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Welcome to issue 32 of the Legacy Weekly! This issue emphasizes the creative minds of the StarCraft community. Also, SaharaDrac has assembled a Plays of the Week piece that covers the recent IEM tournament. The opening is especially catchy!

We published an editorial, by Crota, that explains the vespene gas mechanics.

Ever find yourself getting gas-locked during competitive play? This little guide will show you how to look at the numbers behind your build orders. High level players use this technique to maximize their efficiency, and you can too.

You can read the article here.

StarCraft: Legacy’s Custom Unit Contest has ended, and we are really pleased with the general enthusiasm of the community when creating their entries. Remember, the Melee Map Contest is still running with a deadline that’s closing in fast. Submit your contest entries before the fourth of September in order to be eligible as a winner.

Blizzard is showcasing an art exhibition of more than 700 pieces in the Museum of Contemporary Arts at Taiwan. Kotaku announced his over-seas event recently.

The heavy critique of the fans on the South East Asia server has influenced Blizzard to open the locks between North American servers and SEA servers. Fans all around the world have expressed their concern regarding region locking in StarCraft II.

Bashiok, a Blizzard community manager, has also stated that they will not base their content patches on the feedback of the first weeks after launch. The main reason for this decision is that StarCraft II players are still developing tactics and finding new ways to use units. There appears to be differences in the meta game on different servers.

Some fans argue that the Zerg are too weak, but GlaDe, the the most highly ranked player on the South East Asia server, disagrees. GlaDe plays as Zerg in StarCraft II, and he's willing to answer a series of questions from the community.

 

“My Life for Aiur” is an illustration created by LuneCheetah. The style of this artwork aids the legendary atmosphere of the Dark Templar, for it diffuses them in the shadows.

“Wings of Liberty” was the title given to the reaper created by StormTitan. The clouds and smoke share the same texture effect, and they freeze the moment when the Reaper flies out of the clouds.

Many skilled artists have started to show what they have planned for the StarCraft universe. Some of them have never created StarCraft related artwork before. Dainisse, StormTitan, LuneCheetah and t2100ex9 are a few of these fresh artists from Deviant Art.

The following video by Dainisse shows the making of a Zergling illustration with a great mimic of Blizzard’s art style:

 

 

Read through the current hot topics at the StarCraft: Legacy Forums and discuss your point of view on each of the topics. MTV sprouted a recent discussion surrounding a byte of information related to “Heart of the Swarm”, the first expansion (second release) for StarCraft II. Finally, Andrew from the North America Battle.net Forums recently posted a critique of StarCraft II. Members from StarCraft: Legacy haved mentioned that this critique is either fantastic or quite deficient. Be part of this debate and choose a side to support.


Welcome to issue 31 of the Legacy Weekly! This is the first issue since the release of the Wings of Liberty campaign. Enjoy!

Interested on keeping the best arsenal in town? StarCraft Legacy is offering a series of contests that will give you the chance to obtain the top gear for gaming. Create your very own Protoss, Terran or Zerg unit concept and get a chance to play StarCraft II with Razer’s gaming hardware. As well, feel free to design your very own “Scenario of War” in StarCraft Legacy’s mapping contest. The prize for the best map will be our own favorite video card, the Nvidia EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB). We love this video card, and you can read StarCraft Legacy’s own review on it and its 1GB sister card.

We recently analyzed the first volume of the manga series, Ghost Academy. If you don’t plan on reading it, plunge into our spoiler-crowded article.

It just seems that StarCraft II was released yesterday, but a month has passed since its launch. Around the world, StarCraft fans rush through the campaign achievements or try to join the ranks of the top melee players on their servers.

Since release, Blizzard has updated StarCraft II with small patches that have resolved achievement issues. The first content patch is still under the cloak of Blizzard Entertainment. Players wait for the infamous “Void Ray Fazing” issue and other balance concerns to be addressed in upcoming patches.

Meanwhile, getting a BlizzCon 2010 ticket is out of many people’s hands. The tickets for this annual event were sold within an hour of sales being opened. Yet, Blizzard gives their fans one of the last chances to attend BlizzCon this year. Blizzard recently announced their UMS map contest. This contest offers three major prizes for the best custom maps. An all-inclusive trip to BlizzCon 2010 in Anaheim California and $5,000 US are the prizes for each of the three qualifiers. These prizes are enough of an incentive to get your mapping skills back into top priority.

As we all share the joy of StarCraft II, Blizzard and the artist community group “Sons of the Storm” pay tribute to Michel Koiter. He was one of the twin brothers of the art group “Twincrusier,” and he passed away in 2004. Michel was honored in the Wings of Liberty cinematic “Worth the Fight” where he was a fallen crew member of Raynor Riders. The close relationship between Blizzard employees gave them the power to make one of the most badass memorials ever. You can read the memorial article written by his brother here.

Lastly, Blizzard stated that they will grant every player a free character name change. Subsequently, the name change feature will become a premium service:

We wanted to let everyone know that in the near future we’ll be allowing everyone a chance to change their chosen StarCraft II character name for free.

In some cases, people chose character names that don’t represent their usual multiplayer nicknames, as they were unaware of how the character names were being used. It’s important to us that everyone is represented by a name of their choosing in their multiplayer games, ladders, and on the forums and community site.

In addition, beyond this initial free name change, we’ll be launching a service similar to the one we offer for World of Warcraft which will allow additional character name changes for a fee. We'll announce more details on how the free name change and additional paid character name changes will be implemented in the near future.

This artwork was created by Deviant Art user t2100ex9. It is the first StarCraft-themed piece that he has illustrated.

StarCraft Legacy has linked StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty reviews from all around community into a single news post.

StarCraft Legacy’s community has its own hot topics. Join the discussions or vote in our polls. Currently, the front page poll asks, “On what difficulty did you play the Wings of Liberty single player campaign?” If you visit the forum, be warned that you might encounter storyline spoilers because spoiler tags have been lifted.

You can discuss WoL's final scene here. You can predict and speculate about HotS here. Finally, browse the North American ladder thread here.

Finally, this a YouTube video featuring College Humor. It provides a general viewpoint of the casual StarCraft commander.

 

 

Vitals

Map: Storm of the Imperial Sanctum
Creator: ekcolnovkol
Players: 5v5
Map Type: Aeon of Strife / DotA
Length: 15-60 minutes
URL: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/storm-imperial-sanctum/
Reviewed by: asfastasican

Description

Storm of the Imperial Sanctum (referred to as Sanctum) is StarCraft II’s first, bold attempt at creating a worthy successor to Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Sanctum is a map where you have two teams with bases located on opposing sides of the map, and every player selects a unique hero unit to control as their avatar. Both teams fight down three lanes with friendly NPC units, and they clash with the other team along the way. As the army units die around them, each player gains experience and minerals from participating in the action. Your hero will level up, get better stats, get new abilities and upgrade them. You spend your minerals on items and equipment to make your hero stronger. As players kill each other, they take each other’s minerals. Dead players respawn after periods of downtime, and teams will try to gain the upper hand while pushing down the lanes and destroying the enemy’s defensive towers. Victory is achieved when one team is able to push back the enemy into their base and kill their main building.

The loading screen in all of its generic glory!

Review (History Lesson Included!)

We’ll likely cover this map frequently, for, seeing as though many see it as StarCraft II’s official DotA, we’ll be expecting this map to evolve over long periods of time. Think of this review as my first impressions of Sanctum and less of an actual review. It wouldn’t be fair if we took only one look at such an ambitious project and then determine its worth merely a month or two after StarCraft II’s release! Be prepared for quite a history lesson in DotA-type maps as well.

Say hello to Molgloo Grunty, the Murloc space marine! He’s a pretty good roamer, meaning he’s built to spend most of his time running around the map while ganking enemies.

Sanctum is a map that has its roots in the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) or “DotA Clone” genre. Several stand-alone games and mods/maps alike have tried to build upon this newfound genre ever since it evolved from the AoS (Aeon of Strife) type maps of the distant past. AoS (which was also a reference to a fictional period in StarCraft lore where the Protoss tribes fought against each other in civil war) was a simple map with 1-3 lanes between two enemy bases. Players would select various types of Warcraft III heroes and run down these lanes fighting in a small war against two factions.

Meet Garamond Singsprocket, the little MULE that could!

