29 December 2010

Shadow of the Xel'Naga - Chapter 1 [Beta] announced!

- Based on the correspondent StarCraft novel. Set between StarCraft 1 and Brood War.
- Blizzard-like scenario map with classic objectives, cinematics, transmissions etc.
- Playable in Singleplayer or Two-Player Co-Operative gameplay.
- 3 Primary Objectives. 5 Secondary Objectives. Up to 45 minutes of gameplay.
- Diverse gameplay, like escort cows, use vehicles to thresh units, control turrets, defend from waves.
- 4 difficulty levels. UI and ingame help.
- Fully implemented terrain art, weather and sound effects.

 Welcome To Bhekar Ro - Scene 1

Attention testers!

The map is in very late beta stages but it NEEDS YOUR HELP to be completed. All I need is 40-50 minutes of your time to let me have a look as to how you play the map and gather any kind of feedback you can give me while playing and afterwards.

If you are interested in becoming a tester and having your name appear on the credits feel free to respond to this thread with your Battle.net ID or add me directly (OutsiderXE.147). For EU players only.

Are you hungry for more videos? Respond to this thread.

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Germany to everyone and their families!

Mapping news: I've almost completed the art and cinematics on my StarCraft 2-map, thus being only days away from a finished version. I'm still keeping it under wraps as to what it actually is because I plan on doing something special with it soon after it's finished.

Sad news: I played 0-3 on Battle.net yesterday night and was degrated from Diamond to Platinum League :(

Personal news: I've finished my night school and managed to get my degree to join a university with a solid 2,6 (B- or something)!

16 December 2010

Busy weeks

I've been a little busy over the last weeks and unable to blog about it. (Well I was able, just utterly bored).

Firstly my SC2-melee map 'Crescent Moon XE' is finished and downloadable via the Battle.net-services. Just search for 'Crescent Moon XE'. It came fourth place out of about two dozen maps. Not too bad, although I had expected a little more. But it seems most people voted the winner because he had the largest screenshot. Anyway congrats to the winner.

- Link to SC-remake-contest thread

SC2Mapster.com announced another melee map remake contest. This time i'ts about WarCraft 3. I'm not sure if I have time to participate, but thankfully the contest deadline ends in more than two weeks from now, so plenty of time to decide.

- Link to WC3-remake-contest thread

I've also worked much more with the SC2-editor. I've fleshed out a fully playable co-operative map and I am playing it daily with friends and random people from chat/forums to maximize gameplay and fun. I'm only days from starting to work cinematics and map art. Expect full announcement and a release some time in January.

In other (gaming, do'h!) news: I've reactivated my WoW accounts, two weeks prior to the release of Cataclysm. I've leveled an Undead Warlock to 36. Pure gameplay time is around 24 hours. The quality of each region varies a lot. Tirisfal is fine, you do the usual kill/get-quests. The process is a lot more streamlined, you meet fewer people with more interesting storylines. It's worth reading. Silverpine Forest is one of the coolest zones: You get your quests from no other than Sylvanas Windrunner who guides and aids you in various tasks. The phase shifting technology is masterfully executed. You really feel like you are doin something. Hillsbrad Foothills is almost as good, because there are three characters that will just kill you laughing.
Arathi Highlands and The Hinterlands are just bad. I couldn't wait to get out of there. The quests there have you go back and forth between sections of the map for countless times. I'm currently in the Western Plaguelands which is really cool again. Nice quests, nice phasing.

Now I bought Cataclysm and started playing a Goblin Mage: The two starting zones are probably the VERY BEST I've ever experienced in WoW. From start two finish I feel engaged, meet huge Warcraft-celebrities, do the wildest quests and am rewarded with nice cinematics and phasing technology. I hope the rest is as good :D

19 October 2010

The new Tank in WoW Cata


- http://img01.lachschon.de/images/80021_tank_catapult.jpg

Which class will you play?

18 October 2010

Lord of the Clans - in Chinese!

I've found something really cool while googling my nickname for fun. Someone actually translated my first campaign Lord of the Clans into Chinese.

For anyone who always wanted to play it in Chinese, or anyone who just wants to have a look at it for fun, I've provided two additional links. Mind you that this is the old version 1.00 and not 1.01 (links to that can be found on the right side panel of this blog) which misses several bug and balance fixes.

- Download Link 1
- Download Link 2

16 October 2010

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 06 (Final)

I'm basically done with the map.

(4)Crescent Moon XE - Overview

I think I will submit it to the Contest Submission Thread in about 48 hours from now. Everyone who is interested is invited to playtest the map and give me feedback until then.
- Download Map

Update: I've also created a german discussion thread you can view here.

Update 2: I've published the map on Battle.net. If you want to play it with regularly updated gameplay you should search for it there under 'Crescent Moon XE'.

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 05

I'm done with the general texturing of the map. So it's nearly complete.

4 o'clock Natural
I may have overdone it with the decals this time, as they seem to distract too much (Blizzard maps are usually poor on doodads and have simpler texturing for gameplay purposes) but I left them in in hopes of getting some feedback.

Southern Island
Another island that was previsously unconnected to the main land. I created a connection because I think two islands were enough. I wanted more of a 'normal' map.

I still got a couple of things on my to-do list before I can release it. I will (and already have) added a Foliage, play around with all sorts of doodads I think fit to the theme, add critters, improve water and fog, add effects, check the pathing (so nobody can get where he ain't supposed to) and remove doodads which the player wouldn't see any way, for performance reasons.

The map, despite being in beta now, is also getting some gameplay updates, by adding a couple of LOS Blockers and so on.

15 October 2010

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 04

Around 3/4 of the terrain is done so far. I'm always trying to evaluate gameplay as I go, changing placement of destructible rocks, watch towers, space or LOS Blockers.

Starting Position Player 002 - 3 o'clock
I tried to have green cliffs reaching in to the main base. The main path and theme of the map will remain in blue.

Natural 8 o'clock
I tried to make one sector as cold as possible, not using anythingelse than the white/blue normal texture and the rocky texture.

Island 7 o'clock
With this island I tried to mix manmade textures with natural textures. I also placed one of these circle doodads in hope that it won't distract too much from the actual gameplay.

The fog that you see on the ground appeared exactly like that in the last Protoss mission. I added a couple of effects and tried something new with doodads though (Archways working as Support Beams).

14 October 2010

PC Games to look forward to?

After reading some reviews for Gothic 4 and Medal of Honor I feel restrained from buying those.

Critics reviews for Gothic 4 range from 40% to 80%, with most of them around 70-75%. It seems that this time the (new) developers managed to polish their product quite enough (Gothic 3 was one of the bugiest games ever, or so I've heard) but they failed to create an interesting storyline and quests. Seems like the whole storyline is as boring as it was in the demo.

