• Newsletters
  • Submit News
  • SCLegacy RSS
 
Loading...

 

comprev1.jpg

StarCraft is the world's foremost RTS. It's brilliantly fun, balanced play set the bar for the genre. It's longevity is unprecedented but most definitely warranted. To create the sequel of what is considered by many to be the pinnacle of RTS gameplay, is one of the hardest conceivable tasks. How do you re-imagine the perfect game without reinventing it? How do you improve upon incredible gameplay? How do you make a sequel, an heir, to the greatest RTS game created? And hardest of all - how do you do it when a rabid and critical community is watching your every decision and scrutinizing your every change? How do you assuage their fears about their favorite game's sequel? You let them play it.

Late last month, 11,000 people packed into Paris' Porte de Versailles Exposition Center to watch StarCraft: BW, Warcraft III: TFT, and World of Warcraft played at the highest level. In addition, each of the attendees was encouraged to play the latest builds of StarCraft II and WoW's latest expansion: Wrath of the Lich King. Despite the dozens of computers and the 20 minute game time limit, the wait to play StarCraft II was never short. Everyone wanted to play the sequel to one of the most lauded games in RTS history. The following is the product and recollection of over 12 hours of press pass playtime with the latest WWI build.

 

Index
Protoss
Terran
Zerg
Conclusion

 

The Protoss

For most of the last decade I've been a Protoss player. When I played last year at BlizzCon I was by far most impressed by the Protoss and once again they took the cake in Paris as well. The Protoss are sleek, powerful, and incredibly mobile. They are an excellent representation of a broken peoples that has risen from the ashes and forged itself anew. The Protoss' theme seems to be this newly found mobility. The Zealots have Charge; Stalkers, Blink; Colossi, terrain mobility; and every ground unit can be warped-in, virtually anywhere on the map. It's a fun and powerful mechanic. So many new strategies will be derived from it that it makes, in my opinion, the Protoss the most interesting race in StarCraft II. The entire race feels polished. The models look great; the abilities are solid and the units feel both new and familiar.

The backbone of all great Protoss forces, the Zealot, has been reinstated with the upgradeable Charge passive ability. It's a fantastic and necessary component to this classic fighter. The Zealot still does remarkably well against both Zerglings and Marines. The Charge upgrade is a necessity as early as you can get to it. With the Terran's rolling out Marauders, Charge is the only chance Zealots have to be useful. They do better all the way through the game against the biological Zerg.

 

comprev2.jpg

The Stalkers are one of the more fun units to use. Their Blink ability makes them incredibly useful, especially in the first half of the game. They're a must-have unit as it's the earliest unit that can attack air as well as ground. While they aren't especially hearty, Blink gives them a new lease on life and makes them a dangerous force in groups of four or more. In groups, their focus fire is enough to take out Roaches with ease and their extra mobility makes sneak attacks or harassment an enjoyable addition to the game. Stalkers were present in every game I played or witnessed; they're a worthy addition as a new staple of the early to mid-game Protoss force.

Nullifiers are actually more useful than I had anticipated. Their Anti-Gravity ability was very useful in destroying chokes and taking key enemy units out of commission. While Anti-Gravity removes chokes, Force Field excels at creating them. In many of my games my force fields funneled the Zerg into Psi Storms or Colossi beams - creating the perfect death trap. The Nullfier's attack, while not overly powerful was enough to make them useful even if they didn't have the energy to cast their abilities. It could attack air and ground, which complemented any force and made a nice supplement to the early game Stalker air defense.

The Immortal is a fantastic unit. The re-imagined Dragoon fits a perfect role for the Protoss. With its hardened shields no longer requiring an upgrade this unit is a Tank's worst nightmare. In PvP groups of these units became even more necessary as Immortal vs. Immortal battles were extremely common. While Immortals are not the most massable unit they fit well with StarCraft II's overall "balanced" force theme. They supplemented the perfect Protoss ground force and served admirably as the shock troops - absorbing as much high damage firepower as they could while allowing your less hearty forces to deal the real damage.

The High Templar is one of my favorite units in StarCraft. It was with some apprehension that I tested these units out. Despite my anxiety and the horrible purple web-like animation for Psi Storm they still pack a massive punch - dealing up to 112 damage in the target area. Combined with the Nullifier's Force Field or a choke point, the High Templar shines. Players that had obviously played StarCraft extensively went right for the High Templar and explored the new strategies and mechanics that could be employed. One of the more interesting scenarios I experimented with was to bring in a of group two or three High Templar and a few Zealots in with a Phase Prism, deploy the Phase Prism, use the Zealots to Charge into a group of defending enemies and Psi Storm the entire area thus securing my position while my units were warping-in from the Warp Gates. This strategy became even more effective when I Blinked in Stalkers to help cover my position. Another variation of that tactic was to bring in nothing but High Templar and Nullifiers in with my Phase Prism and use Force Field to create chokes and Psi Storm them while the bulk of my force was warping-in. Both worked extremely well against either enemy - as long as you stayed away from the Zerg Creep (thus keeping both the Queen and the Spine Crawler out of reach).

The Dark Templar's role has been enhanced. Since all three races tend to have later detector tech, a Dark Templar rush is even more effective than it was in Brood War. The high gas cost can be a bit prohibitive but the unit really hasn't changed all that much at all. Once again - combined with the Nullifier's Force Field created a bloodbath that was worth the price of admission.

The Archon is still a nice unit to have mixed in your force but it still isn't all that massable nor is it invincible. Focus fire destroys them as does the Ghost's EMP ability, which conveniently, massacred my Archons on more than one occasion. It still does an excellent amount of damage and since it can attack both air and ground, it's quite attractive. But because of the increased gas costs for both Templar units - it isn't super cost effective.

The Colossus is amazing. Right now it's definitely imbalanced. But this unit is pure carnage. Despite their ridiculously high gas cost in this build, these robotic war machines destroyed just about every ground unit. Their Twin Thermal Lances were like hot knives slicing through butter. Even one or two of these raped almost every unit. If they were backed up by any other ground units they were virtually unstoppable for several minutes while your enemy was forced to adapt and get air units, Banelings, or some other equally, massively destructive units, to take them out. In general - whenever I built three or four of these I was guaranteed the win. These were so much fun to use. Blowing away your enemy's carefully constructed army has never been more satisfying. While I'll agree with just about everyone else who either played with or against the Colossi, that they need a nerf, they embody the Protoss' mobility and purely destructive power. Even with the high gas cost I found myself expanding and saving up my Vespene just to get a few more of them. I hope that once balancing is completed, the Colossi is still able to turn the tide of battles, even if it costs more to do it.

The Phoenix is a worthy successor to both the Corsair and the Scout. It combines the best of both units. It has a relatively low cost and it's ability to wipe the air-field is unparalleled. Swarms of Mutalisks and fleets of Banshees stood no chance against well managed Phoenix and their powerful Overload ability. The ability's cool-down resulting in a temporary "offline" status for the Phoenix offered many innovative strategies. For example, players expected their opponents to jump the gun and so would send in a decoy force and then swoop-in and destroy the entire Protoss fleet. Likewise, some Protoss players were able to anticipate that and so only incapacitated half of their Phoenix, mimicking a "leap-frog" strategy, alternative groups of Phoenix would Overload and then when the next wave came the next group would and so on and so forth. Additionally Overload was fantastic for massacring Zerg players who grouped their Overlords. I could almost hear the screams of anguish from across the hall.

 

comprev3.jpg

The Phase Prism is probably the most innovative and important unit to the re-imagined Protoss force. The Phasing Mode, which allows the Phase Prism to become a mobile Pylon and thus provide the matrix necessary to warp-in units is a unique and powerful ability. Since they also fulfill the Shuttle role they're even more valuable. Their importance cannot be overstated. The mechanic that the Phase Prism provides makes it the most valuable unit on the battlefield. Any game that progressed to the "warp-in phase" was decided by how well these units were protected. The advantage that the Protoss gain from the added mobility really makes them unstoppable if used correctly. I can't imagine some of the amazing strategies we'll see from the placement and subsequent warp-ins we'll see.

The Warp Ray is another unit that makes me glad that this just isn't an updated Brood War. It's a fun and powerful unit. The damage that these things can do if left alone is unprecedented. These can make mincemeat of Ultralisks, Carriers, Battlecruisers, Archons, etc. Any heavy, powerful unit should fear the skies. They're best used as part of a balanced force to both ensure their survival long enough to do their high-powered damage and so their usefulness as beams of destruction is maximized. Let your other units keep most of their force busy while you eliminate their high-cost, high-damage units.

The Carrier was by far my biggest disappointment. I was thrilled that the Escorts weren't in the build but I was quickly discouraged with the extremely high cost (400 Vespene!) and the pathetic damage that one, or even a few of them, were able to produce. It reminded me of why the Carrier was a massable unit - and almost used exclusively in that regard in Brood War. There was no justifiable reason to build Carriers unless you had both the ability, time, and resources to build them en mass without ensuring your own destruction in the meantime. The one characteristic that I was glad to see was the smart-casting Build Interceptor. Otherwise this unit has not changed in any significant way since Brood War. It either needs its cost cut significantly or it needs a significant buff to justify its creation.

The Observer hasn't changed - its importance as a detector is underscored by the fact that Ghosts are not as late of a tech as in Brood War. Besides periodic cannon placement, Observers still fill that essential role.

The Mothership still doesn't feel as though it has found it's place or it's purpose. It seems like a glorified Arbiter. None of it's three abilities, Summon (think Recall), Time Bomb, or Recharge seem to be essential. It's supposed to be a support unit but it is ungodly slow and that makes it unworthy as an attacking support ship. The role it seemed to slip into at the WWI was that of a Protoss Queen. Once your Mothership was built it would sit in your base. Its Time Bomb ability was useful in delaying an enemy attack that was too bunched together. And its Summon ability was able to bring your army back to your base to defend it. Since you could only buy one and its cost was comparative to that of a Carrier - if you had the resources there wasn't a reason not to build one. But it wasn't the support unit that I think they had envisioned and it didn't feel unique enough to justify me getting excited about purchasing one. This is one of the few Protoss units that I think will be continually tweaked, if not removed, throughout the beta.

The Protoss force seems to be a fusion of two new themes. The first, is mobility. Every unit is more mobile than they ever were in Brood War and the warp-in mechanic just elevates the Protoss to a whole new level. The strategies that are going to come out of this are going to separate the good players from the fantastic players. This is where the heart of the new re-imagined Protoss lie. The mobility combined with their expensive, powerful units has now leveled the playing field with the Zerg and Terran's ability to rapidly produce and deploy. The warp-in mechanic inherently encourages its use. The time to warp-in a unit is less than the time it would normally take to build the unit. This direction really redefines the Protoss, or I should say, adds a new dimension to the already powerful Protoss. The second broad theme is that the units encourage the creation of balanced forces. It's obvious that a real effort has been made to make the lower tier units useful in the later stages of the game. Every unit is complementary - not just to another unit, but to the entire range of Protoss units. I most often found myself winning, not by massing one or two units, but with a balanced force of each, based on their strengths and abilities. The only units that really seem out of place are the Mothership, Carrier and to a certain extent, the Archon. It's like their purpose, their role, isn't defined. They seem confused and I didn't find them to be essential the way I did almost every other unit. That isn't to say that massable units won't win you the game or you have to build one of every unit - but the more you balance your force the more you get out of each unit. the micro-management opportunities are incalculable - I feel even more so than in Brood War. When you find that magic formula of units and abilities the Protoss will be a force to be reckoned with, once you master the warp-in mechanic and the various abilities, they'll be unstoppable. I came to the WWI expecting to have fun with the Protoss - I walked away more excited. The Protoss are living up, and exceeding all of my expectations.

