StarCraft® II

[Discussion]SC II Arcade TODO Checklist

I will be updating this ORIGINAL POST periodically! New items will be added, items that have been completely addressed to our satisfaction will be removed, and items that are incompletely addressed will be edited with an explanation of what remains to be done.

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This is to be a list of changes that need to be committed to the Arcade system in order to restore the faith of fans in Blizzard Entertainment and the Starcraft II franchise. We, the community, believe the listed items must be addressed to revive interest in the Arcade system and promote incentive for innovation among new coming and experienced mapmakers. We also believe that the listed items must be addressed to optimize the playing experience of every kind of Arcade player.

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UPDATED AS OF 10/30/2012:

PRIORITY - These are the most pressing concerns of the community right now.

  • Default Open Games List - Much of the power of the Open Games List is diminished by it not being the first displayed thing for players when they enter the Arcade. Currently, the Spotlight is shown. The recommendation is that the Open Games List should be made to be the first thing or among the first things shown to players upon entering the Arcade.

  • Refreshing Games - It has been a troubling issue for players and map creators alike that games shown on the Open Games List can only go down on the list, and ergo, the longer a game remains active, the more difficult it gets to join it. The most reasonable solution seems to be to allow a host to refresh the game so that the game would appear back at or near the top of the Open Games List.

  • AFK Hosts - Players that join a game and take host status and then go away from keyboard (AFK) can hold up games. Unpopular games are especially vulnerable, being rendered unplayable because not enough people join the game and stay long enough to force the game to start. Some games use many player slots and do not reach full capacity easily, further aggravating the issue.


NON-PRIORITY - It would be nice to have these.

  • "Open To Public" Button - Sometimes, it's necessary to make a private game before opening it to the public to get certain map and player settings just right before you let the public join. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. With games auto-starting once all player slots are filled, there may not be enough time to get in last minute tweaks. 2. Some game settings (beyond the game mode) can only be modified in a private game.

  • Multiple Named Lobbies Per Map - There are multiple issues with the Arcade system such as the AFK host issue and other visibility/marketing issues that should be addressed by permitting players to create and name multiple lobbies that would be displayed as a collapsible/expandable list beneath maps in the Open Games List. Players ought to be able to join whichever one of these named lobbies catches their interest.

  • Input Delay - Some Arcade maps have keyboard or mouse trigger events that have a notable latency between the actual input and the trigger response that exceeds the normal non-trigger command-response latency. If network optimizations can be made in this area, this would be excellent and would promote significantly more innovation in the production of new Arcade maps.

  • Dedicated Mapmaker's Chat Channel - Mapmakers would like to have a dedicated chat channel for which help with respect to the editor and Arcade system can be solicited and for general mapmaking discussion. We would also like to be able to be logged into SC2 and the editor simultaneously to maximally benefit from having a dedicated chat channel. Additionally, it would be appreciated if there were other channels geared toward finding beta testers.

  • Customizable Chat Channel - Maps should be able to specify their 'home' chat channel by name. Sometimes, it is not desirable for the chat channel's name to match the map's name.

  • Pending Players Delay Games -When pending players never join the game and merely delay the game's launch for a significant period of time, that's a problem. The suggested solution is to not place players into a game lobby until they have actually accepted a game invitation and finished downloading the map. In cases where parties are involved, the party should wait on the slowest person in the party to finish downloading the game. Parties already wait; the problem is that they pend while they wait, holding up a game.

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To the community: please feel free to discuss the list. I would like for this list to reflect the entire community's judgment, so if you see an item you disagree with being on the list, don't hesitate to bring it up. BE CONSTRUCTIVE OR BE IGNORED. If you would like a new item to be added to the list, also bring that up. Discuss it with others and attempt to win a consensus on your ideas. Thanks.
Edited by Soga on 10/30/2012 10:34 AM PDT
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I feel like being able to see how many players are in the lobby for each map in the list, and being able to sort the maps by player count would be great. That might make it easier for maps to build up a player count more quickly.
Edited by syntox on 10/25/2012 12:38 AM PDT
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10/25/2012 12:36 AMPosted by syntox
I feel like being able to see how many players are in the lobby for each map in the list, and being able to sort the maps by player count would be great. That might make it easier for maps to build up a player count more quickly.


Im not sure if that would be a good idea. This would lead to the problem that empty lobbies would probably stay empty for a much longer time, since everyone wants to join full lobbies to get a quick game start.

