Podcast: The New Year

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Podcast: The New Year

Postby Lavarinth » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:27 am

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While ringing in the new year, IskatuMesk and Lavarinth sit down and have a chat recapping what transpired throughout 2012: The contest, lack of content, StarCraft II, and more private matters. Not looking to dwell in the past, they discuss how they look forward to 2013 and what goals they have set in mind. Additional topics include modding, art tools, Diablo III, MMOs, and more!






Head on over to our Podcast section to check out our previous podcasts as well, or click here to get listening!
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:31 pm

Can you tell that I was delirious from my migraine?
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Hercanic » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:11 am

Iskatu: Nope!

Podcast: Awesome, listening now!

Idea: Password-protected room on Vent!

Jab at me: Hey! I did things! I find a big motivator for me is the prospect of the "Grand Reveal", so most things I've done are kept private for that purpose. Only because it was a requirement did I even submit that project thread, as I prefer to be free to change my direction without the distraction and weight of guilt for letting down anyone's expectations.
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Pr0nogo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:02 am

There were a lot of interesting ideas tossed around (as always). Can't say I agree with Lavarinth one bit about Heart of the Swarm, though - particularly with regards to the Q&A sessions, as Kindregan is dodging a lot of questions and only picking easy ones from the forums. Many of the selected queries have already been addressed, either by StarCraft/Brood War, the novels, or past data from Blizzcon (all of which is stored on the wiki). If he really cared about the lore of StarCraft II, he'd put more effort into answering the questions with some real weight and importance.

But tonies are allergic to effort, and at Blizzard, even being co-lead writer is just an elevated intern position.

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Milldawg » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:49 am

In my defense, I did not know they were recording a podcast when I entered the Ventrilo channel to scream "VAGINA."

I agree with Hercanic that they should record in a password-protected (or otherwise private) channel. :P

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Ricky_Honejasi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:02 am

Unless I am mistaken, I think the notifications of people coming on the server or not are global regardless if you are in a public or private channel.

So the real solution would be more like a private channel AND Lavarinth or Mesk (whoever is recording it) to turn off their notification options to not include any text-to-speech or wave file for the duration of the podcast.

EDIT : Btw, I am trying to get a new project reasonably advanced this year. However, I prefer to not reveal too much to everybody to avoid sudden heavy pressure it might bring me. I always sucked under pressure anyway.

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Pr0nogo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:27 am

Ricky_Honejasi wrote:I always sucked under pressure anyway.


:{

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Lavarinth » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:08 pm

Pr0nogo wrote:There were a lot of interesting ideas tossed around (as always). Can't say I agree with Lavarinth one bit about Heart of the Swarm, though - particularly with regards to the Q&A sessions, as Kindregan is dodging a lot of questions and only picking easy ones from the forums. Many of the selected queries have already been addressed, either by StarCraft/Brood War, the novels, or past data from Blizzcon (all of which is stored on the wiki). If he really cared about the lore of StarCraft II, he'd put more effort into answering the questions with some real weight and importance.

But tonies are allergic to effort, and at Blizzard, even being co-lead writer is just an elevated intern position.


So you're telling me this is in no way, shape, or form an improvement in comparison to WoL?
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Pr0nogo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:14 pm

I'm telling you that I have no faith renewed in Blizzard.

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Hercanic » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:16 pm

I like and respect the idea of Blizzard making a forthright effort to respond to the community, but I'm not enough of a lore-hound to be critical of their actual handling. I will say that if this new writer is pursuing the matter in earnest that some topics may likely go unanswered because the writers have a few ideas on the matter that they'd rather not spoil, such as a cool reveal or twist. Or, you know, maybe they're doing their actual job (writing for SC2), and can only humanly answer so many questions on their break.

I can understand that after the failures of Wings of Liberty and Diablo III that some, or even many, people no longer have the patience to grant that sort of benefit of the doubt to Blizzard. We'll see how they did after release, but obviously it's everyone's right not to attend that party.

I can't help but wonder if Blizzard has become so bloated with its previous successes that they're now stumbling over themselves in a manner similar to Ion Storm, developmentally going off in random directions because the money comes so easily (too much exploration, not enough commitment to a few core threads).

