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STARCRAFT II: Arcade - WarCraft III Assets on PTR
--- SC2 mapmaking ---
Blizzard added all WarCraft III models to StarCraft II. They are available on the Public Test Realm (PTR). In addition to the WC3 models, Blizzard added a couple of improved models with higher quality. Some of them could have already been seen on BlizzCon 2013.
The update of ~600mb contains nearly all models and sounds from WarCraft III and its Expansion The Frozen Throne. This huge asset pack now makes it easier for modders to create fantasy maps or better remakes of WC3 classics. The benefit of this coming from Blizzard is that it comes directly from Blizzard.
The Chinese modder Renee aleready updated and published her own WC3 remake with these new models. It already contains nearly all models. You can test it in the PTR's Arcade on Lost Temple. There are a few bugs and missing features, but updates will surely follow in near future.
Unfortunately, this mod also shows that the engines of SC2 and WC3 are very different. Right now, it is impossible to create a map where you play as Zerg against the Undead race from WarCraft as both use the same creep implementation and there is only one creep type possible. This means that a full mix of these games is not possible. In addition to that, SC2 has no naval pathing support, so there is no easy way to add ships pathing through water to your maps.
If you play Renee's map, you might notice that the FPS of the game aren't great. The reason for that is most likely the amount of trees on a map. SC2 has no resource-efficient possibility to add a tree resulting in low FPS.
Furthermore, battle.net has an old problem of not supporting multiple races in the lobbies making it difficult to add a proper selection for a fourth or more races. But Blizzard agreed to look into this problem. This will definetly be a big benefit for extension mods which could then properly add new races with their own alert sounds and UI without workarounds that alters the UI of the other races.
If you want to check out all models yourself, here is a guide:
Alternatively, you can add the mod to your map. You can even add Renee's mod to your map as it is contains much more complete unit and spell implementations.
Blizzard stated that they want to keep the PTR up for two months before releasing the mod to the normal servers. This gives them a little bit of time to fix the biggest issues.
Blizzard's news post.
Blue Post about the PTR duration.
BROODWAR - StarEdit Rampage
--- mapmaking contest ---
Sacrieur is hosting a mapmaking contest starting on the 27th December 2014. The author of the winning map will receive a 60$ Amazon gift card. You will have one week till the 3rd of January 2015 to create and finish your submission. The theme will be revealed when the contest begins at 0:00 EST.
For more details, visit the StarEdit Rampage's Contest Thread!
Today is a little-known holiday called Thanksgiving. On behalf of the staff here at SEN, I strongly urge you to eat and drink dangerous amounts of consumables endlessly throughout the day.
We're thankful for our loyal and lazy members that make this community great and unproductive respectively.
Look at that turkey! I should be an animator.
STARCRAFT II - Patch 2.1.4
--- client update ---
Patch Notes, click to show here
A Simple Introduction
Staredit Network is celebrating it's 11-year anniversary this year, a feat most early members probably never expected to happen. Despite starting as a forum devoted to finding the secrets of the StarCraft editor (and in some cases breaking StarCraft), SEN has evolved into a much larger entity as a community and social network. It became more about forming friendships, sharing ideas, and supporting others in their endeavors, as well as ripping one another apart in heated (and ultimately futile) Serious Discussion debates. There are members who have had the chance to meet in person, have helped one another in long Skype chats, or have taken the opportunity to give sincere advice when others are in need. That is what made Staredit Network important to me.
When maintaining SEN was passed down to me, I was met with a lot of questions about how I'd save the forum or somehow make it popular again. When I agreed to take over, I can honestly say that wasn't my main concern and perhaps things would have been different if it was. Instead I was more interested in attempting to preserve what I had loved about the community and what made the community important to me. We do what we do because we value this website, the community, and the connections we've made here. Working on, maintaining, paying for, and moderating Staredit Network is very much a labor of love for us. And I'm very proud to share the next version of SEN, almost completely re-coded from scratch by Devourer.
What's New in v6?
We know there will be bugs, but we've been painstakingly squashing them for months now to bring you the most polished version of SEN we could. Of course if any new bugs are found, please post them in our new Bug Report thread as Devourer will have a better idea now how to fix them.
One of the biggest things Devourer set out to do was create a much faster and less buggy SEN. By building SEN from scratch, he's been able to accomplish that better than we would have imagined. Based on Google Pagespeed checks, the old SEN was running with a score of 19/100 with very little optimization and all sorts of errors. This new and improved SEN is running at 93/100, with the best optimization we could provide. And it works well on mobile, too!
AJAX. AJAX, Everywhere!
