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    posted a message on Official Custom Observer UI Information & Guide

    Below is the official documentation and an example guide for the new custom observer user interfaces, from Blizzard.

    Note: To use the custom UI, create a folder called "Interfaces" within your SC2 user documents folder:

    %USERPROFILE%\Documents\StarCraft II\Interfaces

    Custom Observer Interfaces

    The overall goal of the interface was to increase the visibility of the most important information while removing any extraneous and unnecessary visual clutter that is preventing the viewer/observer from having the most optimal experience. We found that the bottom 1/3 of the screen was more or less “wasted space” that, for the most part, is basically covered up by tournaments or streamers anyway. By allowing the bottom 1/3 of the screen to only display information when there’s something to be displayed in the first-place, we allow a much more unobstructed viewing experience. Additionally, we felt that by allowing a number of elements to be toggled on and off, the viewer/observer can tailor the viewing experience to best-suit their own needs. We also wanted to help smaller, grass-roots tournaments which might not be able to afford external overlay software the ability to display information such as the win-loss count in a best-of series, team logos/player images, player bios and information, or even the logo of their tournament built completely into the interface. While this is only the first push for a more fully-integrated approach, we will be working on additional exciting features to help push the custom observer interface system to the next level.

    Finally, we know that for many of you, your primary mode of watching tournaments is through tablets or mobile devices where the resolution may not be the greatest. With this in mind we’ve made sure to make all text and all values much bigger throughout all of our different interface options. We believe that this will allow you to obtain all of the necessary information that you could ever need even on lower stream quality settings.

    Interface Choices:

    With the release of HoTS, we have created three different choices of Interfaces to choose from based on your own individual needs.

    HoTS Launch Event 1v1 Interface (1v1_Launch.sc2interface):

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/media/attachments/37/934/1v1Launch.png

    For the HoTS launch event interface, we wanted to try a new approach for displaying what is happening in the game to the viewer/observer. With this in mind we decided to break up the interface to have each player essentially “own” a side of the screen. By allowing this split we feel as though there’s an extremely clear delineation and separation between who is doing what. We feel as though this is an interesting way of presenting the information to the viewer and encourage you to try it out and let us know how you feel about it.

    Re-skinned Interface (ReSkin.sc2interface):

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/media/attachments/37/937/ReSkin.png

    While we’re excited to give the community a different way of displaying the information, we understand that it may not be for everyone. The re-skinned interface is the interface which is closest to the normal, default interface. The only changes we have made beyond removing the un-necessary interface elements, has been to re-skin the existing interface and make text larger and easier to read.

    Minimal Interface (1v1_Minimal.sc2interface):

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/media/attachments/37/935/1v1Minimal.png

    Finally, we have a third direction we’re pursuing for our custom observer interface setup. This is what we’re calling our “Super Minimal” interface. A number of changes from the traditional interface are present within this version, and we’d like to explain the decisions that were made with this interface.

    • No Minerals or Gas: After viewing countless tournaments, we feel as though there really isn’t any actual need to have the minerals and gas constantly displayed. It may seem very weird at first, but if you think about it, very rarely do the vast majority of players actually look at the minerals and gas. Most of the time we only actually notice it when a caster points it out. Resources can still be brought up by pressing “R” which will bring up the default resources leader panel. We feel as though Supply is the most important information here, which is why we have displayed prominently next to each player’s name.
    • No Multiple Select: We feel as though the main time that this is important is when a caster or observer has multiple units selected and we can see that a number of the selected units are very low on health. With unit health bars we feel as though this negates needing to display this information.
    • Upgrades not shown: We feel that with the availability of the new Upgrades Panel (G), that displaying this information all of the time is unnecessary and potentially redundant. By removing this information, we are also allowing for the UnitInfoPanel to occupy less screen real-estate and provide a more optimal viewing experience.
    • Queued Units not shown: Beside being a bad way to play in general and reinforcing negative habits, we felt as though this provided no benefit to the viewer beyond knowing that a person has additional queued units that won’t be available for use for quite some time. This also helps to save the amount of space that is required for the UnitInfoPanel. We have however displayed both active queues if a production facility with a reactor is producing two units at the same time.
    • Leader panels along the bottom-middle: After looking at a number of professional sports casts and analyzing their use of screen real-estate, we noticed that many of these organizations were utilizing the very bottom of the screen to display additional information. While it is still displayed on the screen, we feel that this is a more optimal location which keeps the primary view of the battlefield un-obscured.
    • Score “numbers” rather than “pips”: While the score pips present the number of wins in a new and cool way, in order to best utilize space while adhering to the “minimal” theme of this interface, we felt that numbers denoting wins would be the most appropriate for the scores.
    • Removing the portrait and abilities command card: We have noticed that the vast majority of tournaments obscure both the portrait panel and unit command card with advertisements or player cameras. With this being the case, we found that there was no need to display this information as it would most likely be covered up.

