MMO-Champion - Mike Morhaime Interviews, 10v10 RBG Series, Blue Tweets, GW2 Updates, Comic
Cuckoo Gaming: Build of the Week - Freeze Doctor, Fan Creation of the Week: Lightning Cosplay, Goblin Sculpture

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.

General
  • 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.

Starcraft 2
  • 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.



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
There's no "lead rogue designer." They've said this a few times. It's a collaborative effort.
This. We don't want a design environment with developers campaigning for buffs for "their" class. (Source)

Ghostcrawler if you could give a class a revamp what would it be?
Don't think any class needs a revamp ATM. If it weren't for risk, would be fun to make 2 DPS specs in 1 class very different. (Source)

People don't use sims as an argument. They use raidbots analysis, which shows equally skewed DPS balance as the sims.
Raidbots can provide good data if analyzed intelligently. Disagree that it often reflects the sims. (Source)

Why is it that Restodruids and Holypaladins "naturally" have no-cost spells(clearstate,wog),but Priests and Shamans haven't.
just a class distinction. We balance mana costs and returns around it. (Source)

Would it be possible to see a class balance Q&A soon, kind of like you guys did in Cataclysm?
You mean with user questions like the Cover it Live or Reddit we did? Would be fun. (Source)

classes weren't sat for spine due to 20% gaps. It was for 50-100%+ due to cooldowns, ramp up, etc
But these are usually in cases of best guilds trying to beat content while undergeared so they need to use more tricks that most. (Source)

Do you read class forums at all? You've made Russians start quitting, that's when you know you've broken something.
Stopped reading class forums personally. Too much echo chamber and chasing out dissenting opinions. I read the role forums. (Source)

Is it better to balance on what a class can possibly do, or what the player base currently is doing with a class?
We go with the former, but we don't expect players to play at robot levels. (Source)

They don't balance around top parses. GC continually mentions sampling bias as something they're wary of.
Top parses are super tricky because they display the most skillful players but also the most lucky. (Source)

Most of firelands also favored resto druids, yet garalon (most friendly for druids) still has us ~10% lagging behind in 25's.
Many raids heal Garalon clumped which benefits shaman and monk a lot (overall, HPS is not a great way to compare healers). (Source)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
You never did answer my tweets: You've basically screwed up blood dks mitigation and made them useless for pvp now. Why?
Blood DKs were too hard to kill in PvP with DS. Tank mitigation is balanced around bosses, which can feel unfair in pvp. (Source)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
There has been alot of confusion regarding Spectral Guise. It's not useable while cc'ed anymore since 5.1, bug or intended?
Intended. Sorry that we failed to patch note it. We will update the notes. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
I can understand the silence.totem nerf for resto shammies. It hurts the other specs though. Is there another way?
If it comes to that, we'd rather give Ele and Enhance a survival cooldown to use when silenced. (Source)

That totem nerf was nothing but you being stubborn after an extremely poor decision. You still havent answered on it
To repeat: we thought dropping a totem was too hard to counter now that they have such great utility. Disagreement != stubborn. (Source)

PvE
Sympathetic to the argument that 16 bosses is already a big time commitment. Different world from small tiers like Firelands. (Source)

Any reason why Flask Cauldrons didn't make an appearance in MoP ?
We wanted to return some responsibility of raiding to individual members not just officers. (Source)

You dont believe the mass exodus to overcrowded realms as well as the decline in general raiding is hurting guilds?
Realm balance is a huge concern, but the solutions aren't simple or we would have done them. Not seeing a raiding decline though. (Source)

Can you tell us a bit more about how boss encounters are designed in general and specific for MoP?
Hmm. Not via Twitter. Ion is working on a water cooler or two. (Source)

would you rather people go through content too fast, or not at all? (people ignoring rep grinds)
With the latter, I suspect some players will do the content. With the former, there is too little content for everyone. (Source)
So you like 50% of people 100% happy vs 100% of people 50% happy? If you had to choose, not being snarky.
It seems harsh when you put it that way. I'd hope that the 50% of people not happy had other things that made them happy. (Source)

