Top Korean StarCraft 2 player joins Team Razer

Posted on February 15, 2011

SlayerS_BoxeR to represent gaming peripheral team alongside other tournament players.

Get the full article at GameSpot


Top Korean StarCraft 2 player joins Team Razer” was posted by Jonathan Leo Toyad on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 21:29:32 -0800

First Three Blizzard-designed StarCraft 2 Custom Games Go Live

Posted on January 26, 2011

Three new Blizzard-created StarCraft 2 game modes are now available for beta testing on Battle.net. Called Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, and Left 2 Die, respectively, the new game modes can be found by navigating to the custom game area after logging into StarCraft 2. The new modes are all in beta status, and, per the usual, Blizzard is soliciting feedback from the community.

Aiur Chef (inspired by TV show Iron Chef) is a “Free For All” collection/cooking game mode for up to 8 players. StarJeweled is strategy/puzzle mash-up that blends StarCraft with Bejeweled-like, match-three gameplay for up to four play…

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Go to Source (ShackNews)

World of Starcraft Exists! Sort of…

Posted on January 23, 2011
Fan made Starcraft MMO off to an amazing start as long as Blizzard doesn’t ruin it.

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World of Starcraft has been a dream of MMO and RTS players alike for quite some time. This week a crap-storm of drama has swirled up around a fan made SC2 mod called World of Starcraft. What started out as an innocent and awesome project by a sole developer, Ryan Winzen, has turned into a story worthy of your eyes and ears.


read more (Shogun Gamer)

StarCraft 2 Patch 1.2 Launches With Chat Channels, Balance Tweaks

Posted on January 13, 2011

After a period of public beta testing, patch 1.2.0 for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty launched last night with additions including Battle.net chat channels and customisable hotkeys plus bug fixes and yet more balance tweaks to Blizzard’s RTS.

If you don’t fancy facing the SC2 auto-updater, you can download the 275MB-ish patch direct from FileShack in US, GB, FR and …

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Go to Source (ShackNews)

Best of 2010 – PC Winner

Posted on December 23, 2010

Find out our winner for Best PC Game of 2010


Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


Best of 2010 – PC Winner” was posted by gslive on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:54:35 -0800

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StarCraft 2 Public Test Realm Launches

Posted on December 06, 2010

Following in the footsteps of World of Warcraft‘s Public Test Realm, developer Blizzard has launched a public test server for StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, starting off by letting players get their hands on patch 1.2.0 ahead of its upcoming release.

Changes in the patch include the long-awaited Battle.net Chat Channels, balance tweaks a new ‘Master’ league, improvements to the editor and bug fixes.

If you want to join in the test, and have had an SC2 account since before November 11, a new patch has rolled out which puts a file named “StarCraft II Public Test.exe” in your SC2 directory. Running this creates a separate PTR client, so you’ll still be able to play regular SC2 as per normal. There’s more information in Blizzard’s PTR FAQ.

While …

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Go to Source (ShackNews)

StarCraft II Pirated 2.3 Million Times

Posted on November 16, 2010

With at least three million copies sold as of last count, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is doing just fine for itself, but that doesn’t mean pirates aren’t getting the game the old-fashioned, illegal way.

According to TorrentFreak, a BitTorrent enthusiast site, StarCraft II has been illicitly downloaded via BitTorrent 2.3 million times. The download file’s huge 7.19 GB size makes it the most data sent via BitTorrent for a single file — 15.77 petabytes.

It’s unclear how those who downloaded the game were able to play it afterward, as Wings of Liberty normally requires users log in to Battle.net with a legit account, but pirates do tend to find a way. Curiously, TorrentFreak notes that the official Blizzard downloader — which also uses torrents — may have moved even more data than the pirated version.

I don’t think we’re in any risk of Blizzard going out of business because of piracy, but if anyone’s reading this who downloaded an illegal copy: Quit being an idiot and go buy the game already.