This style of map was fun and refreshing from other maps of that time, and there were many variations of these maps created by many different mapmakers. It’s hard to say who started everything from scratch, but it’s safe to say that AoS was pretty fun even in its infant stages. It had a certain appeal where you felt satisfaction as your hero got stronger and as you proved your dominance over the other guy doing the same thing. It was a different kind of satisfaction compared to the satisfaction you got from leveling up in a RPG or other custom maps. The rounds were quicker, the replayability was definitely apparent, and there was a strong PvP aspect to these maps as well.

Garamond attacks with his targeting lazer while his automated SCVs and his two missile-type attacks do even more damage!

DotA was born from a series of maps that refined these AoS maps. The original DotA maps had a different, yet similar style, where “jungles” were introduced in the empty spaces between the lanes you fought in. The heroes that were created were more interesting and original, creeps in the jungles added more killing fun to the game, and the items had a lot more thought put into them. Having a more refined item system introduced more strategy to the game beyond simply getting life steal items or giving your character more stat points. Later on, Eul created Defense of the Ancients. DotA was an refined version of AoS where competition and aggressive play was further rewarded. As time went on, Guinsoo took what Eul created and further developed it as DotA Allstars. After Guinsoo’s Allstars map grew in popularity over many years, Icefrog took over, and he still develops the map until the present day.

One objective of Sanctum is to destroy the enemy’s defensive towers and push your way towards the enemy’s base.

Why bother to learn about this genre’s history? Well, the whole point of giving you a more in-depth understanding of the game’s origins is to point out that Sanctum has very big shoes to fill. We’re talking clown sized shoes here, people! DotA Allstars was what I would call the second coming of Counter-Strike. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twelve years, you’ve probably heard of a little shooter game called Counter-Strike. It’s a game that actually became more popular than the original game (Half-Life) it was based on! Imagine if your game company made a smash hit, “Game of the Year” title. Now, imagine how you would feel if your game found itself overshadowed by one of its own mods very early on and for the rest of the game’s entire life? You would probably be as dumbfounded and excited, simultaneously, as Valve was about Counterstrike.

The item menus pop up where you are in the base or next to a shop.

There came a time where DotA Allstars actually became more popular than WarCraft III’s melee ladder was. The map was continuously updated by fans and for the fans, which resulted in the map being played for a great many years. It has remained popular and loved by many players across the world. During the past two years, a handful of new game developers have developed their own stand-alone games, Heroes of Newerth, which are similar to DotA Allstars, and they have since become relatively successful franchises.

The Vernal Inhibitor (a.k.a Power Trends/Steam Boots/ Berserker’s Greaves) is an item that increases your attack speed and movement speed while giving you decent regen effects.

Demigod was the first DotA clone to be released. Unfortunately, it ultimately ended up being a failure, seeing as the game was plagued by extensive piracy and was a victim of its own horribly written netcode. League of Legends was later released by Riot Games, a company founded by Guinsoo himself after he left DotA Allstars and had supposedly disappeared into obscurity. Finally, Heroes of Newerth was released by S2 Games, the European game developer that had made hybrid genre (FPS+RPG+RTS) Savage and Savage 2 during the past half-decade. Most of these new games, along with the original DotA Allstars, are played by many gamers all over the world, and many more players are being introduced the MOBA genre now as we speak.

Zerg Symbiosis (a.k.a Mask of Death/Hungry Spirit/ Vampiric Scepter) is your basic life steal item if you want to gain life back while attacking your enemies.

Now, as for Storm of the Imperial Sanctum, the map sports a healthy selection of unique heroes that have cool abilities and special, custom-made effects. It basically has the same foundation all of these previous games have, and it achieves its goal of being a SCII DotA clone. In one of my games, I played Garamond, who is a durable version of a Terran MULE with special abilities. Garamond deals ranged damage to his targets by using a lazer. He also sends out pet SCV drones to deal additional damage to his targets and casts spells against his enemies as well. As I played him, I tried my best to push down a lane and take out my enemies with the help of my allies.

The Ironforge Beacon (similar to a Necronomicon or a Puzzle Box) is one out of many beacon items in SotIS. These items give stats and allow you to summon mercenary units by your side and help fight the good fight.

I also spent a lot of my time at the base exploring the in-game GUI and tried to sift through all of the item purchase menus. The menus and interfaces that pop up serve their intended purpose by relaying information about what items do, what items combine into other items, and allowing you to buy these items by simply clicking on them. Items that you purchase automatically buff your hero, and there is a very small window from which you can activate items that has additional abilities with cooldowns. The secret shop, where more powerful items can be purchased, is located near the center of the map on the west side.

The secret shop!

There are creeps on the map with respawn timers, and you get money for attaining the killing-blow on enemy minions just like in DotA. You also can kill enemy heroes to get minerals just as you can in DotA. However, there are a couple of new concepts that DotA does not have. In DotA, players can travel the river that flows through the center of the map and grab runes (power-ups) that temporarily buff your hero for a short period of time. In Sanctum, you instead gain control of a random temporary unit that you can use to fight enemies and destroy their minions and buildings.

You can gain control of Rune Creeps by grabbing them as they spawn along the river.

There are also items in Sanctum that can summon mercenary units to your side to help take out your enemies. One of Sanctum’s other key features are the unit types. Armored, Biological, and Psionic units counter each other in different ways, meaning that this system is reminiscent to WarCraft III’s armor system and also to its Strength/Agility/Intelligence hero system. Some things never change though, seeing as that Sanctum still has a big super creep like Roshan from DotA. The super creep named Aeon stands tall near the center of the map. Either team can move in and try to take him down for additional rewards.

Bigger and badder than the likes of Roshan, Kongor or even Baron Nashor, Aeon stands ready to curbstomp your team and prove to you that he is this genre’s true and only god!

Criticisms

Where does that leave Storm of the Imperial Sanctum as of this moment? Well, as things are right now, Sanctum is in its infant stages and it doesn’t really hold its own against what League of Legends and HoN have to offer. Some of you may not appreciate me comparing a map like Sanctum to games that have been created by full fledged development teams, but I feel it is valid to do so. In my eyes, it’s valid to compare them alongside each other, seeing as that these other games are the only few in the entire genre. I not only believe it is valid to compare Sanctum to sophisticated games like HoN that are in the same genre, but I also believe it is justified simply because League of Legends is free to play and is funded by microtransactions. To pick up StarCraft II in hopes of playing the next and best version of DotA is and will be a huge let down for WarCraft III fans. You will pay $60 dollars for StarCraft II when instead you could pay $30 for HoN or a bare minimum of $0 for LoL. Whether you like it or not, these other two DotA clones are competition for Sanctum.

Once you take out the front entrances to the enemy base, you not only make your forces stronger, but you also disable the main enemy building’s shields. Destroy it and you win the round!

Sanctum is, in fact, a DotA variant. Make no mistake about that. I’m not even saying this map falls short of expectations or that its creators are to blame for it not being perfect or awe-inspiring. Most of the blame generated by perfectionists like me will be placed on the shoulders of the Starcraft II devs themselves. Firstly, the lag when playing custom maps like Sanctum will prevent this map and many other maps from being enjoyable to play, or it will at least kill any expectations of these maps from ever being played competitively . Secondly, the creators of Sanctum have to use graphics, units and assets from what Blizzard has given them, which is mostly space themed units and random pieces of terrain supplemented with a customizable lighting system.

Some effects in Sanctum are flashy and fun, while others like this aura aren’t as easy on the eyes.

Sanctum, in its current state, is very dark, and the map itself has extremely poor readability. New players and veterans alike will have a very hard time focusing their attention on units and the playing space. Even other attempts at creating SC2 DotA like E.P.I.C. have better readability. When you compare Sanctum to a game like League of Legends, it’s literally like contrasting between night and day. LoL features a bright color palette, great character detail, and exceptional art design. Clicking and targeting units in Sanctum can sometimes be difficult because of current unit sizes and model scaling. Players that will try Sanctum may be turned off by how the map feels or looks when they play it. This effect on a player is subtle and may not be directly realized at first, but it could easily affect the player’s feelings and first impressions. If anything, the only thing you can blame Sanctum’s creators is its dark terrain, but they are still limited by what Blizzard has given them within a short period of time.

Can you see where I’m going around this dark swamp? Because I can’t!