Feng is quite good, but T14 is excellent in general. Best tier of raiding in *years*. Ranks w/ Ulduar & Sunwell
Yay. Just wait until the next one. (Source)

why did you implement the upgrade system, now high end raiders get the advantage from PVE just like cata....
Not sure I understand. If you mean PvE, shouldn't they get best gear? If you mean PvP, upgraded Conq gear is better. (Source)

have you guys ever thought of giving LFR a 10 man option instead of forcing 25 man LFR?
We think 25 works better for LFR. Easier to carry less experienced folks. Easier to pull while backfilling. Feels epic. (Source)

PvP
Random chance at PvP rewards when winning arena matches/BGs (maybe scaled based on MMR) could be interesting.
Yeah, would just need to avoid making botting more attractive. (Source)

Burst in pvp was stupid, 5.1 added more pvp power but not extra resil. Please do us all a favor and quit your job, ty.
You guys would just beat on whoever replaced me until someone said: Things were better in the GC era. (Source)
No offense, but I'd take my chances. I think you do a bad job at PVP, because you personally don't enjoy it.
I actually do enjoy it, but I also understand that what I personally like isn't always the right call for the game (e.g. threat). (Source)

So melees can Hit for 70-150k with "instant" attacks, but casters should need to cast? Yeah thats balance!
I can turn that around: so casters can cast at range but melee need to close the gap? (Source)

Is it true your philosophy is "it's not okay for melee to shut down casters, but it's fine for casters to shut down melee"
I feel like players are complaining about casters (mage, lock) and melee (warrior, maybe Feral) right now. (Source)

What do you think about nerfing damage cds a bit and buffing consistent damage? Arena revolves too much around big cds.
There's a balance though. Burst windows are often the only thing allowing you to score a kill before they're healed back up. (Source)

What about making those 1 pvp specs the way you balance pvp and just make the other specs slightly weaker, but still playable?
There is a lot of wisdom in that approach, but I think a lot of players would be angry. Interesting discussion though. (Source)

Sorry Greg, I'm calling complete BS on this, Blizzard actively hired pro wow players to balance PVE do it for PvP
We hire great PvP players too. What I disagreed with was making every change that players ask for, even expert players. (Source)

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.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Mike Morhaime Interviews, 10v10 RBG Series, Blue Tweets, GW2 Updates, Comic started by chaud View original post
Comments 50 Comments
  1. Karizee's Avatar
    Really nice patch for GW2 - the PvP snowball game is hilariously great, the dungeon is fun smashing the towns, decorations are amazing, jump puzzle is challenging but not overly hard, but beware those princess dollies and toy soldiers that pop out from the presents that drop from the sky, they will kick your arse !

    Thanks for giving us some room on the front page
  1. Sibut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfieone View Post
    as a long-time Hockey fan - try seeing coverage in a non-hockey town. I am happy I live in a cold area, but you go down south, even places with a team, getting coverage is hard. And he wants coverage for a non-athletic competition?
    Yep, agreed. I laughed pretty hard when I read his quote: "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." Video games are not sports, and trying to "legitimize them" as such by naming them "e-sports" doesn't change anything. I don't care if Korea has tons of channels dedicated to video games, we have channels dedicated to gardening and cooking and you don't see anyone trying to slap a "sports" label on those, do you?

    A sport is an athletic competition, and Mike shouldn't insult my intelligence by trying to argue that. When someone says the word "sport" you don't think of Poker, Magic: the Gathering, Starcraft, etc. 99% of people think of football, soccer, basketball, hockey, track, etc. etc. Hey, I think it's awesome that there are competitive venues for games like those, (speaking of board/card/e-games here) and if I were good enough I'd definitely go try to win some money, but it's a completely different category.

    EDIT: I almost forgot the thing that I found the funniest of the whole thing, the "people who watch e-sports see top players as being on a similar level as pro athletes." Get the fuck out of here. I find it hard to believe that even the most hardcore gamers would really see someone who wins a Starcraft tournament as being on the same level as Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, or Lionel Messi, and anyone who does is just an idiot.
  1. Trogie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sibut View Post
    Yep, agreed. I laughed pretty hard when I read his quote: "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." Video games are not sports, and trying to "legitimize them" as such by naming them "e-sports" doesn't change anything. I don't care if Korea has tons of channels dedicated to video games, we have channels dedicated to gardening and cooking and you don't see anyone trying to slap a "sports" label on those, do you?