[via 1UP]

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Go to Source (Game Informer)

Latest Starcraft 2 patch toughens up Zerg

Posted on October 15, 2010

Blizzard have been busy prodding Starcraft 2’s soft insides with the balancing stick, releasing the second patch for the game in a month. Read on for a summary of the changes.

Are you a Zerg player? Do you like having lots of life? Well it’s time to do the happy dance, because almost all of the Zerg’s buildings have received a welcome health boost. The Hatchery, Lair, Spawning Pool, Spire and Ultralisk Cavern have all become significantly tougher. The Hatchery health buff is particularly important, making it that much easier for Zerg players to cling on to their expansions. On the offensive side of things, Roaches have gained a range boost, and the Infestor’s immobilising Fungal Growth attack now prevents Protoss units from using their Blink ability.

Terran players are likely to be more disappointed with the changes. Barracks now require the player to build a Supply Depot first, a problem for players who like to strike out and throw an early barracks down near the enemy base for cheeky early rush attacks. Combine this with the increase in Supply Depot health and the clear message seems to be that Blizzard think Terrans are too expansive, and would rather they stayed at home, safe and secure behind a walled-off ramp. To further hamper the Terran rush, the Reaper speed boost upgrade will now require a Factory, and the speed of Medivac troop transports has been reduced.

The Protoss remain relatively untouched, but a Zerg-like boost to Nexus health is good news for the space-elves. Void Rays have been rebalanced to be more threatening early on. Their power at Damage level 1 has been increased, but their Damage level 2 upgrade has been significantly reduced, making Void Rays less effective against armoured units.

You check out the full list of changes over at the Starcraft 2 blog, but it looks as though the Zerg are tougher, the Terrans are slower and the Protoss escape relatively unscathed. What do you think of the changes?

Go to Source (PC Gamer)

These Fruity Zerg Won't Make it to Heart of the Swarm

Posted on October 14, 2010

It’s a shame that we’ll probably never see these Zerg in StarCraft II – they look just peachy to me.

View Article (The Escapist – EscapistMagazine.com)

Blizzard Does The Right Thing, Makes RealID Completely Optional

Posted on October 01, 2010

In a statement on the WoW forums earlier today, a Blizzard community rep noted a few changes that just went live with the company’s Battle.net RealID system, which allows players to connect with each other across multiple Blizzard games and servers via sharing their real names.

The long-awaited ability to opt out of the “friends of friends” feature is finally in, so you can prevent your real name from being visible to anyone who shares a RealID friend with you.

Players can also turn off RealID in its entirety if they so choose.

While RealID can be a real benefit (har, har) to some gamers, many have voiced their concerns over the system’s until-now poor protection of their online identity. We salute Blizzard for making RealID a choice, not a requirement to play its games.

Go to Source (Game Informer)

Afterwords: StarCraft II

Posted on September 20, 2010

“Outstanding. A truly elite title that is nearly perfect in every way.” That’s how the GI review scale describes a game that receives a 10, and it’s also a description that I think fits quite comfortably with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. But a game of this level of quality doesn’t happen out of nowhere. It takes years of hard work, dozens (if not hundreds) of lengthy meetings and debates, and a truly talented and passionate team. To get an inside look at how StarCraft II was created, we talked with lead designer Dustin Browder.

Read the full interview below to discover what influences the team had in their design decisions, why they weren’t interested in bringing wild changes to multiplayer, and some early hints and what we can expect from the next game in the StarCraft II trilogy, Heart of the Swarm.

Any game that Blizzard does has a high level of anticipation going among gamers, but I think in StarCraft II’s case, the hype and excitement around it reached crazy proportions. It’s a sequel to a game people have been waiting over 10 years for, and the original is on a lot of best of all time lists. It was number 35 on our top 200 games of all time. How did you approach dealing with the clearly high level of expectations out there and the amount of stress that brings to the process of creating the game?