Conclusion

There are other little things about this map that can be nitpicked, such as the lack of synergy between some of the heroes’ abilities, but the game has just been released, so we can’t expect so much within a short period of time. I did enjoy playing Sanctum, and I hope to return back to it soon to see it after matures. This is exactly why I plan on returning to Sanctum to give it a second review when its creators refine the map’s look and gameplay. Time will gradually change the game’s balance and make the game more fun. The effort that this map’s creators have put into it has already warranted at least a second review from guys like me. We promise to deliver further coverage as long as Sanctum grows and develops a small community that is alive and kicking. And yes, I personally promise you guys that if I do it next time, I won’t include another exciting history lesson that strangely resembles a boring wall of text!

Welcome to the first ever StarCraft: Legacy Strategy newsletter!  We have gathered a team of thinkers, strategists, and ladder junkies to bring you tips and methods to enhance your gameplay in StarCraft 2's Multiplayer.  For the next nine weeks, we will be focusing on a single, different matchup, analyzing it, and providing you with video highlights, tips, build orders, and strategies.  Our first newsletter will be covering a somewhat unexplored and fun matchup: Protoss vs. Zerg!

Protoss vs. Zerg: A Matchup Overview by Siraz 

Video by SaharaDrac 

Build Order Guide by Dejai 

Map Review by Hammy 

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Enter the Legacy Weekly - Ghosts in Our Pasts Edition.

SC:L Summary

What have the zany fellows over at StarCraft: Legacy been up to, anyways!?  Thoe short answer? Not a whole lot on the exclusives front! But that's excusbale, because there has been a veritable torrent (yes, it was a word before "bit" got stuck in front of it) of news coming from Blizzard regarding StarCraft II as we are on the verge of the big release. You may have even missed some, there's been so darn much. Make sure you check the front page of sclegacy.com for all the news, big and small!

Blizzard News

Some video game for nerds is coming out this week or something. I dunno.

Also, the final unlock for the "Join the Dominion" campaign has been revealed! If you haven't yet, make sure to check out the "Ghosts of the Past" StarCraft II Launch trailer. The news is on the front page and you can also view it on the official Blizzard STarCRaft II website. 

Fan Art

 

 

 

This weeks Fan Art comes to us from BEN_BEN_BEN, via his DeviantArt page.

Community News

One of our members, GnaReffotsirk, is developing an campaign for StarCraft II named StarCraft: Survivors. The campaign will include an amazing in-game cinematic, made entirely in the StarCraft II Galaxy Editor. You can discuss the cinematic in our forums.

 

 

 

The three following videos is of a girl called Soe, who have published some videos of herself drawing two StarCraft art pieces and molding one StarCraft clay figure.

 
Zealot

 
Hydralisk

 

 


Clay Hydralisk

We have two major discussion topics in our forums that we feel are important to discuss, and we'd very much like you to follow and contribute to them.

Plays Of The Week

 

 

Custom Map Review

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Matchmaking

Creator: Progammer

Players: Single Player (Multiplayer Coming Soon) 

Map Type: Micro Map

Length: 10-30 minutes

URL: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/matchmaking-game/

Latest Version: v0.1c (http://static.sc2mapster.com/content/files/436/133/matchmaking_demo_localized.SC2Map)

Reviewed by: asfastasican

 

Description: Matchmaking is a spinoff of the entire “Micro” custom map genre where you control a small number of units and effectively kill an opposing force without getting wiped out. As you command a few fighters and micro them individually, you are expected to overcome challenges or larger enemy forces that a simple attack move won’t handle. The Matchmaking game is your typical micro map that comes with an interesting twist. Before each round begins, you play a short puzzle game and your performance in the mini-game decides what kind of units you will bring into battle and how many of them you will have.


The AI just got MicrOWNED!
The AI just got MicrOWNED!

 

Review: As some of you may have realized, it has become harder to select custom maps for reviews, both popular and not. Since the StarCraft 2 beta servers are still down, we have been playing a handful of more single-player orientated maps. Fortunately for us, a good number of these single player maps aren’t boring and can still bring a smile to our faces during this multiplayer drought.


The Main Menu...
The Main Menu...

 

Matchmaking is the perfect candidate for a singleplayer map review, simply because Micro themed maps have always been predominately single player for as long as can remember during the past decade. In Matchmaking, you first select what mode you want to play, then play a short puzzle minigame before the round, eventually participate in that round and finally move on to the next if you happen to defeat the enemy forces.


See what you’re up against.
See what you’re up against.

 

Every round begins with a preview of the enemy forces you will be pitted against. After the quick preview, you are shown a puzzle where you are presented with a square box of various unit portraits. These boxes will remind of other like-minded puzzle games such as Bejeweled, but how it plays itself out is somewhat unique. You are given a number of turns, in which you select pairs of matching units. The objective is to select matching units that are located as far from each other as possible, because if you make longer connections, you will receive a larger number of that unit at the beginning of the micro phase. After you make a connection, those two selected tiles disappear and you’ll continue to choose connecting pairs until you run out of turns and the micro phase begins.


I made a long connection between two Zealots at both corners, which rewarded me with 4 Zealots
I made a long connection between two Zealots at both corners, which rewarded me with 4 Zealots!

 

When the arena appears, the collection of units you earned during the puzzle phase will spawn on the map in one big lump. You must immediately reposition your forces and decide whether to attack beyond the line of brush in the center or ready your defense against the opposing AI-controlled group. Having good micro and some unit composition strategy are both key as you try to beat every level. If you command your forces poorly, you will lose even if you completed the puzzle like a pro and have a buttload of units. On the flip side, if you make very short connections during the puzzle phase, you will lose even if you have 400 APM micro’ing your units, because you will be put up against vastly superior numbers.


Queuing orders, focus firing, repositioning and having flat-out good micro will win the fight.
Queuing orders, focus firing, repositioning and having flat-out good micro will win the fight.

 

The key to completing every level is to have a healthy balance between generating a sufficient number of units and managing those units effectively. Level 3 is where the game begins to get harder, while a couple of the later levels (one being the final level) are real doozies.


You won’t get many units like Phoenixes and flyers even if you make long connections, so go long or go home!
You won’t get many units like Phoenixes and flyers even if you make long connections, so go long or go home!

 

Criticisms: As with numerous other StarCraft 2 custom maps that have been created during the beta phase, Matchmaking is strictly a demo map as it is now. It only has a single player mode where you fight the computer and try to generate a high score (displayed via your mineral count.) You can also skip to levels that you have already reached via the start screen. The puzzle and micro phases play out well, but the map can really use additional game-play modes, more than it can use design and balance suggestions at the moment. Fortunately for the author, the community has already provided a number of suggestions to improve on this map’s concept. Some of these suggestions include number tweaks, different puzzle game modes to spice up the experience and also suggestions how minerals and points could be used to help a player deal with upcoming levels as the game progresses.


Ahah! 30 Zerglings!
Ahah! 30 Zerglings!

 

Conclusion: If Progammer caters to his fans and follows their suggestions, I’m sure he will improve on this map rather easily and other Micro mapmakers will be influence by his creation. Matchmaking reminds me of how other map genres have been heavily influenced by adding quirky mini games and puzzles to better the genre as a whole. Skibi’s TD from the WC3 era changed how players looked at tower defense and the couple that made that particular mp eventually had it published as an official Blizzard custom map. Thanks to Progammer and other mapmakers’ ingenuity, we will be able to harness the power of SC2’s editor and be able to expand on existing map genres in a big way. Keep an eye out on this guy and his updates of Matchmaking as he churns them out.

End

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Hello again, and welcome to Legacy Weekly #29. We made Snickerdoodles, and there's lemonade over there on the table. You look really good in that dress, by the way. Seriously, you don't even look like a guy. Well, you do, but that's OK, because we have plenty of community comings and goings, superfluous Blizzard news bits, Fan art, and of course, the rabidly popular Plays of the Week! So read on, intrepid traveler, look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

SC:L Summary

Just in case you missed it, our Magnum Opus, "Battle.net 2.0 Concerns", is up and ready for your perusal. Rage along with us, folks!

If you haven't been watching our SC:L Commentaries on YouTube, you are one of the last 200 people on Earth still holding out. Yeah, I'm talking 6.7 Billion views per video. It's pretty serious. Crota and I provide expert analysis and awkward jokes for the Internet community all the time, so if you're looking for SC2 videos to enjoy while the beta is gone, look no further!

