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Thread: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

  1. #1

    Default GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    source - http://starcraft.incgamers.com/blog/...heroes-design/

    Rob Pardo led a panel at the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2010) to explain Blizzard's philosophies and core design desicions when developing a game, and the success and failure of some of their concept design.

    Pardo said the Starcraft II multiplayer was built first, and they didn't work on the single player until they had the multiplayer pretty much playable, with some decent level of polishing. Two years after the multiplayer reached that level of completeness they wanted, the single player development started to take shape.

    Some developers usually start the wrong way, with the single player development first, and then the multiplayer. He explained why this is a mistake from a design point of view.

    Pardo used the original Starcraft as an example to one of their failures: the Heroes (such as Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, and Fenix -- to name a few). The heroes were fragile, and players would keep them sitting at the base to avoid failing the mission.

    He mentions their design for the hero system worked as intended in Warcraft III, where the heroes are powerful, and won't die easily. Each of these heroes took the center stage throughout the single player's story and players had to take them out of the base to explore and battle any enemy.

    With this Rob Pardo is sending mixed messages. It was said some time ago that Starcraft II's hero system wouldn't be like the one designed for Warcraft III, yet this GDC 2010 panel says the original Starcraft's hero system wasn't used by players as intended, and the Warcraft III's hero system was successful in that regard. This leaves one to ponder what's the Starcraft II Team plan for heroes such as Jim Raynor, Tychus Findlay, and Nova in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Not to mention the mini Protoss campaign.

    Blizzard Quote:
    Pardo feels that Blizzard failed in this task with the original Starcraft, specifically when it came to hero units. By their nature, heroes should be the character that is the most powerful unit on the field who leads armies and can turn the tide of battle. In Starcraft, though, the hero units were fragile, especially in battles involving 50-plus units, so players ended up sheltering their hero back at their base. He said this problem was fixed in Warcraft III, though, where the hero actually was the most powerful unit, and since battle sizes were smaller and the legendary fighters could resurrect, players used them as intended. -- Gamespot
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  2. #2

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Thats exactly what I do, hahaha.
    "No, Jimmy, you can't leave the base or the Zerglings will eat you."

  3. #3

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Raise your hand if you ever lost a mission because a queen broodlinged Kerrigan.

  4. #4
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Zeratul was the only useful hero I've used.

  5. #5

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Quote Originally Posted by SoFool View Post
    With this Rob Pardo is sending mixed messages. It was said some time ago that Starcraft II's hero system wouldn't be like the one designed for Warcraft III, yet this GDC 2010 panel says the original Starcraft's hero system wasn't used by players as intended, and the Warcraft III's hero system was successful in that regard. This leaves one to ponder what's the Starcraft II Team plan for heroes such as Jim Raynor, Tychus Findlay, and Nova in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Not to mention the mini Protoss campaign.
    I can see how it might SEEM like a mixed message, but I don't think that it is. The way heroes were used in WC3 is the way Blizzard intended for heroes to be used... in WC3. I don't think they have the same plans for SC2.

    The impression I gather is that in most missions we won't be controlling a hero directly... but we can control powerful mercenary soldiers who essentially act the way SC1 heroes did. They're more powerful versions of regular troops, and don't come back once killed. Best of all, since once you purchase them they are replenished every time you start a new level, there's never a feeling of not wanting to get them into the fray... the worst that can happen is you lose their firepower/toughness/abilities for the duration of that level specifically.

    This may turn out to be the best of both worlds.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Zeratul was the only useful hero I've used.
    Kerrigan was useful too.

    As were the two Battlecruiser heroes. (Mostly because they did like 50 damage a hit...)


    The Mother of all Queens!

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  7. #7

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    I used kerrigan "ghost" to lock down protoss in the last terran mission of the original SC

  8. #8

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    well i think that the only mission were i use the hero was in the protoss mission were you fight the conclave the first time you return to Aiur, i send all my dark templars with Zeratul to destroy the nexus =P

  9. #9

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    Related news that matters: SC1 had a majority of the missions being a variation of the "Build your base and overwhelm the enemy base" style gameplay, much like the multiplayer game.

    They've confirmed in multiple interviews that the gameplay mission style will be significantly different in SC2 and that heroes (as mentioned above) will have different roles in each mission than simply a "Playable PC".

    Points that include spoilers
    Hidden Content:
    They're going to do a lot of individual new missions styles where this will be relevant, such as the train heist mission where you do your best to go within the confines of the train. Or the Zombie Apocalypse based mission where the zombies are Infested Terrans. These will provide more ways to incorporate heroes in this fashion.


    They've also mentioned that they were considering ways to prevent hero death... such as Jim Raynor when he reaches 0 health getting down on one knee in a cripples "Damn, this hurts" kinda state instead of dying in a volley of blood and guts. By this example, it looks like the origin of the issue "Hero dies = failure" has been in their mind as the issue.
    Last edited by Gifted; 03-13-2010 at 09:39 AM.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: GDC 2010: Rob Pardo regrets original Starcraft hero design

    About SC2 not using the WC3 hero system, they probably mean that they aren't the very core of your army, casting auras everywhere, and buffing all other units. That doesn't means they're going to be weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcherofAiur View Post
    Raise your hand if you ever lost a mission because a queen broodlinged Kerrigan.
    And that ever happended to you? Computer spellcasters are supposed to avoid your heroes.

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