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With Blizzard’s official StarCraft comic strip program, Vespene Laughs, coming to an end, we’re proud to re-introduce our own replacement – Sc2Comic.com. Here’s the first strip, another take on the original StarCraft 2 introduction video:

We’ll aim at releasing a fresh comic on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, with occasional guest artists and multi-strip adventures. Make sure you subscribe to the Comic RSS and to SC2Blog or follow the TerranoZergus Twitter feed to keep yourself up to date on SC2 Comic happenings.

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With Blizzard’s StarCraft 2  Development news being on cooldown after the recent press blitz, the last week has provided the community with little new insight into the current state of StarCraft 2, with neither recent Community Q&A nor official RTS community managers revealing much.

Here’s the Q&A session recently released via a Polish StarCraft 2 Fansite:

1. Dustin said on BlizzCast #8 that the Banshee is a very powerful air-ground unit vs. ground defenses. What are the chances of Banshees against ground units? For example is it equal 5 Banshees against 5 Stalkers or the Banshees have to run if they notice Stalkers.

Yes, the Banshee can be a very strong anti-ground air unit but it is definitely not unstoppable. For example, Marines and Thors can be great ground counter units for Terran and Hydralisks for Zerg are also good. And just like the example in the question, Stalkers with blink ability and High Templars with psionic storm can be counter Banshees as well.

2.Zerg can move and regenerate faster on creep. Terrans have medivac, the mechanical units can be fixed by SCV. Do you think that is a good idea for Protoss to regenerate shields faster when they are near pylons?

Protoss currently has the Shield Battery ability on the Obelisk, which recharges the shield of the target friendly unit or area. This is an active ability that drains energy from the obelisk, but is a similar concept to the one suggested.

StarCraft’s approach of providing all three races with similar capabilities based on profoundly different mechanics is live and kicking in its sequel.

  • Zerg’s healing bonus is absolutely passive, always on and inherent into the very design of the Zerg.
  • Terran’s repair ability is the fastest, most focused way of handling retreat n’ regroup situations, but at the cost of resources.
  • Protoss “repair” is based on energy and depends on the amount of resources invested in the infrastructure beforehand.

3. Do you have any plans for Infested Protoss? If yes, what sort/kind of unit will it be?

Based on the lore, the Protoss do not become infested. The combination of the two result in a hybrid race.

This reverses the previous decision to allow the creation of Infested Protoss in the same way Infested Terran are created. In earlier builds, the Infestor could infest Protoss Gateways for this purpose.

4. Question is about replays. Do you plan to create a feature to see what that player saw during the battle? It’s like if I was behind him while he was playing and I was watching his screen.

There are more advanced functions and options implemented in the current replay system. If you select a certain player in the replay, you can opt to see that player’s camera while he or she is controlling units, buildings, and spending resources. Additionally, you can select the options for all players’ Units, Army, Spending, Production, and APM status to view all statuses simultaneously in a replay.

Seeing the game through your opponents’ eyes can greatly improve your game when playing against your buddies, but seeing the game through the eyes of the game’s greats will do wonders for players trying to improve their game.

5. What will happen when we double push a hotkey of a group of buildings? (4 lairs for example at one hotkey) Our screen will move to the first lair in a group? Or to set point of all or maybe to the point where everything crosses? (Point of gravity)

When you designate multiple units or structures as a group and the units or structures are spread out in different places, selecting the group by double pressing the hotkey, your screen will go directly to the place that you have the largest amount of consolidated units or structures first. If you have the same amount of units or structures on different positions of the map, your screen will go to the closest one to your current location.

6. What is the status of a nuke? Range, cast time, power etc. And sub-question: will the air be contaminated for some time (10-20 seconds) and affects the units after the blast?

You can arm a silo with a Nuke at the Ghost Academy and it will take 60 seconds. Upon completion, a Ghost can call down a nuclear strike at a target location dealing up to 300 (+200 structures) damage to enemies in a large radius. There will be a period between the casting of the Nuke until the Nuke actually hits its target, in which the Ghost must stay alive. There will be no contamination for the ground or the air after the blast.

StarCraft 2 Nuke remains a single-hit, massive AoE attack, and it’s somewhat disappointing that Blizzard has not implemented an additional twist to this underused and powerful ability, such as:

  • Area contamination.
  • Permanent mutation bonus for biological Nuke survivors.
  • EMP effect that “stuns” mechanical units.

Nuke hitting a Terran Base

A creative tactical twist may push the Nuke out of  the “I pwned you” niche of abilities and create a more viable weapon for the Terran.

7. Several SCVs can repair buildings together. So why can’t they work together to build a new one? Sub-question: Does SCV have an ability (or is it planned) “Patrol and repair?”