 

Blizzard News

Warning! Due to the recent plethora of threads, posts, kitten videos and great editorials concerning Battle.net 2.0, this weeks Blizzard News will consists of huge amounts of blue posts, as Blizzard valiantly tries to control the raging masses! Some posts are very relevant to Blizzard and Battle.net, some relevant to StarCraft II, and some just for the lulz.

Battle.net 2.0

Please note that most of the posts will be edited to highlight some of the important parts. We suggest you click "Read more..." to be able to read the threads and the quotes in context.

Sixen, a moderator from SC2Mapster.com, brought up some issues that was troubling him regarding the identifiers for Battle.net 2.0. His post spawned these replies from Zhydaris and Bashiok:

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Let's assume that player "A" decides to choose Sixen, and you'll obviously choose Sixen as well.
One of you will be Sixen.XXX and the other one Sixen.YYY .
Once everybody will know that you're Sixen.XXX the other player will be stuck with a nickname that doesn't represent him and will also be incapable of impersonating you anymore.
Read more...

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Ok, I understand your worries about these features, we'll try to address your questions once we'll be able to reveal more information about the mechanics of this system.
Just let me remind you that we'll obviously monitor the situation and we'll look into this kind of problems, as I said Battle.Net 2.0 will be a dynamic environment and we'll always try to make it better.
Read more...

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Sixen, how would it feel if you log in day one, excited to grab your name, and someone else already has? And so you're stuck having to use some variation.

That's what we want to avoid.
Read more...

In a different thread, Zhydaris went on to explain some of the changes that are coming for Battle.net 2.0.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

These people are naming themselves "ESPORTS" to protest against:

- Lack of Chat Channels
... and we just announced that Chat Channels are going to be in the game a few months after release.

- No Cross-region play
... and we just announced that cross-region play is definitely in our plans.

- No Unique ID
... And we just announced that every combination of nickname + 3 digit code will be unique and you will be able to add friends by using this combination.

- You need to give out your email address
... Which is not the case anymore, as adding Nickname.007 will be enough.
Read more...

Bashiok elaborates on cross-region play politics.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Unfortunately, there are a multitude of challenges we have to overcome due to the unique regional account and billing options that didn't exist in the past. But those hurdles aren't insurmountable, and we are looking into solutions that will allow interested players to obtain access to other regional versions without having to buy another full copy of the game.
Read more...

Some players find Facebook integration controversial, this is Kapeselus' response to that claim.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

I agree that Facebook integration was something that some players found controversial, but at the same time I disagree that this is something buyers are not looking for. Even _if_ majority of people don't have friends to add there are still some who will welcome an opportunity to use this (even here or on teamliquid of all the places :)).
Read more...

While some feel like the Blizzard developers live in an alternate universe, and therefore they don't understand the fans.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

This is definitely not true, especially not for our developers. All development teams consist of veterans, who remember the release of the oldest Blizzard games and some of them have been with the company since day 1.
Read more...

Bashiok tries to explain Blizzard's relationship with Activision.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

Q u o t e:
So when I visit http://us.starcraft2.com/dominion/ I am greeted by a whole host of logos near the bottom of the page including Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment, SC2, Twitter, and Facebook. However, one is noticeably missing: Activision. Doesn't it seem disingenuous not to include an Activision or Activision-Blizzard logo when Activision has been clearly intimately involved with the production of Starcraft 2/Bnet2.0?



Activision is our distributor. Activision|Blizzard is the name of our parent company. We still self publish. We develop our own games. (and websites, lol?)

Q u o t e:
When the thirty second promo of Starcraft 2's cinematic was posted on Youtube only hours before airing it was immediately shut down but copyright complaints by Activision.


That's ... what? They don't hold our copyrights. We mistakenly posted the video early and then pulled it down. I'm not sure who if anyone actually asked YouTube to pull down any copies of it. Sort of a silly notion though, to try to clear the internet of something once it's out there. Oh well. Seems like people enjoyed it, so win-win-win! ;)

Q u o t e:
But strangely enough around Starcraft 2's promotional sites/materials Activision's name is absent. It seems to be alarmingly deceitful practice directed at attempting to hide Activision's obvious machinations with Blizzard's IP.



This is difficult to argue with because if I do then I'm helping you realize that the things you're upset about are purely and completely within our control and are decisions made by the same exact people who have always made them. If I don't then I have to listen to you drone on and on about whatever it is you want to fabricate. It's a tough one. Either way I lose.

Q u o t e:
On Starcraft 2's retail packaging will there be any Activision or Activision-Blizzard logo? Or will it be attempted to be passed off a genuine Blizzard product as pure as spring water.



Our games don't feature the names of our parent companies, or distributors. This is unlikely to change.

For those of you who are going to compete in Blizzard's Propaganda Poster Contest, and are wondering which dimensions are allowed in the contest, you might find this helpful.

Originally Posted by Bashiok

That's just semantics on orientation at that point. Turn a 1024x768 on its side and it's 768x1024. ;)

The size requirement is just to ensure that we don't get small, blurry images and they present well on the page. As long as it has 786,432 pixels you won't be disqualified.

Height and Width


Now on to some actual StarCraft II related stuff. [k]er, a poster on the official Battle.net forums, wonders if the Mutalisks attack bounce from air to ground and vice versa. To which Kapeselus responds:

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Yes, Mutalisk attacks bounce from Air to Ground units. This is what made a difference in some ZvZ SC:BW games for example, where you would take your Zerglings and Overlords with you to Mutalisk vs Mutalisk fights to reduce the bounce attack a little bit and gain an advantage.

It is also part of the gameplay and adds more options for the players also making the Mutalisk more versatile.

The next blue post can be interpreted in a few different ways. A fourth race? If not for multiplayer, then maybe for single player?

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Warcraft III has "the fifth race" in Moon, so I am sure StarCraft II will have something similar in a few months/years.

Also while I am at it to clarify this for those who are not aware - sadly no, we are not working on any new races available for multiplayer.

Fourth Race


And just to spice things up a bit, here are a couple of humorous Blizzard responses.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Q u o t e:
Is it just me or does it feel like sometimes Blizzard employees are watching us play? Sometimes I get the feeling that Blizzard employees are invisible and inside of my game watching.


No, we don't do these kind of things.

By the way, your last build order was completely wrong, you should have gone for your expansion a little earlier.
Not that I watched your game. Just sayin', you know.

Originally Posted by Ababmer

I've seen no evidence to prove that you even exist.
You're probobly all a bunch of robots put here to keep watch over me.

Originally Posted by Zhydaris

Ababmer thread detected.
Proceed with sanitization procedure.

Originally Posted by Kapeselus

Closed thread detected.
Proceed to look for next one.
Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete....

Fan Art

This weeks piece is "The Void Walker", from ~De-mose on Deviant art.

The Void Walker by De-mose

 

Community News

Community hero Artosis has uploaded a new video of himself, Tasteless, IdrA and other pro gaming personalities discussing StarCraft II at an irritatingly noisy cafe titled "Nerds of the Round Table".  The MVP of the video by far is the guy who gave up on SC2 after a week because "The Zerg are so overpowered".  Way to know what a beta test is, champ. Anyways, it's entertaining when you can hear, it, so give a watch!

 

For you Day[9] fans, and I know there are plenty of you, there is a ridiculously long interview with him available.  He waxes for 55 minutes about all things StarCraft and eSports. Another good time killer if you're jonesing for anything StarCraft related.

 

Plays Of The Week

 

 

 

Custom Map Review

 

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Hex'd

Creator: Qancake 

Players: Multiplayer (Alternatively, single player with AI)

Map Type: Hero Arena

Length: 5-10 minutes

URL: http://sc2.curse.com/downloads/sc2-maps/details/hexd.aspx

Latest Version: 2.4 (http://sc2.curse.com/downloads/sc2-maps/details/hexd/download/433558.aspx)

Reviewed by: Dauntless

The loading screen!
The loading screen!

 

Description:
Hex'd is a spell centric Hero Arena map created by Qancakes. From a top-down view, you control a unit called the Hexer, that have five spells at his disposal, and the outcome of the rounds depend wholly on how good you are at using your spells. Having good aim and prediction skills are essential. It's reminiscent of the WarCraft III custom map Warlock.

The game modes.
The game modes.

There are five different games modes, including free for all, a random team mode, elimination, capture the flag, or in this case capture the Ultralisk(!) and a last domination style mode called the Hexnaught.

