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WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos

While Diablo 3 is definitely the main highlight of the 2008 WWI, there’s still a lot to write home about when it comes to StarCraft 2. We’ve got new, action heavy screenshots, interviews with Blizzard’s developers, presentations that show off the qualities of StarCraft 2, and reports of new things that have appeared in the game.

First up, highlights from the developer panels:

  • A group of Overlords are used to cover the entirety of the viewable map with Creep (or “Mucus” in French), using their Excrete Creep ability
  • Nydus Worms are more expensive than other races’ transports, with the advantage being that the transported units aren’t risked in transit. Also, the Worms now need Creep at their exit point – which is not a major problem, considering the Creep-spewing Overlords.
  • Crawler Buildings – Spine Crawler and Spore Crawler. These are like the Sunken and Spore colonies in StarCraft 1, only the Crawlers can move around and plant on Creep at will, allowing the Zerg to easily redeploy their defenses.

  • A Queen is seen supplementing a Zerg base’s defenses with her various abilities
  • Corruptors engage a small Terran air group composed of Battlecruisers and Vikings. It appears that corrupted units, which serve as stationary “turrets” for the Zerg, slowly lose health over time and are eventually destroyed by the corruption.
  • Banelings are used as active mines: burrowed in the ground, they wait until a group of Marines moves over their position. The player unburrows them at the right time to inflict maximum damage, right in the middle of the group.
  • Smart usage of the Nullifer’s Force Field ability is shown. This is a spectacle to be seen, so make sure you watch at 5:40 into this video. First, a choke point is created, which prevents the incoming Zerging swarm from engulfing the Protoss units, allowing the Zealots to dispatch them at their (relative) leisure. Then, the second wave of Zerg attackers meets a complete Force Field wall. The remaining Protoss Stalkers quickly Blink behind it and engage the Zerglings at range, killing most of them before the are able to cross the barrier.
  • In the next bit, a Mothership is used to summon a force back into a Protoss base that comes under attack. The Mothership then comes under attack from a group of Vikings, and quickly immerses itself in a Time Bomb, negating the missile attack.
  • The Terran’s theme is “guns, guns, and bigger guns“.

  • The Thor currently has two abilities: Anti-Air Flak Cannons, making it a great support unit for a Siege Push (as seen in the video), and Self Repair, whose existence we speculated on in this older video.
  • At 5:40, a major battle between Zerg and Protoss forces takes place. We recommend waiting for a higher quality video to be posted before watching this one.

Next, Rob Pardo answers questions from the audience. Here’s a summary of his answers:

  • Heroes in single player will not impact gameplay in a serious way, serving to push the plot and dialog further instead.

  • Rob says that the campaign will only have one ending and not alternate, race specific or choice-dependent ones, as is customary in Blizzard games, though there will be several different diverging sub-plots.
  • The Mothership’s old Black Hole ability is no longer found on it, but Rob is hoping to see it return in some form, perhaps on another unit.
  • The Thor is a difficult unit to find a role for – one that is separate from the Siege Tank or Battlecruiser.

***

Next, we have an amazing collection of screenshots (courtesy of StarCraft Source) straight from the most up-to-date build, featuring all the latest art enhancements and newest units and their designs:

WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 1WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 2WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 3

WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 4WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 5WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 6

WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 7WorldWide Invitation Screenshot 8

Screenshot highlights:

A Lurker’s spiny attack is seen for the first time, while another Lurker is burrowed next to it.

Lurker Attack

A mobile Spine Crawler.

Spine Crawler

The Viking has received a slight touch up, and now looks more “mechanical” and square instead of round and fat.

Updated Viking

The Nullifier’s attack has been beefed up, and it’s now sporting a more impressive beam weapon, similar to that of the Colossus. The Nullifer shown here is clearly attacking an air unit.

Nullifier

The Warp Rays have also received an updated look, which reflects their different role. No more are they the Protoss’ heaviest air unit, a title which they lost to the Carriers. They are now shorter, with the beam apparatus taking up the bulk of their mass. Their beam’s effect has also been enhanced.

Warp Rays

The Swarm Guardians make their first high quality appearance. Their explosive plasma balls can also be seen.

Swarm Guardians

 

Although many units have undergone significant changes, the most drastic adjustments were made to StarCraft 2’s economy and resource system. These changes will be covered tomorrow, once the dust settles. 

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