Desktop Client, The Effectiveness of CMs, A Sync Fixes Bugged Authenticators Desktop Client
The new desktop client has been tested internally for some time now. It appears that testing is nearly here, as the support site has been updated with related help articles.

Today MMO-Champion posted a huge amount of information and screenshots and you can see some of it below.

Currently only a Windows version has appeared for testing, but by the looks of the jobs page, a OS X version is in development as well. Unfortunately we are only able to see the offline mode for now, but there are a lot of features in the mockups.

Keep in mind this is not an official preview, and many, many, many things will change before release.
  • This replaces the launcher for all Blizzard games, and works similar to the current launchers, with background updates, repair tool, and more.
  • Chat with friends across every enabled game.
  • News - You can see all of the news from the various game sites in the client.
  • Store - NYI?
  • Forums - NYI?
  • Profiles - NYI?
Install and Launcher

News View



Battle.Net Client Mockups
These do not represent the final client, just a snapshot of development plans in the past. The final client will not look like this.

Client Avatars
These are likely to be the avatars that you can pick from when creating a profile.

Client Backgrounds

News Backgrounds

Misc Screenshots

Support Pages
Some of the support pages have been updated to reflect the new client: If you go to MMO-Champion's post, you can see more screenshots and a list of interesting Client Strings.

The Effectiveness of CMs
A huge discussion over whether Blizzard's Community Managers are doing a good job is at its peak on the official forums today. A number of users complained about the lack of Blue Posts where they are needed and Vaeflare addressed the players' frustrations.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

That's one issue. What about the issue that it takes sometimes 10- 20 even 30min to people to join my game. By that time most of them are leaving and I have like 5 -6 people join and quit. which make me restart the game and go solo . I made a clear thread about it . Never got any reply . I guess everyone here like to flame. So even when I post something its get ignored. then I see another person posting same thing and no reply. I mean if they see that so many players making threads about same issue, at least be nice to look at it.
We appreciate your passion, and while we spend quite a lot of our day reading over these forums and various fan sites, we can't reply to every post or thread. It's simply not practical, nor is it the best use of our time.

In many cases, we also don't have any new information to share. That isn't because we aren't aware of player feedback or don't care, it's simply because game changes and implementation take time, often many months from start to finish. There is also quite a lot that goes into determining what features or changes may or may not go into the game and sometimes these changes are iterated on behind the scenes for quite awhile before we determine if they meet our standards enough to make the cut and be released upon the lands of Sanctuary. So when we have new information to share on a particular topic, we'll do just that.

In terms of matchmaking in Public Games, as I mentioned in this thread we are indeed committed to improving it further.

Dude, they have people on here !@#$%ing at them all day. I wouldn't reply to you people either.

You wouldn't be a CM very long doing that. Why? Because it's their job to communicate to and with us. They are our liaisons with the developers. The issue is, they aren't bringing back information from the devs, only taking ours to them. Sure, we get bloated blog posts that are full of "it's something we've talked about" or "we'd like to do this" or "it's on the table", but rarely do we get any actual information of what IS happening. The community TALKS about a lot of stuff, too. Talking is easy and non-committal. The community wants to know what Blizzard is doing about issues. We're not asking for step by step measures or even technical details. We want to know something is being done other than "talking" and "thinking" and "tabling".
Perhaps it's a figure of speech that we're dancing around here then. When either the developers or the CMs say that we are "talking" about various changes, that isn't just lip service. In most cases that means that developers have already gotten together to discuss the topic as part of the development process. It also likely means they've started running numbers or trying out different changes on their internal tools, or tasked team members to assist them with the necessary steps in order to try and bring their ideas to fruition for additional evaluation and further testing.

The reality is, game development is an active and ever-evolving process that sometimes (even often) means ideas get sent back to the drawing board to be improved further. Being that as it is, we prefer to talk about the specifics surrounding topics when we feel like we have solid answers to offer you.

Perhaps the CM team could put together a long-form piece that outlines (with examples) what this "talking around the office" really is like then. Tell the story of how a real, in-game feature went from an idea to an implemented feature.

Describe the steps that have to happen in-between, whether they are technical, budgetary, artwork, writing, translation, testing, rework, - all of it. By documenting some real-life examples you can educate your customer base on how it happens. Sometimes it's best to let the customer know exactly how the sausage is made.

By opening a window to the process you could mitigate so much of the "what can they doing?" or "how hard can it be?" type of posts that bubble up constantly. Show us how hard it can be. Show us how some ideas ultimately end up rejected due to this rigor and process. Show us some successes too.

Go beyond the "it's really hard and stuff" explanations or out of context mentions of process steps and show what's behind the curtain. There's no secret formula or trade secrets here, just good old fashioned development management.
In concept, I agree that this would be an awesome idea, but in a practical sense, it's not realistic to sit down and track every step and person involved in a change, especially for ones that leverage dozens of people from multiple teams and potentially span months of time.

That said, what I can do is point you to a series of interviews called "A Day in the Life" that we put together a few years ago that might give you a better idea of what a typical day may be like here at Blizzard Entertainment for various individuals. Even then, the tasks, responsibilities, meetings, and daily topics will vary wildly day-by-day, but hopefully it offers you an interesting glimpse at the types of discussions and interactions we have behind-the-scenes.

A Sync Fixes Bugged Authenticators
If you're among the players who use authenticators there is a chance you'll encounter a problem with its functionality at some point in time. Instead of wondering whether you've been hacked or anything like this, simply sync it. Check out the other suggestions given for dealing with authenticator bugs.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I wasted a bunch of time trying to figure out why my authenticator code was not working. I thought my account was hacked. It turned out you just have to resync it by pressing the lower left button. Just wanted to give a FYI
Thanks for posting, Shoe! In addition- for those who have the mobile authenticator set up (and if you haven't done so already...), I recommend activating the SMS protect so that you can get past the authenticator if it's been desynced (like if the phone's OS or app was updated).


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