still exist) in WoW and other Blizzard games.
Some games have solved these problems, such as Rock Band.
Future of Multiplayer
Play with your kids - There aren't a lot of great games you can play with your kids right now.
E-sports becoming more relevant - It may not be too long until e-sports are on ESPN and not ESPN2.
Device agnostic games - Interaction with PC-based MMOs on your mobile device.
Crossing national and language barriers - Gamers are worldwide and want to play together, especially in competitive games.
Virtual Reality is coming
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
New post: Communicating with players is not the product. Really, ?
While I agree that changing policies may be startling, companies should be able to do so if they aren't working for them. (OccupyGStreet)
You are also within your rights to claim that you preferred an old policy better of course. (OccupyGStreet)
But B's traditional policy was one of limited discourse. I helped change that somewhat, but perhaps outside of their comfort zone. (OccupyGStreet)
You admit yourself that technically the product is a game, not how developers interact with players about the game. (OccupyGStreet) yes, but is the naked software all of the "service package" an MMORPG offers? Plus I talk about expectations, set and ruined.
I do think you can argue that the entire player experience even outside of the "box" (lol) is part of the product. (OccupyGStreet)
Guild Wars 2 - Economy and Legendary Weapons
ArenaNet posted two new blog posts covering the economy and how legendary weapons will work in Heart of Thorns. In the economy blog, they note that dungeons will get a gold nerf to move the focus to raids and fractals, as that is the content they want to support. Some additional questions were answered on the forum.
DLC #508 - Howling for You DLC #508 has been released.
Armory Stats - Garrison Monuments
Today we are taking a look at the garrison monument achievement completion rate of players. The data used today is a sample of 2.1 million players active since August 1.
Rob Pardo Interview
Rob Pardo was at Unite this year and gave an interview to gamesindustry.biz, with a little bit of World of Warcraft talk.
Adding obstacles that have the right amount of frustration and challenge is important so that when the player overcomes them, it feels like a huge accomplishment or achievement.
In the quest to make World of Warcraft more accessible, understandable, and intuitive, some of the sharp edges were shaved away.
Those sharp edges were sometimes part of what made the game compelling, as games aren't really supposed to be easy at all times.
Everything in game design is about trade-offs. You can't make a game that everyone will love.
The initial design for WoW was trying to get players that enjoyed Blizzard games to try a MMO.
There was debate about putting awesome content, encounters, and stories in dungeons, as there were players that enjoyed playing by themselves and didn't want to group up for dungeons.
The choice not to make a single player version of dungeons was intentional, as making it more accessible would cause players that love dungeons to love them less.
Hearthstone was an experiment that looked at making a Blizzard quality game with a smaller team and it worked out well.
Pardo is closer towards the end of his sabbatical than the beginning.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvE Is the Berserk for Mythic Iskar 8 minutes or 9 or trigger? Getting conflicting reports.
Should be 8 minutes. (WarcraftDevs)
Any plans to make [Only the Penitent...] for Firelands meta soloable?
Player power trivializes some old raid achievements, but for others, coordinating multiple players is the entire point. (WarcraftDevs)
Why aren't the ICC 5 man in the timewalking rotation?
It’s definitely a popular request. Timewalking is a feature we want to continue to update and expand in the future. (WarcraftDevs)
PvP the lesser rings in the leg. quest can be used in pvp why cant the legendary ring be used in pvp? Doesnt say it cant in quests
The item’s proc does not trigger while in PvP combat and the ring is scaled down to item level like other non-PvP gear. (WarcraftDevs)
Hey, would it be possible to make vendors sell old Elite Gladiator gear to players with 2000+ current rating? #Warcraft
No plans for this. Elite gear sets are only available during that particular season. (WarcraftDevs)
Lore a little bird told me: arakkoas are androgynous. Is it canon?
They are male/female and can tell each other apart just fine. Adventurer's untrained eye would be unable to see difference. (WarcraftDevs)
Battle.Net Website Update - Legion Preparation
Blizzard made a small update to the Battle.Net website to add design elements for Legion. The Illidari Felstalker mount that is the reward for the Collector's Edition was added in Patch 6.2.2. No preorder date has been announced yet.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Crithto Leaving Blizzard
Honestly, yesterday was one of the most emotionally overwhelming days I've ever experienced. I had no idea I'd get the reaction I did from so many people including all of you. I spent some time last night reading your comments here and let me just say, I was moved.
Your touching responses, well wishes, and encouragement mean the world to me. Not only that, but friends of mine outside our world here caught wind of it all, and you moved them to tears as well. And this isn't to inspire more sadness or posts. I just wanted each of you to know how much I appreciate what you've shared, player and co-worker alike. Thank you. Truly, truly, thank you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Assault on the Pit and Draenor Flying
The frustration caused by having to wait for Assault on the Pit is something I've seen a lot of over the past few weeks. I don't have any additional information at this time, but I wanted to let you know that this feedback has been forwarded on. Thanks for the feedback! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I’m going to try and tackle some of the most recurrent questions and concerns here. Bear with me!
