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Hello again, and welcome to Legacy Weekly #29. We made Snickerdoodles, and there's lemonade over there on the table. You look really good in that dress, by the way. Seriously, you don't even look like a guy. Well, you do, but that's OK, because we have plenty of community comings and goings, superfluous Blizzard news bits, Fan art, and of course, the rabidly popular Plays of the Week! So read on, intrepid traveler, look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

SC:L Summary

Just in case you missed it, our Magnum Opus, "Battle.net 2.0 Concerns", is up and ready for your perusal. Rage along with us, folks!

If you haven't been watching our SC:L Commentaries on YouTube, you are one of the last 200 people on Earth still holding out. Yeah, I'm talking 6.7 Billion views per video. It's pretty serious. Crota and I provide expert analysis and awkward jokes for the Internet community all the time, so if you're looking for SC2 videos to enjoy while the beta is gone, look no further!

 

Blizzard News

Warning! Due to the recent plethora of threads, posts, kitten videos and great editorials concerning Battle.net 2.0, this weeks Blizzard News will consists of huge amounts of blue posts, as Blizzard valiantly tries to control the raging masses! Some posts are very relevant to Blizzard and Battle.net, some relevant to StarCraft II, and some just for the lulz.

Battle.net 2.0

Please note that most of the posts will be edited to highlight some of the important parts. We suggest you click "Read more..." to be able to read the threads and the quotes in context.

Sixen, a moderator from SC2Mapster.com, brought up some issues that was troubling him regarding the identifiers for Battle.net 2.0. His post spawned these replies from Zhydaris and Bashiok:

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Let's assume that player "A" decides to choose Sixen, and you'll obviously choose Sixen as well.
One of you will be Sixen.XXX and the other one Sixen.YYY .
Once everybody will know that you're Sixen.XXX the other player will be stuck with a nickname that doesn't represent him and will also be incapable of impersonating you anymore.
Read more...

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Ok, I understand your worries about these features, we'll try to address your questions once we'll be able to reveal more information about the mechanics of this system.
Just let me remind you that we'll obviously monitor the situation and we'll look into this kind of problems, as I said Battle.Net 2.0 will be a dynamic environment and we'll always try to make it better.
Read more...

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Sixen, how would it feel if you log in day one, excited to grab your name, and someone else already has? And so you're stuck having to use some variation.

That's what we want to avoid.
Read more...

In a different thread, Zhydaris went on to explain some of the changes that are coming for Battle.net 2.0.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

These people are naming themselves "ESPORTS" to protest against:

- Lack of Chat Channels
... and we just announced that Chat Channels are going to be in the game a few months after release.

- No Cross-region play
... and we just announced that cross-region play is definitely in our plans.

- No Unique ID
... And we just announced that every combination of nickname + 3 digit code will be unique and you will be able to add friends by using this combination.

- You need to give out your email address
... Which is not the case anymore, as adding Nickname.007 will be enough.
Read more...

Bashiok elaborates on cross-region play politics.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Unfortunately, there are a multitude of challenges we have to overcome due to the unique regional account and billing options that didn't exist in the past. But those hurdles aren't insurmountable, and we are looking into solutions that will allow interested players to obtain access to other regional versions without having to buy another full copy of the game.
Read more...

Some players find Facebook integration controversial, this is Kapeselus' response to that claim.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

I agree that Facebook integration was something that some players found controversial, but at the same time I disagree that this is something buyers are not looking for. Even _if_ majority of people don't have friends to add there are still some who will welcome an opportunity to use this (even here or on teamliquid of all the places :)).
Read more...

While some feel like the Blizzard developers live in an alternate universe, and therefore they don't understand the fans.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

This is definitely not true, especially not for our developers. All development teams consist of veterans, who remember the release of the oldest Blizzard games and some of them have been with the company since day 1.
Read more...

Bashiok tries to explain Blizzard's relationship with Activision.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Q u o t e:
So when I visit http://us.starcraft2.com/dominion/ I am greeted by a whole host of logos near the bottom of the page including Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment, SC2, Twitter, and Facebook. However, one is noticeably missing: Activision. Doesn't it seem disingenuous not to include an Activision or Activision-Blizzard logo when Activision has been clearly intimately involved with the production of Starcraft 2/Bnet2.0?