 

The Terran

The Terran are extremely polished as well. Their traditional "turtle" role seems to have been exploited and has shifted the focus in that direction. Some of the recent Q&A's seem to suggest that this is why the Terran's aren't inhibited in the early game but I found that they have far more advantages than that. The most important mechanic that the Terrans posses is their ability to build Reactors, which effectively double their unit output. Marines can now be pumped out at incredible rates. With the addition of the Marauder, which is a fantastic unit, the Zealot and its Charge ability is effectively marginalized. While scorned by many in the community, the Medivac, the shuttle, re-imagined to include the Medic's biological healing, only reiterates the focus on the infantry. The Ghost, no longer at the highest level of tech, serves as their primary "spell-caster" and does so quite well providing devastating EMP blasts to the Protoss and dropping Nukes on the all-biological Zerg. Certain units like the Reaper (despite their Terrain jumping ability) and the Jackal (despite it's AOE attack), were actually quite disappointing. Neither seemed to do all that well against, well, anything. The Reaper's mines were actually interesting to harass with - but they still embody the infantry principle - low health, low armor units, which didn't make them at all effective much past the time you had teched to get them.

 

comprev5.jpg

While their focus is on infantry, the Terran's still boast several excellent support units, including the surprisingly fun Viking. The Viking's ability to transform itself from a ground fighter to an airborne air fighter has important strategic implications. One of the best Terran strategies I witnessed while in Paris was using the Vikings in air mode to escort Medivacs full of Marines and Marauders into an enemy base and then transform into their ground incarnations. While their damage seems lower than in previous builds, for their cost of 125 minerals and 75 gas - their mobility is well worth paying for. In addition the Viking is quite good at eliminating Mutalisks - something the Terran air force tended to have trouble with in Brood War. Another unit that goes beyond the infantry mantra is the classic Battlecruiser. In the WWI build the Battlecrusier felt unstoppable. It massacred Hydras, demolished buildings and no damage is wasted; It fires a long burst of small lasers that immediately moves onto the next target once it's current target has been eliminated. The Zerg, with their lack of high damage anti-air, especially, took issue with Battlecruisers. Seige Tanks are the obvious staple of the Terran offense and defense. Their range was increased for this build and it showed. It was phenomenal. Everything about it is great. Even the Immortal is no match for Tanks protected by Marines.

Lastly, the Terrans seem to have a few units out of place. A dedicated air-to-air fighter doesn't seem necessary given the Viking's ability to adequately deal with Mutas. But without longer games and further testing it's hard to say. The Reaper needs to have a bit more health to be useful in the mid to late game - it currently just doesn't fit with it's harass purpose. And the Jackal, while experimental, a fusion of the Vulture and the Firebat, it just doesn't deal enough damage to the Protoss - against the Zerg it did much better but some tweaks will need to be made to ensure that it has a useful purpose in all match-ups. The Thor is another unit that seems to have lost its way along the course of development. It doesn't really do anything... The few times that I faced them as either Protoss or Zerg - they were massacred within seconds. Since their high-yield damage is air only and the games were almost exclusively ground based the Thor's role - was marginalized. This is another unit that I believe the development team needs to evaluate again and again as each change to the build is made. If a better niche isn't found that complements the Terran structure - it needs to be cut.

Overall the Terrans have received a graphical revamp - they look fantastic and they feel like the classic Terrans that we've played with for the last decade. The improvements that have been made since BlizzCon definitely show and the Terrans are becoming increasingly more coherent and focused. Despite their heavy reliance on infantry - which has been beefed considerably to hold through most of the game - the Terrans are now a fusion of the Protoss' sleek high-powered war machines and the Zerg's cheap, mass-produced units.

 

The Zerg

This was my first time playing the Zerg and the first time since Irvine in March that we've seen all three races perform together. It's obvious that the Zerg have the furthest to go in terms of polish and purpose. The core of the Zerg gameplay is the same - mass produce cheap, quick units to overwhelm the enemy. But the re-imagining of the swarm has created some interesting new units and some things that are obviously problematic. One of the most interesting things about the Zerg is the advent of the Queen. The Queen serves a role that didn't exist in Brood War and still has many old players anxious. In general, I wasn't sure about the Queen; she still retains that heroish stigma even though her role has been reduced since her announcement, but she didn't feel that she warranted her description. Her saving grace was the fact that she had a ranged attack (which isn't nearly as awesome looking as her melee one was), but did make her helpful in defending your base against early Mutalisk rushes. Another interesting thing about her - which was actually very cool and innovative was her new Mutate Larvae ability. You target the ability at a Larva, it mutates into a Mutant Larva. The Mutant Larva can them move away from the Hatchery, which allows the Hatchery to spawn another Larva. The tactical advantage is that you can stockpile Larva and thus be able to produce even more units than your Hatcheries would otherwise allow. Overall I felt that the Queen was a tactical necessity for the Zerg even though I wasn't ever sure exactly how I ultimately felt about her.

 

comprev4.jpg

An interesting caveat about the Zerg - they are the ones who would have benefited the most from the controversial MBS (multiple building selection). The ability to control your entire swarm and hatch whatever unit you wanted from all the Larva that you had would have had definite consequences for your enemies. But interestingly enough a unique compromise was put in place you can still select as many Larva, Gateways, Barracks, etc as you have but you have to click (or hot-key tap) once for every Larva, Gateway, Barracks, etc. as you have selected. This is extremely different from the Zerg in BW. In BW you selected 12 Larva and spawned 12 Hydras with one hot-key tap or click. Now with this MBS mechanic you'd have to click or tap 12 times to do the same thing. Personally, I think this is a fantastic compromise to the MBS problem and I hope that it, or some variant of it stays.

The Zerg forces in general are a mixed bag. Units like the Zergling, the Baneling, and the Roach are all extremely fun and interesting. The Banelings use has probably been understated despite the fact that they are a bit slower. The Roach is very unique and while it isn't as difficult to kill as many, it still provides new micro opportunities and diversifies the Zerg a bit. However, units like the Hydralisk, Mutalisk, and the Corrupter are hurting. All of them are weak and their damage is quite pathetic. Despite the information that we had on the Hydra - it's a definite glass cannon. The problem is that it doesn't even feel like it does the damage as advertised. The Hydra needs to gain some serious hit points to be considered viable. The Mutalisk suffers from much of the same problem. It's weak and it is now countered effectively but several units in both other races reducing it's effectiveness even more. The Corrupter has been weakened as well. They're no match for dedicated air to air units and the Corruption effect isn't all that good. The Lurker is currently a complete disgrace. The tech required to get it is discouraging and the game is probably over by the time it's reached. I barely saw anyone use it at all.

The one very cool tactic that I saw used quite a bit was the Overlord's ability to drop creep and then Nydus Worm behind enemy positions, etc. Basically the Zerg are even more mobile than they were before. The multiple exits they can build is an extraordinarily awesome advantage. Overall the Zerg look quite cool and things like the thicker, more vibrant Creep makes the race look more polished. But overall the Zerg most definitely need the most work. Each unit needs to be evaluated for a graphical redo and to see what their position really is. Still the progress made from what we saw in Irvine is impressive and we have been repeatedly assured that the Zerg are nowhere near done.

OldLine.jpg

 

Conclusion

The races flow; the game flows - it's familiar and new at the same time. It's like greeting an old friend but both expecting and knowing that since the last time you saw him, he's changed. The new game mechanics are a fitting tribute to the uniqueness of the three races, which is precisely what Blizzard wanted. They wanted to re-imagine StarCraft - not reinvent it. The new mechanics enhance the racial differences that were inherent in BW. They only add to the unique complexity that exist in the match-ups between three very different but balanced races. There's enough nostalgia to make the StarCraft II a sequel - not a new franchise and enough new material to make it a new game - not just a revamp of it's predecessor. What we've waited for, for so long, is taking shape; even when I was trying to be critical - I couldn't help myself, I was having fun.

 

diablo3.jpg

So then, Diablo III. Some of you saw it coming, some of you are happy it came and probably a fair few are thinking "so what?". To all but the very latter, I present for you a round up of the information so far. The main aim for the development team of Diablo III seems to be very similar to the aim of the StarCraft II development team, to retain the feel and core gameplay of the original while allowing the series to develop along a modern line. Thusly, it was confirmed at the WWI that the emphasis is still very much on kicking a rather major amount of ass with a singular character or small group of friends. This group will most probably not exceed five members, although final numbers are yet to be decided. Talking of groups, there is a new focus in the development of Diablo III, as there has been in other recently announced titles such as Red Alert III, on co-operative play. This will, one would assume, bare a striking resemblance to the original games' way of doing things, making enemies harder to kill. While encounters and general gameplay will obviously vary from a single player game, the loot and content available will not. However, the focus will not be exclusively on multiplayer co-op, a system for competitive play is also being developed. All of these multiplayer modes will be available via the new battle.net, which is being kept strictly under wraps at this point, although a fan question revealed that it would include anti-cheat systems which already significantly outrank those employed on the current battle.net.

The most interesting phrase so far attributed to the character creation and development system were the words "Crazy, cool, awesome" used by Jay Wilson while introducing it. Focus will be on massive battles, overpowered abilities and a ridiculously large amount of what can only be described as "win". The development team also wishes to create strong and unique archetypes for each character, where the instant image one gets when a class is named, for instance Barbarian, will be the type of art used in game. For our example, merely glance at any of the many, many screenshots which are circulating the web of the pure carnage displayed by the Barbarian and his variety of highly painful maneuvers.

There is also a focus on maintaining the random aspect of the original Diablo games. This includes, in addition to random loot, dungeons and monsters, a new feature called "Adventures". This is a system in which the developers have managed, via a clever piece of programming wizardry, to create completely random scripted events within a game world. For instance, were you passing through a forest, you may happen upon a clearing where evil cultists had begun to summon particularly deadly foes. This wandering, and thus finding of these random events, encounters and delicious loot, will be assisted by an "opt-in" style of storyline, where a player can avoid or participate in the storyline as much as he wishes.

The major change from the original Diablo games to this new iteration seems to be the issue of health. Jay Wilson described the situation often encountered in the original game where, to win against a particularly vicious monster or group, a player would merely have to set up a drip-feed of potions to his character, rendering him neigh invulnerable. This has been replaced with a system of "health orbs" which are dropped by destroyed creatures. Those of you who have played the Devil May Cry series of games are thinking exactly the right thing. The most original thing about these orbs is that they heal the entire party, no matter who picks them up. This means that there will be no mad scrambles between bleeding friends, and no hogging by he with the fastest movement, lowest lag or best mouse hand. Jay Wilson mentioned at the WWI that they had tried the current FPS standard of regenerating health, but had decided that they massively preferred forcing the player into combat as much as possible, so health-dropping enemies seemed the right direction to go.

d3screenth.jpg

There was a question asked about map editing and modding that gave up an interesting answer. As opposed to StarCraft II, where the current joke is "Can the map edit-?" "Yes it can!", the Diablo 3 editing tools are not a big focus and the game itself will not be open to easy modding. This strikes me as a little restrictive, as the capacity to, for instance, create new units, bosses, adventures, character classes, NPCs or the like would be one that would allow D3 to extend its legacy as far as possible. However, no exact specifics on this side of the development have been released, so it is possible that these ideas will be either changed or expanded on in the future.

Of lore released and tales spun, there is not much, except that which is available at the official website. There you can find information on the two character classes released thus far, monster types, environments and general information on the world itself. Plus a frankly awesome picture of the Arch-Angel Tyreal. I particularly recommend the class pages, as the videos of their various spells and abilities are exceedingly cool. Unfortunately, not included is the "Wall of Zombies" ability showcased at the WWI, which is exactly what it says on the tin.

So there you have it, my impressions of Diablo III. I have to say I'm excited. Once again, Blizzard makes me happy I'm a gamer.

sclintern.jpg

This Q&A took place between staff of StarCraft: Legacy that attended the 2008 Worldwide Invitational and members of StarCraft: Legacy's sister site Blizzforums:


Index
General
Zerg
Terran
Protoss

OldLine.jpg

General Questions

What are the devs doing to keep clutter down in terms of large units (new Swarm Guardian) and opaque attack effects like lasers? - viperjo

There didn't seem to be much clutter. There are a few things that still have a bit of clutter (dead marines, and some dead zerg units) but besides that everything was looking much clearer. We can only expect the clutter to continue to decrease. We specifically brought this up to Samwise and he said they were aware of the problem and were balancing the cool factor with clarity.

