SCR and the (decreased) social aspect of BW

General Discussion
One of the most important aspects of BW which has suffered quite a bit (and there's been very little discussion about this) since the release of SCR is the social aspect of the game.

1) The foreign scene has been split into 3 different servers and imo we don't have the player base to support 3 servers worth of pub games (team games/ums's etc.). This is a non issue for koreans because they have a centralized server and a massive player base.

Having a consolidated server like ICCup did wonders for the foreign scene because it connected everyone and gave people a sense of community. It allowed them to have an active scene for 6-7 years post SC2 which is quite a feat for a 20 year old game with no dev support. What makes BW such a fun game is being able to join channels like ladder 1x1 or ladder 2x2 (on ICCup) and chatting with other players (as well as being able to play pub games etc.).

Sadly the player base is now split into 3 servers, can you imagine being a new player and trying to host or play a UMS game? It takes so long to find enough players to start a game, i don't think that's the type of 1st time experience we want newer BW players to have.

When someone logs into they just sit in their regional channel, why can't we update the default channels (better options, maybe give it a new look) under the channel section to enhance the users social experience?

With the new ladder system coming out wouldn't it be neat to have different chat channels for w/e ladder rank you are (and lock the channels in order to incentivize people to rank up, make it feel like an achievement) in order to help players find other people to talk to and friend add? That's just 1 example of what we could be doing to help players connect with one another.

Tie the matchmaking system to a ladder channel, this would make laddering a more enjoyable (and less isolating) experience.

2) Segregated regional friend list. Not being able to stay in touch with your friends from EU (or your NA friends if you're European) is another big blow to the social aspect of the game. The BW scene is a niche community so a lot of the players have known each other for a long time. NA players have a lot of EU/KR friends and vice versa.

Not being able to stay in touch with your cross region friends via bnet makes for a more isolating gaming experience. We also lost cool features like friend notifications, whenever someone used to come online or join a game bnet would give you a notification.

I love the new friend tab and having the ability to follow friends into a game but those old features made you feel more connected to your friends. Friend message (/f m) was another really useful feature but i remember reading that the dev team was working on bringing it back, i'm not 100% sure about that tho.

Those are just a few things that i wanted to bring to light. In my opinion the social experience of a player is what ties him to a game so we should always look for ways of improving it.
Thanks for the feedback TT1. There are some good suggestions here. Some of them I'll pass on to our server team, but some immediate comments/questions:
* The regional friends/servers is the nature of at the moment. It's somewhat analogous to the gateways. I'm curious as to whether you found the same problems with gateways? Or how you worked around it?
* I believe the friend notifications you are referring to are not implemented for Blizzard friends. We should be able to add that.
* /f m - you are correct, this is under development right now.
The thing about the gateways is that they feel like a relic from the past when the player base was bigger and where you really had established scenes and channels on all of the servers. Since 2006 or thereabouts most players outside korea (at least the serious ones) had moved on to private servers. We absolutely prefer playing on a functional server over that (partially because it becomes much easier to draw new blood to the game), but having one consolidated non-korean server for all the semi-competitive players is also preferable to having three separate ones.

TT1's opening post was created twice and I replied with more detail in the other topic. Thanks for reading and responding so quickly though, seeing that feels reassuring. :)

Copy pasting that reply into here too, so we can keep this as the only thread:
These points are all really important and have been part of the non-korean brood war experience of the past. I don't really see why the European server must be split from the american ones, nor why there must be two american servers. We're able to play with each other when facing up in ranked games, (and without any lag), so clearly "the technology exists". :) Consolidating the servers would greatly reduce waiting times for custom games (very important for new and returning players who don't have a pre-existing group of friends to play with), and it would enable the creation of some popular channels because there'd be enough people to consistently populate them. Listing them would also enhance the social experience for new players, as they wouldn't have to depend on word of mouth.

Having locked channels for say, 1000-1500 MMR, 1500-2000 MMR and 2000+ MMR (these numbers are pretty arbitrarily chosen, but you don't want too many different ones and I think they're logical cutoffs) would also make a lot of sense because it would give people a place to go to look for practice partners around their own skill level. The AMM is great for ladder - but sometimes you just want to play 5 games in a row with someone, like I play on the european server and on some occasions I've been matched with old friends from the US that I used to know 10 years ago. I'd love to play a regame (which does not have to be ranked) afterwards. The current system with split servers and AMM doesn't allow for that - if I'm matched with someone from a different server then communicating with them after the match impossible. Like TT1 indicated locked channels tied to MMR would also incentivize rising through the ladder ranks - I remember when I was a newbie back in 1999, being in the same channel as a 'famous' player was an exhilarating experience.

Friend lists not working across servers is also pretty pointless. One of the things I've loved about playing brood war for 19 years is interacting with people all across the world. AMM has made me able to play with them - and that is great - but the social interaction is sorely missing.
Speaking of splitting the player base, does anyone still play the original Starcraft multiplayer? I'm a little surprised that the client even offers it as an option still now that both Starcraft and Brood War are free.
I edited the thread title and for some reason a duplicate thread got created.

