2019 priorities

General Discussion
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Hi folks,

Now that we’ve released our final patch for 2018, and because I’ve failed in my quest to do more regular dev video updates (does BlizzCon count?), we wanted to cover something that several people have asked about this year - our roadmap and priorities.

These are some of the larger items we’re tracking - it doesn’t cover everything, and it’s entirely possible that I missed some items during exporting from our database.

Feel free to comment below on things you agree with, disagree with, obvious things we've missed, etc. All constructive feedback helps. Just please remember that we’re a small team here on SCR, and we have to be realistic about what’s achievable. If everything’s a priority then nothing’s a priority. So let’s concentrate on the most important issues for the near future. There will be more opportunities down the line to circle back to lower priority issues.

The standard suite of disclaimers apply here folks - priorities may change, no timelines here, things may drop off the list, no guarantees on anything, etc. etc... y’all know the drill.

So without further ado - here is our priority list as we head into 2019:

[P1] Team matchmaking
[P1] 64-bit
[P1] Further league divisions (investigation)
[P1] Racepicking (investigation)
[P1] Disconnections from server
[P1] Matchmaker algorithm improvements
[P1] Relaxed input

[P2] Show opponent's rank in matchmaking pre-game popup
[P2] Add a "Watch Replay" button somewhere in the post-game UI
[P2] Force players to actively choose their race in a game lobby
[P2] Abort game start if a player leaves a lobby during the countdown (investigation)
[P2] Display race of each player in-game in the diplomacy popup
[P2] Options menu performance improvement (and general web UI stability improvements)
[P2] Observer desyncs
[P2] Friend request error message
[P2] Worker count in replays (investigation)
[P2] Unit count in replays (investigation)
[P2] API to replace the web calls that StarLog.gg relied on

[P3] Minimap separator line in certain configs on certain maps
[P3] Consolidation of some or all gateways
[P3] /stats to show league rank of play (investigation)

[P4] Clan
[P4] BWAPI

DONE
[P1] [1.22.3] Replay autosave naming
[P2] [1.22.3] Restore disconnect stat

TEAM MATCHMAKING
As I mentioned at BlizzCon, although we had hoped to roll this out in 2018, it unfortunately didn’t happen for us this year. We’re very excited to get this work done, so it’s a top priority heading into 2019. We haven’t decided yet which mode we’ll roll out first (2v2? 3v3 BGH?) but once the base of team matchmaking is done, it will be a much less difficult task to roll out other modes that make sense.

64-BIT
Not the most exciting task for players, I know. But essential. Apple will be eliminating 32-bit apps next year, and at some point it’s reasonable to expect Microsoft to do the same. We’re planning a phased rollout of our 64-bit client in 2019, which means we’ve been spending a lot of time on this recently, and will continue to do so into 2019. As I said at BlizzCon, if you’re still using 32-bit Windows, it’s time to start thinking about 64-bit (you still have a good amount of time, but good to have this on your radar early).

FURTHER LEAGUE DIVISIONS
This is an investigation into a world where we have more ranking categories, e.g. A+, A-, B+, etc. If we decide it’s a good thing, it will turn into a development task and we’ll reprioritize.

REPLAY AUTOSAVE NAMING
I’ve posted about this previously. We had a version of this implemented based on community feedback, but once we took it to QA and our own playtests, we all agreed we could and should do a little more with it. So we circled back around for a full design pass and we have a new, improved version of this going through QA validation now. Unfortunately it was just a little too late to make this patch, but we’re optimistic that we’ll pick it up in the next patch.

RACEPICKING
It’s a pretty hot topic now that we’ve put work against the prevention of ladder dodging, and there are two sides that have opinions we need to listen to and decide on. This is an investigation task where we take community feedback and decide how to approach this thorny topic.

DISCONNECTIONS FROM SERVER
We know that players are still getting disconnected for reasons that aren’t obvious, and this has been an ongoing investigation in 2018. The good news is that we recently reduced those disconnections by 90% - but the number is still too high and we still have work to do on this.

MATCHMAKER ALGORITHM IMPROVEMENTS
The balancing act of SCR matchmaking is matching as many people with the Korean population as quickly as possible without having a deleterious impact on latency. One area we’ve identified as possible to improve is for people who have decent connectivity to Korea to be able to use their actual latency rather than a guess based on their region. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re getting close to rolling this change out. The flipside to using actual latency is that folks with poor connectivity will not be able to use VPNs to trick the matchmaker into matching them with Koreans and getting terrible matches as a result. Therefore, it will be a win for latency across the board.

