Well, it’s more of a pipe dream or crazy idea at this point. Apollo recently announced that he was able to get Shopify to sponsor the professional scene in 1v1, but the more important part of that to me is that in the same announcement, he mentioned that he got the Blizz dev to agree to add new maps from the Map Contest in order to keep refreshing the map pool for 1v1.
This got me thinking, “Hey, if Blizz can add maps for 1v1, maybe they can also add new combinations of existing mutators to the weekly mutations!”
There’s a lot that needs to happen, and many things can fail along the way. But I’m fleshing out the process for how I can make this happen.
The two hardest parts are the ones at the top of the chart. Blizzard is very tough to get a direct line of communications to, but probably even harder to convince to do anything. This is probably the critical component to the whole process and where I need the most help from anywhere I can get.
The two boxes at the bottom are already being carried out by Maguro, and will just work itself out because of the passionate co-op community. I’m not worried about the bottom part at all.
The last two steps are simply the completion of the process. If Blizzard agrees to the setup, we simply send them the ideas. All they have to do is add the list of new mutations to the editor list, the same way they did when Monk was still with Blizzard.
Here’s how I plan for each of these to happen:
Step A1: Establish communication with Blizzard
The biggest issue I have, really, is that I have no means of directly communicating with Blizzard. But that announcement from Apollo opened up this whole idea because it gives me a small opening to get through. It’s still very very unlikely, but at least there is a visible path now.
Apollo showed in his announcement that he does have a direct line of communication to Blizzard. The plan here is to tweet @ApolloSC2 and get him to simply get me a direct line of communications to Blizzard. Nothing else, since he is busy working with ESL for other esports, so this is honestly the most he can do. I will pitch the rest of the idea to Blizzard if I ever get the communication line.
I’m already drafting the tweet, and looking for feedback on the community to make it simple, but convincing. This is its current draft state:
I’m trying to establish three things here:
- Co-Op is a big part of Starcraft 2 and it needs new content
- I’m fully aware of the situation and want Blizz only to implement the very easiest kind of new content, for the least effort.
- All I need from Apollo is to get me a direct line to Blizz, and I’ll do the rest.
You guys are free to help me out if you have a better way of wording this in the 280-character limit.
Currently, I have 80 followers on [my Twitter], so it’s gonna be very tricky to get a guy with 55k followers to even notice. I’ve talked about the idea to guys like Lowko, Nathanias, Harstem, Upatreezelda, and others; who are also interested in new co-op content. Maybe if I can get some of them to retweet me, I’d stand a bigger chance of getting noticed? It’s still gonna be very difficult, but this is the only shot I see at the moment.
If you guys have an alternative proposal for how to get Blizzard’s attention, or if you happen to know the Blizzard developer who works on Starcraft 2; I’m all ears. Let me know by replying down below!
If this works out, I imagine I would have either e-mails or a Discord chat with the Blizzard employee who works on Starcraft 2. And this will begin probably the hardest part of the whole process.
Step A2: Get Blizz to add mutations
I talked to someone briefly about my plan, and he wasn’t optimistic at all. From what he said, it seems that he himself tried to get Blizzard to add new mutations, but they declined. Apparently, the only reason Blizzard agreed to do the maps thing is because they were contractually obligated to help ESL with the tournaments. Meaning they’re basically a large boulder which needed the industrial crane power of the law to get them to do anything.
My plan to move this boulder without heavy legal machinery is to use lots and lots of grease. Basically, the community has to do all the work for Blizz in brainstorming the mutations, testing the mutations, and filtering them for the most fun ones. But I’ve already planned for that. The only thing Blizzard would have to do at this point is trust me [or someone from the community] enough to just take the list of mutation challenges as they are, and then code them into the game to release every few months, like what Monk did when he was still with Blizzard.
I honestly don’t know how messy or clean the code for Starcraft 2 is to work with, so depending on that, just getting the mutations to go live might be even trickier for Blizzard, so maybe we have to go down to even the code level when we submit mutation challenge ideas, just to ease the work even more on Blizzard’s side.
