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Gamereplay interview with Artosis!

Uvek je interesantno videti intervju sa profesionalnim SC igra─Źima pred SC2 betu. Tako nam dolazi Artosis, jedan od poznatijih igra─Źa, a dana┼ínjeg komentatora SC-a. Hey Artosis, the community may not know a lot about you, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself? Where you're from, your name, age and so on?

Artosis: Well, I think some of them might know me as I used to play Age Of Empires 3 when it first came out =P. I am a 26 year old StarCraft player from USA. I've played the game competitively for about 11 years, been to 7 USA Finals, 2 World finals, and more recently became a commentator. For this, I moved to South Korea about a year and a half ago. I now work for the International Esports Group, the same company that owns the eSTRO professional StarCraft team. How is life in Korea?

Artosis: Korea is absolutely a gamer's paradise. Everyone in the whole country seems to know StarCraft and to have played it. StarCraft is always on TV, and even the government recognizes eSports as legitimate. On top of that, the people are very nice, the food is delicious and healthy, and Seoul is a great city, where you can always find something to do, no matter what time of the day it is. A great place overall There will be a lot of different players, worldwide, from different games trying to be the next BoxeR/NaDa/Jaedong etc., who do you personally think will succeed? From your time in the pro scene and your duration in Korea, what does it take to be the best?

Artosis: To be the best, it takes some talent and a lot of hard work. Discluding the StarCraft progamers in Korea (as I beleive the talented ones will continue to play StarCraft a while longer), I think the best players might very well be Moon from WC3 and ret from StarCraft. These guys are both ludicrously talented, at the top of their games, and ready for StarCraft 2. I have a long list of players I'm going to keep my eyes on (including d.apollo =P), but I really feel like Moon + ret are destined to be 2 of the very very top, no matter what. How do you think top international teams like MYM, SK-Gaming, Fnatic or Mouz will compare to the Korean progaming teams in StarCraft 2? Do you think any international team will be able to compete with the Koreans and their rigorous training, work ethic and money?

Artosis: Over the long term, the Korean + Chinese style//culture//work-ethic//whatever you want to call it, will rise to the top. In the beginning, at least, foreigner teams will be able to compete easily with them, and even be better. I doubt most of the talented Korean players will switch over right away, if at all, so that also helps the foreigner teams. Do you believe the Korean teams will invite more foreigners to compete in their StarCraft 2 scene or that they'll rather stay as hermetic as they currently are? What's the likelihood of having the next Hexatron, meaning an entire team consisting of foreigners?

Artosis:There won't be a team entirely consisting of foreigners over here most likely. Will the Koreans invite more foreigeners to Korea to compete in StarCraft 2? Absolutely. Would they be willing to change their attitude from "You must learn Korean to be able to communicate with us and be able to take advantage of our knowledge!" to something closer to "Our players need to have at least a basic grasp of English so they aren't as excluding towards foreigners"?

Artosis: Teams will likely continue to recruit more bi-lingual managers, such as Hwanni from eSTRO, Sean Oh from CJ, and Paul from WeMadeFOX. Most likely, future foreigeners will take Korean classes while here, as IdrA has recently started doing. What is your prediction for the future of e-sports in relation to Starcraft 2, to be more specific, do you think it will take off and if so will it be as big in the Korean scene and bigger in the foreign scene? This may seem like a fairly over-asked question, but nevertheless, it's an aspect we'd like to hear your opinion on.

