Question and Answer with Blizzard RTS Community Manager Karune ----- Starcraft 2 Question & Answer -----1. What is this:http://temporal.pr0.pl/varia/SC2/ss1-hires.jpg - http://temporal.pr0.pl/varia/SC2/addon2.png ? It appears to be a drop ship of some type maybe, can we comment on this unit? The unit seen is a building add-on, and well be revealing more on the Terran building upgrades in the future. 2. What type of scripting language is being used? Aspiring map/mod makers would like to know. http://www.battle.net/forums/thread.aspx?fn=sc-general&t=185268&p=1&#post185268 StarCraft IIs editor features a proprietary scripting language that is based largely on C with some special parameters specific to the game. Of course, for most users, they will have access to the more user friendly Trigger Editor which will allow beginner and intermediate map designers to make advanced maps without having to learn the particular details of the scripting language. Well release further information about the world editor as we move forward. 3. Players have pointed out that the nuke laser dot graphic showing their destination is quite a bit larger and more noticeable than the original games. Is this a finished graphic and are we intending to make incoming nukes easier to spot now? In the announcement gameplay video the incoming nuke marker was shown as if launched by the player. To other players it will still be shown as a smaller dot very similar to the classic StarCraft nuke. 4. The mothership time distortion doesn't seem to stop all incoming projectiles or fire, what exactly does it protect against? The Mothership time-slowing ability is intended to deal with all types of incoming attacks, although only incoming missiles were shown prominently in the announcement gameplay video. 5. Re: Game Balance The announcement gameplay video used more than a few tricks to show off each unit. The Mothership for instance was set to be indestructible for a good portion of the time it was on screen, as well as having additional energy so that we could display all of its special abilities in a shorter amount of time than would normally be possible. In addition to the multiple changes made just for the video, the gameplay in the video is not indicative at this time of what the final balance will be. The announcement gameplay video was showing off the game and units in the coolest way possible, and not necessarily in a way that would resemble an actual match. 6. Re: Game Speed As some of you may have seen in the developer panel held at the Worldwide Invitational after the announcement of StarCraft II, it was revealed that the gameplay in the announcement video was shown at Normal speed so that we could really showcase it and let everyone see the detail and work put into the game. There will still be the faster game speed settings many players are used to from the original game. ----Starcraft 2 Q&A Batch 2-----The answers given below reflect StarCraft IIs game mechanics at this early stage of development. These mechanics are subject to change with further testing and balancing. 1. Will players be able to select multiple buildings simultaneously? We are directing much attention to polishing and improving the user interface. On that note, players will definitely be able to select and build from multiple buildings at the same time. You cannot drag-select buildings, but you can shift-click on them and add them to a control-group for ease of unit production. 2. Will workers auto-gather resources if the rally point is set to a mineral node or a geyser? Of course. 3. Will we be able to select more than 12 units at the same time? Currently, unit selection is unlimited, but this may change with further development and testing. 4. On a given map, will there be one Mothership per map or one Mothership unit per Protoss player allowed? We are still testing out many possible circumstances in order to make skirmishes more fun and challenging. At this time, each Protoss player will be able to have only one Mothership at a given time, but as mentioned, everything is still subject to change. ---StarCraft II Q&A Batch 3---1. What is the role of heroes in StarCraft II? Will they be the same as in StarCraft? StarCraft II campaign heroes will fulfill roles similar to what appeared in the original StarCraft single player experience, but they will have even more unique abilities from standard units, and will be more innovatively integrated into the story campaign. Heroes will not be buildable in multiplayer. 2. What is the max unit count population for each faction? Unit population count for each faction will be very similar to the original StarCraft. 