A bit of a joke in the title (name given to the annual message from the president of the United States).
In this aptly named Community Feedback Update, David Kim (senior game designer) addressed players to inform the latest tasks the StarCraft II team is working on as beta testing continues.
As we mentioned before, we’d like to provide our thoughts on areas that we’ve looked into this week based on community suggestions. Before we get into the details, we’d like to point out while we try our best to hit majority of the big topics, it’ll be impossible to cover every single topic every time. The goal here is to discuss big issues with you guys, and continue doing so over time. With this first post, we’re covering a few more topics than we might typically cover in a normal update. However, we think this is a good way to kick off these updates.
We’d like to also make it as clear as possible that game design is not about implementing every idea that the majority thinks is correct, it’s about finding the key ideas that will be best for the game. So we’ll do our best to keep an open mind on topics and even if we’re currently thinking that we won’t try something out, we’ll keep it as part of our regular discussions if those issues keep being brought up by the community. Please also try your best to do this as well, and remember it’s not about how many people say something, and it’s not about bandwagoning onto the loudest idea. It’s about trying to look at issues from every angle possible to make sure it is in fact what’s best for our game. Just as an example, internally in design meetings we try our best to detach ourselves from every idea. Even if I’ve suggested something, I try my best to analyze how it might be bad. This way, I can focus on the specific idea and if it’s the correct move for the game, rather than pushing for the idea just because I thought of something I think is awesome.
Here are our thoughts on many of the bigger community discussions this past week:
- Flying unit separation radius
- We agree that when you are controlling larger numbers of air units, it’s difficult to do the moving shot micro.
- This requires a code fix, and we’re currently exploring and testing something that we can add to the beta soon.
- Making all damage points to zero for air units
- One of the reasons we don’t have a default damage point of zero is so that the timing of micro has to be mastered by players. Just making it zero will mean microing is just much easier, which is probably not the direction we want to go.
- We generally don’t make extreme changes that alter so many things at once, due to the side effects these changes can cause. Changing every single air unit’s damage point is not something we’d like to explore, but we’d be open to specific air unit damage point changes if the change makes sense.
- With a damage point of zero, a unit that is facing its target can immediately move away after being issued the attack order. With the default damage point, the player must instead time their movement to happen after the attack is performed. An example of where this is pushed even further is the Hellion, which has a higher than normal damage point. The unique timing required for this unit requires additional mastery, which makes it more impressive when pros are able to be so effective with them. Since the suggested goal of the change is to have more interesting micro, in this specific case, we wonder if what we currently have is more interesting micro than the proposed changes.
- Siege Tank /Immortal turret tracking
- This sounds like a very minor change that probably won’t have a huge impact. However, because many players believe this will be of great help, so we’ll test it fairly quickly internally, then put the change in also in the beta. So you can expect this change to go into the beta soon.
- Community resourcing model suggestion
- We also watched show matches, tried games ourselves, and we agree with the majority of you guys that it’s too similar to Heart of the Swarm. But we wanted to comment again on this because it’s still a topic discussed by some.
- Just to reiterate once more, we’re not looking to make minor tweaks in this area. We’re looking for a big change that will make sure that players will spread out their expansions at a much faster rate than they do in Heart of the Swarm.
- Currently, the resourcing model that we’re testing in the beta is doing a very good job of this.
- Ranked play in the beta
- We hear your feedback and agree that it’ll be good to enable ranked play.
- We may not be able to do this right away as we’ll need to introduce this with a client patch and can’t use the same method we use for the balance update which is done through publishing.
- Due to the feedback we’ve seen on this topic, we’ve currently scheduled to enable ranked play in the beta with the next client patch.
- Disruptor being too all-or-nothing
- We agree with you guys here. The optimal case looks too strong, and when you miss with a hit it seems like the Disruptor is killed too easily at such a high cost investment.
- We’ve been trying various things in this area for a while now, but this is where we’re at right now:
- Much lower radius (this is the biggest change + Disruptors look too underpowered right now in our testing)
- Lower cost
- Faster speed when activated
- Less delay before firing
- Overall, it looks like we have a decent solve for the case of a single hit ending games often.
- We believe the next step in this area is to test out changes that would allow players to more easily save and reuse the Disruptors. This way, we can solve the issue where a miss creates a high chance of the game being over.
We’d also like to comment on some topics that we found interesting this week. Again, please keep in mind just because we don’t mention something here, it doesn’t mean we haven’t read it. While it’s impossible to read every single post that comes up every day, we do try our best and can tell you that we read a big majority of the things you guys bring up.
- Adept micro tips video was very cool.
- It was a very good example of relaying more info on something new, so that players in the beta can better test new units.
- It would definitely be more cool to see more tips on new units videos, because we believe faster we have the majority of beta testers ramped up with new units, the more high quality beta testing we will have going forward.
There was a post asking if players want battles to last much longer. Our thoughts are that the current pace feels really good, and we were happy to see that most players didn’t want battles to last longer in StarCraft II.