Today is July 28th, 2010.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is available for purchase around the globe. Battle.net 2.0 is live, and hundreds of thousands are enjoying war, in all its glory… and all its horror.
SC2Blog staff attended launch parties around the world, celebrating 3 years of following StarCraft 2’s development in the public eye, and picking up their own, pre-ordered copies. Those who have chosen to get Collector’s Editions have received one of the most beautiful gaming artifacts to have ever hit mass production.
The Collector’s Edition comes in a big, beautiful double “sliding door” package, giving it a unique and rugged look that is unlike any other. Due to its size and the distinct pseudo-metallic texture, the box immediately stands out in any store or gamer room.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition is packed with features, both tangible and digital.
- The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
- An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor’s dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War expansion set
- A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director’s commentary, and more
- The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
- StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series
- A World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account
- Exclusive Battle.net downloadable content, including special portraits for your Battle.net profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit
Everything inside the box is of the highest quality, including a functional dog tag 2 GB USB drive. Its rough feel is just what you’d expect from its looks, with a push-and-slide USB connector and a fitting neck chain to hang it on.
The most important “show and tell” item is certainly the 176 page StarCraft 2 art book. For those who have followed SC2’s development, the pages will contain many familiar sketches and 3D renders of units and environments that have been introduced, scrapped or changed along the way.
The behind-the-scenes DVD and the full soundtrack CD has great value for true StarCraft fans, shedding light on StarCraft 2’s development – from its very inception to the delicate gameplay decisions made close to the release to the public. Considering the correlation between StarCraft and the professional Poker world, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the StarCraft 2 soundtrack playing on iPods during long tournament grinding sessions.
For those who won’t have many opportunities to brag about their recent purchase in the real world, one of the nicer perks is without a doubt a special set of Battle.net portraits that are available only to owners of the Collector’s Edition.
With so much awesome in one package, the StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition has great sentimental value for those who have been following the StarCraft Universe since it was introduced, over 12 years ago. Even if this is the first StarCraft game you purchase, you will quite likely get to appreciate it as much as we do soon enough.Google+
Join the Dominion was a Blizzard media campaign that included fan participation – submitting propaganda posters as well as taking a Terran military entrance exam. The campaign’s focus was the gradually unlocked StarCraft-related media content in the form of inspirational posters, StarCraft 2 story trailer videos, music from the game, and various propaganda items. We’re going to go over all the unlockables in this post, summarizing the entire campaign for your viewing pleasure!
To start, go ahead and get a good feel of the campaign by taking the entrance exam, which will assign you to your duty in the service of the Terran Dominion. Are you a skilled Viking pilot or more of a suicidal Firebat? Better find out before StarCraft 2 is released!
After finding out about your future role in the Terran military, check out this awesome gallery of StarCraft 2 posters:
Download some StarCraft 2 ringtones and SMS alerts:
Check out the fan-submitted propaganda poster gallery here, and vote for the one you like by “liking” them with your facebook account.
Lastly, brace yourself for three amazing StarCraft 2 videos. The first two detail the story so far: the Terrans’ arrival at the Koprulu sector, the Protoss’ attempt to eradicate the Zerg, Kerrigan’s transformation into the Queen of Blades, and the events leading up to the beginning of StarCraft 2.
The last video is also the newest trailer for StarCraft 2 we’ve posted recently, combining stunning pre-rendered animation with in-game scenes seamlessly to create one of the best hype trailers ever, just in time for StarCraft 2’s imminent release!
In just a few hours, the wait will be over. Some may have needed the hype machine, but they had most of us at “StarCraft 2”.Google+
In a short and concentrated press blitz, Blizzard has released a wealth of new StarCraft 2 information and media, including a new HD gameplay video, 10 high resolution action packed screenshots and a batch of updated unit and building models. The information was released during a press event that took place in Blizzard’s HQ, and we’ll summarize the elaborate coverage, interviews and build updates that were uncovered during the event in this post.
The brand new gameplay video features several skirmishes, six battles in total:
- Large Zerg and Protoss forces clash: Ultralisks and Roaches face a Mothership, Phoenixes and an armada of Void Rays.