3.Will there be an in-game option to change hotkeys around? Currently it is planned to have this feature, though much testing has yet to be done on it. We are looking into several innovative ways to make the UI customizable to players, to allow flexibility in their style of game play. 4. Is Karunes Battle.net Forum Avatar a Protoss High Templar? Yes it is. 5. Will the Robotics Facility have a similar upgrade to the Warp Gate allowing it to warp units in? There are no plans for this at the moment. Currently Warping technology is limited to the Warp Gate. Of course, we are still testing and balancing this, and nothing is set in stone. -----Starcraft 2 Q&A Batch 4-----1. Are the yellow minerals shown in the trailers harvestable? Yes, they will be a harvestable high yield resource, meaning each harvest rotation will result in greater mineral quantities than the standard blue minerals. This gives players more strategic choices when trying to evaluate where they wish to expand. Expand to the high yield but risk easier discovery? Or expand to a safer area but earn fewer resources? 2. Will resource sharing be allowed between allies? Yes, it is our plan to have this in the game, though there is still much testing and balancing revolving around this ability. 3. Will allied chat be enabled by default for pre-set teams? Yes. 4. Is the Zealot charge ability an upgrade as well? Yes, this ability is upgraded through the Protoss War Shrine. 5.What types of future community updates will there be? Starcraft2.com will be updated with regular unit and building profiles. Furthermore, there are several projects in the works planned for the Blizzards RTS Community as a whole, which we will share at a later time. -----StarCraft II Q&A Batch 5----- 1) Will you be increasing the max players beyond 8? We are exploring this possibility, though currently it is defaulted to 8 max players. 2) If you have multiple casters selected when you cast a spell, will they all cast it or only one? (ex. will 8 ghosts all use lockdown on a unit or only one?) Currently, unit abilities are set as smart casting, meaning when you have a group of casters selected, each time you wish to cast a spell, you will either have to click the icon or press the hot key and follow it with a click on the designated place on the map for it to cast. This will obviously prevent locking down a single unit with more than one ghost, though we are also still exploring possibilities to have different methods of casting for casters in which players would want to have multiple casts executed in a single command. 3) Will building placement still be grid based? Building placement will be grid based. 4) What races will be playable at BlizzCon? This will be revealed at BlizzCon! See ya there! 5) Why do marines have shields now? The shields seen on marines in screenshots and videos are an upgrade that can be purchased through research, increasing the marines overall hit points. Batch 6 will talk more about the Colossus and its height, as well as critters in StarCraft II. -----StarCraft II Q&A Batch 6----- 1) Are Photon and Phase Cannons 2 different buildings? The Phase Cannon is the new version of the StarCraft Photon Cannon. There will not be a Photon Cannon in StarCraft II. 2) Will carriers (Tempest) produce more than one drone type? Not at this time. 3) Fans noticed in your art video that thye Colossus ground unit was under fire from missile turrets. Is this due to the Colossus's exceptionally high attack profile (tall stature) or a ground-to-ground attack feature/option for the turrets? Because of the Colossus's height, it will be susceptible to Anti Air defenses like the Terran Missile Turrets, as well as both ground and air attacks. It is possible for the Colossus to be hit by ground and air attacks at the same time. 4) Will there be critters units and can they attack? There will be critters, but they wont attack. If they did they would be creeps. 5) Will holding the Alt button show unit/building hit points overhead as they did in Warcraft 3? Yes, when holding the Alt button, all health bars of buildings and units on the screen will be displayed. This is an excellent way to quickly assess which units are healthy and which units are damaged. -----StarCraft II Q&A Batch 7----- 1) Will the look of the siege tank be changed for the final version? In response to much fan feedback, the siege tank has indeed been redesigned, with a much more powerful look to it. This visually redesigned siege tank will be shown at BlizzCon 2007. 2) Will there be a ctrl-a key stroke to select all your units on screen? Not at this moment, but the hot keys have not been finalized yet for StarCraft II. 3) Will we get to hear the return of some of the original melodic themes from SC1 (like the Terran themes), or will the music for StarCraft II be completely new? There will mostly be new epic theme songs with similarities to the original faction music. Music is still definitely in the works, thus we will not rule out a reprise of one of the original songs. 4) Will the High Templar still be able to create hallucinations? In the current version of StarCraft II, the Hallucination ability will be back, but not as a High Templar ability, but rather a Star Relic ability. 