To be honest Fockewulf, I have absolutely no idea of what the core issue is that you're trying to point out. I do have a challenge for you though:
Take the most complex map that you've made in Sc2, and remake it in WC3 - functioning the exact same way in both games. I feel as though you'll find it very difficult if not impossible to try to do the same things in the old tools as you can do now.
The Starcraft editor is not an easy tool to use, neither is Maya, After Effects, Nuke, Flint/Flame, Scaleform, etc. It takes a lot to create amazing content with any of those tools - a lot of learning, experimentation, failures and triumphs, but eventually you persevere and create some awesome things with it. The Starcraft editor is extremely powerful - people can create amazing things with it, but like any powerful tool, there is a learning curve associated with it.
This is something that I personally work to fix every day - watching how our developers use the tools, seeing where they are slowed down, where we can make things more efficient and better - not only for them but also for the community as well. Every beneficial change to the tools for our team has the added benefit of helping improve the experience for everyone else in the community as well.
The Starcraft 2 editor is going to be more complex compared to the Wc3 editor, just like the wc3 editor was more powerful and complex than the wc2 editor - it's the inherent nature of video games and the software that is used to create them. If you look at other software packages as well - UDK, Cryengine, Unity, Source, etc - they have all gotten more complex over the years due to the increasing demands of the developers who use the tools. I apologize that you feel the way that you do about the tools, however please know that improving the user experience of the tools is something that we constantly work on improving - not only for us internally, but for the community as well.
You've just underscored my point Deletarius.
Let me try again:The attraction of the Blizzard modding system over all of the others was its ease of use and easy access to a large player base (plug and play).
Other mods either require complicated installations or entirely new clients.
Take a look at one of the most highly modded games to date, MineCraft. You can make custom units using basic geometry. But that requires a separate installation of the mod, not just server alterations. As such servers that require the installation of a mod have far lower populations than servers where all the modification is done server side. I know this because I am part of a group that has made one such mod.
I recently put a thread on reddit, which I'm sure you've read, about my take on the situation. I was struck by the sheer amount of posts complaining about the complexity of the map editor in the replies.
You can add all these features and expand its capabilities if you want. Virtually none of the currently popular maps use them and only a mere fraction of the total maps use them. I know, I've actually dug down the list.
You're target market, and part of the implied sales pitch, is not the indie market. Sure its nice to be able to make such mods but Steam has had a virtual monopoly on that market for so long that hardly anyone is going to switch. You're target market is the common user.
The WarCraft 3 map editor had less capability, sure. But it hit a sweet spot. It was a good balance between capability and ease of use. Sure there were 3rd party map editors that expanded that capability later on, but the core UI wasn't changed all that much.
To make matters worse the UI you guys designed was extremely poor. Not only in layout, but in performance. The upgrades UI, for instance, is as painful to work with as ever. Not only because of the sheer amount of options but also because of how laggy the UI is as well as how painful it is to find objects when you start getting to the 30+ upgrade mark.
I have talked to a lot of map editors. The majority of the have done their best to stay out of the Data editor. Take a look at SC2mapster's team recruitment page. Most of those projects never got off the ground. The most common reason I saw was the lack of a data editor. I've never had my offer to help anyone turned down just because I know where stuff goes in the data editor. But that process was slow and painful. Not only were the menus laggy, undocumented and counter-intuitive, the average person who looked at them was not the same kind of person who would be able to make sense out of say, the Half-Life 2 engine.
Now let me try a challenge for you:
One of the most common things I get asked to do is make a WarCraft 3 style hero.
So here is one: grab a stopwatch and clock how long it takes to make you a hero in WarCraft 3 Then clock the amount of time it takes you to make the same hero in StarCraft 2.
The bottom line is this: If someone is skilled enough to make a full the kinds of maps you are targeting they won't be using StarCraft 2 to do it. The engine itself doesn't have the capability and making such mods is unrewarding on StarCraft 2. That is the fault of Battle.net 2.0 and it's designers. People who made the kinds of mods you are targeting never got the player base they deserved. People who were looking for high quality mods either never found them or could never get a game to fill.
2 whole years of you, as a company, doing virtually nothing at all about the system did its damage. I don't know when you started working for Blizzard but the majority of us who can make the content that you are targeting are holding you, as a company, for the full 2 year period.
Many of us made high quality maps and tried to push them up that popularity list. Virtually none succeeded. Many of us have had our share of hardcore fans and under Battle.net 1.0 that alone would usually be enough to make our map reasonably popular. Instead we tried and almost all of us failed. Most left after they found out there was no way they could win.