    Again, as was mentioned earlier, this is the first version of a very new way of displaying Starcraft, and may be very different from what you are currently used to. After a number of times watching replays and live games with this interface though, it felt as though this was the correct direction to head. While we may push this direction further, by possibly eliminating more elements and further streamlining the experience, we feel as though this is a great first step towards an optimal viewing experience. We really hope that you try this interface out and let us know what you think about it.

    New Features:

    Here we have a full breakdown of all of the new features that have been included within the new HoTS Observer Interfaces:

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/media/attachments/37/936/example.png

    • A: Custom Team Logo toggle (Ctrl + 8/9, Shift + 8/9)
    • B: Custom Score toggle (Shift + S. Ctrl + Shift + 5/7 – Best Of 5 or 7. Ctrl + 1-4, Shift + 1-4)
    • C: Minerals/Gas toggle (Shift + R)
    • D: Observer Shortcuts + Menu + Replay Frame (Shift + O)
    • E: Player Bio Frame (Ctrl + Shift + 8/Ctrl + Shift + 9)
    • F: Unit Abilities Frame toggle (Ctrl + Shift + A)

    Not Pictured:

    • Chat Frame Toggle (Ctrl + Shift + C)
    • New Units Lost Toggle (Shift + L)

    One additional feature that we are adding to all three of the custom observer interfaces is a new “Units Lost” panel. We believe that the current “Units Lost” panel doesn’t provide anywhere near the amount of information that one would need in order to understand what has occurred in the game. If a zerg player has lost 37 units and 3750 resources worth of units…what does that actually mean? Up until now there has been no way to understand exactly what each player has lost, and will look something like this:

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/media/attachments/37/938/units_lost.png

    As you can see from the image above, we can clearly see every individual unit type that each player has lost, and exactly how many of those units have been lost. As is mentioned above, this is brought up via Shift + L and can be toggled on and off at any point. Moving forward we will be working on additional improvements that should help improve the entire eSports experience for everyone.

    Interface Features Breakdown:

    1v1_LaunchReSkin1v1_Minimal
    Required Players1v1 ONLY*Any amount1v1 ONLY*
    Chat ToggleYesYesYes
    Player BiosYesYesYes
    Team LogosYesNo Yes
    Leader Panel LayoutSplit + BottomTop LeftBottom Middle
    Tournament ScoresYesNoYes
    Resource TogglYesNoNo
    Resources DisplayedAll – Minerals/Gas ToggleableAllOnly Supply
    Unit Abilities Toggle YesYesNo
    New Units Lost Toggle**YesYesYes
    Observer Frame ToggleYesYesYes

    *Note: Please note that the 1v1_Launch and 1v1_Minimal interfaces only support 1 person versus 1 other person. If you attempt to load a replay or observe a live game with another configuration, the interface will not function optimally.

    **Note: Please note that this feature will function starting with one of our future patches. Currently if you bring it up, it will display the units that each player has rather than those they have lost.