Artosis: StarCraft 2 is a really important step in the evolution of eSports. Right now, RTS players are scattered over StarCraft, Warcraft 3, Defence Of The Ancients, and a plethora of other, smaller games. This really hurts eSports overall. StarCraft 2 is a fresh start for everyone, anyone who wants to put in the time and effort can be good. Also, it will be an awesome game. This should combine all the RTS communities into 1, for the most part. That + the hype + the newness of the game will make it very attractive for all eSports events, and it will, with all certainty, be in all of them. Will it be as big in the Korean scene? Its impossible to tell right now. The scene will not switch over entirely at first, that is for sure. StarCraft has deep roots here, a strong player base, die-hard fans, and too many people making a living off of it to just throw it away. Likely we will see it integrated over time, and hopefully, become more popular one day. The foreigner scene won't reach what Korea is at right now, I think, but it will certainly be bigger than anything we've seen before, RTS wise at least. How competitive do you think Starcraft 2 will be internationally? Are there going to be a few dominant countries - besides Korea - bringing forth one champion after the other or will all nations have a couple of top level competitors? Why?

Artosis: I think eventually, StarCraft 2 will be boiled down just like it is in Warcraft 2. China, Korea, and a few randoms from other countries in the mix. But, this will take years. In the start, anyone could be good. I can't really say that every country will have some top players, because its impossible to predict. Whoever wants it the most, whoever trains the hardest, will be able to make a mark. It just matters where those individuals are from. No one race or nationality will give an advantage. Let's talk a bit more about you. Are you planning on staying in Korea with the release of Starcraft 2 or will you return home in an attempt to kick start e-sports in the United States? Furthermore, what do you think would be the best way to take in order to make e-sports more popular in the United States and in Europe?

Artosis: My current plan is to stay in Korea for a while longer. So far I've been able to do a lot to bridge the 2 communities, and I'm on the brink of some much larger break-throughs as well. I'll hopefully be able to stay and continue helping with that a bit more. I think right now Europe is doing a great job of growing eSports, and will continue to do so. USA is doing better than most people who read this interview truly realize, because they are growing eSports with console gaming rather than PC gaming. Of course, I'd like to see more PC gaming growth in the USA, and hopefully it can happen. For more USA growth, I think MLG is the key. They are doing absolutely great right now, hopefully they will pick up StarCraft 2! Will you continue playing as Terran? We've seen you play Terran on some VoDs from BlizzCon (namely the games versus Savior), what did you like about the "new" Terran? If there was anything to like at all?

Artosis: Well, I've only played 3 games of StarCraft 2 so far (all against Savior @ Blizzcon, 2-1ed nerd lol thx zatic XD), and all of them have been with Terran. I like that walls are all solid now, and that depots can go underground. I will certainly stay with Terran, pretty much no matter what during StarCraft 2. I might dabble with the other races a bit more than I did in StarCraft, but I am a Terran player for life. Based on your personal experience with Starcraft 2, what is your opinion on the macro mechanics? Do you think they can adequately compensate for the reduction in APM and attention cost caused by an improved interface?

Artosis: The macro mechanics seem quite interesting, but very imbalanced right now. I'm looking at them with an open mind, I don't mind trying something new and fiddling with it while it gets balanced. I don't think they could ever come close to compensating for the reduction in APM and attention cost caused by the improved interface. Anyone who thinks for even 1 second that it will, is dead wrong, and never played StarCraft at a high level. With all this talk about people who haven't played Starcraft before transferring to Starcraft 2, and not being able to compete with those who have played the original (at the start anyway), do you think there may be some aspects of Starcraft 2 that the original Starcraft community will have trouble with, that say, a Company of Heroes player will not?

Artosis: I never played Company Of heroes, but I have played countless other RTS games. There are a few reasons why StarCraft players will be ahead of the other RTS players, and also a reason some will have a hard time with the game. Let's go over why they will be ahead first. The game is StarCraft 2, not Company Of Heroes 2. The game which it is and will be most similar to, is StarCraft. This alone will give StarCraft players an edge, with the feel, many similar units coming back, similar economy management, similar map layouts, etc. In addition, SC1 requires the most multitasking of any RTS ever, by far. Multi-tasking is very unnatural, and it takes a lot of practice to properly split your brain up amongst the different tasks SC1 requires you to preform at the same time. This is the most powerful skill to have in an RTS, and many SC1 players will simply have more experience with it than players from other RTS games. (not to say those players don't have some, or in some cases, a lot, of course:) ) SC1 requires the most mechanical (i.e, technical keyboard useage) of any RTS game. Top players can preform 450 actions per minute, and it takes at least ~200+, even with the slowest race, to have any chance at being competitive. Has Starcraft 2 noticeably changed the relationship between the Korean Starcraft players and Warcraft 3 players, who would previously have mostly avoided each other? What kind of differences in opinion or relationships have you noticed between the two communities, if any?