As for the list:

Input Delay - Some Arcade maps have keyboard or mouse trigger events that have a notable latency between the actual input and the trigger response that exceeds the normal non-trigger command-response latency. If network optimizations can be made in this area, this would be excellent and would promote significantly more innovation in the production of new Arcade maps.


It doesnt apply to all maps, but for some projects this is really essential.
You can read more about my opinion about battle.net delay here: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6935295994?page=2#26

I think we should start to bring up that topic more frequently to make Blizzard more aware of its importance.
Edited by Mille on 10/25/2012 6:07 AM PDT
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MVP - StarCraft
I created a similar thread a while back, if you're interested: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/6307802626
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- Removal of spotlight list
-prioritize the open game lobby list to make it where the masses go to.

Right now the open game lobby list is okay, but im willing to bet a very large majority of people dont use it and go straight to the spotlight list.

- A way to refresh maps on the open game lobby list back to the top after a certain period of time has elapsed.
Edited by Incinerate on 10/25/2012 6:10 AM PDT
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MVP - StarCraft
- Removal of spotlight list
-prioritize the open game lobby list to make it where the masses go to.

Right now the open game lobby list is okay, but im willing to bet a very large majority of people dont use it and go straight to the spotlight list.

- A way to refresh maps on the open game lobby list back to the top after a certain period of time has elapsed.

I made this points in a different thread as a response to the HotS UI preview.

After listening to Pro Corner, State of the Game, Inside the Game, and reading reddit comments and threads I've seen a lot of people who don't even realize the Open Games list exists. I would replace the Up and Coming section of the Spotlight with it, as I honestly don't find that section very useful anyway and it could just cycle with the Top Played and Top Rated list to the side.

Refreshing lobby positions is equally important... you have to have some way of bringing your lobby back from the dead once it gets so low on the list nobody sees it. I've literally been inviting everyone in the lobby to a party, terminating the lobby, and rehosting it just to get a higher position on the list. It works, but its an unnecessary pain and sometimes people aren't willing to go along with it.
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  • AFK Hosts - Players that join a game and take host status and then go away from keyboard (AFK) can hold up games. Unpopular games are especially vulnerable, being rendered unplayable because not enough people join the game and stay long enough to force the game to start. Some games use many player slots and do not reach full capacity easily, further aggravating the issue.



This will be a problem regardless of how we attempt to fix the issue simply because of a lack of playerbase.


  • Multiple Named Lobbies Per Map - There are multiple issues with the Arcade system such as the AFK host issue and other visibility/marketing issues that should be addressed by permitting players to create and name multiple lobbies that would be displayed as a collapsible/expandable list beneath maps in the Open Games List. Players ought to be able to join whichever one of these named lobbies catches their interest. Each game in this list would summarize information such as: game name and the number of players in game out of max slots.



If we had better intro lobby screens this would not be needed.


  • Input Delay - Some Arcade maps have keyboard or mouse trigger events that have a notable latency between the actual input and the trigger response that exceeds the normal non-trigger command-response latency. If network optimizations can be made in this area, this would be excellent and would promote significantly more innovation in the production of new Arcade maps.



You cannot change the laws of physics. Light only travels so fast.


  • Dedicated Mapmaker's Chat Channel - Mapmakers would like to have a dedicated chat channel for which help with respect to the editor and Arcade system can be solicited and for general mapmaking discussion. Additionally, it would be appreciated if there were other channels geared toward finding beta testers.



No we don't. We have IRC. You cannot be logged into the editor and Sc2 at the same time, which means an ingame channel is a stupid idea.


  • Customizable Chat Channel - Maps should be able to specify their 'home' chat channel by name. Sometimes, it is not desirable for the chat channel's name to match the map's name.



Yes, and the chat channel should be a registered chat channel (Admins + Mods) and should be launchable from the pre-game arcade screen.


  • Booting Pending Players - It is also a common gripe among the Arcade community that hosts are unable to kick pending players from a game lobby. This is a problem when pending players never join the game and merely delay the game's launch for a significant period of time.



Players should not be pending until AFTER they finish downloading. This is where it comes from, I don't even want to know how unplayable Tofu will be for the first few weeks while people downloading near 60mb.


To the community: please feel free to discuss the list. I would like for this list to reflect the entire community's judgment, so if you see an item you disagree with being on the list, don't hesitate to bring it up. BE CONSTRUCTIVE OR BE IGNORED. If you would like a new item to be added to the list, also bring that up. Discuss it with others and attempt to win a consensus on your ideas. Thanks.