Does the new gas mechanic work out well? - Nicol Bolas

It's...interesting. Both yes and no. The way it was implemented seemed like it could increase macro but when your geysers ran out they turned red and a sound alerted you so all you had to do was click it. Now your assimilators/refinery/etc would be out for 45 seconds so it became managing the gas you had at the time. We think the concept is good but that it needs to be tweaked to make it more challenging and useful instead of as an annoyance. Also, many of the units' gas prices had been seriously upgraded - for example the Carrier cost 400 gas - the same as the Mothership - for the cost of a Carrier it turned out to be pathetic and not worth much at all.

Also, how does this mechanic interact with the ability to go for late-tier units? The concern being that you may need 4+ expansions before being able to get a power air army. - Nicol Bolas

It depends - the idea in StarCraft II is that you have a balanced force instead of just an army of one unit... so if you were to mix in a few Collossi, Stalkers, lots, Warp Rys,etc or whatever combo you'd like it isn't debilitating - you just have to be very smart and have scouted well to know what you'll be fighting. So to answer your question - it's quite difficult but a well managed and defended 2-3 bases would be fine.

How does MBS work?

You can select more units than necessary (no idea of the limit) and you can still select multiple buildings but you have to click the unit you want to build once of every building you have selected if you want to build the same unit in each building (or you can mix and match - say we select 10 gateways – we can click z five times and s five times to make five Zealots and five Stalkers).

Were there benefits to keeping the Overlords as Overlords and not Overseers? - ShadowAldrius

None that we're aware of. The detection is imperative.

Were Reaper's effective so late in the tree, and have they been altered at all otherwise? Same question for Hydralisk. - ShadowAldrius

Reapers - they were if you could get a medivac with them and used them to harass/diversion etc.

Hydralisk - We heard a lot of different opinions - they are VERY weak - and we know for a fact that one of our friends sent 30-40 at 10 battle cruisers and lost horribly... In mixed groups they are pretty good - as a single force - no. The name of the game is mixed forces now.

Does the overall grit they put into the game feel enough, or do they need to put in more? - mgcemir

It looks great - the Terran and Protoss are very polished - the Zerg still look a little cartoony - big etc. They need polish but we were very happy with the look.

Any news on the required computer specifications? - mgcemir


No - the computers they had there occasionally chugged but that's because the game hasn't been optimized.

How much is the unit selection limit, was there one in the WWI build? - Slickr

We're pretty sure it was unlimited.

Is StarCraft II fast paced or is it slower than StarCraft? - Slickr

There seems to be more to do in StarCraft II than in StarCraft.

Are there any overlaps in unit roles in the races? - Slickr

Samwise said during a press conferance that this was pretty much deliberately avoided. From what we saw, it was.

How much time would you say passes until you start building more of the mid(tier 2) units, or to rephrase my question - how much time until the mid-game starts? - Slickr

It's different from game to game, but if you call everything Tier 2 mid-game, then it could be everything from 7-8 minutes to 20 minutes. It's the same as StarCraft to be honest- as fast or slow as you like.

How does the Line of Sight and cliff mechanic feel right now across the different races? - XSOLDIER

It's not a big a deal as they're making out, except for Reapers/Colossi/Stalkers and their cliff climbing. W more hours of play are necessary than we will get until the game is released, to answer this question adequately. So we'll just say we think it's shaping up nicely.

Were there any particular effective unit combinations for any of the races that you noticed/enjoyed at any stage of the game? - XSOLDIER

Colossus, Immortal and a bunch of Phoenix were practically unbeatable. Marine/Marauder early game rush worked well also.

OldLine.jpg

Zerg Questions

Are Zerg units actually disadvantaged by cliff-climbing and so forth, as some players on other boards suggested? - Nicol Bolas

Disadvantaged? eh that's a tough one to answer - do we think they'd benefit from one? Yes. But every race could/does benefit from one - the mechanic is very cool and we'd love to see something from the Zerg race do it. When we asked Karune/Samwise about it - their answer was that the Nydus Worm kind of made it a moot point - however in the build that we played there was no worm - it worked just like a Nydus Canal - and you did have to have creep for the exit (though the Overlord drop creep thing facilitated this), so we'll see what happens.

Can the Zerg Crawler buildings walk off of the Creep at all, or would you have to actually Overlord-walk or Creep Tumor them to a choke point? - Nicol Bolas

They can walk - though they are slow and lose health and they lose their armor when they get up so it's possible but definitely not advisable.

Speaking of Creep Tumors, how does the current Queen feel, in terms of her usefulness? - Nicol Bolas

Our view of the queen is still mixed. Even when she is fully upgraded she is no match for an Ultralisk. But the Mutant Larva are a huge help when you decide it's time to push - as long as you have the resources to support that kind of production. The Swarm ability we didn't really see a need to use much, but the Queen can be very helpful early game and even late game to help prevent drops especially since she's now ranged.

Is the Overlord Creep Drop an innate ability or do you have to research it? And if so, where does it come from? - Nicol Bolas

It's innate. The interesting thing is, Overseers don't have this ability.

How does the Corrupter work right now? I've read it's pretty much useless. - NeoSoviet

It corrupts units that makes them turn on their allies until the corruption destroys them. In answer to your uselessness - the Corruptors are a support unit not a single army unit IMO.

Is charge a really useful ability at this point?- NeoSoviet

It's essential.

When an Infestor burrows, can it move up to another terrain level? - SoFool

We don't think we saw anyone try it but we don't believe so, otherwise it would have come up when we asked about Z and the cliff jumpers.

Was the Queen a necessary investment?- ShadowAldrius

It in itself it is weak - but the Mutant Larva was very cool. Just for that it was worth it for me - in addition it is a very good defensive unit and very fast to try and slow down a drop or a surprise attack. We know that the Queen was useful early on in rushing stage if you had some other units to work with her.

How exactly did the Overseer's new ability to create Changelings work? Could the opponent control the changeling? - ShadowAldrius

It's a stealth element for internal scouting. To be honest, we can't see it being a huge amount of use.

Was the Queen a necessary investment in your opinion? - ShadowAldrius

It only costs 150 minerals to get a version which can heal buildings. So yeah, definitely.

Do Crawlers take damage off the Creep? - Kimera757

They don't take damage off the creep.

Is there any easy way to put Crawlers around a new expansion while the new Hatchery is still being built? (Because they're slow, I don't count having them crawl to the new expansion to be an easy method.) - Kimera757

Make an Overlord create the creep around the Hatchery that is being built. Or make Creep Tumors all the way to the Hatchery. That's the only methods.

How are Queens stronger on Creep? (I hear they attack and regenerate faster on Creep.) - Kimera757

There is an ability called "Creep Move" now, which means that any unit with this ability moves faster on creep and REALLY slow when not on creep. This ability applies to every tier of the Queen, Mutant Larva, Spine Crawler and Spore Crawler.

The Queen is stronger on creep because of a number of points:

  • Creep Move.
  • Her abilities are mostly helpful when near the base, or structures. We'll elaborate.
  • Mutant Larva, can be used on an existing Larva, builds in 50 seconds. It takes 1 pop, and can move anywhere. It can be useful to "save up" Larvas and build many units when you suddenly need them. Can't morph to Drone. It has normal move speed, and it is slow off the creep. They're bigger than normal larva, and have more spikes.
  • Transfusion (50 energy) "Instantly restores health to target biologogical unit or structure" This ability is about 5 range, and heals about 200hp. Very nice together with Spine Crawlers, defensive structure early game.
  • At Tier 2 (Large Queen) the queen recieves Deep Tunnel. 15 sec cooldown, costs 0 energy. "Queen tunnels deep underground and surfaces at target Zerg building."
  • At Tier 3 (Huge Queen) the queen recieves Swarm Infestation. 10 sec cooldown, costs 100 energy. "Makes Zerg buildings in target area rapidly launch attacks at nearby enemies." (The area of effect is about the size of a Hive, you can manage to hit many structures at once with this.)

One interesting thing about the Queen, when you build it it starts with 50 energy, max energy is 150. When you upgrade her, it doesn't matter how much energy she had. Large Queens ALWAYS start with 100 energy, max 200. Huge starts out with 200 and has 400 as a max. Also, if you have an upgraded Queen, and she dies, you can build a new one that is upgraded from the Lair/Hive. You don't have to build a regular Queen and then upgrade her again, once or twice.

Did buildings explode and release "Swarms"? - Kimera757

Yes. It was awesome.

With the Overlords being relatively fast to produce, did the Zerg rush happen even faster than before? - Psi Warp

No, Spawning Pool takes 65 seconds to build, and Zerglings take 23. Zerglings are very weak at the moment.

If a Phase Prism deploys at the edge of an elevated platform, does its Pylon matrix extend into the lower platform? - Blazur

Yes.

What happens to anything underneath anti-gravity when the unit/building is dropped? - Blazur

It just moves.

How does the Mutant Larva work? What's the idea? - Norfindel

You basically get to save up Larva that can move away from the Hatchery and have lots of Larva for when you need them.

Does the Corruptor require a lair to be built or do you have to build a spire for it as well? - Slickr

Lair. No spire required.

Is the Queen rush viable, i.e. creating creep in the enemy base via Overlords/Overseers and then teleporting the Queen there? - Slickr

This is not possible, as the Queen requires friendly structures to deep tunnel.

Is the Mutalisk useful and cost-effective? - Slickr

Mutalisks are great for harassing, just like in StarCraft.

Do the Zerg have any weaknesses to cloaked units since you need Overseers to see cloaked units but lack early GTA or even ATA to prevent the enemy from killing the Overlords? - Slickr

The Spore Crawler is a detector as well, and it requires only the Evolution Chamber. Corruptors only require a Lair, so you can get those early on as well.

How does the Hydralisk stand against small units and do the Zerg have trouble from air attacks early to mid game? - Slickr

We didn't use a lot of Hydras, and apparently they were woefully underpowered, particularly against Battlecruisers. They wouldn't be used against small targets though, as Banelings are your primary anti-everything-light. The Corruptor being available before any other piece of air means you are well prepared against an air rush, especially as it is so powerful.

How do the Zerg handle against a Marines, Medivac push knowing that the Medivac is a flying unit and the Zerg have no GTA up until mid game and even upper since the Hydralisk is a bit too expensive (100/100)? - Slickr

Corruptors and Banelings. Bye bye Marines. =)

How does the Zerg air force feel in comparison to the other races at the moment? - XSOLDIER

They've got the triangle of AA (Corruptor) AG (Swarm Guardian) and Jack of All Trades (mutalisk). One thing that we noticed was the range on Corruptors and Mutas was small. Like, Corruptors are nearing melee range and Mutas aren't far away either. However, they seem to be a balanced air force, although we wouldn't be surprised to see an additional unit of some sort in the near future.

How does the Roach fill the Hydralisk's old spot as the Tier 1 ranged unit, and by the same token, how is the Hydralisk fairing with the Mutalisk overlap at Tier 2 that was a big concern? - XSOLDIER

Hydras need balancing. Badly. That's pretty much all we can say on that. They're underpowered and feel wrong from the accounts we've heard. The Roach is quite powerful, but focus fire is it's main enemy. However, especially in ZvZ, they are awesome, and very helpful. Roach and Lurker could be a deadly force in the mid(possibly late)-game particularly.

What about the Zerg Race seems the most polished at this point, and what elements feel like they need the most attention? - XSOLDIER

Zerg early-game feels the most polished i.e. Queen, Spine buildings, Zerglings and Roaches. They seemed to fit together well, the end and mid-game, with the exception of Ultralisks, which need some work. Air units need some work as well. Models and textures are sure to improve though.

Do the Zerg feel like they have the AA/GtA capability to protect their Overlords/Overseers right now, especially during the transition into early Tier 2 since the Nydus Network now requires Overlords to act as escorts to drop the Creep to deploy? - XSOLDIER

Good question. The short answer is no. There were many people that had problems going up against big forces of air, like many Battlecruisers. Both Hydras and Corruptors failed massively. This is really something Blizzard has to work with. Smaller forces like harassment of the Overlords etc. wasn't really a problem considering how fast you have the speed upgrade. Overseers got better speed without upgrades.