There was a lot of fear obviously, because we know that we have a lot of responsibility to hearken to the legacy of this game and to do it justice, to be worthy of the name StarCraft II. We just knew that expectations were really high. We tried to be aware of that, but I think at some point we just put our heads down and just tried to focus on the game as it was and make the best game we knew how to make. We hoped that we could come up to that standard at the end of the day.

Throughout the development process, from when we first started working on it until the last bit, there was a lot of concern that maybe we wouldn’t hit that quality level. It’s so important for the fans and us, as fans ourselves, to walk away from this and know that we did a good job. So we ultimately put our heads down at some point and said, “Look, we’ve got to make the best game we know how to make.” We had to not worry too much about the fear and just focus on quality.

Did you ever have those moments of panic, though? Like, it’s the middle of the project, and suddenly you realize, “Oh my god, I’m making StarCraft II.”

Constantly. And I’ve got to tell you, it got worse as we got closer to the end. We were getting more and more positive feedback from the beta and positive feedback from people internally. Even people internally who’d been skeptical for quite a while started turning and saying, “No, I think you’re good. I think this is going to be fine. I think you’re doing a really great job.” But as we got closer to the end, we lost more control. The game is mostly done. There’s not much you can do in the last month-and-a-half except fix the bugs. As we got closer to the end and more unable to change things, I know my personal level of terror skyrocketed.

Even on launch night, I’m smiling and happy and excited that we’re done, but we’re about to put it in the hands of the consumer. Our baby is going out there, and there’s nothing we can do for it now. Either our baby is prepared or it’s not. That first couple of weeks when the reviews were coming out was truly terrifying, just to see what the response was from the community and the critics. It’s definitely exciting times.

One of the most interesting choices in the game from my point of view is the between-mission segments in the ship where you can click on different items and talk to characters and learn additional information. Many players have mentioned how this recalls the Wing Commander games, and it even reminded me a little bit of the Mass Effect series. What inspirations were you drawing on when you came up with these segments, and why did you feel that they were necessary for the game?

Certainly Wing Commander is one that was talked about frequently in the studio when we first started this project. I don’t think Mass Effect was even out yet when we started creating this, so that wasn’t a reference we could use, but it was one we could use later on.

We’d always had these elaborate briefings in StarCraft. Then there were cutscenes using the engine in Warcraft III. The team had always wanted a chance to do more with story. We knew that for StarCraft, we really needed to find places to innovate with the game, and we knew that solo play was an opportunity to do something a little bit new. We wanted to give players some choices, some options, some gameplay that hadn’t existed in our titles before.

I know Wing Commander was one that was definitely talked about because it was such a story-heavy game. We’ve always been story-centric with our RTS games ever since StarCraft. A little bit in Warcraft II, but especially since StarCraft, story has always been really essential to these experiences. It was an idea that was already here when I started at Blizzard. I know Rob Pardo and Chris Metzen had been talking about that for several years; I’m sure there were many people around the studio that had already been talking about this kind of Wing Commander approach. Obviously we had lots of directions we were taking it before we settled down on exactly what we ended up with.

I think what we’re hoping to do is try to bring the clunky story-telling tools that we had from Starcraft and Brood War and Warcraft III and try to bring them into the 21st century and really push the story and give players opportunities to experience it in new ways that aren’t just more cutscenes. We wanted players to have some kinds of choices about what they wanted to do. I think ultimately, we would have liked to have done more choices, but I think we’re pretty happy with the kinds of choices we provided players.

Go to Source (Game Informer)

StarCraft II Wasn't Originally Planned As A Trilogy

Posted on September 19, 2010

In my recent interview with StarCraft II lead designer Dustin Browder, one topic that inevitably had to come up was the decision to split StarCraft II’s single-player campaign into three separate releases. Though Wings of Liberty, the Terran-focused first campaign, had plenty of content, I asked Browder how far into development that decision was made. He revealed that it wasn’t their plan from the start.