RELAXED INPUT
Since the release of 1.18 we’ve talked about relaxing the input behavior of SCR - many people believe that not being able to accept keyboard input while the mouse button is depressed is a goofy system. At least one of the launchers in the old days changed this behavior. In the strictest sense, this was by-design in the original SC code. But we’ve now reached out to a lot of people on this issue, and the overwhelming believe is that this should change (including Korean pros). We’ve actually already made the code change. The next step is rolling this out to a PTR environment for people to test and provide feedback on.

RESTORING THE DISCONNECT STAT
Due to a totally new server infrastructure in 1.18, we lost the ability to accurately report disconnects. Eventually we decided it was better to hide this stat than to show something that we couldn’t guarantee was accurate, so we hid disconnect stats a few months ago. However, we acknowledge that there is value to this stat in organizing custom games (not so much in ranked because the player takes a loss in a disconnect event). So, we’ll be looking at whether we can get the disconnect stat to be reported accurately and - whether or not we can - whether we should restore the display of this stat to users.

SHOW OPPONENT'S RANK IN MATCHMAKING PRE-GAME POPUP
Show as a border color the rank of the opponent before entering the game (and possibly the MMR too).

ADD A "WATCH REPLAY" BUTTON SOMEWHERE IN THE POST-GAME UI
This would serve as a fast way to watch the replay of the game just played.

FORCE PLAYERS TO ACTIVELY CHOOSE THEIR RACE IN A GAME LOBBY
This would prevent players from forgetting to choose a race.

ABORT GAME START IF A PLAYER LEAVES A LOBBY DURING THE COUNTDOWN
We need to investigate the feasibility of implementing this feature.

DISPLAY RACE OF EACH PLAYER IN-GAME IN THE DIPLOMACY POPUP
Just in case you missed or forgot the race of your opponent.

OPTIONS MENU PERFORMANCE
Since we use CEF (Chromium Embedded Framework) to power all of our new menus (including Options), it can take a while for the web browser to spin up on demand on some PCs. We’re still using quite an old version of CEF which causes many pain points, so we’d like to upgrade CEF. This and some other efforts will hopefully improve the performance of the options menu. Some of those optimizations we attempted to roll out in 1.22.2, but it introduced other issues with missing UI, so we've rolled it back for now.

OBSERVER DESYNCS
Occasionally we see a situation where an observer will desync from the other players, seeing a different view of the game to everyone else. This is a tough nut to crack - so the more reports we can get of this, the better - video & replays would be great.

FRIEND REQUEST ERROR MESSAGE
This is a pretty simple one (but important) - some of our error reporting around friend invitation failure is ambiguous and can lead people to believe that the friends system in general is misbehaving. We’d like to tighten this up.

WORKER COUNT IN REPLAYS
We’re at the investigation stage of figuring out:
Whether this change is universally supported
How to represent the info on the replay UI

UNIT COUNT IN REPLAYS
We’re at the investigation stage of figuring out:
Whether this change is universally supported
How to represent the info on the replay UI

API TO REPLACE THE WEB API THAT STARLOG.GG RELIED ON
In our continuing efforts to support the community, we’d like to offer a replacement API for StarLog.gg.

CONSOLIDATION OF GATEWAYS
This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time - but the gateway part of our server infrastructure is essentially the 1998 server code, and it still underpins SCR, WarCraft 3, and Diablo 2. Therefore, we haven’t been able to make this change without impacting the other games. With WarCraft 3 being Reforged and having an active team on it, and us getting more control of the Diablo 2 codebase and update system, this starts to become more of a reality.

What this means is that we could combine US East and US West into just 1 gateway for US for example, or combine all gateways into just one (which would effectively deprecate the concept of gateways).

CLAN
It’s early days for this feature, but we’re looking at what we can do to build out a clan system to replace the old clan system.

BWAPI
This is always something we’ve wanted to do, and we did make some progress towards this in 2018, so we’re hoping that we can continue to fit in work towards BWAPI in 2019.
A couple comments.

[P2] Display race of each player in-game in the diplomacy popup

I'd be against this if the player chose "Random" as their race - part of the point of choosing Random is forcing the enemy to scout you and figure out exactly what you are.

[P2] Force players to actively choose their race in a game lobby

Could this be an OPTION that the host can pick?

[P1] Disconnections from server

Priorty 1 of the priority 1's I would think - thank you!

[P2] Abort game start if a player leaves a lobby during the countdown (investigation)

I agree with this, but I think it is a band-aid solution - I'd add that the player's account (who left during countdown) should be suspended for several days as well. Rather than changing the game system to adapt to when someone does something unkind, why not teach players online not to be unkind and give them consequences for their actions?