5) When will you release a StarCraft II Fan Site kit? The Fan Site Kit will be released around BlizzCon. ------ Bonus ------ 1) What is the Protoss building that looks like a tall-dark-Pylon? Karune: It is currently the Dark Obelisk, a building needed to build Dark Templars. Again, this is subject to change still. 2) Does this means the Templar Archives are gone or is there going to be a seperate building for the High Templars as well? They currently need separate buildings, but again, building pre-requisites fall under balance, and there is still much balance testing going on. All is subject to change. -----StarCraft II Q&A Batch 9----- 1) In the gameplay video the UI is toggled on/off several times. Will that be an option in-game? Currently, the UI will only toggle off during game cinematics. There are currently no plans to implement this for single-player or multiplayer as it would give some players an advantage over others. 2) Will the Twilight Archon have abilities? Yes. In the BlizzCon build, the Twilight Archon had the feedback ability. We are still doing much work on this unit, so none of this is final. 3) Can Protoss Units be attacked during the Warp-In process? Yes. When units are warping in, the unit will increase in hit points until they are at max hit points and at that point youll be able to control the unit. 4) Will there be some old units from StarCraft be included in the Map Editor for StarCraft II? There will be units included in the Map Editor which will not be in the standard multiplayer skirmish mode. These will include various units from the original StarCraft, such as the Protoss Dragoon. 5) Will different races have different max-squad caps? Currently all 3 races will have the same maximum population cap at 200. 6) Can the Planetary Fortress lift off? Once the Command Center has been upgraded to be a Planetary Fortress, it can no longer lift off. Furthermore, the Planetary Fortress cannot be changed back into a normal Command Center with lift off capabilities. ------ "In the Q&A context, 'Warping' is referring to the new type of warping in units as shown with the zealots at the Phase Prism location on the demo video." "Phase Prisms also act as transports, allowing for Reavers to be transported and dropped at locations in a traditional manner." Update (07-24-07) In regards to comments both about the yellow minerals and the team sharing of resources, both are being tested heavily, and may not make it in the game. You can be sure, balance is one of the top priorities for StarCraft II, and it is for good reason. When Blizzard states it does not know the release date of StarCraft II, it is because we will take the needed time necessary to make sure the game is balanced, fun, and at the highest quality before it hits the shelves. Blizzard's RTS Franchises have always been both fit for casual players, as well as being the most played RTS titles for the top RTS competitive scenes- StarCraft II looks to build upon StarCraft's legacy and also surpass it in many ways. Feel free to continue discussion about the questions, give critiques, and even challenge each other in discussion, but please do not make personal attacks upon each other. We are all here to discuss StarCraft II. Also, don't forget, you've only seen the bare tip of the iceberg, let alone details about 1 faction. SC2 = CnC3 ? if a Blizzard rep is reading this maybe explain what plans you have to make this NOT like CnC 3. Luckily, suggestions and feedback from constructive fans like yourself (which do get relayed back to devs), plus the best possible RTS design team on the face of this earth, and my own personal favorite IP and the favorite of millions of others, will make StarCraft II incomparable. Don't get me wrong, the expectations are high, but we plan to meet it at every step of the way. Feel free to keep the feedback, comments, and critiques coming, because I too want to make sure the Dev Team knows they are accountable to the community, as I am. With your support + the Dev Team's amazing talent, we'll make this happen for sure. Exist Two Different Reapers or its only one with some different Attack? Because In the Gameplay Video Appears with Guns and in the PC Gamer appear with Flamethrower Only one Reaper at the moment. ----Just to confirm, these units revealed are official units that are being tested and played with in the current version of StarCraft II. Feel free to speculate, but always know that there is more information about all of these units, that'll be released over the coming months. In the words of Dustin, "Nothing you see here is FINAL. ----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 ----The new Siege Tank will have recoil when firing in siege mode. ---- Also, Karune, can you confirm or deny that Dark Templars have lost their permanent cloaking? The Dark Templars will be permanently cloaked, the same as in the original StarCraft.