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StarCraft 2 Hands-On Report from 1UP

1UP had the opportunity to play StarCraft 2 along with the Games for Windows and Super Play reporters.

They’ve published an article with some valuable notes, plus a long interview with Dustin Browder, lead designer, and Chris Sigaty, lead producer.

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Here are the important notes from the article:

 

* The Yellow Minerals, which were originally discovered by The Official Unofficial Starcraft 2 Blog, yield 12 crystal units per cycle, as opposed to 8 units for the regular, blue minerals.

* The Vikings in flying mode have a powerful air-to-air attack, but no air-to-ground attack. The ground mode is not a particularly strong ground assault unit.

* The Banshee is a cloaked bomber that is very vulnerable to Missile Turrets and Phase Cannons.

* The Reapers have a timed explosive which can be used for demolition purposes. These do not work like the old Vulture mines.

* The Thor can attack both air and ground forces. It has a long range bombardment ability. Its range is longer than that of Phase Cannons and Reavers. It has a very slow turning rate, making it vulnerable to fast units, like the Cobra.

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* The Cobra can attack both ground and air forces.

* The Ghosts have a Drop Pod ability, which is used exactly as we have suggested in our “Suggestions for StarCraft 2” Article!

“A late game upgrade could perhaps grant the Ghosts an ability similar to the one the Human forces have in the Warhammer RTS games, also a late game upgrade – drop pods that hit the ground and deploy units anywhere on the battlefield, launched from orbital positions. A Ghost would be required here to signal the drop, adding to its role (which was quite limited in StarCraft 1), since an ability like this should still be range-limited.”

Also, there are rumors of female Ghosts making an appearance alongside their male counterparts. Wouldn’t it be cool to randomly get either a male or female every time you train a Ghost?

* There’s a new Bel’Shir jungle map that’s been modeled after the classic Lost Temple map.

* The Mothership’s Black Hole ability is considered overpowered at the moment. The development team is trying to come out with ideas to balance it.

 

The 1UP reporter has gathered some interesting statistics and information about the Protoss tech tree:

Nexus (100) [Numbers after unit name — when known — indicates time to build in seconds]

– Warp in Forge (33)
– Warp in Assimilator (35)
– Warp In Pylon (25)
– Warp in Gateway (50)

Forge (33)

Requires Nexus
– Warp in Photon Cannon (35)

Gateway (50) Requires Pylon

– Upgrade to Warp Gate (30)

Twilight Council (42) Requires Gateway

* Research Soul Hunter Tech (35)
* Research Stalker Tech (35)
* Research Immortal Tech (35)

Robotics Facility (60) Requires Twilight Council

– Warp in Phase Prisms (50)
– Warp in Observers (33)
– Warp in Reavers (55)
– Warp in Colossus: Requires War Beacon (100)

War Beacon (60) Requires Robotics Facility

– Warp in Colossus
* Research upgrades for Colossus

Null Circuit (50) Requires Robotics Facility

– Required to produce Observers and Reavers
– Required for upgrades for Observers and Reavers
* Gravitic Booster: Observer movement speed (110)
* Gravitic Drive: Phase Prism movement speed (110)
* Increase Scarab damage (140)

Stargate (60) Requires Twilight Council

– Warp in Phoenix: Air and ground attack (45)
– Warp in Tempest (previously known as Carrier): Air and ground attack (60)
– Warp in Warp Ray: Air and ground attack (90)
– Warp in Star Relic: Force Field, Detonate, Cloak Field (60)
– Warp in Mothership: Air and ground attack (140)

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Fleet Beacon (65) Requires Stargate

– Required to produce Warp Rays
– Required to produce Star Relics
* Research Gravitic Thrusters: Phoenix movement speed (140)
* Research Apial Sensors: Phoenix sight range (110)
* Research Detonate: Star Relic cloak field ability. Star Relic will explode after a short time when activated. Hit points determines damage (110)

Cybernetics Core (50)

Requires Twilight Council
– Upgrades for Zealot
– Upgrades for Stalker
– Upgrades for Immortal
– Upgrades for weapon and armor
– Upgrades for air units
* Research Charge: Increase Zealot speed for intercept purposes
* Research Blink: Allows Stalkers the ability to blink in and out of combat (80)
* Research Hardened Shield: Increases power of Immortal Shield, reducing damage of single attacks by 10 (110)
* Upgrade air weapons for Phoenixes, Warp Rays, Tempests, and Interceptors: Level 1, level 2, level 3 (140 each upgrade level)
* Upgrade air armor for Phoenixes, Warp Rays, Tempests, and Interceptors: Level 1, level 2, level 3 (140 each upgrade level)

Templar Archive (75)

Requires Cybernetics Core
– Warp in High Templar
– Spell research and upgrades
* Research Psi Storm: High Templar AoE attack (110)
* Research Khaydarin Amulet: Max High Templar energy increases by 50 (110)

Dark Obelisk (??) [SC2Blog note: We now know it is required for the production of Dark Templars]

Requires Cybernetics Core

 

Notes from the interview:

* The development team tried very hard to stick to the StarCraft 1 feel and gameplay mechanics.

* Currently, only Marines can fit in Bunkers.

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* The Zealot Charge is an ability that’s automatically used when the Zealot gets close to an enemy.

* The decision to stick to 3 races was made very early in development.

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