Artosis: The relationship hasn't changed all that much between Korean SC1 players and Korean WC3 players. Korean StarCraft players are in their own little world, and don't pay any attention to Warcraft 3 players, because they simply dont matter to them. There are not that many Warcraft 3 players over here, really. A noteable acception is that Moon has been practicing with the WeMadeFOX progaming StarCraft team, and is doing amazingly well. He's the worst on the team, but still wins about 25% of his games against the B-team.

Some opinions amongst the communities differ, of course. People have their heros from their games, and all of them think they will do great. Some will I'm sure, but most of them are going to run into the brick wall called "SC1 pros". I haven't really noticed any difference in the relationship between the communities. I guess we will all just merge and be pretty happy together after the release. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Artosis: Playing StarCraft 2 probably... =P Having played a little Starcraft 2 do you hate Protoss already?

Artosis: Hahaha, I've only played 3 games, and not 1 DT was made against me. So, yes, I do hate Protoss already (default hatred though, not based upon anything I've played against yet). Thanks for your time, Artosis Are there any last words or shoutouts?! I heard you run a manner t-shirt site?

Artosis: haha, yeah. . Also, if you read this interview, you should be following my twitter. I update it pretty often with all sorts of great content on Starcraft and soon StarCraft 2.

12/02 Realm performanse

Quote from: Nerimash (Source 12/02 Realm Performance)
Some highly populated realms, as well as some realms in highly populated Battlegroups, are currently experiencing performance issues during peak playing hours, which, depending on the realm, can occur both inside and outside instances. This is caused primarily by high concurrent Icecrown Citadel activity, the start of Arena Season 8, the release of the new Vault of Archavon boss encounter and the “Love is in the Air” seasonal event.

To help address some of these issues, we’ve applied a hotfix to optimise certain database requests during the weekly maintenance, in addition to a variety of other related adjustments. We will continue to monitor the affected realms and will be making further adjustments to continually improve performance where possible. We know the performance issues have been a frustrating inconvenience for the players on these realms -- we very much appreciate your patience while we implement additional short- and long-term solutions.

Lich King 103 Miliona HP u Heroic 25 Modu

Čudno, Blizzard je nekim razlogom uradio brzi hotfix Lich King HC Mode dodajući mu 30% više HP-a. U 10 Man HC je imao 22.5 miliona i naravno buff je doveo do toga da sada ima 29.5 miliona hp-a. Predpostavlja se isto da je uradjeno i na 25 man HC Mod, jer Lich King ima 103 Miliona HP-a. Za sada je jedino Paragon ubio svih 11 boss-eva u 25 man HC modu, gde im je ostalo 14 pokušaja na lich king-a.

Dodatni PvE i PvP sadr┼żaj u budu─çem patch-u

Zarhym je objavio veoma interesantnu vest na forumu, a radi se o tome šta nas čeka posle Icecrown Citadel. Izgleda da Blizzard planira novi PvP i PvE sadržaj pre izlaska velikog patch-a 4.0 i naravno trećeg nastavka, i moguće je da ćemo videti nešto novo. Nemojte mnogo da se nadate jer je Zarhym već rekao da je Icecrown Citadel poslednja velika istanca u Wrath of the Lich King nastavku.
Quote from: Zarhym (Source Re: 3.3.2 - Where Next?)
With that being said, we do have some additional PvE and PvP content and changes we plan to implement prior to the release of the big Cataclysm patch and subsequent retail release of that third expansion. We'll be discussing these new features in more detail in the coming weeks.