Activision is our distributor. Activision|Blizzard is the name of our parent company. We still self publish. We develop our own games. (and websites, lol?)

Q u o t e:
When the thirty second promo of Starcraft 2's cinematic was posted on Youtube only hours before airing it was immediately shut down but copyright complaints by Activision.


That's ... what? They don't hold our copyrights. We mistakenly posted the video early and then pulled it down. I'm not sure who if anyone actually asked YouTube to pull down any copies of it. Sort of a silly notion though, to try to clear the internet of something once it's out there. Oh well. Seems like people enjoyed it, so win-win-win! ;)

Q u o t e:
But strangely enough around Starcraft 2's promotional sites/materials Activision's name is absent. It seems to be alarmingly deceitful practice directed at attempting to hide Activision's obvious machinations with Blizzard's IP.



This is difficult to argue with because if I do then I'm helping you realize that the things you're upset about are purely and completely within our control and are decisions made by the same exact people who have always made them. If I don't then I have to listen to you drone on and on about whatever it is you want to fabricate. It's a tough one. Either way I lose.

Q u o t e:
On Starcraft 2's retail packaging will there be any Activision or Activision-Blizzard logo? Or will it be attempted to be passed off a genuine Blizzard product as pure as spring water.



Our games don't feature the names of our parent companies, or distributors. This is unlikely to change.

For those of you who are going to compete in Blizzard's Propaganda Poster Contest, and are wondering which dimensions are allowed in the contest, you might find this helpful.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

That's just semantics on orientation at that point. Turn a 1024x768 on its side and it's 768x1024. ;)

The size requirement is just to ensure that we don't get small, blurry images and they present well on the page. As long as it has 786,432 pixels you won't be disqualified.

Height and Width


Now on to some actual StarCraft II related stuff. [k]er, a poster on the official Battle.net forums, wonders if the Mutalisks attack bounce from air to ground and vice versa. To which Kapeselus responds:

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Yes, Mutalisk attacks bounce from Air to Ground units. This is what made a difference in some ZvZ SC:BW games for example, where you would take your Zerglings and Overlords with you to Mutalisk vs Mutalisk fights to reduce the bounce attack a little bit and gain an advantage.

It is also part of the gameplay and adds more options for the players also making the Mutalisk more versatile.

The next blue post can be interpreted in a few different ways. A fourth race? If not for multiplayer, then maybe for single player?

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Warcraft III has "the fifth race" in Moon, so I am sure StarCraft II will have something similar in a few months/years.

Also while I am at it to clarify this for those who are not aware - sadly no, we are not working on any new races available for multiplayer.

Fourth Race


And just to spice things up a bit, here are a couple of humorous Blizzard responses.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Q u o t e:
Is it just me or does it feel like sometimes Blizzard employees are watching us play? Sometimes I get the feeling that Blizzard employees are invisible and inside of my game watching.


No, we don't do these kind of things.

By the way, your last build order was completely wrong, you should have gone for your expansion a little earlier.
Not that I watched your game. Just sayin', you know.

Originally Posted by Ababmer

I've seen no evidence to prove that you even exist.
You're probobly all a bunch of robots put here to keep watch over me.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Ababmer thread detected.
Proceed with sanitization procedure.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Closed thread detected.
Proceed to look for next one.
Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete....

Fan Art

This weeks piece is "The Void Walker", from ~De-mose on Deviant art.

The Void Walker by De-mose

 

Community News

Community hero Artosis has uploaded a new video of himself, Tasteless, IdrA and other pro gaming personalities discussing StarCraft II at an irritatingly noisy cafe titled "Nerds of the Round Table".  The MVP of the video by far is the guy who gave up on SC2 after a week because "The Zerg are so overpowered".  Way to know what a beta test is, champ. Anyways, it's entertaining when you can hear, it, so give a watch!

 

For you Day[9] fans, and I know there are plenty of you, there is a ridiculously long interview with him available.  He waxes for 55 minutes about all things StarCraft and eSports. Another good time killer if you're jonesing for anything StarCraft related.