    Posted in: Tutorials
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    posted a message on Music & Sound forum section?

    Hrm... We'll discuss this backstage and I'll think about it some.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Informational Video Series
    Quote from Taintedwisp: Go

    @Sixen: Go

    I'm not going to lie, this whole thing has turned into a money grabbing scheme, where blizzard is just trying to grab money from another group of players because League of Legends is successful, every idea except 1 or 2 i have heard of has been terrible :P and it actually screams that they are copying Tofu, play tofu then listen to the ideas of theirs.... its sad, because it wont work out well for them... and now its most likely going to be standalone which is even worse.

    It's a free-to-play game. If nobody spends money, they make no money. Clearly it's not a "money-grabbing scheme." Also, considering All-Stars was announced before TOFU, I find this pretty silly. Especially since only 5 or so employees have played the game, and they are on the community team.

    Quote from Taintedwisp: Go

    @Sixen: Go and blizzard is NOT good at making games in genres they are unfamiliar with especially on battle.net, Example, Left 2 die, Auir Chef, and Starjeweled, were all terrible I got the achievements and then didnt play them again. Then theres Diablo 3, where they pretty much removed too much of the diablo and tried to put it into the hero arena genre without PVP. I mean, I just dont think it will turn out well and they just keep tarnishing their reputation, WoW players are upset with them, Diablo players are furious(not to mention the unfair bans on the D3 forums go to any post with over 5 pages and 60% is deleted post the CMs should be fired from over there and replaced). and the starcraft 2 community is not happy with them, though HoTS does help a lot.

    lol... Blizzard revolutionized the RTS, RPG, and MMO genres before ever releasing an RTS, RPG, or an MMO. Clearly they're bad at making games in genres they're unfamiliar with, right?

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on Informational Video Series
    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go Just because health is the one constant factor in any damage equation doesn't mean that the end result is always the same. Every other factor varies, including the type of the damage. Specialized resistances naturally follow from that and the end result is that you are stronger against some things and weaker against others. That's not just a conceptual difference.

    Very true, the idea here is to make it simpler though. Removing the need to do math on the fly (Lion's Finger, Zeus' Ult, etc, won't kill someone because of their armor and spell resist, even though they deal more dps than the current health pool type situations) is their goal.

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go Limiting the selection to just 16 items is an unnecessarily extreme response. You can have a decent item selection without being as ridiculous as DotA. Such choices as opting for sustainability (regen/lifesteal) versus large pools (health/mana), burst damage (pure damage) versus sustained damage (attack speed) are going to be totally neglected in Blizzard All-Stars. That ties heavily into the lack of stat choices as well.

    More refined or more limited?

    16 seems like an extremely small amount compared to the 100+ of DotA, I agree with that. Regardless though, like I said above, it's all about combinations, being restricted to what's available, and having to make those tough decisions. I'm sure they'll add more items (and they're definitely adding more heroes).

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go To each his own. The point of my post wasn't really to actually argue the points (sorry, I probably overdid that). I just meant to say that your videos didn't really come across as stating Blizzard's point of view so much as advocating it. I wanted to watch them to get informed but got irritated when I continually disagreed with what you were saying. :P

    No worries at all, it's completely understandable. Like I said though, the goal was just to inform the public behind Blizzard's decisions and rationale... For now, ;).

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on Informational Video Series
    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go

    I don't want to offend, but your series gives off this huge sense of fan-boy-ism. I mean, it makes sense, and it's fine to be really devoted to one particular company's products, but you failed to acknowledge any other point of view.

    The main part of this initial series isn't really to critique these new gameplay mechanics, but simply to inform the masses about them, as well as the rationale behind what went into implementing them. Things can and likely will still change, once we have a physical game in our hands is when I will start analyzing the mechanics in much more depth.

