Note from former DS/DH admin and Fish operator SEBUNS:
Hello, I'm translating this on behalf of fish_radio. Blizzard Korea is very disrespectful to the entire community.
This has been an issue for quite a while. Many of us disagreed on posting this given how valuable StarCraft is to us, but in light of recent issues we agreed it was time to say something to the foreign community.
For more, please contact me (SEBUNS*Op) on KakaoTalk, ID gc1999
If you want to talk to fish_radio, DM him on TeamLiquid for the ID fish_radio.
This will not be posted to the Korean community, but we're sure it'll make its way there somehow.
It has been a few months since I've talked about the background of the Korean StarCraft, and almost six months since SC:R was officially released. For almost fifteen years Fish Server served as the ultimate gaming platform to Koreans, who have recently been forced to Blizzard servers, or iCCup. Neither of these are ideal for several reasons, but we've heard that echo chamber long enough so do some research if you aren't already informed as to why.
Contrary to popular belief, StarCraft 1.16.1 with Fish Server was what most would consider stagnant for the last two years of its existence. The player base was always rising, but not enough for it to really matter. Even so, the player base was strong. The remaster was supposed to take a very old product propped up by the community, and provide basic but extremely important features. The deal was simple and acceptable; pay fifteen dollars, get the remaster. Sweet. Realistically speaking, only an idiot would complain about paying fifteen dollars for an overhaul of a game known to have horrible code. Sadly, this didn't turn out to be the case. Licensing fees, tournament fees, online-only restrictions, and bugginess continue to plague the remastered copy of the game.
Fish served no purpose after the remaster. Despite having clan features, channel features, icons, a point system, and more, it simply was no match for the 1v1 matchmaking system. With the ad panel removed, Fish had no income. Blizzard didn't mention the ad panel from the closed beta was going to be removed upon release. You know, the one that advertised the release date of the remaster. Fish was entirely non-profit and paid for out of pocket. We accepted no donations and did our best to provide the ultimate StarCraft experience. Blizzard did not include Fish in the matchmaking system nor did they provide Fish with any funding whatsoever.
Despite a very buggy release, Fish had high hopes for the game to grow on its own and shut down due to poor funding, lack of assistance from Blizzard, and a 1.16.1 server running on a (moderately) updated network that was closed source and never seen by the admins.
After seeing all sorts of issues on the remastered client like hackers and frequent crashes, some Koreans started going back to 1.16.1 using iCCup, CYaRon, and DragonHeart (DragonSquare). DH/DS shut down, as the player base did not justify the server's existence. CYaRon is an old clone of Fish with a very small player base. Koreans on iCCup are having trouble finding games, which hurts the foreign scene as well because the Join list is filled with Korean titles.
It is now 2018 and the StarCraft player base is shrinking. StarCraft's big draw before the remaster was how the community powered the game. Without being at the mercy of a corporation, StarCraft was free to be whatever the players wanted it to be. Blizzard has added too many fees for unknown LAN tournaments to start. The tournament licensing fee imposed by Blizzard on AfreecaTV has driven many sponsors away.
Us developers can't help but wonder why Blizzard thought an iron grip on the community was a good idea when before the release, they said SCR was going to be released and left at the mercy of the community. Blizzard told us it would only be touched if it needed updates in the far future. It has now been 160 days since the release of StarCraft Remastered. Many of us have quit altogether in frustration.
Patch 1.21.2 was just released...
- No 2v2 ladder
- No 3v3 ladder
- No 4v4 ladder
- No clan system
- No ranks
- Hackers are back
- No sign of custom server support
- No acknowledgement of critical security issues devs have repeatedly reported
- Random lag, even with Koreans in the same city
- Lots of crashes
There's much more I can add to this list. StarCraft Remastered is starting to feel like a cash grab. Support and popularity for the game is dropping fast, even on AfreecaTV where StarCraft was once considered invincible.
To make things worse, Blizzard Korea is horrible. Not only were our concerns and complaints ignored, but Blizzard Korea swore at us and told us to just play something else if we're so unhappy. We were sworn at then later removed from the Blizzard Korea chat on Skype. Blizzard Korea is also infamous for censoring and calling out users on the Korean Blizzard forums, sometimes with stickied posts giving personal information of users they don't like.
Me, SEBUNS, and other developers hope to receive some sort of acknowledgement from Blizzard. TeamLiquid is the last place we can ask for help. We can't grow a game that's out of our control. StarCraft needs a different approach as a game, a program, and a sport.
Thank you for reading this. I ask with the utmost respect that all replies are constructive. Please no one liners about Blizzard being evil or something.