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Zerg Rumors

Is the Zerg race going to be announced a week from today? A Team liquid forum post brings to our attention the fact that on March 10, in an official Blizzard event in South Korea, the Zerg race will be showcased to the world for the first time. Demo stations will be set up, allowing visitors to play StarCraft 2 with all three races. Frank Pearce, vice-president of Blizzard Entertainment, will also be attending the event.

It’s important to note that the source of this information are Korean gaming sites, and that Blizzard has not officially confirmed this yet.

Ultralisk

 

STARCRAFT: I, MENGSK

A new book has been announced for the StarCraft universe: I, Mengsk. Written by Graham McNeill, who is also known for writing Warhammer books and codexes.

I, Mengsk is a look at three generations of the Mengsk family from the inside out…what shaped Arcturus and the years of his life we haven’t seen yet: the relationship between his father and his son. It’s a novel about what it means to be a Mengsk, a story of fathers and sons, and looks at whether a man’s destiny is his own and how it is shaped by the generation before it.”

 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here, with the Starcraft novel entering the final straits. I’ve begun the final third of the book and so far it’s going well, the pace is good, the vibe I’m getting from the characters is good, the plot’s moving forward at the right pace and, best of all, Blizzard seem to be liking it so far.

The book will join Christy Golden’s StarCraft 2 novels in stores on December 28, 2008.

 

Arcturus Mengsk

 

Karunology

Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, has answered a few gameplay related questions that were posted on Battle.net.

In response to a question about whether or not units are able to use abilities inside a Bunker that’s being salvaged, Karune says:

In the current build, when you initiate Salvage on a Terran Bunker, units inside the Bunker will no longer be able to use their abilities.

Much of the mechanics around Salvage are still to be balanced, though I don’t think it would be terribly hard, especially since the duration it takes to Salvage a building can be changed easily.

Karune also addresses a few questions about the recently announced Protoss Nullifier:

The Nullifier will be a mechanical unit and there has yet to be a screenshot. Hopefully, we will get one out to everyone shortly, with the new changes to the overall colors of StarCraft II as well.

 

One key thing to note about Nullifiers being ‘Mechanical’ is that it will not be affected by certain abilities, such as the Snipe ability from a Ghost. Certain casters will be more vulnerable to those biological focused abilities such as the High Templar.

Nullifiers are shaping up to becoming very powerful units that will be effective throughout any StarCraft 2 match. We will not be surprised to see them moved higher up in the tech tree – perhaps to the Robotics Facility, where Protoss mechanical units normally reside.

CNN has conducted an interview with Jungwon Hahn, managing director of Blizzard’s Korean office. Jungwon describes the StarCraft phenomenon to the CNN host and explains its incredible popularity in Korea. A never before seen short bit of gameplay can also be seen, though it’s unfortunately of very low quality.

The CNN host mentions the Asian financial crisis as a catalyst for StarCraft’s popularity. The crisis led to very high unemployment rates. That, coupled with subsidized broadband Internet access, caused many people to spend a lot of time playing video games. They were easily sucked into StarCraft. Jungwon replies and talks about the gaming rooms that have popped up and became very popular at the same time, allowing a new gaming culture to emerge.

The short gameplay video shows a couple of skirmishes between Marines and Reapers, who are trying to raid a Protoss base, and the Zealots defending it.

Overall, we have expected more from CNN, even if the interview is only 3 minutes long. Also, You’d think CNN would know how to embed the videos in their site with a proper aspect ratio…

aspect.JPG

New Terran units and more thorough descriptions of them have been spotted in a Korean magazine.

As usual, we have the pictures, translation and speculations based on what we now know. Click the thumbnails for the large version.

Banshee:

banshee.jpg

This is a flying bomber which can only attack ground units, dealing area of effect damage. Like the Wraith, it also has a cloak ability.

Cobra:

cobra.jpg

A reenvisioned Vulture. This is a fast, hovering vehicle, which carries dual railguns. Apparently, it can fire while moving. We’re very glad to see a unit with this feature, and hope to see more of them in the future, as we have suggested in our “changes we want to see in StarCraft 2” article.