“It was the middle of development. It was not the opening move,” Browder told me. He went on to describe some of the other forms StarCraft II could have taken:

“At one point we had 17 or 18 missions per campaign, so we were looking at making 50-some missions. Even then, they didn’t have a lot of choice and options in them. The critical path was still fairly linear, and we wanted more missions than that. The more we looked at it, both our need for a lot more missions per campaign and at the same time looking at how fast we can create this content, we realized we were setting ourselves up for a 10 or 12-year development cycle if we wanted to finish it. Then the hard talks began…and the screaming and throwing of things and the battles about what we could and couldn’t do.”

Browder said that one major reason for the decision was to get the game into consumers’ hands in a shorter amount of time. “Well, I don’t want to say a reasonable amount of time, because that’s not fair. It still took us forever,” he admitted. “But we wanted to get a product into consumers’ hands sometime before the end of the decade. Even that we didn’t quite make, I guess, but it was still sooner!”

Browder also said the team at Blizzard didn’t fool themselves about what this meant for consumers: They knew gamers were losing something on this deal. “When fans said we weren’t giving them value, we knew that wasn’t true, but we knew that we were costing fans something if they only came to the game for Zerg and now have to wait another two years,” he stated.

The “two years” mentioned there seems to be a slip of the tongue, as later in the interview Browder said that it’s still way too early in development to even speculate on when the next campaign, The Heart of the Swarm, may be finished. But seeing as Browder is the lead designer, that slip could provide some insight into the mindset at Blizzard for how long we’ll be waiting.

Despite what they lost by sticking to a single-race campaign, Browder believes the choice was worth it in the end. To fit all three races into a single game released in a timely manner, he estimated, “We were looking at maybe a 12-mission campaign for each race” that “wasn’t going to be as fun.” He said they’ll have to pay Zerg players back “with a larger campaign, with more details on Kerrigan, a more in-depth look at what it means to be a Zerg.”

Check back tomorrow to read the complete Afterwords interview with Dustin Browder.

Go to Source (Game Informer)

Why Blizzard Didn't Change StarCraft II Multiplayer

Posted on September 17, 2010

Last week I had a chance to speak with Blizzard lead designer Dustin Browder about the process behind creating StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. During our discussion of the game’s multiplayer, I felt like I had to ask him to address one of the few complaints I’ve heard about the game — that the multiplayer is too similar to the first game.

I started by asking Browder if he felt like Blizzard even had a choice in changing StarCraft II’s multiplayer, given the original’s long-lasting popularity as a competitive game. According to him, they did:

“I don’t know that we ever felt like we couldn’t do something new if we really wanted to. It was more a question of what did we want to do, and we felt like there was more we could do in this space, that there was more opportunity for us to improve on what had already been done.”

What about more recent RTS games that have tried mixing up the formula? Browder said that these experiments need not change Blizzard’s design philosophy, because they haven’t been nearly so successful. In his words:

“I don’t want to seem nasty here, but the question is, how great have those successful ‘experiments’ from other developers been? I haven’t really seen another gameplay experience that’s attracted millions of players with hundreds of thousands playing online. I haven’t seen that. So the idea that these other experiments have been successful, and therefore we must emulate them? I object, sir. I object strenuously. I have not seen someone else be successful by removing economy. I have not seen other RTSes be successful by removing micro.

“What a lot of other games have done is they’ll pull the camera back and say, ‘Look, it’s all economy now.’ Or they’ll push the camera in and say, ‘It’s all micro; economy’s dead.’ And they’ll say, ‘See! We’ve made it better!’ I have to strongly disagree. I definitely enjoy those games, but I don’t know that they’re ultimately a better competitive RTS experience. They’re different, and that difference has a value in the sense that for the three weeks that I’m playing it, it feels new and shiny. But then when I get down to it, I realize that there’s actually less to do. I don’t play it for weeks or months.

