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The Daily Blues

Alex Ziebart

Each day will take you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From Ghostcrawler's latest posts to the lowdown on StarCraft II and Diablo III, we'll keep you informed.

Ghostcrawler was on the quiet side today, but the forums were still ablaze with chatter. StarCraft II fans in particular are in for a fun information dump in the near future.

Table of Contents


Ghostcrawler on removing heals from the combat log
Mods would be able to get around it. As long as players can see how much they healed for, they'll be able to record total healing done. Ultimately, it's just information and the problem is not in the information itself as in how players interpret that information.

I think the real answer is just to keep telling players they are being short-sighted when they try and equate total healing done with best healer. Now, I will point out that when mana is more of a concern that the meters will better reflect healing done over the course of the fight and not how quickly I can spam my largest heal.

Ghostcrawler further discusses healers in PvP
Forum Poster: GC, doesn't that kind of thinking neglect the fact that the vast majority of arena teams and comps are based on how individuals can peel or cc members of the other team? arena matches should never be 3v1 at any point because out of all the specs in arena, there's always going to be at least 1 form of cc available to hold up at least one opposing player.

Ghostcrawler: Well, sure. That's why we say we don't spend just a ton of effort balancing these little one on one encounters that don't ever really happen outside of duels or world ganking (which are rarely going to be balanced since it's the most fun to gank someone lower level than you).

I think what is going on here is dps guys who think "I do dps, so I should always be able to pwn the guy who doesn't do dps," and don't stop to think about what that means if healers are that fragile.

They don't run out of mana. Healers are way too mana efficient. I've seen a Holydin heal through 680,000 damage without ever leaving combat and not dying, his partner got gibbed really early and he played around being unkillable for awhile and then got bored and left.

I think this is a case of people jumping into a thread from Bluetrackers.

To reiterate:

1) I said at some point "All things being equal, a dps should be able to kill a healer."

2) OP wondered what the context was for that statement.

3) I said the context was probably (because I don't remember) mana: meaning that all things being equal, a healer should eventually run out of mana. In other words, the way to counter a healer is to run them out of mana. It can't just be "I explode the healer with my awesome damage" because if that was true, it would mean a healer couldn't heal themselves through one attacker and would have little chance keeping themselves or a team member alive vs. 2 attackers.

4) The real take home message is that we don't put a lot of time balancing 1 v 1. The reasons are A) that there is nothing in the game that showcases 1v 1 encounters (you don't get Arena points from duels), and B) 1 v 1 balance doesn't scale well to team balance, which is showcased in Arena and BGs.

Players like to argue "If it's balanced 1 v 1 then it will be balanced for any number of participants." But that math doesn't actually work because of team synergy. The definition of synergy is that the total effect is greater than the sum of the component parts, or in other words, 1 + 1 > 2. The second you buff someone you are making both of you more powerful -- the buff is not divided by the number of recipients. Your team is more powerful than just the sum of what each of you can do individually. A 3 v 3 Arena match is fundamentally *not* a trio of 1 v 1 duels happening simultaneously.

Another way to consider it is to look at the damage done by a 10 player raid. Is a 25 player raid roughly 2.5 times that of the 10 player? No, it's probably closer to 3.5 times. It's not a linear scale. Now to be fair some of that is from fewer healers and tanks, but even that helps to support my point that you can't extrapolate upwards from 1 player and expect to have a meaningful encounter.

Right now, healers are lot less fragile than just about any other class in the game. Druids and paladins both operate with out any regard for mana at all, at present. They basically have unlimited healing resources which creates unlimited health. Pull data on how many healers have healed 400k+ damage in single arena games and you will start to get a feeling for what DPS is experiencing. At the moment, a healer beats a dps in any match up (except arms warriors) and there is very little we can do about it.

If healers were overpowered relative to dps then you would see more two healer teams. Most of the time, that's just not worth the sacrifice you make in giving up that second dps player. I wish we saw more 2 healer teams in 5s, but that's a slight tangent.

I do think mana for healers is too easy to come by and I've said that several times. Even if healers ran dry more often though, I don't think that should let a dps guy just beat a healer in every duel because "Hey, I'm dps -- I should win."


Crygil on why males play female characters
Aesthetic choices of this type are inherently subjective in nature; it isn't entirely futile to attempt to ascertain a value from this type of choice made by a group of people, but it is a very time consuming process. Instead, you should look at your own decision and ask yourself why you chose as you did. Unless, of course, you're attempting to conduct a sociological study in regard to gamers and in-game gender preference. Even then, you'd be hard-pressed to find a definitive thread in males who play games with a female character as their primary avatar. Indeed, the common thread amongst these individuals seems to be just that.

So I guess the question is, why do you feel the need to ask this question?

Nethaera gives an update on the Darrowmere realm type conversion
We have extended the realm conversion of Darrowmere from a PvP to PvE designation until Tuesday, March 16th during our regularly scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this delay may cause.

Eyonix on Dalaran's future
You can expect Dalaran to remain at its current location for the foreseeable future.