- Terran Hellion forces raid a Zerg opponent behind the lines.
- Protoss offensive-cannoning a Terran choke, with the Terran defending using Supply Depots, Marines and Bunkers.
- A massive Protoss Mothership-led force invades another Protoss base.
- Hellions repeatedly hit-n-run a large group of Banelings.
- Ultralisks rampage all over the place until a small group of Ghosts fend them off.
The beautiful high-resolution screenshots that were part of the press blitz are some of the most action-packed and detailed StarCraft 2 images yet.
Images include a variety of beautiful terrains and battle moments with shots including a fight taking place in a sky-scraper themed terrain, a Terran force being immobilized by an Anti-Grav-abusing Phoenix armada and many other great scenarios.
Blizzard’s art team, which has unveiled multiple model and texture updates over the course of the last six months, has released a batch of updated models. Worth noting are the different models for the differently-upgraded Battlecruisers, each clearly showing which path the Terran player took with the specific unit:
Blizzard has also released the latest StarCraft 2 tech trees for all three races. These are likely to make it to the beta, so if your testing intentions are serious, now would be a good time to print and memorize the following.
If you haven’t been following StarCraft 2’s development and internal balancing, take notice of the fact that both the Zerg and Protoss had their cloaked units pushed up the tech tree, with both the Lurker and Dark Templar becoming Tier 3 units, and the Terran Ghost becoming a viable mid-game unit with an arsenal of useful abilities.
The press event included an abundance of gaming time, and several attendees have published extensive impression write-ups, the most notable one being TeamLiquid’s summary of the visit. A few highlights from TL’s own and others’ impressions:
- With Overlords no longer having detection capabilities, the lack of Zerg detection coverage makes the Protoss Phoenix + Dark Templar a powerful combo in the current build – even more so than the equivalent Corsair + Dark Templar build of the original game.
- Banelings can explode while burrowed.
- The upgraded Zerg Hydralisk movement speed is on par with that of Cracklings (speed-upgraded Zerglings).
- The Terran ability to salvage 100% of the resources invested in a building proves a fertile ground for offensive bunkering, cliffing and early-game harassment.
- Reactor add-on cross-building compatibility allows the Terran to crank out key units such as the Medivac Dropship two at a time immediately as a Starport becomes available.
- The Protoss High Templar Psi Storm is even more powerful than in StarCraft 1, with a larger radius, shorter duration and more total damage.
- Ultralisks are no longer a late-game screw-you unit, but hands down the most powerful and effective physical ground unit in the game.
- Merging different Protoss Templars together still produces the exact same Archon.
- Cliff-walking Colossi and burrowing Infestors are not able to traverse destructible rocks.
Here are the highlights from the Dustin Browder interview::
- StarCraft 2 will include an online Casual Gaming League that will feature “anti-rush” map designs, a normal (slower) game speed and other care-bear perks.
- Blizzard will push for mainstream adoption of E-Sports and public broadcast/televised StarCraft 2 matches.
- The Beta is expected to run for 4-5 months.
- Blizzard will seek ways to prevent uber-skilled players from plowing through the low ranks repeatedly when they create new names on Battle.net.
- Beta testers will be added over the course of the beta.
Chris Sigaty, Lead Producer for StarCraft 2 and a long time contributor to Blizzard’s developmental efforts, has unveiled some interesting tidbits in an interview for Joystiq:
- In two years, Chris is expected to receive the Ring – a special mark for fifteen years of Blizzard service, complimentary to the Sword and Shield which are given at 5 and 10 years, respectively.
- StarCraft 2 has been in the works ever since World of WarCraft’s shipment in 2004 – marking 2009 the 5th year of its development.
- Unit portraits’ lips are in full sync with the units’ voices, and the original voice actors for Jim Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk are used.
All in all, Blizzard’s official intents for this recent press blitz were quite clear and fully disclosed – the StarCraft 2 Beta is imminent; do your tech-tree homework, get your gaming rigs ready, ‘couse, hell… it’s about time.Google+
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