22 August 2008

The Last Guardian - 2 new screenshots

I've updated the picture slideshow of 'The Last Guardian' with two brand-new ingame screenshots of Chapter Four.

In the first picture you can see the harbour of Stormwind, wchich will be added in World of Warcraft, with the new Wrath of the Lich King. I've taken the liberty and created my own version of it for my own Stormwind-Map.

The second picture shows what is supposed to be part of a housing area for the upper class, in Stormwind. In this picture you can also see Streetsigns, which help you find your way around if you click on them.

The terrain of this map is ready and fully walkable. It still lacks citizens, guards and other types of NPCs to give it the necessary atmosphere of a densily inhabited capital city. I will add them as I continue working on triggers, starting this weekend.

20 August 2008

Blog changes

You might notice a few changes here and there. First of all I had to replace the background and the header. I had had some problems with the host, so I had to delete all my files on their server, but with no backup in sight I had to redo some of my work. While the simple background didn't change all that much, the header was changed almost completetely, now showing my true affection, which is mapping.

Which leads me to the next change: On the right bar you can see a slideshow of screenshots of my newest WC3 campaign, 'The Last Guardian'. You can view more pictures than the slideshow is currently capable of showing if you click on it. I'll reveal more details about 'The Last Guardian' in the coming days (or weeks, depending on my blogging-mood :P).

Oh, and now you can see what the 'XE' in my nickname really stands for.

Batch #43, Graphic card requirement & Single-Player Screenshots

Q&A Batch #43

As mentioned in previous conversations, the development team is working extremely hard on the single player campaign, which we will be talking in more detail about at a later time. In the meantime, questions will be 'light' over the next couple of batches, to give the Dev Team ample time to work on their latest design challenges. There are also many preparations being made for both the Games Convention coming up in Leipzig, as well as BlizzCon, to make sure the StarCraft II community definitely gets their feed of info. Nonetheless, in this batch we were able to talk a bit more with Dustin and our balance designer to look into the current Zerg versus Zerg match up towards the end of our Q&A. Enjoy!

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

---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 43---

1. What happens if a Nullifier targets a Colossus with the Anti-Gravity ability? (garmgarf battle.net)

When Anti-Gravity is used upon a Colossus, the Colossus will still be immobilized and lifted up, which will still allow it to be hit by units that can attack air targets. Colossi will not be able to shoot while under the effect of Anti-Gravity.

2. How many critters will there be available and will they have attack animations? (SatanicLaser battle.net)

There will be critters, but there have not been any detailed discussions yet about their attack animations. On that note, there is a possibility that BlizzCon panels may fill the community in a bit more on what type of critters there will be.

3. Can the Infestor infest any building, or only specific ones, such as Barracks or Gateways, if the Protoss can be infested? (Son_Of_Korhal Battle.net)

This is actually a mechanic they are currently testing quite a bit. It is undecided if the Infestor will be able to infest Protoss or Zerg buildings, as there are gameplay and lore reasons which support many different options. Either way, at the end of the day, the development team will choose an option that will be balanced and fun in terms of gameplay for multiplayer.

4. What units are currently undergoing major art changes? (starcraft2forum.org)

There are several artistic revisions every week, though the two newest units to get some artistic updates are the Nomad and the Stalker. The Terran Nomad is getting a complete artistic redesign from any versions the community has seen thus far. Furthermore, the Protoss Stalker is also being updated to look more similar to the concept art piece as seen here: http://starcraft2.com/art.xml?s=6

5. How do Zerg vs Zerg games play out in SC2? Is it still mostly a battle of mutalisks and zerglings or have the new units changed things around? Ideas (teamliquid.net)

ZvZ (Zerg vesus Zerg)matchup usually opens up in 2 different ways, Zerglings or Roaches. Aggressive players can use Zerglings mobility to take control of the early game, whereas going Roaches is more of a defensive strategy. Zergling vs. Roach relationship is such that for cost, Zerglings wins out in the open, Roaches win at chokes, but in mid/late games when numbers are greater, Roaches can stand up to or even beat Zerglings for cost out in the open. Hydralisks dont have much use in ZvZ early game, as they are more of an anti air unit in StarCraft II.

The tier 2 battle continues with Banelings that can dominate Zerglings, but with micro, Zerglings can actually come out ahead in Zergling vs. Baneling battles. Similarly, Lurkers counter Roaches for cost, but Roaches have the mobility advantage. Mutaliks counter Zerglings/Roaches since these units cant hit air. Whats different in StarCraft II is that Hydralisks counter Mutalisks extremely well, meaning something like Roach/Hydralisk combo can stand up to the classic Zergling/Mutalisk combo. Also, another great way to fight vs. mass Mutalisks is to tech to infestation pit (same tech level as the Spire), and make Corruptors or Infestors. Infestors have the disease ability that is great for fighting vs. units that clump really well such as the Mutalisk, and Corruptors are Zergs anti air air unit.

Due to the fast pace of the ZvZ game, most games dont end up in tier 3, but ultralisks, with their cleave attack, or swarm guardians that use swarms to soak up a lot of ground vs. ground damage are great options if the game does happen to go into tier 3.

Overall, StarCraft II has a variety of options even in a mirror match such as Zerg vs. Zerg. Players can use different unit compositions to counter the classic Zergling/Mutalisk strategy that is a still powerful but not the only option.

---End of Transmission---

Also the graphic card requirement and some Storymode Screenshots have been revealed and confirmed by Blizzard.

15 August 2008

Day of the Dragon Endfight found on YouTube

A user named sumkidnamedwillis has recently uploaded the Endfight of my second WarCraft III-campaign Day of the Dragon.

It's not the best quality but I feel honored by it nontheless.

(The introduction to the Endfight)

(The arrival of Alexstrasza)

(The final fight)

(The outro cinematic)

09 August 2008

Healing process

After my return to Germany I spent a week in the hospital. I was operated on, something the doctors in Greece also didn't find worth doing, whereas the german doctors clearly stated that I would have problems with my leg at an older age.

So, the last three weeks I spent mostly at home, playing video games (Penumbra and Sam and Max Season 2, two very good Adventures, also as a little clue-helper for a special project I will announce here soon), and I realized how sad life can just be. People seem to have gotten out of the habit over the past months in being close to me. No visitors, no letters, almost no phone calls... And with my stupid leg I couldn't even get out of the house to change this situation myself. I feel like I'm in limbo, I'm not really here at home, nor in Greece with the army.

At least my health's been improving. Ten days after the operation, where they put screws around my bone, the gypsum was removed. A dqy later I went to the physotherapist to help me with my leg-movement. Today, I started making steps, slowly, without the help of crutches, though the doctor said I should wait a couple more weeks before putting any pressure on my leg. We'll see.

Oh, Monday I'll be visiting a new school, where I'm sure I'll be able to make new contacts and get my need to socialize more out of harm's way.