Medal of Honor on the other hand seems to be an okayisch game, ranging around 70-80%. But I think I will rather wait for the more promising Call of Duty: Black Ops. MoH seems like the typical EA-attempt to copy a succesful brand.

So, yesterday I finished the indie-game Amnesia (awesome!) and today I was wondering what else there is to play before 2010 ends? Can't be mapping for StarCraft 2 forever, can I?

I snooped around a little and found some promising candites:
Fallout 3: New Vegas. Epic RPG with tons of items, quests and a cool setting.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. The controls for SWTFU sucked, but if they fix they we'll have a very cool Star Wars Hack'n'Slash game.
Call of Duty: Black Ops. Not the 'real' Call of Duty but hopefully as good as World at War.
WoW: Cataclysm: One game to end all games(?)

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 03

Day 3

Now, my intention was never to immitate the looks of the original Crescent Moon but to make it visually as pleasing as possible Take the game Unreal Tournament for example where they recreated the map Deck(16) for any new version of UT. This map never gives you the idea that it's out of place, out of line with the other new maps. It fits perfectly.

1 o'clock Island Expansion

Gameplay-wise it's the same but then again UT never changed much in Deathmatch-mode, whether it was the original Unreal or UT3. This is where SC2 is so different. Mainly action on the cliffs.

Natural Player 004 - Upper Left

Which is why I added or removed a lot of the original cliffs.

Road to 12 o'clock Expansion which used to be an island

Rocks block way to the Road

Player 003 Start. 9 o'clock.

Around 40% of the map is done so far.

Now that I have done a couple of sectors I must say that of all the Tilesets I've tried out so far (Mar Sara, Bel'Shir and Shakuras so far. D'oh!) Shakuras seems to be the easiest to do, despite the chaotic/alien looks of it. But it is exactly this chaotic look that makes it so easy to work with. With the other tilets I had to carefully measure out how of each texture to use at a place. And I could never mix more than 2 or 3 of them at once. With Shakuras I can throw in a basic texture, combine 2-3 different textures fo the cliffs and add a couple of color variations to the main texture. It also doesn't hurt much to mix many rocks with all sorts of vegetaion. It looks fine, at least to my eyes.

13 October 2010

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 02

I hate Mapster a little bit now for not letting us create our own melee maps. It may be my own fault for picking a flawed melee map but then again probably every interesting SC1 map has its flaws.

Well, at least I get to cover gameplay flaws with improved terrain. Yesterday I spent time with Starting Position 3 and its Third to its right.

Starting Position 004 - 10'oclock

Third Expansion - 12 o'clock

11 October 2010

SC1 Melee Map Contest - My Diary - Day 01

- Introduction -

I thought it would be neat if I wrote about my Work-In-Progress through the days of the contest. I might not be able to update it everyday but it will motivate me nontheless knowing that there are eyes on me.

Day 01
First thing I did after reading about the contest was going through the SC1 maps of nibbits.com. By looking at the screenshots I decided that I wanted to remake (4)Crescent Moon.

Original Crescent Moon Screenshot
Luckily the screenshots are big enough so I don't have to reinstall the SC1-Editor.

Figuring out positional imbalances
First thing I noticed was the imbalance of the map. It's a four player map but only the cross positions are equal to one another. In my first attempts I tried to think of ways to balance the map for all players equally, but the looks of the map would have been altered way too much. I gave up on symmetrical rebalance and thought that it wouldn't matter much anyway. If you go to the Player (Alliance/Enemy) Properties you can set the map so that, whether it's 2 or 4 players playing the game, you can adjust the team position properly. So this map can be played in 1on1 or 2on2. 3 or 4 player FFA is not recommended.

SC1 balance NOT EQUAL to SC2 balance
Next thing I tried to figure out was whether some of the new cliff-walking units in SC2 (Stalker, Reaper, Collosus etc.) would change the dynamic of the map too much. The 9 and 3 o'clock starting positions are surrounded by cliffs. No player would feel comfortable with that, and I doubt that it was fun in SC1 (thinking of Siege Tanks here) either. My remake will have a gap between the cliff and the player base, but I will also add a lot of doodads to prevent heavy abuse of that cliff. It will still be possble to launch attacks from up there, but only closer to the Natural, instead of the Main.

Second thing. For balancing reasons most proper SC1 and SC2 maps have narrow entrances to player bases. I did the same to this map. Naturals will still have wider entrances but will have ramps.

Crescent Moon XE

Changing the gameplay to my own taste + adding SC2 flavour
I thought that this map had a few too many islands so I created entrances which I blocked with destructible rocks. I placed the only Rich Minerals on the plateau on the central of the map to make this position much more interesting. Players can access it via destructible rocks. This way you could attack that plateau easier but you could also just send some troops on it for visual advantage. The Watch Towers I added wil inform players of others getting to the half-islands and attacking through the side ways. I'm not happy yet with the narrow space that's up there. Larger armies will have problems. I also added the typical LOS Blockers to that position but I am also not happy.

The first gameplay iteration is ready and I've started working on some of the visuals. I've only placed some basic colors to guide me through the map. The next days will have me have a good look at Blizzard's SC2 Shakuras maps to get a good feeling for their color and texture work. I plan on doing everything by hand. No texture shall be copied,-rotated-and-pasted.

Do you think I changed too much? Too little? Do you want more or less information? Your opinion is appreciated.
- http://forums.sc2mapster.com/resources/project-workplace/13370-sc1-melee-map-contest-my-diary/

05 October 2010

Evolution Chamber Rush

Here's an interesting video about a rush strategy by the Zerg I've just found out about.

Is it cheese? Can it be countered? Time will tell. Hopefully Blizzard will not fix it for some time to see how things will play out. Maybe terrans will not bunker their entrance for once (but probably even more so now).

01 October 2010

Blizzard bans over 5000 StarCraft 2 users

It is yet unclear whether those people got banned all of their Battle.net games. I would hope so but for logical reasons I think it's doubtful. I also think that these people didn't get blacklisted in any way and could simply buy a new version of StarCraft 2 and attach it to their Battle.net account.

We recently took action, including suspensions and bans, on over 5,000 StarCraft II players who were in violation of the Battle.net Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair competition that’s essential to play on Battle.net, cheating and hacking can lead to stability and performance issues with the service. Maintaining a stable, safe, and secure online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed.

- Link to the news

Apparently they also caught the guy I reported only a couple of days ago. I can't add him as a friend through the Match History anymore, in contrast to everyone else I've played against. It was a 1on1 on Metalopolis and he attacked me with reapers without scouting my position. He continued attacks on my open fronts without scouting and when I massed to attack he dismissed his planned drop and retreated to his base until I was there. In the replay you can also see him move his camera to my base several times when there is still Fog of War on from his perspective. I still won the game. He massed marauders, didn't tech Stim and didn't expand. I expanded early and had a large force of Protoss ground units.

