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Karune, the man who needs no introduction, has posted a non-Blizzard, unofficial video in response to an earlier video posted by a WarCraft III fan. The fan, frustrated by the delay of an anticipated patch, had decided to express his emotion by shooting a video of himself singing to Karune.

 

Warning: not for the weak of stomach. May contain awful lyrics, unintelligible accents and an Eminem tune.



Karune, touched by the dedication of his fan, filmed a video response of himself. The featured song follows the format of another infamous Eminem track, Stan – where Eminem replies to an obsessive fan. Nice touch, Karune!



Another nice touch that’s worth a mention is the girl that’s taking the place of Dido in this song. Karune’s girlfriend(?) laments his demanding job (it must be hard to play StarCraft 2 all day) and explains that he hardly has time for her.

karunepatch.JPG

 

Karune has really shown that being a community manager is serious business.

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StarCraft 2 was announced a little more than 7 months ago, on the 18th of May. The Blizzard Worldwide Invitation event naturally took place in South Korea, where StarCraft has long transcended the definition of “multiplayer real time strategy game”. In the event, StarCraft 2 was presented for the first time, with a focus on the Protoss race.

Ever since that event, the SC2 Blog team has been covering every bit of information that Blizzard has released about StarCraft 2. Throughout this time, we have gathered great amounts of data, which this post will succinctly summarize.

starcraft2logo1.jpg

In seven months of StarCraft 2, we’ve had:

24 Question and Answer batches, posted by Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager:

  1. Protoss Mothership, Nukes and Terran Addon Clarifications – The first of many.
  2. SC2 Interface, Automation And Mothership Clarifications – Where we learned about multiple building selection; resource rally points; unlimited unit selection.
  3. Heroes, Unit Count, Hotkeys, Warp In, And The High Templar Avatar – Max population similar to StarCraft 1.
  4. Yellow Minerals, Resource Sharing, Allied Chat, Zealot Charge and Future Updates – Yellow minerals confirmed.

  5. Max Players, Multiple Spell Casting, Grids and Marine Shields – Where Blizzard explained how smart casting works.
  6. Phase Cannons, Drones, Critters and Health Bars – No creeps!
  7. Siege Tank, Music, Hallucination and the Fan Kit – Siege tank redesigned.

     

  8. Upkeep, Upgrades, Map Editor, Charge and Capacity – No upkeep.
  9. GUI, Archon, Warp-In, Map Editor, Pop-Cap, Lift off – Classic units available in the map editor; 200 maximum population; Twilight Archon has abilities.
  10. Predator, Tower Detection and the Thor – Phase Cannon can travel outside of pylon range in energy form, but can’t deploy; players will control units of allies who leave the game.
  11. Hero Abilities, Mutalisk Attack, Submerged Depots – Supply depot mechanics; similar map sizes.
  12. Colors, Unit Roles and Firebat Testing – Medics interpret attack move orders intelligently; Firebats back in the game.
  13. The Return of the Ultralisk and Burning Thors – VoIP announced; hybrid units in the campaign?
  14. The Answers You’ve Been Wating For – 1.5 tier Ghosts; Colossus transportable by Phase Prisms.

     

    colossusconceptsmall.JPG

  15. The Return of the Ghost – Starbase cut; upgraded Command Centers can’t be salvaged or lifted off.
  16. Terran Updates; UI and Automation – Mothership Time Bombs stop Nukes; Individually upgraded Battlecruisers.

  17. The Beginning of the Thor’s End? – Statis Orb removed from the game, Cobra takes its slowing weapon.
  18. The Map Maker – First in the Map Maker series. ScumEdit introduced, is better in every way.
  19. Exploding Doodads and Protoss Nutrition – No Protoss healing, increased shield regeneration speed; units are unaffected by physics; Protoss nutrition explored – are they plants?
  20. Mega-Ghosts and Unspotable Siege Tanks – Ghosts get an advantage against light armored units and the EMP ability; Siege Tanks don’t reveal themselves when attacking.
  21. The Sound of 150 Nomads Casting Auto-Turret – Auto-Turret ability for the Nomad; 150 units in a control group; Stacking air units fixed.
  22. Map Maker; The Story So Far; Factory Firebats – Second Map Maker post; Firebats produced from the Factory.
  23. Q&A 23: Campaign Videos, Ghosts & EMP, Speed Automation – Ghosts can cast EMP and follow up with a Nuke; No wall structures; No same-speed automation in group selection.
  24. Q&A 24: The Thor’s New Role and the Reaper’s New Home – Thor redesigned, takes the role of an anti-tank tank that can also engage heavy air units; Merc Haven now a preq. for Reapers, who are built from the Barracks.

