SC2: Sensor Tower + 2 new Q&A's

Information on the Terran Sensor Tower has been revealed on the official StarCraft II-Website, including new screenshots.

Personally I am not sure what to think of it. It sounds cool on one hand, but on the other it does sound a little bit like cheating. I guess we'll just have to wait to see how it turns out.

On the second screenshot you can see one of the little features Blizzard adds to its StarCraft II-Maps of which I 100%ly approve of: Line-of-Sight-Blockers.
As a mapper the first think that jumps into my mind is little Single-Player-Stealth-Maps in which you guide only a handful of units across the map, avoiding enemy detection (which could be one way to use Sensor Towers again).

Speaking of Mapmaking, Blizzard released information on the new Map-Editor.
---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 18: Map Maker Series---

1. Will doodad placement values increase? (ie, more than 256)

[Brett Wood] We expect the doodad placement value will be on the same order as Warcraft III, which I believe was something like 10,000, so definitely way more than 256.

2. Will the number of available locations/triggers increase? The current limit on locations really cramps some ideas.

[Brett Wood] Any limits on both regions and triggers will be at least in the thousands.

3. Will the new map editor include ALL the triggers in the program unlike Staredit?

[Brett Wood] Yes, even moreso than Warcraft IIIs WorldEdit. Weve been making a point of ensuring that ALL script functionality is also exposed in the Trigger Editor UI.

4. Will max unit limits increase? The current unit limit on maps is quite a crimper, and nobody likes CCMU (cannot create more units).

[Brett Wood] I dont recall the exact unit limit in the original StarCraft, but the StarCraft II limit will likely be a healthy boost over the limit in Warcraft III. The exact value hasnt been nailed down yet and will depend on optimizations near the end of the project (i.e. shortly before release).

5. Will the new map editor include unused units such as the crashed scouts, turrets, eggs, nukes, scarabs, crash command center, etc? Third party programs were needed to use these.

[Brett Wood] All units defined in the data files will be usable in the editor. I believe this was true in Warcraft III as well.

---End of Transmission---
Pretty bare if you ask me, but Blizzard promises to let us into more interesting details about the editor in future Editor-exclusive-Q&As.
A little more than a week ago Q&A #17 was posted. Just to have it all complete I'll post that too.

Chat with Devs: After bringing up much community feedback from the last Monthly Discussion, Dustin Browder filled me in on the latest role discussions about the current units in game. This is the thought that has lead to the introduction of the Firebat back into StarCraft II.

Furthermore, they have also changed the Terran Cobras abilities to take on what was previous known as the Protoss Stasis Orb (which is now removed from the game). The Terran Cobra now acts as a slowing unit, with an electrical attack. In addition, many of the units already seen in game are having their roles re-evaluated, to again make sure that every unit has a distinct role in StarCraft II.

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 17---

1. Will the defensive matrix of the Terran Nomad apply to enemy units within its AoE (Area of Effect)? (

Yes, the Terran Nomads Defense Matrix ability will affect both friendly and enemy units, thus using this ability on a position that the player can hold will be wise.

2. What helps to delineate the Thor and Battlecruiser as both being high-tier support units? Lots of concern over this duality? (

Currently, the Thor has splash damage, whereas the Battlecruiser has direct damage in its attack. We definitely agree with most of the community that the Thors role overlaps with various other roles on the Terran Faction, thus we may modify that role or possibly cut the unit.

3. Will there be any consideration of having an oceanic server? (

Unfortunately, this has not been decided yet, as many aspects of has still yet to be implemented.

4. Will the Protoss Colossus be able to walk over Supply Depots like over cliffs? (

This is an issue that is still being discussed quite a bit. We like how when enemy units enter your base, they are forced to deal with the layout of your base, but at the same time we are also dealing with the realism factor, where cliff climbing Colossuses ought to be able to step over Supply Depots. Many issues we face are similar to those debated amongst the community, and for this particular topic we dont yet have a final answer.

5. An obvious goal (among many) for Starcraft2 is to maintain the profile of being an E-Sport. What facet do you consider more integral to the growth of that ideal: An extremely high skill ceiling that demands years upon years to achieve mastery, or an extraordinarily large base of interested players to provide the attention that such a sport needs in order to succeed and grow? Obviously both are important, but when it comes to design ideals, what has more pull? Accessibility or Longevity? Mora (

I think for e-sport we need the high skill ceiling. Though really as you say, both are very important. As designers we have spent years focusing on accessibility. Ideas must be accessible to even be put into the game. So we are just not as worried about making the game accessible. That will happen. What we are focused on, what is the more challenging problem is making the game last for years and years and years. So in our development cycle at the moment, longevity definitely has the larger pull. Longevity is the harder problem to solve, so we put way more effort into making the game as challenging as possible to master. Dustin Browder, Lead Designer of StarCraft II

6. How will unit collision and stacking be handled ? Can flying units pass on top the Colossus or is it blocking ? (

No, the Colossus will not block a flying unit.
In terms of collision and stacking, units first always follow your order, and when it completes your order, they will stop and spread out. The area in which those units spread out will be slightly less than in the original StarCraft.

---End of Transmission---


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