This was the only time I realized someone cheated while playing against me. Other than that playing SC2 on Battle.net has been a clean and fun experience.

03 September 2010

Custom Map Upload Limits Increased

As part of our ongoing efforts to foster a productive and happy StarCraft II mapmaking community, we recently asked players to share their thoughts and ideas on how the custom map system might be improved. Some mapmakers noted that the current limits placed on custom map publishing felt too restrictive and, as a result, made their mapmaking experience less enjoyable.

We've taken this feedback to heart and increased custom map upload limits in two ways. Players are now provided with a total of 10 custom map slots and up to 50 MB of total map storage space. Ultimately, we want players to be able to share more maps with the community, and we feel these changes will supply mapmakers the additional freedom they need to better flex their creative muscles.

We'll be carefully monitoring how this additional storage is used by players and, as always, will continue to seek your feedback for how we may further improve the Battle.net mapmaking and publishing experience.

- Link to original post

This is great thing for different reasons as you can imagine. I like that you can publish up to ten maps now because that makes work on campaigns much more enjoyable. You don't have to squeeze into single maps as much anymore. It's also nice to see that they increased the overall map size capacity to 50MB. But I still think they increase it even further. If you take a look at my old campaigns then their campaign sizes reached from 30MB to 80MB and the number of maps from 10 to 15. And those were for Warcraft 3, a game which is significantly older and shouldn't require as much space as an equally stuffed (sounds, models, icons, etc.) project.

But what I would really like to see is for a way to connect all maps in a campaign. Currently I don't know which folders campaign maps have to go in to make a triggered transition from one map to another work. The .w3n-packaging-system of Frozen Throne was excellent in this regard. It would also be cool if Blizzard allowed to properly play maps that were obtained via other means than the Battle.net service. Currently the only way to do so is to start these maps from the map editor. So only unprotected singleplayer maps can be played this way. The workaround for this is to publish these maps yourself, but that would be stealing.

Blizzard, please work on Battle.net. The stuff that you added is good but WarCraft 3 had core elements that made custom modding and map play so much more enjoyable.

23 August 2010

Gamescom - Day 4

The Sunday being the shortest day at Gamescom we decided to get there as early as possible, so I guess we went inside half an hour after it's opening at around 9:30 A.M.. We were already a little tired because of the previous days but were really looking forward to our last day.

After this lame introduction I just gave you, I'll tell you that we decided to split. My friend wanted to get into the Starcraft 2 Challenge contest as early as possible, but I later heard that he was stunned as all spots, even the runner ups, had already been given away. In the meantime I looked around to see how long I would wait for the big shooters like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and so on.

I finally played some good 10 minutes of ArcaniA: Gothic 4. I started out as an Emo telling his girlfriend that he wants to marry her. She tells you that they'd have to get approve from her father, so you go to him. He gives you your first quest. Go to the mountains, beat the crap out of an old douche (a familiar face actually) and get his weapon. This old douche on the other hand, because he seems to be so strong and unbeatable, tells you to do him the favor of slaying two goblins who are looting his boat every now and then. You do the deed, get the weapon, and bring it to your girlfriend's father.

I stopped playing right here. I notcied from watching the other players that the demo would have run a lot longer but I wanted to spend some time on other stuff too. Arcania looks pretty nice. Like Oblivion with a bit better texturing. The animations were OK. There is a big open world. I did find some minor bugs, but nothing bigger than clipping mistakes and immortal people (I did try to kill the old douche :P). The most important thing was the atmosphere. Despite the lack of any sound (Gamescom too loud) I did feel soaked in. The graphics look nice and believable without copying too much of any other style. They were actually like the graphics of Risen, only bigger and better. The quests seemed to be small and interchained and you didn't have to walk too far. As a stupid WoW nerd I was missing a quest helper on the minimap at the beginning, but then I started reading the quest texts more carefully and got all the information I needed from there. So for the ten minutes it felt good. I'm looking forward to the first reviews. Hopefully we'll have two good 'Gothic'-series in the future.

After that I returned to my buddy who was at the Blizzard stage. No! he was ON the Blizzard stage! Being too far from him to tell me, I could only wait for the moderator to explain what was going on. He was invited to the Blizzard quiz. His competitor and him were asked a series of questions, and the first to get three questions right would be the winner. Whenever they couldn't answer a question the public would be asked. I actually got the chance to answer but, oh boy, did I fail. The question was (translated from german) 'In Diablo 1, which chaplain led an army into the Cathedral?'. I answered Griswold, forgetting about the chaplain part, but the correct answer was Lazarus of course. The winner got a diablo book from 'The Sin War'.

Other questions I remember that were asked:
- What's the the name of the weapon you definitely need when facing Nefarian? Don't have a clue and don't remember the answer.
- Who is Onyxia's father? My friend got nervous and answered Nefarian instead of Deathwing.
- Who opened the Dark Portal? Medivh. Easy point for his competitor.
- What's the name of the weapon from the Corsair in StarCraft 1? Here they got to choose one of three answers. The competitor had the right one.
- What's the name of the Diablo-world? The public answered Sanctuary.

My friend lost 2:3, but he can't say that he feels like a loser. He got A T-shirt, a mousepad he gave me (thank you!!), some books and the Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition!! WoW! He also got a WoW TCG card which is supposed to be worth some money. The other guy got exactly the same stuff, except for the WoW card, which was different and according to my friend his competitor's card is worth in the thounsands of Euros.

After that it was time for a break and some celebration. We got some german sausages with some mustard and bread rolls ;) Then it was already time for the final StarCraft 2 matches. We got some of the best seats (front row, sitting, in the middle) and watched Dimaga beat Tarson for the 3rd place, and MorroW surprising the audience by beating IdrA in the final round.

The Gamescom as a whole was really fun and we were sad that we couldn't be there for a couple more days. We didn't see a lot of different games because we spent more than half the time watching StarCraft 2 matches, but we definitely think that it was worth it. Especially since both of us won prizes :P I don't know about Gamescom 2011 yet. Maybe we'll go only one day, maybe all four again. Time will tell.

21 August 2010

Gamescom - Day 3

The day started a bit chaotic. Another friend of mine who had his day off wanted to come along to Gamescom. He had the 'great' idea of driving us there by car. We only had to meet him at his place at 9:30 A.M.. I left my house at 9:00 A.M., and purposefully missed the train that would have gotten me there at around 9:30, because I thought I would take the bus at 9:10 which would have taken me to his place at around 9:20. After waiting for a long time I realised that today was a Saturday, meaning that the bus wouldn't be at my place until after 9:50 A.M.. When I went back to the train station I read that the next train would arrive at 9:51, so I decided to call my friend and pick me up.