[...] As we stated before releasing Wrath of the Lich King, we still intend for Icecrown Citadel to be the final raid of the expansion in terms of tiered progression.

Recent In-Game Fixes - February 2010 - 02/11

Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game. Keep in mind that some of these changes may not be active until after the realm has been restarted.

To review previous in-game fixes, please visit:

  • Using a "Bag of Heart Candies" with a full inventory will now cause the local postmaster to send you any candy not recieved.
  • Sindragosa will now be more consistent in her application of Unchained Magic in 25-player difficulty.

Dnevne Blue Teme

Quote from Blizzard staff
Can't play without healing debuffs in PvP (Source Re: Question about Cata RE: Healing Debuffs)
I agree it's an issue and we do have some plans. 

Bryntroll and other proc weapons (Source Re: Another Bryntroll QQ thread GC please rea)
I wouldn't worry so much about how much percentage of your damage the proc is doing. I mentioned that once when comparing various proc weapons and it became adopted as the design goal for all proc weapons. It isn't.

The only real salient comparison is Bryntroll to other two handed dps weapons of the same ilevel (or Zod's to other bows or Trauma to other healing weapons, etc.) Procs are always going to be more random than pure stats, and we can live with that. If you're very intolerant of RNG mechanics, then proc weapons probably aren't for you. If swapping from Bryntroll to another item on the same tier of content is a significant dps increase (taking class, spec and other gear considerations in mind of course), then there is a problem with the weapon. It's as simple as that.

Game balance in Cataclysm (Source Re: Question about Cata RE: Healing Debuffs)
However, we're going to back off of talking about Cataclysm for a little bit. We're excited about it, so we've been wanting to share our philosophy, plans and ideas as they relate to class design. However, it may be a little too soon. I think it's clear that some players are mistaking our excitement for Cataclysm as our giving up on Lich King. ("Cataclysm will fix it.") That's not our intent nor plan, but I can understand how you might draw that conclusion. We'll talk more about the upcoming expansion soon (tm). 

40-players raids (Source Re: Blizzard, what is your plan for 40-man ra)
Right now our plan is to look back on 40-player raids fondly as a format by which we were able to evolve and customize what we feel to be the best raid formats for World of Warcraft. I don't believe our developers have ever stated that they'll absolutely never do a 40-player raid again, but we're really happy with the raid variety we have now with 10- and 25-player raids featuring normal and Heroic difficulties.

The game did rapidly expand from 2004-2006, but I'm not sure it's safe to assume that such a growth in the size of the player base related specifically to what was happening at the endgame. In fact, it had much more to do with the game's overall accessibility, engaging quest experiences, interesting lore, and strong game play mechanics. It was such a growth that ultimately encouraged our desire to make the raiding game more accessible to the new types of people we were introducing to the MMORPG genre.

So while we haven't rapidly expanded our player base over the last year, we've retained our record subscription numbers after five years since World of Warcraft's release. We feel this in part due to the updates we've made to the endgame. We see a greater percentage of players raiding now than ever before, and not just one or two of the easier raid dungeons as in the original game and first expansion. We're seeing much more casual-oriented players serious about fighting the Lich King, while also seeing some of the most advanced guilds in the world begin to work out the strategies for besting him on Heroic difficulty. Our next step is to go back to the early game in Cataclysm and provide additional updates and improvements to bring it closer in line with our development experience, today's technology, and the type of gamers we want to attract. This is in addition to encouraging existing players to try the game again, but have it feel much more like a new experience.

As a long story short, we'll continue to iterate upon the raiding game to improve it, but we feel we have a working formula right now. In order to appeal to a wider range of players, sheer numbers and time devoted should not be the primary determining factors of success in this game.

