Mike Morhaime Interviews
PCGamesN, GamerHub, and TeamLiquid had the chance to talk to Mike Morhaime at BWC about Starcraft 2 and eSports. If you are interested in interviews with Rob Pardo, there is a nice interview from a few months ago that I didn't summarize.
- The mainstream media publications don't accept or report on major gaming tournaments, but they talk about tennis and golf, even though everyone doesn't watch them. Having Starcraft reported in a similar way would help to legitimize the sport. People who watch eSports see the top players as being at a similar level as pro athletes.
- After Heart of the Swarm is released, focus can shift to preparing Blizzard All-Stars for beta.
- Blizzard reads many of the fansite forums, and sometimes the discussion is better on some of these other sites. The site that the feedback is on isn't important, only the feedback itself.
- There are no plans to make Diablo 3 an eSport, as it wasn't designed for it and not every game has to be one. WoW wasn't designed as an eSport either, but some of the parts of the game work well in the eSports environment.
- Warcraft 3 was pirated a lot in China, but it ended up raising awareness of the game and helped out later when World of Warcraft was launched.
- Challenge modes may have some possibilities as far as improving or expanding upon WoW esports events. WoW as an eSport is not a main focus of the WoW team, as there are many more things that are higher priority.
- There have been several other MMOs that went free to play, but none of that has had a big impact on WoW. Blizzard still thinks WoW provides a really good value for the price, better than most forms of entertainment, including the free to play games.
Heart of the Swarm
- Testing Heart of the Swarm in such a public way is the only way to make sure that players have a chance to understand and adapt to changes being made.
- Starcraft 2 can be intimidating to start for players that aren't interested in playing highly competitively. Heart of the Swarm tries to address part of this by adding a training mode that allows you to play against a progressively harder AI and get basic gameplay tips. Unranked matchmaking should also help in this regard.
- The new Heart of the Swarm units are being added to fill gaps in the races, similar to what was done in the original Starcraft.
- The new resume from replay feature will allow tournaments to pick up properly again after disruption and players to practice different scenarios using another player's replay or without having to play a full game.
- Heart of the Swarm has a nice campaign that is important to furthering the story, but it also has great gameplay that will be the reason people are still playing it for a long time.
- Mike Morhaime is currently Bronze and trying hard for Silver.
- SC2 has a lot of value for the price, especially compared to some of the "free to play" games.
- There is a lot of potential for SC2 growth in China as more and more people are able to afford broadband and gaming.
- The feedback from players in China on the Mists of Pandaria expansion has been great.
- One of the pleasant surprises at BWC is how well the non-Koreans did in competition.
- Blizzard is going to take more of a leadership role in organizing and scheduling the tournaments. Right now there is so much going on that it is hard to follow and there is no clear story like you find in other sports.
- It would be nice if everyone offered a reasonable quality stream of tournaments for free, as it would lower the barrier for people that are curious about SC2 but not willing to pay yet.
- When asked about adding things like premium portraits, he said that the current model is viable and the current focus is on making a great expansion.
Rated Battlegrounds 10v10 Series
Kollektiv and Bailamost are leading 10v10 teams in a series of Rated Battleground matches over on ArenaJunkies. The second half takes place tonight at 6PM PST / 9PM EST / 3AM CET.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Guild Wars 2 - Dec 14 Updates
ArenaNet posted patch notes with lots of changes and balance tweaks for the recent patch. One of the more interesting parts of the notes are the sections that explains why some of the changes were made and some class balance philosophies. You can find all of the new items and recipes on GW2DB.
Comic - If You Create It, They Will Farm
NerfNow takes on daily quests in one of their recent comics.