On our way to the Gamescom we got into some heavy traffic jam. Luckily we didn't have too much trouble finding an empty parking space, but we did need to do a lot of walking to get to the main entrance of the Gamescom. My other friend (the one from the previous days) rushed to the Blizzard stage to sign in to the Starcraft 2 Challenge competition, but didn't even get a runner up spot. They had all been taken away.

After some scouting through various halls we dediced to meet at 11:30 at the THQ booth to play some Smackdown vs Raw 2011. We were overwhelmed by the controls (as was expected with a Wrestling game) but we actually thought that it was quite good. The moves didn't seem too quick or too slow, there was a lot of action and showing off possible. We even managed to do a couple of the wrestler's signature moves.

Second we went to the Nintento area to try out some Donkey Kong Country Returns. After some initial problems (we tried to do a boss-fight right after getting the controls) we got right into the game. As far as I remember the old Donkey Kong Country the new one felt exactly like it. Easy controls, nice coop action, and easily accesible jump and run craziness. Also kudos to the Nintendo lady at that booth who was very nice :)

Next we tried out PES 2011. Now, I used to play a lot of FIFA. But that was back in the 97-99 era. And boy, how much has changed since then. Back then the players used to do exactly what the controls felt like they would do. You would point the D-Pad to the right and he would either pass or shoot to the right. But nowadays who have to pay close attention to the animations, the player's standing and the enemy to figure out how the shot or pass will actually play out. It feels a lot more realistic than back in the old days. I can't say if it's more fun but I also won't say it isn't. I'll leave that up to more experienced FIFA/PES players.

Finally I tried some Torchlight II or a couple of minutes in order to compare it to Diablo 3. Gameplay-wise it felt very much the same. Nice gameplay with well-thoughout skills in a monster-friendly environment. Hack'n'Slay at its best. I played some sort of barbarian who would gather bonus points for each kill. You could spend those points on each special attack you used, making the attack stronger the more points you gathered previously. Much like the Rogue from World of Warcraft or the Assassin from Diablo 2. The only thing I couldn't quite figure out is how to activate newly learned spells and I had some problems with soem hotkeys. Other than that it was as accesible as Diablo 3. The graphics were similar to those of Torchlight I but I guess they updated the engine a tad. There were exterior environments also. The only downside compared to Diablo 3 will probably be the atmosphere. It's just too comical. But I guess it will be a superb way to pass you time until Diablo 3 is released.

The second half of our day we spent watching the Semi-Finals of the Starcraft 2 tournament. The hall was filled with people to its very edges and we only got a good spot towards the middle after some good scouting of empty positions. But we did have to lie on the floor. I was actually so tired that I had to close my eyes several times, only to be awakened by louder-than-usual screams by the crowd or comments by Day[9] or Apollo. There were some great matches.

Through the break they had this german hip-hop musician named Sammy Deluxe. I don't have anything against hip-hop, not at all, but his music was very annoying. He was especially irritating because he often made comments about how video games made people ignorant towards public interests and that we should play less. Those comments may have been okay to some extent but using Gamescom as the place to voice them... Seriously? Go to hell, man!

After the break I found us some empty chairs at the back of the room. It made enduring the tournament a lot easier. We're looking forward to tomorrow's final games and hopefully my friend will get his wish to play the Challenge missions at the Blizzard stage.

20 August 2010

Gamescom - Day 2

I slept a lot better last night. From the mere 4,5 hours I went up to almost 7 hours this time and throughout my stay at the Gamescom I felt a lot more refreshed. Yesterday I had to be hasty in the morning because I overslept half an hour. Today I had to be hasty in order to buy me some food before heading to Gamescom. But as usually, when I buy food it is too much.

My friend and I got there at quarter to ten, minutes before they opened the gates. A huge mass of people were waiting to get inside, to be the first wave of that day, and we were afraid that it would take ages to move the crowd, but it merely cost us ten minutes. After taking a small detour we immediately headed to Hall 9 to watch the StarCraft 2 matches. We got some got spots and sat on some cubes, very close to the commentators of the games, Day[9] and Apollo. We watched all of the games that were presented so we stayed there for more than 4,5 hours, and they didn't even show all of the matches, due to time conflicts. We also watched presentations of R.U.S.E. (sucked), and Total War: Shogun 2 (quite good) inbetween some games.

After the matches we took our lunch-break, and we went to the Blizzard booth in Hall 8 to see if my friend could sign in for the Challenge match I won the previous day. Unfortunately he only got a runner up spot, and all of the contestants showed up. My friend promised that he would sign up a lot earlier tomorrow. The contestants were quite good. The winner actually broke my record of losing 1/1/0 units in the first Terran Challenge, he only lost 1/0/0 and in the Protoss Challange he surpassed my 158 kills by more than 30. But he had to do it again because a lot of the contestants had equal points, counting all of the challenges. Then one of the guys did like 198. I think at that point 3 of the contestants had 1 point, so the judges decided to let the players play Rush Defense. A lot of them had major issues but one guy managed to lose only two units to the Zergling rush, so he won. He got his prize, and this is where I feel a little cheated. He got everything I got, plus a StarCraft 2 Collector's Edition. Damn it :P

Anyway. Soon after I let my friend know that I would derive from our original goal to final spend more time in other Halls than just 8 and 9, so I actually got the balls to wait more than 2,5 hours in line for Diablo 3. My friend decided to join me but abandoned me after abouth alf an hour to participate in a Blizzard quiz. He didn't get into it, so he could just watch others do it and win more blizzard fan stuff and games. He also watched some show matches between TLO and Dimaga in StarCraft 2. Both things I could actually do while waiting in line for Diablo 3, because the waiting line was just a bit further ahead of the Blizzard stage.

Finally I got to sit on my seat to play some Diablo 3. I decided to play the Witch Doctor class because I could remember some of his videos and I found his playstyle to be very cool and easily accesible. Monk and Wizard also seemed cool but somehow too strange for a brief 20 minutes of gameplay.

At first I was dissapointed with the graphics. The textures were blurry, and the effects looked a bit too colorfriendly. But after while I noticed that this game has it's own art style. Yes, it is still very blurry and feels empty, but somehow the rough edges of cliffs and the bad weather felt really dark and alien in a good diabolic way. I can't say anything about the sound because, despite being in this booth it was still too loud to understand any Quest-dialogue. Nothing was in written form by the way. The gameplay itself felt a lot like Torchlight. Very streamlined, very action-oriented but with well thought-out skills that feel very complimentary. It's also nice to see the Tetris-inventory return. The whole demo was very focused on the action. I didn't have to return to town once for any reason. Other than that this game, compared to its predecessor, felt a lot like StarCraft 2, compared to its respective predecessor. The developers don't seem to focus on anything new and fancy. Instead they use some fancy new stuff to polish the well-established game experience that we've already seen in Diablo 2. But hopefully they'll add some PvP features in the future.