 

21 Official Unit and Building Pages:

Each of the posts about these updates contains the relevant history, the features and abilities, and our in-depth strategic analysis.

  1. Protoss Phoenix
  2. Protoss StarGate
  3. Protoss Colossus
  4. Protoss Warp Ray
  5. Protoss Twilight Archon
  6. Terran Marine
  7. Terran Reaper
  8. Terran Ghost
  9. Terran Viking
  10. Protoss Dark Templar
  11. Terran Banshee
  12. Terran Thor
  13. Protoss Mothership
  14. Protoss Immortal
  15. Protoss Stalker
  16. Protoss Phase Prism
  17. Terran Battlecruiser
  18. Protoss Carrier
  19. Terran Sensor Tower
  20. Protoss Observer
  21. Terran Nomad

 

16 SC2 Blog Exclusive Posts:

  1. StarCraft 2 Preview Video Thoughts / Gameplay Thoughts – Early thoughts and analysis.
  2. New Stacraft 2 Resource – Yellow Crystals! – Our discovery of the more valuable Yellow Minerals.
  3. PC Gamer Leak: Gameplay Analysis – An Analysis of the leaked video featuring the Twilight Archon, Phase Cannons, Tempest and Soul Hunter.
  4. StarCraft 2: Unit Evolution – An illustration showing the evolution of Protoss units from StarCraft 1 to StarCraft 2.

    StarCraft 2 Unit Evolution

  5. StarCraft 2 Unit Focus: The Zergling – A review of this game-defining unit.

     

  6. Kerrigan’s Path: Part One / Part Two / Part Three (coming soon!) – Where we explore Kerrigan’s history in the StarCraft universe.
  7. Blizzard’s Development Cycles: A Review – Where we examine Blizzard’s game development statistics and try to find a pattern. Our prediction for StarCraft 2’s release? Somewhere between April and July, 2008.
  8. 10 Changes We Want to See in StarCraft 2 – Can you count how many are already in the game?
  9. BlizzCon: Changes to StarCraft 2 – Our coverage of BlizzCon. The post that received the most comments on our blog to date.

     

    blizzcon.jpg

  10. Perfecting Real Time Strategy: StarCraft 2 Influences – A deep look inside StarCraft and an exploration of the inspirations it draws from other games.
  11. BlizzCon StarCraft 2 HD Terran Video: Analysis – Dissecting the video that officially presented the Terran race.
  12. StarCraft 2 Fan Concept Art and Unit Ideas – A round up of interesting fan created units.
  13. Automation and UI improvements in StarCraft 2 – A detailed look at one of StarCraft 2’s hottest issues. Auto-Mining Peons, Multiple Building Selection, Automatic Unit Formation, Context-Dependent Unit Behavior and Smart Casting. Read the post to see what the SC2Blog Verdict was.

     

    formation.JPG

  14. StarCraft 2 Comic – New Webcomic launched – Our official webcomic. Comic #2 coming soon!

     

    Zerg Typing

  15. Mysterious Artifacts and Kerrigan’s Mighty Heel – What does Kerrigan’s heel have to do with the StarCraft 2 campaign?

     

    Can't wait to see this cinematic in action

  16. Neurotic AIs Are the Future of Real Time Strategy – Will Neurotic AIs rule future RTS matches?

 

13 Interviews:

  1. Early developer interviews.
  2. Insider Interview: StarCraft 2 Marine – Interview with Nick Carpenter, Blizzard cinematic creative director.

    marine.jpg

  3. Inside Blizzard: MTV Interview – a video interview with Blizzard developers: Chris Metzen, VP Creative Development; Mike Morhaime, Blizzard’s President; Dustin Browder, Lead Game Designer; and Jungwon Hahn, Managing Director for Blizzard Korea.
  4. Leaked “Games for Windows” scans – Featuring an Interview with Chris Sigaty, StarCraft 2’s lead producer.
  5. StarCraft 2 Hands-On Report from 1UP – A long interview with Dustin Browder, lead designer, and Chris Sigaty, lead producer.
  6. E3 StarCraft 2 Interview – Interview with Paul Della Bitta, Senior Community Manager at Blizzard.
  7. Dustin Browder Interview – Dustin Browder, StarCraft 2’s lead game designer, answers some questions by Korean journalists.
  8. Interviews with Sam Didier, StarCraft 2 Senior Art Director – Two interviews with the ecstatic Sam Didier, Senior Art Director for StarCraft 2.
  9. The State Of Blizzard’s Union – Gamasutra’s long interview with Chris Sigaty, lead producer of StarCraft 2, discussing all things Blizzard.
  10. Interview with Chris Metzen: StarCraft 2 Lore – A long interview with Chris Metzen, Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President of Creative Development.
  11. CNN Interviews Jungwon Hahn – CNN interview with Jungwon Hahn, managing director of Blizzard’s Korean office, and talk about the StarCraft phenomenon.