 

Plays Of The Week

 

 

 

Custom Map Review

 

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Hex'd

Creator: Qancake 

Players: Multiplayer (Alternatively, single player with AI)

Map Type: Hero Arena

Length: 5-10 minutes

URL: http://sc2.curse.com/downloads/sc2-maps/details/hexd.aspx

Latest Version: 2.4 (http://sc2.curse.com/downloads/sc2-maps/details/hexd/download/433558.aspx)

Reviewed by: Dauntless

The loading screen!
The loading screen!

 

Description:
Hex'd is a spell centric Hero Arena map created by Qancakes. From a top-down view, you control a unit called the Hexer, that have five spells at his disposal, and the outcome of the rounds depend wholly on how good you are at using your spells. Having good aim and prediction skills are essential. It's reminiscent of the WarCraft III custom map Warlock.

The game modes.
The game modes.

There are five different games modes, including free for all, a random team mode, elimination, capture the flag, or in this case capture the Ultralisk(!) and a last domination style mode called the Hexnaught.

So as you might have gathered, this is a very competitive map created for multiplayer purposes. If a player is missing from the beginning of the game, or leaves during it, an AI player will be added. The AI has four different difficulty settings, ranging from easy to insane, though the AI is very well scripted I highly recommend playing the map with a full game of actual players. Bringing some friends in on this is great fun.

All 15 spell upgrades.
All 15 spell upgrades.


Review:
After choosing game modes, each player receives five specialization points, which are to be used to upgrade spells. Each spell has three different and varied upgrades. If this is your first time playing, you can either guess which upgrades are best suiting your play style, or you have to read through all 15 upgrades and then evaluate which upgrades to choose.

When you have chosen your upgrades, Hex'd puts you straight into the action. Naturally, here is where the fun begins. It might seem like total mayhem in the beginning, but after learning each spell, both how to use them and avoid them, you should start to gain some perspective of how to play.

The spell design is great. They are varied and they have great synergy. I wouldn't call any of the spells over powered, because it all depends on how well you utilize them. Though the last spell, Orb of Binding, might be a bit too situational.

Overall this map is great fun, has a fast pace and maybe most of all; it still has big potential.
Therefore we move on to the criticism part.

Free For All action! One poor Hexer has like eight incoming Barrage balls!
Free For All action! One poor Hexer has like eight incoming Barrage balls!

Criticism:
The game modes: Personally, I would say that the three modes Free For All, Party Hex (the random team mode), and The Hexnaught delivers the most fun out of the current five modes. In Elimination you are cloaked while out of combat, though this might be good for variation, it is just frustrating while actually playing. The Capture the Ultralisk mode often turns into a stalemate where both teams are in the middle of the map, struggling to get control over both Ultralisk. In my opinion, points should be delivered to teams that bring home the enemy Ultralisk, even though their own Ultralisk is gone. I believe this would open up the gameplay.

Lighting and weather effects changes every round. This looks like a night time rave!
Lighting and weather effects changes every round. This looks like a night time rave!

Terrain: This map would benefit much in replayability if it had several different terrains where players could battle it out. Both terrains designed for team modes and single modes would be a great addition. This could be done in WarCraft III, so I have no doubt that it is possible in StarCraft II as well.

Team games are crazy fun!
Team games are crazy fun!

Spells and upgrades: Even though the spells themselves are great, I don't find the upgrades for them very interesting. Less upgrades that increases some passive stat, and more upgrades that do something cool. Examples could be adding another ball to your Barrage spell, or your Attack spell leaving a trail of fire.

But the thing that would really make this map great, was if you could gain resources after each round, which you could use to buy new spells and upgrades for them. This is what gave Warlock its great varied gameplay.

Victory at last!
Victory at last!

Conclusion:
I chose to review this map because I already knew how good it was, and because of how much I want the features I've listed above in it. The overall map is thoroughly created, with simple but fun and challenging gameplay. I would recommend this map to my friends, and if we see its continued development I would very much like to play it some more during the next StarCraft II Beta phase. I truly hope the author of this map, Qancakes, will continue supporting this map, until much, if not all, of its potential is reached.

End

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