In order to keep the game balanced, SCVs aren’t able to build structures together. SCVs can repair the damaged structure or mechanical units together, while also costing more resources. However, the SCV does have an auto-casting repair ability, so when you give a command to a SCV to patrol while auto repairing is activated, the assigned SCV will repair the structures or mechanical units around it automatically and will continue their patrol.

8. Question about Protoss drop. We can see that Protoss players often do reaver drops. Now when we don’t have this unit, we can drop Dark Templars, because Colossus are too weak for killing drones/SCVs/Probes (it’s a conclusion after watching many battle videos.) Is there any alternative tactic of drops by Protoss, or this element of a Protoss game was excluded.

Colossus is as great of a worker killer as the Reaver in the original StarCraft. The Colossus has 2 attacks with 23 damage each and gives splash damage, so it can kill drones and probes with a single shot and SCVs with two shots. If the Protoss player is trying to harass the enemy’s economy by killing workers, dropping Colossi from the Warp Prism right next to their base is a possible option, while Dark Templars can also be very devastating as well.

Having Colossi warped in on your worker line is bound to become an unpleasant yet common experience for enemies of the Protoss if Colossi keep their single-pass killing capability. Considering the fact that Colossi neither cheap nor easy to bring down in a toe-to-toe fight, backdooring Colossi are more than just suicidal worker drops, and have a lot of potential of wreaking even decently defended expansions and worker lines.

Blizzard has also unveiled June 2009 Comic Contest winners, 3 lucky and creative fans, each receiving a prize package consisting of a StarCraft II Hat, a StarCraft-themed T-shirt, and one StarCraft II Poster, with the winner also getting two StarCraft 2 Beta Keys.

Rejected StarCraft 2 UnitsWarp JokesLeaning the Alphabet, the StarCraft Hotkey way

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Please note that there is no official announcement of a StarCraft II Beta start date. Beta keys to winners will be distributed during the StarCraft II Beta process.

The above statement was made by Karune to curb the community’s enthusiasm over the announcement of the the first StarCraft 2 beta key contest.

It happened to be that Karune’s announcement regarding the beta key giveaway came amidst a significant rumor storm caused by the Captcha beta image hoax that followed Xordiah’s mention of an existing timetable for the beta as well as plans for beta key competitions.

StarCraft 2 Beta Key hoax

That same evening we have also received an (unofficial) message that insisted that a functional StarCraft 2 multiplayer demo of a recent build has been stolen in France, cracked, and that its torrent is already being seeded. In the context of the above events, the sudden addition of beta keys to the contest might have been an indication of Blizzard’s awareness of the leak, with the announcement being part of a broader “Given lemons, make lemonade” strategy.

Luckily, that was not the case – the only news that mattered was posted by Blizzard’s officials, with the Captcha being outed as a hoax, and we have yet to receive a proof of an existing, playable and redistributable StarCraft 2 demo.

The comic contest is currently the only way the general public (the part that has not attended Blizzcon) can get their hands on StarCraft 2 beta keys, and artists have all of February to try and craft a worthy “Graphic Novel”.

StarCraft II Beta Keys are up for grabs to the funniest, wittiest, able to cause a fun chuckle in your fellow StarCraft fans!

As a FYI, we will be adding (2) StarCraft II Beta Keys to the Vespene Laughs 1st place winner’s prize package each month for the StarCraft II Comic Contest. The rules will be updated accordingly for the February round of entries. Additionally, we will also reward previous 1st place winners of the contest as well with the beta keys as well.

This contest will be the first of various contests that will begin offering a chance to get into the StarCraft II Beta. If you know there isn’t a funny bone anywhere in ya, don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities, just keep checking back with us.

Blizzard has a long running WoW comic tradition and the official gallery is home to more than 260 comic sketches, some being of amazing artistic quality, while others are recognized for their comedic value. The official StarCraft 2 comic contest winners page currently holds just 6 sketches, with the following being our personal favorite:

Starcraft2 Comic Teaser

Creating a comic is very time consuming, especially if the characters are not recurring and the graphics are unique to the sketch. Perhaps the following sketch, the winner of the official September 2008 competition, will give hope to the graphically challenged:

Click to see the full version

You can submit your entries here, and the official rules (lawyerspeak) are here.

In confirmed and official news, the ESL event, held in Paris, France, will give its visitors a chance to play StarCraft 2 on multiple high-end (Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme and Intel® Core™ 2 Quad) laptops, availible at the publically open eSports arena.

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We are proud to present our newest creation and hope our readers will enjoy it – today we have launched our own Webcomic – the Official Unofficial StarCraft 2 Comic.
SC2 Comic‘s story, characters and events are based on Blizzard’s StarCraft universe, and inspired by the upcoming StarCraft 2 game.
The first comic is called “Four Years of Peace – The Real Reason“.

Zerg Typing

The comic will be updated on an irregular basis, and we suggest subscribing to it via RSS.

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