Playing through the first parts of the StarCraft II trilogy was rather inspiring. With Wings of Liberty turning into a Raynor’s love story and Heart of the Swarm revenge for the Queen of Blades, many wondered if Blizzard could deliver on their promise to return to the dark world they built in the original StarCraft and its expansion Broodwar. As I walked over to a brightly displayed sign showcasing StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, a row of computers invited me to sit down and test the waters. There was no wait, a first for me at BlizzCon, to test out the waters. A sign of the lack of interest in the final expansion of StarCraft II perhaps, but I wanted to reserve judgment until after I played one of the two campaign missions. Watching the opening sequences, listening to the dialog and navigating the Spear of Adun brought me back to the world of StarCraft but somehow it all felt better. The dialog seemed richer and more engrossing. I found myself listening deeply to what the characters were saying and I realized why the final chapter of StarCraft II could return to its grand roots. This game wasn’t going to be just about a drunken commander in James Raynor or a hell bent revenge stopping at nothing for the Queen of blades. No, the final chapter is about the Protoss and their survival.
Legacy of the Void focuses on the survival of the three races of StarCraft and the stopping of the dark one. The stakes are higher, fight to win and preserve the future of your race or die trying. There is no room for failure. The motivation for fighting goes beyond simple revenge or power and thereby makes the story that much more engrossing and compelling.
Spoiler alert for those who want to be completely surprised by the coming of Legacy of the Void but I promise to not give too much. The two playable missions from BlizzCon happen fairly early in the campaign shortly after the fall of Aiur. As you may recall Aiur is in the hands of the Zerg and Artanis calls for all the different tribes to take back their homeworld as they he leads the Golden Armada. The call to take back what rightfully belongs to them does not go ignored as Protoss from across the sector launch an all-out attack on Aiur to reclaim their home world from the savage Zerg. Not everything goes according to plan for our young executor. Through the course of unknown events, all of which will be explained in the first few campaign missions of Legacy of the Void, Artanis is his Golden Armanda are forced to flee as Amon and an army of Hybrids claim Aiur for themselves. Defeated but not destroyed, Artanis and the remaining Protoss lead the Spear of Adun lead a fight against what the Prophecy foretold. From here the two playable campaign missions are revealed from BlizzCon. Travel to Korhal to retrieve the Keystone Artifact from James Raynor (So that’s what Zertaul gave James back in Wings of Liberty) or reunite with the remaining Protoss on Shakuras.
Regardless of the mission you choose, you are given the option to choose different units to call into battle. Similar to Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void gives you choices in what units you’ll bring into battle to stop your enemies. Enjoyed the versatility of the Stalker in StarCraft II or bring back the classic Dragoon from StarCraft: Broodwar. The choice is up to you. Upon landing on the planet, or platform depending on where the mission may take you, the power of the Spear of Adun is never far behind. With the touch of a button, or mouse click as it maybe, the Spear of Adun can unleash an attack anywhere on the map or for the more tactical commander, summon a pylon to reinforce your current position with the power of Warp Gates.
Blizzard is setting up StarCraft II to be what many of us expected it to be from the beginning; an epic tale of war, betrayal and survival in space. How will the story end? Only Blizzard knows but if the two missions are any indication of what Blizzard has in store for Legacy of the Void I can tell you this, I’ll be enjoying every minute of it.
James Waugh, Director of Story Development on Legacy of the Void, opened the panel and introduced his fellow panelists. He headed straight into the topic of writing the story of Legacy of the Void. He explained the core tenets involved in constructing a Protoss campaign:
- Create a distinctly Protoss story while wrapping up the trilogy story threads
- Create an epic end times screnario for players to stand against
- Fulfill the fantasy of playing Protoss
There are also several key traits about the Protoss that the writing team wanted to capture. They’re an ancient, noble race, they have the Khala, they have high tech, and they are few in number. At Blizzard, Protoss are considered to be similar to space samurai, following strict codes of honor. The Khala is a unifying energy field that encompasses the Protoss, and themes of unification will definitely be a part of Legacy of the Void. Protoss’ high tech will definitely have the spotlight in this expansion, bringing their war machines to the forefront of battle. Because of the Protoss’ small numbers, each Protoss is a rare and precious army of one. Legacy of the Void is about a small band of fighters going against all odds.