So as you might have gathered, this is a very competitive map created for multiplayer purposes. If a player is missing from the beginning of the game, or leaves during it, an AI player will be added. The AI has four different difficulty settings, ranging from easy to insane, though the AI is very well scripted I highly recommend playing the map with a full game of actual players. Bringing some friends in on this is great fun.

All 15 spell upgrades.
All 15 spell upgrades.


Review:
After choosing game modes, each player receives five specialization points, which are to be used to upgrade spells. Each spell has three different and varied upgrades. If this is your first time playing, you can either guess which upgrades are best suiting your play style, or you have to read through all 15 upgrades and then evaluate which upgrades to choose.

When you have chosen your upgrades, Hex'd puts you straight into the action. Naturally, here is where the fun begins. It might seem like total mayhem in the beginning, but after learning each spell, both how to use them and avoid them, you should start to gain some perspective of how to play.

The spell design is great. They are varied and they have great synergy. I wouldn't call any of the spells over powered, because it all depends on how well you utilize them. Though the last spell, Orb of Binding, might be a bit too situational.

Overall this map is great fun, has a fast pace and maybe most of all; it still has big potential.
Therefore we move on to the criticism part.

Free For All action! One poor Hexer has like eight incoming Barrage balls!
Free For All action! One poor Hexer has like eight incoming Barrage balls!

Criticism:
The game modes: Personally, I would say that the three modes Free For All, Party Hex (the random team mode), and The Hexnaught delivers the most fun out of the current five modes. In Elimination you are cloaked while out of combat, though this might be good for variation, it is just frustrating while actually playing. The Capture the Ultralisk mode often turns into a stalemate where both teams are in the middle of the map, struggling to get control over both Ultralisk. In my opinion, points should be delivered to teams that bring home the enemy Ultralisk, even though their own Ultralisk is gone. I believe this would open up the gameplay.

Lighting and weather effects changes every round. This looks like a night time rave!
Lighting and weather effects changes every round. This looks like a night time rave!

Terrain: This map would benefit much in replayability if it had several different terrains where players could battle it out. Both terrains designed for team modes and single modes would be a great addition. This could be done in WarCraft III, so I have no doubt that it is possible in StarCraft II as well.

Team games are crazy fun!
Team games are crazy fun!

Spells and upgrades: Even though the spells themselves are great, I don't find the upgrades for them very interesting. Less upgrades that increases some passive stat, and more upgrades that do something cool. Examples could be adding another ball to your Barrage spell, or your Attack spell leaving a trail of fire.

But the thing that would really make this map great, was if you could gain resources after each round, which you could use to buy new spells and upgrades for them. This is what gave Warlock its great varied gameplay.

Victory at last!
Victory at last!

Conclusion:
I chose to review this map because I already knew how good it was, and because of how much I want the features I've listed above in it. The overall map is thoroughly created, with simple but fun and challenging gameplay. I would recommend this map to my friends, and if we see its continued development I would very much like to play it some more during the next StarCraft II Beta phase. I truly hope the author of this map, Qancakes, will continue supporting this map, until much, if not all, of its potential is reached.

End

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Welcome to yet another Legacy Weekly! The first phase of the beta is over, and we're all raging about, not only because we are now forced to encounter other human beings, and the sun, but mostly because many of us feel like Battle.net 2.0 is a total mess. Luckily, as a result to all the rage in various fora, Dustin Browder has finally gone mad. According to our inside sources, both Chris Sigaty and the Battle.net 2.0 source code has gone lost in Dustin Browders wake of destruction.

A Blizzard Entertainment press release regarding the loss of the Battle.net 2.0 source stated that they can rebuild it. Apparently, they have the technology.

SC:L Summary

The big topic of discussions the last weeks have, without a doubt, been the state of Battle.net 2.0. As a result to these concerns StarCraft: Legacy recently released an article on the very topic. We bring forth a plethora of insightful suggestions that we hope will improve many of the issues the community has with Blizzards new gaming service. Read the full article here.

We'd also like to remind you that the submissions deadline for our Heaven's Devils Terraining Contest has been extended. You now have until June the 20th to submit your creation. Check out the contest page for more details.

 

Blizzard News

Bashiok is fine with the Mothership being useless.

There are some units that just aren't going to see certain levels of competitive play (unless it's an LOL LOOK HOW MUCH MUNEY I HAV! dig at the other player), and that's fine, and we're aware and ok with that being the case, just as long as it's something we've planned for and are balancing for.

And he is apparently quite the joker.

This thread should be called Overlord because it's generating a lot of creeps.

BOOM. 360'd and took you back to the store.

He can also reveal that the official StarCraft II Beta Forums will be wiped, as they are wiping their database.

While we continue to work on StarCraft II and the Battle.net platform during the beta hiatus, we will be wiping the database within the next day or two to help with our internal development process. This means that all characters will be wiped, and without access to the beta to create new characters, posting on these beta forums will no longer be possible.

We anticipate this database wipe to occur within the next day or two. We apologize for the short notice but look forward to discussing the game with you on the non-beta StarCraft II Battle.net forums: http://forums.battle.net/board.html?forumId=12009&sid=3000

Although you will no longer be able to post here, these forums will remain up and visible. Once phase two begins and you can create a new character, you’ll be able to post here again. Please keep in mind that your posting privileges here are continuous, and any suspensions/bans now will carry forward into the future.

Fan Art

This weeks piece is a Firebat made by SpenceTheHobbyist from DeviantArt. (Turns out this was only a flip and color of an already created piece) Marauder made by Mr--Jack.


Firebat

Community News

A member of our forums vuser86 has created a great video of himself covering one of the StarCraft II Terran tracks. Head over to the forums to give him the cred he deserves!

 

 

He's not the only creative soul around in the StarCraft II community; JoshSuth, a caster from iCCup TV, and member of our forums, has created his own StarCraft II version of the renown "Like A Boss" by Lonely Island. Check out the humorous (non-winning) entry to Blizzards official StarCraft 2 video contest here:

 

Plays Of The Week

 

 

Custom Map Review

 

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Crush Company – Mission: The Last Hope

Creators: Enclave Studio 

Players: Single Player

Map Type: Beat-em-up Sidescroller

Length: 5-10 minutes

URL: http://www.sc2mapster.com/teams/enclave-studio/pages/crush-company/

Latest Version: 1.0 (http://sc2.curse.com/downloads/sc2-maps/details/crush-company-mission-last-hope/download/432789.aspx)

Review by: asfastasican

 

Description:
Crush Company is a small sample of a project being developed by a small modding group called Enclave Studio. The map makes its best effort to emulate a particular genre of games within the StarCraft 2 engine that has been near extinct for the past two decades: The Fighting Sidescroller. If any of you remember the classics like BattleToads, Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Turtles, etc., then you are going to enjoy what Crush Company has to offer. The objectives are simple. You select one of 4 characters at the start, fight your way past a series of enemy waves, and then reach the end of the level by killing the final boss.



The Loading Screen...


Review:
Crush Company is a quick single-player map as it is right now. I’m not sure if anyone knows if it will become a multiplayer sidescroller at some point, mostly because the team is referring to it as a secret project in progress. What we see here in this map is supposedly a single mission or a test map that will be a sample of things to come.



The Character Select Screen...


The game starts with a classic style character select screen where you move a cursor around and select your choice with the space bar. You currently have four (out of a possible six) characters to choose from. You are thrown into a horizontal landscape where the camera is up close and to your side. By using the Q W E R keys to use your attacks and you use your arrows keys to move your character up, down, left and right. Every character can also jump by hitting the space bar, but there are no real obstacles you can hurdle over. Just like any other arcade style video game of the past, you simply move towards the right and fight groups of enemy units in sequence.



Momma said knock you out!


The first pair of selectable characters are melee Protoss units. Zealots is a melee fighter with slightly more hit points than the Dark Templar. The two are basically the same as they have the same weapons. Marines are ranged fighters and Marauders have slightly more hit points and also have the same weapons.



These turrets will all lock onto you at once. Kill them ASAP!


The melee fighters have a slow melee attack (Q) and a fast jab attack (W). They both also have a point-blank AoE Shockwave attack (E) that damages everyone around them. The last weapon they have are grenades (R) that they can toss and deal AoE damage to bunches of enemies in front of them. You should also keep moving as the enemies will lay mines by their feet and they will quickly arm themselves blow you up if you stand on them.