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go I for one disagree with many of the things said both by you and Blizzard. Things like "armor is just a hidden form of health" or "weapon speed is just a hidden form of damage" are totally ignorant. A variety of stats and item effects increases the uniqueness of gameplay by more than the sum of its parts.

    Ex.: Weapon speed is more useful to heroes with abilities that proc on attack or items that proc on attack. Armor and Spell Resist are not just hidden forms of health. They make you strong against some enemies but the investment leaves you weak against others. Things like lifesteal and health regeneration provide sustainability but again, the investment means you may be lacking in damage or health, which, as an example, may leave you weak to burst damage.

    At the end of the day though, they are just hiddens forms of another stat: armor and spell resist are two different reductions to damage that goes towards your main health pool. I agree they are different conceptually, but again, the end result is that your hp is drained by x.

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go Without this variety there will never be a reason to vary your item selection... One set of items will always be best on a particular hero, even moreso if you can only buy four items.

    I also disagree with this statement, the idea here is to not overload the player with similar heroes and similar items, but to create less, more distinct heroes and items. You can only have 4 of 16 items, that's a possibility of almost 4000 different item combinations. When each item plays a different role, you'll need to use different items for different situations.

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go Also, the notion of a siege hero was based on very faulty premises. Yes, the objective of the game is to destroy the enemy's base, but the purpose is not to do that by outranging towers. Such an idea, at least in my opinion, takes the fun out of the game. Yes, you can say that if a siege hero is attacking your tower uninhibited, then it is your fault for not defending it - but then, if you always defend against these siege heroes, they have no purpose. So they are a subtraction from the game in both cases.

    Really all this did was give a more refined role to heroes that are good a pushing lanes and keeping the pressure on (i.e: Nature's Prophet, Tinker, etc).

    Quote from MasterWrath: Go

    @Sixen: Go I know your video series was meant to be informational, but a truly informational series would present more than just one point of view. You raised no questions.

    Again, that wasn't my goal here, at this point in time, ;). In the future, once we've all gotten a chance to thoroughly delve into the content will I take a more analytical approach.

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on Characters you would like to see included
    Quote from SoulFilcher: Go

    I see All Stars as a chance to play some unplayable characters, so I don't understand their point for adding Diablo classes. I'm positive diablo players want to try Tyrael or any of the evil guys... I think the Witch Doctor is a poor choice, specially because D3 players seem to dislike this class (I dont play D3 myself so I may be wrong).

    Yeah, I'd have loved to have played Tyrael or any of the Evils, etc, ;X.

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on HotS Computer Players
    Quote from BlizzCloaken: Go

    @BlizzCloaken: Go

    Good news. This fix will make the beta with the next patch (coming relatively soon!).

    Awesome, =).

    Posted in: Triggers
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    posted a message on Blizzard Hiring Lead Designer

    Thought this was interesting, they just created a job posting for All-Stars Lead Designer. Perhaps it'll be a AAA game right off the bat, rather than running through SC2? Seems like they're pushing to make it a legitimate product more and more as time passes... Could also be the reason why we haven't heard anything in so long, ;).

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on Omni Editor

    This is really cool, :D.

    Posted in: Third Party Tools
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    posted a message on Global Publishing

    Once the game is patched for global play, it'll make things a lot easier, for sure.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Current State of Mapster (My Farewell?)

    Thanks for all your kind comments guys (and gals?). I've still got some figuring out to do, but it looks as if Molster is going to be my "Curse Liasion," and I'll continue running the show here.

    For the time being, I suppose there's no need to panic, nothing to see here... But know that my hard work is for my love of the community, ;).

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Current State of Mapster (My Farewell?)
    Quote from Ultimaswc3: Go

    Thank you Sixen for your hard work.

    <3.