Is it a little easy to manage Zerg base defense, and multiple expansions now that a Queen has a somewhat diminished role? - XSOLDIER

Was it too easy to build base defenses in StarCraft? Compared to the other races, it's pretty much the same difficulty level.

Since the Zerg lack MBS, and the Protoss can Warp-In multiple units at once, and the Terrans can now double pump, are the Zerg feeling slower than the other races, or are they still managing to keep up pace wise with the addition of the Mutant Larvae? - XSOLDIER

You can still target multiple Larva, Zerg is easily the fastest race.

If you string out Creep with Overlords, and walk several Spine/Spore Crawlers out and plant them, do they start to get injured when the Creep retreats, or does it allow them to stay planted further out as long as they don't attempt to re-deploy? - XSOLDIER

We believe they take damage when they're planted not on creep. Once they uproot, they should be fine though. You can just keep making creep with Overlords though, they never get empty.

Have you placed Creep Tumors everywhere in a maniacal sense? (SPREAD THE CREEP!) - Psi Warp

If you keep building them from the Hatchery as well as from other Creep Tumors, you can basically spread creep everywhere. =)

OldLine.jpg

Terran Questions

Have we really seen the death of Terran Factory builds being the dominant Terran strategy? - Nicol Bolas

Possibly. The Terran infantry is extraordinarily powerful if used correctly and microed well, but we’re not sure that it could sustain the Terrans mid-late to late game. The Factory will still be important we just doubt that it will get rushed to as quickly as it is now.

How does the Jackal match up against any race, is it useful? - NeoSoviet

Only when it's part of a mixed group - every time we saw Jackals by themselves they got annihilated.

How are M&M combos working in conjunction with the Medivac? - NeoSoviet

It's different but fun. Some people thought the Marines were too weak - others thought they were too strong. The Medivac makes you rely on other strategies early game than a standard T push. We think it fits a little better and adds alternative mobility to the Terrans.

Was the Viking's ground form an effective unit?- ShadowAldrius

Yes, but it's versatility is it's greatest asset. Often the game wouldn't make it past marines/maruders.

What about the Sensor Tower/Radar Tower - does it still give Missile Turrets detection, or do the Missile Turrets get that by themselves - Kimera757

The Turret still needs the tower for detection.

Can you explain the marauder's slow/stop ability? When the target is hit does it stop momentarily and then continue to move or does it just slow down but continue to move. Does it have splash that you are aware of? - viperjo

It's great early game vs Zerg. There was a group of infantry, and an opponent tried to harass with Zerglings, but got owned 'cause of a single Marauder slowing them. It does have splash, and they slow down and continue running, they don't stop. The Zerglings became slow enough for Marines to chase down and kill them.

How effective are reapers? - Blazur

How does the salvage ability work? - Blazur

Salvage is 100% selling. It's probably mostly for add-ons (and probably for Planetary Fortress/Surveillance Station as well).

They're fun and with a mix of units they're excellent at harass/diversion.

Tell us more about Terran Infantry.

Terran infantry is awesome. Awesome as in "I can see this being pretty overpowered". You don't need any additional tech so with 2 Barracks you can pump out 4 Marines. Go from that to an Engineering Bay and another Barracks with a Tech Lab and you're looking at some serious firepower and hard counters to Banelings, Zerglings, Zealots and Immortals (any low damage fire). You can then go for some more standard metal, or some air for Medivacs. Or, you could continue on the infantry angle and get some Ghosts. We can see the pros getting Nukes out in about 7-10 minutes. These Nukes are purchased at the Ghost building, and require a Starport (which requires a Factory).

How do Marauders play against the Protoss or Zerg army? Are they really useful, can you mass them, are they best used with a combination of units and what type of armor do they have, etc? - Slickr

They're extremely important versus early Banelings if you want to keep your Marines safe. Used like this with Marines they could be devastating rushers against Zerg. The only counter would be quick Roaches, which can be countered with focus fire. Against Protoss their usefulness will dwindle, but they still deal solid damage and can slow Stalkers so that Blink is of less use. Massing isn't easy as it requires a Tech Lab add-on and is reasonably expensive.

What about the Ghost. Is it a good unit, is it useful, etc? - Slickr

We like it. It's available much earlier, for less cost, and Nukes are easily available. Snipe is nice, as are it's other abilities.

What happens if you have a double production add-on but don't have enough resources for the add-on to produce the second unit? Does it build just one or...? - Slickr

Double production works the same as if you had one production, only the second unit you put in the queue is built as well. So you'd just press the button once instead of twice.

OldLine.jpg

Protoss Questions

Is the Mothership useful at all? - NeoSoviet

It is abysmally slow so when most people bought one they used it as a base defense. Its Recall ability is nice to bring your army back - just like in StarCraft - , as is its Timebomb ability to stall for time. In this build you could only have one Mothership and it can attack both air and ground. Here are its abilities:

Recharge Energy (e): "Recharges the energy of a friendly unit." - a spell ability.
Summon (n): "Summon target ground unit."
Time Bomb (t): "Creates a distortion field around the Mothership that lasts 30 seconds. Air units within this field can not move, and take no damage from ranged attacks."

How does hardened shield work, especially against zerg? - wuu

Zerg units with high damage:
Ultralisk 20 (60 vs buildings it 4 shots a bunker)
Swarm Guardian 25
Baneling 40 +30 vs Light.
Hydralisk Ground Attack 12 +5 vs Armored.
Lurker 10 +30 vs Armored

And we have to mention the Queen, because they have 2 attacks that they do simultaneously. Large and Huge Queen does 9 and 12 damage, respectively. Weapon speed: Fast. So they will do about twice the damage as other Zerg units, before the shields are off.

So to conclude, the Queen works fine against the Immortal, but you have only one, and you don't attack much with her, you stay defensive. Lurkers are great once the shields are down. They are Tier 2.5, which makes them hard to get when you actually need them. Swarm Guardians requires greater spire, which is actually Tier 2.5. You need only Lair and Spire. And since the Immortal doesn't attack air, Swarm Guardians are a safe win against the Immortals.

So basically, before the shield, that always takes 10 or less damage, is gone, Zerglings, Roaches are good vs the Immortal. After that, Lurker or Swarm Guardians are great. Overall Hydralisks are good, because of their damage 12 +5vs Armored, Normal attack speed, and you will probably have high numbers of them. Their range makes them easier to micro as well.

Will they be changing the animation for psi-storm? - iAm

It's already changed. It wasn't the same in the build we played. It looks similar to the Psionic Storm from StarCraft 1, just in 3D. We'd say it's large enough to cover about 13 tightly grouped Marines.

Tell us about the Carrier.

It can build eight Interceptors. It's okay but not super fantastic against light-air and it can still out-range static defenses.

Is the Nullifier overpowered considering it is a very early-game unit, but has such strong abilities? Also can you explain how anti-gravity works in detail; how much AOE would you say it has, and can it be exploited by lifting up a "nexus" for example and preventing the gathering of resources? - Slickr

"Such strong abilities" is a little inaccurate. Early game lifting two units off the ground, maximum (50 cost on AG, needs to be researched and the Nullifier only starts with 50 energy out of 100 max, which takes a while to build up), isn't very helpful except in a minority of circumstances (maybe in very small skirmishes where you can't afford Banelings to own your face). Force Field is "nice" in conjunction with Stalkers, but again only in select circumstances and it can be countered with a bit of intelligent placement of units (don't move all your units to one side of the barriers). AG is single target and Karune has said in a previous Q&A that it would not work on a Nexus/Command Center/Hatchery. More likely we'll see Force Field placement to force bad pathing on units. The Nullifiers attack, meanwhile, only does 5 damage.

How are Nullifiers feeling as early Protoss casters, and do they suffer any overlap into the High Templar's role? - XSOLDIER

They shouldn't overlap, their spells are quite different.

resource1.jpg

Resources - without them there would be no great empires. Throughout this world's history, and that of the Koprulu sector, the rise and fall of people and races has been dependent on the ability to control and extract the resources necessary to produce and grow as a civilization. In StarCraft, the expansion to control more mineral deposits and Vespene geysers is absolutely necessary and just as important as the units and buildings that will ultimately be produced to fight in your games. Since the announcement of StarCraft II, there has been quite a bit of discussion about whether or not the game is too easy for the hardcore player. With the introduction of MBS (multiple building selection), auto-mine, smart-casting, and virtually unlimited unit selection, the emphasis on some aspects of both micro and macro seems to have decreased. That isn't to say that there is no micro or macro is present in StarCraft II just that our traditional, ten-year-old understanding and expectations of micro and macro are being challenged.

Blizzard's StarCraft II team is well aware of the role that micro and macro have played in the development of StarCraft as an e-sport as well as the overall success of the game. However, there is a perceived need to balance the game with a mixture of StarCraft's traditional expressions of micro and macro with modern user interface improvements. Therefore the development team is constantly trying to introduce new ways to add game-play elements with an emphasis on encouraging good micro and macro that are independent of the user interface. Abilities like the Stalker's blink, the Reaper's mines, the cliff-walking, and any other unit ability that you can think of all will work without knowledge and good use of micro but those same abilities used by a player with micro understanding will have a far richer and more complete experience, not to mention the obvious advantage. Likewise, the Terran's ability to swap out building add-ons, the removal of the Zerg's ability to mass select-build mechanic, and the introduction/changes to resource collection are all efforts to promote and reward macro-management.

One of the most important aspects of macro-management in StarCraft and Brood War was the emphasis on properly managing your economy. Players that understood when and why it was necessary to expand, build more probes, or when not to, had an enormous advantage over their opponent who did not. In the same vein as the principles of macro that were inherent to the original game, the developers of StarCraft II introduced two changes to the resource collection mechanics in the recent World Wide Invitational (Paris) build.

The first and most obvious change in the WWI build was the addition of a new macro element to extraction of Vespene gas. Here is an updated explanation of how it and the rest of the resource system works via our Blizzard Blue Updates page:

Cavez elaborates on the new gas mechanic:
Here is how it works. All numbers are subject to change. We have changed the balance since the WWI build and will be fiddling with the balance this coming week for sure.

You start with two Vespene Geysers in your base and at every expansion (some maps will not do this of course, but all the WWI maps do). Optimal number of workers per gas collection building is 3 (so you need 6 total).

All gas collection buildings start with a certain amount of gas (like SC1). I believe it's 1000 in your WWI build.

When a gas collector runs out it becomes "depleted" (like SC1). A depleted gas collector still allows you to harvest some gas (like SC1). In the WWI build you collect 6 gas per trip from a working gas collector and 2 gas per trip when depleted.

All gas collectors have a "Restore Gas" (name temp) button that you can use to return your gas collector to a non-depleted state. In the WWI build this gets you 400 gas back into your collector. Restoring Gas costs 100 minerals and takes the gas collector down for 45 seconds (all numbers temp).

Like all things this is work-in-progress, but here is what we have seen in the games we have played:

1) You can choose how much gas you want. The more gas you want, the less minerals you will have. If you build your 2nd gas collector too soon, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you go gas too late, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you use "Restore Gas" too few times you may not have enough gas to do some of the crazy end-game stuff. If you use it to often early on you may have too much gas and not enough minerals.

2) Some of the more mass-able units are very, very gas heavy. You can scout a player and gain some sense which way he is headed based on how quickly he goes for double gas.

3) Sometimes you don't want to "Restore Gas" if you need just a little more gas in the short term because you are trying to tech or build something critical. Since it takes down your gas collector for 45 seconds you may need to hold if you are close to being able to afford something that requires gas. This of course damages your gas collection for the long haul which makes the choice difficult.

Why we are trying it:

1) We think gas could be more interesting than it was in the original StarCraft.

2) We think StarCraft 2 can benefit from additional economy choices.

I think that's all of it. Now that you have complete information, please discuss. =)

Cavez talking about the mineral collection rate:

Minerals are down to 5 per trip, but they harvest a little more quickly. We have been doing some timed comparisons of minerals in the original SC to SC2 and we have been really putting a lot of effort into getting the collection rate to be the same. The pathing is SO much better in SC2 that we were collecting minerals at a ferocious rate.

So now mineral collection is pretty close to SC1.