Again I want to reiterate that your feedback does get read. The tricky situation is that replying to a thread with a small “thanks, this has been forwarded on” can then set a false expectation that there will be an answer, or a change to the game, when that post appears out of context somewhere else on the internet.
Likewise, after a while a simple “thanks for the feedback” in response to every thread can begin to feel just as empty as not receiving an answer at all. It may also cause people to feel more neglected than they already are, if their own topics are not replied too. Having a lot of similar replies can even make relevant answers harder to locate on the aforementioned Blue Trackers. Of course, if a topic is particularly prevalent I will endeavour to let you know that it has been heard. (for example)
I’m also not a developer, so I’m not really in a position of speculating or commenting on game design choices where the Blue text effectively causes any response posted to be viewed as Blizzard’s official stance. That being said I will try to chase up on widespread concerns and, any significant information I do get, I will try to relay to you as much as possible. Though I also want any information I provide to be as accurate as possible to avoid potential sources of confusion. This leads into:
To the green - seriously? Timezone difficulties and "permission-to-post" issues?
It’s not really a permissions issue. Of course we want to make sure that everything we post is accurate which can cause delays. Some communications are partially a timezone issue, with the developers being in the US it’s far more likely that any tweets or posts that the developers make, will be during US hours, because that’s when they’re working. Likewise it means that here in Europe, we may have to send e-mails to the developers enquire for information if our schedules don’t overlap.
For all important communications, we are trying to get everything communicated at the same time in all regions via blog posts. If any localisation is needed, then that may delay the process, but the goal is for important communications to be on blogs in all regions within 24 hours.
Yes, this may not have always happened in the past. We’re well aware of that and working on improving.
On that note, let me pitch a question here – would you like for the Updates from @WarcraftDevs thread to be mirrored onto the EU forums so you have better visibility of it?
Eu needs to get the information in all languages at the same time or the world is destroyed.
This isn’t always the case either. While it is true for important announcements and updates, there are smaller, more language-specific, updates from the community that may not be posted in all languages. This is decided on a language by language basis. For example a Hearthstone tournament running in Germany, only being casted in German, would normally only be communicated to our German speaking audience as it’s of more relevance to them.
And I'm simply astounded by your welcome thread and Bashiok's farewell thread, because most of those blues, I've never even seen them here or anywhere for that matter, especially not this year, AND YET - most of them bear the "Community Manager" title.
The Blues you see in those threads are Community Managers that have individual game and languages responsibilities. For example, here in Europe we support 6 games in 5+ different languages; to break that down there is (generally) one Community Manager per language, per game. That means there are a lot of Blues you may never see outside of those types of threads, simply because they are supporting a different game/language.
I have a question; as a community manager surely managing the community of the official site takes precedence over third parties i.e. twitter, youtube, fansites etc. Why is this not the case? If people have feedback to give or questions to ask surely the official forums would be the place they're most likely to come to do so.
I know this isn’t going to be a popular answer, but Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (and probably more to come) are also official channels. These sites may not be directly hosted on Battle.net, but they are still official channels. The World of Warcraft community, as a whole, is very diverse and spread out more than just on the official forums. All feedback is valuable, regardless of where it comes from.
To go back to an earlier point, any important information we try to communicate through the official blogs. The official Twitter and Facebook pages are generally used to highlight fun stuff the community is doing (Cosplay, Machinima, Fan-Art, etc.) as well as direct people to the official blog posts. Again, this is something we’re striving to improve on.
But, and ultimately…
I fully understand that you have all been feeling neglected here on the EU forums and I definitely hear that there are aspects of the game that you’re unhappy with. However, I can’t change what has happened in the past. I can only change what happens going forward. I want to go forward working together with you all, which is why I made my initial post (and this follow-up!) giving you a view of the stuff I do. The main takeaway I wanted to give from that post is that some days (maybe even weeks), I might not post all but that this isn’t because I’m ignoring you. Interacting with the community, championing your feedback and also highlighting all the great content the community makes, are all things that enticed me toward this job – it’s what I aim to do as often as I can! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
2015 European Regional Finals Disqualifications
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This past weekend at the Road to BlizzCon 2015 European Regional Finals in Prague, two players from two different Arena teams were disqualified on the day of the tournament. This resulted in a less-than-ideal experience for everyone involved, especially the other teams in attendance.
In both cases, the disqualified players were found to have been violating the Terms of Service of World of Warcraft. According to our Tournament Rules, players’ accounts must remain in good standing for the entirety of the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship. As these players’ accounts had been suspended, they were no longer in good standing, and thus disqualified from the tournament.
We have performed a thorough investigation of the accounts in question, and have found overwhelming evidence indicating that both players were indeed participating in activities that rightfully resulted in their accounts being suspended. Blizzard does not publicly share details of actions taken against specific accounts, but offenses that typically result in suspension include: exploiting game mechanics, buying or selling accounts, playing another person’s account for advantage (boosting), and/or collusion with opponents.
In both cases, we should have taken action much sooner, and regret that these players were not informed of their disqualified status prior to the event.
We are working to improve our processes to prevent situations like this from happening again, and ensure that ineligible players are properly disqualified before tournament play commences.
HeroStorm #5 - GazlOWNED
Another episode of HeroStorm has been released.