11/14/2017 03:20 PMPosted by Grant Davies
Thanks for the feedback TT1. There are some good suggestions here. Some of them I'll pass on to our server team, but some immediate comments/questions:
* The regional friends/servers is the nature of at the moment. It's somewhat analogous to the gateways. I'm curious as to whether you found the same problems with gateways? Or how you worked around it?
* I believe the friend notifications you are referring to are not implemented for Blizzard friends. We should be able to add that.
* /f m - you are correct, this is under development right now.

Yea the regional friends/server (global friend add/visibiility, grouping the player base together) is a tough one. I can't think of a solution right now but i felt like it's an important issue to bring up, hopefully we can get the discussion rolling and have other people chime in.

For the time being maybe just try to remedy the issue by improving the users social experience for each server. Bnet is a bit hard to use for newer players so figuring out ways of connecting people with one another is a good first step.

Right now when people log into they don't really know where to go, anything that'll help facilitate a players social experience via chat channels is a step in the right direction. Linking the matchmaking system to chat channels is one example (you can do that for 2v2 matchmaking as well when it comes out), maybe we could have a "join chat channel" button when we're browsing a specific game type (i.e: browsing for UMS games).

Or how about implementing a /channel feature that allows people to see popular chat channels so they know where to go? Or a /clan feature (once it gets implemented) that lists clan channels with the amount of people in each channel.
The text-bug should get a priority fix. Building up on the social issue, lifting the cap of people joining a private channel would be a great initiative on your side. Not to mention to actually earn moderation priviliges for private channels one way or the other (e.g. "op <own-nickname>" or joining the channel as first person).

Not having this features means that it is literally impossible to host any kind of event - competitive or fun with friends.
goddammit TT1 why did you make so many threads :P

anyway, my reply from the previous thread

"Interesting that the chat issues are exactly the same as the ones people brought up in StarCraft II. I think the issue is more complicated than shoving people into chat rooms rooms/offering them chat room options and assuming they'll use them. A lot of the interaction in old Brood War channels occurred because they were the ONLY way to get a competitive game. As long as auto-matchmaking exists, I don't think there's an easy way to recreate the vibe from the BW days (back when you were struggling to get into the 40 person capped chat room XD)"
The gateway problem is probably a problem way bigger than the Classic team, but I think it's safe to say that its just silly for a social platform to have those kinds of restrictions when the nature of the Internet is that we have friends all around the world, and we probably might move around the world as well.
1st: My english its not very well but ill try to do my best.

2nd: I think that the main problem with the social aspect of bw regarding our friends on different gateways was the update from an older client (wich worked for 20years) to "Battlenet2.0 and the integration on the blizzard launcher". I think that this was a mistake, since i have many friends from europe but i cant see them online on my friend list because they select "Europe" at the blizzard launcher a since im in americas we cant see each other.

- Maybe you should reconsider to do an special launcher for StarCraft:R, since the experiment went wrong, this wasnt a problem in the public beta and the previous 1.18 versions cuz there wasnt a launcher, This is possble?

- About Servers:
I know that West/East cant be merged because you use them for D2 and W3 also (I think that but im not sure), BUT have you considered to make ONLY ONE server? Im thinking in merge West-East and Europe in a whole Server just to have "xname - Korea - Asia", im looking the statistics from and RIGHT NOW (21:11 in Chile) There are: USWEST 940 players online, USEAST 338 players online and Europe has 275 players online (i know that is very late in europe). I think and maybe others can think just as me, that the best solution for this its not only merge west and east, the best solution its only to make a whole server for non koreans/Asia JUST as iCCup did before, the community its so splited right now and with your bnet launcher and gateways you split even more, idk if is possible but, this its the best solution.

- This is possible?

About the lag:

I trully cant understand why we have so many latency problems, since this was solved so many years ago with the iCCup Launcher and MCAlauncher they implemented a L2 and L3 system in order to have lan latency, i respect the SC:R dev team effort to making this Turn Rate feature, but isnt working right now as desired, maybe you can speak with mca dev and get some feedback. Last night i was playing SC:R and got many laggy koreans at ladder, so i get bored, installed the SC iccup version and played with no lag 10 games vs koreans and lan latency on... :(

Maybe you can talk with these old dev who gived to us lan latency before..???

About the chat bug:
I think this is a problem again because the battlenet2.0, there wasnt a issue in previous public test beta and 1.18.

About the social commands:
Still missing the /f m feature, and also as TT1 said the friends notifications like, "Nal_rA has entered the" - "JD has joined a ranked game" - "Flash joined The Thing" and blabla... just as StarCraft was at the public test.. (Before SC:R)

I support everything that TT1 wrote here, we miss our game as it was before SC:R :/....


About dev team:

I think that you are a limited group of dev's, and i like your effor for making our experience better and better, BUT, in so many topics ppl were asking:

- Why we dont have all the features that was announced ??? Like short link to see replay in our match history, leagues for ranked, and so many other things (just check
- When we can have our first official ladder season?
- There will be a maps update?

And so many other questions that havent got resolved... im not asking for a specific date like 1st season will be on december 1, NO, im just asking for an reply like this: First offcial ladder season will be in December-January.