Cavez answers a rumor that gas collection buildings have an ability to let peons harvest gas two at a time with cooldown:

We aren't doing that currently though we did discuss it. We certainly wouldn't add it to what we have at WWI. It would be one or the other. Generally the "cooldown" type abilities we tried were a bit dull because you just mashed the button whenever the cooldown came up. Putting a minerals cost to the ability has so far been much more interesting.

Cavez answers the following questions posed by Blazur:
1) Will there be any way to regenerate minerals?
2) Can you Restore Gas an unlimited number of times?

1) No. At least not right now.=)
2) Yes.

I'm a little worried about some weird end-game scenarios where you have way too much gas but so far it hasn't been as much of a problem as I thought it would be.

Each mineral field still has 1500 minerals:


Still 1500. We are only trying to lower the rate of minerals collection. We still want an expansion to have the same minerals value that it did in the original game.

Now how did this impact the gameplay? The most noticeable difference is that the higher tier units' gas prices appear to have been doubled. For example, a Carrier cost 400 gas - the same as a Mothership's gas price. That made it quite difficult to mass any later-tier units. I found that this gas trade-off encouraged players to use a balanced force to attack instead of massing a single unit. Of course, the better players that expanded and were able to keep their resource numbers high were able to do whatever they wanted - but by that point the game was over anyways. Since there were two geysers and you were able to replenish them an unlimited number of times (even at the cost of 45 seconds and 100 minerals) I didn't find the mechanic to be overly prohibitive - just different. But, for many of the hardcore and older StarCraft: Brood War players they felt rushed to expand because they weren't used to being pressured by gas requirements. One or two Colossi in conjunction with a balanced force of cheaper gas units (Stalkers, etc.) was more than enough to win any pitched battle. As a matter of fact, it encourages, shorter, more intense games, especially since each of the races' forces are so mobile. Most games I witnessed ended under 15 minutes, and well below the 20 minute limit. It did however have an adverse affect on some units, including the Carrier, which was particularly weak in this build; the firepower that one, or even a few of them, provided was a waste. It looked as if once again, some units were only influential en mass - but this particular mechanic seemed to contradict and discourage that play style.

resource2.jpg

However, it did feel that this mechanic was a "forced" attempt to artificially create macro. Perhaps it was because the games were so short but the strategies that Blizzard seems to wants to foster with this mechanic never really came into play. Once one of your geysers was depleted a warning beeping sound would be played and the Assimilator would glow red. That made it easy to know which Assimilator was depleted even if you weren't keeping track of how much gas each of your geysers had remaining. Since the only decisions you have to make, as mentioned above by Cavez, are when to begin extracting gas and when/if to recycle your geysers. Both of these seem to be no-brainers, almost all units require gas and unlike StarCraft, for the small price of 100 minerals you aren't ever forced to move your primary gas extraction points. That isn't to say that two geysers in your main is the best or most effective way to play - expansions are still incredibly important, but that it's no longer necessary for the casual player. I too think gas could play a more interesting role; I'm just not convinced that this is the way to do it. Doubling the gas costs for some units changes an entire gameplay dimension. It forces you to be more careful when selecting which units to purchase - or at least it's intended to, but it doesn't always accomplish that aim because if you're smart, gas production isn't affected all that drastically. If it cost more minerals it could have a drastic influence on the game.

Minerals are down to 5 per trip, but they harvest a little more quickly. We have been doing some timed comparisons of minerals in the original SC to SC2 and we have been really putting a lot of effort into getting the collection rate to be the same. The pathing is SO much better in SC2 that we were collecting minerals at a ferocious rate.

So now mineral collection is pretty close to SC1.

Quote:

Q: Does each mineral field have 1500 minerals still, or has that been lowered as well?

Still 1500. We are only trying to lower the rate of minerals collection. We still want an expansion to have the same minerals value that it did in the original game.

As stated above, mineral collection is really quite similar to StarCraft and I didn't notice to much of a difference in collection rates. But the addition of two new probes at the beginning of the game (up from 4 to 6) really speeds up the early game. Everything just comes faster. This is, generally speculating, a good thing. Since all three races are affected by this change - there is no one-sided advantage.

One of the newest aspects of StarCraft II is the automation. With the option to make many things an "auto-cast," the micro-management has lost some of its steam. In the original StarCraft, the player was able to rally their newly built workers near the resource nodes (both gas and minerals), but the workers had to be individually selected and told to mine a mineral node or harvest a vespene geyser. This has now been changed to suit more automation and less micro-managing in the base. When mineral deposits are selected as a Nexus' rally point, any new workers built from that Nexus will automatically start mining once warped-in. This makes the game fast-paced and allows the player to focus more on the battle than the economy, which irritated many older players. Auto-mine by itself isn't destructive - but coupled with several other UI changes, including MBS and the ability to queue buildings, makes the game a different experience. It's important to note that no one is forced to use these features, but the advantages or disadvantages have yet to be fully explored.

resource3.jpg

The other large mineral change from the original StarCraft that was still in the WWI build was that the yellow minerals still exist. These golden high-yield minerals will return eight units per trip instead of the standard five. They were usually placed in difficult-to-defend positions, and the idea is that they'll foster new strategic opportunities for both the player and the map-maker. I did notice that during some games that the yellow minerals were pivotal and heavily influenced late game strategy - it's just far easier to pump out more units when you have more minerals.

The last change that seemed to influence resource gathering was the fact that like WarCraft III, the maps are pre-scouted and are just covered by the fog of war. This means that even on maps which you don't know well, you know where to send your units to establish expansions, scout for the enemy, etc. This also means fewer mis-clicks and less time wasted accomplishing the same task. The larger effects of this lifted shroud of darkness remain to be seen - assuming that this wasn't just for the WWI build and all games will be begin with the map pre-scouted.

At the end of the day it felt like all the WWI build resource gathering attributes and mechanics are innovative to the StarCraft franchise and are attempting to make the game more interesting - without being prohibitive. All together they add different takes on classic mechanics. The gas mechanic, I'm sure, will be tweaked extensively, hopefully to the point where it doesn't feel forced, but rather that the player is being rewarded for having the skill to manage the entire map. One of the things that made StarCraft so unique was that those that could do it well - dominated those that couldn't. It wasn't something that the game taught - it was something that you had to learn about playing the game at the highest level. Casual players weren't able to grasp the depth of StarCraft's unique brilliance in that regard; it was rich and had so many intricate levels of play; we hope that in StarCraft II - the acquired skill to macro awesomely will be a worthy successor to the legacy created by the original.

The game we're all patiently waiting for is absolutely amazing. Although it's still a work in progress, it's currently better than many other released RTS games. This is what we've learned to expect from Blizzard Entertainment, not because we're spoiled, but because Blizzard always delivers. It was great to finally experience StarCraft II firsthand. The graphics were the first thing I noticed - they created an impressive first impression. You can't really tell if the graphics, art direction or hue/saturation fits StarCraft II until you play it. However, I did, and the graphics were amazing. Since Blizzard started making 3D games I have always loved their way of animating models. And as we all know, screenshots are a poor gauge of animation quality. Blizzards art style has always been what made their games look great, not the graphic technology used, and so is the case in StarCraft II as well. There's a great sense of thoroughness in StarCraft II, and I only expect it to get better towards release.
Feel is important. Blizzard games usually have the right feel. When you scroll around, trying to order your minions, it is important that you accomplish what you want in as little time as possible. And for that to be achievable, among other things, the game needs to do a number of things right: the interface should be helpful and easy to navigate, the field of vision should make it easy to spot units and buildings, units should be differentiable and unique, and there needs to be a minimal amount of clutter.

ss76-hires-thumb.jpg
"..the graphics were amazing."

The StarCraft II interface is simply a continuation of the original one from StarCraft - which was, and is still, great. Some attempted improvements have been made, of course, like multiple building selection, queuing orders (with lines showing where the unit is going and in which order it is going to do them), and transparent notifications when upgrades and buildings are finished. You can click these notifications and your view will instantly shift toward the area of interest. Whether all these interface improvements are good for the game is of course up for debate. My opinion is that multiple building selection and rally points simply give any player, pro or casual, the ability to do more things in a shorter period of time. Some interface changes might make the game easier for the casual player, but will be ignored by professionals, thus shortening the gap between the two kinds of players. I don't think this is a problem though. While Blizzard makes things easier - they've also been experimenting with new micro and macro elements to keep the knowledgeable player in control.

Something unique for the Zerg is that when you select multiple Larva, you must click multiple times to build the units you desire. For instance, if you have three Larva selected, and want to build two Hydralisks and an Overlord, you have to click Hydralisk twice and Overlord once. If you want all your selected Larva to turn into the same unit, you can easily spam the hotkey. So it's not a problem of any sort, I actually think it's a good addition, because it makes it easier to control which units you want to build, fast.

In some of the newer generations of RTS games, there are very big differences in terms of elevation. There are huge buildings and hills along with deep pits where units can traverse. In my opinion this is not good RTS level design. I prefer to have a better field of vision where the camera doesn't have to zoom in and out all the time. Thankfully this is not Blizzards way of doing maps. I really liked the maps at the WWI, characterized by good balance and not too much eye candy. There were a couple of new things though: First, there were two Vespene Geysers at every starting location and expansion point. Second, there were golden minerals, that are worth more than regular minerals, in most of the maps. Third, there were some expansion points that were walled in by giant destructible rocks, some of them with golden minerals and some with the regular kind. I noticed that the natural expansion points often were walled in by rocks. These rocks often had a large amount of hp, but it was fairly easy to destroy just one and pass through with a worker and build a base. Some expansion points had one huge rock right on the spot were you would like to place your building. The maps were symmetrical and balanced, and thus the starting locations were all good with plenty of expansion choices, along with the natural one. I think there was only one 1v1 map at the WWI, so scouting usually required a lot of effort.

I mentioned differentiable units as an important point on how to give the game a unique feel. The Zerg fail at this. For some reason units like the Roach, Lurker, Hydralisk, Zergling and to a degree Mutalisk all have spikes. In the heat of the battle it's close to impossible to differ one unit from another. Sure, if you're just playing casually, you shouldn't have any problems. But when playing a serious game and time is of the essence, you don't really want to spend the majority of your time trying to ascertain what each unit actually is. The creep, which is in your field of vision a lot of the time, makes it even harder to differentiate units because of it's matching color with almost every Zerg unit. But at least the creep plays a bigger role in the game now, with units requiring it to move at normal speeds and for the Queen to use Deep Tunnel. The creep is slimy, vibrant and generally very cool visually. It can even can spread onto ramps thus developing the world even further.

ZvZ-Char02-thumb.jpg
"..spikes."

On to my next point, minimal amount of clutter. This isn't in as bad a state as the former point. It's mostly good, since there are not much particle effects and spells among the Zerg. They are mostly melee or have a simple range attack. There are some issues that needs to be addressed though; have you ever seen a Baneling explode? I'm surprised the goo doesn't hit the screen. In all seriousness, this needs a review, and it will probably get one. The only other thing that needs change is the Swarm Guardian, which is huge. Both the Baneling and the Swarm Guardian look great and the animations complement their look very well, but when the Baneling detonates, there's an area of about three times it's length and width that get covered in green goo. And the Swarm Guardian is simply too big, but cutting its tail would probably solve the problem. But then again, it would look pretty much like the Guardian from StarCraft. The Infestor's Infest ability is also a bit cluttering as it spews red goo on the target structures. The amount simply needs to be reduced. All in all it's alright, but there's definitely room for improvement.

First up, rushing with Spine Crawlers and Queen against the Protoss. As you might have imagined this failed miserably. I spat out some creep with an Overlord half a screen away from the Protoss' ramp. I rushed my Queen over there, along with two Spine Crawlers I had already built. This went slow, as they got Creep Move, which means whenever they aren't on creep they walk...slow. Along with four Zerglings I hoped this would prevent the Protoss from exiting his base and expanding. I started to build my second expansion, but as I did that, my opponent came at me with his entire force. Which consisted of about five Zealots and a Stalker. He probably got a bit confused when he saw my base defense out in the open, which was probably the reason I managed to hold off the first wave. With my awesome Queen micro I managed to heal up one of the Spine Crawlers, while all my Zerglings where slaughtered. At this time I was getting Roaches as well, which was probably a bad choice since they also require good micro. When I had about three Roaches, a Queen and two Spine Crawlers I got attacked again, this time with a larger force. More Stalkers took out my Overlord, and my creep started to retract. I had to micro my Queen, my three Roaches and my two Spine Crawlers that I had to uproot and run away with. Way too much micro for someone like me. It was gg.