The Protoss Melee Fighters double as Arcane Mages...


You can also pick from a pair of Terran ranged fighters that can attack for afar and dodge projectiles more easily. Both the Marines and Marauders can fire rapid-fire rockets (Q) or fire larger rockets (W). They can always fire a long ranged Hellion-like flamethrower (E) that damages units in a line. As with the melee characters, the Terran characters also have grenades (R).



The Terran fighters fight at range and thus can dodge projectiles more easily.



After a handful of enemy encounters, you will face a boss at the very end of the map. If you defeat him, you win.

 

Dodge them mines!


Criticisms:
The map as it is now is simply one level. The project might turn into many more levels that are linked to each other when the project is finished and released. As it stands now, the map lasts around 5 minutes and serves to show how a sidescroller is possible with the StarCraft II engine. Also, abilities and weapons do not have limited ammo or long cooldowns. There’s really no reason not to spam a bunch of grenades over and over, since they do great damage in a wide area. By spamming grenades over and over, you can kill the enemies fast and not worry about having to take too much damage. This makes the map relatively easy overall.



Grenades are OP. Abuse them!


Conclusion:
Crush Company is based on a concept that certainly has a lot of potential. We hope to see Enclave Studio finish the completed project and release it to the public sometime in the near future.

End

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Welcome to the official relaunch of the classic diversion "Legacy Weekly"!  Recently lost ten games in a row, and terrified to play another ladder match?  Trying hard to internalize your rage at recent patch changes? Never fear, Legacy Weekly will be here through the rest of the beta and past retail release to occupy your StarCraft-addled mind for possible minutes at a time, each and every week!

We have a lot of exciting new stuff in the Weekly, all brought to you by your die-hard team of investigative reporters: SaharaDrac, Dauntless, and asfastasican! We look forward to bringing you an easy to digest, light-hearted, but informative weekly feature, with new sections such as a "Top Plays of the Week" video commentated by none other than SaharaDrac, and a "Custom Map Review" from Asfastasican! So without further ado:

SC:L Summary

StarCraft: Legacy remains the best source for all the latest Blizzard and StarCraft 2 related news. If you haven't seen our front page news articles, make sure you catch up on our breaking news on recent patch fixes, known Battle.net issues, and Blizzard's introduction to map publishing.

StarCraft: Legacy is giving away copies of the latest StarCraft novel, Heaven's Devils, in a terraining contest! Using the map editor, show us what kind of gorgeous landscapes you can create. You can see on the link that we are looking for beautiful, professional looking landscapes.  What isn't mentioned on that page is the special SaharaDrac "erotic landscape" sub-contest that I am holding for my own personal amusement! Whoever makes the hottest babe using only Baneling eggs wins my eternal approval so get crackin!

  

Blizzard News

Last years BlizzCon contest host and funnyman is returning:

Jay MohrComedian and actor Jay Mohr will be returning to BlizzCon this year to serve as master of ceremonies for the live costume contest and other contests on the first night of the show. Jay is the star of the popular television show Gary Unmarried, and is known for his roles in movies like Jerry Maguire and for creating, producing, and hosting the successful TV series Last Comic Standing. We'll have more info to share about the Friday-night contests and other events at BlizzCon in the months leading up to the show, so keep your eye on BlizzCon.com for more details.

 

We also have some newly released, sexy concept art by Samwise Didier. A Reaper laying waste to an army of Zerglings. The outcome of the battle is up for debate.

 ss337 concept art thumb

Lastly, Polish Blizzard fans might be delighted to know that Blizzard have launched a localized polish version of their main site. So make sure to zapraszamy that.

Fan Art

 Untitled Viking by Mr Jack

This week's brilliant Fan Art comes to us courtesy of Mr. Jack, via his Deviant Art Page.

 

Community News

 

If you are an owner of a phone that runs the Android OS you might be interested in this. A coder named Stepan Korshakov is currently creating a port of StarCraft for the operating system.

The port is actually using the MPQs (packaged archives), from the original game, to work. So if you want to install it on your Android phone, you'll have to go through an installation process that requires you to unpack MPQ files onto an SD card.

The port is apparently far from finished, but if you're interested in trying it, head over to the official project site for the installation instructions.

android_sc_1 android_sc_2
Click here for more screenshots.

The StarCraft 2 community's shining, gleaming, hardened, tall, proud, throbbing champion, Day[9], has been on the warpath since his summer break from school started. If you haven't seen his analytical strategy show, or his major tournament coverage, make sure you visit his site ASAP: your win rate will thank you.

If you are looking to build/purchase a new computer for the release of StarCraft II in July, this thread at teamliquid.net can assist you greatly, with it's in-game benchmark statistics, recommended hardwares, and ability to massage your feet with exotic oils.

There is also a very fun thread of people's custom textures on teamliquid.net. Want to play as icy, frozen Zerg?  Want to experience even fruitier Protoss units, covered in pinks and greens? Make sure to use this thread as a resource.

 

Plays Of The Week

Welcome to our first "Plays of the Week" section.  The video is a little rough right now, but as we get further along we will have a streamlined system, a countdown format, and I might even turn off my ceiling fan while recording...anyways, enjoy the first video in a series we hope will be a fan favorite for long to come!

Part 1:

Part 2:

 

Custom Map Review

Map: Top Down Fighters

Creator: TECGhost

Players: Single Player (1-4 Players Coming Soon)

Map Type: Shooter

Length: 5-15 minutes

Download:  http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/top-down-fighters/files/7-top-down-fighters-v7/

Review by: asfastasican

Loading screen
Loading screen

Description: Top Down Fighters allows you to take control of a Terran solider running across a jungle exterminating Zerg that have infested the area along the way. Your mission is to slay “The Badass Ultralisk” that has rumored to been running amok nearby. If you are able to take down the gigantic creature, you win!

A hero is spawned..
A hero is spawned..

Review: Top Down Fighters is quite an attention grabber, solely based how smooth its controls are. The map plays like a typical top down arcade type shooter, where you move a single unit around using WASD controls, similar to how you would control it with a joystick. You can also fire your main weapon by simply left clicking in the general direction you want to fire and also right click to use a Psionic grenade (same as a High Templar’s Psionic Storm) which can do heavy area of effect damage to hordes of incoming Zerg. When you combine the simple firing controls with hotkeys that allow you to manually reload and use a stimpack to increase your movement speed and combat effectiveness, you will find yourself admiring how well your character handles himself. Even while dealing with a slight latency playing this map online, the controls and movement are very fluid and natural.

Psionic Grenade is devastating.
Psionic Grenade is devastating.


As for the rest of the map, Top Down Fighters is essentially a prototype map that TECGhost has worked on, possibly in preparation of making a much larger version of the concept later on. Since this map is simply a prototype, it’s not very long map. The map is relatively easy, even if you aren’t a very fast player, simply because you can pace yourself and take your time as you battle through the Zerg. Your enemies won’t chase you very far before they decide to return to where they first spotted you, so its possible to run away. Also, the Zerg don’t respawn, so there’s no sense of urgency in trying to rush through the map in order to end it fast. The Boss isn’t very hard if you take your time and use stimpacks to speed the killing process up as well.

A ginormous Ultralisk!
A ginormous Ultralisk!

There are other little features that are worth mentioning about this map. The combat log that records recent damage that has been inflicted is interesting eye candy and the numbers that pop over the heads of injured targets is a nice touch as well. The terrain is well detailed and has elevation and good visibility as well. Still, the screen insists on displaying a handful of lines telling you that players 1 through 4 aren’t logged in and playing, but keep in mind that this is probably just a bug. The map creator plans to include 4 unique classes for the final versions of this game and this is just a stepping stone that will help him get towards a finished product.

Victory! You win lots of blood and intestines.
Victory! You win lots of blood and intestines.

Criticisms: If the final versions of this map come with difficulty modes, a larger map, a countdown timer, time trial records, and respawning Zerg, you might find a real winner on your hands. I would highly stress having time trial records, because it would increase replayability among competitive players. There’s nothing like watching a small group of gamers form into a writhing mass as they try to submit speed demos and try to beat each other to completing the map by shaving off mere seconds to become the top dog of Top Down Fighters.

Conclusion: If TECGhost decides to add the features I listed above, include some features of his own and allow the player to play as one of his originally planned 4 unique classes, the game could end up being rather addicting. Until then, Top Down Fighters will be a one-time 10 minute gaming experience at best.