I also need a ton of help on this, since I’ve never been great at convincing other people. Do we by any chance have anyone here who can speak the language of game devs, who can help explain the situation that will help win Blizzard over? Would love to know.
This is probably gonna take a bit of back and forth with Blizzard-- if I even get here, and I could honestly use all the help I can get from anyone. BUT! If it works out, the rest should be super simple in comparison!
Step B1: Compile mutation ideas from the community
As I mentioned above, Maguro is already doing this step, and I imagine it will get easier if Blizzard agrees with the proposal, just because interest for getting your mutations into the rotation would keep the community motivated. I can probably help out here by creating a form of some sort, or having some form of submission system via Google Forms, or maybe have a post on my Youtube channel, or a separate channel on [my Discord].
The idea here is we need to make this as easy as possible for Blizzard, so new mutators are out of the question. All we can do is combine existing mutators in new and interesting ways. And honestly, even on my own I can do this. Just get someone to sit in the game with me and roll a bunch of Brutal+4’s and Brutal+3’s until I get some interesting stuff, and like write them on a Notepad file or something.
This is probably where I need the least help at the moment, but probably the area where I’ll get the most volunteers, funnily enough.
Step B2: Test the ideas and filter for the best mutations
This one is more work, but I can actually help out a lot with this. The simplest filter, of course, is to make sure the challenges don’t exceed 3 mutators. That can be done by limiting the submission forms to 3 mutator spaces. The next most obvious one is to remove duplicates, which I imagine we’ll get a lot of once more people start submitting ideas. And also a filter for mutators that don’t exist. But yeah, Maguro’s current system already does all of those, so we’re good there.
For the actual testing, UpATreeZelda has even volunteered to sometimes help with testing some of the combinations. I can also feature some of these combinations on my own channel as casual testing. Testing will also have to be with commanders who are considered less good, and see how they fare on the mutation ideas.
Currently I’m not actually sure how the approved mutations are actually selected. I imagine it’s just up to a small group of people to vote? Maybe the testers just decide separately for each mutation? Might have to be made more rigorous, like have at least 3 independent testers vote on the mutations to confirm them, since we’ll want this to be approved by Blizzard.
Maybe even have a 5-star scoring system for the mutation challenges and have a threshold for being approved. For example, it has to average 3.5 stars out of 5 to be approved as a mutation for submission to Blizzard. But again, this is the easy part. Just get enough experienced testers to go through the mutation challenges.
Ye if you have years of experience with co-op mutations and are able to beat all the brutal mutations using different commanders, we can probably use your experience.
Step 3: Submit best mutation ideas to Blizzard
This one is pretty straightforward. On the compilation of ideas, we just maybe e-mail them or something to the contact at Blizzard. If they want to go full plug-and-play, maybe we can help out on that end too if they are willing to provide the syntax for entering the mutation codes [extremely unlikely]. I can handle this one on my own. I just need to regularly send the mutation sets in time, or we’ll get Train of the Dead over and over.
Step 4: Blizzard to add mutations to the rotation
This part will be on Blizzard. Ideally, we want to make this as simple as possible. As I mentioned above, if I can get the syntax to input mutation code into the system, I’d format everything so all Blizz has to do is copy paste. Of course, this all depends on how much Blizzard is willing to share via e-mail.
Not sure if anyone can help here. Maybe someone who’s familiar with how Blizzard’s games work? Maybe a programmer? Maybe someone who spends time in the map editor? The kind of help I can get here will also help with Step A2 since it could make it easy enough for Blizzard to get us some new mutations.
Overall, there are many points of failure in this idea. And as many have pointed out, this is unlikely to go through. However, this is the best shot I see right now of forcing new co-op content to go through. And it’s not that much risk, to be honest. Worst case scenario, Apollo ignores me and life goes on. I still do co-op videos and posts, and we still go through the existing rotation.
If anyone has better ideas for how to go about this, I would love some input.