Ancilorn and the reason for rez timers
The reason is actually to discourage people from farming their own alts (on a separate account) for honor. It's super boring having to wait 2 minutes for one HK, where as if you could just insta-res your characters without any downtime, it would be too exploitable.


StarCraft II Twitter Dev Chat
We will be holding our next Developer Chat on Twitter on Friday, March 12th, at 4:00 p.m. PST with StarCraft II's Production Director and Game Director. This chat session will focus on the recently released StarCraft II beta.

Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at and follow account @StarCraft in order to participate!

To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #BlizzChat hashtag between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00p.m. PST on March 12th. Due to the character limitation on responses within Twitter, all answers will be posted on the StarCraft II forums in a dedicated thread.

Bashiok on item/class restrictions in Diablo III
Forum Poster: "Artists can't render that many animations" is a bogus excuse.

Bashiok: I don't think we've ever put that forward as the main excuse, but... well, it is the main excuse. It's not bogus though it's absolutely a true and real situation. Animation takes time. There are schedules and we have to try to set realistic goals for what we can achieve so we can try to get this game out sometime before we die of old age.

As if there wasn't already a very talented art team at work with lots of time, theres the simple moddability of a replaceable animation; you can have swinging, stabbing, etc and attach the weapon models in there. Thats basic stuff.

You're dismissively downplaying the amount of work needed to animate every weapon type. It's important to note that we aren't going to just slap on animations. We'll do it right or we won't do it. There is some overlap in weapon animations, but generally every weapon needs a full range of adaptation to the character. We can't animate a 1h sword and then equip a 1h axe and be happy with it being wielded in the same manner. In addition we don't want weapons disappearing whenever the hero does anything but a basic attack, so they have to be animated into emotes, idles, and a lot of skills and abilities. Every weapon. Some people noticed weapons disappear during some of the monk abilities. We don't like that. Most of that was due to time constraints to get that demo finished. Again there is some overlap - staves share a lot of the same animation with the other 2h weapons, but to dismiss it as "just animate it and slap it on and it works!" is seriously oversimplifying our processes. Maybe some other games do it that way.

Good news is that animation seems to be ahead of schedule, so we're working on a new definition of restrictions that's based more on class flavor than anything else. (Didn't I just post about this?) For instance we don't want anyone but the barbarian or monk dual-wielding, we don't want anyone but the witch doctor or wizard using wands, we don't want anyone but the wizard to wield orbs, fist weapons will probably only be usable by the monk, etc. etc. but other than for flavor reasons most of the restrictions are being removed.

All subject to change of course.

Thanks for your reply and attempting to explain things. Forgive me, though, but I'm not seeing your point. This would have made sense back in the days of D1 and D2 where they had to pre-render sprite combinations. But D3 uses 3D characters. You've got a 3D model for a sword, and a 3D model for a character...and the character is driven by bones and/or hierarchical the only thing needed to make a character wield a weapon is the animation keys. Using modern tools such as MotionBuilder, defining a custom animation like this could be done quickly in minutes/hours...especially if you already have a base to work with, such as mocap data, or a previously made animation for a different character which just needs to be tweaked. So I really cannot buy this as a legitimate excuse. Not in this day and age.

There are approximately 30 animations for every weapon type, for every class, for both genders. Now granted again there is some overlap but not to a degree that makes animation inconsequential.

And to reiterate, we're not going to slap things on and call it done. It's true that we could take a stave animation for the wizard and make some minor tweaks and tah-dah, 2h swords work now. But there's a process to each weapon. The animation team meets and determines how the class would wield a specific weapon, what their character imparts to the feeling and tone of the animations, and that the tone is consistent through the character. The animations tell a story about who this person is and what they're capable of.

Like, whoa...whoa...whoa....a shield is not a class specific item. A shield is something that any sane person would carry into battle, regardless of gender or class...and it's quite an unreasonable restriction if you ask me.

Bruce Lee would not use a shield, and neither would the monk.

lol, really? I thought this is Blizzard.

Being willing to take as much time as necessary is not the same as working without a plan.

I think it's jumping to an extreme conclusion to say that a few weapon restrictions will ruin build and experimentation variety. If it ruins build experimentation and variety then we'll fix it. But I think it is accurate to say that weapon restrictions will encourage trading, but more accurately to the reasons we present - build a sense of immersion with who these heroes are and the character that shows through every aspect of the way they're presented and behave.

I'm not sure barbs running around dual wielding wands is emergent gameplay we want to stomach. Or that makes anyone playing think "That's awesome! This game is awesome!" no, you're going to see a 9-foot tall behemoth running around shooting magic out of little sticks. That's not what a barbarian should be doing, build potential or not.

You say it will lower the amount of possibilities of outfitting a character, and that's obviously true, but we don't feel that the possibilities lost are so vast and substantial as to hurt character customization. If it does, we'll fix it.

We're not going to put out a game that has poor character customization because we don't like the idea of wizards running around dual wielding axes. If that makes character build potential severely limited, that's fine, we were wrong and we'll fix it. I don't think we'll be wrong though.

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