  12. StarCraft 2 Lore: Interviews with Christy Golden – Two interviews with Christie Golden, author of the StarCraft trilogy of books that serves as the introduction to StarCraft 2.
  13. Karune Updates and Interview – Karune plays a lot of StarCraft and likes sharing his thoughts about it with us.

karune2.JPG

6 Magazine Leaks and Releases:

  1. Leaked PC Gamer StarCraft 2 Video – Where we first heard of the Soul Hunter, saw the Phase Cannon relocate itself using its energy form, the old incarnation of the Carrier – the Tempest, and the awe inspiring Twilight Archon.

    Archon

  2. PC Gamer Leak, Round 2: The Scans – The text from the leaked magazine, transcribed for your reading pleasure, followed by our gameplay analysis.
  3. Leaked “Games for Windows” scans – Gameplay pictures and a few detailed answers by Chris Sigaty, StarCraft 2’s lead producer.
  4. Terran Units Revealed in Swedish Magazine, Super Play – The first look into the main units of the Terran war machine, and an out of place Dark Templar showing its doubled psi-bladed weapon.
  5. New Terran Units Revealed, Round Two – A much more detailed version, leaked from a Korean magazine.

    thor2.jpg

  6. GameMeca StarCraft 2 Terran Images – Siege Tank concept art, the first appearance of the neutral observatory and the Merc Haven, and a few great Thor screenshots.

Thors attackingThor in action

 

4 Monthly Discussion Topics:

 

4 Axed Units:

Soul Hunter No Longer a Part of StarCraft 2 – The Soul Hunter was removed from the game after fan complaints about it being a cliche, and Blizzard realizing it’s too much of a perfect Zerg counter.

Soul Hunter

Carriers Are Coming Back – And are replacing the Tempest. “Tempest didn’t feel right and that there was too much of an emotional connection with the original unit“.

tempest.gif

Star Relic Renamed to Statis Orb, Then Removed from the Game – This unit has always been in a weird state of limbo, never finding its place in StarCraft 2. It very rarely appeared in screenshots and has gone through many changes, until it was eventually removed from the game – its latest role taken over by the Cobra.

star_relic.gif

Cobra Cut from the Game, Role Taken by Thor – Without much in the way of a discussion or an explanation, the Cobra has been removed from the game. The Thor, which was close to being cut as well, instead took on its role – killing heavy ground and air units.

Unfortunately, all four of these axed units are completely new designs. Some were replaced by old units, and some were completely cut out of the game. Hopefully, their replacements are new designs as well and not rehashes of old units.

 

2 Tech Trees:

Protoss and Terran Tech Trees – These have gone through significant changes since they were released in BlizzCon, but still offer some insight into the Protoss and Terran available tech options.

It seems that Blizzard is attempting to make every multiplayer match of StarCraft even more diverse and unique than it was before, with more options to choose from and with more strategies to try, instead of having to follow a linear path of technology. For a more comprehensive review of the tech trees, make sure to check out the post.


terran-techtree.jpgprotoss-techtree.jpg

 

Too Many Pictures to Count:

  1. GameMeca StarCraft 2 Terran Images – Siege Tank concept art, Thor screenshots, and a Nuke going off.

    Thors attackingThor in action

  2. BlizzCon Media Collection

     

    dark TempleTerran Battle

  3. Afternoon at Augustgrad – StarCraft Wallpaper

    Augustgrad - 640

  4. StarCraft 2 Fansite Kit – Cool StarCraft 2 themed wallpapers.

     

    Marine WallpaperNukeZeratul

  5. ScreenShot Easter Eggs – Finding Jim Raynor – Jim Raynor appearances, hidden in plain sight in gameplay screenshots.

     

    Jim Raynor Easter EggJim Raynor Easter Egg 2Jimmy !Jim Raynor !

  6. Brand New StarCraft 2 Screenshots – Firebat Inside – The new Firebat version and a few other beautiful shots.

    Protoss Vs Terran

  7. Three New StarCraft 2 Screenshots: Zerg Attack! – The first Zerg life sign in ages.

     

    tvz-char-massnumbers03.jpgscreenshot002.jpgscreenshot023.jpg

And of course, many other screenshots in the constantly updated StarCraft2.com gallery.