Is Icecrown Citadel too easy compared to old raids? (Source Re: Blizzard, what is your plan for 40-man ra)
Let's keep things in perspective here. There is a very small percentage of players who have defeated every raid boss in this game consistently for five years straight now. That kind of experience is unparalleled. There's also a very thick system of online resources for providing and sharing strategies which were not nearly as robust for the original game as they are today. The community that's grown around this game has somewhat changed the way the game is played. That's okay though. That's natural.

The fact that at least 25 members of our player base have killed Sindragosa on Heroic difficulty doesn't say much about whether or not the encounter is more complicated than, say, Twin Emperors. In fact, most of the raiders I've talked to who are at, or have killed the Lich King in 25-player mode say that Icecrown Citadel has provided some of the most fun and interesting mechanics this game has yet to offer. Most of the fights today are technically more complex than the fights of old, but the difference is in the tuning and the polish.

I can think of at least a couple of bosses that took a long time for any guild to kill where bugs were a major factor. As soon as the bugs were fixed, the bosses were defeated. There were also several bosses, take Princess Huhuran for example, which weren't necessarily incredibly challenging from a mechanic perspective. The challenge came in the form of requiring that players farm resistance gear from that same instance for weeks and weeks until they stood a chance. Resistance fights have since more or less disappeared. We want the interesting mechanics of a fight and the fun factor of that fight to be what players remember, not that they had to wait for major bugs to get fixed, or farm enough of a specific type of stat to even stand a chance. Of course there are gear checks still in the game, but they're much more reasonable. They allow you to customize your character to your wishes and prove your talent by successfully performing your class/spec role, while also successfully learning and reacting to the mechanics of each fight. These are areas in which guilds like the one to which you're referring excel to an impressive degree.

Italian Open Beta Q&A!

Share your reaction to the news with the rest of the Italian Community ! Have any questions about this? Want to know more? This is the thread suitable for any discussion on the upcoming StarCraft II beta!

Post 1: (Shows appreciation) Will Beta be released in phases still or is it a global release?

Zhydaris: God forbid, I am here on purpose. Then, the objective now is to release the beta "globally" , Then simultaneously in all regions. Qualorao this is not possible due to unforeseen problems, the Beta for Europe and Italy arrived in each case a very short distance (even a few days, not talking about weeks). But again, our plan is currently in Beta release simultaneously in all regions by the end of the month.

Post 2: When will you reply to those who opted in through (Or have they already been sent?)  What can you actually test in the beta? When looking at graphics and features, is beta be in a form that's "release ready" or a specific partial version that was created for the beta? When you can create a 2.0 beta account?  Will I create the real name ID? How will we register the account? Will those who registered in beta have their information retained in later phases? How does highly common "read-id" names work such as "John". In beta, can I immediately use it to get in touch with my old WoW friends?

Zhydaris: The calls will start probably a couple of days before the actual launch of the Beta. The beta is multiplayer only, with some features of Battle.Net 2.0 already in the client (friends list, party system, etc..). Nothing campaign. The game version will be updated very often and will often be subject to change, but this does not mean that the graphics will not be complete or whatever.

The exception will be made localized versions, which may have missing sounds (to reduce the size of the client) or placeholder for some translations. Nothing to worry about anyway.

The cross-game functionality will not be present. No chatting with friends on WoW for now :)

Upon first login will be asked to enter a new nickname in the form Nickname.nick (Zhydaris.Blizz, MarioZerg.Clan, etc..). Currently the first part of the nickname is not "unique", so more people can choose MarioZerg, but only one person has the combination MarioZerg.Clan.

Post 3: Will the ranking features be active during the beta? Is there a "recycling" of the keys? (eg if a tester might not concerned too much about the game play and reports fairly, then the key is removed and given to another) (I sincerely hope you do;)) Will we be testing "ums" maps also or just traditional map? There will be some sort of reward or incentive for the players more active and / or more collaborative in terms of suggestions and bugs reports?