Well, that does it! We hope you enjoyed the relaunch of the Legacy Weekly. Flames and love letters are to be posted in the comments field. Be sure to check back regularly to sclegacy.com for more news, reviews, and videos!

End

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Welcome back, to another exciting issue of Legacy Weekly! In this issue, we explore the tantalizing rumors that Jake Gylenhall is dating an Infestor, analyze the possibility that the Xel'Naga are responsible for the death of Blanche from "The Golden Girls", and whether or not Protoss men need to exfoliate. So grab a nice mug of crude oil, cozy up and have a good read with us!

SC:L Summary

The Terraining Contest is still open for entries! We are anticipating even more exciting entries for the chance to win a nice Hardcover copy of "Heaven's Devils", the new StarCraft II novel.  Did you know that the book contains full color artwork by Mr. Jack? Well, it's true. All you have to do is make a cool setting in the map editor and show it to us. It's so simple!

StarCraft: Legacy recently held an insightful interview with American Brood War and StarCraft II pro gamer iNcontroL.  iNcontroL is also one of the members of gosucoaching.com, the site which will be holding SC2 training camps for players who want to make absolutely sure they will score with every chick on the continent of their choice at will.

Blizzard News

Blizzard has announced a Twitter contest where you can win a copy of the new StarCraft novel Heaven's Devils.

So you've heard of James "Jim" Raynor, have you? Think you know all about him right? The man who learned that the Ghost he loved was betrayed by the very cause they had committed their lives to? Perhaps you know him, or perhaps you don't him know nearly enough. It's Okay, though. We're going to help you get to know him just a little bit better in our Heaven's Devils Twitter Contest.

It's as simple as 140 characters, and you could win a Collector's Edition of the newest StarCraft novel "Heaven's Devils," currently available for sale by Premier Collectibles. Simply dig into your creative side, tweet your best StarCraft-universe-related prose, and you could be one of ten winners.

Example: @StarCraft Raynor's soul spiraled into the abyss when it dawned on him that she was gone. #HeavensDevils

Visit our contest rules page for more information: http://us.starcraft2.com/features/contests/heavens-rules.xml

Related to this contest is also Blizzard release of excerpt number 8 from the Heaven's Devils book.

Now for some blue posts. Nethaera gives us some insight on balance in games. (Original post)

Sometimes balance is as much about what you put into something as much as what you take away from something. The inherent problem with only buffing and not making those tougher decisions to nerf is that you end up with way too much of everything. Balance changes aren't made lightly but there is a certain realm of the unknown and experimentation that occurs when making a path to balance.

While others imply that balancing is guesswork, Nethaera confidently replies: (Original post)

A lot of great inventions have occurred because someone made some very good guesses and then put a lot of additional work and research behind it to find out if those guesses turned out to be the right ones. We're not just whistling into the winds of Tarsonis here. ;)

And lastly, some bad news for those who are waiting for the Galaxy Editor for the Mac. (Original post)

No, the galaxy editor is released for PC only in beta and won't be out during beta testing.

Fan Art

 

 
This week's Fan Art comes to us courtesy of ~Ben-Ben-Ben, via his DeviantArt page

 

Community News

In the finals of the Kaspersky Cup recently, TheLittleOne, the German Juggernaut and dream-lover of all SC2 fan boys and girls everywhere, strayed away from his typical race selection of Random, instead opting for the correct option.  Could this indicate a permenant race change? Time will tell.

iNcontroL announced that WhiteRa and Machine will be having a rematch of their showmatch, thus further boiling the feud between these two RTS monstrosities.  Will WhiteRa bring a rifle and a rocking chair? Will Machine continue to be grabby with WhiteRa's proverbial daughter? (His SC2 pride?) Be sure to check out these matches on Saturday.

                             Plays Of The Week

 

 

 


 

Custom Map Review

Weekly Custom Map Review

Map: Marine Arena

Creator: Crayon

Players: 2-8 Players (Team FFA 2v2v2v2)

Map Type: Madness

Length: 20+ Minutes per round.

URL: http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/marine-arena/

Latest Version: 0.9.82 (http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/marin...update-0-9-82/)

Review by: asfastasican

Description:
Marine Arena is the first answer to a question that has been asked by StarCraft Custom Map fans for many years: “Will StarCraft’s Sequel bring back the classic ‘Madness’ map genre?” Thankfully we have gotten our hands on this map as early as we have in beta, because the question has certainly been answered and this map is a hell of a lot of fun! Teams use their Marine armies, along with a variety of secondary units, heroes and upgrades to outplay and defeat their opponents that have the same options at their disposal.

The Marines go to war!



Review:
Marine Arena is basically a marine Madness map that has a very simple concept at its foundation, but then is improved upon with all kinds of new additions and features. For those not familiar with what Madness maps are all about, its a genre of custom maps first created when StarCraft 1 was released. You play on a square map with walls and assorted terrain that typically cut the playing area into equal sections. In this case, Marine Arena is divided into four cornered sections with a central area that has a pit at its core. 

Killing the rocks next to your base early on is usually a good idea to get an early game advantage


Madness maps are maps where players, either alone or paired with another player, constantly receive a steady stream of units from inside of their base. Units are generated nearly every second and you are able to rally them and use them to fight the enemy teams as they continue to generate units as well. By using a variety of strategies and tactics, you must outsmart and out manage your enemies in order to overpower them and eventually kill their main buildings in order to knock them out of the game. When all of the enemy teams and their command centers are defeated, you win.

Getting onto the high ground will give you an edge over your opponents


 As you kill enemies units, you will slowly earn minerals, which can be used in a variety of ways. Minerals can be used to upgrade your marines damage, armor, hit points, etc. As you continue to invest in these upgrades, your basic marines that continue to pump out of your base will be able to kill the enemies more effectively. You can also build defenses, special additions for yourself or use a scanner sweep type ability to gain sight on higher terrain or reveal invisible units. Every 10 minutes, players are awarded with a surge of minerals to spend on.

Using shift+click waypoints can help order your units to travel through walled areas


You can also purchase mercenary buildings, which are basically like spending money on a secondary generator of special units. You can only have one mercenary building and their one-time cost varies on how powerful or advanced the units are. On top of having a secondary generator, you can buy upgrades for your mercenary units as well, such as damage, armor, hit points and also specialized abilities and upgrades (Marauder Conc. Nades, Roach movement speed, etc.) You can also spend large amounts of money to create single hero units which are very powerful. You can choose from beefed up version of a Colossus, Dark Templar, High Templar, Ghosts, etc. Every hero has its purpose and strengths, which add some risk vs. reward and more strategy to the game as well.

Stalkers are a solid mercenary unit choice. They are solid ranged fighters that will counter other armored mercenaries, armored buildings, some heroes and fliers while being able to blink. Scanner Sweep can reveal the high ground and invisible units at the cost of energy.


As the game goes on, money becomes easier to get and the game awards players that remain aggressive and use the best tactics, even though defensive play can also net you large amounts of minerals that can win you the game. Having good timing, striking when the moment is right and also knowing when to defend yourself at key moments, can all contribute to your chances of survival. Since it’s a four team FFA type game, the momentum of the game can change at any given moment. The map plays very well, keeps the player involved and applies the right amount of tension as well.

Hunter Killers are decent heroes that can do ranged damage alongside your marines. They can move while borrowed and regenerate hit points.


 New players should know a few things as they place their first round of Marine Arena. There are destructible rocks along the barriers and rampways that divide each of the teams bases. You usually want to group up a decent amount of marines with your teammate and get to killing others as early as possible, and you can do this by taking out the rocks as soon as possible and work your way to the high ground so you can assault a base from on top of one of these walls. By keeping your units on high ground and using the Xel’Naga Watch Towers for sight, you can fire down on your enemies without them being able to fire back up at you. 

Xel'Naga Watch Towers can give you sight of surrounding terrain without you having to scan.


 Your Marine upgrades should not be taken lightly. There are many strategies you can use in this game, but your Marines are relatively strong and remain your bread and butter units throughout the entire game. Investing in a few levels of armor early on can give you an edge over opponents that have fewer upgrades. Being able to kill the enemies faster, while protecting your own units is key. Getting Stim packs, some levels in damage and buying more hit points will help as well. If you wipe out an enemy’s base, you might consider pulling out and attacking someone else or else they might spawn a “Savior” unit. Saviors are units that will destroy large groups of marines extremely fast, but only live for a few seconds. They can defend a player's base and wipe out most of an enemy's marine force, they can only be created 3 times a game for each player. Use them wisely and pull out if you think they might create one.

