Just got an email from Blizzard, this was sent out automatically to all featured accounts.
I know this because my Battle.net email address is not the same one I use to communicate with developers. Just so you know.
Esteemed Arcade Developers,
We are always looking at how to improve our systems and we have some long-term goals with the StarCraft II Arcade that we want your feedback on.
I’d like you guys to respond to the following question: What features does Arcade and Battle.net need to turn your game from a StarCraft 2 custom map into a complete end-to-end game experience for your players. With each feature that you list, please also provide a priority and an example of how you would use this function, even if it seems obvious.
Feature: Ability to host games locally
Use: Having the ability to host a game offline would remove input latency and allow me to create different genres such as platformers and racers.
Feature: Server-side storage of player data
Use: Storing these files on battle.net would increase the security of the information and allow for better progression systems.
We are still in the planning stage and nothing is set in stone, but we’d like to make sure that whatever features we do add, they are at the top of our Arcade developer’s wish list.
Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to pass this along to others who you feel have valuable feedback. Thank you!
For obvious reasons I am not going to post the email account here, but if you want to list suggestions here, I will take a look at them and if I think they are good I will pass them on. Obviously, if this thread goes well I will link Blizzard up to it to read all of the suggestions.
Be nice, be concise, be professional, this is your chance. :)
Dogmai asked me to spam in here and not in irc (-> better documentation). So, I just note down everything that comes to my mind. This is no priority list, just my pool of ideas.
- local lobbies (you can do that in custom games already) => helps singleplayer maps relying on player input. This is great & basically already existing in bnet!
- linking maps => campaigns (also easier for SCU to do multiple areas; also, I've seen quite a lot of people asking for something like that.)
- bank requirements for map entering (-> maps for people with higher leveled heroes in their bank, campaign mission played, etc... + message for the user that is displayed, and maybe even working link to other map like the first campaign mission)
- bigger terrain dimensions in maps (not really important I assume, just something I would benefit from, but linking maps + bank requirements -> no need for bigger terrain as you can just enter the next area via map)
- open games list that makes use of the visual memory of a human brain. Add a way to see the map's icon. Custom maps has the picture inside the tooltips. One could add a second view option for the open games list, too, which is displaying the maps similar to the browse screen.
- maps page in profiles to find all maps a user published (could help campaigns/consecutive maps, too. This also helps tournaments as the players can find the correct maps via the tournament's bnet profile)
- local triggers/asynchronous support: helps to hide the delay user inputs have and gives us a chance to make interfaces like TPS controls feel more responsive or even the UI. This would be sick if implemented.
- better bnet performance (when I move my mouse, the FPS go to 0 and screen updates like 4 times a second, except for the mouse pointer)
- find a way to make sure players won't accidentally play on rigged maps in custom games (as recently happened in a streamed tournament and all static defenses shot across the whole map... quite a lot of people thought it was a bug on Blizzard's side)
@DogmaiSEA: Go Thanks for sharing. I believe one of the top-priority changes is server-side banks. I don't use them myself but I see so many developers asking for it. I can't give a better explanation than Blizzard's own example for it.
And here is my own request, which I believe I share with many developers as well:
Feature: Arcade "Page"
Use: This page would be used to showcase several maps and/or link them. Such a system is essential for custom campaigns, extremely useful for melee mods and possibly other genres too. This arcade page could allow developers to link their maps in different ways: Sequentially for campaigns (including possible splits defined by the maps); randomly pick a map in a group (perfect to make our own map pools); or any other way we may think of. It would also be useful to be able to hide maps, so they can't be selected directly, which is essential for campaigns.
A Free 2 Play, platform that's just for custom games. That includes 3 mods Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo ,(maybe their other games and titan in the future). All maps would be easily convertible to this new platform, as it would use the same engine, maybe a slightly modified one.
An In-game marketplace, not not like a real money marketplace, But one where you buy avatars, backgrounds(the Kerrigan /Planets is all we have), UI colors, New Command Cards perhaps? Unit Skins, In game Alert voices, etc. You purchase these items by playing the arcade, custom, and ladder games, You earn points for each game you play that last more then 10 minutes. maybe like have enough to buy something every 20-25 games, larger items 100 games. This adds a lot of replay ability to the game.
IF the arcade doesn't get its own platform, THEN, make ALL arcade maps Free 2 Play in the starter edition. I really want my map to be 100% FREE 2 PLAY then you could add the old plans for the paid real money buy maps marketplace and no one could so much as fuss about it. :) (if its still in SC2, then anyone who has the full game should get all that games stuff, and anyone wh has the expansion should get the full game + the expansions stuff free of charge).
Scramble the browse page to always show a different list of random maps, and make the top 10 list on the featured page Newest open games. if people want to play the maps they are used to playing they can book mark them, there's no reason to have a popularity list.
A donate button in the game info so mappers can link their pay-pal accounts
A bug report on the map info, so that players can leave bug reports without lowering our review score, or littering the section. allow players to post multiple times here.
AND FINALLY!!! this is for the editor.
A Field in the Ability tab that says "Levels +" and one that says "Units Affected Levels +", These fields work like the upgrades field. but with some key differences.
Levels + You select effects that get upgraded each ability level the same way you would in the upgrades tab, but this is for abilities this way you no longer have to use validators or many duplicated effects. This would GREATLY help out making heroes, I could then make a new hero in 15 minutes. rather then several hours.
Also this would mean upgrading the Events + field in the actors tab, So that we can select which level(do this by a string so the levels can be unlimited) so that we can have different models/sounds for each levels of the abilities, if someone wanted to put a new effect in the ability level they could still do it like they used to do it. This would help everyone who makes heroes immensely though.