Zhydaris: The matchmaking system will certainly be active, the rankings are a different matter, but I'm sure it comes time to test those too:) The keys will be distributed and collected in different circumstances and needs, s├ş. Currently there are several maps to be tested, then we will see what to add / remove. We're looking at possible incentives for the most active.

Post 4:  You have already spoken of localized versions in different languages (I had assumed that the beta was only in English), I'd like to know if any beta-testers will automatically set the language to their country or if there is a choice of language to use.

Zhydaris: In fact, our goal is to make available localized versions for the various test them properly. The automatic language settings ... we are evaluating the options to be honest, will tell you when it becomes official.

Post 5:Will the beta be available for Mac OS X? Or only for Windows? Since I have a Mac I wanted to know if I could I also have some hope of receiving it.

Zhydaris: No Mac version at the launch of Beta, will most likely be released later.

Post 6: Just in case any of us want to create some videos for YouTube ... may we share any replays?

Zhydaris: There will be no NDA.

Post 7: I am very happy with the announcement and I hope to receive mail from Blizzard. How can I qualify for it... something inside of my account battle net?

Zhydaris: Yes, in the main page of your account you should see a small icon "SC2 Beta" written in green and a "Beta Profile Settings". There you will find the option to give your availability for the Beta.

Post 8: Regarding clan names, are you limiting the format of how we write our names? Typical formats are nomeclan.nick (For example, I am SoL.ChoBo) or [nomeclan] nick (would be [SoL] Chobe) and so on ...  It looks like Blizzard has decided to make this format is required (at least in Beta) in the format Nick.Clan (I would be ChoBo.SoL). It is not clear what one should do if they are not part of a clan, I think they should be able to write what they please.  If this is true, it could cause problems as anyone can reserve a clan name without approval for being in that clan.   I'm just speculating but can you clarify?

Zhydaris: No no, it has nothing to do with clan name, which will appear in another way:) It is simply two levels of recognition. The first is the generic nickname, which can be a duplicate. The second is an additional identifier.

Let me give an example: You choose ChObO.qualcosa. Guy chooses ChObO.qualcosaltro. The name will be displayed normally Chobo in both cases (loading screens of games, chat games, etc..), The second nickname comes into play only on statistics, chat outside the game, etc.etc. Another totally random example:"Do you know Mario?" "I know several" "Mario, who live on Mar Sara" "Ahhh FAR Mario, yes, I know!"

I know it sounds complicated, but it's easier than it seems:)

Post 9: Have you decided whether to include the editor in the beta or not? Will the system requirements be issued before or simultaneously to the beta? Will there be all game type? (1vs1, 3vs3 and so on)

Zhydaris: From 1vs1 up it will all be available, no exception. The requirements will come in due course, yes. No editor, at least in the very first released version.

Post 10: All this has nothing to do with the concept of Real ID, yes?

Zhydaris:In a way, yes: the name that will appear to those not within your "real life" friends. The latter will be able to display your real name, all others do not.  But take everything with [an open mind]., Real ID and everything could change between now and launch.

Post 11: How can we test the game? (Ie, shipped via mail or via the famous account key) and after which we will have to download the package on our PC? How Big will it be?  It also looks like you avoided the question about beta distributions.  Did you "escape" the question or is it that you can not speak on it/still deciding?

Zhydaris: We have not yet released the number of calls that will be sent because it is not yet final.  The game will be downloadable from your account Battle.Net and will appear in the list of games owned. The size of the client are currently fairly small, we hope to be under the 3gb, but we'll see how it will be the Beta client on the day of its release :)

Post 12: Thank you Zhyd, we're providing more info than can be found on the internet after after hours and hours of research ... We are all excited about this news.

Zhydaris:Well, that's the convenience of an Italian forum :)

Post 13: Can you make one thing clear, will this be open or closed beta?

Zhydaris: It will not be open to the public, you must have a beta key.

Zahvaljujem na prevodu ovog Q/A batcha!

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