The problem you are faced with is 3-fold:
1. The sheer amount of hassle and BS that it takes to make a high quality map. The Data UI being the primary culprit. I've talked to a couple professional game programmers and and other programmers who told me they refuse to touch it.
2. Although some progress has been made its pretty clear that you guys, as a company, haven't really folded. The existence of both the feature page and the fun or not and especially the fact that when I first hit the arcade button the first page I was brought to was the feature page is qualified proof of this.
3. At this same time in WarCraft 3's lifespan the custom map community was stronger than it's ever been in Blizzard's history. I'm pretty sure you guys know that the StarCraft 2's scene by contrast is bleak and desolate. You have the numbers. Whatever the fanboys may say, this alone is proof you, as a company, have been and are still doing things seriously wrong.
So who is going to bail you out of this mess? A simple look at the HotS Arcade was more than enough to tell me that you guys have no clue what to do. Especially that social system.
A little more about that. Its innovative to be sure. But every innovation has a corresponding problem: You have no guarantee that it will work. What you are putting in there has never been tried before. After MoP's release I read an article from an economist saying to avoid investing in ATVI. A similar flop on HotS will do your company a great deal of damage. A few of you might even lose your jobs over it.
And just look at what I said about you're new social system. If I'm indeed the troll that some people are claiming I am then it logically follows that I would be qualified to know where a system so reliant on chat can be exploited.
Now take a look at your player base. And I don't mean as a developer but as a fellow player. I don't have any official numbers but it seems your games have a far higher percentage of high school drop-outs than any other company out there. You're target market is not the kind of people who would be able to play something like Europa Universalis 3; its the "casuals".
About these casuals: These are not the types of people who expect to be going through menus. Us mappers quickly figured out something that you, as a company, are either too stupid to see or deliberately ignoring: They will only play what is in front of their faces.
We mappers know more about the effects of your system than you do. After all, we are the ones who have been logging on every 1-2 days for large periods over the last 2 years to check on ours, and other map's popularity. CaveOfWonders made a very, very good point: The current trend in a map's popularity is best explained in the following case: After clicking the "Arcade" button they chose whatever is on the next screen they see.
That is how lazy and stupid the player base is, they will not click the 2nd button called "open lobbies". You guys have been targeting the "casual" market and its looking like many of you have still not learned what that really means. Its simple: They will only use the very first interface screen they see. In Battle.net 1.0, it was an open lobbies list. It had its flaws, sure; thats why all that 3rd party software like AutoRefresh and later bots were created in the first place - to make up for Battle.net 1.0's flaws. But they keep aspect is something you, as a company, either don't get or are too stubborn to admit to: the first page they ran into was an open lobbies list.
Now I have put all sorts of posts about this stuff for the last 2 years. Some extremely detailed.
But considering that I'm just, metaphorically, talking to a brick wall anyways I know both posts were completely wasted.
But as I said first thing, I'm just here, making these posts, because I find it amusing. I've already written off Blizzard entirely and have moved on. Overall I'm not being ignored any more or any less than I have already been for the last 2 years. Blizzard's exclusive treatment of the Esports scene and SC2mapster/Curse/Sixen/Sixen's Goons that ultimately drove Malpheus from the scene has made it plenty clear who's words actually get high enough up the chain where anything is actually done about them or that they have even the slightest notion that any of the rest of us even exist.
I've seen people write some great content. I don't agree with all of what they said but they have made some very good points and suggestions. The people that wrote these, for the most part, are long gone.
And back to my post on reddit. Its yet another indication of what I'm seeing: The players are mad at you and the modders are mad at you.
What do the players want? They obviously want to play the things they want to play. What do the modders want? Well lets just say they expect the path to be greased the whole way and that you will be adding many of them to your payroll. One very common thing I've heard is that they expect to be paid money before they come back. And this attitude is entirely reasonable. We've seen more than enough from you, as a company, to know that the only voice that we can be sure is not lying through their teeth is the one your wallet uses to speak.
As I said before, none of what I just wrote is going to make it anywhere. Nothing I've written over the last 2 years has made it anywhere either so I have no reason to believe its going to be any different here, developers or no developers. You, as a company, have worked long and hard to earn that reputation and you are stuck with it whether you admit to it or not. And if its bad here on StarCraft 2, the Diablo 3 forums has been a full ocean of the same general sentiment.
Now lets get back to the drama! BRB gonna grab another bowl of popcorn.