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Anderson MccutcheonThe SC2 Blog has come a long way since its inception in early July 2007. In just six months, we have published over a hundred articles and updates – many of which were translated to Russian, Korean, Chinese, and other languages. Our updates and feeds are used on gaming sites, blogs and Wikis, and the SC2 Blog enjoys thousands of returning visitors and feed readers.

StarCraft 2 is coming – the Zerg, the closed and open betas, the game’s gold release and its collectors edition are just around the corner. The inevitable tournaments, battle reports and replays, custom maps, fan fiction stories and other art – millions of gamers will generate more news than our small but dedicated team could ever cover.

This is why we need YOU. We are looking for people who like to write, cover, analyze, and share their expertise with fellow gamers. Community and clan leaders, professional gamers, modders and replayers, fans of the StarCraft books – if you feel the need for a bigger stage and a larger audience and you are eager to be heard – we need YOU.

Currently, there are four key positions that we would like to fill:

1) Progaming tournaments and League coverage – if you play StarCraft, WarCraft 3 or Vikings professionally and plan on switching to StarCraft 2 as soon as it comes out, we’d like to hear from you.

2) ScumEdit and Modding – if you are proficient with StarEdit and enjoy releasing original maps for WarCraft 3, you will have the opportunity to release your StarCraft 2 maps to thousands of fans. People working with DoTA, Tower Defense and other popular custom games are more than welcome.

3) Replays, Videos and Battle Reports – Proficient in creating high-quality battle reports? Know about every live tournament video and good at spotting A+ quality replays? We’ll gladly have you on-board.

4) Lore expert – Have you read all the books? Know Kerrigan‘s maiden name and Raynor’s shoe size? Well, most people don’t, and sometimes Blizzard themselves get lost in their own complex universes. Covering lore-related stories, fan-art and books requires quite a lot of knowledge and a deep understanding of the StarCraft Universe – not the easiest position.

Here is a brief FAQ. We will also answer questions via email and comments.

Q) How do I apply?
A) Email: anderson AT terranozergus.com – tell me as much as you can about yourself and don’t forget to send links, attachments and other relevant examples of your work.

Q) I already have a site/blog/online presence – what’s in it for me?
A) You’ll get proper credit and exposure for your site, as a writer or as a source – particularly if you specialize in fan fiction, replays or custom maps.

Q) I want to apply for a position which is not listed in your post – what do I do?
A) You are more than welcome to either email me or leave a detailed comment – there are plenty of ways a talented person can contribute.

GL, HF.

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Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has clarified some issues and answered questions regarding yesterday’s new screenshots featuring the Zerg swarm.

First, Karune discusses the Baneling in response to a few questions:

An expected question was asked: Will the Banelings’ splash damage affect friendly units, like the Goblin Sappers of WarCraft III?

Currently, the Banelings’ attack does not harm friendly units, adding to their deadliness. This of course may be subject to change in the future to maintain balance.

Luckily for the Swarm and their allies, their units are immune to the Baneling’s corrosive acids. This sounds like a good idea from a gameplay standpoint, since many Zerg units are small and more vulnerable to splash damage attacks. Including Banelings in a Zergling swarm would otherwise do more harm than good.

Luckily for these Zerglings, they are immune to the Baneling's explosion

In case you weren’t sure that this green explosion is a Baneling’s doing, Karune confirms:

If you are referring to the blobs of green in the first screenshot, those are the exploded corpses of the Banelings. Those creatures are currently quite the melee killers in StarCraft II.

Lastly, an interesting comment prompted another reply from Karune:

Fill a few overlords with banelings and drop them into a peon line to instantly destroy all their peons and cripple their economy. Not even a few cannons/turrets will halt this strategy.

 

Unless I don’t fully understand how the banelings function (do they operate on a timer?), I predict most zerg players will opt for this strategy.

 

You are absolutely correct, this is one of the best economy raiding strategies at the moment for Zerg. If you can get some Banelings into the enemy’s peon line, you can significantly stifle their economy, as well as force them into a defensive minded mentality. Nonetheless, there are counters to this, such as if you are playing Terrans, you can upgrade your Command Center to a Planetary Fortress, thus defending your economy from light raids. Luckily, those Banelings have very little hit points, and are easy to kill with ranged weapons.