To finish, I Think that your main problem its the battlenet 2.0 and the addition of the blizzard launcher, maybe im wrong, and maybe im right i dont know, but this is like i see the things here. I hope that you can answer my questions.

PS. I know that my english sucks =( i hope you understand my points.
Regards, dM-White
This is an amazing thread, i hope it serves as feedback to make this right.

  • Please let us chat outside of game room, when poele are inside a game room they get "isolated" from what is happening in the channel chats
  • Make a Translator build in features, you move your mouse over a game name wirtten in Korea and it will traslate it for you.
  • If you think about it, it's should be possible to forward everyone (except Asia and Korea) to one gateway (doesn't matter which one) and set it as default option. After that, new users will be able to join the server (even without knowing which one) after few clicks: main menu (skip sc/bw choice) -> choose between bnet and lan -> bnet (the less new users will know the better).
    Experienced users will be able to switch server or choose classic SC (instead of BW) via additional buttons displayed on "choose between bnet and lan" screen.

    It could probably solve a few problems stated above and doesn't require to change anything on the server side - only small client update is required.
    Here I am, reading the forums while I wait to relog into the bnet app so I can whisper a friend who's whispering me. Good !@#$.
    Nice thread TT1, I find logging into to be a very isolating experience myself.

    For example, I am currently living in Europe but have an Australian account, which means I am logged into a Brood War-AUS channel by default on the European server, needless to say there is very rarely anyone in the channel. To make matters worse I can never seem to find anyone in the default listed channels after clicking on the 'join' button.

    So what kind of solutions can we implement? TT1 has some great ideas imo, the /channel command would be immensely helpful in this regard.

    Having a default chat pool for each server could also be a step in the right direction, particularly on the smaller servers, with a different solution implemented on the busy korean server.

    Anyone else have any suggestions?
    The points OP made are spot on for UMS.
    Yep, TT1 nails it on the head as always!
    I think one of the biggest things that was looked at but then was blown over was op/clan channels. The majority of these channels were run by users who had bots to leave said channels open for player joining. How ever with in the most recent updates they have banned 99% of bots from the servers basically eliminating clans and op based channels all together. You then tried to roll out some sort of Chat API for building bots. However this is no longer a thing and I never got a api code to allow my self to actually register a bot. Now I am sure some people did but I was not one of them. This also came with further restrictions including only being allowed 1 bot. From what I have read and seen the wanting of bots has been either decided as not important or is just not gonna happen. This was the largest part of the community base for clans and what not for tracking players and what not. You have also made it so the bot can not change channels. This also eliminates the possiblity of even growing a semi large system. We do not have the ability to advertise in clan recruitment with a bot like we have in the past and as it was done in the hae day of bnet. This now makes the clan recruitment channel worthless. We even placed a bot in public sc channels to allow for direct advertisement. With the features now in place has elimated all of this. You guys should take a step back and spend a few minutes on the server and look on us west or us east for a clan that idles 30 players I GARENTEE YOU WONT FIND ONE. Even though before the patch this last year you were still seeing striving clans with users OLD USERS from way back in the day sustaining there clan channels in the hope for you guys to release a new channel and to keep the nostalgia alive. I get the issue with bot spamming and full understand banning starcraft bots. That I am all for. How ever banning the use of diablo2/wc2/wc3 bots destroys clans and destroys the classic feel of this server and game. The way the chat flowed before is like a irc chat. All irc chats have bots for the most part.

    Now I am not going to rant and rave about how this is all bad.

    If you were to do something to make this a thing. I would suggest limiting players to 3 bots per server. However when you do this make them register a bot license meaning if they abuse the system they get banned on the game as well. This will prevent bot spamming because your bot would be required to have a bnet login (or secret key). How ever make this license part of the login system. By doing this would allow bot devs of classic bots to change there bots to work with the new system to implement this system and would just enter that info inside the bot as if you were doing it before. Let me give an example

    So how I would add this system is described below;

    1) Add a way for devs to fully understand how to implment the blizzard login system with out causing issues on your end. Now this is possible im sure you guys are smart (you could always make a secret key or what ever)

    2) When setting up the bot you put your blizzard login (or a secret key)

    3) The process of the login would require the system to check if the user owns scr and then determine if the account has been bot banned or banned from using bots on this account

    4) if all is good let the bot connect with full permissions as it did in the classic days

    (If you can it would be amazing if you guys could release a dll file that could be used for devs to implment this system into there current bots that way they aren't completely useless.)

    With this process would allow for major limiting of bots but would also allow for sales boosts.

    If some one abuses the bot system just ban there account from using the bot system and require them to either buy a new scr or just permanetly ban them. That is fully up to you.

    You guys need to realize that bots were a huge part of starcraft back in the day and there is a way to easily allow for the old bots back in the day to be added with out major spammimng with out flat out banning them
    These are very very good recommendations OP! I wouldnt have thought about these stuff, but as I think about this Its just makes so much sense!

    I really feel isolated with the tiny HUN-1 channel. It would be soo much cooler to get into a "ladder" channel, or MMR (later rank) based channel and merge US WEST/EAST and EU together at least for a proper player base!

    I really miss '/f m' too!

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