That's all - thank you!
12/18/2018 06:59 PMPosted by Gidoza
P2] Force players to actively choose their race in a game lobby

Could this be an OPTION that the host can pick?


i totally agree... beside the point i made about making this ONLY FOR OFFICIAL TEAM MATCH MAKING ROOMS the host should have the option of also forcing all players to chose race. Also having a Random Non-Blind option helps, that needs to be implemented.
12/18/2018 06:59 PMPosted by Gidoza


[P2] Display race of each player in-game in the diplomacy popup

I'd be against this if the player chose "Random" as their race - part of the point of choosing Random is forcing the enemy to scout you and figure out exactly what you are.


obviously the game menu will be saying ''random'' like it does in sc2
12/18/2018 06:59 PMPosted by Gidoza
P2] Force players to actively choose their race in a game lobby

Could this be an OPTION that the host can pick?


i totally agree... beside the point i made about making this ONLY FOR OFFICIAL TEAM MATCH MAKING ROOMS the host should have the option of also forcing all players to chose race. Also having a Random Non-Blind option helps, that needs to be implemented.

EDIT:

C O W A R D and L A Z Z Y yes you the person blocking my thread.

[/quote]

Maybe its because you have 50 accounts vote brigading this forum
that message was not meant for you, as you can say it was deleted. Beside you people really want Team Match Making without the option of choosing fastest? or base share maps? or well... the simple fact that Team Match making should check when backstabbing etc? that is the only things i am trying to post.

And good to know who jinjin really is behind the curtains, i knew it for a while.
Some things to consider please

Team Match Making:

  • Just make it so when you press 2v2 3v3 or 4v4 you go to a "VIP" custom game room, different background colors etc (glorified custom game room), this is tied to point 12 "Force players to actively choose their race in a game lobby", only obligate people to chose race inside official Team Match making room
  • Make so players inside this rooms have to press a toggle "READY" for the game to start, otherwise they will be kicked and a new person from the waiting list would join.
  • State from day 1 that you don't necessarily have to have a team mate of your same level, you can leave the room before pressing the toggle "READY" with no repercussion, but the system should balance the match, meaning you can check the stats from anyone joining this official room.
  • Please... and i mean PLEASEEE, make all of this happen, i mean the "official Team Match Making room" to appear just behind the regular RANK button, so we can search for a 1v1 game while we wait for 2v2 3v3 or 4v4 game. Dont make us just search for one single thing at a time, people have no patience TRUST ME.
  • Please dont exclude the FASTEST community, and also dont oblige people that only like fastest to play normal maps. Also as i will say in the next point do not dare to forget about Base Shared maps. This should NOT WORK like a regular VETO, people should be able to say "i either want fastest/normal/shared or not".
  • Please consider adding BASE SHARED MAPS in Team Match Making... you know, (north vs south) (east vs west) etc... this will be a request anyways i can garantee, people are "assuming" Team Match Making will come with this. Is it really that hard to implement Base Share maps? besides the fact that there are not many maps of this kind available?. If so... also make it optional as Fastest/normal maps, people should be able to ignore them also.
  • Please implement punishment for people that: backstab, leave games, drop, troll in Team Match Making. The correct way would be to have a real system that check such behavior but i understand that is HARDCORE logic and programming; just add a warning and a "rule of conduct", and have clear punishable actions for such things.
  • Replay Autosaving:

    Please leave the AUTOSAVE file as default, and let people "copy" that from the new system and change the name move to a certain folder if played on fighting spirit.. or date folder whatever. You are probably doing it like that anyways, but let a copy with the classic number convention always untouched.

    Replay worker numbers, units number and observer mode

    Just want to say that i consider this to be a very important thing to have, is a very strong learning tool, i am talking about worker numbers and not about unit numbers, this last one being not that relevant.

    Another thing not mentioned that i really think is important to have is a way to see the "actions and clicks" being pressed by the players in game. This is not an impossible request because we actually had this before, we used to be able to click numbers and check how the p2layer configured they keys. Of course this is not set to the specific key or grid the player used, but the default key used for that action.

    Also you know that i consider it would be nice to have this for observer mode as and OPTIONAL THING.
    About BWAPI:

    Dont underestimate the power of playing with bots. It can bring new blood and revitalize the whole game, more than you can imagine. If you make this available for the free version or not that is entirely up to you, but is of my strong suggestion you implement this, people will like it... i play BWAPI all the time, and lately there has been a bunch of new bots for 1.16 that are honestly AWESOME, i am sure some of them can kick some serious !@#... cant wait for soulkey/flash/bisu (when he comes back) to play vs bwapi !!.

    Anyways that is a serious good looking path for the future, and i know you clearly said some of this things will inevitably be ditched and ignored... but lets dream for a second. Thanks for the good end of a year, i really appreciate the effort to at least knowledge this features request, i am of the strong believe that Warcraft and then Diablo II remastered will keep SC:RM alive for many more years to come, until all of them merge into a bigger "classic launcher", this type of threads help for future reference for sure.

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