19 August 2010

Gamescom - Day 1

Well, Gamescom started yesterday but today was my first day and I thought I'd post my impressions on it.

I went there with a buddy of mine and we arrived there at around 10:40 A.M.. After a long walk through the main hall we decided to go into Hall 8, pretty clueless of what to expect there. There were stages to play Guild Wars 2, Medal of Honor, Crysis 2 and a lot of other games. There was also the huge staging area for the pro-gaming matcvhes of Quake Live and StarCraft 2. After some roaming around we decided to wait at the Crysis 2 line. We waited around 30 minutes until they let our group of ten in. When playing I was immediately dissapointed. I expected some cool single player scenario where I could fight aliens in a demolished New York City. Instead we got to play 10 minutes of what looked like a flat Counter-Strike copy. Classes, objectives and all that shit. It was nice in itself but not the stuff I waited for in line.

We really didn't want to force ourselves into any lines, we also left out many other halls for the days to come, so most of the time we just continued roaming aroun through Hall 8 and Hall 9. Hall 9 was most prominent for the Blizzard stage, stuff from Square Enix, and the very crazy Razer and Bigpoint stages.

A big sing flashed at the Blizzard stage, advertising a contest in SC2 Challenge maps. My friend and I mistook it for the 'In Utter Darkness' map, where you have to kill off as many Zerg as possible before your forces die. He convinced me into participating in the contest and we got so psyched up talking about the one strategy the would help me beat the mission. This contest was scheduled for 1:30 P.M.. It then got postponed to 3:00 P.M. and soon after to 4:00 P.M..

My friend and I had planned to watch all of the StarCraft 2 matches live at the stage but we missed a good amount of them due to these contest problems. Well, just minutes before the contest started I found out that we weren't supposed to play 'In Utter Darkness', but instead the Challenge mission where you control a fully built Protoss base and have to kill as many zerg as possible in a set amount of time. So all the psyching up for this map was for nothing after all. I also got nervous because I found out that we were going to play the german version and I was afraid I couldn't manage to control my army because I was used to english hotkeys. Luckily this german version had english hotkeys preset.

Six of us were led on stage at 4:08 P.M. While the moderator was explaining the map and the rules to the audience we had time famliarizing ourselves with the Challenge mission and set up the control groups for my army. After a while the moderator gave us the go to start. While I will not explain what exactly I did in this map, we ended up being 4(!) of six players with exactly 158 kills each of us. So pretty much a draw.

So next we had to prove ourselves with the first Terran Challenge mission. The one where you set up your groups of preset units against zerg waves. I remember that two of the six people (probably the ones who didn't get 158 kills in the previous map) lost the first round because they lost too many units compared to the rest of us. I lost one marine. The second round I also lost one marine. In the third round of this map I didn't lose a single unit, while my strongest opponent lost 7. So, I won the Razer Imperator which is a mouse for right handed people. I am a lefty :( Anyway, like all other contestants I also go the german version of the book I, Mensgk. A SC2-T-Shirt and a strategy guide. Some of these things may actually find their way onto E-Bay. Finally, I got interviewed. I was asked about my SC2-competence, what league I play in, and if I had any ambitions of becoming pro and how often I play. My answers in short: Some. Diamond. No. Little.

Anyway. I thank my buddy for convincing me into participating. He got jealous that he didn't do it himself ;) After that we returned to watch some more StarCraft 2 pro-games of Idra bashing DeMusliM and left the building at around 7:00 P.M.

I'm looking forward to more contests tomorrow ;)

15 August 2010

Nice replay with nice ending

I just watched this replay and laughed my ass off at the end. The plain battle is good but nothing special, so skip ahead and pay attention to the last few minutes. And don't be afraid of the 1:61 hours it shows on the homepage. It's actually 'only' 61 minutes long. But you will skip a lot of it anyway.

- http://sc2.replayers.com/replays/view/2024

24 July 2010

My StarCraft II Collector's Edition just arrived!

I had only ordered it like 36 hours ago, from Amazon.de and the courier just arrived. Now waiting for Monday night :-)

17 July 2010

New Screens and Discussion on SC2 Map

I've creatd a thread on the forums of the german website instarcraft.de.

- http://starcraft2.ingame.de/forum/showthread.php?t=190765

You can also find fresh screenshots there and, of course, participate in the discussion if you can speak german.

09 July 2010

Annos sold!

The Anno 1404 and Anno 1404 Venedig I put out on eBay a while ago have been sold. Thanks to everybody who tried, especially the winners :P



Blizzard impresses (again)

Hello everyone,

I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

 It's important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it's clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you'll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard's success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment


Thank you, Blizz. Now add LAN and chat rooms and fix custom game list and we're best buddies again ;-)

Thanks to my friend Lightspeed for the heads up.

07 July 2010

Hitler and Husky



Oh, and the Beta seems to be up again...

06 July 2010

Blizzard dissapoints again


Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to the Forums

Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature - http://www.battle.net/realid/ , a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Battle.net. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.
 The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID -- that is, their real-life first and last name -- with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players -- however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

We also plan to add a number of other features designed to make reading the forums more enjoyable and to empower players with tools to improve the quality of forum discussions. Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread. We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion. Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.

With the launch of the new Battle.net, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment -- one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID -- including these forum changes -- have been made with this goal in mind.

We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at conventions like PAX or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure Battle.net is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

For more info on Real ID, check out our Real ID page and FAQ located at http://www.battle.net/realid/ . We look forward to answering your questions about these upcoming forum changes in the thread below.

If there's one thing I've always tried to avoid it is to connect my real life with any internet activities. Nobody of you, noone who doesn't already know me in person shall ever know my name in real life, thus connecting me to anything to what I do online and offline. There's probably nothing I value more than privacy and online-anonimity. I will never ever post again on the Battle.net forums. Thank you Blizzard for saving me time!

Working on my first StarCraft 2 Map

More out of boredom than anything else I started designing a 1on1 melee map for StarCraft II. Normally I delete my first few attempts but this one turned out so well that I gave it some more gameplay tweaks and a beauty parse which is currently in its mid-stage.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

I tried to make this map as "normal" as possible, meaning, nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary. Which means that I had a thorough look at the features of a classic StarCraft II Beta map.

Some of the gameplay features I noticed were:
- Fairly secured main base with a small ramp that leads to its natural expansion and a bigger side entrance which is blocked by destroyable rocks and field-of-view-blockers, and a small line of cliffs where Reapers, Stalkers or Collosi could ambush. (There are no watch towers in your main base in the current version of the map).
- Main bases have enough space for fully functional 200/200 supply bases.
- Expansions are way smaller but big enough for supporting defense and some buildings.
- Natural expansion that leads to the central fight area.
- Central fight area with multiple ways and Xel'Naga Watch Towers to overview the battlefield.
- Second expansions points which are equally away to both players (might add destructible rocks in the future).
- Islands that are difficult to reach but yield High Yield Mineral Fields (may push them further away from the main land to secure them against Siege Tanks).