This is why it has a rotating turret, which can likely target units not directly in front of the Cobra.

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We’ve recently seen this unit in a screenshot that came out of the E3 event.

 

 

Viking:

walkingviking.jpgflyingviking.jpg

This unit is a Mech that can transform into a flier. It uses two gatling guns in Mech form, where it can only attack ground targets, and missiles in flier form which can only be used against air targets. I wonder which attack it will prefer when engaging a Colossus?

A few Vikings can be seen wrecking havoc on a Protoss base here, along with a …

2007072000001143mc4.gif

Thor:

thor.jpg

The Thor is the ultimate siege unit. It has a long range, slow firing weapon. It is very slow moving, slow turning, and relatively vulnerable to attack.

Here’s what Blizzard has said regarding the Thor so far:

The Thor will not be the Terran equivalent to the Protoss Mothership. In addition, you will be able to build more than one Thor. The Thor unit will not be the type of unit you’ll want to march into the enemy base by itself.

By no means should you consider the Thor to be a ‘weak’ unit, it just has certain weaknesses that encourage players to add it as part of their arsenal, rather than as a 1 unit army.

Interestingly, the Thor is not created in any building, but built directly by SCVs. This is comparable to Supreme Commander‘s super units, which are also built using workers. In SupCom, the more workers you assign to building the super unit, the faster it is built. Will this be the case with the Thor as well?

Reaper:

reaper.jpg

A lot is already known about these guys. It has now been revealed that they have a mine laying ability, though details about the mine itself are sketchy. A concept art picture has also been published.

conceptartreaper.jpg

Marine:

marine.jpg

His shield will provide a flat, 15 HP health bonus. The Marine will retain his Stim Pack ability, and also has a range upgrade research.

Ghost:

ghost1.jpg

Higher quality picture of the Ghost. It’s been confirmed that his abilities are back: Cloak, Lockdown, and call for Nuclear Strike. As well, he now has two new abilities: Snipe, which will cause “critical damage” to biological units, and another ability which can summon a few units, apparently via a drop pod, to a location he specifies. This is another suggestion we have written about in our “changes we want to see in StarCraft 2” article! Keep them coming, Blizzard!

The Sensor Dome and Radar Dome:

sdome1.jpg radardome.jpg

The Radar Dome is an upgrade to the Sensor Dome, which has already been revealed. The Radar Dome can detect enemy movement even under the fog of war.

Supply Depot:

supply.jpg supplydown.jpg

Normal and below ground version of the Depot.

 

Some more information that’s been gathered:

Battle Cruiser: It now has a new area of effect ability, called “Plasma Injection“.

planetary-fortress.jpg

The Command Center and its upgrade, the Planetary Fortress, can carry 5 SCVs inside of them while flying, as seen in the original gameplay video. The Planetary Fortress can apparently target and fire at a few enemies at once.

Add-on buildings are now shared by unit producing buildings – each building type (Barracks, Factory, Starport) can be linked to any Add-on. A building can only have one Add-On at a time, but they are easy to change by lifting off the building.

The Tech-Lab add-on will allow access to more advanced units, such as the Medic for the Barracks and the Tank for the Factory.

The Reactor Add-on will allow two units to be built in the same amount of time it normally takes to build one (for the cost of two).

The Siege tank will get a design overhaul. Community feedback was harsh regarding the tank, and Blizzard has taken notice.

 

That’s all the information available at the moment. Blizzard promised we’ll be able to see these units in action at Blizzcon, which is only 2 weeks away.

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Nothing is happening in the StarCraft 2 Universe, so here’s a StarCraft comics compilation for the weekend.

Nostalgic piece by BadassHamster:
*To see the comic better, click the thumbnail

badasshamster starcraft comic

 Penny Arcade’s old comic about World of StarCraft.
*To see the comic, click the thumbnail

Wos comic

Penny Arcade’s slightly newer comic about StarCraft 2 and Blizzard’s motivational methods
*To see the comic, click the thumbnail
Starcraft 2 comic - keeping secrets

Alt-Ctrl-Dels take on Korea’s perfectly normal obsession Korea gets a hard-on

Have a good weekend.

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