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.