And I thought I had a bad attitude.

We will never win a consensus because there are too many know-it-all chefs here ruining the soup. Even in the top ranks, with the most talented and respected members of the community, a consensus on design issues can and never will be achieved which is why there is always a lead designer in projects - because when it comes to it, someone has to make the tough decisions to stop infighting.
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I strongly agree with all of the Soga's list.

- Removal of spotlight list
- prioritize the open game lobby list to make it where the masses go to.


Yes. I would personally favor showing the open game lobby in the place of the spotlight. Thus, the masses actually know the open game lobby exist and actually get more widely used.

- A way to refresh maps on the open game lobby list back to the top after a certain period of time has elapsed.


In the past, I suggested to reverse the list so that old games stay at top rather at the bottom. Since, unpopular and hard-to-fill maps tend to sink at the bottom, it does make sense.

However, I would settle for your suggestion. Even for unpopular games, it would ensure the host have any means to not stay at the deadly bottom beyond rehosting and risking to lose players after each rehost.

I would say being able to refresh every 2 minutes would do it.
Edited by Honejasi on 10/25/2012 8:44 AM PDT
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Customizable Chat Channel - Maps should be able to specify their 'home' chat channel by name. Sometimes, it is not desirable for the chat channel's name to match the map's name.


I'm not sure I agree with this. What happens if you create a channel that uses the name of a map that uses THAT name in the future? There will be a conflict of interest right there.

No we don't. We have IRC. You cannot be logged into the editor and Sc2 at the same time, which means an ingame channel is a stupid idea.


Err, why would you want to log in to both at the same time? The only time u need to log in to editor is when you want to upload a map. Otherwise it's perfectly ok to ahve the editor open. Your argument is invalid.

Players should not be pending until AFTER they finish downloading. This is where it comes from, I don't even want to know how unplayable Tofu will be for the first few weeks while people downloading near 60mb.


The only problem I see with this is if they join as a party. The obvious solution then would be to have the party join in the game together, whether or not everyone has finished downloading.
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The mapmaker channel idea on b.net is still perfectly valid if only for other mapmakers to meet other mapmakers on battle.net rather than being separated or having to rely on specific sites' forums, IRC channels, etc.

On battle.net, it makes the perfect neutral ground for mapmakers to meet if the conditions are right.

Heck, if you log with the editor, it always log you active on battle.net (as in being seen online by others players) yet you cannot chat with others.

A good additional feature is to put a player connected to b.net via the editor into the new mapmaker's channel AND pop up a chatting window inside the editor. Then mapmakers could chat with other mapmakers in its most natural habitat. Mapmakers would now easily give live advice, insight or help to each other.
Edited by Honejasi on 10/25/2012 9:07 AM PDT
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Booting Pending Players - It is also a common gripe among the Arcade community that hosts are unable to kick pending players from a game lobby. This is a problem when pending players never join the game and merely delay the game's launch for a significant period of time.

lol, Thats Warcraft 3 major problem all over again. Nope, No kicking people for having to download... please no PLEASE NO...

Alternate Suggestion: Dont put people in the lobby until they accept the invite. most bad penders are due to People hiting invite and the person on the other side being afk.

Also make it so after 2-4 minutes outside a lobby a message pops up to see if you are there, and as long as that message is there then the player cant be invited to games.
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10/25/2012 11:31 AMPosted by IShadowWolf
Alternate Suggestion: Dont put people in the lobby until they accept the invite. most bad penders are due to People hiting invite and the person on the other side being afk.


I do believe it's a reasonable compromise on both sides (no kick or allow any kick). This situation did easily happen for me as a host when I tried to invite a few random players to fill the lobby.

I am a bit unsure on the part of messages poping out although. If they are afk and the players aren't pending in the lobby until they accept, the popup message is likely be more of an annoyance than anything. The players would already have accepted or denied the invite or the invite attempt would have went into the void to a AFK player without any real issue to either side.
Edited by Honejasi on 10/25/2012 12:26 PM PDT
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First of all, I want to thank you all for your input! I will be reading your posts carefully and trying to get an idea of what challenges we are most expectant to see solved.

10/25/2012 04:45 AMPosted by TheSkunk
I created a similar thread a while back, if you're interested:


I'll be perusing that and looking at what can be added to my list here. Thanks for the link.