Some of the visual features I noticed were:

- No overuse of doodads or terrain painting in the bases or along the main roads.
- Connections are clearly recognizeable by road-like textures.
- Bases are clearly recognizeable by more solid textures.
- Plants, rocks and other doodads are mostly on side roads.
- Some fancier doodad-contstruction are distinguishable as eye-catchers along the road or whenever it can be assured that they wont hinder a unit's path.

I try to think of more as I go but as you probably understand is hte more you work on a map the less you can change its foundations and continue working on it with a flow. The current work-in-progress name is "(2)Glen of Oblivion". What I am currently realy unhappy with is the look and feel of the islands. I seem to have a problem with the sudden change of cliff textures and the islands' shape. I will probably play around with some more doodads to see what can be done. Also the non-playable fields (e.g. water and lowest ground levels) seem uninspired.
Hell, at the moment I think the whole map could need a new doodad-parse, but I also believe that I cannot in good conscience force the map to look good. Some things just come with experience and to get this experience I will need to work on other maps. I'll probably give this map another week before I release it.

29 June 2010

Selling Anno 1404 + Anno 1404 Venedig

If there's one sort of games I don't like then it is the long type. Anno 1404 and its Add-on provide hundreds, if not thousands of hours of enjoyable build-up strategy gameplay!

Thus I am selling the copies of these games that I recently aquired. Both of them are in unopened original boxes.

- Link to the auction of Anno 1404 (German Version) (Buyout at 30 Euros!)
- Link to the auction of Anno 1404 Venedig (German Version) (Buyout at 25 Euros!)

06 June 2010

Other games while waiting for StarCraft 2

StarCraft 2 nears. But what other computer games are interesting?

Since it's announcement in 2007 I've been seeing StarCraft 2 as sort of an endgame (pun, anyone?), although the truth is, I've never been one to stick just a single game, even not in my mid-twenties. I'm not playing a lot of SC2 Beta right now, neither is its editor getting a lot of attention of mine.

In terms of development I'm currently introducing myself to the programming language Java with this book. I'm also itching to give my Unreal Tournament 3 level its long overdue beauty parse, but I never seem to think about it when the time would be right. The problem might be that the game itself has become uninteresting, but I will finish it one day. The question is when.

In terms of games I've recently finished Dragon Age: Origins, which took me over five months to complete, with a playtime of roughly 55 hours. It was a great, epic experience. Though it could match the likes of Oblivion.

I've also fnished Splinter Cell Conviction (made by my ex-employer Ubisoft) within two days, with a playtime of six hours. I've yet to find a suitable partner to test the co-op features of this game. I've had mixed feeling about Conviction while playing it. It starts very promising with a very cinematic gameplay but gets annoyin and frustrating because the game felt like trial and error when handling enemies. Sam Fisher moves awkwardly fast and his abilities concentrate more on his gadgets than his body, like in previous installments. Problem is, he doesn't have many in the beginning. So, the game improves the longer you play. Fisher gets more toys, level design always feels fresh and varied, but on the down-side I felt less and less involved within the storyline. It's much better than previous SCs but it could have been so much better. It's over much too soon.

The best game I've finished lately was definitely Assassin's Creed 2. Varied missions like in the old GTA games (not the repetitive GTA 4), with much improved graphics and a nice (but also confusing) plot.

I'm currently busy with Tales of Monkey Island and Black Sails, and I might write about them as soon as finish them.

01 June 2010

Battle.net 2.0 - Where's the community?

Kittens and an honest opinion on the state of the new Battle.net.

12 May 2010

Free StarCraft 2 Beta Key! -Update

it's gone, don't try.

... it's already gone.

08 May 2010



07 May 2010

Got A StarCraft II Beta Key!

I've had the chance of playing the StarCraft II beta for some time now, due to friend of mine kind enough to share his Key. But finally a stranger handed me out a Key he had no use for to use for my own pleasure. Now I feel confident enough to post about my experience with the game many of us have been waiting for for over a decade.

My impressions on the beta so far (after playing more than a hundred games):
Graphics - 7/10
They capture the feel of the classic StarCraft well enough, wrapping it nicely into 3D. It's not state-of-the-art graphics but the animations and unique and distinguishable unit and building models make up for it. On the downside, it does feel a little bit like plastic. The terran could be dirtier, the protoss could be shinier, the zerg are fine (even though their units are sometimes hard to distinguish in the heat of battle). Sadly the maps feel really, really empty. I hope they add many more objects to each map.

Gameplay - 8/10

It all depends on what you expect. it's the classic melee, super fast when it comes to base management and unit micro, and you have to be extra careful not to be overrun by your enemy because you built the wrong forces. To me, it's a little dissapointing, having hoped for a new race, more new units or some RPG-features. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want WarCraft 3 heroes, but couldn't the terran units have some sort of rank system that makes them better with each kill, or unlocking upgrades? I guess they really saved it all for the single-player campaign. Although, neither did I want the game to become slower than any of these features might have made it.

So far I've mostly played random. Each race feels very different from one another. Protoss have few but powerful high tech units, Zerg are massing, not giving a shit about a single zergling being killed, and terran are just the dirty old bastards that keep on bunkering in their base.

I really like the new economy features. The Zerg Queen to spawn larvae, expand your creep, heal, the Terran Command Center to scan, cal down extra supplies or MULEs and the speed buff for Protoss units you warp in and upgrades you research. It's the little choices you face each time (what do I spent my energy on?) that makes it so much funnier than the old order-worker-to-mineral-field stuff in StarCraft 1 that felt like work.

The new mobility features in the game are cool. Nydus worm used more freely, without creep, Protoss Collosi and Stalkers, also Reapers traversing cliffs. Hell, I got owned by those Reapers today. I also like how they added features like watch towers, blockades and high yield mineral fields to each map.

What I don't like is how each map feels the same. You are in a secluded base with one exit (maybe two ramps when the second one is blocked by obstacles you need to destroy first) with a ramp leading down to an expansion which everyone passes if they want to enter your main base. I also don't like how a couple of units feel. The Marauder is a pain in the ass. It does extra damage to your armored units, but it also has an upgrade which can slow units down with each attack. It means they deal extra damage to your ranged units but also slow down your light melee units, which are supposed to pick them down, but not able to because they never reach them. Also the Roach feels a bit strong. I wish Blizzard had focused more on it's regeneration capabilities instead of it's damage output and range, to make it more like a hit and run unit. But I guess that might have overlapped roles with the zergling too much. On protoss side I don't like the Immortal. It feels like a do-it-or-don't-unit. It's superior to any armored unit but gets its ass whooped by any small unit. I just thing that the contrast is too strong. I could go on about likes and dislikes of other units but I'll spare you that now.

