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SC2Blog is going to Blizzcon, and so are 4 of our readers – we are running a last-minute, 24 hour, Old School competition. The first readers to answer the quiz correctly will receive Blizzcon entrance badges!

Kali gaming Logo

Questions:

1) It’s StarCraft B.net Season 2, You are on River Styx versus some Protoss player. A few minutes into the game, your worker line is decimated by a very surprising strategy – a Reaver that pops in and out of a shuttle.

n

Fill in the x’s in your opponent’s name:

x_COOL_xxx

n

2) Name at least 3 members of the IN clan.

n

3) What was the name of the popular 20$ one-time fee service that WarCraft 2 games were played on?

n

4) What was the name of the league that put Tillerman on a trading card?

n

5) What MIT student became a brilliant Protoss player, contributed greatly to StarCraft: BW’s balance, and later became a Blizzard employee based on the aforementioned achievements?

Send your answers to Anderson AT Sc2blog.com, along with your name. The first four people to answer all questions correctly will receive a confirmation, and their details will be sent to Blizzard.

Remember that you must not only answer all questions correctly, but also be able to attend to convention at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on October 10 and 11.

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Time has come to conclude another SC2Blog Poll. Just like the previous poll, concerning StarCraft 2 fees, this one ran for enough time to reach a large audience and has stayed up through multiple important announcements over several months – the WWI event, the Zerg unveiling, and numerous build changes.

 2746 unique votes have been cast, which constitute more than enough for a significant statistical representation of SC2Blog readers. Keep in mind, however, that the average SC2Blog reader is not the average Blizzard gamer – our audience is composed of the sort of people who follow news about Blizzard games in the pre-beta stage.

StarCraft 2 Poll Results

The results are in, and we are delighted to report that only a mere 12% are disappointed with what they’ve seen so far. The most popular choice was actually “Better than I could ever Imagine“, which hopefully makes a few Blizzard employees happy in their pants.
For most readers, the impressions of StarCraft 2 can only truly be judged against two reference points, and both are Blizzard games – the masterpiece predecessor, and the Micro-oriented WarCraft 3. Despite the fact that StarCraft 2 is heavily influenced by multiple successful titles, the games Blizzard create tend to reside in a league of their own, each serving as the gold standard of its genre.

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A Blizzard-sanctioned fansite tournament is about to take place in two weeks. Many fansites have already signed up for this bracketed, two versus two tournament – sending their writers and admins to represent them.

Blizzard, in their infinite kindness, are providing an incentive to the participants. The winning players will get:

3 G51 Logitech Surround Sound Speaker Systems

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3 StarCraft 2 Shirts

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The SC2 Blog is giving our readers the opportunity to enter this tournament and win the prizes for themselves. That’s right – two of our loyal readers will get to represent the SC2 Blog in this friendly tournament and collect the reward.

If you want to represent the SC2 Blog in this battle of the fansites tournament and win the prizes for yourself as our official representative, you need to:

1) Write a comment to this post, mentioning that you wish to play in the tournament.
2) Mail XalKurat at Gmail.com with your full details, using the following format:

Real name: Zetaras Xal’Kurat

 

Alias: The Twilight Arbiter

 

Full Address (prize shipment): 51 Tassadar St., Talematros, Shakuras

Make sure the email address you use to mail your details with is the one you wish to be contacted at. Please put “StarCraft Tournament” in the mail subject.

3) Tell us about your StarCraft background. Are you a pro gamer? A total newbie? Let us know. Do not be discouraged if you don’t play StarCraft daily or have trophies at home – this is a friendly tournament!

The chosen players will become official representatives of the SC2 Blog. A qualifying, in-house tournament will be held to determine which of the players get to participate in the official tournament.

Tournament rules and details:

  • Games will be played using StarCraft BroodWar with the latest patch.
  • If a team does not show up after 30 minutes past the round start time they automatically forfeit their match.
  • There are no official pauses during any match, be sure to take the appropriate pee breaks before hand.
  • After each game that is played, all teams are allowed to take a 10 minute break before starting the next game.
  • Games cannot start until teams on break have returned in under 10 minutes between games.
  • Starfeeder admins have the final say.
  • No observers are allowed except for Starfeeder staff, commentator DiggitySC, or Blizzard’s Karune.
  • Seedings will be randomly drawn.
  • Games will be played on Battle.net East, tournament channels will be announced closer to game day.
  • The tournament will consist of two 16-team brackets, single elimination best of 5, no losers bracket.
  • First Round Map will be The Lost Temple
  • Second Round Map will be Azalea
  • Third Round Map will be LUNA
  • Fourth Round Map will be Python
  • Finals will be best of 7 and order of maps follows (1)Lost Temple (2)Vampire (3)Luna (4)Python (5)Lost Temple (6)Azalea (7)Python (Obs versions of these maps will be used)

Download the tournament maps here.

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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.

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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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