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StarCraft 2

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Starcraft 2 FAQ

By AgmLauncher - 3rd August 2007 - 20:23 PM

Basics

What is Starcraft 2?
Starcraft 2 is the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, and the sequel to the hit original, Starcraft. The game will include three completely distinct and balanced races, the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg, which have been overhauled and re-imagined with a number of new units for each, as well as new tricks for some of the classic units that are returning.

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When is the game coming out?
Our release target for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the first half of 2010. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, we will take as much time as needed to ensure the game is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible

When will you begin the beta test for StarCraft II?
Blizzard are not ready to give an exact date, but we’re working hard to release the beta as soon as possible.

How will Starcraft 2 be different from Starcraft?
Starcraft 2 will run on a vibrant new 3D-graphics engine that will be capable of rendering beautiful landscapes as well as massive individual units and army sizes. We're also introducing a number of distinct new units to the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg, and even some of the familiar units that return in Starcraft 2 will have new tricks up their sleeves, which will give the game its own unique flavor.

In addition, Battle.net will be overhauled with some new and exciting features to enhance online play and competition, while the single player campaign will also offer some unique aspects for players who enjoy single player content. Each campaign will consist of roughly 30 missions. We'll have more details on all these aspects in the months to come.

Will there be both single player and multiplayer components?
Yes, Starcraft 2 will include a unique single player campaign, as well as multiplayer capability over Battle.net. There will be no LAN, but there will be more robust features on Battle.net that will offer plenty of options. We'll provide more detail on both of these aspects a little further along in the development process.

How do players customize their army in the single-player campaign of Wings of Liberty?
The campaign offers players different ways to customize their armies to suit their playing style and better tackle the challenges within the missions. Credits earned from completing missions can be used to buy the services of mercenary units that players can deploy in battle. Mercenaries are more powerful versions of standard units in the game; for example, Kel’Morian mercenary marines have higher armor and damage output than a regular marine. Any skilled mercenaries that players opt to unlock can be built from the merc haven structure within each mission.
Additionally, players can opt to buy campaign-only technology upgrades for their units. Examples of upgrades that might be available for purchase include improved bunkers with gun turrets and upgraded flamethrowers that allow firebats to attack a wider radius.

What will Starcraft 2's storyline be? Will any of the characters from the original Starcraft make an appearance in Starcraft 2?
Starcraft 2’s storyline will be divided into three parts, one for each race, starting with the Terrans and their Wings of Liberty campaign, followed by Zerg’s Heart of the Swarm campaign and lastly the Protoss’ Legacy of the Void campaign. Each campaign will be sold as a separate game, though you will only need one version for multiplayer mode – every game in the trilogy will have fully functional multiplayer, although the newer iterations will most likely enjoy a larger selection of units, buildings, etc. It's a little too early to get into details on the story. Once we're able to discuss the single player campaign in detail, we'll also share some exciting information about the storyline for the game. Protagonists from the original Starcraft such as Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, Zeratul, Artanis have been confirmed to make an appearance, alongside with all-new characters being introduced as well.

How do missions work in the single-player campaign?
As players make their way through the campaign, they’ll interact with a number of different non-player characters (NPCs) who will offer a variety of missions. In many cases, players will choose from a few different NPCs at the same time. Some of these missions will advance the main story, while others lead to interesting subplots. Players will be able to view briefings that detail mission objectives, show how many credits are rewarded for completion, and tell you which new unit, if any, is unlocked by taking on the mission.
More than 25 missions will be available in the Wings of Liberty campaign, and each mission will offer different objectives and gameplay elements. For example, one mission will have players roving around a map to intercept and rob Dominion cargo trains moving along different railroad tracks. Another mission will take place in a volcanically unstable area. Lava will periodically flood the lower elevations of the map, requiring players to exercise extra caution in their mining operations and troop movement.
Many missions also offer optional research objectives, such as exploring maps to find lost Protoss artifacts or a hidden Zerg chrysalis. When players collect enough of these research objects over the course of a few missions, they can earn upgrades and improvements for their units that carry over for the rest of the campaign.

How will players interact with NPCs and explore in between missions?
In between each mission, players will be able to explore various sets within the game. These include the bar on Mar Sara and the Hyperion Battlecruiser that acts as Raynor’s flagship. Players can click on different characters in these environments to converse with them and get additional details about the story. These conversations are fully voice-acted, and the characters and sets are animated in detail in the game engine.
Sets will also contain interactive objects that players can click to receive extra information and story details. Televisions, for example, will show news reports that detail happenings around the galaxy. Console units, such as the one in the armory on board the Hyperion, allow players to access the tech-purchasing interface. The star map on the bridge of the Hyperion lets players choose from various mission briefings.
All of these elements are designed to help bring players closer to the characters in the game and offer additional story avenues for those who wish to immerse themselves in the game’s epic plot.

How many cinematic cut-scenes will be included?
We know that Starcraft 2 players will expect to see some Blizzard-quality cinematic content in the game, and we have definite plans to include multiple cinematics, starting with a cinematic intro. We'll provide further confirmation once final determinations have been made.

How many races are in Starcraft 2?
In Starcraft 2, players will see the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races. Our goal is to ensure that all the factions in the game play even more distinctly from one another than in the original Starcraft, while still maintaining the fine balance that helped make Starcraft such a classic. We're also introducing a number of new units to each race, as well as modifying some of the familiar units returning in Starcraft 2. With these design refinements and the new features we have planned for the single player and multiplayer elements of the game, Starcraft 2 will offer a next-generation Starcraft experience.

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Starcraft 2 has some big shoes to fill - is there added pressure in developing a follow-up to one of the most beloved games of all time?
We recognize that the bar is set pretty high, but this type of pressure is not new to us. Warcraft 3 had to follow in the footsteps of Warcraft 2, and Diablo 2 had to follow the original Diablo. Creating a Starcraft game that's bigger and better than the original is definitely a big challenge, but it's one that we fully intend to meet and exceed.

Will the game be released in multiple countries? Will the release be simultaneous? Which countries and what languages will the game be localized in?
Our goal is to release the game simultaneously across the world in multiple languages. As we get closer to release, we'll have more details to share.

Will there also be an expansion, and if so, what features will it contain?
Starcraft 2 has been divided into three separate games, with each race having their separate storyline for the campaign. It has been mentioned several times that the 2nd and 3rd games in the trilogy will contain new units and features.

Can you give some examples of the newest changes in StarCraft II?
The most significant changes we’ve made recently are some new game mechanics that impact the economic efficiency of each of the races. The Protoss can create a structure called the obelisk with a “proton charge” ability, which temporarily speeds up the rate at which probes can harvest minerals. If used properly, this ability can noticeably increase the Protoss’ income.
The Terrans have a new unit called the mule, which can be summoned from the orbital command building. Mules harvest minerals much like SCVs, but at a much faster rate -- however, they only last for a specific amount of time. Since the ability costs energy, terran players must decide how much of their energy to spend calling down mules and how much to save for the orbital command’s other ability, the comsat scan.
Finally, the Zerg can boost their production capability by using the queen to spawn extra larvae periodically in hatcheries, allowing them to quickly field large armies.

It seems like there are sweeping balance changes almost every time I read about StarCraft II. What are the reasons for the changes?
As we go through various testing stages, the development team experiments a lot with the game balance. This can include adding, removing, and/or modifying various units, buildings, and special abilities within the game. Frequent changes to units and abilities are a natural part of our iterative development process as we strive to make StarCraft II as balanced and fun as possible.

Will there be a console version of Starcraft 2?
Starcraft 2 is being developed for the PC. We have no current plans to bring the game to any console platform.