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I'm seeing quite a few of you saying that the Open Games List needs to be the first thing or among the first things that players see when they enter the Arcade. I'm inclined to agree with you folks, but we need to think about the players as a whole. Keep in mind that the general population of Battle.net have very different goals from what we have as mapmakers. We want exposure, players want easy access to their favorites.

The trouble is, after players have been spoiled by the old popularity system and the subsequent "Top Rated" and "Top Played" system, how do you get them to warm up to the idea that they have to go through extra clicks to access their favorites? You could argue that we're trying to expose players to new maps, but that would be much like trying to convince a child who perpetually insists on eating at McDonald's to try some other fast food place.

On the other hand, I suppose if we forced the Open Games List as the default view, people would be upset about it at first, but much like the changes Facebook undergoes, people will eventually settle and warm up to this change.

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10/25/2012 07:31 AMPosted by Dogmai
You cannot change the laws of physics. Light only travels so fast.


The limiting speed of light still doesn't explain why the latency on trigger input events is greater than the latency on issuing commands to units. This is clearly a software issue, as one aspect of the software is not working as efficiently as the other aspect of it, despite both of them using the same physical apparatus. And if you look at games like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, etc., you can easily see that the average latency on SC2 is significantly worse than the latency in a bunch of indie games done by recent college graduates (if they even went to college at all in the first place).

10/25/2012 07:31 AMPosted by Dogmai
No we don't. We have IRC. You cannot be logged into the editor and Sc2 at the same time, which means an ingame channel is a stupid idea.


Okay, so you would suggest a feature enabling us to log into Bnet via the editor to chat in channels and exchange messages with friends? Or, of course, being able to log into the editor and SC2 simultaneously would be a much easier fix.

10/25/2012 07:31 AMPosted by Dogmai
We will never win a consensus because there are too many know-it-all chefs here ruining the soup. Even in the top ranks, with the most talented and respected members of the community, a consensus on design issues can and never will be achieved which is why there is always a lead designer in projects - because when it comes to it, someone has to make the tough decisions to stop infighting.


That's why I'm in charge of the OP. I'm reading your posts and then finding what we can all generally agree on needs to be done. I'm not necessarily going to take your ideas word-for-word and put them on the OP; that's not what I'm doing here. I'm trying to open a dialogue here and try to get some ideas out here, and if some ideas don't seem to work out, we can still find inspiration in some of these ideas and come up with a new idea that may or may not be a kind of combination of several ideas or an optimization of a previous idea.

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As for the order of the Open Games List, it seems that refreshing games solves the greatest number of problems and raises the least number of problems. If we reverse the order of the list, this could discourage some players from staying in a game they joined because it takes a while for the game to float up to the top. There are too many edge cases to worry about in this situation. Being able to refresh a game seems to be the most logical approach, as it permits players to quickly join games that had recently been hosted and it permits older games to also 'catch up' with the newer games in terms of getting attention.

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lol, Thats Warcraft 3 major problem all over again. Nope, No kicking people for having to download... please no PLEASE NO...

Alternate Suggestion: Dont put people in the lobby until they accept the invite. most bad penders are due to People hiting invite and the person on the other side being afk.


Good catch! Thanks for catching that. Yeah, I'll update the list. It's definitely better if inviting players doesn't cause the player to automatically pend in the lobby. Being able to boot players in public games due to downloading would be a terrible disaster...

~

10/25/2012 08:44 AMPosted by Kildare
I'm not sure I agree with this. What happens if you create a channel that uses the name of a map that uses THAT name in the future? There will be a conflict of interest right there.


Let's see more discussion on this. I would like to invite more input from the rest of you on this. What are your opinions on being able to specify a different home chat channel for an Arcade map?

10/25/2012 08:44 AMPosted by Kildare
The only problem I see with this is if they join as a party. The obvious solution then would be to have the party join in the game together, whether or not everyone has finished downloading.


Why not just make the party not join the game until everybody in the party has finished downloading the map? The effect is practically the same as it is now, except you don't lock up the game because someone on your party has a sloooooooooooooow download speed.

~

Lastly, what do you guys think should be done about AFK hosts?

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This is good stuff. Keep it coming, folks! I'll be updating the OP now.
Edited by Soga on 10/25/2012 12:52 PM PDT
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MVP - StarCraft
10/25/2012 12:31 PMPosted by Soga
We want exposure, players want easy access to their favorites.