To summarize: The Banelings’ explosion does not affect their allies, but it is extremely deadly to melee attackers who can’t kill the Banelings (which have little health) before they get to exploding range.

Karune has also answered a question on a completely different subject. This is the type of question that gets asked repeatedly on Battle.net. We’re not sure why he decided to answer this one, but we’re glad he did.

can we expect a new graphical change to SC2 ?

 

i mean, will we have a kind of grapics change like there was with the SC1 pre alpha alpha/ beta ? because that was huGE !

 

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I think you can expect changes. How much and how huge those changes are will be a matter of opinion.

 

 

The team has heard some feedback from the community that is concerned that the look of SC2 is too “colorful” and that more “realistic” color choices would be more in keeping with the original StarCraft. We saw a lot of these types of posts early on after we made the announcement.

 

 

I just spoke to Sam Didier (our Art Director) about this issue and he tells me that in order to make the units read well we have added A LOT of team color which really blows the units out and makes them look super-colored especially with the brighter colors (red, blue). The art team plans to take one or more passes over all the units in the game to try to balance out team color so it still works for game play but looks less bright and more in keeping with the original StarCraft. Changes to the over-all look to the game are always an option and the team is always tuning and trying to balance out the look of the game.

This is one thing that Blizzard is not going to screw up. To remain a competitive game, StarCraft 2 will have playability as its first priority – it will certainly not be hindered by graphics. As well, we’ve already seen the developers changing unit designs after receiving community feedback.

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Three new, action packed screenshots have been released by Blizzard. Two of them feature the Zerg, which we haven’t seen or heard of in a long while.

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Unfortunately, the pictures only feature very few Zerg unit types. A couple of things do stand out, though:

Overlord?

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The hideous flying monster in this picture is probably none other than the new version of the Overlord.

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The Overlord of StarCraft 1 is an important unit that serves many roles for the Zerg:

  • Flying detector
  • Unit carrier
  • Unit control (raises maximum supply)

It’s not clear why an overlord is present in the attack depicted in the picture. The attacking Zerglings and Banelings are attacking the heavily defended Terran choke point – all non-stealthed targets. The Overlord might be attempting to drop a few more Zerglings behind the choke point, perhaps to deal with the Siege Tank that’s situated on the ridge near it. Of course, the new Overlord could have a completely new ability – one that might have something to do with the glowing green orbs it has on both sides of its… head.

If the unit itself doesn’t convince you, take a closer look at its shadow, which resembles the old Overlord even more.

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Dark Swarm?

A weird looking orange effect is clearly visible on top of the swarm of Zerglings. While the only Zerg units present in this picture are obvious non spell-casters (Zerlings, Banelings and Mutalisks), the effect is most likely a spell.

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Dark Swarm, a Defiler spell, protects units under its area of effect from ranged attacks. This is the perfect protection for a tight group of swarming Zerg units, which would otherwise suffer heavy damage from Terran splash-damage attacks by Siege Tanks and Thors. Take a look at the original spell from StarCraft 1 for comparison:

starcraft1darkswarm.JPG

 

Also worth noting in this picture is the huge Thor that’s acting more as a gatekeeper than a siege unit on top of the defended ramp. The Thor is a heavily armored unit with plenty of hit points that will likely be resistant to attacks by small units which deal low amounts of damage, like Zerglings, making it a good choice for this role. Likewise, the exploding Banelings are more suited to deal with clumps of weaker targets than large armored ones.

thorgatekeeper.JPG

 

After a long Zerg-free period, we’re glad to see any Zerg presence in StarCraft 2 updates. Hopefully, these pictures are just the first trickle of information about the Zerg race, which we still know virtually nothing about.

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Zerg are ComingIn just fifteen hours, Midnight Pacific time, we will release three brand new screenshots we recently got our hands on. We can’t reveal what the screeshots contain, but lets just say that there is an evident buildup towards the official announcement of the Zerg – the third and last playable race of StarCraft 2.

Showcased in the initially released screenshots and videos, but absent from most of the media released afterwards, the Zerg’s status hasn’t changed much since our last recap in August. Considering Dustin Browder’s words and the images we’ve received, though, The Swarm is getting close…

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