15 December 2007

Q&A Batch #24 and December Discussion

Luckily a reason for me to update my blog.

Karune: Here we are with our latest batch, answering a little something different for each fan site. Furthermore, one of the most talked about subjects in the community is about the Thor and what will happen to this robust unit. Luckily we've tracked down Dustin for his latest thoughts about this unique Terran unit.

Chat with Devs: The Thor has been the unit that just hasnt quite fit in, in terms of role, but it might have found its own little place it can call home. After the Devs tried out several things with the Thor, including making it a super unit, they have now decided to have it replace the Cobra, as the heavy and air unit counter. Additionally, they may be adding a new mechanic, in which the Thor will need to be killed twice, once to make it immobilized, due to its large size, and then the second time to kill it for good. When immobilized, the Thor will still be able to fire at ground and air units. Additionally, while the Thor is immobilized, a SCV can repair it back to full health, having it regain mobility.

As always, feel free to give the Devs and I a w00t if your enjoying these Q&As!

1. Will there be a way for fan sites to parse replays uploaded to their website so they can pull information such as race, player names, map, etc.? (

Exact details have not been finalized, but we do plan to create a much more robust way of being able to search and share replays in game.

2. The Soul Hunter was considered a good counter unit against the Zerg; why did you remove the Soul Hunter from StarCraft II?

There were a couple of reasons, but one of the more important ones is that it was difficult to make it easily readable in big battles when the Soul Hunter had upgraded. Another reason is that this unit was way too targeted against the Zerg, since they have so many low hit point units, as opposed to other factions.

3. Has the Merc Haven been removed since the Reaper is built from the Barracks? If so, whats replacing it (if anything)? (

The Merc Haven has been brought back in for the current build. It currently needs a Factory as a prerequisite, and is a prerequisite building to build Reapers from the Barracks.

4. Will "Unlockable Content" be included with the game, such as Art Packs, Secret Maps and Missions, Extra Units, and Special Sounds and Movies? (

We are exploring the possibility of having various types of art unlockables, which may include some in-game decals.

5. Is it possible to build Phase Cannons, turn them into energy and then move them across the map to your opponents base or an expansion, redeploying them using a Phase Prism? (

Yes, this tactic will be possible.

6. How does a Zerg Overlord fly? (

To fly, the Zerg Overlord uses gas sacs (filled with helium) combined with a weak telekinetic psi-ability for lift and motive power.

---End of Transmission--- Karune

I find it a bit strange that such a big unit as the Thor is supposed to be a designated anti-air fighter, but I'd rather have it this way instead of having the unit cut from the game. It just looks too cool. I also think the idea of having to destroy it two times is great.

December Discussion Topic: Artistic Direction of StarCraft II

Karune: As everyone has already seen, StarCraft II has brought the world of StarCraft into 3D and added many new units, landscapes, and effects that have never been seen before. On this journey of consistent artistic evolution, we have seen Warp Rays changed to escort ships, the infamous Carrier brought back into action, and even the Siege Tank get a makeover. There is still much left to this artistic journey and now is the community’s chance to let us know what you love about StarCraft II visually and what you would change.

Community Questions for Fans:
1. Do you like the new look of the landscapes?
2. How does the Terran faction look visually?
3. How does the Protoss faction look visually?
4. Additional Feedback you would like to give

I will not directly answer these questions, instead I will comment on the overall mood of the community, as I've seen due to wasting a big amount of my spare time on various community websites' forums.

I am very pleased, since most people agree with me that, the landscapes look stunning for the most part, especially the detail with the doodads as can be seen on most jungle-set screenshots. But we'd like to see more screenshots of desolated places like Char, the iceplanet to be able to comment on these. After all StarCraft is supposed to be about dirty fights.
Same goes for the general feel of the Terran. Although the units look good the buildings are a bit too shiny. An idea was brought up to have them get rustier and more scratches over game-time. Protoss look good all in all, I just wish there was a little more detail in the texture and less bright player-colors. The Dark Templar looks 'unfamiliar' and the Archon should have no legs (though last I heard there were none).
The few Zerg we have seen look OK so far. I like the Mutalisk, I love the Nydus Worm. The model of the Overlord looks ok, but could need more work on its texture. The zergling should not be messed with, please bring back its old form!


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