    Quote from michaelknives: Go

    It shouldn't be that hard getting a new community going. I would use a modified vBulletin forum with the Apple IOS options and I am pretty sure you can still use the assets from this site on your new web site. The community should pick up with the new HOTS editor and level creation assets. The way Dustin Browder talks about staying in contact with the design community you would think there would be a official blizzard dedicated web site for map design, custom map uploading etc. directly connected with battle net. Or maybe even a community forum about map editing within the client. I suppose you could create a custom group for map editing in the HOTS release. Good luck with you're new website. I will be more then happy to assist you or support you're new community if they are going to let this web site die. Look at things this way you have an opportunity to make a self sufficient website where any income from advertising can go to you. You can stream custom map spot lights on twitch as well as try to become partnered with youtube creating custom mapping content. You could perhaps even grow a greater community. I would pitch a custom map spotlight to machinima realms in which you put out 2 or 3 20 minute high quality content shows a month.

    Good luck in your endeavors. Shameless plug your new web site on these forums!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for being so optimistic, much appreciated, I may have to shoot you a PM! :).

    Quote from Fullachain: Go

    Well have to say a bit astonished in the past years, that the forums never got organized properly, 4-5 map forums? :/

    But anyways good luck to you Sixen.

    I did my best, the problem with consolidating is that it'd break any/all previous links, which I tried to avoid.

    Quote from progammer: Go

    Analogy of raising a child for years and then get taken custody from you. Tears commence...

    This is sad news but at least we can be sure that the site is not going down in the near future. Since the new admin is going to run multiple sites at once, there's no reason not to keep the mod team (including Sixen) around. Optimistically, everything will run like usual. Things might get slower than it already were (bug fix, respond etc...) We might get shutdown at any moment (after HoTS or after LotV).... etc. There's no need to panic.

    Or we could just start a slow transition to a new site.

    It seems as if I may be able to stick around after all, but we'll see? I'm not entirely certain.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Current State of Mapster (My Farewell?)

    I was recently informed by Curse that because Mapster was not making enough profit, it would be more cost-effective (they paid me just enough to cover my $225/month car payment) to remove me from the website and put in place someone else: this means I am no longer the head honcho here. It's a real shame, as launching this site was my idea to begin with; it's been my baby since before it went live (just before the WoL beta began). I had a great time creating the community from absolutely nothing and watching it grow over the last 3+ years to what it is now. I remember staying up late trying to plan things with vjeux, and how excited I was when we first got 1000 uniques, such good memories. Obviously I haven't been in this for the money (sup Fockewulf), it was just a great plus on top of having the opportunity to create/maintain Mapster all this time.

    Unfortunately, I had a feeling this would happen at some point. Who exactly will be replacing me, I have absolutely no idea. Whether or not they'll let the site die? Also cannot be said. Perhaps I'll make a new mapping community, and of course, host it myself to prevent this from ever happening again, but we shall see what happens with Mapster.

    You'll all see me around, this was, again, my baby. I've been a part of the SC mapping scene for over a decade, so I won't be going anywhere, I'll just be a normal user like you guys (unless they decide to let me stay as a Moderator). Regardless, I'm sure most of you also know, I'm supporting Blizzard All-Stars on my own YouTube channel, so I suppose I'll be pushing that more and hoping for the best!

    Cya around everyone, *tear.*


    EDIT: Not sure when this will all be happening, but we'll get some sort of warning ahead of time, so for the time being, everything is cool. If Mapster is taken down, we'll have some time to prep before-hand and move to some new site I make. Otherwise, someone else will be brought in.


    UPDATE: Thanks for all your kind comments guys (and gals?). I've still got some figuring out to do, but it looks as if Molster is going to be my "Curse Liasion," and I'll continue running the show here.

    For the time being, I suppose there's no need to panic, nothing to see here... But know that my hard work is for my love of the community, ;).

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on New BAS Art for ImagineFX magazine

    Hey, this is really cool, thanks for sharing, :D.

    Posted in: Heroes of the Storm
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    posted a message on "Life" wins the 2012 Fall MLG!!!!!

    Yeah man, that was a sick series... Leenock is only what... 17 now?

    Posted in: General Chat
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