There are five new units coming to Legacy of the Void, and Blizzard has released short summaries of each of them.
HERC – HERCs are new terran units that can be used to counter the popular zergling and baneling army composition. They’re effective at tanking damage from most protoss ground units while other allied infantry units deal heavy damage.
Along with its reveal at BlizzCon 2014, Legacy of the Void has received its own official site. On the site are the cinematic trailer for the expansion, three unit update videos, a bunch of screenshots, and some artwork, all of which can be seen on this article. Also on the site are short character biographies, some of which are for characters that have never been seen before.
A new multiplayer FPS was announced by Blizzard today by the title of Overwatch. It is a team-based objective-focused FPS that has numerous characters to play as, each with their own distinct playstyles. What we currently know of the game is that it is 6v6, that it takes place on Earth, it is coming out for PC at the very least, and it is a game that is designed to be very accessible. Two trailers for the game were shown during the BlizzCon 2014 Opening Ceremony, and you can watch them below.
For more videos and details about the game, check out the official site. Sign-ups for the beta are currently underway, so be sure to register if you're interested.
BlizzCon 2014 is fully underway, and the opening ceremony was an amazing experience. Here’s what happened and what was shown.
It began with a video, showing the origins of the Warcraft franchise and how it expanded into an MMO. From the humble beginnings of Warcraft vanilla to the widely successful World of Warcraft, the developers share their emotions and thanks for helping Warcraft become the amazing franchise that it is today.
Mike Morhaime walks in after the end of the video with a greeting: “Welcome to BlizzCon 2014!” His speech kicks off the eighth BlizzCon, and he seems very excited and filled with emotion. He makes a point to be positive, and show how great gaming and gamers can be.
Update 3: The (probably) final soundclip has been uploaded, titled "#BlizzCon". Unlike the previous three uploads, which were collections of various sound effects, "#BlizzCon" is an orchestral song that is just over one minute long.
With this latest title, the sentence becomes "See you at #BlizzCon". We hope everyone is excited; we certainly are, and we'll be providing coverage of BlizzCon events as they happen so check back regularly for updates!
Update 2: There's yet another upload to the StarCraft II Soundcloud. This time it's titled "...at..." and you can listen to it here.
This makes the third soundclip, and putting the titles together gets "See ...you... ...at..."
Update: There's another soundclip that has been uploaded, this time titled "...you..." and you can hear it here.
There's an official StarCraft II Soundcloud account that was created, with a single soundclip titled "See" with the hashtag "#SC2". With BlizzCon just around the corner, the likelihood that it's a teaser for a StarCraft-related announcement at BlizzCon 2014 is very high. Legacy of the Void, the next StarCraft II expansion, is a project that has yet to be unveiled and will most likely be revealed at this year's BlizzCon.
The BlizzCon 2014 reward portraits for StarCraft II have been unlocked for BlizzCon ticket holders. The two portraits, one of Hierarch Artanis and another of a previously unseen character named Matriarch Vorazun, are a nice little memento to have for everyone taking part in the BlizzCon experience.
Matriarch Vorazun, who has never been previously mentioned or shown, is speculated to be a central character in the upcoming StarCraft II expansion, Legacy of the Void. Judging by the character's title and picture, we can assume that she is a female Dark Templar that succeeds Matriarch Raszagal, a very important character in StarCraft: Brood War whose death haunts Zeratul's conscience. Vorazun was probably given the title of Matriarch to fill the void in leadership due to Zeratul's self-exile. We can also make a vague guess that she is relatively young for a Protoss, mainly because of the absence of certain facial features found in aged members of their species: she lacks a well-defined brow, lacks uneven "scales", and lacks sunken eye sockets common among older Protoss. Also, her portrait's inclusion as a BlizzCon 2014 reward implies that she will be revealed at some point during the event, probably along with Legacy of the Void content.
These portraits are available now for anyone that purchased BlizzCon tickets, so go have a look!