“I don’t know if StarCraft II can survive that test of time. I don’t want to say that we can. We’re certainly going to try. That’s what we set out to do in the first place, to definitely improve on what had already been there and not just change for the sake of change. Like I said, I don’t want to be a jerk, but I feel like a lot of other studios have changed just for the sake of change. They haven’t made a better product, they’ve just made a product that is different.”

Browder reiterated later in the conversation that Blizzard didn’t “mess around with it for the sake of messing around with it.”

Check back on Game Informer over the weekend for more from my talk with Browder, or check in on Sunday to read the full StarCraft II Afterwords interview.

Go to Source (Game Informer)

Activision 'likely' to sell cutscenes as movies

Posted on September 16, 2010

CEO Bobby Kotick suggests publisher could sell $20-$30 stand-alone Starcraft II film built from cinematics and top biggest box office debut ever.

Blizzard Entertainment’s games are renowned for their strikingly cinematic cutscenes. It’s a reputation that parent company Activision is looking to capitalize on, as evidenced by comments CEO Bobby Kotick made in a presentation today at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Media, Communications, and Entertainment Conference.

In talking about Blizzard’s latest hit, the 3 million-selling Starcraft II, Kotick noted that there was more than an hour of prerendered and in-game cutscenes in the real-time strategy title.

“If we were to go to our audience and say we have this great hour-and-a-half of linear video that we would like to make available to you at a $30 price point or $20 price point, you’d have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever,” Kotick said. “Within the next five years, you are likely to see us do that. Now that may be in partnership with somebody; it may be alone. But there will be a time when we capitalize on the relationship that we have with our audience.”

Kotick said that Activision could do better than a traditional video company with such a product because “we have their credit card information and we have a direct relationship” with them, meaning the company could bypass the expenses of standard distribution methods. What’s more, given the loyalty of the company’s enthusiast consumer base, he believes “an extremely high percentage” would be willing to then go to a theater and see the same film.

This isn’t the first time a publisher has embraced that idea. In 2001, Sega launched a limited Japanese theatrical run of Shenmue cut together from various parts of the Dreamcast original. The movie was later included with the Xbox version of Shenmue II. The following year, Blizzard itself released a three-DVD set featuring the cinematics from Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood War, Diablo II, and Warcraft III, as well as director’s commentary and cinematics. The company continues to offer similar DVDs for Starcraft and World of Warcraft at a $10 price point, although many users have stitched together their own movies from the games’ cutscenes on YouTube.

That wasn’t the only part of Kotick’s presentation that had touches of Hollywood. He talked about a vision he had held for years that is coming true, namely that the audience for games would broaden such that it more closely resembled the audiences for television and films. (Activision is likely to see significant overlap on that front sometime in the next few years, as director Sam Raimi and Warner Bros. are currently working on a Warcraft-inspired feature film.)

Kotick also touted the facial animation and lip-synching technology in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops as a breakthrough for the gaming industry. He said it is the first game where the company has advanced the animation technology far enough “that the lines being delivered are believable.” He also said the ability to have characters with whom players could form an emotional connection–the same way they do with characters in movies–was a “Holy Grail” in the industry.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


Activision ‘likely’ to sell cutscenes as movieswas posted by Brendan Sinclair on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 13:44:45 -0700

Secrets of Starcraft 2 – Must Have Mastery Guide

Posted on September 11, 2010
I highly recommend the must have Starcraft 2 Mastery Guide. Go to SecretsOfStarcraft2.com for more information.

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StarCraft 2 Official Custom Map 'Burning Tide' Arrives

Posted on September 08, 2010

Blizzard has released its first new official custom map for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, pitting teams against each other and lava floods in a resource-gathering race.


Fire. I’ll take you to burn.

Similar to the campaign map ‘The Devil’s Playground,’ the 3v3 multiplayer map ‘Burning Tide’ is a race between teams to reach a resource target. Throw in regular lava floods and enemy interference and it’s sure to make for heated competition, eh? Right? Eh?

Go to Source (ShackNews)

Get the Best StarCraft 2 Guide Out There!!

SecretsOfStarcraft2.com


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