    A sport is an athletic competition, and Mike shouldn't insult my intelligence by trying to argue that. When someone says the word "sport" you don't think of Poker, Magic: the Gathering, Starcraft, etc. 99% of people think of football, soccer, basketball, hockey, track, etc. etc. Hey, I think it's awesome that there are competitive venues for games like those, (speaking of board/card/e-games here) and if I were good enough I'd definitely go try to win some money, but it's a completely different category.

    EDIT: I almost forgot the thing that I found the funniest of the whole thing, the "people who watch e-sports see top players as being on a similar level as pro athletes." Get the fuck out of here. I find it hard to believe that even the most hardcore gamers would really see someone who wins a Starcraft tournament as being on the same level as Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, or Lionel Messi, and anyone who does is just an idiot.
    I would put pro SC players above those people in their field of play, in fact I would give them more weight as a pro because i actually care about the field in which they play. All of those people you mentioned are completely worthless to me.

    Also:

    sport
    Noun
    An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.

    If anyone counts golf, chess, poker, curling, nascar, spelling bee, billiards, darts, fishing, etc as sports then they are just as stupid, as those have less, just as much, or slightly more "physical exertion" as Starcraft.
  1. J22C's Avatar
    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.

    BAHAHAH. This is absolutely hysterical.

    Sorry Mike. You game is not equal to a sport or even an attempt at a sport.

    Your game is equal to at best watching a game of competitive chess or checkers.

    This guy is delusional.
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    If Starcraft is a sport then I guess I'm a pretty big jock.

    Oh yea, really getting my physical well being in check by playing lots of starcraft.

    All those parents should stop whining because I'm getting plenty of fresh air and exercise when I move my mouse and click a few buttons.

    One of these days I'm gonna be so jacked and/or have so much healthy skills out there that girls will not be able to look away when I walk by because they know i have the trim and obvious bod of a pro athlete in the computer world.

    Soon schools will start training your actions per minute with a mouse in Phys-ed classes.

    They better start including Starcraft and every video game in existence in the Olympics soon because it's such an undeniable and timeless sport.

    Maybe accounting can be the next "sport" people have overlooked for so long.
  1. Salech's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    Really nice patch for GW2 - the PvP snowball game is hilariously great, the dungeon is fun smashing the towns, decorations are amazing, jump puzzle is challenging but not overly hard, but beware those princess dollies and toy soldiers that pop out from the presents that drop from the sky, they will kick your arse !

    Thanks for giving us some room on the front page
    Yeah i like it too, done the jumping puzzle 6 times now, just because :P

    don't like the snowball game myself but i can see the appeal of it, the dungeon is quite good i admit, i really like that we choose which 2 mini pets we want to make out of 5, also toy soldiers and princess dollies can't kill me, i'm a necromancer i can take on 10 and live
  1. Roudene's Avatar
    Comic so true...

    Once I've asked my in-game mate why he keeps playing this game when he says that it's boring. Answer? "Dailies and stuff" I asked what stuff he means. Silence. "There's nothing better to do now"

    I think it deserved facepalm or even facedesk.
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    E-sport is no real sport, and I'd like it if they changed the name to something else. Like ''C-gaming'' or something, it explains what it is. Competitive gaming.
  1. Trogie's Avatar
    Since chess is considered a sport nothing stops videogames from being a sport.
  1. Noblia's Avatar
    Lets pretend that I am from HR and I have to evaluate your performance to see if you deserve a raise or to be fired.

    Ok thats awesome the PVE portion of the game definitely has improved and you deserve kudos for that. Now lets talk about the poorly balanced and extremely poor BG experience. Some suggested ilvl rating system Q...

    "It's not simple, unfortunately. It would a) require a retooling of how Battlegrounds assemble teams and b) even under ideal conditions, it would likely slow down queue times dramatically. As Ovenmitz demonstrates, there are a lot of players who are very opposed to that.

    It's not that we aren't interested in making Battlegrounds a better experience, it's that we need to make sure that whichever steps we take actually meet that goal. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)"

    Its been almost 8 years, how much more time did you need?...


    *note: recommend no raises for the foreseeable future.

    LoL

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