 

That’s it for our summary of StarCraft in 2007. It has been a great year for StarCraft 2 fans, and we can only look forward for an even better 2008!

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TerranoZergus Some questions Blizzard cannot ask, but certainly wants answered. It’s obvious that it cannot simply approach gamers and ask “hey, would YOU pay a monthly fee for StarCraft 2?

We assure you – it’s not that Blizzard doesn’t care, or that Vivendi doesn’t want to know. WoW is the most commercially successful product in the history of video gaming, and the monthly fee model will receive major consideration in all future Blizzard titles – be they MMORPG, RTS, or of any other genre.

Our poll, which has been up for close to two months, represents the opinion of Blizzard’s most important demographic – the sort of people who follow their announcements, play on beta servers and [religiously] cling to every bit of information released. The sort of people who play Blizzard games now, and will continue purchasing every game with a Blizzard logo as long as Blizzard sticks to the standards we all got used to.
Poll Results for SC2

With this poll, our readers have sent a clear and undeniable message to the people responsible for the monetization of StarCraft 2 – 72 percent simply won’t or can’t pay the monthly fee. An additional 14 percent won’t pay more than a special one time fee.

A total of 86 percent are firmly against the monthly fee.

This leaves roughly 14% of Blizzard’s most loyal demographic – and with 3% sitting on the fence, we are left with just 11% of all poll participants are willing to pay a monthly fee for StarCraft 2.

Hopefully, our efforts and your votes will help Blizzard make the right decision.

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We have a few Karune-related updates today. Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager and our source for all things StarCraft, has posted a couple of new threads on Battle.net and has also answered a few questions in an interview for starcraft-source.com.

Firstly, Karune makes some exciting promises for the year to come:

As the office lights dim here, before we close up shop for the rest of the year, I would like to wish everyone happy holidays, as it has been quite an exciting year with many big announcements!

 

Though of course, 2007 will be nothing compared to 2008, as those announcements will only be getting bigger!

 

To kick off 2008, we will be starting off the first episode of the BlizzCast podcast series, a Battle of the Fan Sites StarCraft Tournament, and we’ll be adding a ‘hands on’ StarCraft II feedback section to the Q&A Batches.

Some more details about the BlizzCast podcasts can be found here:

BlizzCast is a planned Official Podcast created by Blizzard starting with the New Year! The first episode will consist of the following:

 

  • An interview with Sam Didier (Art Director SCII) about Concept Art for the StarCraft and Warcraft Franchises
  • An interview with Jeff Kaplan (Lead Designer WoW) with highlights of Sunwell Plateau and Patch 2.4
  • Sweepstakes/Giveaway and LOTS of SWAG
  • Next up, Karune gives us two new answers to questions regarding the recently revealed Nomad.

    1) Can the Nomad’s auto-turrets attack air units?

     


    No, the auto-turrets currently only attack ground. Nonetheless, with their rapid fire rate, they are excellent for worker raids and supporting an engaging battle.

     

    2) Will the Nomad build other mechanisms besides the auto-turrets?

     


    Yes, the Nomad will be able to build multiple stationary defenses. We are currently testing a few of these, to see which will fit the best for the Nomad.

    As we have suspected, the Auto-Turret will not be the only construct available to the Nomad. Is Blizzard creating the perfect Tower Defense unit?

    auto-turret.JPG

     

    Finally, make sure to check out Starcraft-Source’s interview with the man himself! Here are a few interesting excerpts:

    SC-Source: Is the increase to the Firebat’s hitpoints enough to keep it alive and effective in battle?

    Karune: Yes, these suckers are quite the beasts on the battlefield, especially against melee.

     

    SC-Source: Information about the Protoss has been very stagnant, can you enlighten us on what the development team is testing?

    Karune: They are currently testing a new Protoss air unit.

     

    SC-Source: In the Nomad description on Starcraft2.com it mentions “a variety of small, semi-permanent defensive structures”, when can we expect to see more of what the Nomad is capable of?

    Karune: The Nomad’s abilities are still being tested. When the Development Team is closer to making ‘final’ decisions on those abilities, they will then be announced online.

     

    SC-Source: Has the debate over the wings on the Zergling prompted any artistic changes?

    Karune: In January, there will be an interview between Samwise and I, in which we do touch upon this subject.

     

    SC-Source: Do you have access to play Starcraft 2 on a regular basis, or is it still on extreme lockdown?

    Karune: Yup, I have as much access as anyone on the development team. I also take part in their weekly development team meetings where I can also express feedback from the community. Actually, I am debating to add an addition to the Q&A batches talking about some hands-on experiences I have had with the game.

     

    That’s all for today’s Karune update. We wish a merry Karune to you all.

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