We've decided to lean toward full AJAX navigation. We felt this gave the navigation a much smoother feel, and allowed us to play with the idea of updating certain things in realtime. This should allow for a more fluid experience going from page to page, as well as allowing you to park on a page and not having to refresh constantly for a new notification or Shout. Of course this may also be annoying to you, so we've given you the option to disable it in your Settings.
In regards to your Settings, you may also notice that they have all been reset. This is mostly to have you re-acclimate yourself with what has changed, and make sure you prepare yourself for all the new things SEN has to offer. Keep in mind this also means your time settings have changed, so be sure to set that.
One thing to note is that thanks to AJAX, you will now find a small icon in the top left of the window that will act as a notification marker. If you receive a new PM or a new post is made in a thread you subscribe to or you are greeted with moderation, that icon will notify you of something new.
We've made a few changes to the PM system. First and foremost, PMs are no longer capped. You won't have to worry about clearing your inbox or buying more space. If you are interested in cleaning and sorting, however, we've made some new additions that would help with that. You now have the option to create new folders to store PMS, as well as create rules to help automatically sort incoming messages from certain members into specific folders. This is a very basic system for now, but should interest arise, we can explore updating and upgrading it.
The New Shoutbox
The Shoutbox is the most used feature on SEN, and therefore we've tried our best to make it the best it can be. As mentioned above, all Shouts will now post in realtime. That's perhaps the biggest and most needed update. We've also taken it a step further and allowed members to quote Shouts. Currently this system only works on the first page of the Shoutbox, though we're working on a solution to allow you to select quotes from any and all pages. We've also updated the way searches work in the Shoutbox, allowing you to find the context of a search result and jump to that Shout's exact location on a page.
You will probably also notice that all old Shouts are now gone. We will eventually be creating an old archive database of v5 Shouts for members to browse, so they aren't lost forever!
Speaking of searching, SEN's general search function now works. And hey, there's the ability to perform a quick search as well! Performing a regular search may still have a bit of a delay, but it should no longer cripple the server or cause all sorts of mySQL errors.
You may have also noticed the look of SEN has changed. We have four skins to start with, the default now being JamaL's design from so long ago. We settled on this skin because, frankly, it's simple but still looks great. When JamaL first posted it years ago, it was met with a whole lot of enthusiasm. We were equally enthusiastic to use it for v6, and show it off as the new SEN. Over time we will add more (and probably port old ones over), but as always we ask you to be patient as we do so.
The DLDB and v4 Wiki
We've also made some aesthetic changes to the DLDB and the original SENv4 wiki. The DLDB now gives you a preview of the maps with a working rating and number of downloads, in addition to a small window showing off some older and perhaps forgotten projects. The system has been remade to focus more on showing off the maps first rather than seating the small image next to a perhaps lengthy description.
The SENv4 Wiki was a fantastic resource, and unfortunately has been buried for too long. We've now made it more accessible by listing all old articles when you go to the Wiki page. We are still going to use MediaWiki for our SC1 and SC2 resources, but at least all the old work is easily accessible.
The Store and Games
The store has some minor changes, including new items being added. For the most part, the store now contains cosmetic improvements. We've added things like name glows and prefixes and suffixes (as clans have been removed), to help make your name stand out.
The Raffle has changed back to a similar system as before with a starting jackpot for a higher payout. The time between drawings has increased, however, giving more members a chance to participate for a higher reward. Ideally this should allow for more interesting raffle results, as well as prevent one or two members from raking in all those sweet sweet minerals due to lack of participation.
The Magic Boxes have also changed, though mostly aesthetically. Boxes are now revealed as they are chosen, as well as showing who chose them without having to hover over them. We've added more combinations of boxes making each reset allot an equal amount of minerals. One combination even has a massive payout box, but at the cost of more 0 boxes.
Quote from Blizzard Entertainment
We're proud to present the top ten Arcade games for our StarCraft II "Rock the Cabinet" contest. Now we need your help to nominate the final five. Check out and play the games below, and vote for your favorite in our poll.
You will find the voting poll into the link (just above) provided as the source.
On a personal note, I would like to express my disappointment in regards to not seeing Ahli's Diablo map as being part of the selected Top 10. I am, however, quite excited to see that Star Party was selected, and definitely hope it will get the First Prize.
N.B. I stole Devlin's template for the RTC contest. I am using this Nota Bene to thank and credit him for it.
Two links you might find relevant:
Quote from Blizzard Entertainment
We continue to be impressed and thankful for the tremendous amount of participation we’ve had for our Arcade contest. Words are not enough to show off the sheer volume and talent of our Arcade community, so we thought we’d share it with this visual aide.
On a personal note, I'm happy to see Ahli on the list for all the amazing work he's done with http://www.staredit.net/topic/13323/