Void Rays are the most expensive mercenary, but they fly and can focus fire low armored targets very well.


Criticisms:
 As with most Madness games, knowledge is power. Even players without very high micro can steamroll their opponents; because they’ve played the map so often that they have very fleshed out strategies and know all the maps nooks and crannies. In Marine Arena, new players might need to play it a few times before they can compete against others and win a round. Even with the advice Crayon has put on the loading screen, he might want to add a command that new players can type in to get some additional advice through pop up text as they play the game. The map will probably be updated several more times, but it’s worth mentioning that going with heavily upgraded marines tend to be too strong compared to using more exotic strategies. 

Some players will also argue that getting mercenaries units can harm you, because you are allowing your enemy to kill more of your own units and generate more income for themselves as the game goes on. I will be the first one to tell you that Zealots and Ultras are pretty damn worthless, as they get mowed down by masses of marines and a great deal of other mercenary units as well. Still, I’m sure Crayon will edit the mineral costs and effectiveness of some units.

Void Ray stacking!


 Also, even if a skilled team wipes out the whole map, a single player can still hole himself in his base by maxing his defensive upgrades. A defensive player can max his buildings armor (up to 35 armor on his command center,) allow them to regenerate as if they were units and also heal those buildings with a healing support tower. Defensive machine gun turrets are only worth 10 minerals per and are monsters when upgraded. Turrets simply last too long and other forms of defenses can be very powerful as well. 

Turrets are dirt cheap and actually last for a while and are monsters when improved with numerous defensive upgrades.


With players having these high building armor capabilities, I’m really confused as to why there isn’t a Siege Tank hero in this game yet. Adding an expensive Siege tank hero with an extra far range and a slow, hard hitting siege attack would help solve this problem effectively. The Thor and Colossus fail to become effective means of ending the game if the enemy turtles in. Turrets probably should not last as long as they do or perhaps marines should be given a late game upgrade that could allow them to do some more damage against buildings specifically. Also, Crayon could consider adding a Sudden Death mode that could punish turtlers and rewards teams that have a majority of map control. Perhaps we could add incentives to having your forces hold the center of the map or hold already destroyed enemy bases.

Oh and by the way, we didn’t kill this Command Center that time! This Pink guy had maxed his defensive upgrades and was able to survive, even though we had clearly won and beaten every other opponent and his teammate. His Planetary Fortress was only taking 1 damage a hit as it regenerated and slowly killed all of those marines. Clearly balanced! The best part is that this game lasted 3 hours…



Conclusion:
I’m sure that there will be a handful of copy cat attempts and other more unique Madness maps that will come out long after StarCraft II’s release, but Marine Arena is a solid start and a tribute to the genre. It’s very fun to play as it is now and we’re still only in beta. Expect to see this map updated regularly and also expect great things from Crayon in the near future as the map making community continues to grow.

 

End

What'd I miss? ...

 

The Legacy Weekly

 

SC:L Summary

 

We have new forum sections!! In commemoration of the launch of the StarCraft II beta, we have added more boards to our forums. We have beta general discussion, a VODs and livestreams, board, and a strategy compendium. Now you can follow the beta discussion in a new, organized format, so it's a great time to register and join the discussion! 

 SC:L Staff member Crota and SC:L resident handsome chap SaharaDrac have been uploading commentated videos of their beta games! For my part, I will be uploading a new video tomorrow, so get on YouTube and listen to me stammer, and also try to guess my weight! 

Also be sure to check out SC:L's resident "hardest working man in beta", Gifted's, Livestream: Legacy Observer!  

 

                                Blizz News

Well, what else can I really say? The day finally came. Dry land is not a myth, I've seen it. The StarCraft II beta officially begun. This is a really important time in our entire staff's, and I think many of our readers, lives. Here's to an excellent beta test period. Lots of memories, arguments, tense battles, and "gg's" await us.  Not to mention a whole new way to create a community.  Thank you Blizzard, we all knew deep down you would never disappoint.

   Fan Art

This week's fanart is a "gothic" Dark Templar sketch by Ahs'rik Khan.
 
Community News

The beta coverage has flooded in from all over the internestz. Be sure to check out Team Liquid's beta coverage, as they have some good analytical videos and short articles up already. 

G4TV's website has video interviews up with StarCraft II's designers in celebration of the beta Launch. The best piece is a 20 minute discussion on Battle.Net 2 and the future of e-sports with Greg Canessa.  

 The Legacy Weekly approves: The Nydus Network.

Well well well....what an interesting week it's been!  Batten down the hatches, you filthy dogs, little gusts of wind are coming that herald one hell of a storm.  Welcome to...

 

The Legacy Weekly

 

SC:L Summary

 

The Korean Battle.net forums have had a pretty healthy amount of activity lately, and StarCraft: Legacy has them translated and ready for your perusal. The posts give some elaboration on UI features and small game mechanics, as well as giving some more detail on the game's damage/armor system.  Unless our guy who translated it was just messing with us, I mean they could have just been exchanging Bi bim bop recipes over there, you and I would really have no idea.

Episode 1 of season 3 of the Jace Hall show is also available, featuring a trip to Blizzard HQ where he sits in on a design meeting.  Most pertinent for us here is the picture leaked from the teaser, which clearly depicts the staff celebrating with a screen behind them that says "Welcome to StarCraft II Beta" on the Bnet 2.0 login screen.  Trust me, if Blizzard didn't want us to see that, we wouldn't have seen it.  That's all I'm sayin'.  Gifted has made a news post with the picture, as well as some beta speculations from around the web and some more Korean forum translations. 

 We also posted the World of WarCraft system specs for you guys, just in case you needed a reminder.  Check it out and we'll see you in Azeroth! 

 

Blizz News

This is a tricky section for me and the Legacy Weekly team (my blind Shi-Tzu), because hey, if it's news, and it's Blizzard, it's probably already on our front page, right? But I dig. I dig for you, my adoring fans. You're welcome, mom!

There's been a small blue post on the U.S Battle.Net forums about the Reapers' D-8 charges.  They are currently selectable, but not destructible. Which I guess as it stands, means, "Hey, nice Hive, just kidding it totally sucks!" *SPLOSION*  Maybe it works, though. That's what Beta is for, right?

Over on the Gameplay Discussion forums, Zhydaris discusses the merits of smartcasting, and the heightened importance of support units in StarCraft II.  For the official US forums, the discussion isn't bad, so check it out and throw your name in the hat. Or your two cents at a raccoon.  Or some expression.

   Fan Art

This week's fanart is a beautiful Protoss landscape by Thraxllilsilia.
 
Community News

Starfeeder has written a short article summing up game developers thoughts on the new Apple iPad, which last I checked was not only definitely the death of the PC Industry, but also will be the easiest, most convenient way to not play any fun video games for too much money in the not-too-distant future.  Do I sound bitter? I love my PC, that's why I'm here...so sue me.  Anyways, interestingly enough, one developer mentioned how great he thought it would be to play StarCraft II on the iPad.  What remained unreported, however, was the fact that everyone in the room who had actually ever played an RTS in their life simultaneously sprayed coffee from their mouths in shock and dismay, kind of like Carl Winslow whenever Urkel comes over unannounced.

On TeamLiquid, there's a discussion happening on replay privacy in StarCraft II, and possible solutions for Pro Gamers.  Keeping a top players replays private is very important for a thriving competitive community, to prevent top players' strategies form being instantly homogenized and copied by everyone else.  How do you feel about this topic, SC:L?  Tell us on the forums!  

I'm sure everyone reading this knows beta rumblings are occurring.  If you don't know what I mean, make sure you check our other front page news pieces.  I sincerely hope we can start the beta coverage soon.  I will be doing commentary videos of my games, community members games, and hopefully game of top players who come out of the scene eventually.  My plan for day 1 of beta:  I will be "live recording" my voice during my first ever game of StarCraft II on Bnet 2.0, playing random.  You will delight to the sound of my awkward silences as I struggle to grasp an entirely new RTS whilst simultaneously trying to describe the action and keep you entertained.  It should be hilarious, so look forward to it. Soon.  

 

 The Legacy Weekly approves: Beating the best game in years, with a full crew, and full Paragon.

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