• StarCraft 2 Blog on Facebook
Q&A 25 – Nomad Buildings, Protoss Shields and StarCraft 2 Resolutions

2008’s First Q&A has just been posted by Karune – the 25th installment includes a new Gameplay Blog section that covers “‘hands-on’ feedback of the current builds of StarCraft II at the office”.

The Chat with devs section is brief, but includes a very important statement regarding the adjustments being made to the StarCraft 2 graphics:

Chat with Devs: This week I got a chance to talk to Sam Didier, our StarCraft II Art Director, about some of the feedback weve gotten from our most recent monthly discussion. Over the next few weeks we will be trying out a few things on the upcoming screenshots, including a reduced saturation which will increase the realism of the units and environment. This is just a test, so we will see how it goes afterwards, but we look forward to getting everyones feedback.

cute Fluffy puffy graphics

Remember the “Does StarCraft 2 look too cartoonish?” question in our last monthly discussion? Well, we have submitted quite a bit of feedback to Blizzard, and are glad to see Sam Didier is addressing exactly that problem, and aiming in the direction of increasing realism by reducing saturation. That means we can expect the game to have a darker, slightly techno-metallic look and feel – not the lively colors presented up to this point.

Gameplay Blog: With the new year, I thought everyone might enjoy a small new section to the Q&As that will happen periodically, featuring some hands-on feedback of the current builds of StarCraft II at the office. This past week Ive been able to play a few 1 versus 1 skirmish games with our new balance designer, David Kim. Even at this early stage, StarCraft II is shaping up to be an incredibly diverse game in terms of strategy. In addition to many of the original StarCraft strategies (which Ive been tending to stick with), there are several new strategies based on both the newly introduced units, as well as hybrid combinations of legacy and new units. One of the most interesting strategies in our current build is the Nomad rush. Nomads are both effective at supporting an ongoing battle with Auto Turrets (which have building armor) and defending against a raid with rapid deployment, but are surprisingly very effective at raiding as well. Im not talking about minor harassment, kill a probe or two, type of thing. Get four of these Nomads into a mineral line and you can deploy 8 Auto Turrets in no time, wreaking havoc to even a moderately defended position. Each Auto Turret is like having an instant Marine, with rapid fire, and building armor. Could this replace Siege Tank drops? Probably not, but these Auto Turrets dont cost minerals or supply.

tURRETThe strategy being described in the Gameplay Blog should not surprise any RTS veteran – almost every early build or even a final yet immature version of an RTS game will usually include strong strategies based on units which are usually intended for support or spell casting.

1. Does the Nomad have all the abilities an SCV has? (Of course it has its own abilities, but it would be interesting to know if you can at least temporarily replace lost SCVs with Nomads in a game.)(broodwar.de)

No, Nomads will not have the abilities of a SCV. The buildings a Nomad will be able to build, will be unique to the Nomad unit. And you cant gather resources with a Nomad.

That’s quite an interesting and daring decision – the implementation of a support unit with its own array of buildings which cannot be constructed by regular workers. At this point, it is safe to speculate that these buildings are not part of the Terran tech tree, but support structures such as the Auto Turret.

2. How will damage against Protoss Shields be calculated with the new damage bonus system?(Starcraft-Source.com)

Protoss shields will take up the characteristics of their normal armor type. For example, if a Protoss Zealot with light armor gets shot by a Terran Ghost with plus light armor damage, the Zealots shields will also take that light armor bonus damage. On the same note, if a Protoss Colossus were to be hit by a Protoss Stalker with bonus damage towards armored unit, the shields would also take that additional damage.

In StarCraft 1, all Protoss shields were treated equally, and enjoyed neither bonuses nor penalties when facing any damage type. Such implementation was logical, due to the nature of the shield – be it a machine, a building or an organic unit, its shield is effectively unrelated to what is inside. StarCraft 2’s new armor mechanics have changed all that, and the shield’s defensive qualities depend on the unit it protects.

3. Artwork and rumors about SCII have shown Terran cities like Augustgrad. Will Starcraft 2 contain building doodads as seen in the original artwork (ie. skysc#@!&rs, homes, etc)? (starcraft.org)

Yes, many of the original iconic doodads will be recreated for StarCraft II.

4.Can the shadow ops contain “one nuke and one drop pod” or “any 2 of nukes and drop pods”? (thewarcenter.net)

Currently, the Shadow Ops can contain both a nuke and a drop pod at the same time, but will not be able to contain two of one type within a single Shadow Ops building. Drop pods can be loaded with 12 infantry units of the players choosing. On certain maps, a fast expanding SCV drop pod strategy may prove highly effective.

CasperDespite the fact that Shadow Ops (along with the Ghost’s abilities) will undergo many changes prior to StarCraft 2’s release, such an implementation does make sense – the Terran Ghost can launch a Nuclear strike and call for a Drop pod, but not launch two consecutive nukes or summon 24 units to the battlefield.

5. Will the native resolution of Starcraft 2 be widescreen or 4:3? (gamereplays.org)

The plan is to have both of those resolutions supported, along with everything between 5:4 and 16:9. Larger screens will have slightly more viewable range than a smaller screen, but from our tests, the differences will be very minor.

Nowadays there is little reason to limit a game to certain ratios or resolutions – but how about dual-screen support? This feature has been implemented successfully in two leading RTS titles – Supreme Commander and World in Conflict, but considering Blizzard’s popularity in Internet cafes and among casual gamers, StarCraft 2 should focus on maximizing single-screen UI.

Related Posts: