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StarCraft 2 Q&A 53: Post-Game Lobby, 58 Voice Actors

Blizzard has released a brand new Questions and Answers batch, continuing the long-time tradition after a 3 month hiatus. This is understandable, though, as the last months brought us expansive coverage of the Single Player aspects of StarCraft 2, the beautiful third Battle Report, lots of information, pictures and videos in a large press event, and the yearly BlizzCon festivities.

Without further ado:

1. Computer AI – Does the computer’s online AI vary from its offline counterpart?

No. They are the same.

2. Have you considered allowing a post-game lobby for users to discuss the last game, collectively watch replays, or immediately enter into a rematch?

Yes, we have a plan for a post game lobby. However the details are not finalized yet.

The success of the StarCraft 2 multiplayer as well as the Battle.net Marketplace greatly depend on the social appeal of  pre-, in- and post-game player interaction, and Blizzard’s efforts in this area have not gone unnoticed. Battle.net’s social features, the improved observer and replay HUDs, and the advanced integration of the interface into the game will make StarCraft 2’s online experience a real treat for both professional and casual gamers.

3. Is there any update on additional map features other than the Xel’Naga watch towers, destructible rocks and tall grass?

No. Currently there is no update on additional map features.

4. How many different voice actors are needed for StarCraft II, including the unit sounds and campaign heroes?

There are 58 unique voice actors participating, with some voicing multiple roles, and the number may increase as the game gets closer to release

5. The terrain types in StarCraft II we have seen so far had names like “Bel’Shir (Jungle)”. Does this mean that “Bel’Shir” is just an alias for jungle and every terrain is just named after a typical planet using it or are there – to stick with this example – other jungle maps with a different terrain set, something like “Aiur (Jungle)”?

We named our terrain sets based on the planets. There are a lot more terrain sets than in the original StarCraft and you will have huge flexibility in modifying the terrain sets (including adjusting textures, doodads, lighting) allowing you to create your own variations of the default maps. There may be other jungle-themed default maps named after other planets.

StarCraft 2’s terrain types have been unveiled in full during BlizzCon 09’s Art Panel, and can be seen in this video:

Environments shown in the video include:

  • Bel’Shir – a  rich Protoss world, with nature unbound and forests untouched.
  • Valhalla Installation – Terran Thor construction station.
  • Castanar Installation – Laboratories for Zerg research.
  • Monlyth– a Protoss world with distinct Protoss structures.
  • Avernus – doodad rich tech/lab installation.
  • Redstone – lava planet with reactionary doodads and changing lava levels.
  • Zhakul’Das – a dark ancient world.
  • Port Zion – a tech junk world.
  • Korhal – a very rich Terran world, with monorails, billboards, skyscrapers and even pedestrians.

6. Will there be any chance to have more options on pausing the game? In StarCraft: Brood War every player can pause the game three times, but every other player can unpause it. How about a (user editable) time limit before other players can unpause the game?

We recommend that players communicate with each other in the game to agree on when to pause and unpause during the game. We feel that pausing the game interrupts the game flow and it would be inconvenient for players to be forced to wait for a certain amount of time before being able to unpause. The pausing feature is mainly meant to allow for pausing of the game when all players are in agreement and for which duration.

7. I already knew the map editor would be available to beta testers a while after Beta was released, but this is why I’m asking the bland question, will it also be available to non-participating people?

No, the map editor will only be available during the beta for beta testers.

8. When a unit comes out from a building will there be only 4 exits from the building like in Warcraft 3 or will there be “infinite”?

It is not infinite, but your units will come out from a building at the closest point on the building to where your rally point is set.

This wraps it up for the recent Q&A batch. Make sure you follow the official @StarCraft Twitter feed, as Blizzard’s team has been quite active recently, tweeting fun stuff like the following fan-made Lego Immortal.

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