My second strategy however, involved fast teching to Roaches. When I had three Roaches, my Protoss opponent had five Zealots and a Stalker. Amazingly enough, I managed to pick off three of his Zealots, without loosing a single Roach, until he got reinforcements. Stalkers, Zealots and Roaches move at the same speed, so it was very possible to pull my strategy off. To make things clear, my strategy was to harass effectively with Roaches, and win the game by microing better than my opponent. As he got his reinforcements so did I. However the more Roaches I got the harder it was to micromanage them, but at that time I had weakened him so much it was already settled. Victory was mine, and the Roach rush proved successful.

I wanted to try many more strategies, but the games were so short that we never really got to the endgame. Though once you've played the game, it's easy to think of tons of strategies that would be fun to at least attempt. Some of them will most likely fail, but it would still be a lot of fun. For example, I would love to try upgrading Roaches with the increased regeneration, go Infestor with Dark Swarm, and see how that would work.

The Queen has been a hot topic of discussion, with good reason, because it is one of the hardest units, along with the Thor and the Mothership to get right. The Queen no longer builds the base defense, but she is definitely best suited for defensive usage rather than offensive. Early in the game both the Transfusion ability and her range attack proved useful, taking out a scouting Overlord required little effort. Transfusion is best suited for healing base defenses, and heals about 200-250 HP. Mutant Larva probably needs some improvements, as it costs energy from the Queen, and you would like to keep her energy for Transfusion. Not an optimal synergy in the early game, though energy is not a problem once you've upgraded her once or twice. The Mutant Larva is best used by getting a large number of them, storing them in your Nydus Network, and unloading them when you need to build a large number of units at once. Note that they can not evolve to Drones, Banelings, Lurkers or Swarm Guardians. Though I believe having the ability to morph directly to evolutions of existing units would make the Mutant Larva both more interesting and viable.

When the Queen is upgraded to the Large Queen she receives the Deep Tunnel ability, which means that she can burrow in any creep, even creep made by your enemy, and unburrow at one of your own structures. This is great for jumping between expansions, which brings me on to the next ability; the Swarm Infestation. She gets this ability when she is upgraded to a Huge Queen, and it is great as an additional defense on small expansions. You simply target an area with the ability, and all the structures within that area now have a range attack that automatically attacks nearby enemies. You can easily target up to four or five buildings if they are built closely together. The lore and function of this ability is not yet finalized and the description was rather vague. I really liked this ability though, so I hope it stays.

Many believe the Queen to be obsolete without the ability to build base defense, but I think the Queen will be a must-have once Blizzard gets the balance right. The biggest issue with her right now is that she is really weak against focus fire, you have to watch your Queen at all times. As a Huge Queen she has only 600 HP, the same as an Ultralisk. Raiding Mutalisks, Dark Templars or even Banshees could probably take her out really fast, and if she still was the only unit that built defensive buildings, the player would have a big problem. When an upgraded Queen dies, you don't have to build a regular Queen and upgrade her again. You can build her again from your Hatchery, Lair or Hive in her upgraded form.

The Hydralisks role in the swarm is considered by many to be obsolete now, as the Roach fulfills the job as an early game ranged fighter. The Roachs only obvious drawbacks are low health and the lack of a ground-to-air attack. So Blizzard gave the Hydralisk more health and a better ground-to-air attack to differentiate the two units. But the questions remains; is the Hydralisk obsolete to the Zerg swarm? As of the WWI build, the Hydralisk did not work very well as an anti-air unit. They can pick off Nomads, Medevacs and Overlords, but they have big problems versus the larger air units. Battlecruisers, Carriers and Motherships are all slow, but they can acquire their targets more easily, since they aren't limited by the environment. They are also excelled at killing big numbers of low health units. This suits the Hydralisk awfully, as the essence of the Zerg is their numbers, and the increase of health to 90 is still quite low. So, currently, my answer to the question is Yes, unfortunately the Hydralisk seems obsolete.. An iconic unit as the Hydralisk should definitely have a place among the ranks of the swarm, but for that to be possible, Blizzard has to find the right role for it. My suggestion would be as an additional alternative of the Roach and the Baneling. You can't evolve either of those, so the positive thing about choosing Hydralisks, apart from being decent at their job as ranged fighters, should be that they can evolve into Lurkers and possibly a new variation of the Infestor. So basically, when you choose Hydralisks instead of Roaches, you invest in the future. A risk worth taking?

ss74-hires-thumb.jpg
"Is the Hydralisk obsolete to the Zerg swarm?"

The Zerg air units feel unfinished, and they consist of basically the same units as in StarCraft: Brood War. Mutalisk, Guardian and an air-to-air fighter with a special passive ability. The only one missing is the suicidal Scourge, which might be a good idea to bring back. The Corruptor doesn't really do what it's supposed to do, which is to effectively destroy other air units. An excellent unit from the original game was the Mutalisk, a fast air unit that harasses effectively and is superb at raiding workers. While the Mutalisk is a unit one should keep for StarCraft II, it's evolution; the Guardian, could be replaced. It complemented the other air units well in the original game, but the successor will have to replace units to actually be a new game, and what department would be better to replace than the troubled Zerg air force? I would love to see a mostly new Zerg air force, with new innovations and creativity. Keep the Overlord and the Mutalisk as core units, leave the rest up to the imagination.

This is a theory of mine; Battlecruisers, Carriers and Motherships are difficult for the Zerg to deal with, and Blizzard realizes this. I know for a fact that Blizzard experimented with a big Zerg air unit that was not in the WWI build. This might have been a high health air-to-air unit, a unit that would solve the Zergs problems versus the mentioned units. This would cause a new issue though; how many high health units should the Zerg have. The only Zerg units that have more than 200 hp are the Ultralisk and both upgraded Queens. Thus apart from these very fitting exceptions the Zerg is still numerous and swarming, but is there room for another high health unit? This is what, I believe, Blizzard asks themselves. They probably take racial differentiation very seriously, especially since that was one of the things that made StarCraft both unique and great. They would definitely want to keep this in StarCraft II as well.

One of the Zergs strength lies in the Nydus Worm. Currently it works like this: You build a Nydus Network(which also is the prerequisite for Hive), then you can place a Nydus Worm, which is a stationary structure, anywhere on creep. They cost 100 minerals each and have 200 health, and it takes five seconds to build them. You can load your units into a Nydus Network and unload them at the same Nydus Network or at any Nydus Worm you have built. Imagine how fast you could invade an enemy base by unloading creep with 4-5 speed-upgraded Overlords, building a Nydus Worm and unloading all your stored units there. And this is only one of many ways to use the Nydus Network and Nydus Worms. You could use it to quickly move some drones over to a newly built expansion. You could use it to expand on an isolated island by creating creep there with an Overlord. You could store your Mutant Larva in the Nydus Network to keep them safe. It might prove useful to build the Nydus Network close to your Drones, in case of enemy raids. Conclusively, the Nydus Network and the Nydus Worm is a great addition to the Zerg.

ss84-hires-thumb.jpg
"One of the Zergs strength lies in the Nydus Worm."

The balance of the game has said to be the last part of the development, which is comforting, because there are some serious balance issues as of now. While some relate to unit stats like health, damage and armor, build times for both for units and structures are crucial to balance. E.g. four-pooling ZvZ and rushing with Drones to build Spine Crawlers is abusable. If you're lucky enough to find the enemy base right away and start to build Spine Crawlers before his Spawning Pool is finished, you've won. This is a strategy that will most likely not be possible when StarCraft II goes retail.

However balance issues like this are to be expected in the current phase of the development. During beta testing balance is the part of the game that will get improved the most.

Even though the Zerg still have some issues, the good aspects and design ideas definitely outweigh the bad. The Zerg is the most newly developed race, and thus the least polished one. I'm a hundred percent sure that the issues of the race are already being worked on by Blizzard. And they will change the Zerg in many ways during the coming months, and I hope they want the same thing that I want: an evolution of the Zerg that is even more interesting, fun and challenging to play. Not to mention swarming, terrifying and murderous. We learned that the Protoss is the next race (after Terran apparently) that will get a review by Blizzard, and then it's the Zergs turn. I look forward to seeing how far they've coming along at BlizzCon '08 since this years WWI.

Cavez elaborates on the new gas mechanic:

Here is how it works. All numbers are subject to change. We have changed the balance since the WWI build and will be fiddling with the balance this coming week for sure.

You start with two Vespene Geysers in your base and at every expansion (some maps will not do this of course, but all the WWI maps do). Optimal number of workers per gas collection building is 3 (so you need 6 total).

All gas collection buildings start with a certain amount of gas (like SC1). I believe it's 1000 in your WWI build.

When a gas collector runs out it becomes "depleted" (like SC1). A depleted gas collector still allows you to harvest some gas (like SC1). In the WWI build you collect 6 gas per trip from a working gas collector and 2 gas per trip when depleted.

All gas collectors have a "Restore Gas" (name temp) button that you can use to return your gas collector to a non-depleted state. In the WWI build this gets you 400 gas back into your collector. Restoring Gas costs 100 minerals and takes the gas collector down for 45 seconds (all numbers temp).

Like all things this is work-in-progress, but here is what we have seen in the games we have played:

1) You can choose how much gas you want. The more gas you want, the less minerals you will have. If you build your 2nd gas collector too soon, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you go gas too late, you may have the wrong resource mix. If you use "Restore Gas" too few times you may not have enough gas to do some of the crazy end-game stuff. If you use it to often early on you may have too much gas and not enough minerals.

2) Some of the more mass-able units are very, very gas heavy. You can scout a player and gain some sense which way he is headed based on how quickly he goes for double gas.

3) Sometimes you don't want to "Restore Gas" if you need just a little more gas in the short term because you are trying to tech or build something critical. Since it takes down your gas collector for 45 seconds you may need to hold if you are close to being able to afford something that requires gas. This of course damages your gas collection for the long haul which makes the choice difficult.

Why we are trying it:

1) We think gas could be more interesting than it was in the original StarCraft.

2) We think StarCraft 2 can benefit from additional economy choices.

I think that's all of it. Now that you have complete information, please discuss. =)

Cavez talking about the mineral collection rate:

Minerals are down to 5 per trip, but they harvest a little more quickly. We have been doing some timed comparisons of minerals in the original SC to SC2 and we have been really putting a lot of effort into getting the collection rate to be the same. The pathing is SO much better in SC2 that we were collecting minerals at a ferocious rate.

So now mineral collection is pretty close to SC1.

Cavez answers a rumor that gas collection buildings have an ability to let peons harvest gas two at a time with cooldown:

We aren't doing that currently though we did discuss it. We certainly wouldn't add it to what we have at WWI. It would be one or the other. Generally the "cooldown" type abilities we tried were a bit dull because you just mashed the button whenever the cooldown came up. Putting a minerals cost to the ability has so far been much more interesting.

Cavez answers the following questions posed by Blazur:
1) Will there be any way to regenerate minerals?
2) Can you Restore Gas an unlimited number of times?

1) No. At least not right now.=)
2) Yes.

I'm a little worried about some weird end-game scenarios where you have way too much gas but so far it hasn't been as much of a problem as I thought it would be.

Each mineral field still has 1500 minerals:


Still 1500. We are only trying to lower the rate of minerals collection. We still want an expansion to have the same minerals value that it did in the original game.


Cavez talks about the new Changeling unit:

He's not making it up.=) Here's how it works.

Overseers can create a Changeling by spending energy. The Changeling is a small unstable Zerg creature with timed life. When he gets near an enemy structure or unit he will change shape into the correct basic unit type and color to match that player. So if you get near a Blue Barracks you become a Blue Marine. If you get near a Red Stalker you become a Red Zealot, etc.