Upgrade the Terrain Editor
to hold more pathing levels,
Be able to use ALL the textures in a single map, not just 8 :P
Add water pathing this would be paint able pathing for water.,
add the ability to do 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, etc sizes of water squares, instead of HUGE squares.
Allow us to tilt the water squares.
Click and Drag for sizes of texture painting, like MS_Paint or Photoshop so we can paint perfectly straight lines, or perfect rectangles(make us hold a hot-key down to do this)
Video for loading screens(i realize this sounds stupid, and wont happen but I would love it lol)
Sound Track on loading-screens(more likely), this would be great so my sexy voice can tell them how to play before the game starts.
The ability to delay the loading screen(if the top part is possible with SOUND, or video I would want to delay the loading screen until that's over.
Make all maps say "Porn Flakes, the cereal for men"
Hmm dunno if this is possible but JUST came up with this idea, Have a way for the editor to AUTO GENERATE Wire-frames, This was when I create an attachment unit, it can automatically have a wire-frame, There should be a way to pretty easily do this.
Make it so the cut-scene editor can play out abilities, so I can see what they look like with their visuals hooked up without actually going in game/ the ability to place a unit in the cut-scene editor :P
Again blizzard is supporting only the most popular of maps. My biggest problem is Fun or not which focuses only on open games. Most open games are the top 40 games the rest in the top 100. These games have been played... most have been played a lot. this is what is keeping alot of good games from gaining more popularity. Fun or Not should not do top 40 games, they should do all games and they should include a box for "servery broken and unplayable" which will push notices to the publisher and make fun or not keep away for it more. Fun or Not should also come back to lower most ranked maps more frequently if the map has received updates. In addition blizzard should incentive Fun or Not by making some sort of "Tester" rank and encouraging player to test these maps.
void ray beam <- make it simpler I see a lot of maps that have issues with this
1. CUTSCENE EDITOR
- dialog enabled feature to places dialog for a limited amount of time ex a box that shows statistics
- AUTO animation feature which allows users to fully antimate a unit without settings all the actors and animations
- set colour to white <- does not work the colour of box is blue cannot change to white enable this colour
- a minimize button for comments <- they take so much space I don't want to make a folder for them too
- more tool tips <- a lot of tooltips of basic things are missing !!!
The more and more I think about it, I think There needs to be some kind of Incentive for playing Arcade maps, I mean right now you cant really get achievements, portraits, unit skins, anything from playing arcade. so I think if there was some sort of system, the one I have listed above as an example, then more people will play arcades, this will at least get us some achievement junkies
I think the fun or not system should be overhauled or a new system put in alongside it or in place of it.
Have it be a system where only maps that are new and maybe to a lesser extent are not played are put into the rotation, I think you should have to apply to have your map put into the rotation, and someone at Blizz would review it to see that its an actual map worthy of playing. By this i mean it isnt full of bugs or some random map with 3 units on it and no objectives or purpose.
If it was decent it would be allowed into the rotation, so this way players would know when they join this game type they are getting a game that is both new and somethign they may not have played, and they will also know that the game is of a relativly good quality and is completley playable. When i join a fun or not i never know what i will get, and most of the time its worthless crap, this discourages me from wanting to join fun or not games. This can be kind of like fun or not but with a higher standard so people will actually enjoy it.
I think giving incentives like achievements or something to players who do join these games would be effective in getting more players in.
Yeah you CAN, but they are not the same, NO ONE, cares about in arcade achievements they want achievements on their sc2 account... not some meaningless crap inside the game :P. Achievements inside arcade are only worth for showing what stuff you unlocked and what you had to do to unlock them.
Feature: Server-side storage of player data
I've just put some thought on how this would be actually implemented. As far as I know anyone with a valid SC2 account has 157MB of storage space that is tied to your account. (well, the numbers are from the "Manage Published" menu in the Galaxy Editor)
If server-side banks are to be actually implemented my guess is via those account storage. However instead of having just banks server-side, I think this 157MB storage could be put to much more usage. Not every players publish maps, and much of those space are just left there.
There could be multiple ways to do, make it only accept bank files to an upper size limit and allow players to upload bank files.. or an option that locks the bank file so that it cannot be edited or even opened at first. The only way to access the bank would be from inside an actual game.
Feature: Map-side reserve option of user stats data
When publishing a map, there really should be an option for reserving user stats data. This would be useful for maps with large playerbase, with features like ranking system.
Say there's a map with 20MB publishing size. Give an 1MB option for user stats data, then this map would take up 21MB in the publisher's account space. Actual map data takes up 20MB, and the other 1MB would be reserved for given purposes.
Feature: Autor's Note/Blog/etc. section for Game Info
It would be nice to have a way for map makers to comunicate in-game to the players without requiring a forum. It can be used to let everyone know about future patches, any tournaments or special events, to look for someone to help testing, or to make a misc. anouncement.
I don't agree.. Star Battle has an achievement system and I think it was quite well received. Some people only play Starcraft for a specific Arcade game and would really value such a system. Others can still enjoy it as well.
Feature: Improve terrain deformer actors (required improvements: 1. let intersecting actors add heights, not only replace; 2. let actors modify ground plane as well as terrain mesh; 3. let selection circles of units be visible at modified areas; 4. let minimap visualize modified terrain with shades, like preplaced hills)
Use: Makes modified terrain work as good as the premade one. Allows random map generation, dynamical creating of chambers and landscapes. Actually fixes the map size limits due to a possibility to keep maps in arrays and print them when a player, for example, leaves one 255x255 map and joins another.
Feature: asynchronously attach a unit to a player's camera
Use: would allow to use RTT textured "screen" model as a second camera screen