Battle.net 2.0 - 7/10
Ever noticed how Blizzard never used the '2.0' themselves? They call it 'The new Battle.net experience'. Yes it's new, but it's nothing groundbreaking. The matchmaking feels superior to even the one in WarCraft 3. I rarely feel like I get opponents too strong or too weak. Navigation is also good enough once you get used to it. The party system is nice. Achievements are nice, but... NO CHAT ROOMS? SERIOUSLY? How is this 'new experience' goign to bring people closer together when all we can do is fight each other? If anything, it's going to part people.

Editor - 10/10
I've spent very little time with the Editor myself. Just a bit with the terrain and the triggers, but nothing fancy. I lack the time. In it's core it is an advanced WC3 editor, but it feels a bit complicated, but every editor does when inexperienced. Those '10/10' come from looking at other custom maps. Hell, it's only been a couple of weeks and I'Ve already played Side-Scroll-shooters, 3D-shooters, Resident Evil, Pacman, Tetris, Racing games, Adventures, tested new abilites and some other crazy shite. So forget DotA (or AoS as it should be called in SC2), get ready for totally different games.

Overall - 32/40
The first two weeks I played nothing else, after that less and less, and only today, when I got my own Key, I picked up some multiplayer games. This had many reasons. One was the repetitive gameplay I've experienced, it's especially frustrating when losing (What the Fuck? Marauderrushed again?), andd it's quite impossible to maintain a certain skill level in playing random when playing to rarely. It was also because the Editor was released, so I played aroudn with that for some time. But also becasue I got my hands on Settlers 7 and Asssassin's Creed 2. The former (which I did design levels for, if anyone cares) I put to rest a week ago. I also had lots of studying to do.

Oh, 32/40 doesn't mean it is a dissapointment, it means it is a Beta without Single-Player and enough time. I'm really looking forward to the full game release on July 27th, but I am not yet sure if I'll buy it right then. A-level tests will be in September/October and plan on doing some summer preparation. But I already know it's going to be my most played game of the year.

05 May 2010

Creating a Campaign

Hey. I sometimes get asked what my 'strategy' is when making campaign. I got asked again yesterday and this time I wanted to share some of my insight on my blog.

[QUOTE=[Name removed]]Hello OutsiderXE,

I recently finished your Lord of the Clans campaign, which I thought was spectacular apart from the occasional bug.

Anyways, I've recently started working on a campaign detailing [text removed], and I was wondering if you would be able to give me some advice on how to make my campaign as interesting and elaborate as your ones.

Hope to hear from you soon,
[Name removed][/QUOTE]

Now of course the big difference is that my campaigns are based on books, preexisting stories. So I have the advantage of having a plot lined out for me since the beginning and my job is to add plausible missions to it. It often means that story has to be cut, added on or changed to work with my gameplay ideas.

I have to admit that, especially Lord of the Clans (being my first campaign), is somewhat of a mess. I usually start making a testmap, which is more or less becomes the first mission of any campaign, where I try to nail the 'feeling' that's going to accompany the full project. In LotC it was having a single hero with basic skills and the behaviour of his environment. The first mission was (supposed to be) a stealth mission. The second mission was also supposed to be stealthy but turned out 'fighty' instead with spare stealth ideas. At that time I barely planned maps ahead (I still don't do it too much but I get better) so each mission idea was developed as it was created. I sincerely believe that the more detailed you plan out your campaign before you first start up the editor, the better it gets. So, anyway. After making 2-3 missions I kinda (thought) I got the hang of it, but I was still exploring the possibilities of the editor. That's probably why there are many mini-games at mission 4, 5 and 6. But here I gotta say that I 'borrowed' many ideas from established maps. I actually stole the terrain from one of the AoS maps and changed it to my liking. I still feel ashamed about it.

At some point I thought I could divide the eight maps of the campaign into three gameplay chapters. 1,2,3 is where you control a single hero in mixes of stealth and fight maps. 4 and 5 is wher the minigames are at, 6 and 7 is where mass unit production and base building comes into play. And number 8 is supposed to be a comeback to stealth and fight.

It took me 2,5 years to finish this first campaign. The big reason is, when you first create a project of that size, you never know how long it's going to take you so you don't take it too seriously. You work on it every now and then. Other reasons are that I just started getting to know the editor, and The Frozen Throne was released inbetween so some features were only included a long time later (Runes for example).

I consider overlong cinematics, bad terrain graphics and lack of special skills the weak points of the campaign. Overlong cinematics because I mostly didn't cut dialogues enough to make them more crips. Terrain graphics simply becasue I was a newbie, and I still just not am that visual guy. Special skills because only the Frozen hrone allowed an easy implementation of such and LotC was already too far in development to allow them.

I hope this kind of helped. If you want to read more I can tell you about my experience I gathered by creating my second campaign, Day of the Dragon.

16 March 2010

Altair vs Prince

This video I saw minutes ago and deemed too cool not to post.

A "little" over the top maybe :) (Who fell on that stairs at 3:00, and wouldn't THAT at least knock him out?)

27 February 2010

The Last Guardian 1.01

Spells and Items – 03
- Haste mana cost increased from 50 to 65 and cooldown decreased from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.
- Removed Order Code Manual.
- Quest items will only be makeable if player has the appropriate Alchemy level.

Chapter 1 – 4
- Added another rune and changed some doodad blocking at the Waygate riddle.
- Altered/fixed sequence of the Waygate riddle.
- Fixed some text in the ZombieQuest so the Zombie’s intentions become clearer.
- Fixed a typo in the english version.

Chapter 2 – 2
- Added visual aids for the Museum and the Botanic Garden.
- Fixed some typos in the german version.

Chapter 3 – 8
- Return Ressources skill will now be reset every time Khadgar cuts a tree.
- Corpses counter titles should now appear properly.
- Corpses counter trigger will now activate after 5 seconds instead of on map inizialization.
- Extended hint for A Hero’s Locke subtly.
- Fixed some typos in the english and the german versions.
- Added a visual aid for the Bullfrog.
- Fighting orcs and humans will now heal every 4 seconds instead of 10 seconds.
- Cinematic Medivh will now be properly removed when cinematic is skipped.

Chapter 4 - 5
- Added visual aids for The Bum, the Gold chest and the entrance to the house.
- Fixed some typos in the english version.
- Long Medivh dialogues can now be skipped by pressing ESC.
- Changed name of Circle of Power in the mage quarters to Teleport to City Centre.
- Fixed some typos in the english and the german versions.