Enemy players cannot control the Changeling. It's still owned and controled by the Zerg player who created it. It is very vulnerable and can be killed by a single hit from just about anything. The Changeling cannot fight. He is just a shapeshifter, when he looks like a Marine that gun in his hand isn't "real."

You can see that something is a Changeling by mousing over the unit, by trying (and failing) to drag select or by selecting the unit and seeing the name and portrait.

What it does for the game:
1) Gives the Zerg a fun way to scout (though really they already have plenty of scouting options).
2) Makes enemy players constantly fearful of all of their own units. Is THAT a Changeling?! What about THAT GUY!?

In live games it is pretty difficult to keep on top of the "Changeling Problem" if an enemy Zerg player is trying to sneak into your base. However when you do catch them it feels pretty good.

It's something we have been trying for a few weeks and we thought we would include it in the WWI build to see what people thought.


Karune confirms that the large I <3 SC poster will be shown at Blizzcon:
Karune wrote:

As a FYI, we will be revealing another version of the "I <3 SC" Mosaic later on, possibly at an event, featuring the full list of entries. It is currently not online as it is 52MB and 19200x9480. The version that is online for download now is currently much smaller at 12MB and with the dimensions of 9600x4800.

Karune wrote:
This will be shown at BlizzCon :)

Karune reaffirms the prospect of using Overlords to give Hydralisks sight when attempting to counter cliff attacks by Terran Siege Tanks, and tells that the Hydralisk has been moved back down to tier 1.5:
Karune wrote:


This would be the best way to counter right now, as Zerg has plenty of Overlords to give sight on those cliffs. Good Zerg players will always have those cliffs near their bases scouted as well.

As an extra bonus, unrelated to this, but also would help is that Hydralisks have been moved back down to tier 1.5. More details about this move will be included in the next Q&A batch.

Blizzard will still keep battle.net for StarCraft and Brood War after StarCraft II goes gold:
Karune wrote:

No, this is not true. The original Battle.net will still be supporting the original StarCraft.

Karune elaborates more on fan questions:
Karune wrote:

Keep in mind, the topics you have mentioned may not have clear answers to at the moment (such as MBS- which we are still experimenting with many mechanics), or may be kept for a later announcement date (such as new art).

Nonetheless, the more discussions and questions on the forums, and less spam, makes it much easier to get more specific answers out there to your questions.

Blizzard plans to develop all aspects of StarCraft II:
Karune wrote:

Blizzard RTS titles have always had three major portions that have all been significantly popular: Single Player, Multiplayer (Battle.net), and Custom Maps (UMS). Every voice is a group we try our best to hear out, as well as answer questions in.

For instance, since the announcement we've had our community Q&As also reflect lore from single player, gameplay from multiplayer, as well as our map editor editions to give a glimpse on the types of capabilities players will have with the map maker.

Karune answers a fan question about the map editor:
Quote:

Can you edit what units a building can produce, even on tech buildings? For example, could you make a Command Center produce probes and drones? Or a forge produce marines as well as upgrade terran units?

Karune wrote:
Yup, this will be possible - the map editor will seriously be quite powerful, empowering you guys to make some pretty awesome maps.

Race Upgrade Information


Index

Zerg
- Melee Attacks (1-3)
- Missile Attacks (1-3)
- Ground Carapace (1-3)
- Flyer Attacks(1-3)
- Flyer Carapace (1-3)
- Burrow
- Pneumatized Carapace
- Enduring Corruption
- Metabolic Boost
- Adrenal Glands
- Organic Carapace
- Centrifical Hooks
- Disease
- Infestation
- Metasynaptic Node
- Chitinous Plating
- Muscular Augments

Protoss
- Ground Weapons (1-3)
- Ground Armor(1-3)
- Shields (1-3)
- Air Weapons(1-3)
- Air Armor(1-3)
- Warp Gate
- Charge
- Blink
- Psionic Storm
- Khaydarin Amulet
- Gravitic Boosters
- Gravitic Drive
- Extended Thermal Lance

Zerg

OldLine.jpg


Melee Attacks Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Requirements: Hatchery
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: M
Description: Upgrades the attacks of Zerglings and Ultralisks.

Melee Attacks Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: M
Description: Further upgrades the attacks of Zerglings and Ultralisks.

Melee Attacks Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Requirements: Hive
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: M
Description: Maximizes the attacks of Zerglings and Ultralisks.

OldLine.jpg


Missile Attacks Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Requirements: Hatchery
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: A
Description: Upgrades the attacks of Queens, Roaches, Hydralisks, and Lurkers.

Missile Attacks Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Requirements: Hatchery
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: A
Description: Further upgrades the attacks of Queens, Roaches, Hydralisks, and Lurkers.

Missile Attacks Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Requirements: Hatchery
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: A
Description: Maximizes the attacks of Queens, Roaches, Hydralisks, and Lurkers.

OldLine.jpg

Ground Carapace Level 1
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 140
Requirements: Hatchery
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: C
Description: Upgrades the armor of Drones, Queens, Zerglings, Banelings, Hydralisks, Lurkers, Infestors, Roaches and Ultralisks.

Ground Carapace Level 2
Minerals: 225
Gas: 225
Build Time: 170
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: C
Description: Further upgrades the armor of Drones, Queens, Zerglings, Banelings, Hydralisks, Lurkers, Infestors, Roaches and Ultralisks.

Ground Carapace Level 3
Minerals: 300
Gas: 300
Build Time: 200
Requirements: Hive
Upgraded at: Evolution Chamber
Hotkey: C
Description: Maximies the armor of Drones, Queens, Zerglings, Banelings, Hydralisks, Lurkers, Infestors, Roaches and Ultralisks.

OldLine.jpg


Flyer Attacks Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Upgrades the attacks of Mutalisks, Corruptors, and Swarm Guardians.

Flyer Attacks Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Further upgrades the attacks of Mutalisks, Corruptors, and Swarm Guardians.

Flyer Attacks Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Requirements: Hive
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Maximizes the attacks of Mutalisks, Corruptors, and Swarm Guardians.

OldLine.jpg


Flyer Carapace Level 1
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 140
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Upgrades the armor of Overlords, Overseers, Mutalisks, Corruptors and Swarm Guardians.

Flyer Carapace Level 2
Minerals: 225
Gas: 225
Build Time: 170
Requirements: Lair
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Further upgrades the armor of Overlords, Overseers, Mutalisks, Corruptors and Swarm Guardians.

Flyer Carapace Level 3
Minerals: 300
Gas: 300
Build Time: 200
Requirements: Hive
Upgraded at: Spire
Hotkey: M
Description: Maximizes the armor of Overlords, Overseers, Mutalisks, Corruptors and Swarm Guardians.

OldLine.jpg

Burrow
Minerals: 50
Gas: 50
Build Time: 35
Upgraded at: Hatchery
Hotkey: B
Description: Enables all Zerg ground units to use the Burrow ability. Burrow allows a unit to take cover underground, rendering it unable to attack. A burrowed unit is invisible unless revealed by detector units or effects.

OldLine.jpg

Pneumatized Carapace
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Lair
Hotkey: P
Description: Increases the movement speed of Overlords.

OldLine.jpg

Enduring Corruption
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Hive
Hotkey: C
Description: Increases the duration of corrupted units.

OldLine.jpg

Metabolic Boost
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Spawning Pool
Hotkey: E
Description: Increases the movement speed of Zerglings. (To very fast)

OldLine.jpg

Adrenal Glands
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Spawning Pool
Hotkey: A
Description: Increases the attack speed of Zerglings by 20%.

OldLine.jpg

Organic Carapace
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Roach Warren
Hotkey: C
Description: Increases the regeneration rate of Roaches. (To fast - 25 hp/sec from 15)

OldLine.jpg

Centrifical Hooks
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Baneling Nest
Hotkey: C
Description: Increases the movement speed of Banelings.

OldLine.jpg

Disease
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Infestor Pit
Hotkey: D
Description: Enables Infestors to use the Disease ability. Disease rapidly spreads to nearby targets and does damage equal to 95% of each unit's total health over 10 seconds.

OldLine.jpg

Infestation
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Infestor Pit
Hotkey: F
Description: Enables Infestors to use the Infestation ability. Infests an enemy structure, disabling its ability to function and causing it to spawn infested units for 20 seconds.

OldLine.jpg

Metasynaptic Node
Minerals: 150
Gas: 100
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Infestor Pit
Hotkey: M
Description: Increases the maximum energy of infestors by 50.

OldLine.jpg

Chitinous Plating
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Ultralisk Cavern
Hotkey: C
Description: Increases the armor of the Ultralisk by 2.

OldLine.jpg

Muscular Augments
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Hydralisk Den
Hotkey: M
Description: Increases the movement speed of Hydralisks.

Protoss

OldLine.jpg

Ground Weapons Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: G
Description: Upgrades the damage dealt by Protoss ground units.

Ground Weapons Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: G
Description: Further upgrades the damage dealt by Protoss ground units.

Ground Weapons Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: G
Description: Maximizes the damage dealt by Protoss ground units.

OldLine.jpg

Ground Armor Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: A
Description: Upgrades the armor of Protoss ground units.

Ground Armor Level 2
Minerals: 175
Gas: 175
Build Time: 170
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: A
Description: Further upgrades the armor of Protoss ground units.

Ground Armor Level 3
Minerals: 250
Gas: 250
Build Time: 200
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: A
Description: Maximizes the armor of Protoss ground units.

OldLine.jpg

Shields Level 1
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: S
Description: Upgrades the shields of all Protoss units.

Shields Level 2
Minerals: 300
Gas: 300
Build Time: 170
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: S
Description: Further upgrades the shields of all Protoss units.

Shields Level 3
Minerals: 400
Gas: 400
Build Time: 200
Upgraded at: Forge
Hotkey: S
Description: Maximizes the shields of all Protoss units.

OldLine.jpg

Air Weapons Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: E
Description: Upgrades the damage dealt by Protoss air units.

Air Weapons Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: E
Description: Further upgrades the damage dealt by Protoss air units.

Air Weapons Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: E
Description: Maximizes the damage dealt by Protoss air units.

OldLine.jpg

Air Armor Level 1
Minerals: 100
Gas: 100
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: A
Description: Upgrades the armor of Protoss air units.

Air Armor Level 2
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 170
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: A
Description: Further upgrades the armor of Protoss air units.

Air Armor Level 3
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 200
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: A
Description: Maximizes the armor of Protoss air units.

OldLine.jpg

Warp Gate
Minerals: 50
Gas: 50
Build Time: 35
Upgraded at: Gateway
Hotkey: W
Description: Enables Gateways to upgrade to Warp Gates.

OldLine.jpg

Khaydarin Talisman
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Cybernetics Core
Hotkey: K
Description: Increases the maximum energy of Nullifiers by 50.

OldLine.jpg

Charge
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 140
Upgraded at: Twilight Council
Hotkey: C
Description: Increases the movement speed of Zealots and allows them to intercept nearby enemies.

OldLine.jpg

Blink
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 80
Upgraded at: Twilight Council
Hotkey: B
Description: Allows Stalkers to teleport over short distances.

OldLine.jpg

Psionic Storm
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Templar Archives
Hotkey: T
Description: Allows High Templar to cast Psionic Storm.

OldLine.jpg

Khaydarin Amulet
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Templar Archives
Hotkey: K
Description: Increases the maximum energy of High Templar by 50.

OldLine.jpg

Gravitic Boosters
Minerals: 150
Gas: 150
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Observatory
Hotkey: B
Description: Increases the movement speed of Observers.

OldLine.jpg

Gravitic Drive
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Observatory
Hotkey: G
Description: Increases the movement speed of Phase Prisms.

OldLine.jpg

Extended Thermal Lance
Minerals: 200
Gas: 200
Build Time: 110
Upgraded at: Observatory
Hotkey: E
Description: Increases the breadth of the Colossus splash damage.

The second day at the 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational began with an Art Panel led by Samwise Didier, Blizzard's Senior Art Director, and Dave Berggren, Lead Environmental Artist.

 

 

The panel began with Samwise going over what the art team has been doing since the StarCraft II announcement. He states that they were working on toning down the bright colors on the models, and adding more polygons. He presented slides detailing changes to several units.