Yeah, but a lot of the spotlight isn't geared towards showing players favorites even right now. Nothing shown there is personalized for players (like showing recently viewed or bookmarked) and a good portion of the maps shown there aren't the most popular, either. Take Up and Coming, for an example -- maps often get popular as a result of being shown there, but they aren't always "players favorite maps"

It still remains true that the majority of the community has different desires then us; but I have heard of a lot of people outside of the mapping community who want it to be more visible as well.

That being said, it might be better to take some of the maps from the Open Games list and display them in a more visual way, as too not eliminate the "oooh! shiny!" aspect of the current spotlight. Perhaps it could show the map Arcade Image (like the up-and-coming list) but it scrolls through the list of maps horizontally.
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I believe it will be more than necessary to split the changes into a "Critical" category and a "Highly wanted" category. Otherwise, the list might go from a "To do list" to "Yet another wishlist".

The main reason being that we have no clue how much free time Blizzard concretely has and they might be unsure which changes must truly be prioritized to save HotS as far the custom map scene is concerned. In addition, it's much easier to justify a few specific changes to the upper management than a bunch of them that can easily be all refused on a whim.

Yet there are some critical changes that just cannot wait as players/mapmakers are getting too impatient meanwhile some could easily be done post-HotS or on Blizzard's extra free time pre-HotS.

I vote the following to be considered as critical :

- Default Open Games List
- Refreshing Games
- AFK Hosts

I am a bit on the fence for "Pending Players Delay Games" to be considered critical but I decided against it if only because the critical list should be as short as possible and I felt it was more semi-critical than truly critical.

A note about the "Multiple Named Lobbies Per Map" : If every critical change is done, this point becomes much less important to do asap.
Edited by Honejasi on 10/25/2012 2:10 PM PDT
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Honejasi, I agree that we should divide the list into "critical" and "highly wanted".

I vote the following to be considered as critical :

- Default Open Games List
- Refreshing Games
- AFK Hosts


Noted. Anybody else want to comment on what should be considered critical and what shouldn't?
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MVP - StarCraft
Yeah, splitting it into a critical and non-critical is a good idea.

As far as that goes, I also agree. Open Games List more prominent, allow refreshing lobby position (or some other solution), and fix AFK hosts\pending players.

I really feel all the rest, while really cool, is only secondary to fixing these core functionality issues.
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This thread is a bad idea.

1. The list is dictated by Soga.
2. It lacks an air of suggestion. You're not suggesting these things to Blizzard, you're speaking for the thousands of members in the community, which you don't have the authority or approval to do.
3. You're not a developer, you don't get to decide what they HAVE to do.
4. Its going to provoke argument. No where do you state that these are the things you believe they should change. You do state these are the things they MUST change.
5. We already have a thread for suggestions. This entire forum is for a discussion of Custom Games, which includes suggestions. Why do we want a thread for suggestions inside of a forum for suggestions?

10/24/2012 09:51 PMPosted by Soga
This is to be a list of changes that need to be committed to the Arcade system in order to restore the faith of fans in Blizzard Entertainment and the Starcraft II franchise. We, the community, believe the listed items must be addressed to revive interest in the Arcade system and promote incentive for innovation among new coming and experienced mapmakers. We also believe that the listed items must be addressed to optimize the playing experience of every kind of Arcade player.
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10/25/2012 07:31 AMPosted by Dogmai
No we don't. We have IRC. You cannot be logged into the editor and Sc2 at the same time, which means an ingame channel is a stupid idea.


Just some clarification. You can most certainly be logged into the editor and SC2 at the same time. Lol @ throwing out the word "stupid" so easily when you're wrong.

Make sure SC2 is not open -> Open Map -> Test Map -> Exit Game -> Log-In

While logged in, Test Map again -> Success.

Though, they should make it so the program doesn't have to be opened through the editor to test and be logged in at the same time.
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To me, the thread is an excellent idea. It does regroup much wanted changes in a single thread rather having to look and read whole threads. Plus many of said changes were already discussed in great detail in other threads.

As far as I can see, Soga is very reasonable with the involved members in this thread.

I do believe we are putting on our silk gloves quite tight considering our global impatience and dissatisfaction. Finally, ANY thread is going to have arguments regardless of how soft or gentle you do talk.
Edited by Honejasi on 10/25/2012 5:40 PM PDT
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