Chapter 5 - 6
- Disabled Haste for Khadgar during the Garona chase and added a hint.
- Extended hints to destroy the support column.
- Order Code quests will no longer be like in the book but more simplified.
- Added visual aids for the Museum and the Botanic Garden.
- Fixed a mistake where Khadgar’s was speaking Medivh’s text.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Wrong-sound from playing at the second Chest.

Chapter 6 – 16
- Added descriptions to Ethereal Oil and Magic Vial as to what they need to create a Potion of Water Walking.
- Added visual aids to the first and last blight regions.
- Ignoring the Chicken Grunt‘s guard position.
- Chicken Grunt should now be teleported regardless of where he is.
- Ignoring the Chicken Footman‘s guard position.
- All created waygates are removed when CaptureVideo starts to prevent some portal bugs.
- Changed Forest Troll Warlord speed to 0, so he won’t follow.
- Fixed damage of Forest Troll Warlord.
- Repositioned Forest Troll Warlord and Pathing Blockers so he won’t use a Portal.
- Fixed a typo in the english and the german versions.
- Chests should now be properly indestructible.
- Repositioned a tree.
- Replaced some imported trees with original trees in hope of peons actually doing their jobs now.
- Heavy Bag will no longer be moved to its original position but simply dropped.
- Reduced Creeps Guard Distance, Guard Return Distance and Guard Return Time.
- Changed description of second loss condition to display orcs and humans.

Chapter 7 - 6
- Order Code quests will no longer be like in the book but more simplified.
- Added a hint to the Statue Combat Rules to use the Arrow-keys.
- Added visual aids for the Museum and the Botanic Garden.
- Added visual aid for the Spanner.
- Improved hint to Khadgar’s change in the fight with Medivh.
- Fixed some typos in the english and german versions.

22 February 2010

Did Hitler get a key?


Lord of the Clans 1.01 available

My Warcraft 3 campaign 'Lord of the Clans' has received a balance-and-bugs-update in the las few days. The campaign should play much more smoothly and actively now. One of the reasons being that Thrall's passiv Bash ability got switched with the Storm Bolt ability. It also makes Thrall a lot stronger. Also Chapter 4 was toned down in difficulty: No more stupid raiders or swarming pigs.

- Download: Lord of the Clans (english)
- Download: Lord of the Clans (german)

Lord of the Clans: Version 1.01: 74 bugs fixed

Spells and Miscellaneous - 3
- Replaced Thrall’s Bash with Storm Bolt.
- Changed War Stomp Hotkey to W.
- Thrall will now receive experience from creeps in all levels.

Intro – 3
- Fixed some camera angles.
- Fixed amount of time some texts appear on screen with the english version in mind.
- Fixed a typo in the english version.

Chapter 1 – 9
- Thrall will now start with Evasion as his first skill.
- Game will no longer pause to explain something.
- Added water sound effects.
- The Gate quest will now sound as completed when finished.
- Fixed amount of time that some texts appear.
- Fixed some typos in the english version.
- Reduced volume of Gate opening.
- Added sound effects to switches.
- Reduced length of outro cinematic.

Chapter 2 – 7
- Fixed duration of intro cinematic texts.
- Fixed a bug with collecting wood that didn’t show wood in the leaderboard, thus preventing the player from completing the mission.
- Added water sound effects.
- Removed some hostile trolls.
- Added a mana rune to on of the trolls.
- Fixed some grammar in the english version.
- Northern orcs-video will now only start if player hasn’t visited Kelgar yet.

Chapter 3 - 2
- Placed Pathing Blockers in front of the Gate.
- The Paladin’s map is will now be properly removed.

Interludium – 3
- Fixed a typo in the english version.
- Defeated grunts will noe be owned by player 4 instead of player 1.
- Reduced the duration of some texts.

Chapter 4 - 13
- Thrall will now load his stats from Chapter 3 instead of Chapter 2 upon starting this mission.
- Reduced pig-quest duration by 40 seconds.
- Reduced pig-speed by 50.
- Pigs will now spawn 2 seconds less often.
- Fixed a bug in the order of quests that prevented the player from completing the mission.
- Raiders will no longer attack Thrall if he attacks them.
- Raiders will no longer surround the player.
- Fixed difficulty of the Raiders vs Gnolls quest.
- Fixed some typos in the english version.
- Pigs behind Gnoll Hut are better visible now because of the elevated terrain.
- Increased gather-radius for wood in PacmanQuest.
- Widened the road to the ogre towers.
- Fixed the duration of some cinematic texts when Thrall meets the Frostwolves.

Chapter 5 - 7
- Floating Texts will now properly be removed when WildQuest is ended.
- Fixed some typos in the english version.
- Raised Thrall’s level to 6.
- Drek’Thar will not receive a level up when Thrall dies.
- Skeleton Archers at FireQuest will spawn less often but more quickly
- Granite Golem will now be asleep until all keys are brought to him.
- Elevators will now change their height every 4 seconds instead of 5.

Chapter 6 - 12
- Enemies will spawn a little less often.
- Removed defeat condition for civilians.
- Fixed a typo in the german version.
- Fixed a typo in the english version.
- Hellscream and Doomhammer will not try to attack-move towards the Expansion Barrack anymore, but while come very close nontheless.
- Thrall has the Cloak of Shadows from the beginning.
- Cloak of Shadows is no longer part of the Optional Quest, instead a Potion of Healing was added.
- Each fleeing orc will be owned by Player 1 once they he is saved.
- Reduced hit poinjts of Bodyguards from 1200 to 1000.
- Renamed Player 7 to Internment camp.
- Thrall will start with an Ankh.
- Langston will spawn with 30% mana.

Chapter 7 - 1
- Fixed some typos in the english version.

Chapter 8 - 11
- Added hint for the sheep riddle.
- Removed many of the Runes of Healing from the spiders.
- Removed some low level spiders and added a couple of higher level spiders.
- Fixed some typos in the english version.
- Thrall will now get 50% experience from creeps at level 8 and can advance up to level 9.
- Level 3 War Stomp unlocked.
- Teleporter will not be in the air anymore.
- Added a Rune of Restoration at the Healing Fountain.
- Removed a Potion of Invulnerability.
- Added items to Blackmoore‘ inventory.
- Helpung endfight items will not spawn in the center of the ring but where fire will spawn a bit later.

Outro – 1
- Credits theme will now be repeated until cinematic is over.

20 February 2010

The impotance of widescreen

Some friendly guys over at inStarcraft.de were nice enough to post some comparision screenshots of the different resolution options in StarCraft 2.

5:4 (original screensize 1280x1024)

4:3 (original screensize 1280x960)

16:10 (original screensize 1650x1050)

16:9 (original screensize 1650x960)
Blizzard had announced that players with widescreen monitors would have an advantage though I hadn't though it would be this big. Anyway, I wouldn't spend too much time thinking whether that guy that just beat me had a viewfield advantage. I'm fine with my 16:10.