Or if Blizzard, being just a name covering up a group of creative minds, is no longer the same mix of talent and has become paralyzed by the weight of their own crown. After all, why would it take so long between every project, save WoW's expansions, if they weren't scared shitless of getting it "wrong"? That mindset is creatively toxic, and can't be solved simply with money and time. To quote Dune, "Fear is the mind-killer."

Or, again I'm postulating, if the situation is better compared to Star Wars and George Lucas, who in the original trilogy was fantastic at his job as the producer, but proceeded to promote himself beyond his capabilities in the later installments. Chris Metzen, likewise, has taken on many new responsibilities since the early days of Blizzard. In any project, it ultimately falls on the leader to make the tough calls, cut loose ends, and refocus a team's effort to where it is most effective. Was this done adequately, if not exceptionally?

Or is the audience's expectation built up too high? The burden too heavy, the myth too large for anyone to carry? Even Isaac Asimov didn't know where to take his quintessential Foundation series after the last book.

Or... is it some amount of all of the above?

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby IskatuMesk » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Hercanic wrote:I can't help but wonder if Blizzard has become so bloated with its previous successes that they're now stumbling over themselves in a manner similar to Ion Storm, developmentally going off in random directions because the money comes so easily (too much exploration, not enough commitment to a few core threads).


They've been like that since wc3. It's clear that the company that made Brood War is long, long dead, and any shred of talent or credibility they may have had is long spent. The true is same for the rest of the industry, however, with "Triple A" being more of a "stay the hell away" warning.

Chris Metzen was a concept artist. He made good concept art. Then he became a voice actor. And he wasn't a good voice actor. He became a writer. I haven't seen worse writing in this industry's corpse. The company came to rely on him in huge and needless ways. All of their products related to him turned to utter shit as a direct result. Everything this man touches turns to shit.

The audience's expectations are not illegitimate. As time goes on and technology improves, skillsets improve, it is expected that products improve, not degrade. The simple fact is, is that games today have much less effort put into them than 12 years ago. As opposed to taking advantage of new techniques and opportunity, companies have stagnated and regressed into copy paste and reliance on pre-constructed libraries. The same could be said with all of capitalism, however, as this problem is not just restricted to the game's industry.
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Pr0nogo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:49 pm

I certainly think it's partially the fault of the developer/publisher, the bulk of whom clearly do not value their own work. However, it's not really as if the fiscal system within which they are forced to work is built around quality, or even quantity. The capitalistic and corporate tendencies of the entertainment industries have forced a casualisation of the market. Is it depressing? Yeah, but after seeing it crumble for years, it stops becoming even remotely worrisome. It's just something we point and laugh at.

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Ricky_Honejasi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:26 pm

IskatuMesk wrote:The audience's expectations are not illegitimate.


I do agree.

Personally, I don't expect big miracles and such. However, when the simplest fixes to solve important problems seems to require a miracle to get Blizzard moving to fix, it does break expectations in a big horrible way.

For example :
- Want unpopular games in open games to be more played and stop the popularity system? Either a refresh button or a random open game list then open games being default. Even one of them will do a ton of good.
- Terran Mech never viable (while only bio is) after 1-2 years? Try to give minor HP boosts to Mech per patch until metagame shifts, just plain add the Goliath vs enemy air, etc.
- Battlecruiser and Carrier not viable from WoL 1.0? Reduce the build time and/or costs a tiny bit per patch until the metagame shifts.

It's easily possible those aren't the best ideas but at least it's something going somewhere. When you actually hear that WoL Terran is better than HotS Terran 2 months before HotS' release. Something is just plain wrong. Something that should never been occurring even in a beta expansion.

It only creates the expectation that Blizzard will never fix what should be fixed or turn around the pot until the end of times.

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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby UntamedLoli » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:16 pm

Milldawg wrote:In my defense, I did not know they were recording a podcast when I entered the Ventrilo channel to scream "VAGINA."

I agree with Hercanic that they should record in a password-protected (or otherwise private) channel. :P


It wouldn't be a CC codpaste if someone wasn't randomly jumping in there disrupting it.
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Re: Podcast: The New Year

Postby Hercanic » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:05 am

So I wasn't able to finish listening yesterday. 60min in now, and I'm at IskatuMesk's big announcement! Sounds really awesome, Mesk! Your voice drips with passion, and that makes me excited to see what you've done!
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