 

The team is also hoping that the decals, which we see featured on the Terrans right now, will eventually become selectable in a manner similar to how team color is.

Additionally, he joked that every time that people whine about the wings on the Zergling, that he's adding on two more. A frightening thought indeed.

 

Next, a StarCraft discussion about the different environments.

 

Shakuras was first, and with it a special treat, a trio of slides showing the process of mapping out terrain in the StarCraft II Map Editor.

 

They then went on to reveal artwork for a new location - New Folsam. Originally a prison controlled by the Confederacy, it was taken over and is now run by the Dominion.

 

 

Next up is Korhal which, unlike the desert featured in Starcraft, is now to be a city-style tileset.


Finally, Aiur was up next, confirming that there will be a return to the planet. Much of the planet is still completely controlled by the Zerg. One item that was mentioned is that the mission on Aiur would involve a return to the area where Tassadar sacrificed himself to destroy the first Overmind.

 


Next up was a Q&A session:

Q: Why doesn't the baneling building grow out of the spawning pool?

A: that's the way design had it. Maybe later we'll decide we don't want that many buildings on the zerg side and put them together.

Q: In regards to art design - how are you going to show the downgrades of units - for example the overlord that isn't a detector.

A: If you notice when you upgrade the Overlord - there's all new art. There are a few things like that and we're working on that. Pretty much ig upgrades get changes in the art.

Q: How will the enviroment affect the textures of the units?

A: If's it's snowy map then there's snow on the buildings. We take it by a concept to concept basis. Some can make things too cartoony etc.

Q: How do you keep a balance between cartoony and the more serious StarCraft style.

A: We really want to keep Warcraft over here & StarCraft over here - separate. It was difficult for our team because we came from WC:TFT and then WOW so you could see earlier the brighter colors etc - some of that obviously carried over but we really want keep them separate.

Q: Will we see Panda's in StarCraft? What's with the egyptian influence in the Protoss?

A: I think that if we put Pandas in StarCraft someone would shoot me. Even in StarCraft vanilla we wanted to take an ancient culture and mix it with science fiction.

Q: Will the Xel'Naga be in the game and will they be in the game?

A: There's nothing we can really say about that right now - but wouldn't that be cool?

Q: Will the map editor be able to modify the landscape since it's very complex (like blowing up a cliff)?

A: We've been talking about that and probably in the single player you'll see more of that sort of thing. I love it but in multiplayer we don't want that happening.

Q: How are you going to make the nydus worm travel through different types of terrain (water, space, etc)?

A: We still have to work on that but in your current build there is no worm it functions as a nydus canal - creep here, creep there, it shows up there.

Q: What kinds of special effects will be in the game?

A: It's very important that we want everyone to be able to see what's going on. That's why there isn't much debri when the game is done; we don't want the clutter. There'll probably be more of this stuff in single player rather than multiplayer. We might even have an option to turn this sort of thing on and off. In the final product there'll be some really cool stuff.

Q: Will the dark templar be changed - have they changed - especially considering all the flak you've received?

A: The dark templar is still a unit that we're going to go over. What I'd like to do is go over it and make the old dark templar and maybe have people vote on it. I can't promise that but it's still in the process of being worked. And we're still working on our cloaking mechanic so that will have an impact on the design as well.

Q: Have you ever thought of a fourth race based on artistically?

A: No comment.

Q: Are you still creating units?

A: Everytime we have a finished race we end up redoing half of it. I'm sure that once we're in Beta you good people will show us the error of our ways and we'll make new units to fix those. And of course we'll end up patching it for ten years :P .

Q: Will there be a change in the Thor (and other big units) art for attack?

A: Yes, right now the thor is doing something different from what we started with. We used to have seige animations for him. But once the design team tells us this is what he is going to do we'll create something new.

Q: Will there still be one theme per race and will you be writing more?

A: Yes, we'll be writing more music and each race will have it's own.

Q: The new seige tank model doesn't look quite as meaty - why not?

A: Right now it has a plasma gun and so we wanted to get away from a barrel. Everyone seems decently happy with it right now.

Q: What's the flow of communication between the design and the artists like?

A: It works both ways. The designers come to us and tell us they want this. And we wanted a giant robot (the thor) and they're like - what are we going to do with this.

Q: How's the art direction for Battle.net coming?

A: We're not talking about it much right now but we're definitely doing more art for it - we'll kind of see where it goes.

Q: How many cinematics are planned for StarCraft II?

A: We haven't decided on a final number but it's between 1 and 1,000,000. From what I've seen they look very good and you guys will like them very much!

More photos:

 


 

 

Blizzard WWI Art Panel Video

Part 1 (Presentation):

Part 2 (Questions):

 

sclball.gif

Terran:

          

          

          

        

Zerg:

          

        

sclball.gif

Recently, the press had a Q&A session with Jay Wilson, Diablo 3's lead developer, and Frank Pearce, Blizzard's vice president. Here's what the two had to say on Blizzard's latest project, Diablo 3.


Q: If I'm a WoW player - why should I be excited about D3?


A: It’s a very easy game, it's quick so it can be played in a small time frame, and because it's a great co-operative game.


Q: Engine?

A: It's a brand new engine developed in-house a few years ago (they don't name their engines).

Q: Release date?

A: When it's done.

Q: How long has it been in development?

A: Development was still taking place in Blizz North before it was shut down. It was in dev there for two years, and for two and a half years in Irvine since.

Q: How was it kept a secret for so long?

A: We’re a very security oriented company because we know the returns an announcement like this gives us. And it's the employees. They're very proud of their work. They like to keep it under wraps.

Q: Was this the Hydra project?

A: We don't publicly talk about our codenames.

Q: Will Diablo III have eSports potential?

A: We have plans to add PVP and competitive elements and eSports are very important to us but at this time we have no further comment.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of players in the same game?

A: Right now it's eight-ish. It's really about the co-operative feel to the game and the gameplay value that a certain number provides. We're experimenting with less. But we haven't decided.

Q: Will gameplay differ by the number of participants?


A: We aren't revealing some features that address this yet. But the wealth system is co-operative. The loot is no longer fought over. What you see drop is just for you. It's based on your character class etc.

Q: Will D3 be available for the MAC?

A: Yes


Q: How many classes will there be?


A: We haven't decided on a final number but there will be several more.

Q: Will D3 be available for any consoles?

A: Blizzard has an interest in breaking into console gaming but we have no plans to do so at this time.

Q: Will the NPC's from D2 be present in D3?

A: Not all of the characters will make it.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about the monster design?

A: They're meant to be cooperative. Like the summoners, or others that can buff their comrades - they're supposed to contribute to each other’s strengths. But there are so many more monsters to reveal.

Q: Will there be auction houses?

A: We haven't made a decision about auction houses. The ad-hoc trading in D2 wasn't the best of experiences for the gamer and we want that to be the best it can be. We're very focused on the experience of the player. So we'll probably revamp it.

Q: How large is the dev team?

A: Somewhere around 50-55 members.

Q: Where does the story pick up?

A: It starts twenty years later. Essentially it's a period that's far enough away from the invasion. It's far enough away that most people think that it's mostly mystical. Any characters that lived and experienced the events of D2 directly have mostly gone mad. This is to distance the game from its predecessor. It also raises some good questions - like why did Hell's invasion not occur? We have some very good answers to those questions
.

Q: Will there be something similar to the WoW armory for D3?

A: We have definite intentions to add functionality on the web. But right now it's just to early to talk about.

Q: Will the maps still be randomly generated?

A: Yes, and we're experimenting with randomizing in different ways such as random weapons, monsters etc. There will be some static levels/sequences. Also we're trying something new called Adventures - which are random events.

Q: Will there be strong scenario scenes like D2 (desert, jungle, etc)?

A: Yes, those are good for gaming - since it's bland to play in something that isn't clearly defined. Tristram will reappear and the teaser obviously shows others, like the cities and other such ones.

Q: Will there be custom gear?

A: Yes, there'll be all sorts of crazy stuff.

Q: Are you worried about people leaving WoW for D3?

A: We don't really look at it that way - they're still playing Blizzard games and there isn't as much overlap as you'd think.

Q: Will there be real physics?

A: Yes, but some events will be scripted. The player will be able to tell the difference when he's supposed to use the environment to accomplish something. And interaction with the environment is definitely encouraged.

Q: Will there be a difficulty structure like D2?

A: Yes, but we haven't decided on anything.


Q: Will hardcore mode be included?

A: There's no reason not to - it's a popular feature.

Q: Will there be physics puzzles?

A: We could if we wanted to but we're more of a “kill monsters team building” than a “kill lots of monsters” game.

Q: Will it follow a subscription model or will it be free to play out of the box?

A: We haven't decided on our financial model.

Q: What is the most important aspect of the game?

A: The character driven elements. This is an RP game with a lot of lore that drives the game.

Q: Will there be an end game?

A: We haven't decided but if we do it will be very cool.

Q: What options are available to customize our characters before starting the game?

A: Just the gender.

Q: Will the gender of your character have any affect on the gameplay experience?

A: No.

Q: Will bosses have their own levels similar to WoW?

A: The simple answer is yes. We use games like Zelda and WoW as inspiration for our monsters. But we're trying to improve upon those as well.

Q: Will there be a Secret Cow Level?

A: No comment.

Q: Will the town portal system of movement still be used or are you going to make it more sophisticated?

A: We'll probably change it but we haven’t decided yet.


Q: Will there be mounts?


A: We talked about it but we decided that no, there won't be.

Q: Will there be a demo/beta?

A: It will probably follow the same system as other Blizzard releases.

Q: What's the primary difference between D2 and D3?

A: The character classes are different and the emphasis on the character driven story. The monster design is more focused and so is the level design. Also there's more opportunity to be engaged in the story but you won't be forced into it.

Q: Will there be seasonal events like in WoW?

A: Good idea, but it is far too early to decide that.

Q: Will the items be tied better to the lore?

A: All the major weapons will have a better tie - obviously not everything but we'll be tying lots more than in D2.

Q: Will the Horadric cube make a return?

A: No comment.

Q: Will mule characters still be needed/allowed?


A: We're going to make trading between your characters much easier. We have lots of ideas that we're not ready to talk about for making inventories better, etc.

Q: Will private servers be supported?

A: No.

Q: Will you continue to support SC and D2 even after their sequels are released?

A: Yes, we'll continue to support our legacy games as long as there's a community and people that play them.

Q: Will there be a built-in voice feature?

A: We haven't reached a decision but definitely probable.

Q: Will D3 still be an M rated game?

A: The other two were; there's no reason to think this one won't too.

Q: Will D3 be supported/updated with new content similar to WoW's content patches?

A: That hasn't been decided yet. But at the very least we're designing the game to be compatible for expansions.

Q: Will the community be able to contribute to D3?

A: D3 isn't a mod friendly game because of the randomness. So not really.

Q: Will you allow UI mods?

A: No. We find that it can change the game experience for the worse - making a simple game too complicated.

Q: Where in development are you?

A: As hardcore production as we can of content. We love to play it as much as we can.

Q: What will the level cap be?

A: That hasn't been decided. But why not one hundred it's only one more than ninty-nine. But it will be similar to D2.

Q: Bill Roper was important to the franchise - how does his leaving affect the development of D3?

A: We have so many talented developers that it really isn't about just one person. On a personal note - I think we both miss Bill.

Q: How has the development of D3 changed since its inception?


A: The core ideas have stayed. We really just needed to find our visual and gameplay style.

Q: Will you enforce team gameplay?

A: No, but we encourage it. People that are playing together are going to appreciate this game.

Q: Can you play alone if you wish?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Will there be a system that allows a high level player and a low level player to play together and both receive a benefit.

A: Yes, we're looking at ways to make this happen.

Q: What is the coolest feature of this game and which are you most proud of?

A: We didn't release the coolest feature, but I'm most proud of the character development and classes. The game is really about becoming these characters. They all have their own stories and plot lines.

sclball.gif

Ventrilo Servers
Contact Us About Us

SCLegacy is hosted by DarkStar Communications, home to high quality Ventrilo Servers.