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Another week, another batch of official answers from Blizzard. As always, Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has posted a thread containing the answers and the new “Chat with the devs” section.

This week’s chat with the developers deals with blocking choke points. We’ve already seen the updated supply wall system, which allows lowering them into the ground to allow passage for the player who had built them.

 

supplydepot.jpg

In the latest playable StarCraft 2 build, the supply depot wall was not impenetrable to a few of the smaller units. However, this might change soon enough:

Chat with Devs: In the BlizzCon build of StarCraft II, small units were able to pass through certain player created barriers, such as a wall of supply depots at a choke point. After experimenting a bit, the Devs are now testing gameplay with true barriers, which prevent all units from passing through, but will require a line of supply depots side by side rather than supply depots blocking a choke point diagonally. This new design will prevent smaller units such as Zealots and Marines from passing through player created barriers, but will be more costly for the player to build these barriers.

On to the Q&A, starting with four “you’ll have to wait and see” answers:

1. Are the Ultralisk making a return in SC2?

 

The Ultralisk figures heavily in our current plans, but as with everything else relating to units and balance, this is subject to change.

 

2. Will there be in game voice chat supported in SC2?

 

Yes, there are plans to implement VoIP into Battle.net, but details beyond that are yet to be announced.

 

VoIP has become an integral part the game experience in all of Blizzard’s multiplayer games, and is being used daily to coordinate WoW raids and DotA pushes – using 3rd party VoIP software such as Ventrilo and Skype. Karune’s answer states that Battle.net will provide some sort of integrated VoIP service – a bold move considering the bandwidth and load generated by VoIP communications.

3. What are the system requirements ?

 

We are still optimizing the game and do not have minimum system requirements yet. Nonetheless, StarCraft II will require pixel shader 2.0 and at least 128mb of dedicated video RAM.

Considering the 200 unit cap, the minimum possible limit of 8 players and the following screenshots, the release of StarCraft 2 might trigger the biggest software-motivated computer upgrade rush in history.
mothership2.JPGmothership1.JPGss48-hires.jpg

 

4. Will we be seeing any hybrid units in StarCraft II?

 

We are planning to explore the mysteries surrounding the Xel’naga for the single player campaign. In the campaign you will encounter several unique units that would not otherwise be seen in multiplayer. At this time, you’ll just have to wait and see.


5. Does the Thor burn out like Terran buildings if it is damaged?

 

No, the Thor does not burn down like the Terran buildings. It will be like the other Terran vehicles, which are able to be repaired by the scv.

An interesting question. The Thor, having 900 hit points, is more armored than a few of the Terran’s structures. This could actually have been an interesting gameplay mechanic – perhaps adding the Pyrrhic Victory concept to StarCraft 2’s battlefield. Heavily damaged Thors burning down after a glorious victory could be a interesting sight; however, the Thor will apparently act like any other unit.

That’s it for the 13th StarCraft 2 Q&A – maybe Ultralisk, probably VoIP, maybe your current PC is good enough to run StarCraft 2. All It means is that there are still plenty of open questions, and we will definitely be seeing more Q&A batches in the near future.

    

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